Joanne and I have very different tastes. She likes dark and twisty, and I like hot and happy. You can see my top picks on the bottom right of my blog, so here is Joanne’s top picks for 2015 (so far). These are in no particular order. Links are to to my reviews. ~Ana
Priest: A Love Story by Sierra Simone
There are many rules a priest can’t break. A priest cannot marry. A priest cannot abandon his flock. A priest cannot forsake his God.
I’ve always been good at following rules.
Until she came. Then I learned new rules.
My name is Tyler Anselm Bell. I’m twenty-nine years old. Six months ago, I broke my vow of celibacy on the altar of my own church, and God help me, I would do it again.
I am a priest and this is my confession.
***Priest is a full-length standalone with an HEA. For Mature Audiences Only***
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Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn
This is Book One in a series.
On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida.
From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.
And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life.
So begins a tale of emotional obsession and manipulation, of a young woman ripped from everything she knows and forced to lean on the one person who provides attention, affection and care: her captor. Precocious and intelligent, but still very much a teenager, Ginny struggles to adapt to her existence, initially fighting and then coming to terms with her captivity.
Will she be rescued? Will she escape? Will she get out alive—or get out at all? Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel, filled with mystery, romance and unexpected turns, Nine Minutes takes readers into the world of one motorcycle gang and inside the heart of a young girl, whose abduction brought about its fall.
Purchase Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn at Amazon
Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
In the Bone there is a house.
In the house there is a girl.
In the girl there is a darkness.
Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.
What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one.
But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.
Purchase Marrow by Tarryn Fisher at Amazon
The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar
“Intense, gritty, and full of heart.”
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. They lie. For 21 days she held on. But on Day 22, she would have given anything for the sweet slumber of death. Because on Day 22, she realizes that her only way out means certain death for one of the two men she loves.
A haunting tale of passion, loss, and redemption, The Paper Swan is a darkly intense yet heartwarming love story, textured with grit, intrigue, and suspense.A full-length, standalone novel, intended for mature audiences due to violence, sex and language. Subject matter may be disturbing for some readers. Romantic Suspense. Please note: this is not a love triangle.
Purchase The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar at Amazon
Riot: Mayhem Series #2 by Jamie Shaw
When Dee Dawson meets sexy mohawked guitarist Joel Gibbon, she knows it won’t be long before she has him wrapped around her finger. No guy has ever been able to resist her … but Dee’s met her match in a player like Joel.
Dee’s not the relationship type—not after seeing the pain “love” has caused her friends and family—yet she’s desperate to make Joel want her more than anyone else. He quickly becomes an obsession, and when a reckless attempt to make him jealous ends in disaster, Dee turns into the damsel in distress she never wanted to be. With her carefree world crashing down around her, the last thing she needs is Joel’s pity.
But Joel is suddenly determined to prove he cares, and no matter how hard Dee tries to push him away, he refuses to let her shut him out. Now the girl who swore she’d never say those three little words must choose between guarding her heart and losing Joel forever … or falling head over heels for the tattooed rock star of her dreams.
Purchase Riot by Jamie Shaw at Amazon
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.
Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.
They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.
Purchase Bright Side by Kim Holden at Amazon
The Summer Remains by Seth King
Twenty-four-year-old Summer Johnson knows two things. The first is that due to a quickly worsening medical condition, she faces a risky surgery in three months’ time that may or may not end in her death. The second is that she would like to fall in love before then.
As spring sinks into her namesake season on the Florida coastline, Summer plays the odds and downloads a new dating app – and after one intriguing message from a beautiful surfer named Cooper Nichols, it becomes clear that the story of what may be her last few months under the sun is about to be completely revised. All she has to do now is write something worth reading.
Tender, honest, devastating and triumphant, The Summer Remains explores a very human battle being waged in a very digital age: the search for a love that will outlast this temporary borrowing of bones. In an era when many feel compelled to share and re-share anything about everything, prepare to feel a love so special, you will want to hug it close and make it yours forever.
Purchase The Summer Remains by Seth King at Amazon
Dirty Ties by Pam Godwin
I race to finance it.
I evade to protect it.
I kill to attain it.
I planned everything.
The alluring, curvaceous blonde at the finish line.
With sapphire eyes that cheat and lie.
Whose powerful family murdered mine.
I hate her.
I want her.
I know she’s hiding something.
But so am I.
Purchase Dirty Ties by Pam Godwin at Amazon
The stunning epilogue to the bestselling Submission Series.
Did you want a pat little ending about Jonathan and I riding off into the sunset? Did you want flowers and stars? Man, I wish it was all soft filters and violins. I wish we could fight about who cleaned the bathroom or who was cooking dinner. But I knew I was never destined for simple contentment.
I almost committed murder for him. I almost tore us apart to save him. How do you get back on the horse after that? Because, I promise you, nothing is the same. Nothing.
I’ve earned our happily ever after. Now I have to survive it.
Series Order: Beg: The Submission Series #1 | Tease: Submission Series #2 | Submit: The Submission Series #3 | Control: The Submission Series #4 | Burn: The Submission Series #5 | Resist: The Submission Series #6 | Sing: The Submission Series #7 | Dominance: (Songs of Submission Book 8) | Coda: (The Submission Series #9)
Purchase Coda by CD Reiss at Amazon
You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes
“[A] beautifully crafted thriller that will give you chills.” (People magazine)
From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.
