Tag Archives: Deborah Blake

Veiled Enchantments by Deborah Blake

Overview
Veiled Enchantments (Veiled Magic, #3) by Deborah Blake

Title: Veiled Enchantments
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Veiled Magic #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Paranormal fantasy, Witches
Dates read: 23rd September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Publisher: Deborah Blake
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: These days the Ulf are partially a matter of status, but there is also a political component.

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Synopsis

In this exciting novel in the Veiled Magic series, Witch and police officer Donata Santori travels to Maine to help solve a deadly mystery, where her magical abilities are tested like never before.

BB Still reeling from her unwitting involvement in murder and subsequent break up with a half-Dragon art forger, Witch-cop Donata Santori is grateful for the distraction when her ex-lover requests her help. Not only are Magnus’s beloved dead suddenly haunting the Ulfhednar shapechangers in his tiny rural hometown in Maine, their patron god Odin has turned his back on them, and the members of their once tight-knit enclave are at each other’s throats. Literally. BB

Magnus is relying on Donata’s experience in dealing with the gods, along with her magical ability to summon the dead, to help him unravel this mystery in time to save his clan. Donata only hopes to survive the ordeal so she can return home to the city and her quiet job at the precinct.

But first, she must discover who or what is behind the terrible attacks on the Ulfhednar. And the clock is ticking, in more ways than one…

Thoughts

I didn’t really love the second book in the Veiled Magic series. I just didn’t feel as connected to peter as Magnus, and found him to be a bit of a pain in the butt. It didn’t help that I wasn’t in the mood to read an ebook. But Veiled Enchantments completely redeemed this series for me. It was a fantastic ending to the trilogy and just thoroughly enjoyable. I love how it ends with this feeling of things working out, but still the potential for a lot of mayhem and nonsense in the future…

This novel redeemed the series so much for me that I actually read it entirely in one sitting. I thought that I’d open my kobo and just read a few chapters before bed. And then… a bad habit I should really stop. But how can you when the story is just this good?

I thought that Donata and Magnus were just fantastic as a couple in this story. And I loved getting to know more about his family and way of life. Not quite what I had expected from his appearances in past books… but most definitely what I needed. I love when a character surprises you like that and just takes the story to a whole other level that you weren’t expecting.

This is definitely a story that I would read again – and a series that I would also pick up again now that I know I enjoy the ending of it all…

<- Veiled MenaceMore Deborah Blake ->

Image source: Goodreads

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Dangerously Driven by Deborah Blake

Overview

Dangerously DrivenTitle: Dangerously Driven
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Broken Riders #3.5, Baba Yaga World #6.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: FaeMythology, Paranormal romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Deborah Blake
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: “Ah,” Jazz said, lifting one finger into the air.

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Synopsis

The Riders… three legendary brothers who were born to aid the Baba Yagas, until tragedy changed everything. Separated by guilt and circumstance, they will finally have a chance to come back together. But what will happen when they do?

Neither Mikhail, Alexei, nor Gregori are enthusiastic about the invtiation to join the three Baba Yagas at Bella’s home in the Wyoming woods. But Bella and her apprentice Jazz have just spent a year in the Otherworld after Jazz’s disastrous attempt to cure the Riders’ loss of their immortality, so it isn’t really a summons any of them can refuse. As much as they might wish they could.

Each brother has his own reason to feel guilty, and they all mourn what they have lost despite having built themselves rewarding new lives. None of them is quite ready for a reunion. But they no longer have all the time in the world. So they get on their enchancted steeds (now a black Harley, a red Ducati, and a white Yamaha) and head out across the country, never expecting the adventures that lie ahead.

The brothers travel different roads to get to Wyoming, but they all end up on the same path. A surprise visit from an old friend might just show them that the journey is more important than the destination… especially when you travel it with those you love.

Thoughts

This was a cute way to tie in the three brother Riders after the Broken Riders series. It also lets us revisit the Baba Yagas and their apprentices. Something that I found incredibly enjoyable and refreshing. There’s also the lingering hint of a future tale in the last words and scene of this novella.

I loved the world of the Baba Yagas and every time Blake creates a new novella or story that fits into the world, I have a lot of fun revisiting something that I so thoroughly enjoyed previously. And Dangerously Driven was no different. It let us revisit all of our beloved characters and also find out how their lives ended up.

