Sunday, January 1, 2017

Bayou Book Junkie's Favorite Books of 2016 ~ (Blog Favorites + Giveaway)

Bayou Book Junkie's Favorite Books of 2016 ~ (Blog Favorites + Giveaway)

First I'd like to thank my co-bloggers and reviewers, Mari, Jaymie, Heather and Rita. I can't believe Mari and I have been doing this for more than 2 years now. I remember when we first started the blog, we had to scrounge for posts, then Will at Pride Promotions contacted us and we were off and running. We became so busy that we needed help. It took some trial and error, but we added Jaymie, Heather and Rita this year. Thank you, ladies, so much for helping us make Bayou Book Junkie what it is!

These are some of our blog favorites. Books that more than one of us read and absolutely loved! So here are some of Bayou Book Junkie's Favorite Reads of 2016!!

Special thank you to Jaymie for not only all the beautiful graphics but the painstaking time she gave up to put this post together. All I had to do was add my intro. And, of course, Mari, who proofreads every review, so none of us look like a fool, especially me since I have no clue where to put a comma to save my life!! Thanks so much, Jay and Mari!! ~ Tracy 💗

We here at Bayou Book Junkie hope everyone has a fabulous 2017!! ~ BBJ Team

Counting Daisies by Nicola Haken

5+ Stars!

This was an amazingly well-written book that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster. Dylan and Cameron have a great chemistry and connection. The love they feel for one another is clearly visible. Highly recommended, but bring your tissues with you!! - Tracy

At just 12% in, my heart broke into a million pieces. Dylan is the type of character that grips me and never quite let's go. Nicola Haken is an amazing writer and I am not just paying lip service right now.- Jaymie

Counting Daisies is an emotional rollercoaster, a very realistic account of what an addict goes through while he's hooked and as he tries to fight its hold on him. It's powerful, it's raw, it's compassionate and, above all, it's hopeful.  - Mari

The Secrets In My Scowl by A.E. Via

5+ Stars!

The Secrets in my Scowl is exactly the type of book I crave, emotional and sexy, well-written and addicting. I will be putting this on my favorites list. - Jaymie

I fell in love with this book as soon as I saw the cover and read the blurb and once I started reading the book, I fell even more for A.E. Via's fabulous writing and Jacob and Wylde and how perfect they were for each other. - Mari

Broken by Nicola Haken

5+ Stars!

This was a hard story to read at times. Broken characters are my favorites, and Nicola did an amazing job. James is well and truly broken. He will never be fixed, but this story gives you hope that things can get better. This story was an emotional roller coaster. I found myself angry, laughing and at times crying. - Tracy

This book just about left me broken. There was a point where I just couldn't put it down until I was done with it, and even then, I couldn't fall asleep because James and Theo made me feel so much for them that I couldn't stop thinking about them. This wasn't an easy read, at all. It was raw, intense and deep, and it cut through my soul that someone can go through that and come out somewhat victorious in the end.  - Mari

Heart wrenching, beautiful read!  The prologue pulled me in and I had to take a breath before I delved into the story. I loved it. - Jaymie

Fierce & Fabulous (Sassy Boyz Book One) by Elizabeth Varlet

5 Stars!

This was a book I'd most certainly read again and again. Very well-written, very detailed, fun, angsty, very hot, with lovable characters that I couldn't get enough of. Highly recommendable! - Mari

Fierce and Fabulous was not just a sweet, fluffy gay for you story. There are some really difficult issues addressed. Abuse, both physical and emotional. Alcohol and drug use, homophobia. I found myself laughing out loud and then later wiping away tears. There's a little bit of everything in this story and I definitely recommend it. - Jaymie

Blood & Milk by N.R. Walker

5+ Stars!

