Best of 2015: Annie’s Picks

Posted December 17, 2015 by Annie in Best Of, Under the Covers / 50 Comments

bestof2015

ANNIE RECOMMENDS

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

take me all the way

Our Review | Amazon

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.

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Best New to Me: My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

my one and only

Our Review | Amazon

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!

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Best New Series: Devil’s Isle series by Chloe Neill and Cold-Hearted Rake series by Lisa Kleypas

theveil

Our Review | Amazon

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.

Cold Hearted Rake

Our Review | Amazon

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!

 

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Favorite Heroine:  Burned by Karen Marie Moning

burned

Our Review | Amazon

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!

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Favorite Hero: Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken

feeltheburn

Our Review | Amazon

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.

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Best Cover: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter

Our Review | Amazon

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.

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Biggest Letdown: Pucked by Helena Hunting

Pucked

Our Review | Amazon

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.

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Best Couple: Dred and Jael from the Dred Chronicles by Ann Aguirre

breakout

Our Review | Amazon

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.

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Best Sex Scene: Unraveled by Lorelei James

unraveled

Our Review | Amazon

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!

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Author of the Year: J.R. Ward

the-shadows BOURBONKINGS Blood Kiss

The Shadows: Our Review | Amazon

The Bourbon Kings: Our Review | Amazon

Blood Kiss: Our Review | Amazon

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.

About J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world. The books in her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the top 5 on the USA Today bestseller list. Prior to her writing career, Ward worked as a lawyer in Boston and spent many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard’s world-renowned academic medical centers. Ward currently lives with her family in Kentucky where she has learned to enjoy and appreciate all things Southern. Connect with her online at www.jrward.com, Facebook.com/JRWardBooks, and Twitter.com/JRWard1.

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Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for more Best of 2015!

12daysofchristmasgiveaway3

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)

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Annie

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m an obsessive makeup junkie and a compulsive reader. I like to call Under the Covers Book Blog my stomping ground, but when I’m not talking about books with my girls, I write New Adult Dystopian and Contemporary Romance under the pen name Ana Jolene (http://www.anajolene.com). I also work as a virtual assistant for authors. You also can find me as a reviewer and columnist for FreshFiction.com.

When it comes to books I’m pretty adventurous. I read everything from Paranormal Romance to Urban Fantasy, New Adult, BDSM, LGBT fiction, Cozy Mysteries and even YA. If it’s got the littlest trace of romance in it, then I’ll probably read it. That being said, my all-time favorite authors are J.R. Ward and Karen Marie Moning.

When I’m not submerged in a good book, you can find me musing about makeup and planners or dreaming about Kpop boys and beaches. Until then, check out my reviews and let’s talk books!
Annie
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Best of 2015: Angela’s Picks – Under the Covers Book BlogIleana A.Diane SallansKateSAnca B. Recent comment authors
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Esther Gerdzen
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Esther Gerdzen

I loved Sloth by Ella James and Tyrant and Bear by T.M, Frazier can’t wait for Soulless 🙂 Thank you for the chance !

Andra
Guest
Andra

Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole, One Cut Deeper by Joely Sue Burkhart, Keeping Secrets by Lisa Eugene, Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas, Pawn by Molly Joseph and Chasing Happy by Rylie Roberts.

Betul E.
Guest
Betul E.

The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar, Reap by Tillie Cole, Sweet Soul by Tillie Cole and Souls Unfractured by TILLIE COLE 😀

Phyllis Lamken
Guest
Phyllis Lamken

Wake of Vultures. Last Time I saw Her, Trailer Park Fae, Vision in Silver, 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, Darkest Park of the Forest

Amanda Sheila
Guest
Amanda Sheila

Sustained by Emma Chase and all Kristen Ashley’s books that came out this year; Hold On, Soaring, Ride Steady and Walk Through Fire! There are so many others actually but for now all I can remember is these books. Haha.

Sue G.
Guest
Sue G.

I loved Roxanne St. Claire’s Barefoot with a Stranger, Vindicate by Beth Yarnall, This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak, Dare to Rock by Carly Phillips, The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries and Dictatorship of the Dress by Jessica Topper.

Kathleen Bylsma
Guest
Kathleen Bylsma

Kristen Ashley’s CHAOS, Gini Koch Alien series, Jessica Lemmon, Linda Lael Miller’s McKettrick’s and so many more….

Lori
Guest
Lori

I have read a lot of historical romances this year. I do read other genres as well but historical has been my go to 🙂

Misty Gee
Guest
Misty Gee

Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken, The Alphas Unwrapped Box Set, Nightwalker by Jacquelyn Frank, and many more.

Amy R
Guest
Amy R

Here are some of what I considered 5-4.5 star books I read this year Ride Steady by KA, The Gamble by KA, Where On Goes by BN Toler, The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan, Rock Chick books 6-8 by KA, Piece of Cale by Mary Calmes, Lonley Hearts by Heidi Cullinan, Heart Shaped Hack by Tracy Garvis Graves, Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torres, Knight by KA, Sweet Dreams, by KA, Kaleidoscope by KA, Beyond Innocence by Kit Rocha, Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones, Elements of Chemistry 1-3 by Penny Reid, Rock Hard by Nalani Signh and Try With… Read more »

Timitra
Guest
Timitra

Burned by Karen Marie Moning, Last Kiss by Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare, The Slayer by Kele Moon…

Jolanda L
Guest
Jolanda L

There are so many but here a few I really really love: Spiral of Need by Suzanne Wright , Claimed by Elle Kennedy and Releasing Rage by Cynthia Sax

Sophia Rose
Guest
Sophia Rose

That’s a powerful good list, Annie!

