Monday, December 29, 2014

[Year in Review] Thoughts & Giveaway

2014 is almost over, so I thought it would be fun to do a year-end bookish wrap up.   I read a lot of sexy and intriguing books this past year, and to thank all of our readers, I wanted to do a giveaway of some of my favorite books, maybe not necessarily published in 2014, but books that I have read this year.  Here are my thoughts and opinions on the year that was.  The giveaway is listed at the bottom!  Cheers and wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy 2015!

Best Mind Fuck:  There are two books I read this year that were serious mind fucks and left me with a monster book hangover.  The first, Black Lies, by Alessadra Torre was a deep, dark and mysterious book that kept me guessing .  Black Lies was one of my favorites from 2014 and I vowed after reading it to never miss another book penned by Torre.  But the book that I think had the greatest plot twist was Nocte by Courtney Cole.  Nocte was dark and mysterious, set in the Pacific northwest in a funeral home, complete with sexy-as-sin Dare.  I was left falling off a cliff, and I cannot wait for the second book, Verum, to be published.

Worst Cliff Hanger:  I am not a person to shy away from cliff hangers.  They don't infuriate me as much as they do some people.  I don't mind being left waiting for more.  At least when I know I'm going to get more.  Without a doubt, the worst cliff hanger of the year goes to Belle Aurora's Raw.  I loved every little thing about this book...until the end.  Twitch was a huge heaping of dark and broody alpha male with a dangerous life.  If you are ok with open endings, that I highly, highly recommend this book.  The rest of us will be watching for a sequel.  Aurora's Dirty will take place in the Raw-universe, and although it is rumored that Twitch will be in this book, we can only keep hoping for a continuation of Raw.

Sexiest Bad Boys:  I could go on and on under this heading, but I'm going to try to limit my gushing to the my top favorite bad boys from the past year.  I like my fictional bad boys to be dark, broody, passionate, smart and just a little bit crazy.  Last Light by M. Pierce featured my favorite crazy dirty talker, Matthew Sky.  The Night Owl trilogy is easily one of my favorite stories from the last year or so.  Teresa Mummert's Rellik featured the complicated and multi-dimensional Rellik Bentley, who quickly became one of my favorites from the past year.  Stylo Fantome also appeared on my radar this year for her Kane Trilogy, featuring the rich and dirty Jameson Kane, the devil himself.  I can't rave enough about this erotic series, which culminated with the final book, Reparation.  Anything by C.D. Reiss should be added to this list.  This woman has given the world Jonathan and the bad boy mafia man, Spin.

Favorite Dark Contemporaries:  I can think of two series when I think of one of my favorite genres, dark contemporary.  The first in the amazing beautiful, hard and sexy Irrevocable and Bend Don't Break by Skye Callahan.  Although I didn't review these two books, they were by far two of the most intriguing books of the year.  J.A. Redmerski also has a winner with her In the Company of Killers series, that featured the unbreakable Sarai/Izabel and the incomparable Victor.  The Swan and the Jackal and seeds of Inequity were both released in 2014.    Finally, at the very last second of 2014, I decided to read Twist Me and Keep Me by Anna Zaires.  Whoa!  Why did I wait so long?  Dark, twisty and dangerous, these books pack a punch!  Julian is one of my most favorite dark anti-heroes!

Best angst:  R.J. Lewis' Ignite and Burn just did it for me this year.  Loved, loved, loved this story and can't wait for more from this author.

Book that made me cry:  Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover just about killed me.  I'm not a crier, but there was something about Tate and Miles that gave me the feels.

Favorite UF/Paranormal:  I am going to go with Ilona Andrews' Burn for Me.  It's a hard genre for me to chose from, with strong books from Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, Patricia Briggs' Night Broken and Kim Harrison's The Witch with No Name.  One of my resolutions for 2015 is to get back to my roots and read more in this genre.

Favorite Off-the-Beaten-Path Books:  Daryl Banner's The Beautiful Dead and The Dead of Winter are both under read dystopian, zombie wonders.  The Unfortunates by Skyla Maldi is another book that I loved that hasn't received as much love as I think it should.

Favorite Biker Book:  Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn really struck me this year because of the depth of her characters.  I also loved Holding On by A.C. Bextor.  Both top notch!  

Hottest Novella:  A Consummation by Arden Aoide.  Dark.  Twisted.  Dystopian.  Panty-melting hot.  Yep, this novella is the beginning of the Sins of Lethe series that will be on every erotica readers wish list!  

Quirkiest Book:  Maybe, Maby by one of my favorite authors, Willow Aster, was the quirkiest book of the year.  This book covers hope and loss, overcoming obstacles, trust and love.  All with a little bit of crazy thrown in the mix.

Book I most need to read from 2014:  Insidious by Aleatha Roming.  No doubt, one of the best books that I missed this year.  

Biggest Disapointment:  Don't hate me, but I did not enjoy Up From the Grave by one of my favorite authors, Jeaniene Frost.  Cat and Bones just didn't have "it" in this final installment of this amazing series.  I was also a bit disappointed with S.L. Jennings' Light Shadows.  I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to.

Books I'm most looking forward to in 2015:  Easy (for right now).  Verum by Courtney Cole, Burned by Karen Marie Moning,  My Heart and Soul by Madeline Sheehan, Thicker than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire Riley, Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher and pretty much anything that Stacia Kane publishes.

Author the needs to come out of hiding:  Stacia Kane?  Where are yoooouuuuu????  I need more Chess and Terrible in 2015.  You are my favorite author, and 2014 just wasn't the same without you and your badass Downside Ghosts series.  Please come back to us soooooonnnn!  I might have to start popping cepts if we don't hear from you!