Dangerously Driven visits each of the three brothers and follows them as they journey to their reunion. In more ways than one. It left such a happy feeling in the pit of my stomach to find the three brothers united and with a goal in life yet again. Definitely a nice way to tie up the Broken Riders trilogy and one that I would certainly suggest to lovers of this series.

 <- Dangerously Fierce Review Wickedly Dangerous Review ->
Image source: Amazon

Reinventing Ruby by Deborah Blake

Overview

Reinventing RubyTitle: Reinventing Ruby
Author: Deborah Blake
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, FoodRomance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Deborah Blake
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: As always, she found making bread to be a sensual experience, but this time it brought on a vivid erotic flashback to that wild night – something that had been happening on a regular basis ever since her unaccustomed fling.

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Synopsis

Ruby Tate is a cautious and controlled woman; her only passions are cooking and her restaurant, Jewels. Unless you count the uncharacteristic one-night stand she had with a charming stranger the night of her sister’s bachelorette party. And she doesn’t. After all, she got out of his bed the next morning and returned to her real life—dealing with a failing restaurant, a not-so-silent silent partner, and a difficult family. And now there’s this new problem, like a ticking time bomb hiding beneath her white chef’s jacket.

Jonathan Gautier is a rising star in the culinary world. With three successful restaurants, a best-selling cookbook, and a new television show, he should be happy, but after six months on the road filming Seven Worth Saving and working in everyone’s kitchens but his own, Jonathan is burned-out and uninspired. The closest thing he’s had to a social life was one amazing night with a woman whose name he isn’t even sure of. All he wants is to wrap up this last episode and get back to his own kitchen. Maybe there he’ll be able to recapture his love of cooking, because if he can’t, he doesn’t know what on earth he’ll do with his life.

When Jonathan walks into Jewels, Ruby is horrified. She can’t believe that the famous chef who is her only hope for saving her restaurant is the man who gave her the best night of her life, and a little something extra. All she wants now is for him to help her save her dreams—and then go away. But Jonathan has other ideas. Lots of other ideas; most of which involve Ruby, food, and nakedness. And Jonathan didn’t get to be the success that he is by taking “no” for an answer. Together, they must find a way to save Jewels, even if that means completely Reinventing Ruby.

Thoughts

Reading this made me incredibly hungry. And kind of sleepy to be honest. Because I just couldn’t put it down and so I didn’t go to sleep like a normal person.

I’m a bit disappointed that I read the blurb before this story though. It hinted at Ruby’s secret and she doesn’t even find out until about halfway through the story. Talk about a spoiler alert! But that didn’t truly ruin the story. It was so simply romantic and sweet. The combination of Ruby and Jonathan’s budding romance, and the cooking and the risk of her restaurant… it gave the story just enough spice and risk, but not enough that my heart was completely pounding throughout.

I can’t quite explain why, but on completing this book, I was completely relaxed, happy and ready to jump into the kitchen and try out some different recipes again. Although I don’t ever want to be a chef, I do love cooking, and this, combined with the romance of the story just worked so completely. Plus, there are recipes in the back of the story that I really, really, really want to try!

 <- More romance reviews More chic lit reviews ->
Image source: Amazon

Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake

Overview
Veiled Menace

Title: Veiled Menace
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Veiled Magic #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Paranormal fantasy, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: InterMix
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: This was one conversation she didn’t want anyone to overhear.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

Thoughts

I didn’t enjoy this as thoroughly as the first book in Veiled Magic. I think because the relationships were a little off, and her best friend Doc just appeared… there were just a few holes that made the continuity from Veiled Magic a little clunkier than I’m used to from Blake. That’s not to say that I didn’t still thoroughly enjoy this story, but I did take a lot longer to read this than I did the first novel.

Although Veiled Magic features a love triangle, Veiled Menace focuses solely on Donata’s relationship with Pete. Again, the continuity of this was a little disjointed. They had the off again, on again drama going on. Which was a fun driver, but when they were off, Pete wasn’t even mentioned. For the amount of passion in their on moments, it was weird to have such a lack in their off moments.

I liked that we finally discovered who the sixth race was in this and how they fit into the scheme of things. I had formed a number of opinions as to who and what this race could be throughout both Veiled Magic and Veiled Menace, but it still completely swept me away. Donata’s connection to this further surprised me, and I can’t wait to see how all of this unfolds in Veiled Enchantments. That, and how the relationship with Pete is going to evolve (if it does).

