Book Reviews

2017 Book Awards

Before I hand out awards, I want to list all the 5-star books I’ve read this year. Each link takes you to the book’s Goodreads page where you can add it to your own TBR list and check out my review alongside what others had to say about the book.

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander
Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander
What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander
Fly Away by Lynn Austin
Where We Belong by Lynn Austin
The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett
Mistaken by Karen Barnett
Murder for the Time Being
by Joanie Bruce
The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron
A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden
Mail-order Revenge by Angela K. Couch
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho by Susanne Dietze
The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta
Mark of Distinction by Jessica Dotta
Tin Can Serenade by Amanda Dykes
The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson
Life After by Katie Ganshert
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green
12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep
With You Always by Jody Hedlund
Love and a Side of Chips by Traci Valentyne Hilton
A December Bride by Denise Hunter
A Love So True by Melissa Jagears
Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears
On Love’s Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen
Two Ways Home by Sondra Kraak
A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah Ladd
Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge
The Bracelet by Dorothy Love
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Hold the Light by April McGowen
18 Hours To Us by Krista Noorman
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay
Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin
Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin
When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin
One Enchanted Noel by Melissa Tagg
The Secret Slipper by Amanda Tero
Mail-order Surprise by Lucy Thompson
Finding Margo by Jen Turano
The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner
Within the Veil by Brandy Vallance
The Bounty Hunter’s Baby by Erica Vetsch
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas by Erica Vetsch
Bride of Pretense by Amanda Tru and Cami Wesley
Then Came You by Becky Wade
True to You by Becky Wade
Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful by Susan May Warren
A Name Unknown by Roseanna White
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright
With This Ring
The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection


Favorite Cover AND Best Dressed: True to You   Am I the only one completely smitten by this dress and this cover? Oh, and those shoes!!

Favorite Proposal: Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful    As a fiction reader, I’ve read more than my share of proposals. I remember gushing over this one which is pretty rare for me.

Favorite Courtship: A Beauty so Rare   There was so something so sweet about their budding relationship that really stood out to me.

Best Love Triangle: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill   I LOVE a good love triangle, but Klassen took it to a whole new level when every woman had more than one fella asking for her hand. If you enjoy being surprised, you’ll appreciate the way Klassen keeps you guessing.

Best Suspense: The House on Foster Hill   From the cover to the story, this one was fantastic. If you enjoy suspense and haven’t read this one yet then shame on you!! 😉 Pick up your copy asap.

Best Mail-order Bride: Mail-Order Surprise, Bride of Pretense   If mail-order novellas are your thing, these two stood out to me this year. They were humorous and enjoyable all the way around.

Best Date Request: Love and a Side of Chips    Again, I’ve read MANY date requests so it’s something ultra special when they tug at my heartstrings. It was just perfectly sweet and well done.

Favorite Pet: Rip from The Bounty Hunter’s Baby and Dash from Jane of Austin   I’m not a dog person by Rip and Dash stole my heart and almost changed my mind about wanting a dog. Almost. 😉

Best Comedy: My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho   I laughed the whole way through this one. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Great Friction: Two Ways Home and 18 Hours to Us   There is something so engaging about a pair who rub each other the wrong way. If you like that sort of thing in your novels, give these two a try!

WWII Fiction: Waves of Freedom series and One True Love of Alice-Ann   I love war fiction, especially from the home front. It wasn’t possible to pick only one in this category. I consider myself the winner for getting my hands on more than one fantastic WWII read for the year.

Favorite Retelling: Jane of Austin and Secret Slipper   Jane of Austin retold Sense and Sensibility while Secret Slipper retold Cinderella. I was in awe at the authors’ creative take on beloved classics.

Best Novella Set: With this Ring and Message in a Bottle   If you’re looking for a great novella set to sink your teeth in, you won’t be disappointed with either of these. 5 stars all the way!