The story is realistic, powerful, emotional, hopeful, angsty, romantic and hot all rolled into one of the most perfect books I've had the pleasure of reading. Definitely a must-read! - Mari

Above everything else in this book what I loved was Damu.  His spirit, his innate kindness, the fact that no matter what was thrown at him he continued to take things in stride and hold on to his loving heart. - Jaymie

Come What May by A.M. Aurthur

5 Stars!

A.M. Arthur's writing was superb and the characters, both main and supporting, were complex and endearing (with a few notable exceptions, because I absolutely hated Jonas's parents) and she managed to make me feel so much with this book. I cried like a little baby through most of the second half of the story, but despite the angst, she managed to make it all better and leave me with a huge smile on my face... - Mari

This story took me on an emotional rollercoaster. It left me satisfied, yet wanting more. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, and also seeing more of Tate and Jonas in the future.  - Tracy (see full review here)

On Higher Ground by Melissa Collins

This book is beautiful, and jam packed with heart, feeling, angst, sweetness, love, humor, family and plenty of passionate hot sex. I couldn't put it down and I can't recommend it enough. If you haven't met Beck and Dax yet, you're missing out. I know I'll be rereading this again in the future! - Tracy

I didn't think I could love Beck and Dax any more than I did when I read On Solid Ground, but Melissa Collins managed to make me fall even more for them, especially Beck, because there were more than a few times in which I would've liked to slap some sense into Dax! - Mari

Test Drive by Riley Hart

5 Stars!

The story is well written and flows well. It held me captivated from page one until the end. Only putting it down to sleep and to charge my iPad when it was dying! lol This was my favorite book of Riley's that I've read so far, and I'll definitely be purchasing the first two and reading them. - Tracy

All in all, a memorable, fantastically written book that I'm sure will remain in my heart forever! I can't recommend it enough, so go get it, you won't regret it!  - Mari

The Boyfriend Makeover by River Jaymes

5+ Stars!

The story takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of heartbreak, laughter and ultimately love!! I can't wait to see what River has in store for us next!! Highly recommended!! - Tracy

River Jaymes did a fabulous job weaving a realistic, emotional, angsty, sweet rollercoaster kind of a book that will make you laugh and cry and just feel for these guys! A definite must read!  - Mari

Touch The Sky by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn

5 Stars!

Wow, this was a powerful story. It wasn't always easy to read, and I can't imagine it was an easy story to write, but Ms. Lee and Ms. Dawn did an amazing job with a tough subject matter.- Tracy (Full Review)

I absolutely loved this story. It was poignant, heartbreaking and emotional, but it was also hopeful and I just adored seeing the way both Gabe and Luke grew up as I read their story.- Mari (Full Review)

The Spencer Cohen Series by N.R. Walker

5+ Stars!

Thank you, N.R. Walker, for giving me a series and a couple that I know will remain one of my favorites forever. I'm in awe at your talent in writing characters that come to life and take residence in my heart. - Mari

I have loved Spencer and Andrew from the start of this series. They have an amazing chemistry. They are smoking hot together, I love their sweetness and playfulness, but most of all, I love the laughter and witty banter they share. Even through the heartbreak, they share laughter, and that's so special. - Tracy

We're giving away a $25 DSP voucher to one lucky commenter. Tell us which was (were) your favorite read(s) of the year and why. Please leave your e-mail address associated with your DSP account so we can contact you. You have until Wednesday, Jan. 4, at around 8pm CST to enter. 


  1. I had several favorite reads in 2016. Among them the Protector Series by Sloane Kennedy, Homerun series by Sloan Johnson, Scoring Chances series by Avon Gale and Made Marian series by Lucy Lennox.
    These books have in common that they are part of a series. I love reading about what happened to the guys after their feautured book. I love getting to know them better. They become like family.
    tankie44 at gmail dot com

  2. Mine were Jordan L. Hawk's Hexmaker and Fallow, both are part of ongoing series. I love AU Historical PNR and both book fit my need for the suspense, MCs dynamic and the world building. Near the end of the year I added Josh Lanyon's new novella So This Is Christmas on the list; it's continuation and snippet of Adrien English & Jake Riordan after book 5 of the series. It was a mix of emotional and entertaining (as in funny) read that hit just at the right spot.
    puspitorinid AT yahoo DOT com

  3. My favorite was Charlie Cochet's books on the THIRDS. I love the interaction between the characters and the caring. You can't help but route for them.

  4. Thank you for the opportunity and Happy New Year! ❤

    The Protectors Series - Sloane Kennedy
    Half Moon Bay Series - Rhys Ford
    Nothing Special 5 - AE Via
    Counting Daisies - Nicola Haken
    A Kind of Truth - Lane Hayes ( All the books in the series )
    Broken - Nicola Haken
    And many more ....

