I can’t believe 2014 is nearing it’s end. Seems like just yesterday I was trying to put together my list for 2013! Once again, I struggled to pull together a listing to publish here. Life, work, my family–made reading time extremely rare this year. While you will see two books that are likely to top many reader lists this year, the rest of my choices were books that spoke to me or touched my heart in some way and gave me all the feeeelz! Here we go in no particular order:
Heart by Garrett Leigh – Author Garrett Leigh has fast become one of my go to authors for an m/m love story that is filled with strong emotional and angst filled content. In this story, she tackles the horrific subject of human trafficking and she does not hold back from any of the ugliness in this issue. At the same time, though, she gives us love and a healing relationship for Dex. This story ripped my heart to shreds and then slowly put it all back together. Simply loved it.
Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan – It is no secret that Heidi Cullinan is one of my favorite authors. I freaking loved this book! This m/m series, highlighted by a college setting, was the perfect combination of everything I look for in a story. There is humor and strong emotion and I was pulled in deeply. There were a lot of tears and I even had to tweet Ms. Cullinan at one point because of something that happened in the book. She assured me that ‘everything would be alright’. A beautiful story that reinforces the fact that sometimes family is one of your own making and not necessarily one bound by blood.
Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh – Also a long running series, this was one of my most anticipated books of 2014 and it did not disappoint. Ms. Singh is easily one of my favorite paranormal authors to date and this series which combines every single one of my favorite paranormal themes has pulled me in. With the exciting turn of events in this story and the awakening of the Empaths I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us!
If We Shadows by D.E. Atwood – In this story we are given the heart wrenching story of what it’s like to be a transgendered teen. Using the high school’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream we watch Jordan, born female but who identifies as male, struggle through his feelings for the lead female actress Pepper. The author ingeniously weaves the character of Puck and his 3 wishes into the story giving it a bit of a fantasy feel. I was moved emotionally by everything in this story. Not an easy read, but moving all the same.
Don’t Judge A Book by Scarlet Blackwell – I include this novella because it took me by surprise! An adorable opposites attract theme of a stodgy, stuck in his ways librarian and a bad boy who really isn’t all that bad. In just a short 100 or so pages, the author gives us an emotional story that tackles the difficult subject matter of gay bashing while at the same time giving us a love story that was clearly meant to be.
For The Longest Time by Kendra Leigh Castle – I’ve been a fan of Ms. Castle for years. Known primarily for her paranormal stories, she made the jump to contemporary in 2014. This first story in her Harvest Cove series is a second chance love story and I really enjoyed it. Set in a small town, where people’s memories are long, we get to know it’s cast of characters while focusing on Samantha and Jake’s story. While used to this author’s skill at writing paranormal, I’m thrilled at this successful genre jump to contemporary!
Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall – Another brilliant paranormal read for me this year. This is the fifth book in Duvall’s Immortal Guardian series. Reminiscent of the BDB and Dark Hunter books-Ms. Duvall gives us so much more in her Immortal Guardians because they are more than just your average vampire and their leader, Seth, is even MORE than that. In this story, we are given Zach who is ‘other’; not a vampire and somehow related to Seth. The author is stingy with details, giving us just enough to keep us deeply intrigued and wanting to come back for more. Assuming Zach is an angel fallen is probably close to the truth-but no matter. He falls for a rare female guardian, Lisette, and she for him-but Zach has secrets and is in hiding and Seth does not want him anywhere near his guardians. Eventually and thankfully, the truth comes out just in time because the Guardians have a new enemy and they’ll need all the help they can get to win the ongoing fight.
Breakable by Tammara Webber – I’ve read several NA books since I became aware of this new genre. Last year I read Easy and was thrilled when Breakable came out. Initially, I was disappointed that this was not a follow up story, but the same story, only from Landon’s point of view. But I was so wrong, because this was no ‘re-telling’ of Easy at all. We get much more about Landon’s backstory and any preconceived notions I had about him were quickly put to rest. His story is deeply emotional and I look forward to what the author plans next.