Of the over 30 books I read this year, there were a few that really stood out as remarkable. I have compiled a list of my favorite books of 2019. These top picks are mostly romance, though I did include a suspense I read at the end of this year. There are some debut authors and some previous favorites. Keep reading for my favorite books and quotes of 2019.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Bringing Down the Duke is a rare historical romance novel. This book knows exactly where it should fit in history and isn’t afraid to insert itself there. Annabelle is a suffragist and one of the first women to attend Oxford University. Sebastian is a striking blonde duke with close ties to Queen Victoria. Sebastian and Annabelle have such delicious chemistry that it is worth the scandal that their love would cause. This book was a debut for author Evie Dunmore and I can’t wait to read more by her. I hope Bringing Down the Duke becomes the blueprint for future historical romances.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
After years of reading romance novels, this book changed the way I saw the genre. The way in which Stella interacts with the world is fascinating. I appreciated that she worked in tech in Silicon Valley, like I do. Stella has a passion for her job, to the point where she has not made room in her life for anything else. Thinking she needs an education, she hires sexy escort Michael to teach her some things. Helen Hoang’s delicious writing has the perfect amount of steam to leave you breathless.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
It was hard to pick which of the two Lisa Jewell books I read at the end of 2019 to be my favorite since they were both so intriguing and freaky. Ultimately, I chose Then She Was Gone because it took days, even weeks, to get this book out of my head. What would I have done differently if I were the characters in this book? It was heartbreaking and fascinating to read about how a mother could experience such devastating loss and unanswered questions and still live life. I left his book, that has some very difficult elements, feeling hopeful. It has one of the best epilogues of any book I’ve read.
Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Is there a more perfect man than Josh Im? Hazel doesn’t seem to think so – she refers to her college friend as “thee blueprint for perfect” and I can see why. Hazel is a big personality – lovable but quirky and silly. Josh sees it all and loves her for it. Their mutual fascination with each other is what draws them together, although they spend the book double dating other people. Christina Lauren have written some of my favorite romance novels, and Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is the best.
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
I read 99 Percent Mine earlier in the year, but I think about it regularly. Darcy, so imperfect, yet so relatable. She is tall and loud and insecure yet confident. She drinks, a lot. She doesn’t take care of herself and always feels second place to her perfect twin brother. And then there is Tom. Tom Valeska is her childhood crush/brother’s best friend. Darcy has always harbored feelings for Tom, and these feelings come out in moments when she can barely control herself. Reading about Tom and Darcy unwrapping their long-held feelings for each other was amazing.
Looking forward to reading some great books in 2020. Follow along for reviews and more in the year ahead.
By Michele W.