I haven’t read most on your list, but I recognize them for good ones.

Bube
Guest
Bube

Silver Bastard and Reaper’s Fall by J.Wylde,First Time in Forever and Christmas Ever After by S.Morgan and Truly Sweet by Candis Terry 🙂
Great titles Annie 🙂

Texas Book Lover
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Texas Book Lover

I loved Feel The Burn and Call On Me

Nikki H
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Nikki H

I love these lists! Toni Blake’s is on my TBR, and I’ll be checking out some of your other picks.

Linda
Guest
Linda

My favorite read of this year was Walk through Fire by Kristen Ashley – awesome!!
Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Thursday!
//Linda

Gabrielle
Guest
Gabrielle

Winter’s wolf, Men for hire, Undead and unforgiven just to name a few.

Laura Lovejoy Brunk
Guest
Laura Lovejoy Brunk

Burned by KMM, The Shadows and Bourbon King by Jr Ward, The Queen by Tiffany Reisz, The Mater by Kresley Cole, Dead Ice by Laurell Hamilton for just a few

Toni Blake
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Toni Blake

I’m honored and thrilled for TAKE ME ALL THE WAY to be your top pick for the year!

Under the Covers Book Blog
Admin
Under the Covers Book Blog

I absolutely loved this book! <3

Dawn Roberto
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Dawn Roberto

Love the list. The Shadows by JR Ward and Devoted In Death were just 2 awesome books that I devoured!

Sharyonda
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Sharyonda

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare gave me insight into a character that I grown to like and admire.

Artemis Giote
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Artemis Giote

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry, Corrupt by Penelope Douglas, Confess by Colleen Hoover, King and Tyrant by T.M. Frazier.

heatherzilla
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heatherzilla

Some of my favorites this year are: The Shadows and Blood Kiss by JR Ward, Souls Unfractured and Sweet Hope by Tillie Cole, King and Tyrant by T.M. Frazier, Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre, Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullihan, Level Hands by Amy Jo Cousins, The Deal by Elle Kennedy, Him by Elle Kennedy/Sarina Bowen, Sutphin Boulevard and Sunset Park by Santino Hassel

Trix
Guest
Trix

Aidee Ladnier’s THE KLOCKWERK KRAKEN, and Melanie Ting’s HOCKEY IS MY BOYFRIEND, PART THREE

Joanne B
Guest
Joanne B

The Rock Kiss series by Nalini Singh

Jennifer @ The Book Nympho
Guest
Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

I LOVE Knox!!! I think he’s my favorite in the series so far.

Kim Perry
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Kim Perry

I loved Hero by Samantha Young!

Maria Theresa Santos
Guest
Maria Theresa Santos

The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar

Jennifer S
Guest
Jennifer S

Some of my faves of the year are:
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
The Deal & The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
The Game Plan and The Friend Zone by Kristan Callihan
Last Kiss by Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick
Opening Up by Lauren Dane

I’ve added a couple from your list to check out. Thanks!

Tanja Dancy
Guest
Tanja Dancy

Some of my favorite books of this year are The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries, It’s a Wonderful Wife by Janet Chapman, Wooed by You by Sophia Knightly, and Dante’s Gift by Aubrey Wynne.

Christine Maria Rose
Guest
Christine Maria Rose

Some of my favourite books (I narrowed it down to 15 from 80!) were Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane, The Muse by Anne Calhoun and Living in Secret by Jackie Ashenden. Thanks for a great list! I’m definitely going to check out the Lisa Kleypas and Lorelei James ones.

Kassandra
Guest
Kassandra

Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow was one of my favorites of the year.

Maria Passia
Guest
Maria Passia

Eighteen and Anarchy Found by JA Huss!

Janie McGaugh
Guest
Janie McGaugh

Some of my favorite books this year are: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews, Dead Heat and Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs, Burned by Karen Moning, and Shards of Hope and Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh.

Nihcki
Guest
Nihcki

Yay, 3 autographs? Fingers crossed!

Kalliope D.
Guest
Kalliope D.

Some of my favourites are: ‘Mayhem’ by Jamie Shaw, ‘Lust’ by Mindy Wilde, ‘Chasing the Dragon’ by T.K. Leigh, ‘Priest’ by Sierra Simone, ‘The Dark Ones’ by Rachel Van Dyken and ‘Ripped’ by Cassia Leo.

Diana Doan
Guest
Diana Doan

November 9 by Colleen Hoover!

Emely Bareng Alayo
Guest
Emely Bareng Alayo

My favorite this year is My Beautiful Mistake by Satine Ortega ( published locally only) .

Irma J
Guest
Irma J

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy, everything from Tillie Cole, everything from Penelope Douglas, King / Tyrant / Lawless by TM Frazier,…

lea
Guest
lea

Hero by Samantha Young

EC
Guest
EC

Lynsay Sands’s 2015 historical books. Tessa Dare’s books. And more!

Teja K.
Guest
Teja K.

The Shadows by J.R. Ward, The Deal by Elle Kennedy, Revenant by Larissa Ione…

Elle Magnussen
Guest
Elle Magnussen

Asking for It by Lilah Pace
The Queen by Tiffany Reisz
anything from Alexa Riley

Anca B.
Guest
Anca B.

Burned by Karen Moning, Shards of Hope and Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh.

KateS
Guest
KateS

November 9, Grayson’s Vow, The Air He Breathes

Diane Sallans
Guest
Diane Sallans

the latest JD Robbin Death book, NancyThayer’s ‘The Guest Cottage’

Ileana A.
Guest
Ileana A.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Me before you by Jojo Moyes

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