My Top 10 Books of 2016

This year I barely squeaked out my Goodreads goal of reading 40 books. My new baby girl kinda slowed things down, but I’m not complaining. πŸ˜‰

It’s been another great year for stories. The ones below are just a few of the ones that stood out to me and captured my heart. There are still way more books on my TBR list from 2016 that I hope to get to soon. πŸ˜‰ You know how it is.

Before we step into 2017, I want to give one last shout out to some of my favorites from the year. Here they are, in no particular order.

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The Lady & The LionheartΒ  by Joanne Bischof

This story so captured my heart that I’ve had a hard time moving on since turning the last page. I’m not even sure how to find the words to review it. The Lady and the Lionheart swept me away with its emotional tale and changed me along with the characters. Days later, I actually find myself missing Charlie and Ella so much I’m tempted to pick the book back up and read it all over again. πŸ˜‰

I stepped inside their fascinating world and had a difficult time leaving. I would think about the story during the day and count down until I could return to reading at night. The setting was so intriguing and mysterious. The life of the circus was painted so well I felt like I was walking inside the Big Top myself and watching the show with my own eyes.

Read the rest of my review here

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A Twist of Faith- My Review | The Engrafted WordA Twist of FaithΒ  by Pepper D. Basham

Once again, another powerful story from this talented author. A Twist of Faith drew me in effortlessly and I read the entire thing in two days. It’s full of heart and had me laughing at many points. Yet, there’s also a serious side to the tale that shares a beautiful message of forgiveness and trust. Readers will be highly entertained with this one.

I loved the contrast between the hero and heroine in this story and watching how the opposites attracted. Their witty banter back and forth was absolutely adorable and their budding romance sweet as could be. The secondary characters are just as lovable. In fact, at times I thought they stole the show! πŸ˜‰ I loved the rural setting and charm of country life too. It was all painted so very well.

Read the rest of my review here

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A Flight of Arrows- My Review | The Engrafted WordA Flight of ArrowsΒ  by Lori Benton

Once again, this author has crafted a story I won’t soon forget. After reading The Wood’s Edge – the first in this series and one of my favorites of last year – I’ve been counting down to the release of A Flight of Arrows. It proved to be so much more than even I was expecting.

Historical fiction fans must get their hands on this book. I recommend you read the first book in order to reap the full reward of this conclusion. I loved continuing on with Anna and Two Hawks and their families and seeing how they adapted through the circumstances around them. Talk about a journey! Each one of these characters stole my heart. The last half of the book stole my breath away as the conflict of war and loss collided. The depth of forgiveness and love shown throughout the story left me in tears. The ending was so beautiful.

Read the rest of my review here

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keep-holding-on-259x400Keep Holding OnΒ  by Melissa Tagg

Could this story BE any cuter? I don’t think so! πŸ˜‰ I honestly think this is Melissa Tagg’s best book yet. Everything about it was so endearing and full of heart. I’ve really enjoyed this series and getting to know this precious family. I didn’t want to close the book and say goodbye to them. They feel like real people to me.

I found myself fighting back tears more than once in this story. A few moments broke my heart. Other moments healed it. The lessons in faith that Beckett and Kit have to go through are so relatable to us all and I felt like I grew along with them. Their relationship is so adorable throughout. Their friendship is true and special and their love for each other even more so.

Read the rest of my review here

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The Thorn Keeper - My Review | The Engrafted WordThe Thorn KeeperΒ  by Pepper D. Basham

This is the second book I’ve read by Pepper Basham. It’s the second time I’ve been swept away by her romantic stories and the second time I’ve been touched to tears with her words. The Thorn Keeper is a book to read slowly and savor. It is so full of emotion and beautiful, bittersweet redemption. It’s not one I think readers will possibly forget.

I loved Catherine and David. These characters cling to your heart long after the the last page. I loved seeing the differences in their pasts and what God teaches them through the book. Their friendship is fun and beautiful, but their romance is sooooo much more. Oh boy, is it sweet and steamy! πŸ˜‰ LOVED every minute of it! For those of you with a heart for romance novels, you don’t want to miss this one, trust me.

Read the rest of my review here

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The Ringmaster's Wife - My Review

The Ringmaster’s WifeΒ  by Kristy Cambron

This fascinating story was very unique and picturesque. I loved the beautiful combination of historical mixed with fictional. I felt like I was reading a real-life story. Each scene was painted so delicately that I found myself wishing I was standing there taking in the sights and sounds next to Mable and Rose. πŸ™‚ The circus setting was so interesting and fun.

The characters were all realistic and likeable. Each of them worked hard to overcome the obstacles from their past and their determination and faith are inspiring. The romantic and spiritual moments were more subtle, but they still added their sweetness to the overall tale.

Read the rest of my review here

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The Goodbye Bride - My ReviewThe Goodbye BrideΒ  by Denise Hunter

I am so happy to have discovered this new-to-me author. I loved her writing style from the start and fell in love with this couple and their story. What a fun and fresh contemporary romance! It was intriguing, funny, and downright adorable.

I instantly connected with Lucy and her predicament and was hooked through the entire book to see if her memory would return. My heart went out to her and Zac. I’ve never read a premise quite like this and it was so refreshing and entertaining. They’re both adorable, real people who are cute as can be. Yet, they have built walls around their hearts and fear trusting those they love. It’s a sweet and romantic journey watching these two soul mates find healing and their happily ever after.