<- Veiled MagicVeiled Enchantments ->

Image source: Goodreads

Dangerously Fierce by Deborah Blake

Overview

Dangerously FierceTitle: Dangerously Fierce
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Broken Riders #3, Baba Yaga World #6
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: FaeMythology, Paranormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Deborah Blake
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: She’d bang her head against the bar a couple of times, but with her luck, she’d just crack that too.

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Synopsis

The Riders… three legendary brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe. The Riders’ immortality was stripped away, along with their mission. But they are still much more than Human, and their story is far from over…

His brothers may have found new paths to follow, but Alexei Knight isn’t even looking. If he can’t have the life he was meant to lead, there is no second choice. So he is bent on drinking and brawling his way across the country until he winds up on Cape Cod in a bar called The Hook and Anchor, where he finds challenges he was never expecting, a feisty red-haired bartender, and maybe a lot more than that…

Bethany McKenna left behind an almost-completed law degree to return home and care for her cranky disabled father and run his bar for him. If that wasn’t enough, she also agreed to foster a very pregnant Great Dane. She has enough to deal with without adding in a giant bearded brawler, no matter how appealing he is. Yet somehow he ends up living in the guest-house, taking care of her father, and sneaking his way into her heart…

Alexei and Bethany both think the lives they wanted have come to an end, but after dealing with a mysterious sea monster, pirates, dragons, and some adorable puppies, they might just discover that love is the greatest adventure of all…

Thoughts

I’m really glad that Blake decided to self-publish this book. As soon as I received it I was kind of frustrated, the book was so much bigger than the rest of the books in the Broken Riders series. And then I read the forward – the publishers decided not to go ahead with Alexei’s story, so Blake did instead. And, I for one, am very, very, very glad. I would have been constantly wondering what happened to the third brother and how he found his happy ending.

There is a bit of a difference in reading a self-published book and one that is produced by a publishing house. And it’s fairly obvious when reading Dangerously Fierce. But other than a few slight issues in the grammar or spelling, this story is just as amazing as the rest of Blake’s stories. The romance is sweet and endearing, the characters vivid and all strong in their own way, and the sense of pain in Alexei is heart-rendingly real.

My favourite thing about this story was the fact that it was set in a bar on the coast. The nautical feeling (including the presence of pirates) fed perfectly upon the idea of a small bar run by a busty red head. I’m not sure why red heads always seem to be feisty and busty, but it works perfectly in this tale. Especially when she gets out her baseball bat and threatens a bar full of large lads. From the very beginning, this had such a great vibe and a great feel to the setting. It might actually be my favourite Baba Yaga world location – there is just something about a bar on the sea.

 <- Dangerously Divine Review Dangerously Driven Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake

Overview

Dangerously DivineTitle: Dangerously Divine
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Broken Riders #2, Baba Yaga World #5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: FaeMythology, Paranormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Even from halfway across the room, she could tell that something wasn’t right.

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Synopsis

The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them – and their new callings are even more powerful…

Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, reamins in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing – until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…

Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens – by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted – in more ways than one…

After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair – one that will force them to find new strength together, or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

Thoughts

I read this story in a day. Which is always a good indication that it was amazing and I loved it. Alright, I’ve basically done this with each of the stories set in the Baba Yaga universe, but there was something about Dangerously Divine that I especially loved. Maybe it was the fact that although there was still the aspect of the Otherworld throughout, it didn’t have as large a place in the storyline. Something a little different to the other tales in this series. There were no journeys into the Otherworld, and, although there are gods and goddesses throughout, the fact that the entire story is based in one city with some very mortal enemies was a great change of pace.

After meeting Gregori a little better in Dangerously Charming, it was hard to imagine what kind of woman he would end up with. Honestly, I had kind of imagined somebody who was immensely spiritual, and maybe a little bit of a hippy. Ciera is nothing like that. And her tragic past just make her all the more engaging as a heroine. I’ve loved every one of the women and characters throughout the Baba Yaga series, but the fact the Ciera was from such a troubled past, and battled her own inner demons as much as Sun does kind of made me lover her the most.

Ciera and Gregori’s battles collide in this great book, and, ultimately deal with a serious issue in our culture. Drugs, homelessness and violence collide with freak snow storms, mystical healing abilities and a sense of justice that prevails above all else. This intense collision is one that is going to stick with me for a long time. It was everything that I want in a good paranormal romance.

