Happy New Year! It has been such a phenomenal year! I have made so many great friends through blogging and Wicked Book Weekend. I started another blog, Starting on Monday, which is lots of fun, I hit over a million page views on this blog, I was a groupie for my teenaged son when he was on tour this summer, and I read 150 amazing books (140 plus 10 re-reads and 7 DNFs). I can honestly say that I really enjoyed almost every single book I read! So choosing my favorites is tough. I have about 10 that I rated 5+++++ stars, but they won’t all be on here. But there are some 4.5 star reads that actually stuck with me more than the 5 stars, so I literally went trough every book I read to see what jumped out at me.
These books are not in any order, except vaguely in the order I read them. They also don’t have to be books published in 2013, as long as I read them in 2013. Each book will have the blurb and an excerpt of my review in grey.
VAIN by Fisher Amelie
If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah…then you’re gonna’ hate my story.
Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.
I’m Sophie Price…And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
“…but with extreme suffering, there is extreme happiness. With extreme earth, there is extreme beauty.”
This incredibly emotion packed book had everything. Personal growth, a hero to swoon over, romance, action, edge of your seat terror, heartbreaking love, amazing quotes, and an incredible lesson. I can’t imagine anyone not loving this book.
“I’d come to Uganda to fulfill a mandatory sentence but was being fulfilled in a completely unexpected manner and happily, with my full consent. I’d come to help teach these children but instead they were teaching me.”
1st in a related series, but stands alone
Purchase Vain by Fisher Amelie at:
Book 2, Greed is now available.
Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder
I wasn’t always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way.
Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.
Colton didn’t teach me how to live. He didn’t heal the pain. He didn’t make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.
I absolutely loved this book. It was the perfect blend of searing emotions, healing, love, loss, friendship, heartbreak, hot sex and so much more. Jasinda hit this one so far out of the park, that ball isn’t coming back.
“When we come together, when we kiss, when we drowse into sleep side by side, we’re falling into each other, and that’s when I’m okay When I’m falling into him.”
1st in a related 2 book series but stands alone
Purchase Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder at:
Rock Chick Revenge by Kristen Ashley
“Swear to God, these boys should be locked up. It isn’t safe, men with that much testosterone coursing through their blood free to roam.”
Honestly, the entire Rock Chick Series is on this list, but this one I think might be my favorite.
Ava hates men, she has reason and she’s vowed not only never to get involved with another one again but also to exact vengeance on her best friend’s, lying, cheating husband. Since Luke, Ava’s childhood crush, is now a private investigator, she thinks to enlist him but changes her mind at the last second.
Too late, Luke knows she’s up to something and he’s already seen many a Rock Chick try to fight her own battles without the Hot Bunch stepping in. He’s having none of it. She’s having none of him. The clash of the Rock Chick and Hot Guy begins but Luke’s got the advantage. He has handcuffs and he’s not afraid to use them.
“I’m not lettin’ you go. I’m not lettin’ you push me away and I’m not giving up. I’m gonna keep working until I piece together what your dad and those assholes tore from you. I’m gonna keep at you until you let me in. I’m not gonna stop until you tell me you’re mine, until it comes straight from your mouth, preferably when I’m deep inside you and you’re lookin’ at me like you look at me when I’m close to makin’ you come.”
Kristen Ashley kind of has her own scale because her books stand out as so amazing. But even on her own scale Rock Chick Revenge stood out on top. I loved every single giddy, excited second I spent reading it. I love that I am reading this series slowly so that every time I’m reading one it feels like visiting old best friends. I could kick myself for putting this series off for some reason, thinking it wasn’t hot enough compared to her others. It is plenty hot…the promise of sex is just as hot as the actual sex!
5th in a series of very interconnected standalones. Much better in order!
Purchase Rock Chick Revenge
This Girl: A Novel (Slammed) by Colleen Hoover
Book 3 in the Slammed Series, where all 3 books were 5++++ stars
note: I have read every one of Colleen’s books, and she is the only author who has 5++++ stars on every book. She was all over my Best of 2012 list too.
Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.
In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.
This is not really a retelling from another point of view, it’s all fresh and new, yet familiar. Maybe it’s because I didn’t re-read before it, but I don’t think so. I think Colleen just wove her magic again. There are all-new scenes and there are also all-new slams that are even better than the original ones. I am not into poetry or slams, but these are just genius.
“I can’t remember feeling this way since…well, ever. It’s new. It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s calming. It’s every single emotion I’ve ever felt balled up into an intense urge to grab hold of her and never let go.”
The title of my original review for Slammed was “Slammed was life-changing good“. I will stick with that title for the whole series. It amazes me how all 3 of the books in this series have completely and utterly blown me away. They are completely YA to me, which is not really my cuppa tea, but it does not matter. I even made my 75 year old mom read them. It is so rare to feel this strongly about ALL 3 books in a series, but I can’t deny it. I was left breathless by how powerful a writer Colleen Hoover is.
This is the third in a series and can not be read alone.
Purchase This Girl
Left Drowning by Jessica Park
What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?
Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.
“Your parents died. Your world fell apart.”
He puts his hand on my cheek. “You were left drowning”
Left Drowning pulled every emotion possible out of me. It was so well written that I feel no review can do it justice. You can tell this one took a lot out of the author to write. Jessica Park knows how to write a unique story that is completely addicting. She took what could be depressing and made it delightful. She knows just when you’ve had too much and turns it around on you. I think the dedication of Left Drowning really speaks well for the book.
“This book is for everyone who has survived. You are not broken. You can love and be loved, despite what may feel like the eternally brutal nature of the world. Even when you’re drowning and so far under, there is always time to reach for someone who will teach you how to breathe again.”
Left Drowning is an Amazon exclusive. But I’m telling you now, download the Free kindle app for any device to read this book. It is so worth it.
Purchase Left Drowning by Jessica Park
Wethering the Storm (The Storm Series) by Samantha Towle
Music journalist Tru Bennett has done the impossible: capture the heart of rock-star bad boy Jake Wethers. Now they’re busy planning a wedding and navigating their new life together in the US. Of course Tru misses London and her best friend, Simone, but living happily ever after with Jake in LA is going to be great…right?
Wrong. Even the bright California sun can’t whitewash the dark side of celebrity coupledom. Greedy music execs, merciless paparazzi, and Jake’s wild past are lurking around every corner. Making matters worse, Jake announces he doesn’t want kids, which just may be a deal breaker.
Tru loves Jake more than anything. But when a devastating crisis threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for, the couple must face the hard truth: What if, this time, love is not enough?
“You don’t complete me, Tru. You make me who I am. You make me better. I’d be nothing without you. Nothing. I’ve been there once before, and I’m never going back. I’m never losing you again.”
Often a second book does not have that same feel as the first, that excitement of the couple meeting for the first time, flirting…wondering ‘will they or won’t they?’ But Wethering the Storm had magic, intensity, deep enduring love, and reading the two back to back was a deliciously long and full experience. It never felt rushed, I ran the gamut of emotions and was left feeling completely satisfied, hugging my Kindle with a smile and tears drying on my face.
Wethering the Storm does not stand alone, and I recommend you re-read The Mighty Storm first. That being said, I think this may be one of the best follow-up books ever. In fact, I think I can safely say, I loved Wethering the Storm a little more!
Purchase Wethering the Storm by Samantha Towle
Edible (Exquisite Series) by Ella Frank
Edible, delicious, delectable.
Rachel Langley is more than familiar with those three words in her line of work. After all, she spends her afternoons and evenings creating desserts so divine that your mouth will water and your taste buds will tingle.
They aren’t, however, the words she would have ever expected to think of when she locks eyes with a certain lawyer she knows only as Cole. With each encounter, the infuriatingly persistent man becomes more impossible to resist, and edible is the exact word that comes to mind.
Crave, demand, covet.
Cole Madison knows exactly what he wants, and Rachel Langley is it. From the moment he spotted her at Whipped, he knew he wanted to grab hold and take a bite.
