? It’s the holiday season… ? and you know that means it’s time for seasonal book tags! My favorite kind ? I found this tag on Cait @ PaperFury‘s blog, originally created by Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole. I thought it was quite a bit of fun, and it gives me an excuse to use my beautiful brown winter trees ✨
On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
What was your favorite stand-alone of 2020?
I wrote a full post on this!! Check it out here or below :)
On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Two Turtle-Doves!
Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?
Literally, what is this question? There are far too many faves for me. ?✨ However, I did a quick think-through about what faves weren’t already represented in this post (hint: check out the other books included in this list for more answers) and realized one of my fave contemporaries of all time was missing!
In Rock Hard by Nalini Singh, T-Rex and Charlie-Mouse … jk, Gabriel and Charlotte… have an incredible connection. This is one of my all-time favorite, favorite, favorite books. I’ve read it so many times, I’ve completely lost count ? We’re well into the teens now. Gabriel Bishop is an ex-Rugby player, now a CEO of Charlotte’s company, and she’s his secretary. But she’s also extremely fragile after enduring horrific abuse. This book has set the bar for office romances everywhere, and I haven’t found one that matches it yet. Their connection was such a slow-burn, and I loved seeing the fiery intelligence in every page as Gabriel recognizes he has his work cut out for him with Charlotte. (My Review)
On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Three French hens
In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?
Come on, you definitely saw this coming! The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic. I wouldn’t be a true fan if I answered this any other way! It follows Neil, a homeless orphan who was recruited to play Exy (a fictional incredible sport that’s soccer x lacrosse, but with the aggression of hockey) for Palmetto State on a full ride. He’s on the run and trying to stay out of the spotlight, but he can’t pass up this opportunity. I can’t say too much about what this dangerous series is about, but it is utterly unique from anything you’ve ever read, I promise. It’s a bit raw because it is unedited, but the characters in the book genuinely feel like family to me. That may be because I read it seven times last year… Anyway, content warning: this series does have every trigger warning imaginable, so go in at your own risk.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Four Calling Birds!
Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?
In terms of series with 4+ books? Allow me to introduce you! Literally so many more than this, but I have to flex my self-control somehow ?
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings
One ring to rule them all! Who is your Favorite Villain/Antagonist?
I’ve stared at this question for several minutes, wracking my brain for a favorite villain. Admittedly, I don’t have very many! I love villains that have that Snape moment (like the King of Adarlan and the like), and I love reading books with villainous leads. But really, I like reading villains who I can understand. Not necessarily their actions (I am not evil, you understand), but their motivations and backgrounds. I like my books with some grey areas. Then I remembered Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller, a fairly lighthearted high fantasy book where villages are forced to pay a terrible tithe to the God who lives in the woods. Of course, this person is less of a god and more of a trickster, but it was such an interesting scenario, I thought I would include it spice this up a bit (my review). Is this my favorite villain ever? nah. But it’s a good representative. And Roland, of course, from the Kate Daniels series. He’s pretty interesting (and absolutely horrific).
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: Six Geese a-laying
Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favorite world/world-building?
My favorite series and my favorite set of world-building is the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. (My Review) This world is surreal and wonderful! It follows three races in the world: human, changeling, and Psy – who are kind of evolved human with mind-powers, but who condition themselves and their children to suppress emotion. The shifters world, in and of itself, is absolutely incredible. It’s full of playfulness, and family, and clearly lovingly crafted. This is hands down the best paranormal series I have ever read. Yeah, I said it ???
My second favorite series with excellent world-building is the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. (My Review) This series takes place in post-apocalyptic Atlanta, where times of “magic” come in waves, disrupting phone lines, car engines and causing guns to misfire. Then times of “tech” roll in, where magic doesn’t work and the technology is no longer disabled. But it also is harder for shifters to shift, and takes the truly powerful to work magic. This series is absolutely relentless in mystery, mythology, magic, and the paranormal. I love the unique world the Andrews’ team has crafted (just as I love all their books) ? I haven’t read a series like this one.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: seven swans a-swimming
Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favorite animal sidekick?
Animal sidekicks are fundamentally the best thing the literary world has to offer ✨ Animals, in general, are just a precious gift to the world, and an adorable animal sidekick is truly ~the best~ … but if I answer this question with “werewolf,” does that not count?? ? But seriously, Jake from The Tourist Attraction is also a solid bet, along with these two below:
But in the effort of being serious… I would have to answer The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (my review). This book was known in my head as “the horse book,” so it took me a while to read it. But I didn’t realize this story was about savage, bloodthirsty horses who come from the sea every November to rip the town apart??? ah, I love a dangerous pet!! And that’s exactly what this was. Sean had one of the most dangerous horses in the race, and yet they had such a sweet connection!! And Puck’s lovely horse ?
