Tag: Holly’s Best of Lists

Best of 2020: The Series

Posted January 8, 2021 by Casee in Features | 5 Comments

We’re back with a new best of 2020 post today, aren’t you excited? 🙂 A huge chunk of the books that we all read is part of a series. Whether it’s a new series or an on-going series or a series that has finished, you’ll see our favorite series of the year listed here.

Casee

Unfinished Hero by Kristen Ashley: This series was exactly what I needed from Kristen Ashley and I didn’t even know it. It has dark, alpha heroes that seem to be a thing of the past. The men are anti-heroes and they were yummy.

Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews: Holy crap, I can’t believe that I didn’t read this series years ago. I freaking love it and am so excited to read Julie/Aurelia’s book. I (like most KD readers) am not ready to let this series go quite yet.

King by T.M. Frazier: So this is a weird one for me. I love this series as a whole, but the individual books are hit and miss. I ate this series up and I have no regrets.

Ghosts and Reincarnation by Kristen Ashley: I read this series in December. It was exceptional. I couldn’t put the books down.

Reapers MC by Joanna Wylde: This is a new-to-me author that I really enjoyed. I’ve read almost all the books in the series and I was hooked.

Holly

The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series by Hailey Edwards: “Make No Apologies for Surviving” is the theme of this series, and I was here for it. Grier was a wonderful MC, and I loved how she grew in strength and power as the series progressed.

The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen: The Bridge Kingdom was probably my favorite read of the year. I loved the world, the characters and the political intrigues of the series. I can’t wait for the next release.

Sins for All Seasons by Lorraine Heath: This was a lovely series from start to finish. I enjoyed my time with the Trewlove family and I was very sorry to say goodbye to them.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: This was such an interesting world, I easily fell into it. I really loved the secondary characters and the storylines.

Crown of Shards by Jennifer Estep: The third book was a little flat by comparison to the first two, but I enjoyed the series as a whole. Evie was a kickass MC and I really loved the way her story progressed.

Honorable Mentions: A Gathering of Dragons by Meljean Brook and Mercenary Librarians by Kit Rocha.

Rowena

Kate Daniels: Are you guys tired of me talking about how much I loved this series this year? Cause it’s still true. Kate Daniels was my top series of the year. I’m so sad it’s over…but I’m looking forward to the new Aurelia Ryder series.

Mercy Thompson: There are few characters that I love more than Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson. Mercy is more low key than Kate is but no less kick ass and I absolutely adore this series. I’m always thrilled to get a new Mercy Thompson book.

Psy-Changeling Trinity: I love Nalini Singh’s paranormal world that she created for the Psy-Changelings and Alpha Night was such a great addition to that new Trinity books so of course it’s on my list of favorite series of the year.

The Iron Covenant: Another spin-off from the Kate Daniels world? Yes, of course, I liked it and of course, I can’t wait for more. Who knew that I would come to love Hugh???

Hidden Legacy: Catalina Baylor and Alessandro Sagredo are killing it in the Hidden Legacy series right now and I’m so here for it so of course, this made my top series list.

What were some of your favorite series that you read in 2020?


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Best of 2020: The Authors

Posted January 7, 2021 by Casee in Features | 3 Comments

Every year, we’re introduced to new books, new authors, and some books and authors we love and some we don’t. Today’s list will include all of our favorite authors that we’ve read and loved over the course of the year. Check it out.

Casee

Kristen Ashley: KA was where it was at for me this year. I read more of her books than any other author. She just has this knack for pulling in a reader even when it gets ridiculous. She’s totally my reading crack.

Nalini Singh: Nalini is on my list every year and this year was no different. Although none of her books were on my Best of Books list, I still adore her and everything she writes.

T.M. Frazier: T.M. Frazier was a new-to-me author this year whom I enjoyed immensely. The books individually might need some work, but she is a goddess when it comes to writing a series.

Ilona Andrews: Ilona Andrews was like Kristen Ashley was for me this year. I couldn’t stop reading her stuff. I can’t wait to read Blood Heir.

Joanna Wylde: This is a new-to-me author as well. I was really into MC romances this year and she really came through.

Holly

Ilona Andrews: Now and forever. <3

Lorraine Heath: Somehow I managed to never read LH until a couple years ago. In 2020, I finally caught up on her most recent series and tackled some of her backlist. She’s definitely an auto-buy for me now.

Hailey Edwards: I discovered Hailey Edwards in 2019, but she became a favorite in 2020. She has an extensive backlist, which makes me very happy.