However, the woman has enigmatic moves, avoiding him at every turn. But not for much longer.
Rachel’s time is up, and as far as Cole is concerned, he’s waited too long for a taste of what he desires. Nothing, including the woman herself, will stop him from consuming what he hungers for.
The only question left is: Who will take the first bite?
The man is a fucking god. If she thought he had been dangerous with clothes, removing them had just made him lethal.
Keeping his arms firmly behind his back, he lifted his mouth from hers and moved it to her ear.
“I can’t touch you, Rachel, and god, I want to. I want to undo these sexy leather pants and slide my hands inside. Or maybe, I could lick the skin that’s peeking out between the laces, but I can’t. You said no.”
Edible had barely any angst, had a great story, and the sexual tension oozed off every page. I loved both characters, and it was a pleasure re-visiting the couples from the two previous books.
I have very few books that can give me both a 5+ star story and a 5+ Heat (See all of my Great Story with Great Sex books here), but Edible fits in there well. Reading Edible has made me want to read the entire series again. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, my husband got lucky several times, and I will never look at caramel the same. Ella is one of the best erotic romance writers I have read.
Edible is the 3rd in a series of connected books that each easily stand alone. The entire Exquisite Series is one of my favorites.
See the Exquisite Series Order with Reviews
Purchase Edible by Ella Frank
Love and Lists (Chocoholics) by Tara Sivec
Spin off of my favorite Series The Chocolate Lovers Series by Tara Sivec (pee your pants funny)
Twenty-five-year-old Gavin Ellis has always had the love and support of his family ever since he was a little boy and couldn’t stop talking about his penis. He’s also always had their unsolicited advice and uncanny knack of embarrassing him at all costs. Now that he’s an adult and trying to convince the love of his life to love him back, things haven’t changed very much from when he was younger.
When Gavin’s best friend Tyler suggests he make a to-do list of items that will ensure he wins the girl, Gavin is one-hundred-percent on board: after a few six packs.
After puking in the shrubs, a bad experience with Viagra, a Sex-Ed course gone wrong, and a slew of other mishaps courtesy of his family and friends, Gavin is pretty sure this list will be the death of him.
Sometimes, trying to make someone love you with a list isn’t always the best idea. Especially when “Show her your penis” is the first “to-do” item…
Oh fuck, I’m touching his penis. My hand is on his penis. I was so excited I didn’t even realize how hard I was squeezing his penis. And thinking about it just makes me squeeze it even harder.
So basically, I was choking the life out of this thing and trying to detach it from his body. WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?!
Love and Lists was everything I could have wished for in a spin off. It was hysterically funny, sweet, silly, real and brought back the entire crazy cast of the original series and then some. I woke my husband from laughing, I had to take screen shots and send them to my him and my son (who wants a credit in this book by the way), and I re-read the whole thing while preparing this review because I loved it that much.
Can stand alone, but is way better if you read The Chocolate Lovers Series first
Purchase Love and Lists by Tara Sivec (Chocoholics)
Losing Hope: A Novel by Colleen Hoover
In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.
In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.
Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…
Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.
Hopeless was one of my favorite books of 2012, and reading Losing Hope reminded me exactly why. Losing Hope is not, as some people have said, the re-telling of Hopeless in Holder’s POV. This is Holder’s story. From well before he met Sky to after. Yes, some scenes were his take on scenes we have read, but they were all pure gold. It’s amazing how Colleen was able to keep this so fresh and amazing even though we knew what was going to happen.
“I’m gonna go live my life now, Les. A life I’m actually able to look forward to, and I’d honestly thought I’d never be able to say that. Then again, I’d honestly thought I’d always be hopeless, but I find hope every single day.”
Colleen Hoover weaves a spell through her writing that just captivates you and makes you smile, laugh, swoon and cry the ugly cry and then it brings you right back up again.
Losing Hope was perfect. Utter perfection.
