UTC’s Best of 2013…So Far!

2013-sofarWe’ve been asked a lot recently what have been our favorite reads of the year so far, so here’s a little list we put together.  It’s never easy to pick favorites because there are so many that would fit, but hopefully you can find something in our lists that will strike your mood and find a new good read.


Best Couple:

Qhuinn & Blay in Lover at Last by JR Ward

After all this time waiting we FINALLY got to read the HEA Qhuinn and Blay deserved, it was a long time coming but worth the wait! With years worth of history, both good and bad and some scorching hot chemistry Qhuinn and Blay made Lover at Last a roller coaster ride of emotion and I lapped up every word!

Best Hero:

Raiden Ulysses Miller from Raid by Kristen Ashley

I couldn’t have Best of.. list without a Kristen Ashley book sneaking in, and Raid managed to melt both my heart and my knickers with his brand of alpha lovin’.

Best Heroine:

Janie Morris from Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance

I loved this book! And one of the best things about it was the heroine, Janie Morris, she was quirky, a bit nerdy and absolutely hilarious.

Best Cover:

Tangled by Emma Chase

Showcase a killer set of abs in a half made bed and you have the perfect cover. Let the drooling commence.

Best New Release:

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

If I am honest this book could fit in to all the above categories (apart from Best Cover!) I loved everything about Magic Rises: Kate, Curran, Kate and Curran, the action packed story, the unexpected twists and turns, I worship at the altar of Team Andrews greatness.

Best Book Surprise:

The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie

I didn’t have many expectations of this book, for the shallowest of reasons; the cheesy book cover. But when I cracked it open I loved every page, it was funny, romantic book with a lot of heart and bad cover or not, I am eagerly waiting the next in the series.


Best Couple:

Ella and Micha from Jessica Sorensen’s The Secret series

Ella and Micha are like two jagged pieces. You fit them together and they become whole. One cannot exist without the other and that’s why I think they deserve the Best Couple spot!

Best Hero:

Tate from Kristen Ashley’s Sweet Dreams

Hawk. Tack. Creed. KA is known for her delicious alpha male heroes but good Lord, I wasn’t ready for Tatum Jackson! I absolutely withered with every growly, sexy remark he made. KA keeps Tate unapologetic about everything and that includes the sex scenes! This book left me achy and wanting my own Tate!

Best Heroine:

Lex from Kit Rocha’s Beyond Control

Lex says screw that to being prim and proper, she likes it dirty, raunchy and a little messy!

Best Cover:

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

It’s the kissing in the rain that gets me. It’s different than what I usually like. Not a lot of nakedness but there’s something about the intimacy that I think is nicely captured in this cover that draws me back again and again.

Best New Release:

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

There was a lot of hype concerning this book. A lot of mystery too. This could have gone totally wrong and swirled out of control to crash and burn. But Singh really stepped up her game with this one. She absolutely killed this book, creating an epic hero while raising the stakes like never before in this series.

Best Book Surprise:

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless wasn’t the first NA book I’ve read, but it was one of the earlier ones. I expected angst and a sweet story about first love, but I couldn’t have anticipated the twist that this book took towards the end. It blew my mind and also stabbed me right in the heart. I cried like a bitch while reading this and had that achy chest the next day because of sobbing so hard. This book had the most original plot I’ve seen in a long time.


Best Hero and Couple

Vlad and Leila from Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost.

I’m just going to quote Ilona Andrews on this one. “There are many Draculas but there is only one Vlad…”~Author Ilona Andrews. It just says it all.

Best Heroine:

Celia from A Cursed Embrace (Weird Girls, #2) by Cecy Robson.

This girl is powerful physically, magically and emotionally. You won’t want to mess with her or her sisters. In addition, she has a hot shifter and powerful vampire fighting for her love.

Best Cover:

Caged Warrior by Lindsey Piper

The cover model just speaks volume of a powerful hero and well, he’s sexy as hell!

Best Book Surprise:

Breath of Fire by Lilliana Hart.

Honestly, the book cover didn’t catch my attention at all. But the storyline did in a big way. Ms. Heart’s Dragon world are full of power hungry dragons, it’s action packed and filled with political/family drama. This book rocked!

Best Overall Book:

The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle

This is one of my first best read of this year but It was released late last year. A quote from my review. “The Mighty Storm (TMS) is exhilarating, romantic and sexy.  My heart broke a few times but in the end, it left me satisfied, relieved and very in love.  TMS is without a doubt one of my top picks of the year”


Best Couple:

Blay and Qhuinn from LOVER AT LAST by J.R. Ward.

I’ve loved these two too much not to make them special.  I immersed myself in the story, angst an all, and gobbled up all of it.  I was a sucker for more at the end.  I never wanted their book to end.  I could read about those warriors forever!

