DGR’s 2017 Favorites: Lana’s Picks

Another year gone in the blink of an eye and the turn of many book pages. And did we have a lot of book pages between us. We had one hell of a 5 star year between the three of us and we can’t wait to share our favorites with you all. Oh wait…we’re not waiting. Well, can’t say suspense was ever a forte of ours.

But let’s get to the post, shall we? My (Lana’s) picks for 2017 favorite is below, and this was one of the hardest posts I’ve done all year. It was impossible to chose my favorites this year because I had so many. I had over 30 five star reads. I call that a damn good year. I was finally able to narrow it down to my top 20. These are my unforgettable, my favorite, my absolute top recs.


LANA’S FAVORITES OF 2017 



DRIVE by Kate Stewart

This book. This was quite possibly one of the most unique, memorable, and captivating romances I’ve read in a long while.

There are a few authors I would break my no love triangles rule for, and Kate Stewart happens to be one. Though, I feel it’s fair to say, this is unlike any other love triangle I’ve ever read. It almost didn’t feel like one because as you read the story, you feel in your heart who Stella belongs with. I’m not sure how it’s possible that you feel her love for the other man as well, but you do. No one is a consolation prize. This was such a powerful and emotional story of love, growing up, and chasing your dreams to that one minute past desperation.

If you’re a fan of unique, angsty, and captivating romances, this is a book that’s an absolute must read. It will be a story that I won’t forget any time soon and I’ll recommend blindly to ANYONE. .

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


ACT YOUR AGE by Eve Dangerfield


Confession time: I hate the daddy thing in books. HATE IT. It’s ruined way too many books for me. I avoid it like a bad case of the clap. As in, I don’t touch it with a ten foot pole or a stranger’s vagina. No go. No way. No how…. Unless Eve Dangerfield writes it. Know why? Because this author has a knack for giving me some of the most unique, quirky, unconventional characters and making me fall head over ovaries!

This book was magic. Flawlessly written, make you squirm uncomfortably and laugh out loud magic. Eve Dangerfield is a phenomenal author. She has this signature quirky and endearing quality to her writing that makes the story not only unique but fun. She writes completely unconventional characters that I really don’t think any other author but her can pull off. And boy does she pull it off!

Act Your Age is a book that will take you out of your comfort zone and make you enjoy every kinky second of it. It’s a book that will put a goofy smile on your face and then make your ovaries burn with the fire of a million sexual fires. It was flawlesly written, completely unique, and totally unforgettable. And did I mention RIDICULOUSLY HOT?!

AMAZON | GOODREADS | MY REVIEW


GHOSTED by JM Darhower

EVERYTHING. This book was EVERYTHING. All of the things. Of the angsty, second chance romance feels variety.

You know when you see a book on your feed and find yourself wondering if it’s really worth all of the hype? I can tell you with total conviction, that this book is. It’s a huge step away from Darhower’s other books, pure contemporary, and downright magical.

So what is it about this story that enraptured me so completely? Aside from the multi-layered characters that are full of depth and you can’t help but fall for immediately, it was the writing. The way that this second chance romance unravels and the way the author gives the reader the POV from the past? Pure literary magic.

Ghosted is perfectly paced, phenomenally written, and completely enrapturing. It was full of emotion and a beautiful romance that’ll stay with me for a long, long time.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


GOODBYE PARADISE by Sarina Bowen


When was the last time you read a romance that was so powerful and sweet that you felt it touch your very soul? For me, that was today and this romance was this book. THIS BOOK. My god. I sobbed my way through almost the entire thing. I couldn’t help myself. It wrecked me and it owned me all at once. I don’t have enough praise to describe everything that was this story. All I know is that Caleb and Josh’s story is one that will stay in my heart forever, and as a voracious romance reader, I don’t make that statement lightly. It was just that good.

This book is exactly why I’m such a huge fan of this author. It was romantic and powerful, sweet and emotional, it was touching and poignant and everything that I love about romance. It was one of the most unforgettable romances I’ve read in a long while and I simply can’t recommend it enough.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


WICKED ABYSS by Kresley Cole


I’m obsessed with this series and it just gets better and hotter with each new installment.

King of Hell meets his match with a smart mouthed and wily fey princess in the 18th installment of this incredible series. It was everything I’d hoped and so much more. Sexy, funny, with Cole’s signature snark and wit mixed in.

