While the voting continues in our Readers’ Choice Awards 2016, we thought we would take this opportunity to share with you our personal favourites for 2016. It’s always such a difficult choice with so many wonderful books and narrowing it down always seems such an impossible task but it is a task that we have now completed with a lot of soul searching.
Now it’s the turn of our reviewer Freya. Take a look and see what or who impressed Freya the most as she reveals her 2016 favourites……….
Book of The Year 2016
A Time To Rise by Tal Bauer
History says the Knights Templar were destroyed in 1307.
History is wrong.
Vampires haunt the sewers beneath Rome, revenants desecrate graveyards, ghouls devour helpless passersby, and incubi stalk dark alleys and seedy nightclubs in Italy’s capital. Deep in the Vatican, a brotherhood exists, sworn protectors of the earth, and they stand firm against monsters from the dark depths. Operating in secret and silence, they protect our world from the sinister, the etheric, and the evils that exist beyond the Veil.
But it’s a lonely life, and Alain Autenberg knows that more than most. His lover was ripped from him years ago, and he vowed never to get close to another soul again. Even when the loneliness presses down on him, and his empty heart cries out for something more.
Something more comes in Cristoph Hasse, a new soldier arriving in Rome to serve in the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Young, brash, and fitting in at right angles everywhere he goes, Cris struggles in the murky, deceptive labyrinth of the Vatican. Propelled forward by a past he can’t understand, Cris collides with Alain, and both men crash headfirst into the darkest secret of the Vatican…and of the world.
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“I chose this book because it not only involves vampires and demons around the vatican, but in the opening chapter I was treated to a gun toting, volka carrying, smoking vicar who was seriously badass. Despite being on holiday at the time, I had to take my ipad with me and used every opportunity to read. The story kept me riveted from the first word to the last.”
Favourite Author in 2016
Cambria Hebert is a latte sipping author of the Heven & Hell series, the Death Escorts series, and the Take It Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book.
“Among others, this lady wrote the Gearshark series of books. Her ability to write characters that touched my heart, made me cry, and totally got vested in a story to the point where I threw the book up the wall in my impatience to get the next, blew me away.”
Favourite Debut Author in 2016
Tal Bauer writes LGBT fiction and romance, bringing together a career in law enforcement, trauma medicine, and international humanitarian and disaster relief work to create dynamic, strong characters, intriguing plots, and unique, exotic locations. Tal's stories weave together pulse-pounding adventure, cunning intrigue, and sweeping romance. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.
“This author has produced several books in 2016, all of which have kept me captivated. I have laughed, cried, gasped, taken cold showers, and had adrenaline fuelled moments, all via the words of this amazing person’s storytelling ability.”
Favourite Series with a Book Published in 2016
The Executive Office Series by Tal Bauer
“Simply put, this series, rocked my world, and there’s more to come. It contains everything from soft, loving and sensual, to adrenaline fuelled, and heart-breaking. It’s The West Wing meets Black Hawk Down, with a scene stealing Russian in book two.So far there’s, Enemies Of The State, Interlude, and Enemy Of My Enemy.”
Favourite Character Couple in 2016
Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller
“Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller are dedicated soldiers working covert ops for Shadow Unit - a joint UK/US anti-terrorism task force. They are from Jamie Lynn Miller’s, Shadow Unit books. The way this couple understand and support each other through life and death situations is touching. They are tough and badass, but soft and caring towards each other too. My heart melted for them.”
Favourite Book Cover of 2016
Blood Divine by Greg Howard
Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield—the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he’s ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.
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“I loved this cover for several reasons. It is atmospheric, and it gave me an immediate sense of the story. It proved that sensual can be found, and a good story can be advertised without the use of naked bodies.”
Favourite Read of 2016 NOT Published in 2016
Something Like A Love Song by Becca Burton
One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?
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“In the face of traumatic circumstances, Dylan and Landon have to survive. The story shows a myriad of emotions; mainly love, but also, guilt, anger, introspection, hurt, life re-evaluation, and acceptance of circumstance. However, acceptance doesn’t mean beaten, purely a change of direction. I know I’ve already mentioned love, but yeah, the love will leave your heart bursting.
The journey travelled in this novel shows the stresses, support, complications, highs and lows of surviving head injury. Dylan and Landon are totally loveable. In fact, there wasn’t a character in the novel that I didn’t like. Not everyone wore a halo. There was a good blend of personalities with varying temperaments that helped give the book excellent depth, as well as a substantial knowledge of the subject matter. This was a novel that, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.”