I love reading other bloggers' favorite book reads of last year, so I was inspired to do a list of my own! Not only are these some of my favorite stories, but I've also enjoyed getting to know some of these authors personally. Whether it be just through online messages, a handwritten note, or personal inscription in their book, several of these talented writers use their writing as a ministry to others. I know I have personally received encouragement in different forms from some of them. Enjoy!
~The Mistress of Tall Acre
by Laura Feagan Frantz. Loved this new stand-alone novel that had all the elements of great storytelling. Historic detail, romantic tension, interesting plot...just fantastic. Highly recommend it!
for my review of The Mistress of Tall Acre
~The Captive Imposter
by Dawn Crandall (and basically all of her "Everstone Chronicles books). Dawn Crandall is a new author that is already winning awards and recognition for her "Everstone Chronicles" series. The New England setting is perfect, providing a mysterious and romantic backdrop. Told in first person, you are able to experience the deep and raw emotions of Crandall's characters. I read all three books so fast I want to go back in 2016 and read them again!
for my review of The Captive Imposter
~To Win Her Favor
by Tamera Alexander. I've been a long-time reader of Tamera Alexander's books...but the tale of Cullen and Maggie is special. One of her most romantic novels, in my opinion, the tension keeps the pages turning. But this isn't just a romance. It is a story of overcoming the horrors of prejudice that took place in the south in many forms. Fabulous read!
for my review of To Win Her Favor
~Hearts Made Whole
by Jody Hedlund. Jody is a master at writing fantastic historical novels that take romantic tension up a notch. This book is no exception! ; ) In this novel, Ryan and Caroline are both two vulnerable individuals. Caroline must be strong and care for her siblings along with the lighthouse, and Ryan struggles with just making it through each day as he is haunted by his experience in the Civil War. Throw in some plot twists, jealousy, and evil plots and you've got a page turner!
for my review of Hearts Made Whole
~The Painter's Daughter
by Julie Klassen. A naive painter's daughter in search of love. She is swept away by the attentions of a young man whose selfishness contrasts her innocence. Left in a compromising position, the young man's older brother steps up to do his duty, once again. There are elements of mystery, tension, and romance. One of my favorites by Julie Klassen!
for my review of The Painter's Daughter
~Born of Persuasion
by Jessica Dotta. This book was written in 2013, but I've just read it this year. This book was...wow! I don't know if I've ever liked a male character more. He is manipulative and quite persuasive, yet it's hard to know who is good, who is bad, and what everyone is up to in this book. I read book two and didn't enjoy it quite as well as this first book in the series, but I've yet to read book three so I'm very curious how it's going to end!
for the Amazon link (it's only $1.99 right now!)
~A Love Like Ours
by Becky Wade. I just fell in love with these characters! Another novel that addresses the hardships of dealing with PTSD in present day, this story was relevant to what is going on in our world. I loved that Lyndie and Jake's personalities were opposite of each other, yet they had similar pasts that helped them understand and relate to each other. Seeing their stories unfold on the pages was just fun.
for my review of A Love Like Ours
**I have to confess...I don't read a lot of contemporary! : )**
~The Golden Braid
by Melanie Dickerson. Melanie Dickerson does something very special with the fairy tales we know and love. She transforms them into a new, exciting story, filled with faith and an appropriate level of romance for teens. This is her Rapunzel story, filled with action and adventure, overcoming hardships, and courage. I love all of Melanie's books, but this one is a particular favorite. You don't have to read her books in order, but there are connections between some of her books.
for my review of The Golden Braid
~An Uncertain Choice
by Jody Hedlund. As far as I know, this is Hedlund's first Young Adult series. Lady Rosemarie finds herself in a situation she didn't expect. Instead of becoming a nun on her 18th birthday as she always expected, she has the opportunity to marry. In an effort to find a worthy groom, she brings three knights to the castle. Still staying true to her storytelling abilities, but toning down the romantic tension for a young adult audience, Hedlund has definitely left me anticipating book two!
for more info on Amazon
~For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards
by Jen Hatmaker. I have to confess, unless I'm reading Christian non-fiction with a partner, Bible study, or a group of some sort...I usually spend most of my reading time lost in fiction world. I started following Jen Hatmaker on social media this year and loved some of her funny stories, insights, and the way she genuinely wants to love and serve others. While I take her newest book the same way I do other books like
it...with my own filter of personal convictions...there are so many good things about this book. I laughed out loud, which is really the parts that I needed the most at the time, and I got teary-eyed. I was inspired by her supper club nights (although I don't see it happening just yet in my world) and #onthebeam/#offthebeam way of living. I really appreciate how real she is.
for my review of For the Love
**I only had time to mention ten of my favorites, but there are SO many more books that I enjoyed this year! Thanks for stopping by! A few other fantastic authors you might want to check out:
Lynne Gentry (Healer of Carthage!)
Lisa Bergren (River of Time series!)
Ok...I'll stop. : ) I could go on and on. I am so thankful for all of the Christian fiction authors out there that take a leap of faith, devote themselves to their writing, and even endure some harsh criticism for their efforts to entertain and inspire. I appreciate all you do! <3 p="">