Being in a not-so-serious decision, Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews (my review) is my second pick. And no… not because of the werewolf (although that was a consideration for a moment). My favorite pet in this series is Gertrude Hunt… the Inn itself. Dina DeMille is an innkeeper, which means she runs an Inn that serves as a waystation for others traveling to Earth, as the humans of Earth do not know about the other planets (space vampires and werewolves, etc). She has complete control over her Inn, can sink people in the ground, and conjure rooms and decor out of thin air. This is one of my favorite books, for being just so much fun, but also an intelligent, hilarious ride. The House is sentinent, and so this makes sense… right??
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eight maids a-milking
Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?
My current series read was such a fast pick for this category! The Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill takes place in, well, Chicago, with is a mecca for yumminess. At least, this is what I’m convinced of after reading this book! It follows Merit, who is turned (against her will) into a vampire, and she now has to join a vampire House – kind of like vampire fraternity, or the werewolves’ Packs. She’s house Sentinel, which means she’s like the on-retainer PI, bodyguard, and brand manager for the house (i.e., she’s a badass).
Her love interest, 400-ish-year-old vampire master Ethan Sullivan, has lived in Chicago for years, and yet has never tried most of the fine Chicago street food cuisine. Merit is an eater, she loves food with as fiery of a passion as she swings her sword, and I loved watching her take Ethan on this culinary adventure throughout the books. (My Review)
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: nine ladies dancing
Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favorite kickass female lead?
LOL, so how much time do you have? There are so many kickass female leads to choose from!! ?? But I have to admit, some of my favorites come from Team IA. Specifically, the Hidden Legacies series (my review) and the Kate Daniels series (my review). Nevada Baylor and Kate Daniels (respectively) are two of the most passionate, badass, and relentless females I’ve read in urban fantasy. They’re both whip-smart intelligent (even as Nevada prefers strategy where Kate prefers her sword), they are still quite different. I reread both of these series often ?
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: ten lords a-leaping
How about your favorite leading lad?
Rather than pick my favorite love interest (oh lordy the stress of that question!), I’m going to go with one of my most surprising favorite male MCs, which is easily Alex from Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston! I read this book in two sittings (but in one day), and had more time doing so than I remember having in a long time. This book may have been written as a satire, but it swelled with hope and intelligence… plus a hilarious side of friends-to-lovers romance that truly rode off with my heart into the sunset. This book was, quite frankly, an absolute delight. I loved how full of vibrant hope and fervor Alex was, and I especially loved how Henry and Alex connected! Casey was able to portray something incredibly special within these pages, and it was an absolute delight to find that the hype was not misplaced in this one. “History, Huh?”
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention my precious Ox! The lead of Wolfsong by TJ Klune, Ox absolutely stole my heart. He grew up being told that he was big and dumb, his whole life, and he got shit for it. But he is hands down one of my favorite literary characters. Ox has so much gentle passion inside of him, and is a beautiful person who cares so deeply about his family and friends. He’s one of those people where his friends are his family. His heart is so large <3
He’s so soft, even as he’s prepared to fight for his family, and I am absolutely in love with him. He’s everything I never knew I needed in a character.
Remember when I said this question was easy? It’s not.
My honorable mention list got too long ? It inspired a whole blog post!
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: eleven pipes pipin’
What is your favorite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)
The first book that popped into my head is A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews. (My Review) This book is written by the incredible book blogger Cait @ Paperfury, she is a force within the bookish community, and so of course I gobbled up both of her releases when they hit the shelves!
A Thousand Perfect Notes is a tear-jerker that deals pretty heavily with abuse, but it has this fantastic musical element that carried such a passion, it made me feel passionate about it. Cait ran me through the emotional gamut with this one, but I was glued in, managing to read this one in a single sitting. But really I just want to hug and protect those adorable little cinnamon roll characters!! Cait knows how to manipulate your emotions, all while maintaining her stylistic flair for comedy, making it emotional (and often hilarious) through her dynamic characters. I will definitely be rereading this one soon.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me: twelve drummers drumming
Drum roll please…what is your favorite read of this year?
Normally, this is the question that has me breaking out into a sweat! But in the interest of matching the question to the prompt… how about I list my twelve favorite books of the year, instead?? ???
Other posts you may enjoy…
What were some of your favorite books you read this year? What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!