WHAT A FANTASTIC READING YEAR 2019 HAS BEEN! 

We read some truly fabulous books in 2019, and many left their mark. However, there were some standout stories that moved us in so many different ways. Whether they made us laugh, cry, hit our hearts with searing emotion, had us gripping our Kindles in heart-stopping suspense or stories that took us outside our comfort zone, these are the stories that stayed with us long after closing the very last page.

Individually, we combed through our lists of 5 star reads for 2019, and came back with eleven books each. Ten of those were identical (we really are book soulmates), and only two where we chose differently. Jenny, Kissed by an Angel, and Gitte, The Mister.

With the start of a new decade, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the support you’ve given us over the years. You are the reason we do what we do. Sharing our love of books with you and chatting about them is what this is all about, and we can’t wait to chat about the books we all fall in love with, in the year(s) to come.

Latest Favourite Reads

And here they are! Check out the twelve books that stayed with us long after turning the last page, these are our standout reads for 2019.

CHERRY BEATS by VICKI JAMES 
Standalone – raw and emotional rock star romance

‘He was far too beautiful to be sitting in the middle of my mediocre world. He wasn’t meant to be here. This wasn’t the way things were meant to go.’

Cherry Beats is the rock star romance we have been searching for to satisfy our need for the real world of rock music, the raw emotions, the feeling of being in a packed stadium audience reverently banging our heads and belting out much-loved rock songs…out of tune of course. Cherry Beats is everything and Vicki James nailed it. The rock scene isn’t pretty, it isn’t all fun and fluffy. Its highs can be equally matched with its low’s. It can be as dark as it can be bathed in a spotlight of adoration. It’s filled with as much angst and self-doubt as it is filled with overwhelming joy and self-satisfaction.

FIGHTING ABSOLUTION by KATE McCARTHY
An emotional military romance – Standalone, but be sure to check out the first book Fighting Redemption

‘…the problem with shooting stars is that they burn too quick. Too bright. Too fast. And far, far too hard.’

We cannot begin to describe how breath-taking yet heart-breaking this book is, how utterly captivating it is in its ugly and tragic reality. The tremendous and detailed research Kate McCarthy clearly carried out massively showed, also it ensured that we felt like we were in the midst of war with the brave souls fighting for the freedom of others.

We closed this book with tears rolling down our cheeks and a smile on our faces from the sheer intensity of emotions we experienced whilst reading.

BEARD WITH ME (The Winston Brothers #6) by PENNY REID
Series – Heartbreaking and painful love story – a story of life and resilience.

‘It felt so good. It felt more than good. It felt like the beginning of something terrible and beautiful and dangerous and wonderful.’

Oh, Penny Reid, damn near decimated our hearts with this one. With bruised and battered hearts, we sat pondering the story of Billy and Scarlet, two sweet beautiful souls, and our hearts ached for them both. This is a story you take time to reflect on; you really feel for these characters. Penny Reid outright warns, ‘this is not a romance’, and indeed it isn’t but what it is, is a love story, a story of strength and resilience, about bravery and kindness amongst all the hate and cruelty in a world where two children who should have been protected by their fathers, live in fear of them.

BEARD NECESSITIES (The Winson Brothers #7) by PENNY REID
You need to read Beard with Me before this book – an epic, painful and beautiful love story.

“I have built a life for myself –always hoping- you’d eventually choose me. Not because you owed me. That’s how this works, Scarlet. Love isn’t about giving up. It’s about never giving up.”

This is the book we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the Winston series, and with a sneak peek of the origin of Billy and Scarlet in Beard with Me, which had us overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions, we were beyond ready for Beard Necessities. It was no surprise that their story was to be one of the most epic stories of love, in the Winston Brothers series. Billy and Scarlett love story was a truly beautiful journey to be a part of and we loved every tear-jerking, funny and seductive minute of it! We honestly felt our heartbeat in tandem to the words on the pages. Penny Reid had us in the palm of her gifted storytelling hands.

 

THE LAST LETTER by REBECCA YARROS
Standalone – an extremely emotional story of love, loss and the strength of the human spirit.

‘She was a thousand different kisses in one woman, the soft and tender, the deep and passionate, the hard and desperate. I never knew who I was taking in my arms, and yet they were all Ella.
Everything was Ella.’

The Last Letter is a testament to love, a tribute to the strength of the human spirit to overcome the most painful and tragic of circumstances, and it’s a story of friendship, loyalty of knowing we are all capable and worthy to love and be loved and to never take a moment for granted. It’s a story that’s exquisitely told in its brutal honesty and execution by an author who, we can only guess, bled these words. Yes, it’s sad, yes it had us in a flood of tears, yes it left us reeling from the feelings it elicited in us because Rebecca Yarros ensured we were so connected to these characters the pain we experienced was authentic and monumental.

A FAERIE STORY by BARBARA ELSBORG
Standalone emotional and moving MM romance

“Is that what you’re searching for? Happiness? Peace?”
“Aren’t we all?” 
I want to be needed, loved. That would make me happy, give me peace.

A Faerie Story by Barbara Elsborg is like three stories in one, we say that because the three male characters; Keagan, Aiden and Pascal had such immense stories to tell that it felt so comprehensive it was not just about one man’s journey. It was three journeys which culminated into one epic story. As per usual Barbara Elsborg throws down the gauntlet on how many agonising rounds of pounding your heart can take before it shatters. There is not one single character who doesn’t bring an emotional story to the mix. Rather, each character carries internal or external scars as well as burdens from their past, with one or two more horrific than the other. We cried so many tears.

