Globally speaking, 2017 was pretty shit. It wasn’t a great year for me personally, either. But thankfully when the going gets tough, the tough can dive into a pile of great books to transport them away for awhile. Or something along those lines.
Without further ado, here are my favourite reads of 2017! Strap in y’all, it’s recommendation time.
Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller
Renting souls is a dirty business, but Callie’s in it whether she wants to be or not. To save her brother’s soul, she has to team up with Derek, the handsome enforcer working for the shadiest soul collector in town. I need more of y’all to read BORROWED SOULS so we can gush about how smoothly written and cool it is!
This twisted tale is full of action, but it’s really a character study of Millie Roper, a promising young director whose borderline personality disorder has thrown her life off course. When Millie discovers that Fae are real and that they control Hollywood, she’ll stop at nothing to get on their good side.
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
Talk about ending the year with a bang! This debut novel is a historical fantasy inspired by medieval Islamic history, and I think readers who’re tired of the typical European fantasy set-up will fall in love with what Chakraborty has created. I’m a devoted fan already!
An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock
Do you like stories with winning main characters, political and personal intrigue, magic, and a vibe that’s decidedly reminiscent of The Three Musketeers? Then pick this up and uncover the story of how a shy mathematician named Isabelle and her faithful musketeer Jean-Claude took over a country with their magic, wits, and audacity.
The Others series has consistently been among my favourites the last few years, so I’m happy to report that this is a strong ending for a deftly crafted story following a lovable ensemble cast, and while I’m still sad about saying goodbye to Meg, Simon, and the gang, I’m psyched that there’s a spin-off coming in 2018!
A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
A tough Canadian detective winds up living in a remote, off-the-grid town trying to keep the peace in this mystery/thriller offering. The second book wasn’t quite as strong as the first but I’m still loving Casey, her fellow officers, and the rest of Rockton’s shady inhabitants.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Follow Monty, his best friend (maybe more?) Percy, and his little sister Felicity as they travel across Europe evading evil fathers, crazed monarchs, and shadowy alchemical societies. This historical romp is chock-full of wit, heart, and verve…not to mention a pinch of magic. Absolutely delightful!
Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron
This book came out of nowhere and knocked me off my feet, y’all. Incredible world building, complex characterization, and effortless diversity are all on offer in this truly unique YA fantasy. How often can you say that?
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee
In this Chinese-American version of Buffy, Genie Lo is just trying to get into an Ivy League school when a mysterious — and possibly deranged — guy crashes into her life. With some truly weird things happening to her, Genie can’t help but wonder if Quentin’s crazy claims about reincarnation, superpowers, and the forces of evil are actually true…
Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
Cassandra Harwood was once the most respected woman magician in the country…and she was once engaged to the love of her life. Can one wintery garden party truly restore everything she’s lost? Burgis dazzled me with her Regency-inspired novella, especially with its delightful reversal of gender roles.
White Hot and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Nevada Baylor and Connor Rogan, talk about a power couple! The second and third instalments in this trilogy were just as strong as the first, and all urban fantasy fans who don’t mind a healthy heaping of romance should get on this series posthaste!
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler were once as close as two people can be, but a family tragedy tore them apart. Every year, they meet up for a steamy assignation but don’t discuss the past…until the day Livvy returns to their home town. Alisha Rai will make your heart hurt, and she’ll make you like it!
When up-and-coming theatre actress Elaine Graham meets Richard Troy, it’s hate at first sight. She wants nothing to do with the stuffy old(er) man, and vice versa. So, of course, fake relationship shenanigans ensue… Absolutely hilarious, well-written, and swoon-worthy. PRETTY FACE is equally excellent.
An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
If it feels like I’ve been shouting about this series for the better part of 2017, that’s because I have been. This American Civil War romance follows Elle Burns, a Black woman and spy for the Loyalist League, and Malcom McCall, a White man posing as a Rebel soldier. Intense, sexy, and thought-provoking.
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
When the Duke of Ashbury imperiously announces to Miss Emma Gladstone that she will be his Duchess, there isn’t much to do but accept. Despite her newfound status, Emma craves love…and Ash’s heart. This is a significant departure for Dare, but she pulls off the increased angst (and sexiness) beautifully.