What are your favorite books from this past year?  What didn't I read that I should be reading?  

Giveaway!  All right.  You made it this far, so I am going to let one winner chose any two of the books that I mentioned in this post.  Winner's choice!  Ebook or paperback.  International only if The Book Depository delivers to your country.

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Eva @ All Books Considered said...

2014 -- Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher; All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic; Night Owl/Last Light by M. Pierce

2015 -- Never Never;

Susan T. said...

I hope you didn't miss Bird Box by Josh Malerman because it was awesome and so creepy!

erin said...

The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and the Ilona Andrews series by Ilona Andrews :) Thanks for the fun giveaway!

Natasha Anne said...

Thank you for the giveaway! Interesting list of books, and the covers are just so hauntingly beautiful! (particularly Killing Sarah).

Well I'm a big fan of Cora Carmack so I would recommend reading Inspire by Cora Carmack! You can check out her other works too! :)

Thank you and have a great day!

Natasha @ Dreamland Teenage Fantasy

Alexandra Perchanidou said...

Surely you should read Inspire by Cora Carmack and the Darkest touch by Gena Showalter. For 2015 Nalini Sighn's upcoming books. Thank you for the giveaway!

mai tran said...

I recommend a good novel of 2014: Outline by Rachel Cusk.
What I would not miss in 2015: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

Bube said...

Reapers MC by Joanna Wylde - this series is simply amazing!
Thank you for the great book recommendations :)

Happy New Year,all the best!

karin said...

i'd recommend Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

jmcgaugh said...

My top suggestions for 2014 books you should have read are: Larissa Ione's Revenant; Monica McCarty's The Raider; Lynn Kurland's Dreams of Lilacs; Kresley Cole's Dark Skye; Lara Adrian's Crave the Night; C.L. Wilson's The Winter King; and Ilona Andrews' Magic Breaks. You definitely shouldn't miss Karen Moning's Burned in 2015!

Danielle Romero said...

We better see Twitch in Dirty! I hated being left hanging in RAW!

Laís Roque said...

heir of fire by sarah j maas was the best book of 2014 and i cant wait for her next series A court of thorns and roses in 2015

Carmel B said...

I love your categories! They are way more interesting than the usual top 10 lists, well except for maybe my werewolf one. I just managed to squeeze in a listen of Burn for Me last week, and am so happy that I did because 2014 wouldn't have been complete without it.

Melanie Simmons (mlsimmons) said...

I would recommend The Others series by Anne Bishop. Written in Red and Murder of Crows are the first two books. Visions of Silver comes out in March. I love this series. Completely different from any other UF series that I've ever read.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing your top picks, and for the fun giveaway. :) I'm hosting my own giveaway for book money, as I call it, in case you wish to check it out!


Mary Preston said...

I think you should read THE WINDS OF WINTER by George RR Martin in 2015.

Jess1 said...

So many books to check out. I adore the Kate Daniels series so I will need to check out their other series.

Stephanie Krayeski said...

I loved your categories and selection of books on this page. You gave me some excellent suggestions that I plan to add to my TBR, like your Quirkiest Book - Maybe, Maby; and your Favorite Biker Book - Nine Minutes. This is a fantastic giveaway! Thanks for giving me a chance to win! I don't know all of the books you read last year, but I can certainly recommend some of my favorite books. My 2014 Favorites (In No Specific Order): the Sempre Series by J.M. Darhower (particularly Made: A Sempre Novel), The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon, Black Lies by Alessandra Torre, Transcendence by Shay Savage, Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway, The King Trilogy by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff, Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward, the Reaper's Series by Jo Wylde (paricularly Devil's Game Book #3 and Reaper's Stand Book #4), Deliver by Pam Godwin, the Wrecked and Ruined Series by Aly Martinez (particularly Stolen Course, Book #2), the Vittorio Crime Family Series by Vanessa Waltz (particularly Double Blind, Book #2), Grace Street (Chapter 8, #1) by Ella Dominguez, the Tear Asunder Series by Nashoda Rose, and the TAT: A Rocker Romance Series by Melanie Walker (particularly Forgive Me, Book #2).

Carolina Delgado said...

I think you should read "To the boys I' ve loved before" is a excellente book!! And in 2015 you need read(and me too xD) "Beautiful redemption" I lovee the Maddox's brothers! ♥

sarah said...

I would recommend the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, I read books 1-9 and also agree with another commentator about The Others by Anne Bishop.

Alisha S. said...

I'm going to recommend two authors that I have loved all their books that I have read this year! They are Dannika Dark and Jessica Sorenson. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Jules said...

I recommend Violets and Violence by Morgan Parker and Unexpected Chances by AM Willard (released in 2014) , and for 2015 Three Two One by JA Huss and One Night by AM Willard. You've already discovered Arden Aoide, so I probably don't need to recommend that you read the rest of her Sins of Lethe series.

Steph F. said...

I loved Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells and am most looking forward to Burned by KMM.

Michelle Lee said...

I think you should read any books by Jamie McGuire and not miss out Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher! :) Thank you for this amazing chance!

Olivia-Savannah said...

Nocte is a book I really want to read! It's already on my TBR. I have only heard great things about Colleen Hoover's books but have yet to try any myself. I think Ugly Love is the place for me to start, especially since it will be becoming a movie as well.

gemiinii said...

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan
Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
It Ain't me, babe by Tillie Cole

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