Since I hit 13,000 likes on Facebook, I was planning on giving away a Kindle Paperwhite with my top 13 reads of the first third of 2014. But I must say….narrowing it down was hard, so I had to add a bonus 4.
1.The Will (The Magdalene Series) by Kristen Ashley
Hands down, my favorite of the year. I absolutely loved this book!
“It’s never too late to reach for happiness and no matter what life has done to you, it’s never too late to find it.”
It’s no secret that I love Kristen’s books. In fact, she has her own rating system in my head. They are almost all five star reads, so I have to start comparing them to each other instead of to other books. The Will is one of my highest rated, and may be my favorite book ever from her. In fact, I can safely say, this is one of my favorite books EVER. Nobody can write alpha male romance like Kristen Ashley. And the way she writes kids is just amazing. So many of the books we read are ABOUT kids (or at least kids to me), so reading a book about forty-somethings and their kids is a refreshing change.
Pick up The Will. You will laugh, you will cry, you will swoon, you will smile, you will get turned on, you will get angry, you will cry happy tears, and in the end, you will hug your e-reader.
Purchase The Will by Kristen Ashley
2.Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
“I didn’t know enough to dream you, Bree, but somehow you came true anyway.”
I absolutely LOVED the “Awkward boy. Sweet, silent Archer Hale.” Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan had me spellbound. It was was beautifully touching, unique, and had an underlying message. Everyone needs friends. Everyone needs love. Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone who may be a bit different than you. I eagerly look forward to reading so much more from Mia Sheridan.
“What’s on your happy list?”
Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan is at the top of my happy list.
Purchase Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
3. Passion and Ponies (Chocoholics #2) by Tara Sivec
“You drive me crazy, but I have more fun fighting with you than I’ve ever had getting along with anyone else…”
Passion and Ponies is the second in The Chocoholics Series, the next generation of Chocolate Lovers. You will not really understand the significance of a lot of the book if you don’t read the previous books, but you will still love it. In fact, this may be my favorite of all, because not only was it laugh out loud funny, it was sweet and sensitive too…I guess that’s the Brony influence. What is a brony you ask? It’s an adult male who watches My Little Pony a bit obsessively.
“I JUST SAW A GAY PENIS! MAKE IT GO AWAY, MAKE IT GO AWAY!”…
“Honey, my penis is the same as yours.”
“FALSE! My penis prefers the pink and yours likes the stink.”
I was a bit concerned at first that Tara may not be able to keep up the level of humor from the other books without going overboard, but I must say, she just keeps getting better. Passion and Ponies turned out to be my favorite, or tied with Seduction and Snacks. It was a perfect blend of funny, stupid, silly, sexy, heartwarming, angsty, and just plain lovable.
Purchase Passion and Ponies by Tara Sivec
4. Frenched by Melanie Harlow
I friggen’ LOVED Frenched by Melanie Harlow! It was the perfect happy, fun, very hot, vacation feel-good read. I was headed away on a trip, and I was looking for a fun, happy read. Frenched was everything I love in a book, the perfect romantic escape–right up my alley.
“Listen. I don’t know what kind of assholes you’ve been with before, but I promise you, your orgasm will not only make an appearance tonight, it will be the star of the show.”
Frenched by Melanie Harlow is definitely one of my favorite books this year so far. It made me happy to read, it made Mr. Ana happy that I was reading it, it made me laugh, cry, swoon, get all teary, get horny as hell, and had me smiling throughout. There was a little angst, but not much. Frenched was just an all around feel-good book. I totally recommend you take a Paris vacation with Mia and Lucas in Frenched.
Purchase Frenched by Melanie Harlow
5. Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain) by Kristen Ashley
“You piss me off. You make me laugh. You make me think. You’re absolutely fine with me being nothin’ but me. You’re fuckin’ gorgeous. You’re a great lay. And you like my dog.”
Kaleidoscope is the 6th in the Colorado Mountain Series by Kristen Ashley. Though it can easily stand alone, I highly recommend the whole series, it’s one of my favorites. When I finished Kaleidoscope, I hugged my kindle, and thought “she’s back.” Since Kristen has gone the traditional publishing route, though I still loved her books, I felt like they had lost a bit of the magic. I think the magic is back in Kaleidoscope, though this was a bit more subtle than some of her other books. The magic returned even more in The Will.
As usual, this Kristen Ashley book was filled with amazing friends and family. And when he calls Lee Nightingale, and Hector shows up…I think I peed myself a little. I love how Kristen crosses her characters. Fortnums was even in this book! Though Kaleidoscope was a little slower in pace, and not quite as funny as some of the other Kristen Ashley books, I felt it was smarter. And I loved it. The magic is back.