Kresley’s Immortals After Dark series has been one of my top favorite PNRs for years and it continues to hold the mark. I swear, I absolutely devoured this book and dreaded it ending. I could read a book from this author every day and nothing else, and I’ll never get bored. EVER. If I can recommend you read one PNR this year, you NEED to make it this one. Trust me on this.

GOODREADS | AMAZON 


MIDNIGHT TARGET by Elle Kennedy


Midnight Target was the perfect conclusion to easily one of my all time favorite romantic suspense series. Talk about high octane action! The bullets were flying, the suspense was spine tingling, and the romance was toe curling! So much love!

There’s so much happening in this book that it was completely impossible to put down. This series reminds me of some of my top favorite RS series from Lora Leigh, Stephanie Tyler, and Pamela Clare. I love the secondary romance storyline we get in each book but I have to say this one was my absolute favorite in the series. Between Sully and Liam, and Ash and Cate, I thought my kindle would catch on fire from the sizzling chemistry.

This series couldn’t have ended with a better book. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, and I was kept on the edge of my seat from beginning to finish.

Did I mention Sully and Liam? Because SULLY AND LIAM!!!!!

Don’t tell me you’re that type of bloke, all old-fashioned and shit.”
“Hey, I’m not saying I need hearts and flowers, but make an effort, man.”
“Sure thing, Boston. I’m going to effort you so hard tonight that you’ll be crying for mercy.”

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


RUCKUS by LJ Shen

Confession time: I was equally ready to part with an ovary to get my grabby little hands on this book and dreading it. I know! I know! Quit looking at me like I’m crazy, I’ll splain everything. I was excited as hell for this book because I live for LJ’s words. LIVE for them. But a part of me was dreading it because Dean happened to date Rosie’s older sister in the previous book, Vicious, and even though their relationship was nothing big and happened when they were young, the last time I read that particular plot device, I absolutely hated it. I should have known better than to doubt the magic that is LJ Shen’s writing, though, because not only did she pull it off, she did so FLAWLESSLY.

Ruckus was everything I’d hoped it would be and yet so much more. It was angsty deliciousness filled with enough chemistry you felt like your fingers will burn just from turning the pages . It was packed full of feeling and so much depth, you can’t help but fall into the vortex of the story. It was beautiful. It was tragic.
It.
Was.
Everything.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


WALK OF SHAME by Lauren Layne

Where has this book been all my life?!! Where?!! I don’t have the words to describe all the love I had for this story! It was addictingly delicious and wickedly funny! Walk Of Shame is a book that will leave you with a full heart and a goofy smile on your face. It will make you swoon and make you laugh. It’s a book that you’d be incapable of reading without smiling the entire time. It was, in a word, PERFECTION.

I’m a sucker for a good enemies to lovers and this was utterly delicious! Witty banter, snarky sarcasm, ah-mazing characters, and enough chemistry to zap your finger with electricity each time you turn the page. So. Dang. Good.

I adored every single page of this book. Every. Single. Page. The friendships between Georgie and her girlfriends, the witty banter between her and Andrew, the slow burn, the crackle of attraction, EVERYTHING. Everything just flowed effortlessly to make for one unputdownable read that left me with a goofy grin from beginning to finish. I can say with utmost certainty that this may have been my favorite book by this author to date. If you’re looking for a witty rom com with a dash of enemies to lovers, you seriously can’t go wrong with this book!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


HOT VALOR by Lynn Raye Harris

This. Book. GAH! It was worth every single second of the wait. Mendez was everything. EVERYTHING.
Harris can write a hot military hero like no one else. Is it any wonder why I’m addicted to this series. It’s become my crack. Pure and simple.

Lies, scandals, secrets, and espionage. All of it explodes in this incredibly powerful second chance romance. It was a heart pounding, action packed, sizzling story of love lost and found. I don’t even have words for how much I loved it.

HOT Valor was absolutely explosive! It was the perfect blend of action, suspense, and sizzling hot romance. It was delicious. Addicting. A non-stop action packed ride from beginning to finish. If you’ve been eager for more of Ian Black, you’ll be salivating with this book because the mystery finally gets revealed and it’s a doozy! I think I’ll go insane waiting for his book.

If you’re a fan of this series, you simply cannot miss this book. It’s an absolute must read. Mendez lives up to every single promise and then some.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE FAILING HOURS by Sara Ney

I feel like an absolute idiot, because I only discovered this author this year.

And then I BINGED on her entire series.

I love a good NA Romance, but with my picky self, a good one is hard to come by. I want the feels. I want the sexual tension. I want the snark and the banter. I want witty characters. I want an endearing alphahole and the smart heroine that brings him to his knees. I want all of that in an effortlessly written story full of humor and steam. OK, so I want a lot. But the thing is, this book had all of those things. ALL OF THE THINGS.

