My FAVORITE BOOKS of 2019, Almost Impossible to Choose!

2019 brought so many awesome books that I read double the amount I usually read, close to 200 books! I have never read so much in my life. Here are some of my favorites … but it’s not a complete list. There are just too many to list in one place.

You can go to my Goodreads page to see all of the four and five-star books I read this past year!

 

 

The Poison Garden by A.J. Banner

Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…

I loved everything about this book from the authors writing to the actual poison garden in the book. I was hooked from the very beginning and my interest held strong all the way to the end. Loved this one! 

Get the book here! FREE with Kindle Unlimited

 

 

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle 

Beth Murphy is on the run…For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

Where do I even start with Dear Wife? I read it in the beginning of the year and recommended it to everyone I know throughout 2019. It was so great in every way including some twists I didn’t see coming.

Buy the book here.

 

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Emotionally powerful and packed with page-turning suspense, The Arrangement delves into the sordid, all-too-real world of shadowy relationships between wealthy, powerful men and the young women who are caught in their web.

Robyn just nailed this! The idea of a sugar daddy and a broke young girl who becomes involved and ultimately falls in love, you can see it happening in real life. Robyn’s writing is fantastic and her books get better and better.

Get this book here.

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Caroline Stark’s beach house was supposed to be her crowning achievement: a lavish, expensive space to showcase what she thought was her perfect family. But after a very public fight with her husband, she realizes things may not be as perfect as they seem: her husband is lying to her, the money is disappearing, and there’s a stranger on the beach outside her house.

As Caroline’s marriage and her carefully constructed lifestyle begin to collapse around her, she turns to Aidan, the stranger, for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s infatuation with Caroline, her family, and her house becomes more and more destructive. But who is manipulating whom in this deadly game of obsession and control? Who will take the blame when someone ends up dead…and what is Caroline hiding?

Another book that had me saying,”WHAT?” I really enjoyed this novel. I will read anything Michelle Campbell writes. She knows how to keep a reader engaged and surprised. 

Get it here.

Those People by Louise Candlish

Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends.

But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donʼt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn’t take long for an all-out war to start brewing.

Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying—and everyone has something to hide.

You can see this happening in real life which is scary! Those People is one of my favorites of the year thanks to a very real storyline.  The threat of bad neighbors moving in is something I think we all can understand… and fear.

Get the book here.

 

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey 

A total stranger on the subway platform whispers, “Take my baby.”  She places her child in your arms. She says your name.  Then she jumps…

In a split second, Morgan Kincaid’s life changes forever. She’s on her way home from work when a mother begs her to take her baby, then places the infant in her arms. Before Morgan can stop her, the distraught mother jumps in front of an oncoming train.

Morgan has never seen this woman before, and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life. She also can’t understand how this woman knew her name. The police take Morgan in for questioning. She soon learns that the woman who jumped was Nicole Markham, prominent CEO of the athletic brand Breathe. She also learns that no witness can corroborate her version of events, which means she’s just become a murder suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically retraces the last days of Nicole’s life. Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia or was she in danger? When strange things start happening to Morgan, she suddenly realizes she might be in danger, too.

A total joyride! The book hits the ground running and leaves you breathless. A super suspenseful and well-written novel. 

Get the book here.

 

Degrees of Guilt by HS Chandler

When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale. Maria is on trial for attempted murder. She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead. 

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate. She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent. You will be wrong.

I was glued to the pages and didn’t want to put this book down. I know I’m into a book while I read while doing other things, like trying to cook dinner and read at the same time. This one is gripping and intense!

Only $1.99 for your Kindle! 

 

Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond.

But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous. In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder.

When a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide. But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

I’ve read a few books by J.T. Ellison and this is my favorite. I like the setting of a fancy prep school and a mysterious death, the writing in this book is so good that you are kept in suspense from the first page! 

Get the book here.

 

My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams

Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams’s new friend Anna Delvey, a self-proclaimed German heiress, was worldly and ambitious. She was also generous—picking up the tab for lavish dinners at Le Coucou, infrared sauna sessions at HigherDOSE, drinks at the 11 Howard Library bar, and regular workout sessions with a celebrity personal trainer.

When Anna proposed an all-expenses-paid trip to Marrakech at the five-star La Mamounia hotel, Rachel jumped at the chance. But when Anna’s credit cards mysteriously stopped working, the dream vacation quickly took a dark turn. Anna asked Rachel to begin fronting costs—first for flights, then meals and shopping, and, finally, for their $7,500-per-night private villa. Before Rachel knew it, more than $62,000 had been charged to her credit cards. Anna swore she would reimburse Rachel the moment they returned to New York.

