Books We Love

February 14, 2024


At the beginning of every year, we post our Top Reads of the Year on the blog.

Sadly, this year, covid had other plans, but we didn't want to let anymore time go by without honoring the incredible stories that made our 2023 reading year unforgettable.

What better time to show our favorite books and authors some love than on Valentine's Day?!

Without further ado, here are some books that made us laugh, cry, and contemplate day drinking! 




Rain
by A.L Woods



This fucking book.

Yea I said it. This mothafucking book took years off of my life!!! My anxiety was through the roof and I could not concentrate for shit! I needed more, I needed to take a break, I needed answers, the AC turned on, fucking therapy, a shot of bourbon. You name it and I had to have it. I think this author was slowly trying to do her readers in because my heart came out bruised and battered. Would I do it all over again? Hell yea! If you're looking for a high intensity forbidden love triangle romance, this one's for you. 

Please note: Chatterbooks Book Blog will not cover therapy or alcohol expenses. Read at your own risk πŸ˜‰ -SonyaπŸ’‹



The Coldest Winter 
by Brittainy Cherry 


I'm a huge forbidden romance fan and even though this had the makings for it, this was more than that. It was a beautiful love story. From the beginning to the end, these characters worked hard to earn their happily ever after and it was an honor to go through their journey with them. -SonyaπŸ’‹



Love & Hate Duet 
by C.R. Jane & Ivy Fox



I was in it for the angst and spice, but I wasn't expecting all the emotions these authors pulled out of me. My heart literally ached for these characters. I cried several times, y'all!

Duets are hard to get right, and this one surprised me in the best way possible. There was no way I could leave Skylar and Noah's story off this list. 

Stepbrother and second chance romance fans, this one is for you! -JessicaπŸ’‹



Nocticadia 
by Keri Lake


Does a forbidden, gothic, age gap, dark academia, slowburn romance with horror/sci-fi vibes and naughty student/teacher taboo sound good to you? If so, this is your shit! 

Nocticadia is unique, mysterious, atmospheric, chilling, and macabre. Both MMCs have interesting and tragic backstories that will break your heart, and if you're into sexy, morally gray antiheroes and smart, strong heroines, you'll love these two as much as I did. -JessicaπŸ’‹



The Summer We Fell 
The Summer Series #1
by Elizabeth O'Roark

 

This book is everything my little angst whore heart could've ever hoped for! 

I've been searching for a book with this level of angst and emotional torment for a hot minute, and I finally found it with Luke and Juliet. 

The Summer We Fell is full of tragedy, heartbreak, sacrifice, longing, lust, and never-ending, soulmate-level love. My heart will never forget it. -JessicaπŸ’‹



The Choice 
Star-Crossed Lovers Duet #1
by A. Jade


From the second I finished The Words, I was highly anticipating Memphis and Skylar's story, and it did not disappoint! It's full of complications, lust, angst, abuse, toxicity, pain, and suffering, and it's worth every second of the heartache. If you're a forbidden romance fan, do not pass this one up! -JessicaπŸ’‹



Contempt 
Coastal Elite Series #3
by Sam Mariano


Sam Mariano is one of my favorite authors because she takes risks, and she tells the stories she wants the way she wants. No matter what. This whole series is proof of that, and it has to be read in order. If you haven't read any of the previous installments, you need to rectify that immediately. Even if it Hurts is the first book, and if you're a fan of dark and twisted NA romance with psychopathic love interests, you're in for a real treat!  -JessicaπŸ’‹



The Luna Duet by Pepper Winters 


The Luna Duet is so much more than I expected it to be. It's a story that seeps into your bones and lives on forever in your marrow. Your every thought is consumed by what's happening on the page. Pepper Winter's writing is so phenomenal I forgot I was sitting in bed reading. The story unfolded in my mind as vivid as a memory.

I recommend this duet to anyone who considers themselves a lover of romance. It's an absolute must read and a damn good story, one that is sure to captivate you, make you FEEL a kaleidoscope of emotion, and take your breath away. -JessicaπŸ’‹


                                           


MARROW

by Trisha Wolfe & Brynne Weaver



Dark romance fans, stand up! 