 <- Dangerously Charming Review Dangerously Fierce Review ->
Image source: Goodreads

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake

Overview

Dangerously CharmingTitle: Dangerously Charming
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Broken Riders #1, Baba Yaga World #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: FaeMythology, Paranormal romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: He leaned down to pocket the ball.

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Synopsis

The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended – and their new destinies are just beginning…

Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack Mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her – and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…

For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s fmaily have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful faery Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…

To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts…

Thoughts

I liked that the point of view was switched a little in this story. The Baba Yaga stories had a strong female lead who travelled around (and then eventually found their loved one). I loved this fact, but after three novels, a change was certainly needed. Dangerously Charming provided this, but kept me in the world that I have fallen madly in love with.

Following the first of the (now mortal) Riders, Dangerously Charming still has a strong female lead. It still has all of the paranormal and mythological aspects that I have fallen for. But, it has a differently damaged lead – a now mortal immortal. It also took someone who was damaged and trying to find a new way in life and helped them to find the way. Yes, this is still a paranormal romance. And it is still predictable that the main characters are going to fall for one another. But really, I don’t mind that kind of predictability. The ways in which they fall, and how they beat the baddy (in this case, a not-so-big, bad faery) are just murky enough that it is impossible to put the book down.

I liked Jenna’s spunk and vulnerability. Pregnancy makes most women emotional (or so I’m told), but somehow she manages to combine this with a strength and gumption that is completely unique. The Baba Yagas are supposed to be strong. And, quite frankly, are expected to be more than a little kick ass, but that’s not expected of a pregnant mortal. Yet, Blake takes these differences and gives Jenna a strength and independence all of her own. One that was actually all the more relatable for the increased vulnerability.

 <- Wickedly Spirited Review Dangerously Divine Review ->
Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake

Overview

Wickedly SpiritedTitle: Wickedly Spirited
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Baba Yaga #3.5Baba Yaga World #4.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: MythologyParanormal romanceWitches
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: InterMix
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: What if she wasn’t as powerful as they all said?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideSynopsis

Jazz, the powerfully magical teen first introduced in Wickedly Powerful, is now being trained as a Baba Yaga—and she’s determined to free the Broken Riders herself.

Jazz had a rough life before meeting her guardian, and she knows she’s lucky that Bella is training her to be a Baba Yaga. But the gifted young witch is frustrated by the slow pace of her lessons. Jazz knows she’s capable of even greater magic, and she wants nothing more than to find a spell that will give the Riders back the immortality they lost.

With the reluctant assistance of Bella’s dragon-turned-cat Koshka, Jazz travels to the Otherworld to get the necessary ingredients to perform the spell. A willful young witch, dangerous magic, and one powerful wish—what could possibly go wrong?

Thoughts

Jazz was a fun introduction in Wickedly Powerful. She’s sassy, powerful and full of energy. The fact that there is a novella available that features her was kind of a welcome surprise. Although, it really wasn’t what I expected, and sadly, I read it before Dangerously Charming, which was kind of a mistake – after all, the acts in this take place after Mikhail Day’s story and it kind of had some spoilers.

Teenagers never do what they’re told – or at least, I know that I rarely did. If I was given an order, I needed to understand why, otherwise I’d merely take it as a suggestion. Which is kind of like Jazz. She is told not to play with higher powers again and again. But, because she doesn’t understand why Bella says these things, she’s a little more fluid in her adherence to the rulings. Which is why you can see that she’s going to get into trouble from a mile off. The trouble that she finds herself in is completely unexpected though. Actually, I was quite taken back by the results of her rebellion and I can’t wait to see how this factors into the greater series…

 <- Wickedly Powerful Review Dangerously Charming Review ->
Image source: Penguin Random House

Veiled Magic by Deborah Blake

Overview
Veiled Magic

Title: Veiled Magic
Author: Deborah Blake
Series: Veiled Magic #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Paranormal fantasy, Witches
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: InterMix
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: Farmingham quavered a little under her suspicious look, but then rallied.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Police officer and Witch Donata Santori spends her days interrogating dead witnesses by summoning their spectral forms. Normally the job is little more than taking statements and filing reports. But when she’s called in on the case of a murdered art restorer, she finds herself suddenly in possession of a mystical portrait that both the human and paranormal communities would kill to get their hands on.