Back in Manhattan, the repayment never materialized, and a shocking pattern of deception emerged. Rachel learned that Anna had left a trail of deceit—and unpaid bills—wherever she’d been. Mortified, Rachel contacted the district attorney, and in a stunning turn of events, found herself helping to bring down one of the city’s most notorious con artists.

True crime is one of my favorite genres and this book is a must-read if you like stories about young girls who pretend to be socialites and rip off their friends. This will blow your mind, how Anna got away with swindling and hoodwinking everyone in her social circle.. it left me in shock. 

Get it here.

 

 

My Name is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy—until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus’s developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing.

More than five years later, Venus is released from prison with a suitcase of used clothes, a fake identity, and a determination to escape her painful past. Estranged from her mother, and with her beloved brother still missing, she sets out to make a fresh start in Seattle, skittish and alone. But as new people enter her orbit—including a romantic interest and a young girl who seems like a mirror image of her former lost self—old wounds resurface, and Venus realizes that she can’t find a future while she’s running from her past.

In this gripping story, debut novelist Heather Lloyd brilliantly captures ordinary lives thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Told through a constellation of captivating voices, My Name Is Venus Black explores the fluidity of right and wrong, the pain of betrayal, and the meaning of love and family.

I learned of Venus Black on one of the many book groups I’m in on Facebook! From the second I started reading, I absolutely loved it. Coming-of-age stories are a favorite and this was heartbreaking and well done. If I had to pick only five books of the year that I absolutely loved, this would be one of them.

Get the book here.

The Orphan Sisters by Shirley Dickson

1929: Four-year-old Etty and eight-year-old Dorothy are abandoned at Blakely Hall orphanage by their mother, never to see her again. With no other family to speak of, the sisters worship their beloved mam – and they are confused and heartbroken to be deserted by her when they need her the most.

1940: Etty and Dorothy are finally released from the confines of Blakely Hall – but their freedom comes when the country is in the grip of World War Two and its terrors. Amidst a devastating backdrop of screaming air-raid sirens and cold nights huddled in shelters, the sisters are desperate to put their broken childhoods behind them.

But trouble lies ahead. Dorothy must bid goodbye to her beloved husband when he’s sent to war and Etty must nurse a broken heart as she falls in love with the one man she can never be with.

Etty and Dorothy survived the orphanage with the help of one another and neither sister can forget the awful betrayal of their mother, which has haunted them their whole lives. But when a shocking secret about their painful childhood comes to light, will the sisters ever be the same again?

I cried when I read this. It tugs at your heart and grabs you and doesn’t let go. I look forward to reading the author’s next book which is out very soon!

Get it here, only $3.99 for Kindle!

 


The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin  and Tullan Holmqvist

When Manhattanite Sarah Rock meets a mysterious and handsome stranger in the park, she is drawn to him. Sarah wants to get away from her daily routine, her cheating husband and his crazy mistress, her frequent sessions with her heartless therapist, and her moody children.

But nothing is as it seems. Her life begins to unravel when a woman from the park goes missing and Sarah becomes the prime suspect in the woman’s disappearance. Her lover is nowhere to be found, her husband is suspicious of her, and her therapist is talking to the police.

With no one to trust, Sarah must face her inner demons and uncover the truth to prove her innocence.

This is another novel that is non-stop suspense! Its a short read and one that you will not want to put down once you start reading. Excellent! 

Get the book here.

 

Stalker by Gemma Rogers 

Eve Harding’s world implodes one Sunday morning when she is violently assaulted and raped walking to a South London train station.

As her attacker evades the Police and is left to roam the streets to stalk his next victim, Eve is forced to seek out her assailant before he strikes again.

With vengeance in mind, Eve is determined to find him in time and deliver justice on her own terms.In a game of cat and mouse, who is stalking who?

Suspense and twists, a cat-and-mouse type revenge story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was so impressed with this book. I kept imagining it as a movie, it would make such a fabulous film! 

Free for Kindle Unlimited, $2.99 to buy for Kindle

 

 

I absolutely loved these books too!

I’ve featured them on my book Instagram and highly recommend each one.

I look forward to anything these authors write in the future.

Clover Blue by Eldonna Edwards

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

 

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister

I Spy by Claire Kendal

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

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