When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.
There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.
As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.
A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.
Purchase You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes at Amazon
Hero by Samantha Young
The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.
Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.
Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.
Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again….
Purchase Hero by Samantha Young at Amazon
Revved (Revved Series Book 1) by Samantha Towle
REVVED is a STANDALONE, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVEL from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of THE MIGHTY STORM.
Race car mechanic Andressa “Andi” Amaro has one rule—no dating drivers. With a good reason behind the rule, she has no plans on breaking it.
Carrick Ryan is the bad boy of Formula One. With a face and body that melts panties on sight, and an Irish lilt that leaves women on their knees, begging for more. He races hard and parties harder. The youngest driver to ever sign with F1, he’s still at the top of his game five years later, breaking hearts on and off the tracks.
When Andi is offered her dream job working in the glamorous world of F1, she leaves her home in Brazil, positive she can handle working for Carrick. But she’s not prepared for the off-the-chart sparks that fly the moment they meet.
Now, Andi has a crush on the one man she can’t have, and her resolve is about to be put to the test, because Carrick has decided he wants Andi, and he plans on testing her to the very limit…
Full length, Standalone, Adult Contemporary Romance.
Purchase Revved by Samantha Towle at Amazon
Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivec
I guess this is it, huh? After fourteen years together, starting a life of our own on this island, five deployments and countless letters I’ve written you through it all, I finally go out to the mailbox and see something I’ve always dreamed of: an envelope with your handwriting on it. For one moment, I actually thought you’d changed your mind, that all the awful things you said to me were just your way of coping after everything you’d been through. I was still here, Fisher. I was still here, holding my breath, waiting for you to come back even though you told me you never would. You always said you’d find your way back to me. Out of all the lies you’ve told me, this one hurts the most. Enclosed you will find the signed divorce papers, as requested.
I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m sorry it wasn’t me.
To get the ending they want, Lucy and Fisher will have to go back to the beginning. Through the good and the bad, they’ll be reminded of why they always made their way back to each other, and why this time, one way or another, it will be the last time.
Series Order: Fisher’s Light | Worth the Trip (A Fisher’s Light Companion Novella)
Purchase Fisher’s Light by Tara Sivec at Amazon
Ugly Love: A Novel by Colleen Hoover
#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
Purchase Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover at Amazon
Love Hurts (Caged Love Book 1) by Mandi Beck
Even when she won’t fight for us, I’ll go to war for her…
Inside the Octagon, I have no fear. I’m at home, in my element, inflicting pain onto men trained to hurt me just as badly. Making them submit, knocking them out, maiming them, because it’s them or me. And I choose them.
Outside the Octagon, my only weakness is a five-foot-two, classy as f*ck woman that I’ve loved for most of my life. She’s the one that brings me to my knees, fills my arms, my heart, and one day soon, my bed. She makes me reckless. Volatile. I drink too much and try too hard to f*ck my way out of feeling—all because of her.
Frankie De Rosa is my girl, my best friend. I haven’t earned her yet, but I won’t stand by and let anyone take her from me. She will be the greatest fight of my life, but she’s worth the battle.
Love hurts, but anything worth having does, right?
I’m Deacon “The Hitman” Love—Welcome to the Cage.
Purchase Love Hurts by Mandi Beck at Amazon
Kyland by Mia Sheridan
A standalone romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Archer’s Voice.
Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk.
Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.
Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.
They’re both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?
Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.
THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY TAURUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Purchase Kyland by Mia Sheridan at Amazon
Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett
17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns.
Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him.
Kate can’t figure out what game Henry is playing with her – for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her?
Kate finally decides to trust Henry’s intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?
Purchase Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett at Amazon
Outlander: A Novel (Outlander, Book 1) by Diana Gabaldon
This eBook includes the full text of the novel plus the following additional content:
• An excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber, the second novel in the Outlander series
• An interview with Diana Gabaldon
• An Outlander reader’s guide
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.
Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
Purchase Outlander by Diana Gabaldon at Amazon
It Ain’t Me, Babe (Hades Hangmen Book 1) by Tillie Cole
Sinning never felt so good…
A fortuitous encounter.
A meeting that should never have happened.
Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…
Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.
Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.
River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.
Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.
Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…
Purchase It Ain’t Me Babe by Tillie Cole at Amazon
A Different Blue by Amy Harmon
Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn’t attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.
This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don’t know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can’t love you back might be impossible.
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Bury Me by Tara Sivec
I hear screams in my head.
I see blood on my hands.
When I look in the mirror I see a stranger.
How is it that I can remember bits and pieces of my life, but nothing of any importance and nothing that makes any sense? Everything is twisted and nothing is right. I’m choking with every breath I take, suffocating on the unknown.
Two days ago, everything changed. Two days ago, the people I should trust the most became strangers in my convoluted head. The dreams I have can’t be real. The fleeting memories that whisper through my mind are scary and wrong…they have to be. If they aren’t, I have something much worse to fear than my fractured mind. I need to find out the truth, even if it destroys me.
I’ve been told my name is Ravenna Duskin. I’m eighteen years old and I live in a prison…
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