Purchase Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
Finding Cinderella also belongs on this list as a 5+++ star read
A is for Alpha Male by Laurel Ulen Curtis
I’m Haley Whitfield, and I recently had the ingenious idea to enlist my mother, Allison, as my kick*ss sidekick and set out on a road trip.
This road trip wasn’t to be just any road trip, but a very special one indeed. An adventure with an acutely specific purpose– to find our other halves. The peanut butter to our jelly. The i to our Phone. The stripper to our pole.
If our romantic desires were a personal ad, they would read something like this.
** Two sassy women (Ages twenty-seven and forty-nine respectively–Ouch. Okay, ages twenty-seven and thirty–with nineteen years experience– respectively) seeking Alpha Males to love us with zeal and kiss us with skill. Gorgeous face and sexy, tattooed, hard body a must. If you aren’t a dangerous bad*ss with the x-rated skills and virility to match, don’t bother. Must be willing to protect us from danger, value our quirkiness, and keep your mouth shut when said quirkiness is what leads to said danger. Momma’s boys named Dan Smith need not apply.**
I know. It’s a bit wordy. In fact, it would probably cost a fortune. Luckily, we’re not ready for the personal ad. We’re not that desperate…yet.
This is my story.
“Where were the Kristen Ashley alpha males? I wanted one, for each of us. Kristen Ashley could write an alpha male like none other.”
“We needed to go on a road trip. A road trip with a very specific purpose…finding our Kristen Ashley alpha males.”
I was highlighting the whole book. Every single page has multiple highlights, if not the whole page. Both Haley and her mom were completely crazy, totally lovable characters. I was reading and thought, Yay! There is a new author I totally love and want to stalk!
If Kristen Ashley and Tara Sivec had a baby book, it would be A is for Alpha Male by Laurel Ulen Curtis. Considering those are my two favorite authors, this is perhaps the best compliment I could pay a book.
“Eyes, baby. You and me, we’re going to live this together. We’re going to be present in each other the whole damn time”
Purchase A is for Alpha Male by Laurel Ulen Curtis
Playing Patience (The Blow Hole Boys) by Tabatha Vargo
Sometimes all you need is Patience.
Life’s been hard for Zeke. Being a punching bag for his alcoholic father has turned him into stone. Not even the dodgy trailer park he lives in can scare him. Fighting is his release and sex, drugs, and his guitar bring him peace, but deep down Zeke isn’t quite as hard as he makes himself out to be. When he meets Patience, she finds all his broken pieces and puts him back together, but she’s a ray of light in his shadowed life and the last thing he wants to do is bring her into his dark world. Playing careless is easy, playing the bad guy can be fun, but playing Patience is impossible, especially when she can see right through him.
Zeke isn’t the only one who’s broken, and for the first time, in a long time, Patience feels alive. Her black and white world gets a shot of color when she meets Zeke. He’s unlike anyone she’s ever met with his tattoos, piercings, and blunt honesty. She wants nothing more than to let go and ride the wild side with him, but some wounds never heal and the broken pieces of Patience aren’t so easy to find.
“She belonged in the light and I was right where I was meant to be – stuck in a dark, dank gymnasium”
“…staying away from him was the best thing I could do, but I couldn’t. I loved the color he brought to my life. In the moments when life sucked away all of my oxygen, he swooped in and helped me breathe. He was practically a stranger, a bad boy from the wrong side of town, but in some bizarre way he helped me survive.”
Holy moly, these dark, fucked up books get me every time. Playing Patience was the completely unputdownable story of 2 of the most broken young teens I have read about. But oh, it was so friggin’ good! I have pages of awesome quotes, and a bunch that pissed me off like you wouldn’t believe. But that’s the thing, it brought out some major emotions in me. This book had me breathless and completely engrossed the whole way through. It was gut-wrenching and addictive.