Unable to take on the forces hunting her alone, Donata seeks help from two unlikely and attractive allies: a reluctant shape-changer and a half-dragon art forger. But as the three of them hurry to uncover the truth about the powerful painting, Donata realizes that she’s caught in the middle of not one but two wars—one for possession of the painting’s secrets and one for possession of her heart…

Thoughts

I love the magical realism that Blake brings to her work. She manages to take the world of today, Wicca and our daily social struggles and create a world that is entirely her own. It is the most enjoyable and wonderful way to become immersed in a story. Especially when Donata is such a relatable and thrilling character to take you on such a whirlwind adventure.

I’ve had this novel on my ereader for ages, but actually finding the time to sit there and read it has been a whole other story. No matter how many good ebooks I get my hands on, I still love the feeling of a good, hard cover in my hands. So, it did take me forever to actually read this. And now I kind of regret taking so long to read it. Because it was phenomenal, and now I can almost immediately start on the next book in the series, Veiled Menace. Although I won’t, because there are a whole slew of other books that are in my TBR pile and I tend to jump between series.

Other than Blake’s ability to create a beautifully realistic and layered world in which dragons, witches and changelings are part of everyday life, I love her character construction. There is something beautifully relatable about these characters. Donata is the black sheep of her family – the one who doesn’t quite fit in, never measures up to their expectations and has never been able to fit, so are the other two members of the little love triangle that she finds herself in. Yet, unlike many of the black sheep stories that I’ve read, Donata’s is willing to still love her and accept her. Alright, there’s strings attached and maybe they’re not as willing to accept her as the picturesque family would be – but there is still love there.

Unlike the Baba Yaga series, this has a very cops and criminals feel to it. Probably because Donata herself is a cop, but I love the overlay of the supernatural need for a cop as well. It is such a promising beginning of a new series, and I can’t wait to see which other supernatural crimes she is forced to face up to…

<- More Deborah BlakeVeiled Menace ->

Image source: Goodreads

Top 16 Books of 2016

2016 was a good year for me – I got to read a lot of books, both new and old. So here is a list of my favourite sixteen reads for this year.

falling-pomegranate-seeds16. Falling Pomegranate Seeds by Wendy J. Dunn
This is the first historical fiction that I have ever had the privilege of reading, and it has almost made me a convert. The topic is dense and heart-wrenching, but there is such a strength to the characters, that you can’t help but fall in love. The fact that Dunn used real historical figures to create her masterpiece of women’s rights, the relationships of mothers and daughters and a beautiful tale of coming of age just added to the poignancy of this tale.

skinwalker15. Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
I loved the new take on Native American skinwalkers in this story. The fact that it primarily focused on a woman of a minority culture was a great added bonus. To add to the great basis of fantasy, this story was dark and slightly twisted, but frankly honest about it’s chief protagonist – she was never painted as pure, but rather as a flawed human being.

 

Wickedly Powerful14. Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake
I found this series this year, and it completely changed my previously sceptical view on paranormal romance. Of the three books and five stories, this was by far my favourite. The lead Baba Yaga in this tale was far pricklier and more awkward around people than the others, and the love interest was a victim of mental illness – PTSD. This combined to create a beautiful love story with a potent message about PTSD that I cherished.

haunted13. Haunted by Kelley Armstrong
I love the Women of the Otherworld series – the heroines are not in any way, shape or form innocent and “good”. At least as books traditionally portray people. Instead they have their own challenges in life and difficulties. Eve Levine of Haunted has so far been my favourite of these characters. She is dead, but that doesn’t stop her from constantly attempting to help and guard her young daughter. This at the beginning of the story appears to be her only redeeming aspect, and as the story progresses, the true depth of her character is slowly revealed. It is a story that will make you fall in love with a flawed woman and this series again and again and again.

Raelia12. Raelia by Lynette Noni
A great sequel to the first Medoran Chronicles story, Raelia is all about the choices that we make. The storyline in this is so much more intense which is why I rated it slightly above the first book in the series, Akarnae. The ability of this story to capture my attention was immensely impressive, and I am constantly double checking what the release date for the next book in the series is.


The One11. The One by Kiera Cass
This story can make anyone believe in true love again. It is the sweetest, most charming love story I have ever read. Although, it doesn’t go over board with the sappy factor. The dystopian future setting helps to create a more fantastical and enhanced world than our own, which I thoroughly enjoyed and the creation of the caste system seriously made me question how I view and judge others. However, it is America and Maxon’s dance of romance that truly had me hooked and this story let me find out how their negotiation of love ended.

bad-blood10. Bad Blood by Lucienne Diver
I have an obsession with mythology, so any story or series that does a good job of recreating one of the ancient mythologies is going to get my attention. However, Diver’s approach to this was so completely unique that I was mesmerised from the first page. The sass and smart-mouthed attitude of the lead only added to my very quick falling for this series. As did her unique ancestry.

