What a year. It’s definitely have its highs and its lows, from some of the most fantastic books I have read, to some of the most awful, and then there are all of those books that fall somewhere in between. I feel like I have read a lot of in between books this year and I fear a lot of the books will be easily forgotten; just obstacles in my way to finding something that would truly capture my attention – for good or ill. So although it has been a disappointing year, lets focus on the positive, and there have been so true highlights this year, books it seemed like I had been waiting for far too long for…and each of them well worth the wait. So, giddy up ladies and gents and take a gander round the best of 2015 with me!
Best New Release: Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
So you may have guessed that I am HUGE riffle-in-their-rubbish fan of the husband-wife writing duo Ilona Andrews, especially their Kate Daniels series. Love. It. The action, the romance, the world, the story, the massive cast of characters; there is literally nothing I don’t like about this series. And so Magic Shifts their 2015 release of the series, continues to add to the adventure and romance as the main story line continues to grow. It was well worth the wait and hands down my favourite new release of 2015.
Best New to Me: Shifters by Rachel Vincent
I started reading this as part of our rollback week, the whole series had been languishing on my book shelf for years doing nothing but collect dust. Wow, that was a mistake, if I had known how good they were I would have read them years ago! If you haven’t read this series and you love UF than you need to pick them up, it’s a great read and not only that ALL the books are out so you can read it from start to finish without having to wait ages to see what happens next.
Best New Series: The Ravenels by Lisa Kleypas
Finally. Lisa Kleypas is back to what she does best; historical romance. Not that I didn’t enjoy her contemporary romances, they were good, but they weren’t a patch on what she can do with a historical. Rewind time and add in some corsets and minus indoor plumbing and Kleypas really shines. And Cold Hearted Rake was the start of what I anticipate to be a fantastic series. Bring on 2016 so I can read the next one!
Favourite Heroine: Cassie Palmer from Reap the Wind by Karen Chance
When I say I feel like I have been waiting years to see Cassie again…I’m not exaggerating. Was she worth the wait? Yes she was, I love seeing her mad dash into danger and her determination to do the right thing. Her bravery and compassion as well as her accidental ass kicking, are some of the many reasons I love Cassie Palmer. Hopefully though, I won’t have to wait that long to see her again!
Favourite Hero: Jack from Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway
Hhmmmmm Jack McCabe. Give me a moment here, I am just getting some good feels, it happens every time I think about Jack from Hearts of Fire some of it is because when I think of him, I think Jason Momoa, and dayum but that man is fine, but mostly it was just Jack. He was all broody and wounded, weird and kinky, big and muscle bound. I;m still seriously considering running off to the circus to have a look for my own Jack.
Best Cover: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
YA always has the best covers! And although I am not a big YA fan, I couldn’t resist the allure of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I mean just look at it! Luckily the inside matched the outside, and I really enjoyed the book, hopefully the next book in the series will be just as lovely, both inside and out.
Biggest Letdown: The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston
So, this one was a hard one for me, I couldn’t decide between putting the worst book I had read this year (Fire Down Below by Debra Anastasia or Becoming a Jett Girl by Meghan March, in case you’re interested!) and any that didn’t quite reach my expectations. I went with the failed expectations option. Now, The Unleashing it wasn’t a bad book; however, it also wasn’t a good one, which SUCKS. Shelly Laurenston used to be a great favourite of mine. I especially loved her book Hunting Season, which she brought out years ago and she has restarted and reimagined in The Unleashing. I was let down, Hunting Season left me desperate for more, I was so disappointed that she chose to stop the series, with The Unleashing the only reason I even remember it is because of my disappointment.
Best Couple: Selena & Trez from The Shadows by J.R. Ward
That’s right Selena and Trez. Best couple this year, hands down. Their love may have been brief, but damn was it intense, in their small amount of time together they managed to pack in a lifetime of emotion and connection. So yeah, I cried like a baby when I was reading this book, it left me emotionally drained and contemplative, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and I think if you ask Trez he wouldn’t have either.
Best Sex Scene: Never Loved by Charlotte Stein
I am changing this around a little, from “Best Sex Scene” to the much simpler “Best Sex”. First, I would like to emphasis that although this book was hot from the moment the hero and heroine laid eyes on each other, even when they weren’t having sex, Never Loved was also just an all round great book. Now, back to the sex. Everything was hot in this book, I swear Charlotte Stein could make old smelly socks sexy, the sexual tension in this was off the charts. Even though the heroine is a virgin and the hero is inexperienced, their awkward, eagerness almost makes the whole thing so much hotter. I swear I need a cold drink of water thinking about this!
Author of the Year: L.H. Cosway
L.H. Cosway is ruining my life. She keeps bringing out all these amazing books, 3 this year alone all of which I’ve loved, and I now live in mortal terror that she will let me down. That one day she will bring out a book that I have to give 2 stars to. My expectations have been raised so high I am afraid of what will happen if I fall, so let that be a warning to you Ms Cosway, my life is in your hand!
Did you check out Annie’s list yet? Click here.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK BACK TOMORROW FOR MORE BEST OF 2015!
ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL TAKE ALL THE FOLLOWING:
SIGNED copy of HUNGRY LIKE A WOLF by Paige Tyler
SIGNED copy of PRIDE AND PLEASURE by Sylvia Day
WHEN DAY BREAKS by Maya Banks
FORGED BY DESIRE by Bec McMaster
IT’S ONLY LOVE by Marie Force
ARC copy of LADY BRIDGET’S DIARY by Maya Rodale
BOUND IN DARKNESS by Jacquelyn Frank
BOUND BY SIN by Jacquelyn Frank
8 BOOKS (2 OF THEM SIGNED)
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?