Series of Interconnected Standalones
Purchase Playing Patience by Tabatha Vargo
Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel by Kristen Ashley
Spin-off of Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley
Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos–the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos’ leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby was running wild, Shy Cage was there. When tragedy tore her life apart, he helped her piece it back together. And now, Tabby’s thinking about much more than friendship…
Tabby is everything Shy’s ever wanted, but everything he thinks he can’t have. She’s beautiful, smart, and as his friend’s daughter, untouchable. Shy never expected more than friendship, so when Tabby indicates she wants more–much more–he feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn…
“This is why.” he clipped, stalked the three steps that separated them, snaked an arm around her waist, drove a hand into the back of her hair, and hauled her into his arms.
He slammed his mouth down on hers. Then he thrust his tongue between her lips and there it was….
Better than he would have guessed. Better than years of wondering how good it could be.
The best he ever had.
With just a fucking KISS.”
This is one of my favorite Kristen Ashley books. It had everything I love in her books. Alpha men, a relationship that’s meant to be, kickass characters, fun visits from other characters, a little danger (different than most), some amazing lines, and that feel good, totally fulfilled feeling you get after reading a Kristen Ashley book.
Own The Wind is the first in the Chaos series, a spin-off of Motorcycle Man, part of the Dream Man Series. Yes, it can be read alone, but if you read the Dream Man Series and the Rock Chick series, you will really appreciate this book way more, as many of our favorite characters, including Elvira and Tex make appearances.
See the Dream Man Series Order (Read at least Motorcycle Man first!)
Purchase Own The Wind (Chaos #1)
Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy: Book 1)
These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.
~ ~ ~ ~
We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love. If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter.
Your literary love,
“What is this, with us?”
“I don’t know.” What words could I use? I’d just met her after five years of letters. But I knew her, and I needed her. “It’s everything. It’s –”
“That’s what I need. I need everything, Cade. I need you… your everything. Your always.”
The “literary love” turning into real love was beautiful. The teens realistic. The tragedy was heartbreaking. Jasinda has a gift. She can wring you out emotionally one minute, make you swoon the next, make you all hot and bothered then make you cry again. Yet it all is wrapped up in an unputdownable package of realistic characters that you can’t help but love.
This is a trilogy that must be read in order. Book 3. Saving Forever will be out 2/14
Purchase Forever and Always (Ever Trilogy 1) by Jasinda Wilder
Purchase After Forever (Ever Trilogy 2) by Jasinda Wilder
Unbeautifully (Undeniable: Book Two)
Unbeautifully: Warning: This is not a story about fate or destiny. This is a story about pain, sorrow, and suffering. This is an impulsive whirlwind romance between two lovers that are not meant to be together. Theirs is not a world with sunshine and roses. Instead, their love blossoms in a secret world full of crime, violence, and death. Their story is about what can be born from nightmares.
Danielle “Danny” West is the daughter of Deuce West, President of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club. A sweet and beautiful girl, she loses her way, searching for things that are always out of her reach. Erik “Ripper” Jacobs is the Sergeant of Arms in the Hell’s Horsemen. Once a man who always had a smile on his face, his life takes a turn for the worst when a tragedy befalls him, leaving him scarred and broken. During a midsummer night, Danny and Ripper’s paths cross, forever changing their lives. Hastily, their lust turns to love until another tragedy forces them apart. On a journey that is marred with ugliness and chaos, Danny and Ripper must discover if their unforeseen connection can find the beauty in their world.
This is Danny and Ripper’s story.
Everything has beauty. Even the ugly. Especially the ugly.
Because without ugly, there would be no beauty.
See my full 5 star review (Unbeautifully)
“Ours was the furthest thing from a picture-perfect romance; it was more of a car crash, a metal-bending, blood-splattered disaster that left no survivors, only bad memories and heartache.
But it was ours.
And because it was ours…I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Unbeautifully was absolutely amazing. It was raw, gritty, emotional, funny, sexy as hell, and I fell in love with every character.
Unattainable: Warning: This is not a virtuous and tender love story. It’s chaotic, ruthless, and tragic. This story takes love and kills its innocence, steals away the pure moments, and crushes the hearts of the broken. A story born in childhood, tying one girl to one boy, leads to a destructive path—that hurts more than it doesn’t, that shatters more than it heals—testing the love that binds the two through a lifetime.
