If I thought the previous five Top 10 of 2020 topics were tough, they have nothing on today’s topic — Best of the Best. It’s no secret I didn’t have the best reading year ever. My reading was sporadic and more often than not I lacked the focus to get through books. The days of reading 5 books or so a week are gone. Hell, there were some months where I read fewer than 5 books. Yes, for the entire month. It was a challenge.
To date, I’ve finished 112 books and I’m making progress on number 113. Of those, I’ve added 33 to my Goodreads “most favoritest” shelf for the year. Still, narrowing it down to 10 is hard. So, I’ve included a handful of honorable mentions, too. That’s how I roll. 😉
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Not only was this one of my favorite books of the year, but it was also easily one of the most surprising. There are so many things about it that would normally be turnoffs for me — not romance, cheating, drugs, rock ‘n roll — but holy crap. I don’t even have words for what this book did to me.
How many of my lists has this book shown up on so far this year? Nearly all of them? The fat rep was perfect. I adored the romance. AND maybe best of all — it introduced me to one of my new favorite authors, whose backlist I can’t wait to devour.
I can’t even tell you how long I’ve waited for Zac’s story. Actually, that’s a lie. I can. I’ve been waiting since I read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me for the first time in January 2017. He’s one of my all-time favorite secondary characters and I always hoped Mariana would give us his story. And she finally did. It was everything I needed and more.
I’d heard fantastic things about this book before going in, but I was still somewhat skeptical. Relationships in peril aren’t always my favorite. But this one? Freaking loved. What a special book. Nicholas and Naomi sucked me in and wouldn’t let go — and wouldn’t get out of my head — at a time when I’d totally lost my reading mojo.
I’m at a loss for words over Dreaming of You. I understand now why it’s so often mentioned as readers’ favorite Lisa Kleypas book. Derek Craven really is everything. I adored Sara and, well, everything about this story. Sooo many swoons. This book definitely goes in the “reread many times going forward” pile.
Love Lettering was an absolutely gorgeous book. I just loved it so, so much. It was a story of self-discovery, personal growth, friendship, and love. I laughed, cried, and swooned. My feels had feels and I loved every single minute of this emotional roller coaster.
GAH! I had nothing but love for Josh and Clara and everything about this book. The cinnamon roll porn star hero and the (at times prudish) and reserved heroine? Lord have mercy. Total perfection.
This was my first Joanna Shupe book and I’m never going to be the same. There were a million little things to love about this one, but none perhaps more than the characters themselves. Mamie and Frank gave me all the swoons. Mamie made my feminist heart sing. What a strong and independent heroine! The historical NYC setting was fantastic, too.
The end of a series is always bittersweet and The One for You was no exception. It was maybe even more bittersweet because of the overall story in the series. I got to know these characters and watch as they learned to deal with the past and move forward as survivors. It was beautiful. Each book tugged at my heartstrings. But this one probably more than the others combined. Especially when it came to the epilogue. I cried like a baby. I tear up just thinking about it months later. I wasn’t really ready to say goodbye to these characters, but I can’t think of a better way to do it. This book brought a beautiful close to a unique, emotional and hopeful series.
This book? Oh, my word. What a ride. Lorelei and Ash gave me feels for days. As is always the case with Kerrigan’s books, I was hooked from the very first chapter. Her characters are always phenomenal and complicated, and Ash especially was no exception. If you’ve read Kerrigan before, you know her books are on the darker side. Ash is a pirate with one hell of a past and he’s a hard man. (Side note: I think this was my first pirate novel and I simply must read more.) I don’t even know that I would call him a good man, but he had a good heart. At least when it came to Lorelei. These two put me through it and I couldn’t have loved it more.
Which books hit your “best of the best” list for 2020?