Purchase Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley
6. Uncaged (Corps Security, Book 3.5) by Harper Sloan
Wow. Wowowowowowow. I just didn’t expect that! Going in, I thought Uncaged by Harper Sloan was a sweet, quick epilogue to Cage. While reading, I was crying and laughing at the same time thinking how much I loved the sweet epilogue. I didn’t have my reading progress turned on to know I had so much more to go. SO. MUCH. MORE. and I mean that in two ways. It was a full story itself, so it was more than the short, sweet epilogue I thought it was. And it brought all the feels. ALL OF THEM.
“There isn’t a damn thing in this world that can keep us from our happily ever after,” he vows before kissing me sweetly. “Sleep, Beauty.”
Harper totally hit it out of the park with Uncaged. Even though it was a novella, it was a very full story. We already know the characters, since this book doesn’t stand alone, so there was no wasting of pages. The whole book was chock-full of wonderful story, emotion, love, heartbreak, fear, sex, humor and everything else you could want in a book. Uncaged is up there with my favorite books of the year so far, and the whole Corps Security Series is a must read.
“Does my woman want my dick? Huh? Do you want me to take it slow, letting each one of my piercings rub against you, rub inside of that wet pussy until it hits that spot that always makes you fly through the roof?”
Cage would also be on this list, but it published in December.
Purchase Uncaged by Harper Sloan
7. Lovely Trigger (Tristan & Danika #3) by RK Lilley
“ Some of the sweetest moments in life come from second chances.”
R.K. Lilley has always been one of my favorite authors with her Up In The Air Series, but The Tristan and Danika Series takes my love to a whole new level. All three books in this series are 5 star reads. If you have not read the first two in the series, Bad Things and Rock Bottom, please do not read on. Lovely Trigger does not stand alone. This series does, however, cross with the Up In The Air Series. The first two books occur before In Flight, and Lovely Trigger occurs after Grounded. I fell in love with Tristan in the Up In The Air Books, in fact, he was one of my biggest book crushes ever, made even bigger in Bad Things. But Rock Bottom GUTTED me.
“Love doesn’t let you walk away clean. Love is messy…. Love takes a fucking piece of you before it’s done.”
I laughed, I cried (good and bad tears), I jumped my husband, and I fell in love with the ‘new’ Tristan and Danika. This series makes you fall in love, then breaks you, then puts you back together in a different way, but a way that is stronger than ever.
Purchase Lovely Trigger by R.K. Lilley
8. Alpha by Jasinda Wilder (#1 for HEAT!)
Holy Hotness! We all know Jasinda can write hot, but she takes it a step up in Alpha. I was on the edge of combustion the entire book. Sexy and thrilling, I couldn’t look away unless it was for a sex break. Jasinda had a full on mystery amongst the sex, and you just had to keep reading to figure it all out. What an addictive read!
“Who–who are you? Why am I here?”
“You don’t need my name just yet. As far as why you’re here?” His voice lowered, became hushed, a growling murmur that made my stomach clench.
“You’re here because I own you, Kyrie.”
“What – what are you going to do to me?” I hated how weak, how afraid I sounded.
“Everything.” His voice was thick with promise. “But nothing you won’t enjoy.”
Jasinda kept you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out the whole story while telling the hottest story I think I read this year. Jasinda was always great at the lovemaking scenes, but we get diiirrrtty in Alpha. And you won’t hear me complain.
Purchase Alpha by Jasinda Wilder
Amazon (all) | BN.com | iTunes
9. Reaper’s Legacy (Reapers Motorcycle Club) by Joanna Wylde
Reaper’s Legacy by Joanna Wylde is the second in the Reaper’s Motorcycle Club series. The first, Reaper’s Property was a book I LOVED, and who wouldn’t with a guy named Horse for obvious reasons? But Reaper’s Legacy is even more. More what you ask? More everything! More real, more sexy, more fun, and more addicting.
If you loved Horse, wait until you meet Ruger (but don’t worry, you’ll see Horse again).
“Jesus you piss me off.” he murmered. “Good thing your cunt’s so fucking hot.”
“Don’t call it that.”
His lip twitched. “Good thing your vaginas so gosh darned hot, because I really, really want to stick my penis in it and have repeated sexual intercourse, bringing us to a mutually satisfactory culmination of our desires. How’s that sound?”
The Reaper’s MC series by Joanna Wylde is up there in my favorite series now. Jo knows how to balance great characters, a realistic, gritty storyline, hot as hell men & women and an exciting storyline with the perfect amount of romance and tenderness to fall for the guy but never have him look like a pussy. I read Reaper’s Legacy in one eager sitting, then when reviewing my notes to review it, read it straight through again. And I plan on indulging again before Devils Game comes out in June.
Purchase Reaper’s Legacy (Reaper’s MC #2) by Joanna Wylde
10. Shame On You (Fool Me Once) by Tara Sivec
Shame on You is a fast, fun, laugh out loud, sexy book! It’s perfect for a quick read between those angstier mind-fuck or rip-your-heart out books. It’s not over-the-top funny, so I didn’t need to wear a pad, but I should have known better to drink and read. I have water marks all over the book from spitting out my water.