Danielle L. Jensen: I discovered her this year. So far I’ve only read two of her series, but I really enjoy her writing and look forward to reading her backlist.

Stacy Reid: Reid is another author I discovered in 2020. I probably purchased more books by her this year than any other single author. I still have many of them in my TBR, but I’m looking forward to catching up.

Rowena

Ilona Andrews: My top author of the year is this writing duo right here. I enjoyed every single book that I read by them and I read quite a few of them. I hope they never stop writing.

Lisa Kleypas: I only read one book by Lisa Kleypas this year but I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to her next release so she definitely made this year’s top authors list for me.

Kennedy Ryan: Kennedy Ryan delivered another pair of winners that I read this year so it’s not a surprise to me that she’s on my top authors of the year list. She’s such a great writer that writes such passionate and emotional stories that I’m here for.

Patricia Briggs: Patricia Briggs continues to shine for me and though I didn’t read a lot of her books this year, the one that I did, I loved and can’t wait for more in the coming year.

Nalini Singh: Nalini Singh is another author that I’m not surprised to see here on this list. Alpha Night was a fabulous book and I’m looking forward to more Psy-Changeling goodness in the coming year.

Who were some of your favorite authors of 2020?


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Best of 2020: The Heroines

Posted January 6, 2021 by Casee in Features | 1 Comment

2020 was the year of the strong heroine for us here at Book Binge and we’re here to list our favorites of the bunch. You’ll find some really great heroines, heroines that are some of the strongest, most caring and loving heroines that we all read and loved in 2020. Check it out.

Casee

Kate Daniels from Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews: There are few heroines that rate as high as Kate Daniels for me. She’s just as amazing in book one as she is in book ten, though she grows and changes exponentially in between.

Sharine from Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh: The Hummingbird has always been very elusive in this series. Not just elusive, but fragile. Sharine was anything but meek. I enjoyed her journey to finding herself. It was inspiring.

Julia Fairfax from Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley: Julia gave up her life to move to England to take care of her nieces and nephew. I found her courage and resilience to be very admirable. She never made the children feel like she sacrificed and she didn’t let Douglas get away with anything.

Rage from All the Rage by T.M. Frazier: Rage was a very unusual heroine. As an assassin, she was completely different than your usual heroine. She thought she didn’t have the emotions that other people had until she met her match with Noloan.

Olivia Shade from Sebring by Kristen Ashley: Olivia was heartbreaking. She knew she was trapped with her criminal family and she did whatever she could to take care of her employees. No matter that they were criminals. She didn’t think she deserved Nick with just destroyed me. All the feels with this one.

Holly

Lara from The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen: A female assassin raised in a compound with her sisters, who sacrifices everything to save them? Yesssss. Lara made some mistakes, but man did I love her. She was just so fierce!

Yvenne from A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane: Yvenne was weak, disfigured and small – not exactly what you’d expect of a Barbarian heroine. But she was also strong, fierce, loyal and very smart. Her quick wit and determination to save herself and her people was so well done. I adored her.

Nina from Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha: I really loved how capable and tough Nina was, and how quick she was to step in and protect those weaker than she was. Right from the beginning she was kicking ass and taking names, and I was here for it.

Grier Woolworth from The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy series by Hailey Edwards: Grier was such a standup character. I loved how determined she was to put the pieces of herself back together, to enjoy her freedom, and to learn from past mistakes. She took some hits, but she kept striving to be better. I loved that.

Sharine from Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh: Sharine was another broken character who was determined to put the pieces of herself back together. She had strength and grace, and I loved watching her personal growth throughout the novel.

Rowena

Kate Daniels from Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews: Kate Daniels is the top of the best for me. I freaking love the heck out of her.

Mercy Thompson-Hauptman from Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs: Mercy Thompson is up there with Kate Daniels for me. I absolutely love her.

Julie Olsen-Lennart from Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews: Julie is a favorite character of mine from the Kate Daniels world for me and I completely adored her in Magic Stars. I’m Team Derek for Julie. Get it together, Derek!!

Catalina Baylor from Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews: I really enjoyed Nevada’s books but Catalina is holding her own and I really enjoyed all of the books with her front and center. She’s completely different from Nevada, but still just as awesome. Love her!

Selenka Durev from Alpha Night by Nalini Singh: Selenka was a great heroine, perfect for Ethan but equally great on her own. She was a great alpha to her pack and a great partner for Ethan. Just an all-around great character and I really liked her.

Who were some of your favorite heroines in 2020?