    My email is :

  5. These are the ones that left a mark on my heart...

    Say It Right by A.M. Arthur
    Love Me, Tenor by Annabeth Albert
    The Night Screams by Devon McCormack
    Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan
    Turn the World Upside Down by Nyrae Dawn
    Overexposed by Megan Erickson
    Caught Inside by Jamie Deacon

    My e-mail address is:

  6. Dom of Ages by KC Wells and Parker Williams
    Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert
    Speechless by Nicole Edwards
    Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell
    To name a few....

    1. I forgot why these books. Jared in Dom Of Ages is so lovable. I was so happy to see him get a HEA after losing his first love. Speechless was amazing since one MC could only sign and the other MC didn't know sign language until late in the book. It was a hot read and the MCs interactions were fantastic. Sutphin Boulevard was so good. I enjoy friends to lovers and this was a fantastic journey for those MCs. Wrapped Together was one of the best Christmas stories I read this holiday season. Watching the "grinch" find some holiday spirit was great and not forced.

  7. the secret in my scowl by ae via...i love her story telling and hot love scenes

  8. Here are some of my favs from last year:
    Fallow by Jordan L .Hawk - Whyborne & Griffin is my favorite series of all time for many reasons, but the biggest one is how the two men support and complement each other.
    A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote - To me, this was the epitome of a feel-good Christmas story.
    Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk - Love the world Hawk has built in this series and all the different witches/familiars.
    The Weight of It All by NR Walker - So funny and sweet!
    A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale - Incredibly moving, I think about this one from time to time.
    Wolfsong by TJ Klune - Kept me on the edge of my seat. Great cast of characters.
    Inversion Point by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen - Great science fiction series, action & feels, plus world building and another great cast of characters.
    Phase Shift by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen - see above.
    Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford - we finally got to learn why Cole's partner shot him.
    Foxes by Suki Fleet - this one made me cry and so happy at the end.


  9. The Cubi series and Chronicles of an Earned series by Meraki P Lyhne - I love PNR and these have wonderful world building and interesting story lines. Can't wait for the next books in each series to be released.
    Smoke and Mirrors by Charlie Cochet - this series is just amazing!!


  10. Wolfsong by T.J. Klune - I feel in love with the characters, I loved getting to know them. I had a book hangover for a week.
    How to be a Normal Person by T.J. Klune - I could really relate to Gustavo Tiberius, his mannerism and awkwardness. The book also made me laugh and I was charmed.
    Made Marian series by Lucy Lennox - light romantic read, it hit high on my aww meter.

    Soaring Heart by A.L. Boyd - A sweet little romantic read, loved that there was no judgement and that the profound message was that it isn't what's on the outside that matters.
    A Kind of stories series by Lane Hayes - Loved seeing each character find love and overcome any hardships that cropped up.
    The Weight of It All by NR Walker - Such a sweet read and really funny and cute.
    Smoke and Mirrors by Charlie Cochet - with every book in the series I grow in awe of the author, the complexity and simplicity of the story. Just mind blowing >.<
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  11. I loved
    Rhys Ford's Cole McGinnis series - I love the humor & I love how open Cole is with his heart.
    Charlie Cochet's Thirds series - I love the world building, the humor, & the interactions between the characters.
    Jordan Castillo Price's Psycop series - I love the world building, the mystery, & how the relationship between Jacob & Vic develops.
    Quillon's Covert by Joseph Lance Tonlet & Louis Stevens - I love the beautiful love story.
    email: legacylandlisa(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. I see I'm going to be moving some books up my list now! I have to limit myself, so here are just some of my faves I read in 2016:

    Taxes and TARDIS (NR Walker) - the characters had my attention from the start and I smiled the whole way through.
    Spy Stuff (Matthew J. Metzger) - a one-sitting read for me, a true story of how we're more than our labels. Loved it.
    Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli) - first love, lovable characters, and awesome YA. Totally hit the spot.
    When Skies Have Fallen (Debbie McGowan) - there's a reason this won a Lambda! Jim & Arty became a classic love story for me.
    The Music of the Spheres (Chase Potter) - Potter delivers quality every time and this one, about bonds of friendship, family, and lovers, was riveting for me.
    September (Robert Winter) - just, wow. Beautiful, beautifully written passages and characters I will never forget. This was an A+ read for me.