Welcome to 2020!
According to Goodreads, I read 73 books last year (I still have some books still to add). The shortest was When I Grow Up by Jon Hales at 28 pages, while the longest at 924 pages, was actually a five-book box set, Rebekka Franck Series: Vol 1-5, by Willow Rose.
Choosing my top ten from amongst those 73 has been difficult, as always.
I’ve read more than one book from most of the authors below and they were all amazing, but I have added only one book from each author to this list.
Paroled From Heaven
(The Paranormal Detectives Series #8)
by Lily Luchesi
Death is not the end.
The Lieutenant of Hell is dead. The vampiric Empire has fallen, and the Paranormal Investigative Division is barely surviving. With no one controlling the demons and humanity left vulnerable, it’s about to become a literal Hell on Earth.
But Heaven has a plan. Angels can’t step in to fight, and only humans can save humanity. With a little grace, and a lot of power, there’s one way to stop the demonic onslaught and impending rise of Lucifer: a temporary parole from Heaven. Who says death is forever?
by K.S. Marsden
Everyone will betray you…
Sophie has always had a high opinion of herself. She is smart, beautiful, and meant for something more than a mundane, human life.
From a young age she’s had to weigh duty against selfish desires. Her new friend Izzy starts to break down her carefully-constructed walls, and makes Sophie question everything she thought she knew.
With witch-hunters and witches vying for a place in her future, Sophie has to decide who she can trust.
A boy from the Streets
by Maria Gibbs
Two babies abandoned at birth—one grows up in a life of privilege, the other in poverty.
On the 12th of September, 1981, twin boys are born in a Brasilian hospital and left to their fate as orphans. Jose is adopted by a couple who takes him to England, but the other isn’t so lucky. Pedro ends up on the streets of Rio, left to fend for himself in a harsh and unforgiving world.
Love and betrayal.
Twelve years later Jose’s family returns to Brasil, where he learns the truth about his adoption and his twin. Thinking his adoptive parents no longer want him, he runs away to find his brother. What follows will shake Jose to the core and shape the rest of his life—if he can survive.
Jose isn’t the only one whose life will change. Pedro is offered an opportunity beyond any of his wildest dreams, but to keep it will mean the betrayal of someone he loves. This proves to be a far greater challenge than he anticipated when the orphan finds himself suddenly surrounded by family who, unfortunately, don’t all have good intentions.
Hopes and dreams.
A Boy from the Streets will tug at your heart-strings and have you rooting for the little guy as you follow the twists and turns this multi-continental tale takes.
Retriever of Souls
(DI Sterling Book 1)
by Lorraine Mace
The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.
Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.
Smoke & Mirrors
(Nite Fire #3)
by C.L. Schneider
Secrets are a dragon’s best friend. Deception is a close second. Both provide a sturdy armor, allowing half-dragon shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, to live undetected among the humans. Walking in two worlds, belonging in neither, she wraps herself in a shroud of lies to hide in plain sight. But nothing stays hidden forever.
When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City’s new task force, the pair find themselves urged along by clues that seem too good to be true. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a murky sea of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel.
Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men—and the search for her sidekick’s missing sister—Dahlia burns the candle at both ends. Seeking answers, she employs her empathic abilities, and uncovers something deeper and more sinister than a simple serial killer’s web. As the dots connect, and worlds collide, she struggles to shields her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia’s not the only one who keeps them.
Blinded by the light
by Joe Kipling
In the near future, when the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside. MaryAnn is one of the privileged. It doesn’t matter that her friends can sometimes be cruel or that the boy she likes just threw up on her shoes, it’s all about being noticed at the right parties. But it takes a single event to rip her life apart.
Struggling with physical and psychological scars, MaryAnn must face up to the truth about the foundations of the Neighbourhood and the legacy of her family. Once she learns the truth she can never go back, but can she really put her faith in the Union?
“Blinded by the Light” is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. It is the first book in The Union Trilogy.
This dystopian young adult fiction book set in the near future critiques aspects of society such as a preoccupation with celebrity, materialism and privilege. It shows that in real life good and evil are never clear cut and we all have to decide what it means to ‘do the right thing’. Told from the point of view of a girl from a privileged background, it follows the course of MaryAnn’s awakening as she learns the truth about her life and the lies she has been told by her family and by her government, leading her to question everything she believes in. But whilst things may seem black or white to some, MaryAnn learns that there are grey areas too – nothing is as clear cut as it might seem. In real life people are not always good or bad, sometimes they just are.
D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret
by Chris Turnbull
LESS than 3 years after the release of Bram Stokers novel Dracula, Whitby is tormentedby a diehard fan who sees Dracula as his role model; and it isn’t long before women are being murdered, and the residents of Whitby are scared to leave their homes.
WHEN a young lady from London, who has travelled to Whitby with her new husband, is targeted, it is a race against time to catch this cloaked monster before he kills again.
The Lost Sentinel
(Silent Sea Chronicles #1)
by Suzanne Rogerson
The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.
The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.
Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for the new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed in their quest, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?
Follow Tei’s journey through the magical land of Kalaya and the Astral Plane in The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.
The Case of The Curious Client
(Bow Street Society #1)
by T.G. Campbell
The Bow Street Society is a fictional group of amateur detectives operating in London in 1896. Each of its civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field. This ensures the Society may work to solve cases on the behalf of their clients regardless of their client’s social class or wealth; cases that the police either can’t or won’t investigate. From an artist to an illusionist, from an architect to a veterinary surgeon, the Bow Street Society is justice by all and for all.
In The Case of The Curious Client, the Bow Street Society are hired by Mr Thaddeus Dorsey to locate a missing friend he knows only as ‘Palmer’ after he fails to keep a late night appointment with him. With their client’s own credibility cast into doubt mere minutes after they meet him though the Society are forced to consider whether they’ve been sent on a wild goose chase. That is, until events take a dark turn and the Society have to race against time not only to solve the case but also save the very life of their client…
Knowing His Madness
(Secrets of Windy Springs Book 4)
by Valarie Savage Kinney
Life hasn’t gone the way Dashiel Winston once thought it would. His ability has destroyed his marriage, wreaked havoc on his mind, and left him weighted by the burdens of his past decisions. At fifty-seven, he lives alone with little company beyond the voices vying for attention in his head. For too many years, he’s buried himself in the fantasy life he’s created; everyone who knows him sees him as the flamboyant, addled pirate, Captain Dash. He’s loving, he’s jovial… and his heart is about to break from the terrible pain it carries.
When his deepest secrets are forced out in the open and his most treasured relationship threatened, he’s left with a choice: come clean about the decades of lies he’s built his life upon, or risk losing both his family and his sanity.