Tea and Biscuits: Books To Be Thankful For in 2017

As its coming pretty close to Thanksgiving, where we gather together with our families, enjoy some great football games, and have a lot of delicious food, its also a time to look back at the year and see what has been so wonderful and what has really blessed our lives. So today I want to share with you all, those special books that push your boundaries, make you look at life a bit differently and made the most impact on me this year. So these books aren’t just book that were published this year, but what I read in 2017 that completely blew my mind in so many great delicious ways.

Mr. President and Commander In Chief by Katy Evans

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans comes a sizzling new contemporary romance.

He’s won the hearts of millions. But is he willing to lose his?

I met the president’s son when we were both young. Matthew Hamilton was handsome, polished, and intelligent. I’d never met a guy like him.

He promised me that he’d never run for president. I promised that if he did, I’d be by his side.

Three terms later, an invitation to join Matthew Hamilton’s campaign is the most exhilarating opportunity I’ve ever experienced. I’m determined to make a difference; he is determined to win.

Focused on his goal, Matt is steadfast, ruthless, and disarming. All eyes are on him and his popularity is surging. But soon, the next possible president of the United States is possessing me in more ways than one—and despite the risks, I’m helpless to resist.

We’re stealing touches, stealing moments, and stealing away at night. But our chemical connection is quickly becoming dangerously combustive, putting not only my heart, but Matt’s chance at the presidency on the line.

Winning will take everything. Walking away will be the hardest thing of all.

 

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Mr. President is a story that blew my mind in only the ways that Katy Evans can do. But what impressed me most was I read this in the beginning of the year, in January. So I was pretty stressed about our new Presidential situation in the States, especially being a woman. So seeing this book was simply a balm that just soothed my stresses and freaking out moments. This book made such a big impact on me because it made me realize that there are still good people in the world and even in politics that try to make a difference and better the lives of those they serve. It also made me wish that Matt (our hero) could be real as our President because in this first book you can see why he would make the best President.

 

The sizzling second installment of the White House series, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.

We fell in love during the campaign.
The stakes were high.
Reputations could have been ruined.
Scandal hovered over us like a cloud.
Now the man I love is the President of the United States of America.
And its not my vote he is after.
He wants it all.
My heart. My body. My soul.
He wants me by his side.
In the White House.
Normalcy will be gone from my life, privacy forgotten.
I am only twenty three. I just wanted to play a part in history. But it seems like history wasn’t done with me. The part where I lost my heart to Matthew Hamilton? It was only the beginning…

 

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In Commander In Chief is a story that I desperately wanted to be real. It continues on from book one, but this author captures the realism of the White House and what I am sure the families of the President have to go through especially if you are the spouse. Seeing Matt and Charlotte work through building a strong marriage while dealing with running the country and seeing them balance it all out. And seeing how the struggles they overcome together really strengthens their marriage and the intimacy they have.

Rough and Tumble by Rhenna Morgan

Live hard, f*ck harder and follow only their own rules. Those are the cornerstones the six men of the Haven Brotherhood live and bleed by, refusing to conform to society’s expectations, taking what they want and always watching each other’s backs.

A self-made man with his fingers in a variety of successful businesses, Jace Kennedy lives for the challenge and he always gets what he wants. From the start, he sees Vivienne Moore’s hidden wild side and knows she’s his perfect match, if only he can break it free. He will have her. One way or another.

Vivienne’s determined to ditch the rough lifestyle she grew up in, even if that means hiding her true self behind a bland socialite veneer. Dragging her party-hound sister out of a club was not how she wanted to ring in the New Year, but Viv knows the drill. Get in, get her sister and get back to the safe, stable life she’s built for herself as fast as humanly possible. But Viv’s plans are derailed when she finds herself crashing into the club’s clearly badass and dangerously sexy owner.