 

Kicking It9. Forked Tongues by Rachel Caine
This was one of the best short stories that I read this year – it combined fantasy with a strong woman and love. Not an easy combination to throw into less than one hundred pages. The image of a Cowboy Witch has stuck in my head since I read this months ago. A great, easy read to bunker down with for half hour or so.

 

 

body-double8. Body Double by Tess Gerritsen
The best crime book that I have read this year by far. Not only is it a tale of spine-tingling criminal acts, but it also investigates the nature versus nurture debates – one of my favourite intellectual discussions. Maura’s slow discovery of who she comes from and who she is highlights this, but it also reminds us that we are who we choose to be, not who other people want us to be. The strength of both Maura and Jane throughout the story is astonishing and admirable – it is so easy to imagine them walking around the streets of Boston.

night-shift7. Night Shift edited by Nalini Singh
A great way to find new authors and series is anthologies, which was partly why I bought this collection. I didn’t know that it would introduce me to one of my favourite series. Not one of these four short stories was even remotely tedious, and it was incredibly difficult to decide which author I wanted to read more of. The variety in the stories was enough that they were fascinating tales, but the underlying themes present in all of them still tied the anthology together nicely.

Queen of Shadows6. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
The Throne of Glass series is such an epic tale of war, love, loss and inner strength, so any book in this series could make it onto this list. However, I loved Queen of Shadows the most because Aelin is able to truly embrace her future and role in life. She is also able to find someone who sees her for who she is and truly accept the fact. One battle in this series is finally over, but a much, much larger one is looming in the future.

black-wings5. Black Wings by Christina Henry
So much sass and blundering in this story, which is probably why I love it so much. There is something that I find so relatable about an uncoordinated heroine that makes me fall in love with a story – probably because I myself am more than a little accident prone. The use of old lore such as Gremlins and Fallen Angels was also a unique spin on a tale of paranormal fantasy.

 

lirael4. Lirael by Garth Nix
I have always felt insanely connected to the character of Lirael in Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series. She doesn’t quite belong with the people she calls family, and is always an outcast. Even after she finds her true calling in life, she walks a lonely path and isn’t quite able to relate to her peers. Yet, for all of that, I don’t think that her story is a sad one, rather one about finding out who you are and how you fit in the world. And realising that not everyone is going to fit in with others very well.

on-the-prowl3. Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs
I have been in love with Patricia Briggs for a long time now, but there is something about the novella Alpha and Omega that holds my attention every single time. Anna and Charles truly have love and first sight, but it has such a great twist to it. Add to that the fact that they both have some pretty serious inner demons, and it is a really sweet tale of overcoming the odds and finding that perfect fit in your life. Even if it is the last fit that you would expect.

magic-breaks2. Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
It was so incredibly difficult to choose a favourite story in the Kate Daniels series. I’ve loved every single tale and would check the post office religiously when a new book was going to be delivered. However, I think that this is a good selection. Kate and Curran are not only battling for the children of their people, but they are also being forced to deal with the challenges of a new relationship. I got so emotionally invested in this story that I actually threw it across the room whenever it bothered me.

mine-to-possess1. Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
Tales of paranormal romance are a new genre to me, and this series is a GREAT introduction. Like the Kate Daniels series, it was incredibly hard to find a favourite, but ultimately, this is the book that I found the sweetest and continue to think about. Aside from the rest of the developing Psy-Changeling drama, the story of Clay and Tally is what a lot of people dream of. Finding that one person in childhood who will always be yours – someone who is able to always understand you on an entirely different level.

So there you have it, my favourite stories from my reading list for 2016. I can’t wait to find some more great tales in the new year!

Feature image source: Now! Bali
Image 1 source: Amazon
Image 2 source: Amazon

Image 3 source: Deborah Blake
Image 4 source: Goodreads
Image 5 source: Lynette Noni
Image 6 source: Wikia
Image 7 source: Goodreads
Image 8 source: Penguin
Image 9 source: Amazon
Image 10 source: Audiobooks
Image 11 source: Live Journal
Image 12 source: Christina Henry
Image 13 source: Garth Nix
Image 14 source: Patricia Briggs
Image 15 source: Ilona Andrews
Image 16 source: Pinterest