I’m not going to lie…I crushed my book reading goal for 2017. I had a lofty 2016 reading goal that I fell short on so for 2017, I made my number a much more manageable goal. And I crushed it. By almost double. ha! I’m going to try for 5 more books than I read this year and see how I do. My goal is 40 books for 2018. Wish me luck!! (I know some of you are thinking 40 books is a drop in the bucket for you and some of you are thinking holy wow, that’s a lot of books! I’d love to know what your reading goal is for 2018 so make sure you leave a comment!!) Today, I’m sharing my all time favorite books of 2017. Some of these were released in 2017 and some of them were new finds for me. I don’t know if I can name my all time favorite book of 2017 was though. I feel like I picked some real winners this year.
FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2017
(in no particular order)
ONE. The Royal Treatment (Crown Jewels Book #1) by M. J. Summers
Goodsreads.com Synopsis: “Ultra-private, ridiculously handsome Crown Prince Arthur has always gotten by on his charm. But that won’t be enough now that the Royal Family is about to be ousted from power once and for all. When Prince Arthur has to rely on the one woman in the kingdom who hates him most, he must learn that earning the love of a nation means first risking his heart.
Twenty-eight-year-old Tessa Sharpe, a.k.a. The Royal Watchdog, hates everything about Prince Arthur. As far as she’s concerned, he’s an arrogant, lazy leech on the kingdom of Avonia. When he shocks the nation by giving her the keys to the castle, Tessa has no choice but to accept and move in for two months. It’s lust at first sight, but there’s no way she can give in to her feelings—not if she wants to have a career or a shred of pride left when her time at the palace ends…
Can two natural enemies find their forever in each other’s arms, or will they ruin each other to save themselves?”
My Thoughts: I just finished this book a few days ago and went wild on sharing about it on my Insta-Stories. I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud that much when reading a book in a very long time. I’m about to dive into Book 2 and cannot wait to pickup where I left off! Bonus: If you write a review of Book 1, the author will graciously send you a Short (their Engagement Story) before you start into Book 2.
TWO. The Guestbook by Andrea Hurst
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “Fleeing her picture-perfect marriage among the privileged set of Brentwood and the wreckage of a failed marriage, Lily Parkins decides to move to the only place that still holds happy memories, her grandmother’s old farmhouse. The lush and majestic setting of the Pacific Northwest calls to her and offers a place of refuge and perhaps renewal. Her grandmother has passed away, leaving the Madrona Island Bed & Breakfast Inn to Lily.
Left with only an old guestbook as her guide–a curious book full of letters, recipes, and glimpses into her family history–Lily is determined to embrace her newfound independence and recreate herself, one page at a time. With the help of the quirky island residents she has befriended, she slowly finds the strength to seek out happiness on her own terms. But as soon as she has sworn off men and is standing on her own two feet, Lily meets Ian, the alluring artist who lives next door, and her new life is suddenly thrown off course. The last thing she wants to do right now is to open her heart to another man.
Ultimately, Lily must decide if it’s worth giving up her soul for security or risking everything to follow her heart.”
My Thoughts: What a beautiful story this was. The characters were well written and thought out. The storyline had everything you could ask of it. And it’s set in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. And winning…it’s another series!!
THREE. The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “In this utterly charming debut—perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern’s P.S., I Love You and Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life—one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals, and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects.
1. Go to Paris
2. Have a baby, maybe two
3. Fall in love
Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a naïve girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.”
My Thoughts: I actually didn’t read the synopsis before I bought this book. But now that I’m reading the intro paragraph of this synopsis, I would whole-heartedly agree that it had some “P.S., I Love You” feels. Not the same thing but yet the same kind of feel. I was actually just talking with my Boss Girl Creative FB community about this book the other day and it’s exactly how I described it. So good.
BUY THE BOOK
The Life List
FOUR. Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “Each of the three Schuyler sisters has her own world-class problems, but in the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler’s problems are in a class of their own. When Pepper fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction, she thinks she’s finally found a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries, the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician.
But the car’s new owner turns out to have secrets of her own, and as the glamorous and mysterious Annabelle Dommerich takes pregnant Pepper under her wing, the startling provenance of this car comes to light: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle’s life from World War II stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts.
Indomitable heroines, a dazzling world of secrets, champagne at the Paris Ritz, and a sweeping love story for the ages, in New York Times bestselling author Beatriz William’s final book about the Schuyler sisters.”