“Whoever this guy is, he has an amazing ass. I watch as he reaches up and slides his helmet off and I take note of the way his shirt stretches across the muscles of his back.
I need to get laid. I really, really need to get laid. I’m standing on a front porch of a bail jumper’s house panting like a dog.
I don’t need the help, but at least he’ll be pretty to look at. And maybe if he’s lucky, I’ll throw him a bone. Or he can throw me his bone.”
Shame on You by Tara Sivec combined all of the things I love in a book. It was sexy, funny, swoony, had a great group of friends, awesome family and was a perfect happy escape. If I compare it to a 300 page book, I may hesitate on the 5 stars, but for a quick, fun read anyone can read in a day or two, it was just perfect.
Purchase Shame on You (Fool Me Once #1)
Amazon (all countries)
11. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by C.C. Wood
I could not wait for Once Bitten, Twice Shy. COULD. NOT. WAIT. The Bitten series by C.C. Wood is paranormal light. In other words, even if you don’t think you like paranormal, this series may have just the right amount of ‘different’ without being ‘too different’. I really loved Bite Me, the first in the series. It was great combination of funny, sexy and exciting. (See my review.) Once Bitten, Twice Shy steps it up on all fronts. It’s WAY hotter, still funny, and has even more action. It’s a quick read, and a nice change of pace from the same old story I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of lately.
“Watch it, Ivie. Don’t push me too far.”
I shivered at the dark promise of his words. Somehow, I had the feeling that too far would be just far enough for me to skate the thin edge of pleasure and pain in the most delicious way possible.
Ivie was a reader, and she loved her BDSM themed books, but the idea of really trying it all, and the nearness of Lex had her libido working overtime. So much so, that even in sleep her body called out to Lex.
When she finally gives in to Lex…holy fuck. Hello hot, kinky, BDSM light sex. Damn, I’d like a trip down to Lex’s dungeon.
I really loved this book. My only issue with it is that I wanted more. It read a bit more like a novella. It almost felt like a Kristen Ashley meets Jeaniene Frost novella. Since those are two of my favorite authors, that is a huge compliment.
Purchase Once Bitten Twice Shy by CC Wood
12. The Replacement by Rachael Wade
The Replacement by Rachael Wade is everything I normally don’t like in a book. I usually need to like my heroine to enjoy the book, and cheating and lying are two of my biggest turn-offs. Yet I loved The Replacement. I rooted for Elise. I needed to see her change. To get past who she thought she was, and become who she was meant to be. But first, she had to be her own something.
“That’s all you are, you slut —a replacement. Sloppy seconds and an in-between quickie for every guy in this town who’s looking to fill a hole. All you’re good for is that hot little body.”
This was a unique story with a truly beautiful underlying message. Elise grew up with conditions…the only thing anyone would ever love about her is her beauty, if she didn’t have that, she’d have nothing. This story is about loving without conditions, but even more so, learning to love yourself. Elise’s journey was a tough one, yet there was hope throughout the entire book. Rachael did an amazing job with this story. It is not often an author can take a character we should all hate and make her someone to root for, but Rachael did just that, and taught us all a lesson at the same time.
“You go be your something, baby. When you get back you can be mine.”
Purchase The Replacement by Rachael Wade
13. Never Been Ready (The Ready Series #2) by J.L. Berg
Never Been Ready by JL Berg is the second in the Ready Series. When You’re Ready was amazing, and though each of these books stand alone, and there is a decent recap, I highly recommend you read When You’re Ready first to get to know all of the characters.
It’s a pleasure reading about slightly older characters, I’m getting tired of the college aged books I read so much of. So I loved how When You’re Ready was about a widowed mom finding love again. Never Been Ready, this book, is about the snarky, spunky best friend. Leah was a labor and delivery nurse, and always going out of her way to help people. She hooked up with her hot actor crush, Declan, when he was in town visiting his friend Logan in the first book, then he headed back to Hollywood.
“I think we’ll start with the top. Lose it”…
“Now the skirt, Leah”…
“Do you remember what it feels like to have me buried deep inside you?”…
“Back against the door,” he commanded…
“From now on, Leah, you will only scream my name when you come.”
Never Been Ready was just one of those feel-good romances. I loved the fact that they weren’t college kids. They were older, and there are kids involved. There wasn’t a lot of angst, just a lot of corny grins and smiles throughout. I loved how there were no stupid misunderstandings, nobody running away for dumb reasons, just a nice, healthy, adult couple who fall in love despite some pretty big obstacles. Never Been Ready has earned JL Berg a spot as one of my favorite authors. When I’m looking for a feel-good, low-angst, lots of hot sex and fun banter kind of book, I know JL Berg will deliver.
Purchase Never Been Ready (Ready #2) by J.L. Berg
Other books it’s killing me not to add to this list: (covers click to Amazon)