Best Hero:

Dean Holder from HOPELESS by Colleen Hoover.

I picked this book on a whim.  It was my first read by Colleen Hoover and I was completely blown away.  Dean Holder, even though young, is the type of hero that will make you want to melt in a puddle at his feet and beg him to take you home.  He’s sexy, caring, with a heart of gold, a bit broken, a bit bad boy, totally drool-worthy.

Best Heroine:

Charley Davidson from FIFTH GRAVE PAST THE LIGHT.

I have to envy this bitch.  She has Reyes.  Once I get over that, this year she found her balls again.  She’s back kicking ass and being extra funny.  I had a great time reading the latest installment in the series and a lot of that was because I liked Charley again.  Did I mention that Reyes can cook?

Best Cover:

SINS AND NEEDLES by Karina Halle

This cover was actually what grabbed my attention.  It’s different, it stands out from the crowd and it represents the story very well.  It prepares you for a not so nice ride down the lives of Camden, Javier and Ellie.  And, yes, I’m surprised myself I didn’t pick a hot guy cover.

Best New Release:

HEART OF OBSIDIAN by Nalini Singh.

Wow just wow.  I really have no words to express the amazeballs of this book.  It had me from the very first page.  When a book is this anticipated I get nervous, because I’ve built up the story in my mind to what I think it should be so much that I’m scared to be disappointed.  And even though HEART OF OBSIDIAN was not at all what I expected, except for the hero, I lived, breathed and loved every second of it.  It had me on an emotional high and intense rollercoaster.

Best Book Surprise:


I saw that Roni Loren had read and liked this book.  I read the blurb and thought well why the hell not, lets give it a shot.  I was NOT expecting to love a book about a hero that dresses up as a woman and has its own drag show.  But I did.  I loved it.  I became an instant fan of L.H. Cosway!  This book is funny but deep.  There’s emotional issues both characters have to address.  The hero and heroine are amazing characters individually and together they make the perfect couple.  And not to mention that the hero is just sexy as hell.  Yes I want him!  There, I said it.

Best Overall Book:

WICKED AS SHE WANTS by Delilah S. Dawson.

She makes my countdown two years in a row!  This book had it all.  See all the above categories and this book would fit.  A great couple, a droolworthy hero that makes you swoon, a kick ass heroine, an intriguing cover, it was one of my favorite new releases and it was also a surprise to see how the author was going to turn around Casper’s character and make me like him.  Well I don’t have a lot more to say than job well done Ms. Dawson.  This is not only one of my favorite books but one of my favorite series.  It’s never boring, it’s sexy, it keeps me on my toes and begging for more.  Pretty please with bludbunnies on top?

Now is your turn.
What are some of your favorite books of 2013 so far?

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It was really hard to make choice, but here are my favorites.

Best Couple: Qhuinn & Blay in Lover at Last by JR Ward
Best Hero: Kaleb in Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Best Heroine: Charley Davidson by Darynda Jones
Best Cover: White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland
Best New Release: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Best Book Surprise: Night Blade by J.C. Daniels
Best Overall Book: The Prince by Tiffany Reisz


You know so many of the Hyped books so far this year have been a bit disappointing (Blay & Quinn). I’ve bought a few on your list but haven’t started the series to read them yet (Singh & Ilona’s) but here’s my list… Some of my favorites so far have been: The Bridegroom Wore Plain by Grace Burrowes If He’s Tempted by Hannah Howell Lord’s Fall by Thea Harrison Jennifer Lyon’s Plus-One Chronicles: The Proposition & Possession The MacKenzie Family Christmas by Jennifer Ashley was a great Novella Undeniable #3 Unlikely Lovers by Cheryl Brooks To Wed a Wicked Highlander… Read more »


*The Bridegroom Wore Plaid is now free on most outlets by the way so no risk!
Oh and I forgot Samanthe Beck’s Private Practice. Tyler is my 2013 Book Boyfriend.


Some of my fave books so far this year are Beyond Control by Kit Rocha, Tessa Bailey’s Line of Duty series, Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series books 2-4 haven’t read the fifth one yet…

trish dechant

OMG, Francesca…our tastes for this is very similar.
Here is my list:

Best Couple: Quinn and Blay ~ Lover At Last
Best Hero : Rhyoden ~ Iced by KMM
Best Heroine: Charlie Davidson
Best Cover: Painted Faces by LH Cosway
Best New Release: Fifth Grave Past The Light by Darynda Jones
Best Book Surprise: Painted Faces by LH Cosway
Best Overall Book: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

I had a lot of books in the Book Surprise category…that was a toughie 🙂

[…] year of reading at UTC.  Halfway through the year we countdown the best of the year so far, you can check that out here.  Now it’s time to unveil the books that made their […]