Jace is everything Vivienne swore she never wanted, but the more time she spends with him, the more she starts to see that he loves just as fiercely as he fights. He can walk society’s walk and talk society’s talk, but when he wants something, he finds a way to get it. He’s proud of who he is and where he came from, and he’ll be damned if he lets Vivienne go before showing her the safest place of all is in the arms of a dangerous man.

 

 

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This was also another title that started off my year so nicely. This brotherhood is simply wonderful, they do like riding motorcycles but they aren’t your typical MC. Its a group of men that became a brotherhood, they live to ride and to protect each other. Each brother is very unique and then we have the mothers. Two strong kind women that take care of these men that work hard to keep each other safe from any potential enemies. It takes place in Dallas, Texas and to see them spend time in places that I would hang out all the time was a unique experience. In this book, its the leaders story. We get some great background information and seeing how much these men are tied together. I love the teasing and bantering and the strong bond they have to each other.

King’s Captive by Amber A Bardan

For three years, I’ve belonged to Julius King. 

Some people would think being stuck on a private island is heaven, but this is my hell.

Because I’m not here as a guest. Not even close. I’m a prisoner. I’m his.

Julius King. Powerful. Wealthy. Dangerous.

There are parts of me he wants that I can’t give him. When he looks at me, there are times I swear he sees someone else. And the scary part is that sometimes, when he touches me, I think he may be someone else, too.

Though my body might be tempted, and he might control everything else, I can’t let him have any piece of my heart. I won’t. But every day, the fight gets harder, and Julius manages to slip past my defenses in the most unexpected ways.

I have to find out the truth about Julius King. Even if it destroys me.

 

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This book completely blew my mind in so many great ways. Its different and unique, pushes your limits but it also gives you some surprises that you just don’t see coming. Seeing a hero that is such a anti hero and you view him at first as this not so good hero and then to turn around and find out who he really is and what his real motivations are turn you upside down and sideways—but in some really great ways.

Devil In Spring by Lisa Kleypas

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy — and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven..

 

 

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In Devil In Spring is book 3 of the Ravenels. Now I will say this, I was so nervous about this book because I didn’t like the heroine much in previous books. I know most readers liked her, but I found her to be annoying at times. So typical Kleypas, makes me fall in love with a character that I begin NOT liking at all. But honestly what really did this for me was the hero. To me, he was the center focus of the story. Seeing him as the son of one of my all time favorite couples, and seeing him be the good of both and this wonderful Vincent family. And of course some fun times between Sebastian and Evie that is so fun and I can’t tell you how many times I have re read those passages. This book made me happy and carefree and I just wanted to go dancing in the street after finishing it.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.


Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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The Hating Game is one of those enemies to lovers stories that is epic and memorable and gives you a jolly good time. These two are simply fantastic together and I love how much they bicker and argue and compete but down to the core really care about each other. So its very interesting to seeing them go from hating each other to loving each other. Its just a fun and crazy ride that is perfect if you need some great laughs.

Blackthorne’s Bride by Joan Johnston

A rogue nobleman, a rescued lady, and revenge undone by romance all play a part in New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston’s irresistible novel of best-laid plots, delicious deception, and unexpected passion.

Two years have passed since Josie Wentworth was bought from the Sioux for a gold watch and whisked back to England by Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne. When Marcus breaks his promise to return Josie to America, she ends up as a maid in the home of his charming but neglected nephews. Once Josie’s long-lost family finds her, however, the suddenly wealthy heiress sets out to save the two boys from their indifferent uncle—and teach the duke a lesson in honor.

Learning that Marcus is seeking a rich American bride to save his estate, Josie plots to catch his eye—certain he’ll never recognize the beauty she’s become as the ragged captive he rescued. But Josie doesn’t wager on her marital charade taking a tender turn, as the nobleman she’s despised for years proves to be a very different man than she’s imagined. And there’s no denying his passionate caresses, as she falls deeper under the spell of a husband determined to claim her heart.