Read the rest of my review here

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28561662Love’s Faithful PromiseΒ  by Susan Anne Mason

I’ve really enjoyed this series and I’m sad to see my time with the O’Leary family has come to an end. This story is just as enjoyable as the ones before it, the characters just as loveable and the romance just as sweet. It has the perfect blend of historical detail, surprising plot twists, and endearing family relationships. Can you tell I liked it just a little? πŸ˜‰

Matthew and Deirdre made great leading characters. I loved their hearts. They each grew significantly through the story’s ups and downs. Matthew is carrying a lot of guilt and regret when he first meets Deirdre. Her warm, ambitious personality strikes against his guarded heart and sparks fly. Their differences really compliment each other. He’s levelheaded and cautious while she’s vibrant and full of faith.

Read the rest of my review here

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The Cautious Maiden Review & GIVEAWAYThe Cautious MaidenΒ  by Dawn Crandall

Once again, this author’s signature style shines in a novel that’s bound to win readers’ hearts. I found myself immersed in the story of Violet and Vance from the very start. I held my breath as I watched their relationship unfold and was surprised by several twists of suspense along the way.

Vance is impossible not to love. This hero has charisma! I was so glad to see his change of heart in this book and his resolve for redemption from the past. And Violet is as sweet and innocent as they come. This sweet, timid heroine has a big heart. I was cheering for the two of them throughout the whole book, even when their world was spiraling out of control. Their faith endeared them to me even more.

Read the rest of my review here

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Whispers in the Reading Room - My Review | The Engrafted WordWhispers in the Reading RoomΒ  by Shelley Gray

This story started with sparks and kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could read them. I loved the hero and heroine and their bond over books. Who doesn’t love to read about a character who loves books as much as we do, right? πŸ˜‰ AND it’s set in a library! The mystery of this tale, along with the romance and unique historical setting, is one I won’t easily forget.

I was pulled into the intrigue and suspense of it all, but throughout the book it was the love story that fully captured my heart. I instantly fell for Sebastian, just as Lydia did. He was a great hero who is battling his past and present with who he wants to be in the future. I enjoyed watching their relationship take hold and his protectiveness over Lydia from the start.

Read the rest of my review here

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I want to thank all the authors and publishers for sending me these copies to read. I also want to thank YOU for stopping by and reading my reviews. Happy New Year!!

What was one of your favorite reads of the year?
I’d love to know if any of these from above made your top 2016 list.
If not, please tell me which great ones I missed. πŸ˜‰

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Posted in Book Reviews
22 comments on “My Top 10 Books of 2016
  1. Pepper says:

    OH Savanna!! Thank you so much!!! And can I just say…#VANCE
    πŸ™‚

    Also, I’ve been intrigued with the novel, Whispers in the Reading Room, since I saw the cover the first time. I really need to read it.

    LOVED LOVED The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter

    Thank you so much for falling in love with these characters. I absolutely LOVE Catherine and David, and cannot wait to reintroduce readers to the world of Mitchells Crossroads in Nov 2017 πŸ™‚

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Pepper! Thanks so much for stopping by. I can’t wait to read more of your stories!!

      Definitely check out Whispers in the Reading Room. I could hardly put it down. πŸ™‚

      I’m actually reading the next in Denise Hunter’s series right now… Just a Kiss. It’s great so far!

  2. Susan Anne Mason says:

    Thank you so much, Savanna!! I enjoy your blog so much and am thrilled to be counted among your favorites of 2016!! There are so many wonderful titles on your list, some of which I must read!
    Thank you so much for supporting Christian Fiction!
    Hugs,
    Susan

  3. Honored to be on your list, Savannah! And among so many great reads – it’s a real treat!! Your review of Lionheart is such a blessing to me. Thank you!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Ah, Joanne, I was thrilled to read and review your lovely story. The beautiful paperback is sitting on my coffee table right now. Must read it again SOON! πŸ˜‰

  4. Emilee says:

    I’ve read 6 of the 10. Lori Benton and Denise Hunter always have great books. And I really loved Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg!

  5. Winnie Thomas says:

    Great choices, Savanna. I’ve read half of them, and have most of the rest on my TBR list. I would add The Promise of Rayne by Nicole Deese, The Things We Knew by Catherine West, Close to You and Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac. I wouldn’t be able to stay under 10 titles, though. πŸ˜€

  6. Great list! Melissa Tagg is my absolute favorite, so I completely agree with her. I’ve actually rediscovered my love for Christian fiction this year, so many of the books I read were from earlier than 2016. But I hope to get through my huge to-read pile in 2017!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      That’s wonderful you’ve picked back up Christian fiction and you’re enjoying it again, Jennifer. I love to hear that. Yes, 2017 is shaping up to be another great year for stories.

  7. Heather says:

    These look amazing! I definitely want to pick up Whispers in the Reading Room. πŸ™‚ I copied your example–check out my top ten list of books for 2016 on my blog. πŸ™‚

  8. Tarissa says:

    How delightful! I like what your list of top picks for 2016 looks like. I read a couple of these too this past year. Also, I believe I own A Twist of Faith, and hope to read it sometime this this year. πŸ˜‰

  9. Caryl Kane says:

    Awesome list, Savanna! I LOVED A Flight of Arrows.

    I’m determined to read more books from my TBR tubs. I’ve set my Goodreads goal to 145.

    Enjoy this special time with Miss Ally!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      That’s a GREAT goal, Caryl. I set my goal a lot lower this year (like 30 total) due, in part, to little Miss Ally. πŸ™‚ Trying to balance all my favorite things, ya know? Happy Reading!!

      (And yes, A Flight of Arrows was amazing. I still tear up thinking about it today.)

  10. Beth Erin says:

    Great list, Savanna!!! All but 3 from your list are on my list and those 3 are on my wishlist!! Kindred spirits, I’d say!

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