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Best of 2020: The Heroes

Posted January 5, 2021 by Casee in Features | 3 Comments

Another year has passed us by and it’s been a year of meeting new to us heroes. The men that love the women in our favorite books and the men who made an impression on us. Today’s best of list includes all of our favorite men that we met and loved in 2020. Check it out.

Casee

Nick Sebring from Sebring by Kristen Ashley: When Nick was introduced in Knight, I couldn’t believe that he was getting his own book. He was such an anti-hero. He ended up being one of my favorite heroes of all time.

Ethan Night from Alpha Night by Nalini Singh: I loved how sweet Ethan was with Selenka. He thought he was such a bad person, but his actions showed what a good one he was. He was the sweetest.

Curran Lennart from Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews: I don’t even know what to say about Curran. He is a hero that has it all. He’s protective of Kate, yet he understands that he can’t always be there. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t try. He’s exactly what you would expect a Beast Lord to be.

Samuel Clearwater from Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One: Preppy exploded onto the pages of King and never quite left, even after he “died”. He was your quintessential anti-hero and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Colin Morgan from Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley: I just can’t with all these amazing Kristen Ashley heroes. Reading Colin’s story and how he dealt with Sybil coming into his life was as amusing as it was endearing. From being jealous of a ghost to thinking Sybil only wanted him for his money, Colin had it all.

Honorable Mentions: Titus from Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh, Creed Tucker from Creed by Kristen Ashley, Cash Fraser from Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley, and Brantley King from King by T.M. Frazier.

Holly

Ethan Night from Alpha Night by Nalini Singh: I loved how quick Ethan was to fall for Selenka, and how he was protective but still recognized and respected her strengths. He was just a sweetheart all the way around.

Benedict Trewlove (aka Beast) from Beauty Tempts the Beast by Lorraine Heath: Beast had some guilt over things from his past, but mostly he was a man comfortable with his place in the world and confident in himself. I loved how supportive he was of his friends and family, and how quick he was to offer help to those who needed it.

Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas: Rhys! He was such a strong character. I loved how he pushed Feyre to be the best person she could be, without trying to impose his own will or beliefs on her. His support of her, his sister and all of his people was so wonderful. I have so much love for him.

Gideon from The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie: Gideon had a great sense of humor, and I loved how fierce he was when it came to Prue. Every time someone mentioned how plain Prue was and he was so confused, I got a little melty inside. He was just adorable all the way around.

Tom Severin from Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas: Tom was another very supportive hero. Every time he encouraged Cassandra to be herself, or pursue her dreams, I got a little melty on the inside. Tom was such a genius at so many things, but was really clueless about others, which was very endearing.

Rowena

Derek Gaunt from Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews: I adore Derek as a secondary character in the Kate Daniels world but I cannot wait for him to be front and center in his own series and 2021 is the year that becomes a reality. He was one of my favorite characters that I read about in 2020 and I’m so thirsty for more.

Curran Lennart from Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews: While I adored Curran in all of the books that I read him in (though he did sorely test my nerves in the one book where they went abroad to get the cure), my favorite Curran was in Magic Strikes. I laughed so much and just had an absolute blast with Curran, Kate, and the rest of their team in this one. Curran was mad mad when he found out what the gang was up to and when he ends up on their team? Hahahaha, I loved it.

Alessandro Sagredo from Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews: I love Alessandro. I love his magic, his mysterious missions, and just everything about him. He was a lot of fun in Emerald Blaze and I can’t wait to see him and Catalina grow closer. I especially can’t wait to see him melt Catalina because she still low-key pissed at him.

Ashton Isaacs from The One for You by Roni Loren: I wasn’t expecting to love Ash as much as I did. I especially didn’t expect him to be my favorite hero in this series since I thought Wes had that title locked in but nope, for me, it was all about Ash. I loved his story with Kincaid and I loved their romance and just him. He was such a fantastic hero.

Ethan Night from Alpha Night by Nalini Singh: I really enjoyed getting to know Ethan. I also really enjoyed seeing him really lose himself in his instant feelings for Selenka. He was confused, he was curious, and he was in love. Seeing him sort through everything he was feeling, everything that was happening, and still be loyal to himself and to Selenka made him such a compelling character for me and I completely adored him.

Who were some of your favorite heroes of 2020?


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Best of 2020: The Books

Posted January 4, 2021 by Casee in Features | 8 Comments

It’s that time of year again. The time where we come together and look over the books that we’ve read over the course of 2020 and list our favorites. Today’s list will include all of our favorite books that we read in 2020. Join us for a week of reflecting on our favorites and not so favorite reads, authors, heros, heroines, and series.