My Thoughts: Is it weird that I didn’t know this was another series until just this moment? It totally read as a standalone book. Now I’m going to have to check out the other 2 books. But back to this story…I love stories within stories. This one swept me away almost immediately. Loved the characters and the story.
FIVE. Lowcountry Bonfire by Susan M. Boyer
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “Private Investigators Liz Talbot and Nate Andrews have worked their share of domestic cases. So when Tammy Sue Lyerly hires them to find out what her husband is hiding, they expect to find something looney but harmless. After all, this is the guy who claims to have been a DEA agent, a champion bull rider, and a NASCAR driver. But when he turns up dead the morning after Liz and Nate deliver the incriminating photos, Tammy is the prime suspect.
Questioning the truth of Zeke Lyerly’s tall-tales, Liz and Nate race to uncover small town scandals, long buried secrets, and the victim’s tumultuous past to keep Tammy Sue out of jail and the case from going up in flames.”
My Thoughts: One of my favorite series since stumbling on Book 1 several years ago. I am super grateful to have formed a relationship with the author/publisher and now receive advanced copies of new books in the series (which is how I received this copy). However, that has no weight on the fact that I truly enjoy this series. I’m a sucker for a good female investigator and this series does not disappoint!
SIX. The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.
Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.
Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.
From the warm and funny Amy E. Reichert, The Simplicity of Cider is a charming love story with a touch of magic, perfect for fans of Sarah Addison Allen and Gayle Forman.”
My Thoughts: I fell in love with Amy’s writing after reading The Coincidence of Coconut Cake (a previous fav!). She reminds me of Sarah Addison Allen as there’s a bit of magical whimsy in her books. This book was no different. She swept me away into the story and I didn’t want to put it down! I also just learned that I missed out on another book by her which is now on my TBR list: Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.
SEVEN. Sugar by Kimberly Stuart
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.
When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.
The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.
Sugar is a contemporary romance, set in the high-pressure commercial kitchens of New York and Seattle. A funny and clever story of how a female chef learns to thrive in the ruthless world of premier restaurants.”
My Thoughts: Can you tell I have a thing with books centered around food??? Sugar was a fun read for me. Had drama, love, crazy, love, more drama. I was in the thick of it and loved every bit of the book!
BUY THE BOOK
EIGHT. The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “What secrets are hiding in the heart of Paris?
At the famous Patisserie Clermont in Paris, 1909, a chance encounter with the owner’s daughter has given one young man a glimpse into a life he never knew existed: of sweet cream and melted chocolate, golden caramel and powdered sugar, of pastry light as air.
But it is not just the art of confectionery that holds him captive, and soon a forbidden love affair begins.
Almost eighty years later, an academic discovers a hidden photograph of her grandfather as a young man with two people she has never seen before. Scrawled on the back of the picture are the words ‘Forgive me’. Unable to resist the mystery behind it, she begins to unravel the story of two star-crossed lovers and one irrevocable betrayal.
Take a moment to savour an evocative, bittersweet love story that echoes through the decades – perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore and Victoria Hislop.”
My Thoughts: My other favorite type of book is historical fiction with a love story intertwined. I absolutely LOVED this story. There was so much passion in the writing and it was definitely one I couldn’t put down.
BUY THE BOOK
The Confectioner’s Tale
NINE. London Falling (The Rulefords #1) by Emma Carr
Goodreads.com Synopsis: “American Aimee Kennedy doesn’t think she needs anyone … until she’s stuck with sexy banker, Simon Ruleford, in his London home.
Stranded in London with no money and no airline ticket, Aimee applies to be Simon’s housekeeper. Without the job, she’ll end up homeless in a foreign country. But Simon can’t hire the adorable American without a work permit, because he would risk losing the royal family’s business, costing years of planning and hard work. Unfortunately for Simon, fate conspires to trap Aimee in his home, while mutual blackmail and a lovable Scottie puppy keep them together. As they fight their growing attraction, Aimee’s money-making plans soon force Simon into one compromising position after another.
Ultimately, they realize they belong together. But will Simon be willing to risk his career and the family business for her? And if he does, will Aimee finally be ready to open her heart to love?”
My Thoughts: A sweet chick-lit book and it’s also a series. I was hooked within the first few pages and didn’t want the story to end! If you need something light and fun to read, make sure this one is on your list!
What made your Favorite Books of 2017??