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I have been looking forward to this book for the longest time. I think what impressed me most about this book was seeing an author that has only done westerns both historical and contemporary, do a new setting which turns from western to regency romance and it was so interesting the dynamics that she used. With some great secrets and seeing great character growth is a plus in this one.

The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter King comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure set in the mystical land of Mystral…

He wasn’t supposed to choose her…

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn’t dare wed him…

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate’s gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control— until an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear…

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys is in a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer’s formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.

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The Sea King is such a wonderful thrilling book with some fun details and what a great world building work that Wilson does with this book. Its one of the most memorable books for me, especially considering I read 600 Pages in one sitting, definitely says something. I honestly didn’t want to put this one down, and its such a comfort read in many ways. Its a book about characters with flaws, great adventures and excitement.

So I Married A Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks

Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knows nothing of her past, except that she is Embraced: born with powers that forced her into hiding. Everything changes when she learns she’s a princess, hidden away from her villainous half-brother who now rules the kingdom. But he knows about Brigitta, and he’ll do anything to get her back. Unless a certain roguish pirate has anything to say about it…

Rupert is both an infamous pirate and a sorcerer with the power to harness the wind. He’s been waiting nineteen years for revenge—and he needs Brigitta to get it. What begins as a kidnapping of the fiery beauty turns into a fierce attraction. But can he win the captive princess’s heart?

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So I Married A Sorcerer is one of those fabulous books that surprised me. I loved this one more than many of this authors’ books. Because there was so much going on but the author somehow didn’t sacrifice the romance that happens. And the worldbuilding was incredible, the characters were the type that felt so real and the author just opens your eyes in so many ways with this book. Seeing characters just go after what is right and take charge of their own lives.

 

The Scotsman Who Saved Me by Hannah Howell

From New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell comes a brand new series featuring the MacEnroys, a family of seven strong, seductive Scottish brothers who have come to America with nerves of steel—and who will take no prisoners when it comes to love…

A brutal attack on Emily Stanton’s family has left her for dead . . . until she is found in the woods by a handsome stranger with a thick brogue who vows to protect her. There’s only one problem: As a woman with a noble English background, she has no business keeping company with such a man.

For Scotsman Iain MacEnroy, Emily’s high-tone accent is a bitter reminder of the oppressive regime he left behind. The last thing he needs is to be burdened by the needs of a beautiful, blue-eyed Englishwoman. But taking care of elegant, educated Emily begins to transform Iain in ways he never imagined. Could it be that the deep divisions from the old world no longer apply in the new—and that Iain and Emily can share a passion as lush and wild as the Scottish highlands themselves?

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The Scotsman Who Saved Me is the beginning of a wonderful series. What I loved most about this was seeing these sexy scottish brothers become cowboys. It definitely offers some unique moments and I was just drawn to this book. And it definitely has the whole “seven brides seven brothers” feels and I adored it so much. It just gave me all  the feels.

Hate To Want You by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai, one of contemporary romance’s brightest stars, makes her Avon Books debut with the first novel in the sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want . . . so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence—and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules . . . but being apart is impossible.

 

 

 

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Hate To Want You is a diverse and fun romance novel and a new author that I am just in love with. I also adore Romeo and Juliet retellings especially when it doesn’t end in suicide. Now I think what I loved most about this book was seeing these two never being able to complety let go of each other and then to see them fight for one another in the best of ways.

 

Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan

New York Times bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with the third in her sultry, Western-set Coming Home series, in which the eldest Davis sibling Clay may have finally met his match—but will he be able to give up the solitary, quiet life he’s built in the name of love?

As the eldest of the Davis clan, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. Along with taking his job as head of the family business seriously, he is also determined to keep his brother and sister in line. Clay is known for being serious, silent, and stoic—completely in control of his life. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to the last relationship he was in, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

What he hadn’t counted on was Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—the town next door, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping from an abusive relationship, she’s finally living for herself and no one else. The last thing the quirky, shy bookstore owner expected was a steamy one-night stand with Clay Davis.