Casee

I tried to diversify my list a little bit, but it just didn’t happen. These two authors were what 2020 was about for me.

Rock Chick Reawakening (Rock Chick #0.5) by Kristen Ashley: This is the one of the only novellas that I read this year. Kristen Ashley can pack a lot into a novella. It felt like I read a full length book. Daisy just simply made the book. Of course Marcus was no slouch himself. Daisy was so brave and courageous. She really lived life and didn’t apologize for who she was.

Sebring (Unfinished Heroes #5) by Kristen Ashley: This book was amazing. Like probably the one of the best books I’ve read in the past five years. I enjoyed Nick & Olivia’s story. It wasn’t an easy one. I can’t say enough good things about this book and will most likely be talking about it five years from now.

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews: Ah, the end of Kate & Curran. I didn’t think I would be as satisfied with end of this series as I actually was. Kate & Curran are epic. They will stay with me for a long time to come.

Sommersgate House (Ghosts and Reincarnation #1) by Kristen Ashley: This book came as a surprise to me. I read Fairytale Come Alive and decided to start the series from the beginning. This book was about sacrifice, love, loss, and finding happiness again. Douglas and Julia’s story just brought all the feels.

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews: This was the first book in the series that I loved. Like love loved. Kate is always ready for anything life throws at her, but facing her father’s warlord was not something she thought would happen without Curran by her side. Wonderful chaos ensues.

Honorable Mentions: Rifts and Refrains by Devney Perry, All the Rage by T.M. Frazier and The Gamble by Kristen Ashley.

Holly

I was lucky enough to read some really great books this year. I read less than I normally do, but the quality of books was good, so I’m taking that as a win.

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast (Steampunk Proper Romance #1) by Nancy Campbell Allen: Nancy Campbell Allen was a new find for me this year, and this book is my favorite of hers. The heroine was independent and charming for it, and I loved the gothic setting.

The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L Jensen: I started this audiobook on a whim, and ended up so enthralled I couldn’t stop listening. I really loved the strength of the main character and the intrigue. This was probably my favorite read of the year.

Beauty Tempts the Beast (Sins for All Seasons #6) by Lorraine Heath: This was my favorite of the series. Beast was such a big softie, and I loved watching Althea find herself.

Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha: This was a novel full of girl power. The female lead was a total badass, and I loved how self-sufficient she and her crew were.

The Perfect Rake (The Merridew Sisters #1) by Anne Gracie: This was such an entertaining read. I loved how fierce the heroine was in defense of her sisters and how fierce the hero was in defense of her. This was such a sweet romance, it stayed with me long after I finished it.

Honorable Mentions: My Darling Duke (Sinful Wallflowers #1) by Stacy Reid, Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) by Ilona Andrews, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.

Rowena

This year was the year of Kate Daniels for me. I went into one of the biggest reading slumps since I started reading but Kate Daniels saved my reading year because if it came out in that series, I read it…and loved it. So with that said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more than one of my top books is from the Kate Daniels series. Here are my top reads of 2020.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews: This book is probably my favorite read of the year. From beginning to end, I absolutely loved this one. I laughed so much, I cried a bit and just had the best time while reading every word. I freaking love Kate Daniels, I love Curran Lennart and everyone else in her world. This book was sooo good!

The One for You by Roni Loren: This book hit me in my feels. It was such an emotional read, like all of the other books were but this book ended the series on the perfect note and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Kudos to Roni Loren on writing a great series. I adored Kincaid and Ash.

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews: This was another book that I loved from beginning to end. This series is damn near perfection as you can see. I loved this one too!

Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews: This is a novella in the Kate Daniels world but it centers around Julie and Derek and I was so here for it all. This short story made me so thirsty for Blood Heir. I absolutely adored this one.

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews: I was so sad when I was reading this one. I wasn’t ready to let go of this world and with the release of Blood Heir coming, I don’t have to. This was such a great read and it ended Kate’s set of books in such a great way that I’m still thinking about it all this time later. Gah, I love these guys!

Honorable Mentions: Here are the books that I loved but didn’t make the actual list for one reason or other. The first book is Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews, this doesn’t technically come out until this month so I didn’t include it in my list though it’s the bomb. It’s probably going to make my 2021 list for sure. Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews is another book that gets an honorable mention because I loved it, just not as much as the books that made the list. Can you guys tell that I’m straight trash for all things Ilona Andrews?

What were some of your favorite books from the year? Any books that we should add to our TBR piles in 2021? Share your favorites in the comments!


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