Zeke was the assholiest asshole I’ve read in a while. But he was also full of depth and so incredibly endearing that even when you wanted to, he was impossible to hate. If college romance is your cuppa, you simply need this series and ESPECIALLY this book on your TBR.

GOODREADS | AMAZON 


THE DUCHESS DEAL by Tessa Dare


Is it possible for my swoons to have swoons? Because I’m pretty sure they all mated together in a swooning frenzy and had swoon babies. I mean all of the swoons! ALL OF THEM!!!! This book was everything. EVERYTHING. It was romance perfection. I think my goosebumps had swoons, for goodness sake. No really. I’m not exaggerating even a little. This book was a little peace of romantic heaven. It was everything I love about a great romance; great banter, humor, sizzling steam, and two main characters that you can’t but help and fall head over heels for.

This book is why I read romance. I can’t believe this is my first Tessa Dare book and I plan on rectifying this immediately. I loved every chapter, every page, every word. If you’re a fan of swoony and steamy historical romance with incredibly vivid and multi-layered characters, this is simply not to be missed!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


BEHIND THE CURTAIN by Beth Kery

Shivers. I have honest to god shivers. This author is simply incomparable. She writes such raw, emotional, sensual stories that are unlike any I’ve ever read. What makes them so memorable is that they’re just so…real. They’re immeasurably satisfying but without having to be wrapped up in a perfect little bow at the end. I truly believe that Behind The Curtain is Kery’s best book to date and easily my favorite by her. It was such a beautiful and poignant second chance romance that was packed with as much heat as it had feeling. I love every page of it.

I absolutely LOVED the way the story unfolded. The author did an incredible job with transitions of past to present. It was flawless. You start in the present, then get the entire flashback to the past, to then continue in the present. There’s no back and forth. It’s fluid and perfect and utterly spellbinding.

If you haven’t read a book by this author yet, you can’t start with a better book than this one. It was so much more than just a romance. I loved every page of it and simply can’t recommend it enough.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


ROYALLY ENDOWED by Emma Chase

Oh.
My.
Swoons.

I can barely form a coherent thought right now. I’m a melty pile of swoony goo at the hands of Emma Chase. The woman is incapable of writing a book that I devour in one sitting with a goofy grin on my face for the entire time. As much as I adored Royally Matched, I think this book totally topped it. I don’t have the words to describe all the ways I loved it. And oh my god, you guys, how I loved it!!!

If you love an incredibly written slow burn romance with a hero that’s simply to die for and a heroine you’ll want for your best friend, this book will be going straight to your top favorites shelf. GUARANTEED. It wasn’t just swoony, it was EPICALLY swoony. Logan owns my heart AND my ovaries. I don’t ever want them back. EVER.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


ONE IS A PROMISE by Pam Godwin

It doesn’t matter what this woman writes, she manages to hook me with just the first page alone. Her words are riveting, crackling with so much intensity, you feel like her characters are going to jump right out of the pages. They’re living, breathing things that are so real, it’s hard to believe you’re reading fiction. Her stories are live wires full of so much chemistry, it crackles and burns. And this book? It was all of those things and more. So much more!

The story itself is addicting; full of angst and sizzle. You spend the entire time waiting for the other shoe to drop. There’s not one calm moment. It keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time, absolutely riveted to the pages. And when the secrets begin to unravel? You’ll be picking your jaw off of the floor.

This is book one in a trilogy that’s already all released. Each book is just as good and the entire trilogy is simply amazing and a huge rec from this girl!

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


P.I.T.A. by Brooke Blaine

Brooke Blaine, or as I loving refer to as a dirty hooker (She loves it. Swears! She even wrote a book titled Hooker. She knows what’s up), seriously knocked it out of the park with this book. I’m telling you guys, P.I.T.A. may have been my favorite romantic comedy I’ve read to date. I have all of the love for this book!! Besides being laugh until you pee funny, it also had some of THE best banter I’ve read. Now you all already know I love me my enemies to lovers and this book delivered on that front SO HARD. So hard I tells ya! Also, I adore the fact that Brooke writes about such a deep female bond friendship in this series. It’s so rare to find books with true female friendship, a la Sex and the City. It deserves 5 stars for that alone. Did I also mention that Paige was my spirit animal? We’d be total BFFs in real life. Why? Because of conversations like this

“You know, this is a perfect example of why I call you Pita.”
“Why? Because I stick up for myself? Because I call people out when they’re assholes? Because I have fucking balls of steel?” One of the bellhops we passed stopped in his tracks at my admission, and stared at me with wide eyes. “What?” I asked. “You wanna see my steel balls? Dawson, put me down so I can show him.”