When Caroline and Clay meet, the connection is instant, both falling into one heated night of passion before parting ways—both driven by their own reasons to deny what they clearly wish didn’t have to end. It isn’t until Caroline falls on hard times and Clay comes back into the picture that they realize just how impossible it will be to stay away from each other.

Will Clay be able to give up his rootless existence in favor of finally settling down? And, more important, will Caroline want him to?
 
 

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I will say that this whole series came out this year…but Cowboy Up will have to be my top favorite of all of the books. It made the biggest impression and I am still suffering from a book hangover from this story because it was that good. I also love those romances that get rid of most of the relationship drama and you can just relax with a couple and enjoy the ride. Of course there are some other factors involved, but we see such a beautiful ending with this couple and the other two couples in the series. It would probably be one of the best endings I have ever read in romance and I adored it.

What books are you most thankful for to have read in 2017?

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I would really like to know!!

  • Kay Evans’s White House Series sounds Amazing… The Ravenels Series is one that I would love to get my hands on too, and Devil in Spring especially sounds great!

    • Yes the White House series is pretty wonderful, I just love it. Have you read Kleypas before?

      • No, but I would love to read the Ravenels series. My library doesn’t carry them though.

        • Well I would actually recommend picking up her Wallflower series first, your library might carry those. Since they are connected to the Ravenel series especially Devil in Spring. But to be honest, Kleypas is one of those authors that no matter what book you pick up you can’t go wrong. And many of her books are on openlibrary.org you can read for free…its like an online library.

          • I am going on openlibrary.org now.Thank you. I’ll check out the Wallflower series too. 🙂

  • I need that Rai book!

    ALso totes wanna read the president one

    • Yes you need to read both of those, I know you will really like them.

  • <3 The Hating Game!!

    • That is a fabulous one right? So lively and I can’t count the times I laughed.

  • Oh I’m so glad you loved Cowboy Up! I haven’t read it yet but now I am excited! And Devil in Spring is LIFE!!!! Love that book and that series!

    • Oh I just know that you will love Cowboy Up especially if you enjoyed books one and two. I feel like its the best of the trilogy. And Yeah Devil in Spring is awesome not as good as Devil in Winter, but quite fun and refreshing.

  • <3 Hate To Want You!!

    • Such a fabulous book right??!!! Love it so much. We need more diverse books like that. And the author is our age and she sounds so awesome and fun.

  • I know so many who loved Morgan’s series. I still need to start those 🙂

    • Yes you would love Rhenna Morgan, especially her Haven Brotherhood books.

  • You picked some books that have my full interest in reading. I enjoyed your reasons for loving them. I had a few really surprise me this year that I thought I might only like and ended up loving. And neat how Kleypas even had you loving a heroine you didn’t like already.

  • Joann Downie

    I LOVE all the romances-added quite a few to my TBR list!! Have a great week!!
    http://thebestbasicblogger.blogspot.com/

  • I haven’t read “Devil in Spring” yet because I was also unsure about the main character. I just didn’t love her in the first two books! The Hating Game would also be on my list of books I’m greatful for this year – I can’t believe I missed it when I came out! Honorable mentions for me would also go to Buns (Alice Clayton) and Ilona Andrew’s Hidden Legacy Series for no other reasons than they made me happy 🙂 Wonderful list, Renee! I have so many of these on hold at the library per your recco’s 🙂

  • Ooo I haven’t read those yet. I’m interested in the Sea King for sure!

  • I loved The Hating Game also! And I just bought the Kleypas book a couple of days ago even though I
    hadn’t read the first two. Several others sound interesting as well. I am thankful for the books I read by Dannika Dark this year. Not sure but I think two of hers came out this year, Ravenheart and Deathtrap. She’s just the best story teller. Thanks for all the recommendations!