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by CASEY McQUISTON
Standalone – a sweet and loveable MM Romance

“You are,” he says, “the absolute worst idea I’ve ever had.” Henry’s mouth spreads into a slow smile, and Alex kisses it.

A delightfully adorable, heartfelt, and uplifting enemies to lovers’ story that made us swoon like crazy. Our hearts are bursting with love for Alex and Henry’s beautiful, funny and meaningful romance that was tinged with moments of pure and deep emotion. So much so, we regularly found ourselves reduced to tears. Wow! The little touches to this story…..sincere, captivating and truly wonderful.
Red, White, & Royal Blue relies heavily on character development, feelings, and sweetness, with the sex being present, but fade to black. And please…someone  turn this book into a movie!

KISS AN ANGEL by SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS
Standalone opposite attracts, arranged marriage – enemies to lovers.

‘…if she’d thought to look back, she would have seen something that would have surprised her. She would have seen her tough, humourless husband grinning at her like a teenager.’

Although opposites in so many ways, there was a vulnerability in both the characters endeared me to them immediately. The arranged marriage had disaster written all over it but could it work? Was there a way the dotty Daisy could win over the cold belligerent Alex? Was Alex all he seemed? What did secrets and skeletons did he have hiding in his closet, and could Daisy find a way to ever forgive Alex? Oh so many questions! You need to read and find out for yourselves!

The banter was filled with humour, the emotion of the story gripped my heart and those circus performances…those scenes stole my breath away!  Is there anything sexier than Alex Markov on a commanding horse performing his stunts?

THE MISTER by E.L. JAMES
Standalone – slow burn tender and vulnerable romance.

‘She feels safe with him. She hasn’t felt safe for so long,’

The romance was quite simply, swoon-worthy. It’s the stuff dreams are made of and what we hopeless romantics crave. We fell in love with Maxim and Alessia and their wonderful romance, which grew out of both tragic and haunting circumstances. Innocence versus experience. Have versus have not. Status of nobility versus the status of an immigrant. Their paths cross when each one of them needs the other the most. It was beautiful to watch through the vivid writing and the tone set so aptly by the atmospherically placed musical undertone.

Where Fifty Shades was wonderfully dark, captivatingly erotic and its own brand of Beauty and the Beast; The Mister is more of a slow burn and an almost tender and vulnerable romance with a Cinderella feel to it.

THE PASSENGERS by JOHN MARRS
Standalone – Suspense, psychological thriller.

“The only thing you need to know at this point is that in two hours and thirty minutes from now, it is highly likely that you will be dead.”

On a ‘regular’ day eight individuals get into a self-drive car, which has now become the chosen and imposed way to commute, promoting safety as well as reducing congestion. Two of these people are sadly caught up in a horrific web of vengeance, whereas the other six have been chosen for reasons known only by the man dubbed, ‘The Hacker’.

John Marrs shines a spotlight on social issues today; the pitfalls of social media, mob mentality and standing in judgement with limited knowledge. His writing is outstanding, his characters have such depth and his storylines are addictive.

A CHIP and a CHAIR (Seven of Spades #5) by CORDELIA KINGSBRIDGE
Series – Suspenseful and thrilling MM romance – must be read in order

“It wasn’t enough for you to be a killer. You had to be immortalized: a boogeyman, a national sensation, a living legend. The Seven of Spades.”
“Vigilante murder isn’t justice.”

Extraordinary. Magnificent. Outstanding. Masterpiece. Thrilling. Outrageous. Suspenseful. Dramatic. Real. Sexy. Romantic. Surprising. These are all words we’ve used in relation to every single book in the Seven of Spades Series by Cordelia Kingsbridge. It is rare…so very rare to read a series where every single book is a five-star read. Where, as you finish one book and have that agonising wait for the next book, upon starting it you’re right back in the Author’s world as the next book is a perfect extension of the previous in one flawless second.

 

RAPHAEL (Deadly Virtues #1) by TILLIE COLE
Series – Dark, raw, gritty – this is one to take you out of your comfort zone.

‘He was beautiful. A fallen angel in the flesh. She wondered if this was what Satan looked like. The most beautiful of men but with the wickedest of souls. He too was a fallen angel, after all. The first. He hadn’t always been evil; he was a child of God. There had been good in him once.’

Without question this is the darkest of dark penned by Tillie Cole, however, it takes an author of her magnificent calibre to successfully weave in a somewhat unconventional romance, which in some eyes would be inconceivable. Make it believable with the trademarks of a romance albeit quite unique. There’s no clear line drawn between the crux of the story nor the romance aspect, rather it is flawlessly interlaced into a story of healing and sacrifice in a vicious manner.

How could we not feel such a powerful need to protect those who have been hurt so despicably?

Sales

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Upcoming Releases

Check out the books headed our way in January 2020! There are so many amazing books releasing next year and our Upcoming Releases page has them sorted by month for the whole of 2020.
Don’t forget to bookmark our Upcoming Releases Page!

TBB’S STANDOUT READS for 2019- WHAT A YEAR IT WAS!

We hope we’ve inspired you to 1Click your next favourite read, and remember, we love hearing your feedback.
Remember to Bookmark our Sales, New Releases and Upcoming Releases Pages. Plus, did you know we have some fabulous Recommended Reading Lists – check them out – we sort them by genre etc to make choosing your next read so much easier.
We look forward to another decade of reading and discussing some amazing books with you!

 

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