The Big Three--Elle's Favorite Books of 2016

by Elle Keck

2016 has been quite a year, in all things, and as always has been full of some amazing books! When opening a book, there’s always that moment of anticipation when I think, will this one make laugh, make me cry, make me cheer? This year, I was lucky enough to have read so many wonderful books by authors I’ve loved for years and authors I only just discovered. I hope my list will make you happy to see your favorites or perhaps encourage you to seek out some new finds of your own!



I think it’s fair to call 2016 the year of my Lorraine Heath awakening. Somehow, someway, I had never read this goddess of romance. All that changed when the lovely Nicole inspired me after she raved about one of Ms. Heath’s books. Suffice to say, the rest is history.

WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE is one of those romances that I’ve thought about so many times since I put it down. It pretty much encapsulates all of my favorite guilty-pleasure tropes (including cheating, gasp!) into a book that has so much heart, angst, and the blackest of black moments. It’s truly one of those books where you read and think, THEY’RE NEVER GONNA HAVE AN HEA!, until Heath works her magic. This book sparked a binge like no other and I’m proud to call myself a forever Heath-en!

HOW TO BE A HEROINE: Or What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis


If you, like me, grew up reading and dreaming about traveling to Prince Edward Island, verbally sparring with Mr. Darcy, or living as vibrantly as Lucy Honeychurch plays the piano, this is the book for you!

Samantha Ellis, a British playwright, examines all the heroines who helped shape her life and really dives into what makes them work, how they affected her life, both good and bad, and how we have changed, just as they have.

We all have books or heroines that we love who will be our models forever, and those we adored who didn’t quite bear up as we rediscovered them later in life (I can think of quite a few Dear America heroines of my own). I loved exploring old favorites, reading about new ones, and thinking about my favorite thing to do in the world, reading.



As often happens with me, I don’t always get a chance to read books right when they come out (or even the same year for that matter!). This year, I finally got a chance to dive into Sonali Dev’s A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR and omg, I loved it. I was actually mad at myself for how long it took me to get to it.

Full of drama and angst, Dev manages to also weave in a fantastic sense of humor into this book about two people finding their way to each other. Mili and Samir’s romance is not without it’s bumps along the way, but by the end, you truly believe these two people are made for each other and deserve their happy ending.

Because I obviously have way more than three favorite books, here are some honorable mentions (in no particular order) that I just can’t include without breaking the rules of the post!

NEVER SWEETER by Charlotte Stein

THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne

THE CAPED CRUSADE: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon

THE ROYAL WE by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

DUKE OF SIN by Elizabeth Hoyt

FAST CONNECTION by Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson



Are any of these books on your Best of 2016 list? Any books that aren’t that I should be reading? Let me know in the comments!