I had a relatively good reading year. All together, I read about 257 books, and gave plenty of “B/B+” grades, which is great. My reading exists almost exclusively of contemporary and erotic romance at this point, as my list will bear out. I did have one PNR and one historical, but generally speaking, contemporary and erotic romance is what’s in my wheelhouse these days.
Drawn Together by Lauren Dane – I’m a self-professed Lauren Dane fan girl. In fact, four of her books received Recommended Read grades from me in 2013. There is very little she writes that doesn’t work for me. I was really intrigued to see how she would redeem Raven, who was easily the character I liked least in her Brown Family Series. She redeemed her and then some by matching her with a hero who truly dug down to the core of Raven and made the reader understand her motivations and show her softer side. My review can be found here.
Lick by Kylie Scott – You know when you read a book and then you love it so much you have to pimp it to everyone? I loved this book desperately. It starts with a phenomenal hook, and both the hero and heroine are deeply believable and interesting characters. I think that Kylie Scott is one to watch in the future. I predict big things from her. Jane’s review can be found here.
Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh – I think Nalini Singh is the best paranormal romance author writing today. I know that’s a big statement. And given that her release this year in the Psy/Changeling series was a HUGE one for the series, it might be surprising that I’d choose Archangel’s Legion. My reasoning is this, Archangel’s Legion is a game changer for the Guild Hunter world. It’s also the fourth book focusing on Raphael and Elena, which would be tough for most authors to write. But I thought that the action and stakes in this book were so big and so well conceived that it deserves a spot on my Best of list. It’s a book that I read that left me panting for more and one that I’ve reread more than once. Janine’s review can be found here
The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas – A battle of wits between a penniless lady and one of the biggest catches in London, The Luckiest Lady in London is hilarious, romantic, and deeply diverting. Sherry Thomas writes prose that I just want to roll around in. Her characterization, sense of place, and gift of dialogue are absolutely brilliant. Willaful’s review can be found here.
Down London Road by Samantha Young – Samantha Young’s writing just plain works for me. What I really liked about this book is that its heroine, Johanna Walker, is not always likable. She’s busy protecting her young brother from her drunkard of a mother, and she chooses to do it in ways that are not always admirable. She’s blocked off, and unwilling to open up, even to Cam, the hero. It’s the building of trust between the two that makes the book so enjoyable. My review can be found here.
REAL by Katy Evans – This is another book that I could not stop talking about. I read it and loved it and gushed and gushed and gushed about it. I thought that the sexual tension between the hero, Remington Tate and Brooke Dumas was palpable throughout the book, and found the fact that Remy has bipolar disorder to be an interesting way to approach a hero. *After reading REAL, the author and I began a beta-reading relationship, although we did not have one for REAL. My review can be found here.
Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley – Lately, I haven’t had the best time with Kristen Ashley books, but I thought that the first book in her new Chaos series was really well done. It features Tack (from Motorcycle Man)’s daughter, Tabby, as she falls in love with Shy, one of Tack’s brothers in the Chaos motorcycle club. It’s romantic and features all of the things that I really like about Ashley’s writing, and has the added feature of being professionally edited, while preserving her voice, which made me even more enamored of it. Jane’s review can be found here.
Have you read any of my Best of List? If so, do you agree with my assessment? Or disagree? Let me know in the comments.