[TOP TEN TUESDAY] Books I enjoyed, but rarely talk about

Top Ten Tuesday is all about books – sometimes non bookish things – and a top 10 list. It was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

That Artsy Reader Girl assigns each Tuesday a topic and then I have to post my top ten(or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list that fits that topic. This week’s topic is:

I’m really happy about this weeks’ subject. I love promoting books, and I love promoting not (yet) well known books and authors, but somehow I seem to be talking less about them (probably because when you talk to other readers, you tend to talk about the more well known current releases, etc). So, I’m really excited to talk about the 10 books/series I’ve chosen for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

I’ve completed 5 Goodreads challenges over the years, so I decided to pick 2 books/series each year from the past 5 years that I’ll be highlighting, so that I’m able to give some older books some attention!

The Trylle trilogy & Kanin Chronicles
by Amanda Hocking (Read in 2015)

The Trylle trilogy was a fun, somewhat cliche, YA fantasy read – but that didn’t bother me really, the cliche thing. Even though there are some cliche elements, it was quite original when it comes to the world building for example. It was a beautiful new fantasy world I got aquinted with when first reading the books. The characters were fun to get to know, and there’s action, adventure and romance. I also loved the author’s writing. The spin-off series, Kanin Chronicles, was even better I think. You already know the Trylle world by now and the writing of the author was even better. I’d highly recommend reading both series, but seeing some characters from the Trylle books return in the Kanin Chronicles and you’ll understand the world a bit better if you’ve read Trylle already I’d suggest reading Trylle first of course, but Kanin Chronicles especially is one series I just had to mention here. 

Switched – the first book in the Trylle Trilogy…

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy discovers her mother might have been right.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – a world both beautiful and frightening, and Wendy’s not sure she wants to be a part of it.

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes.

Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who’s determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She’s not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden.

But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

Angelfire trilogy
by Courtney Allison Moulton (Read in 2015)

Back in 2015 I fell hard for the Angel books and this particular trilogy, YA series, was such a great surprise! The series wasn’t as well known in general compared to the hush hush or Fallen series, and I definitely think these books deserve more attention. It’s a series that only gets better with each new book. I’ve been wanting to do a re-read for a while now, but never seem to get around to do it, so hopefully sometime this year.  

First there are nightmares.
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.

Then come the memories.
When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie’s power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie’s memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.

Now she must hunt.
Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Assassin’s Heart #1 (Read in 2016)

After having fallen in love with the Throne of Glass books that I’ve read up until that point, I was loving the whole Assassin-element in the books I came across. Assassin’s Heart was one of those less known ya releases that year that caught my attention. I really liked this one a lot and highly recommend it! Not the best or most original plot, but such a thrill to read anyway. 

Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart, #1)In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Reign of Shadows #1 (Read in 2016)

I know this book has only an average rating of 3,6 on GR, which won’t have people enthusiastic about the book that easily, but I still love to recommend it. This Rapunzel re-telling is such a fun, and quite dark (especially back in 2016 within the YA world), retelling that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Was the book perfectly executed? Guess not. But was it a great read? Hell yes! Add in that beautiful cover and I’m glad to have this one in my collection! This is one of those YA fantasy books that got ‘snowed in’ underneath a pile with lots of more hyped books that came out on top. Don’t get me wrong; I often loooove the hyped books (mostly when I’ve had the chance to read them before they got hyped, lol), but I really like to read and fall in love with the lesser known books as well. To me, Reign of Shadows was that kind of book back in 2016! 

Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1)Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Wild Aces trilogy by Chanel Cleeton
(Read in 2017)

A lot of you have probably heard of this author before, because she became quite loved after having published her Next year in Havana (which was chosen as book of the month or something like that by Reese Witherspoon) & When we left Cuba books. I fell in love with her writing a little earlier, before those got published, when I came across this conemporary romance trilogy focused on these super sexy fighter pilots that I’ll be raving about now hihi. All three books got a 4,5/5 star rating from me. Loved every single one of these books so incredibly much and I really need to talk more about these books! Book 1 definitely gives me all the TOP GUN FEELS. Book 2 and 3 are just magnificent in their own way as well. Some books are a bit more light hearted and some are a bit more heavy on the emotions. But all three are frigging addictive reads from beginning till end and I can’t recommend them enough! 

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove
(Read in 2017)

I remember so well, when being a little girl, that I was having that same dream that John Hargrove has had; of becoming a trainer in a place like SeaWorld. Nothing prepares you for the harsh and cruel truth behind the facade that is called SeaWorld (and so many other corporations who hold animals captive to do their bidding and make money on them). I’ve had a THING for Killer whales ever since I was a young girl. I really can’t explain where this love is coming from, other than that it’s just always been present for as long as I can remember. I’m in awe of these animals, really. The way these animals live, their intelligence and their curiosity and kindness (even though they aren’t called ‘Wolves of the Sea’ for nothing, lol..) I respect these animals so much. Then there was Keiko and what a thrill it was to see him being returned to the Wild, even though he hadn’t had the chance to live out a long life in the wild. What great sadness there is in knowing there are still so many animals being held captive. The horrors behind the scenes at corporations like SeaWorld are beyond our imagination. From cross-over breeding to separating mothers and calves after barely a year of them being together after birth (keep in mind that most orca families stay together for the duration of their entire lives!) to the fact of knowing that most orca’s in captivity don’t even get to the age of 20, sometimes 30, while orca’s in the wild easily reach the age of 70 for example. Reading John’s book was a really interesting and quite scary insight. I already knew a lot of things (I’m a huge supporter of Dr. Ingrid Visser for example and I keep track on what she’s doing out there for the orca’s) but John’s way of telling stuff about his career and his experiences during his time at SeaWorld is something more people should read I think, especially people who are still visiting the shows at Seaworld for example. 🐬 So yeah, I have a really strong opinion on this particular subject and I’m really passionate about it haha #notsorry This book is, as is the docu Blackfish, something I love to recommend to anyone. WE are the ones that are able to start change for the orca’s in captivity by Not buying a ticket to go to Seaworld for example so reading a book like this one or watching a docu like Blackfish is so important I think! 

Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond BlackfishOver the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld’s U.S. facilities. For Hargrove, becoming an orca trainer fulfilled a childhood dream. However, as his experience with the whales deepened, Hargrove came to doubt that their needs could ever be met in captivity. When two fellow trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld’s wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers.

After leaving SeaWorld, Hargrove became one of the stars of the controversial documentary Blackfish. The outcry over the treatment of SeaWorld’s orca has now expanded beyond the outlines sketched by the award-winning documentary, with Hargrove contributing his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing both federal and state governments to act.

In Beneath the Surface, Hargrove paints a compelling portrait of these highly intelligent and social creatures, including his favorite whales Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld. And he includes vibrant descriptions of the lives of orcas in the wild, contrasting their freedom in the ocean with their lives in SeaWorld.

Hargrove’s journey is one that humanity has just begun to take-toward the realization that the relationship between the human and animal worlds must be radically rethought.

HORNET series by Tonya Burrows
(Read in 2018)

Tonya has become one of my favorite romantic suspense authors after having read some of her HORNET books in 2018. These books are the perfect combination of (ex-military) action, suspense and romance and I can’t recommend Tonya’s writing enough! This has rapidly become a favorite series of mine within the sub-genre and I’m always looking forward to a new release by this author!

SEAL of Honor (HORNET, #1)It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.

That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal—until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother—or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.

As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed. Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.

Kaitan Chronicles by A. Strickland & M. Miller
(Read in 2018)

After reading Illuminae, I’ve started reading more YA Sci-Fi and the first 2 books in the Kaitan Chronicles are definitely on top of my favorites list when it comes to the SciFi sub-genre. I always recommend these to anyone who’s looking for more YA Sci-Fi. I really hope book 3 is going to be written some day – it’s a bit unsure if and when so that sucks – because the endings of these books leave you craving more, that’s a promise! You won’t regret getting a hold of Shadow Call & Shadow Run! 

Shadow Run (Kaitan Chronicles, #1)Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power–and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

Spies, Lies and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts
(Read in 2019)

It took some time to pick two 2019 reads to show in this article, seeing I recently published the 2019 favorites re-cap in which I talk about my favorite 2019 reads – so lots of books were already being discussed there. But there were definitely some really fun reads in 2019 that hadn’t made it to my top 10, but are still worthy of being mentioned! Spies, Lies and Allies is one of those reads. his was my second Lisa Brown Roberts book and this author has definitely made it to my favorites list when it comes to YA contemporary romance. Her writing is so good and truly addictive! Spies, Lies and Allies was such a fun an fast paced read. This story was funny, lighthearted & heart warming. A book you can pick up any day, any time and that delivers on giving you a good reading experience. I’m already looking forward to reading more by her so I hope I can get around to buy the rest of her books soon! If you like YA contemporary romance, authors like Kasie West for example, than you really need to get yourself aquatinted with Lisa Brown Roberts asap!!

Spies, Lies, and AlliesSummers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.

My boss is running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting––in a good way. But I can’t even think about him like that because fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

As if that’s not enough, an anonymous informant with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media…and I’m afraid it’s working.

Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
The Band #1 (Read in 2019)

This one was recommend to me a lot before I finally bought and read it haha. It was a really fun fantasy that I’d definitely recommend. It didn’t end up in my top 10 of 2019, seeing I’ve read 143 books that’s no shame, but it’s definitely one I wanted to put in the spotlight a bit. It has fantastic fantasy elements, it has humor, a fantastic and diverse set of character and enthralling writing.

Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)Clay Cooper and his band were once the best of the best — the meanest, dirtiest, most feared crew of mercenaries this side of the Heartwyld.

Their glory days long past, the mercs have grown apart and grown old, fat, drunk – or a combination of the three. Then an ex-bandmate turns up at Clay’s door with a plea for help. His daughter Rose is trapped in a city besieged by an enemy one hundred thousand strong and hungry for blood. Rescuing Rose is the kind of mission that only the very brave or the very stupid would sign up for.

It’s time to get the band back together for one last tour across the Wyld.

It was sometimes quite a hassle to pick just 2 from an entire year of reading books in which I’ve always read more than 100 books per year haha. But I’m happy with the end result of this list.

What books did you enjoy but don’t talk about enough? Get me aquinted with those little gems!

Thanks for reading and I love to hear from you!


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