Tegen Matthews is the daughter of Dorothy Kelley, a club whore in the Hell’s Horsemen. A plain little girl, Tegen falls into the gritty world of the motorcycle club. When she meets a sweet, caring boy, she embraces the warmth and affection he shows her. Cage West is the son of the president of the Hell’s Horsemen. Tall and blond with deep brown eyes, as he grows up Cage realizes the power of his dimpled smile and smooth drawl. With one chance encounter, Tegen becomes forever tied to Cage. Following is a wayward journey that is filled with regrets, mistakes, and heartache, pulling at the threads that hold them together. Cage and Tegen fight hard but love harder, and in the end, what matters is where the journey takes one girl and one boy, who have been twined with one another since the beginning.
This is Tegen and Cage’s story.
Love doesn’t erase a broken heart, and it sure doesn’t change people. But no matter how old, how flimsy, how frayed the rope of love is, it keeps you tethered to the people you love.
See my full 5+ star review (Unattainable)
“Why would a woman like you wan’t anything to do with a man like me?
“You may have done bad things,” she whispered tearfully. “But you’re not a bad man, Michael. You saved my life, and you saved my life because you have a good heart. Now I want to do the same for you.”
Dirty’s heart exploded.
He was done.
Motherfucking done for.
Unattainable wrecked me. Really. I laughed. I cried. I was disgusted. I was mad. I was scared. My heart actually hurt reading parts of it and swelled with love during others. The emotions that Madeline can pull from you as you read her stories are incredible. No other series leaves me with such a book hangover. Unattainable is the third book in the series that is at least a 5 star read for me. I read it in one sitting and ignored the world.
“But, babe, you’re the most beautiful woman in the whole goddamn world, to me. You’re all I fuckin’ want, Teacup. You got the hottest pair of eyes I’ve ever fuckin’ seen and your tattoos, babe, they’re sexy as all hell and you’re goddamn hips, fuckin’ shit, me grabbin’ onto them, fuckin’ you slow, drives me straight up crazy.”
These books are very connected. Though they can stand alone, I don’t recommend it.
Purchase Unbeautifully (Undeniable 2) at
Purchase Unattainable (Undeniable 3) by Madeline Sheehan at
Bad Things (Tristan & Danika #1)
Bad Things: Danika hasn’t had an easy life. Being insanely attracted to bad boys has never helped make it easier.
One look at Tristan, and every brain cell she possessed went up in smoke. This man was trouble with a capital T. It was a given.
She knew better. Bad boys were bad. Especially for her. Considering her history, it was crazy to think otherwise. So why did crazy have to feel so damn fine?
For as long as she could remember, Danika had been focused on the future with single-minded purpose. Tristan came along and taught her everything there was to know about letting go, and living in the present. She fell, hard and deep. Of course, that only made her impact with the ground that much more devastating.
See my full 5 Star Review (Bad Things)
“And his arms. Jesus. His arms were huge, which was kind of a thing for me. I thought they might have been even bigger than my waist….. And the tattoos…God, the tattoos.”
I absolutely loved this book from the first page on. I love a book with banter, and there was plenty. I love when roommates/BFFs try to stay away but can’t. There was angst, excruciating heartbreak, jealousy, protectiveness, love, great sex, and that question that lingers….are they good or bad for each other?
Rock Bottom: Their love had the power of a runaway freight train, and the potential to be just as destructive.
The tempestuous sequel to Bad Things picks up where the first book left off. Reeling from a profound loss, Tristan and Danika struggle to pick up the pieces and build a life together, but the hard habits of a lifetime are not so easy to escape.
Rock Bottom takes us on a dual point of view journey through addiction and desire, through love and agony, and answers the question we’ve been asking since these characters were introduced in Grounded: “What happened between Tristan and Danika?”
Even love couldn’t cushion a fall like ours. My love for Tristan was so big that I felt consumed by it, and even so, it was not enough to overpower our combined demons.
I struggled. I yelled and screamed. I scratched and kicked.
I fought like hell, but even the most determined fighters have to stop before they break.
