20 Top Reads of 2017

It's always interesting going through my highest-rated and most-enjoyed books from the year before. It's easy to see some trends when I do.

Last year, the trend seemed to be more adult romance, particularly historical romance. I also noticed that compared to years before, I didn't read as much young adult, which is a favorite genre. I missed a lot of my most anticipated reads there (you can see some of the ones I missed here). This year I'm planning on reading more young adult and catching up on all the books I missed in that and other genres.

Now, let's get on to why you're here, checking out my top picks from last year... Out of the books I reviewed in 2017, here are my top favorites (in no particular order):

Top Young Adult Reads

Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin│This is the third book in the series and I love the series more and more as each book comes out. It has a perfectly lovely mix of historical England, espionage, and romance with a slight paranormal edge.Find all the book info and my review here.

Lucky in Love by Kasie West│A sweet contemporary romance, which West is known for. My favorite part was probably the awkward way the romance slowly develops - like it's fresh and new (just how it should be).Find all the book info and my review here.

Mysteries of Cove: Embers of Destruction by J. Scott Savage│This series... It is SO good! I loved the friendships, mystery, and action. I especially loved the dragons! This is actually more middle grade or lower YA, but it's still awesome! :)│Find all the book info and my review here.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller│Do you like movies like Pirates of the Caribbean? This book is like reading that movie, but in YA fashion. Plenty of witty banter, sword fighting, pirates, romance, fabulous characters, and a little siren. I loved every minute!│Find all the book info and my review here.

It Started with Goodbye by Christina June│Perfectly sweet and so, so good, this is one book that contemporary YA fans shouldn't miss. I loved it all!Find all the book info and my review here.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill│This story is probably one of the best mysteries I've ever read. I loved the historical setting and how well it came alive! I loved the characters! I loved the suspense that was quite gritty in places. Just absolutely well done! I can't wait for more from this author!Find all the book info and my review here.

Top Adult Reads

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe by Josi S. Kilpack│I loved how the author took a beloved historical figure (the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin) and relates what her life and marriage might have looked like. This was such a heartfelt story and my heart ached for Harriet at points. There was also so much to relate to, as she was a woman who was trying to find her place between being the traditional wife her husband thought he needed and the independent, academic career-focused woman she was before marriage.Find all the book info and my review here.

Outshine by Nichole Van│I had been curious about this series for a long time when I finally signed up to review this one. I appreciated that you didn't have to read the other books in the series to read this one. It was the type of story I love most: great characters, witty banter, a little mystery, and fabulous romance. There are some nice twists in this story as well. I've since purchased all the other books and plan on devouring them when I can.Find all the book info and my review here.

Love Remains by Sarah M. Eden│This is the first of two Eden books to find their way in my list from last year. This one was a roller-coaster of emotion. I loved these characters and I loved that their story is fraught with struggles, but that they find hope and happiness through them.Find all the book info and my review here.

For Love or Honor by Sarah M. Eden│This second book from Eden also pulls on the reader's emotions. Another cast of fantastic characters who become clearer and blossom as the story unfolds. I loved it!Find all the book info and my review here.

Courting Carrie in Wonderland by Carla Kelly│I have found Kelly to be a consistent, reliable author who always does her research. Her setting are fabulous, as are her characters. I couldn't help but fall in love with the characters in this story as well as Yellowstone National Park.Find all the book info and my review here.

The Reformer by Jaima Fixsen│This story blew me away! I loved the blend of cultures, the feminism set historically, and the way the relationship developed between these characters. A fun, sweet, and rousing read!Find all the book info and my review here.

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis│This was a book I reviewed because it sounded promising, but I didn't think I'd love it. Then I read it and it was so fabulously done! I loved the Steampunk setting, the action, the romance (which wasn't the main focus of the story), and Josette, the protagonist, most of all! (This one has a lot of swearing and some other stuff that the rest of the books on this list do not have.)Find all the book info and my review here.

Defiance by A. L. Sowards│Sowards has become my top author who sets her story during WWII. This story met my expectations. I could feel myself journey along with Lukas as he goes to war on the front lines. It was a heartbreaking story, but so very good.Find all the book info and my review here.

Top Christian Romance Reads

True to You by Becky Wade│I thought Becky Wade couldn't outdo herself, but this book proved me wrong. There was such emotional depth in her characters and in the story. There were parts that brought on the tears and others that made me laugh out loud. I'm so, so looking forward to the next book in the series!Find all the book info and my review here.

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White│I loved, loved, loved this story! I loved the contrasts of the poor to the rich, enemies versus allies, trained behavior versus unguarded. There were so many nuances in the setting and characters and it made for a very rich story. Of course, I also loved the characters and the romance! ;) The second book in the series came out this month and I can't wait to read it!Find all the book info and my review here.

A Season to Love by Nicole Deese│I'd seen this author's books, but didn't try her until early last year. I was not disappointed. This was a fabulous contemporary romance that had a ton of heart and I loved it all!Find all the book info and my review here.

Top LDS Romance Reads

The Song of Copper Creek by Kristen McKendry│This story surprised me. I wasn't expecting to love it so much, but I did. It's one of those stories that you easily fall into, with relatable characters, small-town charm, a romance that feels natural, and a story that traverses despair to find hope and happily-ever-after in the end. It's also not religious enough to exclude anyone from reading it.│Find all the book info and my review here.

Love on Pointe by Tiffany OdekirkThis story was such a good mix of emotions, with a complicated situation, and lovable characters. To quote my review"The characters come across as authentic and are easy to fall in love with, while the story is well balanced between moments of laughter, friendship, heartbreak, inspiration, and romance.Highly recommended to fans of LDS or Christian romance!" I'll just second that. :)Find all the book info and my review here.

Brush With Love by Lisa McKendrick│I loved the art aspect of this story. It was really fun and isn't too common. I also loved the artist who the heroine studies under. He was quirky and quite a riot. The romance had some of the sweetest, most swoon-worthy moments I've read. Definitely worth cuddling up to when you're in the mood for romance.Find all the book info and my review here.

Do you see any of your favorites here? What was one or some of your top reads from last year?

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