Mmmm hmm. See?! She’s full of awesome! So let’s catch up here…

Awesome banter? Check!

Seriously hot sexy times (even involving Nutella *scandalized gasp*) Check!

Hot hero? Check!

Amazing heroine and a gang of girlfriends that will make most anyone jealous? CHECK.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


REAPER by A. Zavarelli

Holy.
Hell.

I do believe I just read one of the most tortured anti-heroes ever. And let me tell you, I’ve read A LOT of dark romance. I’ve read the violent, broody, alphahole bad boys, but all of them pale in comparison to Ronan Fitzpatrick.

This was such a dark, captivating story. I was glued to the pages, completely enraptured. My heart hurt for everything that Sasha went through and I wanted her to feel just a little of happiness. It made a dark sort of sense that she would find it in the arms of a ruthless killer that’s a borderline psychopath.

Ronan was just…GAH. This man. His training ensured that he feels almost nothing. No empathy. No sympathy. Most human emotions are far beyond his realm of understanding. But you see more and more of his humanity peak out with each minute he spends with Sasha.

I loved this gritty and sexy dark mafia romance. The story was completely unputdownable and the characters vivid and unforgettable.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


RIPPLE EFFECT by Keri Lake

Ripple Effect was one twisty, dark and erotic mind f*ck.

It was toe curling.

Spine tingling.

Addicting.

Violent.

Keri Lake simply outdid herself with Ripley. This is an anti-hero that I won’t be forgetting for a long damn while. An anti hero that’s so dark, you don’t know if he’d be the start of the biggest fantasy…or nightmare.

All I know is I salivated for each and every episode and couldn’t get enough.

GOODREADS | AMAZON 


THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET by Aly Martinez

How do you even begin to talk about a book that touched you on such a visceral level that you don’t think you’ll ever forget it? How do you put those feelings into words that can even begin to do a book the justice it so deserves? How do you attempt to relay everything that this book was without giving anything away? You don’t. Because it’s impossible.

The Brightest Sunset was a stunning, emotional, unforgettable story of second chances and love beyond all odds. It was phenomenal. It was beautiful. It was everything.

This is the conclusion of what was a simply stunning duet. It needs to be on your TBR. It’s an absolute must read and a story I cannot recommend enough.

One of the most memorable stories I’ve read this year.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE HOT SHOT by Kristen Callihan

So were going to…What? Be friends.”
He looks almost boyish then. “Yeah. We are.” His eyes spark. “Fair warning. I’ll still be picturing you naked half of the time. So get used to a bit of leering.”
I snort. “You just had to go and ruin the moment, didn’t you?”
“Probably should get used to that too.”

Do you know why I love that one quote up there? Because it’s the perfect summary of this book. It’s this incredibly endearing combination of humor, emotion, and passion. I seriously couldn’t get enough of it! Opposites attract in this sweet and sexy sports romance and I was absolute putty reading it. A happy pile of swooning goo. Can goo swoon? Hmm…no matter. What’s important is how much I seriously loved this book!

From bickering, to unlikely friendship, to roommates, to lovers, Chess and Finn stole my heart…and I never want it back

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


THE CASTLE by Skye Warren

Alright, confession time.

True story. And usually the mere thought of a trilogy is enough to make me break out in hives. Why? Because I’ll usually find book two to be more filler, and I’m pretty much bored and uninterested by book three. So you may be asking yourself, why on earth did this crazy heifer read a trilogy then? And to that, my doubting friend, I only have one answer for you. Skye Warren wrote it. It doesn’t matter what this woman writes. She can write the damn alphabet and I’ll read it.

If I can describe this trilogy for you in one word, it’ll be intense. And not only does it start that way in book one, but it only gets more and more intense as the story progresses.

The Castle was the perfect conclusion to a series that captivated me from the very first. The Endgame trilogy was a story that kept me glued to the pages. The intensity built with each new book. With each secret that gets revealed. With each depravity that comes to light. It was addicting. It was heart pounding. It was completely unputdownable.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY REVIEW


Check out Jenn’s list HERE

Check out Geri’s list HERE

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Comments

  1. Drive. Ghosted. The Hot Shot.
    Yay.

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