No one could say I didn’t fight for him.
“I love you,” I spoke softly into his ear.
He gripped me harder. “I can’t ever lose you, Danika. I’m not sure I’d survive it.”
“You’ve got me. And I’m not going anywhere. Not ever.”
I meant the words when I said them, but life had other plans for us.
I’d have given my life for that fight. In fact, I very nearly did.
She was the one.
If I’d ever had a doubt, I didn’t now. She was the one I’d be thinking about, longing for, until I took my last breath. If I lost her tomorrow, I’d pine for her like a lovesick fool.
This was the kind of love that only hit you once in your life.
See my full 5 star review (Rock Bottom)
“She was the one. If I’d ever had a doubt, I didn’t now. She was the one I’d be thinking about, longing for, until I took my last breath. If I lost her tomorrow, I’d pine for her like a lovesick fool. This was the kind of love that only hit you once in your life.”
Rock Bottom by RK Lilley was one of the angstiest books I’ve read this year, and I am usually not an angst lover. But I absolutely love this series. This couple needs their happy ending!!!! RK Lilley has gotten better with every book she writes, and no matter when it is, I’ll be right there to drop everything and read it.
Up in the Air Series SHOULD be read first, and I think that is how it is meant to be, but you don’t have to.
Chronologically here is the order:
Bad Things (Tristan and Danika 1)
Rock Bottom (Tristan and Danika 2)
In Flight (Up in the Air 1) – My review
Mile High (Up in the Air 2) –my review
Grounded (Up in the Air 3) –my review
Lovely Trigger (Tristan and Danika 3) – coming 2014
Tristan & Danika is a trilogy and the books don’t stand alone
Purchase Bad Things at
Purchase Rock Bottom at
Grounded (Up In The Air #3) by RK Lilley
The 3rd book in the Up In The Air Series by RK Lilley should also be on this list. My favorite of the series, it was the perfect conclusion.
“James had shown me a profound tenderness and love that belonged only to me, from our very first time together…. it was more precious of a gift than I’d allowed myself to see. He was my Dom, and I was his sub, but our love had turned it into so much more…”
Grounded does not stand alone. Up in the Air Series order:
Wounded by Jasinda Wilder
War has taken everything from me. My family. My home. My innocence. In a country blasted by war and wracked by economic hardship, a young orphan girl like me has very few options when it comes to survival. Thus, I do what I must to live, to eat, and I try very hard to not consider the cost to my soul. My heart is empty, and my existence brutal.
The one impossibility in my life is love.
And then I meet HIM.
War is hell. It takes a chunk out of a man’s very soul to do the kinds of things war demands of you. You live with fear, you live with guilt, and you live with nightmares. If you haven’t been through it, there’s no understanding it. War leaves no room for love, no room for tenderness or softness. You gotta be hard, closed off, and ready to fight every moment of every day. Lose focus for a split second, and you’re dead.
Now the only thing that can save me is HER.
Wounded was a unique, amazing, erotic romance between 2 very unlikely people that pulled me in and didn’t let me go right from page one. We are in Rania, a 14 year old girl’s head. The writing is unique, in that it is written in first person, present tense from an uneducated Iraqi girl’s point of view.“He fills me. My heart, my soul. He fills the horrible emptiness that has gaped inside me all my life. The moment that he slid into me, I knew. It has just taken me this long to understand the strange feeling flowing in my veins in place of blood: Happiness.”Seeing all of the war-torn destruction, the death, the starvation, and the burned out mosque she worked in contrasted with the purity of the love they developed made this a very special read indeed.
Purchase Wounded by Jasinda Wilder:
Watch Over Me by Tara Sivec
Addison Snow is your typical teenager. She has a family that loves her, friends that make her laugh, and she’s wrapped up in the excitement of graduating high school and going off to college to pursue her dream of becoming an author. When her mother, who also happens to be Addison’s best friend, dies unexpectedly, her world comes to a crashing halt.