Gospel Message: Fly Away   Austin not only weaved the gospel into her story but also tackled the various conflicts someone might face when attempting to share the gospel. I was very impressed with her treatment of the gospel in Fly Away. Truly a beautiful story!

Heart Breakingly Great: Life After and Hold the Light   The award says it all. You might cry when reading these novels, but I promise you’ll feel blessed by the time you’re finished.

Oldest Novel: North and South 1854

Best Supporting Cast: Christy   This novel is chocked full of memorable characters.

Best Historical All Around: Road to Paradise   This was just plain good in all ways.

Best Hero: A Name Unknown   There’s something special about a flawed hero and White made his stutter appealing.

Best Contemporary All Around: On Love’s Gentle Shores 

Original Plot: The Austen Escape   Reay was thinking outside of the box on this one and it paid off really well.

Oddest Collection of Characters:  12 Days at Bleakly Manor  Lol There’s not much I can say but if you’ve read it, I’m sure you’d agree with me.

Best Food: My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah by Angie Dicken   I tried Greek food for the first time after reading this book and I’ve enjoyed it several times since then.

The Shortest and the Sweetest: Serenade by Amanda Dykes   This was such a special story in the tiniest of packages. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

Most Exotic Setting: Where We Belong    Austin takes you from Chicago to the far ends of the earth in her latest novel.

Best Mystery: Lady Jayne Disappears and The Bracelet    Neither of these mysteries were overly suspenseful, but the mystery was intricately crafted. I highly recommend both to the mystery fan.

Best Use of Duck: Finding Margo   LOL Nothing more needs to be said here. Finding Margo was a great mystery, but I’ll never forget that duck.

Breathtaking Message: The Mark of the King    I’ll be honest with you. Parts of this novel were just plain hard to read, but in the end, you’re left with one of the most remarkable messages of grace that I’ve read.

Kept the Pages Turning: Within the Veil    Wow!! The story kept evolving until the very end.

Stickiest Problem: Mistaken   It seemed that either way the characters turned, they were up against impossible odds. Until reading Mistaken, I hadn’t realized how rare this has become. Plus the history and the setting where remarkable.

Favorite Couple: A Dangerous Legacy    Everyone will have their favorite couple, but I enjoyed their banter and sweetly unfolding romance. Their unique form of communicating made them memorable.

Most Read Author: Jessica Dotta: 1,335 pages   I could have also given Dotta a number of other awards for Most Surprising, New Favorite Author, Great Supporting Cast, Best Villian, Page Turner, Sticky Plot, etc. But I was trying to give the other greats room to shine. Needless to say, Dotta’s series has made it to my top ten for the year.

Most Listened to Author: Franklin W. Dixon: I listened to 10 Hardy Boy books for a total of 1,816 pages. I’m attempting to listen to some of the classics in audio and the Hardy Boys were the first I picked up. Sure they were slightly cheesy but they were also fun.

Now it’s your turn!! Were you able to narrow down your 2017 reads to a Top Ten list? Did you have a favorite cover? How about a favorite couple? Which author did you read the most in 2017? 





8 thoughts on “2017 Book Awards”

  1. Hey Anita….Thank you for the five-star review AND the plug to your readers. Linking all of these books to Goodreads was a sweet but time-consuming gesture. THANK YOU!! You are the BEST at helping authors and promoting their work. When I grow up, I hope I’m just like you. lol 🙂

    Love ya! Joanie

    *Joanie Bruce * *”Alana Candler, Marked for Murder”* * “A Memory Worth Dying For”* * “Murder for the Time Being”*

    * * * facebook@joaniebruce * * twitter@joaniebruce *

    Check out my ARTWORK and BOOKS HERE .

    On Mon, Jan 1, 2018 at 9:09 AM, Christian Author: A.M. Heath wrote:

    > authoramheath posted: “Before I hand out awards, I want to list all the > 5-star books I’ve read this year. Each link takes you to the book’s > Goodreads page where you can add it to your own TBR list and check out my > review alongside what others had to say about the book. A Beaut” >

    Liked by 1 person

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