Monday, December 22, 2014
My top reads for 2014
Listed in no real order these are the books I devoured, recommended and really just stuck with me all year long.
How many of your favorites did I share?
If you haven't 1-clicked any of these and your TBR is looking empty add some of these titles for sure J
Oh and if you are wondering my favorite of my own book I published this year it was Better When He's Bad.
Don't get me wrong, I swooned over Rome. I let Nash break my heart and was happy to fight for Saint, and it's true no guy will ever be as hot as Rowdy St. James. But Bax let me do something different. He let me step out of the box and expand my skills. He let me push New Adult in a different direction and honestly he was just SO MUCH FUN to write. If you haven't read the Point books this is me silently judging you O_0!
The Dusty duology: Innocents and Delinquents
Mary & Sarah Elizabeth: Have you ever read a book that just spoke to you on so many levels it left you dumb and speechless? I sure hope so because that is the ultimate reading experience for any book lover and this set of books knocked me on my ass this year. Ummm…I had no idea it started as fan-fiction and I don't care!! I'm glad I never knew because I don't think I would've given it a shot if I had known. The way it's written is like a love song. It flows effortless and magically. It chronical what it really is like to fall head long into love with the wrong person who also happens to be the only person. These ladies did a fantastic job. This was my top recommended read of the year. I couldn't stop talking about it…still can't.
Thomas was the boy I first loved. Every impossible, painful, glorious bit of him took me back to another time in my life. It was awe inspiring. So yeah…LOVED it and lived it.
Pepper Winters: This is the 1st author I had to contact to tell her how amazing her work was with this book. (both my fan-girly moments this year happened with Australian authors. Good stuff coming from down under I tell ya) I told her when I was done with Fox and Zel I needed therapy and a nap. And that's really how I felt. Pepper does dark in such a uniquely beautiful way. It's like poetry and torture all in one neatly wrapped package. The way her characters bleed and struggle, the way they love literally jumps to life on the page. Sometimes her words are so sharp and clear they feel like they might actually injure you when you're reading and man-oh-man is that talent. My mind doesn't work that way but after reading this ladies truly twisted and fantastic books I kind of wished it did. I envy that kind of head long dive into madness and the surfacing with something so uniquely pointed and bright. By the way Pepper is adorable and really lovely in person.
The Original/Whole New Crowd
Tijan: I demanded Tijan be my book bestie because I just love what she does so much. It made me feel less like I was stalking her. I love her voice. I love the family she builds within her stories. I love the way she strips her characters down and really gives you the bare bones of what makes them tick. I love all the things she does and am never disappointed whether it's a long standing series or a standalone. Her writing feels really free and unforced and I think that's why I enjoy the stories she tells so much. Plus I like the attitude she gives to her female leads. Even when they appear weak they never really are.
Sophie Jordan: No boy in any NA book has rocked my world like Logan did. I adored him. I liked his wild side and his bossy demeanor. This good girl gone bad story is so HOT and still super sweet. Sophie write relatable characters that are all just trying to figure out who they want to be…since that's pretty much what I do to I feel a real kinship with her writing and her characters. Plus LOGAN!!!!! I can't stress that enough.
Wicked and The Return
Jennifer Armentrout: You'll notice these are the only paranormal titles on my list. Why? Because it's not a genre I prefer to read but if Jen writes the words I'm going to read them and more than that I'm going to love them. She's just that good. I've loved Seth since covenant. He is by far one of my all-time favorite secondary characters and I love that now he gets his turn to shine. Plus he's older and wiser, so we get to see him sexier than ever.
Wicked is the perfect mix of New Adult and Paranormal. It will appeal to lovers of both genres. It's a read with lots of laugh out loud moments and some serious heat. Plus I was tickled pink to see some familiar names and characters that are super close to my heart get a mention. Oh and I thought I had the big twist, the big reveal all figured out cause I'm cocky like that but Jen went another way with the story and I was stunned…she can do that. Stun and amaze all in the same book.
Monster in his Eyes & Torture to her Soul
JM Darhower: One word-Naz. This man is the ultimate ain't-hero. I can't get over what an amazing job she did with him. Just when you think there is a line he won't cross, when you are lulled into thinking love has changed him…BOOM! Nope. The guy is a killer straight up and its god damn amazing. I loved Sempre but man Naz totally blew my mind…oh and JM liked the Marked Men so not only is she extremely talented but obviously has great taste in books too ;) We had a mutual fan-girl moment in Vegas. It was dope.
Rival & Falling Away
Penelope Douglas: Umm I forced Pen to be my friend so I could get my hands on these babies early. I AM OBSESSED with this woman's work. I love her characters, their fearlessness, I love the way she writes sex and passion...OMGZ I just love all the things about her and her books and I'm super glad she hasn't taken out a restraining order on me. Pen is guaranteed to never disappoint and I love that you are never exactly sure what this cast of unpredictable characters are going to do until they do it. Her books make me happy and really that's all there is to it.
