Books of the Month December 2023
With the excitement of a new year looming, many of our readers used December to catch up on some great books. From romance and adventure to thrillers and fantasy, there was no shortage of books to get lost in during December. Here are the best books of the month for December 2023, as chosen by our readers.
By Krystal Shannan
Can't Get You off My Mind by Krystal Shannan is the first book in the Bad Boys, Billionaires & Bachelors series. This hot romantic comedy sees the Stinson brothers in a predicament when their grandfather dies. His last wish was for his grandsons to run the family's multibillion-dollar business, but on the condition that they must get married and have a baby first. The oldest brother, Roark Stinson, knows he will be out of luck unless he follows the rules, but he also refuses to give in to his grandfather's manipulations. To Roark, women are the root of all evil, so he devises a plan to get around the rule. All he needs is a warm body to agree to the terms, which is how he ropes in Zoe Morgan. Although she's not too keen to be anyone's "means to an end," his proposal is one she can't refuse.
Best Action & Adventure
By Ron Schwab
Bushwa is a Western novel by Ron Schwab set in the rugged expanse of the Mexico Territory in 1862. It is a tale of Obadiah "Bushwa" Sparsk and Win Evans, two unlikely friends who emerge from the chaos of the Civil War. While Bushwa is a banjo-playing scalwag, Win is an earnest Iowa farmboy. After parting ways, Bushwa finds himself navigating survival among the Apache while Win becomes entangled in a web of espionage and romance. However, their paths cross again in this tale of adventure, humor, and intrigue.
Best Mystery & Thriller
By R. L. Syme
Penance on the Prairies is the first book in The Vangie Vale Mysteries series by R. L. Syme. Vangie Vale is a part-time baker and part-time pastor who finds her new business linked to a murder investigation. While the gossip mill tries to connect her to the dead body, Vangie sets out to find the real murderer and clear her good name. However, her efforts to keep her face off the front page cause her to cross paths with the Sheriff. There's also the small matter that one of her macarons was involved in a murder.
Best Children's Book
By Di Jiao
Nini and the Lost Panda is a children's fantasy adventure starring a little girl who loves animals. Nini happily lives with her mom and dad in a pretty village next to a big forest. While Nina is playing with her friends Ben, George, and Anne, one day, they discover a baby panda named Blackie, and their adventure begins. Nini and the Lost Panda not only features a wholesome story but is also filled with beautiful illustrations that will captivate children.
Best Young Adult
By J. S. Lome
Mutinous Miles and the Deathly Tunnels Part One is the first book in the Mutinous Miles series by J. S. Lome. The story follows the adventures of James Williams, who dreams about becoming a legendary pirate called Mutinous Miles. This dream comes true after James touches an enchanted map and finds a place South of Antarctica where he can join kids in a famous treasure-hunting competition called Bluebeards's Gauntlet. However, first, he will have to survive a pirate's trial and perform three mutinous acts on a booby-trapped island.
By Kay L. Moody
Nutcracker of Crystalfall by Kay L. Moody is a standalone novella that takes place before the events of her Fae and the Crystal Thorn series. It is the story of Clara, a young woman who is wickedly good at puzzles but finds herself having to make the choice of a lifetime at an annual Christmas party. First, she meets a mysterious stranger at the party, and then a troll appears who tries to kill the handsome stranger. Clara is left having to choose between escaping her unloving parents and joining a conflict in the magical and dangerous realm of Faerie or staying home while accepting that her happiness will end forever. Going to Faerie means embarking on a great adventure, but it comes with the risk that she can die in the process.
Best Historical Fiction
By P. Creeden
Cecil's Christmas Mail Order Bride by P. Creeden is set in December 1887. Gwendolyn Wright is a mail-order bride and nurse who steps off the stagecoach in Idaho Springs, expecting a new beginning as the wife of a handsome young doctor named Cecil Cody. Unfortunately, the doctor appears to be oblivious to this matrimonial arrangement. As Gwendolyn sets out to bring holiday spirit and health to the sick townspeople, she discovers even more trouble and tidings in the untamed town. However, Gwendolyn and Cecil make a great team as they help the town get through an influenza outbreak over Christmas.
Best Science Fiction
By Anthony W. Eichenlaub
Grandfather Anonymous is the first novel in the Old Code series by Anthony W. Eichenlaub. The protagonist, Ajay Anderson, was the best hacker the NSA has ever hired. His skill enabled him to sink corporations, topple governments, and broke cryptography. Although Ajay is retired, he is determined to protect his family when his granddaughters are threatened. However, while retirement hasn't slowed him down, he discovers the shadows of his own dangerous past while digging for answers.
By Amanda Lynn Petrin
Prophecy is the first book in the Giftedverse series by Amanda Lynn Petrin. The lead character, Lucy Owens, is eager to start college and get away from the people who have been calling her weird since grade school. Unfortunately, she finds herself forced into hiding by hiding and drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse against an army of people with supernatural abilities. These Gifted can't die until their purpose is achieved, but fortunately, Lucy's two mysterious family friends are also Gifted. While they claim that their purpose is to protect her line, Lucy begins to wonder if their true purpose isn't to stop the man who's after her.
By Angelo Valenti
You're Making This Way Too Hard by Dr. Angelo Valenti is a book about helping people stop fighting the systems designed for them to fail. Instead, they can live a more vibrant, successful, and enjoyable life by realizing that every problem has a solution. With the help of this book, readers can find a way toward a life of fulfillment, purpose, and joy instead of worrying about keeping up with the Joneses or winning the rat race.