Top Ten Tuesday | Best Books from 2021

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Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s list features my favorite books from 2021.

According to Goodreads, I read over 130 books in 2021. Narrowing all those books down to just my ten favorite ones was a … challenge, to say the least. Of the ten, six were historical and four contemporary romance. Some were by authors whose books I can’t miss and others were by new or new-to-me authors. All I struggled to put down. For each book, I included a link to my review so you could read exactly what I loved about it.

Do you have a favorite read from 2021? Is it one of these? Tell me in the comments below.

When Twilight Breaks

Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country–or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she’ll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed–and wake up the folks back home.

In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party–to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can’t get off his mind.

This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance

From BookBub

My Review

The Mobster’s Daughter

The one man who could help her, must never know her name.

If Kate Chamberlin can’t reveal her true identity to the world, she must settle for sharing only her talent. Hired as a musician for KDKA radio, Kate plays everything from sponsors’ jingles to complex sonatas. As long as the whispers around the broadcasting room refer to her as “Killjoy Kate” and not “Catarina the crime boss’s daughter,” then her life is safe from danger.

Or so she thinks.

When anonymous, violent threats surface, Kate’s wary of accepting protection from the handsome private investigator, Detective Jennings. His save-the-world attitude is as charming as his manners, but no one, especially him, can know the gruesome realities of her birth.

The 1924 Pittsburgh underworld is as complicated as it is elusive, and though the dealings of the Salvastanos has dwindled, Rhett Jennings is certain the man responsible for his father’s death is still at large. But his personal hunt for justice must be set aside when his day job requires him to investigate threats directed at a young radio broadcaster with enamoring brown eyes and secretive behavior.

When danger surrounds them, will the truth of Kate’s past become the key to their survival?

From BookBub

My Review

All That Really Matters

Molly McKenzie’s bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a shiny monthly paycheck. When her manager-turned-boyfriend tells her of an upcoming audition to host a makeover show for America’s underprivileged youth, all her dreams finally seem to be coming true. There’s just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

To gain an edge on her competitors, she applies to volunteer at a transitional program for aged-out foster kids during summer, only the program’s director, Silas Whittaker, doesn’t find her as charming as her followers do. But since forfeiting a goal has never been her style, Molly’s only option is to accept the terms Silas lays out and submit to his rules–even the most ridiculous ones pertaining to social media.  

Soon as the residents of the home become more than a means to pad her career resume, and Silas becomes more than an obstacle on her path to fame, her once-narrow focus expands to include the deep needs of those she’s serving… and perhaps the ones she’s neglected inside herself as well. It took years to build her platform, but only one summer to discover what really matters most.

From BookBub

My Review

Love and the Silver Lining

This disaster may be just what she needed.

Darcy Malone’s dreams of mission work are dashed on the eve of fulfilling them: The Guatemalan school she was going to teach at has closed, and she’s already quit her job and given up her apartment. Stuck in her worst-case scenario, Darcy accepts an unexpected offer to move in with Bryson Katsaros’s little sister, despite the years of distrust between her and Bryson, the lead singer in her best friend Cameron’s band. But as she meets those close to Bryson, Darcy quickly discovers there is more to him than just his bad-boy persona.Needing to find a purpose for all her sudden free time, Darcy jumps at the chance to care for and train a group of unruly dogs, with the aim of finding each a home before their bereaved owner returns them to animal control. But it’s Darcy herself who will encounter a surprising rescue in the form of love, forgiveness, and learning to let go.

From BookBub

My Review

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint
Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way–conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

From BookBub

My Review

Hers for the Summer

Loving the twins wasn’t part of her plan…

A family for the summer…

Or the beginning of forever?

Eden Page reluctantly agrees to babysit Ryder Fanning’s five-year-old identical twin daughters–but only for the summer. After that, she’s taking charge of her own life, even if it means leaving behind her family ranch that Ryder now owns. But this cowboy, who’s determined never to marry again, could give her everything she wants…including the family and childhood home she loves.

From BookBub

My Review

A Future for His Twins

Will these children get their greatest wish?

A battle over a building could lead to a mother for his twins.

Tomas Santos and Faith Latham both want to rent the same building in town, and neither is willing to give up the fight. But Tomas’s young twins want a new mom–and they’re sure Faith’s the perfect fit. Can these little matchmakers inspire Tomas and Faith to put their differences aside and become a family?

From BookBub

My Review

Of Needles and Haystacks

A young woman inherits a farm she isn’t meant to have and uncovers a secret her neighbor planned to keep forever…

After her parent’s untimely deaths, Dorothy Trafton has nowhere to go but her uncle’s Kentucky farm, a place she’s never visited. Uncertain of her surroundings, grief festers. It doesn’t help that her war-scarred neighbor, James Bleu, knows more about her mother’s secret life–and family–than she does. And why does he lie about his involvement with her father?

When news of her inheritance, the contents of an old trunk, and a disaster upend her life, Dorothy must forge ahead by making a home for herself in a dilapidated cottage–alone. Yet she can’t ignore Mr. Bleu’s change of ways. His kindness runs far deeper than she ever imagined…

From BookBub

My Review

The Gentleman Spy

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for lifeWhen his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

From BookBub

My Review

The Nature of a Lady

Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn’t favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage’s former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished. 

Oliver Tremayne–gentleman and clergyman–is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he’s happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth’s summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it’s the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can’t quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

From BookBub

My Review

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Best Books from 2021

  1. Wow! After reading over 130 books this year – and to be selected as one of your ten favorites – really says something! Congrats to you, Danielle, and congrats to each of these authors! I love to read too, so I sincerely tip my hat to all of you! Thanks for the list of great reads and for the fantastic work – all of you!! Happy New Year!!

  2. I haven’t heard of any of these, but you’ve got my attention now! All That Really Matters and Love and the Silver Lining are going straight on my TBR, the former for a really unique premise and the latter because DOGGIES! Not to mention that I am an immediate sucker for every trope in Of Needles and Haystacks’s summary so I clearly need to read that one too.

  3. So many good ones! Sarah Sundin is one of my go-to authors and When Twilight Breaks did not disappoint. I think it’s my new favorite from her. I just bought The Mobster’s Daughter and seeing it on your list has me even more excited to read it. Great list! 🙂

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