Wow! I can’t believe that another year has come to an end. This year I read about 50 books less than I usually do, topping everything off at 260 books or so. But actually only about 30 or so books stay in my mind as some of my favourites this year. These are the books I’ve used to compile my Best Of list. Hopefully some of them are your favourites as well.
Best New Release: Take Me All the Way by Toni Blake
I’ve been a fan of Toni Blake’s for many years but it’s books like these that I cannot resist. When I read ONE RECKLESS SUMMER for the first time years ago, the conflict of the story struck a chord with me. It wasn’t something that could be easily solved. I felt that Blake accomplished the same thing with this book. What she does with these characters truly made for a unique read. She delves deeper than your typical Contemporary Romance conflict and gives readers something to really think about.
Best New to Me: My One and Only by Kristan Higgins
This book completely took my by surprise. I read it because I was interested in a fun road trip story but this book quickly became more than that. Higgins’ humor is a major part of this book, but I was totally blindsided by the emotional aspect of this book as well. This second chance story tore me apart: I cried and I laughed. It’s truly not one to miss!
Best New Series: Devil’s Isle series by Chloe Neill and Cold-Hearted Rake series by Lisa Kleypas
I’ve enjoyed Neill’s books in the past but once Liam Quinn walked onto the page, well, I knew I was a goner. There was something so interesting about sexy about this world. With everything so unknown at this point, I am definitely looking forward to see what Chloe Neill has planned next in the Devil’s Isle series.
Well, this comes as no surprise, does it? You know how big of a Kleypas fan I am, especially when it comes to her Historical Romance. I was thrilled when she decided to return to the world she excels in and gave readers a new set of characters to fall in love with. In just one book, Kleypas has me hooked and I cannot waited to see the rest of this lovely cast have their HEA!
Favorite Heroine: Burned by Karen Marie Moning
No surprise again here. KMM’s books seem to be a constant presence in my top favorites of the year. And with good reason! In this book, KMM made a tough decision that no doubt shocked her readers, making them wonder if they should’ve complained about Dani in the first place. I adore how fearlessly this woman writes. You just never know what she’s going to do next! All I know is that I’ll be there every step of the way, oohing and ahhing over what KMM does next!
Favorite Hero: Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken
Only a handful of heroes caught my attention this year, but I think Gaius is one of the more unique ones. He’s King for one but I also loved how easy-going he is. There are two types of heroes that I usually go for – the dark, mysterious ones and the fun-loving, charming ones. Gaius fits the latter and he certainly made an impression even if the romance wasn’t the core source of the story.
Best Cover: Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles can also be slotted under Best New-To-Me-Book because I only read the series this year. But seeing WINTER’S gorgeous cover made me want to read it all the more. All the stories are based on well-known fairy tales but with a sci fi twist. I absolutely fell hard for this series and found myself quickly becoming obsessed. I LOVED the characters and the world. If there’s one series you try next year, it should be this one.
Biggest Letdown: Pucked by Helena Hunting
Hunting was an author that I kept an eye out for because I enjoyed her NA series. I’m also a big believer in supporting Canadian authors however this book just didn’t follow the same pattern as her other books. In fact, it seemed like a totally different author wrote it. PUCKED takes more of a humorous approach but I didn’t find any of it funny or charming. As you know, I’m not prude but the dick jokes just weren’t tasteful at all. Unfortunately, I won’t be reading more of this series or this author.
Best Couple: Dred and Jael from the Dred Chronicles by Ann Aguirre
Even if you aren’t a big fan of Science Fiction, this is a series that you need to check out. There’s something so alluring about this alternate world. But in addition to that, the characters are multi-faceted as well. I got so lost in Aguirre’s writing. She really knows how to write harrowing stories that also manage to inspire.
Best Sex Scene: Unraveled by Lorelei James
If you like a submissive hero, then you’ll definitely like Knox. I know this may have not been as much of a popular one with readers because the other heroes have all been the dominant ones, but I loved this switch up and well, you know I love me a man who can submit! And Knox does it beautifully!
Author of the Year: J.R. Ward
With the epic release of THE SHADOWS, which devastated a lot of readers, Ward certainly has made a strong statement with each of her books that she has released this year. In addition to the latest Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Ward also returned to writing Contemporary Romance with the first book in the Bourbon Kings series. And then, to the delight of BDB fans, she has returned to the training center to write about some new recruits with BLOOD KISS, the first book in the new Black Dagger Legacy series. No matter what genre she writes in, Ward brings her own flair to her writing and that to me, is a mark of a truly fantastic author.
Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for more Best of 2015!
One lucky winner will take ALL the following:
SIGNED copy of AT HIS SERVICE by Suzanne Rock
SIGNED copy of MIDNIGHT SINS by Cynthia Eden
SIGNED copy of IN THE AIR TONIGHT by Lori Handeland
ARC copy of SMOKE ON THE WATER by Lori Handeland
SWEET ACHE by K. Bromberg
IT’S A WONDERFUL WIFE by Janet Chapman
SIREN’S CALL by Jayne Castle
ARC copy of THE CLOSER YOU COME by Gena Showalter
8 books (3 of them signed)