This book is so dark, you're going to need a damn flashlight!! Disturbingly wicked good with rival serial killers who work together. Did you hear that??? From the sexual tension to wielding shovels and digging graves like it's their second job, Marrow will have you embracing the bad sexy side. -SonyaπŸ’‹



   
   Fear Me, Love Me 
                         by Lilith Vincent


Do you see this cover? That's the hero. He's certifiably UNHINGED and if you think that he was going to be different and have a lot of redeeming qualities, you're going to be disappointed. This man was ruthless, shameless, unapologetic, crazy and I loved it!
 -SonyaπŸ’‹



                                  Heartsick 
                       by Monica James


Monica was not playing around with this book. Heartsick is not your typical read and this author threw so many twists and turns into this story, I started questioning my own sanity!! If you're looking for a psychological thriller that's going to leave you on the edge of your seat, this is your book. 

Please note: This ends on a serious cliffhanger that will have you SHOOK! -SonyaπŸ’‹



Heartless Beloved
 by Lola King


This NA romance was a pleasant surprise and I'm so glad that I took a chance on this one. I loved the push and pull between the main characters, the obsessive hero and the danger that was constantly lurking. I highly recommend this one if you're looking for a semi dark twisted read with an anti hero that's going to make you angry and moan at the same time. -SonyaπŸ’‹



The Push 
by Ashley Audrain


Is the mother in this story an unreliable narrator suffering from mental illness, or is her daughter an unlovable, evil, little psychopath? 

That's what you'll be trying to figure out for this entire book. This story is disturbing, gut-wrenching, and uncomfortable. I wouldn't recommend reading it if you're pregnant with your first child. -JessicaπŸ’‹



His & Hers 
by Alice Feeney


Alice Feeney is one of my all time favorite thriller writers. If you've never read any of her books, you're missing out. Don't even read the blurb of this one. Just dive in! You won't regret it. -JessicaπŸ’‹



Layla 
by Colleen Hoover


Layla is a unique, romantic thriller with paranormal elements that made me feel all the feelings! I wanted to fucking murder a certain character for a hot minute, so if either of these MCs piss you off, just hang on.

I'm not going to say anything else, because it's way too easy to spoil this book. If you're looking for a mindfuck and you like your books a little on the weird side, give this one a try. It won't be for everyone, but it was definitely for me! -JessicaπŸ’‹






Between Never and Forever 
by Brit Benson


Savannah Shaw and Levi Cooper have my whole fucking heart! I'm a sucker for the childhood friends to lovers trope, especially when it's a second chance romance, and this was no exception. 

Every single second of their romance was heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. Throw in the twists, turns, and smoking hot sex scenes, and I was a goner. If you're an angst whore like myself, I seriously recommend you check this one out! -JessicaπŸ’‹



The Prodigal 
The Hands of the Potters Series #4
by Kristy Marie


Remington is one of the best characters I read last year. Hands down! If you love sarcastic, asshole heroes, it's impossible not to fall in love with him. 

The Prodigal is full of hysterical one-liners back to back to back. Between Remington and Eden, I laughed out loud more times than I could count. Their banter is legendary!


While Kristy Marie's humor is always a highlight of her books, this story brought out a whole myriad of emotions in me, and it ended in the most satisfying and beautiful way I could've imagined. Please don't skip the bonus epilogue. It's an absolute must read that concludes the series perfectly.  -JessicaπŸ’‹




The Bronze Horseman
The Bronze Horseman Series #1
by Paullina Simons



I'm not a historical romance girlie, but this book might just change that. It's been on my tbr for years, and I need my ass kicked for not reading it sooner!

Tatiana and Alexander's story is beyond anything I could have imagined. It's one of the most gut wrenching, heartbreaking, beautiful love stories I've ever read, and I feel lucky to have experienced it. 

If you're looking for an emotional story about life changing, soul shattering love, this one's for you! -JessicaπŸ’‹





The Grace Year
by Kim Liggett


The Grace Year may be set in a fictional, dystopian world, but if you're a woman, it hits close to home in more ways than one. 