Forever With Me
Kristen Proby: This book is the sweetest, sexiest, most amazing, and heartfelt way to end this series. K-Pro killed it. Dominic is a stud and this book is full of all the things that made you fall in love with the With Me crew in the first place. It's a fitting and fantastic farewell…sniff
All Broke Down
Cora Carmack: Cora writing a boy with some attitude and some rough edges…yes please! Cora writing that boy with her usual humor and witty dialog and you know you have NA gold. Cora amping up the heat and sexy time and you know this book is going to land on my favorites list. Yes I'm a perv and prefer less pants in all my favorites…sue me!
Colleen Hoover: I've always really like Colleen's writing style. There is something so real and honest about it. Miles and the things he struggles with and even the harsh way he is with Tate feels so authentic to me as both a reader and as an author. It felt like you reach out and touch the pain this man was causing this woman and how helpless he was to stop himself from doing it. Plus this is one of my favorite HEA at the end of a book ever. Big time, sappy, over the top swoon!!! Totally made for the big screen…bring on Nick Batman with very little clothing ;)
Nyrae Dawn: This is the book that solidified that I had to write Lando's story. This is such a beautiful love story between two people that you really don't notice it's about two boys because really it's only about love and the person you're meant to be with. This is a romance for people that really want to read about love and soul mates. This is a book that will touch your heart in so many ways.
Lime Craven: This was a twisty, odd, not sure how I really felt about it book…So since I couldn't decide it stuck with me which meant I really liked it in the end. It made me think! A darker read with a really brutal kind of romance this is for those that love CJ Roberts, Aleatha Roming, CD Reiss, and Pepper Winters. It's not totally black like some of those ladies go but it definitely isn't a fluffy bunny kind of love story either. It'll make your heart pound and the ending will surprise you.
Karina Halle: Okay so Karina is the coolest chick I know and she writes the coolest books on the planet. I'm really lucky she tolerates me fawning all over her because I'm sure it's annoying. This woman follows zero conventions and it makes her writing amazing. I loved Javier when he first made an appearance in Sins and Needles and I knew when it was his turn for his story Karina would kill it. Talk about a bad, bad man…ugh he is so dirty sexy it hurts. I love it when the main characters make it a little hard to like them let alone root for them.
The Alabama Summer Series
J. Daniels: This is a fun contemporary series with really hot dudes and some awesome sexy-time. I really like interconnected stories in the same series like I write and these have been a real treat this year. Fun and easy reads.
Kristen Ashley: We all have that one author that could write a book on the life span of toadstools and we would still buy it and read it because their name is on it. KA is that author for me. I love her words, her storytelling, her pacing, her romance and her sexy time. She is my white whale. The legend I chase in hopes to live up to those standards one day. I read everything she released this year and of course loved it but the reason I picked The Promise was because I felt like I had been waiting for Benny and Frankie's story for a million years and I was happy to finally have it in my hands.
EK Blair: EK's writing is beautiful even when she is trying to cause her readers to have a nervous breakdown. This book breaks…no smashes and tap dances all over what should happen in a traditional romance, or even in a traditional suspense book. It's full of twists and turns and so many, "what did I just read?" moments that it's unreal. It's a shock to the system in such a good way. It feels like fresh air and a slap in the face at the same time.
It Ain't Me Babe
Tillie Cole: As a rule I don't one-click biker books so I'm not really sure how I found this little gem but I am so glad I did. The background for both the leads in this book is just unforgettable and the character development is astounding. There is no skimping on biker culture or the life of the woman spent stuck in the cult. This is good stuff right here, from start to finish it is so much more than a simple hot biker book.
Adriane Leigh: Manwhore, totally screwed up, complex, addict…how can that be sexy? I dunno but Ridge sure is one beautiful, complicated man with a really engaging and engrossing story to tell. I really like this entire series but Ridge and all his fucked-upness is the brother I remember most.
Belle Aurora: Belle is the second author on this list I contacted fan girl flailing over their amazing words. This woman has author balls the size of Texas and I love her for it. That ending! Yes!! All the yes to writing a nontraditional happy ever after and not caving to pressure from EVERYONE to do a sequel…yeah, yeah I know Dirty is coming but like I said AUTHOR BALLS.
Five Ways to Fall
KA Tucker: I am disgustingly envious of the way Kathleen uses words. She's brilliant and her storytelling is sharp and always on point. However the reason I could never get FWTF out of my head was because of Reese. She is without a doubt my favorite heroine of 2014. I loved her fire and her spunk. I felt her confusion and heartache on every page.
Jamie Shaw: This book and the lead boy are why we dream of rock stars. This is a rocker book that rings slightly more true in terms of falling for a band boy than most. Plus it's sweet, light hearted and full of more swoon than sex…oh there is sexy time but for once the rocker has to work a little bit for it.
Annika Martin & Skye Warren: Love that more and more authors are writing really BAD guys are their main leads. Grayson isn't a nice guy…ever but when he softens just a fraction it makes my heart twitch.
The Gentry Boys
Cora Brent: Hot southern triplets with a penchant for finding trouble. Really what more do you need? This is a solid, funny and sexy trilogy that is perfect for any NA lover…which I totally am.
Kimberly Knight : I love that Kimberly was brave enough to write something she struggled with and suffered from into a story. I think it takes guts to really put yourself out there in the world like that. Kimberly is a great friend and a wonderful person. She's had to deal with a lot of crap over the last two years and I think it's admirable instead of wallowing she put it into words.