2015 in review: Best reads you may have missed
It’s time to take a look back at the best books of 2015!
Romance: “Put a Ring on It” by Beth Kendrick (New American Library, $15) – Readers return to the madcap town of Black Dog Bay, where everyone goes to heal a broken heart, so much so that an entire tourism industry has been created for it, with a cast of colorful characters to laugh with. This time it is Brighton Smith who finds herself in the infamous town, brokenhearted by her fiance’s sudden departure and hasty marriage. Jake Sorenson, the town’s designated rebound guy agrees to marry Brighton as an ultimate payback to her ex – but the two soon find themselves having fun hanging out together. Have they accidentally stumbled upon something permanent?
Women’s Fiction: “The Best of Enemies” by Jen Lancaster (New American Library, $25.95) – Kitty Carricoe, the perfect stay-at-hom-mom and lifestyle blogger, and Jacqueline “Jack” Jordan, the tomboy embedded journalist, must bury the hatchet when their mutual friend Sarabeth’s husband dies in a suspicious plane crash. Both think something is fishy with the death and decide to investigate on their friend’s behalf and end up uncovering the truth behind a lot of things, including what really tore apart their college friendship. This is a funny story about friendship with two strong heroines that readers will love.
Amish: “Amish Promises” by Leslie Gould (Bethany House, $14.99) – Two families lives are changed by their relationships in this powerful story of friendship and family. Joel and Shani Beck and their son, Zane, are making a fresh start at her grandfather’s home in Lancaster, while Joel is still healing from his experiences in Iraq. Soon enough, Zane makes friends with the Amish neighbor children, and Shani makes friends with their aunt who is helping to raise them, Eve. The two families seem to be on track for a warm friendship. But Eve’s brother, Tim, doesn’t like the neighbors’ influence on his children or Eve, especially when Eve begins to get closer to Joel’s friend, Charlie. Will any of the friendships continue?
Mystery: “Every Fifteen Minutes” by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99) – A psychiatric doctor tries to aid his patients while his personal life is unraveling. His new patient, Max, has led a hard life up to this point and Eric is worried over his obsession over a young teen girl. When Max’s beloved grandmother dies, a chain of events kick off that shakes Eric to his core. He is soon facing a sexual harassment claim, is a suspect in a murder and may lose his daughter and his job. How did everything go bad so quickly? This is a gripping story of twists as one man could lose everything he cares about because of a deranged person.
Thriller: “The Long and Faraway Gone” by Lou Berney (William Morrow, $14.99) – This taunt, engrossing thriller is told from two different point of view of characters who suffered trauma in 1986 and are dealing with the aftereffects of two cold cases 25 years later. Wyatt is still dealing with being a survivor of a movie theater shooting while trying to work as a private investigator, and Julianna, still wants the truth about why her sister disappeared from a county fair. The two soon learn the answers they seek may forever change them.
Paranormal: “Foxglove Summer” by Ben Aaronovitch (Daw, $7.99) – Wizard-in-training and police officer Peter Grant is called to help out in a missing persons case in very rural Herefordshire. At first it seems nothing otherworldly is happening, and then stories of imaginary friends, aliens and fairies pull him in. There’s plenty of gritty detective work and magical twists to put the readers under this story’s spell.
Young Adult/Sci-Fi: “Illuminae: The Illuminae Files-01” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Knopf, $18.99) – This thrill-ride sci-fi story follows Kady and Ezra, two exes who barely make it off their planet alive when a rival corporation decides to destroy it. They find themselves on two different fleeing ships, only able to communicate through email. Ezra is pulled into flying ships for their corporation while Kady puts her hacker skills to uncover some secrets. Throw in a deadly virus that turns people into crazed murderous “zombies” and homicidal ship AI technology and neither are guaranteed to survive! The story is told in a series of emails, diaries, documents, military files and reports of surveilance footage – which may take a bit of getting used to, but once the story takes off, it doesn’t quit and there is plenty of action, twists, romance and scares.