Death changes everyone…
To make the pain go away, Addison and her father travel down separate, dark paths. She chooses to end her grief forever, while he drowns his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle. How do you learn to live again when the most important person in your life is gone?
Addison struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. Instead of getting back to being the carefree teenager she once was, she’s stuck handling all of the responsibilities that should have been her father’s. She has no time to grieve, no time for emotions, and no time for happiness…until Zander Reinhardt walks in. All it takes is one little handwritten note on a napkin to kick-start her back to life and help her realize that maybe there’s more to that life than pain.
But can it really be that simple? Can she really trust this man who makes her feel alive again for the first time in a year?
Addison and Zander both have secrets they aren’t ready to share. When the truth finally comes out, is it enough to tear them apart or has something bigger than themselves always been watching over them, pushing them together, making sure they both get their happily ever after?
“And if something doesn’t fit, if one of your pieces just isn’t working, you can put it aside and find another one. There are so many pieces to work with that you don’t have to try and force one in where it doesn’t belong. You may not need that piece right now, and it may not be helping you right at this moment, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important and won’t fit somewhere else down the line when you need it more.”
Though yes, this book made me cry, several times; it also had a happy, hopeful, healing thread throughout the whole story. I gobbled it up in one shot, with mascara dripping down my face. I know there is fear of this book out there. Fear that the whore that made you crack up in Chocolate Lovers or swoon in the Playing with Fire Series is now going to ruin your week by making you get a prescription to Zoloft. It won’t. It will make you cry. You aren’t normal if you don’t, but the tears are made better by Zander. And by Tara’s writing, which is honestly genius in this. Genius.
Purchase Watch Over Me by Tara Sivec
Try (Temptation Series) by Ella Frank
Try – verb: to make an attempt or effort to do something or in this case…someone.
Sex. Logan Mitchell loves it, and ever since he realized his raw sexual appeal at a young age, he has had no problem using it to his advantage. Men and women alike fall into his bed—after all, Logan is not one to discriminate. He lives by one motto—if something interests you, why not just take a chance and try?
And he wants to try Tate Morrison.
Just coming out of a four-year marriage with an ex-wife from hell, a relationship is the last thing on Tate’s mind. He’s starting fresh and trying to get back on his feet with a new job at an upscale bar in downtown Chicago.
The only problem is, Tate has caught the unwavering and unwelcome attention of Mr. Logan Mitchell – a regular at the bar and a man who always gets what he wants.
Night after night Tate fends off the persistent advances of the undeniably charismatic man, but after an explosive moment in the bar, all bets are off as he finds his body stirring with a different desire than his mind.
As arrogance, stubbornness and sexual tension sizzles between the two, it threatens to change the very course of their lives.
Logan doesn’t do relationships. Tate doesn’t do men. But what would happen if they both just gave in and…tried?
Try by Ella Frank turned out to be the hottest book I have read all year! How crazy is that? I didn’t even think I liked m/m! It had the things I love most in a book. Fun, flirtatious banter, characters I like, and a dominant guy I fall for. In this case, it was doubled. TWO sexy guys, BOTH with manly, alpha personalities, and Logan was the king of banter. Oh how I wish I could be the cream to that Oreo!
“I’m going to make you tremble so fucking bad, your knees are going to give way.”
Tate breathed heavily against his mouth and challenged, “Bet you can’t”
Pulling Tate’s head back, Logan sucked on his neck and throat and then licked over Tate’s Adam’s Apple where he promised, “I will, or I’ll die trying.”
The book is a spin off of the Exquisite Series, but you don’t have to read that first. It has a Happy for Now ending but there is more story to be told in the upcoming book Take.
Purchase Try by Ella Frank
The following are the books I just couldn’t choose between because they should all be here:
I must mention Bite Me by CC Wood as favorite paranormal for the year as well.
9 of these authors and 40 other amazing authors will be partying in Ft. Lauderdale for Wicked Book Weekend March 7-9 at a beachfront hotel! Join us for a booze cruise, room crawl, luncheon, after party, sandcastles, beachfront pizza, poolside cocktails, shopping and fun!