I could literally write a whole essay on this book, but don't worry, I'll spare you! Lol 

If a mash up of The Handmaid's Tale and a gender swapped Lord of the Flies sounds like a good time, add this one to your tbr asap! -JessicaπŸ’‹



Red Rising Saga by Pierce Brown



Red Rising is kind of like the Hunger Games in space, but at the same time, it's so much more than that. It's the story of a rebellion, and each installment continues with the characters' fight for freedom. It's exciting, action-packed, heartbreaking, horrifying, breathtaking, and beautiful. I cannot recommend this series enough! -JessicaπŸ’‹


 

Nectar of the Wicked
Deadly Divine Duet #1
by Ella Fields


Nectar of the Wicked is an intriguing, complicated story full of secrets, lies, violence, and betrayal. My heart started breaking almost immediately when I began reading, but it was shattered and crushed to dust by the end. There is no way you can come out of this book not feeling something, unless, of course, you have a hole in your chest where a beating organ should reside. Dark fantasy romance fans, this one's for you! -JessicaπŸ’‹




The Flame King's Captive
Fire and Desire Trilogy #1
by Chloe Chastaine 


I was in Fourth Wing withdrawal when I discovered The Flame King's Captive, and boy, did I hit the jackpot! Not only are there dragons, but it's a slow burn, MF omegaverse, fantasy romance with insane sexual tension and all the praise and breeding kink your pervy little heart could want. 

If you're new to this subgenre like I am, this is the perfect book to get your feet wet. The heroine doesn't know anything about alphas, betas, or omegas, so readers have the opportunity to learn everything right alongside her. 

If any of this sounds intriguing to you, download this book immediately! -JessicaπŸ’‹



Juniper & Thorn
by Ava Reid


This is one of the weirdest fucking books I've ever read in my life, and I loved every minute of it! 

Juniper & Thorn is a gothic, horror, fairytale retelling with a side of romance. It's dark, atmospheric, and seriously twisted. I couldn't put it down, and by the time I was finished, I vowed to read every single thing Ava Reid ever publishes. 

It's definitely not for everyone, but if you're a lover of all things dark and strange, add this to your tbr asap! -JessicaπŸ’‹



Bewitched 
Bewitched Series #1
by Laura Thalassa 


Bewitched is everything I wanted, hoped, and needed it to be! The witchy, magical vibes are immaculate. The school setting, the atmosphere, the magic system, it's all just so fucking perfect!

If you're a fan of paranormal romance, possessive alphahole love interests, witches, and the memory loss trope, do not pass this one up! -JessicaπŸ’‹


 
Divine Rivals
by Rebecca Ross


Divine Rivals is a beautifully written, rivals to lovers fantasy romance between two young journalists during a war between the gods. 

By now, I'm sure you've seen tons of people gushing about it on social media, but words don't do it justice. Iris and Roman's story needs to be experienced first hand. From the setting to the characters to the romance, this book is pure perfection! 

If you're even the slightest bit curious about this one, pick it up immediately. -JessicaπŸ’‹



Once Upon a Broken Heart Trilogy 
by Stephanie Garber




If you grew up reading and loving fairy tales, this is the story for you. It's one of the most unique, creative, captivating trilogies I've read in a long time. On top of that, it helped pull me through a massive book slump. I will never sleep on this author again. -JessicaπŸ’‹



The Sheperd King Duet by Rachel Gillig



 
This is the best duet I've ever read in my life!

Yes! In. My. Life. 

Imagine my astonishment when I found out One Dark Window was Rachel Gilling's debut. I can't even begin to imagine the masterpieces she'll write in the future if this is only the beginning!

If you're a fantasy lover, pick these up right now. Don't wait until tomorrow. Don't even read the blurb. Go into it blind. Above all, don't pass them up. It will be one of the worst mistakes you ever make. -JessicaπŸ’‹



Fourth Wing and Iron Flame 
The Empyrean #1 & #2
by Rebecca Yarros 


Fourth Wing is my absolute favorite book of 2023! I didn't think or talk about another book as much as I did about this one. Honestly, I'm not sure I've talked or thought about a book this much in YEARS! 

I don't care what anyone says: Fourth Wing is one of the most accessible, perfectly paced, exciting, romantic, and captivating fantasies on the market, and it gives representation to a group that is one of the most overlooked in any genre, the disabled community, which I think is pretty fucking awesome. If you're a fantasy fan or want to dip your toes into the genre, this needs to be on your tbr. -JessicaπŸ’‹






  





The End

Did you see any of your faves on our list? Let us know in the comments. 

Happy Valentine's Day!




2 comments

  1. Incredible list! I definitely found some of my favorites here and plenty more to try. Thanks as always for the book recs, Jessica and Sonya πŸ’‹❤

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    1. Aww, yay! Thank you, Natalie! We appreciate you so much. ❤️πŸ’‹

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