Helyce’s Favorite Reads of 2015
2015 was a bit of a hit and miss year for me reading wise. I read the least amount of books when compared to previous years and though I hate to do so, I had more DNFs than ever before. On a positive note, I did read several new to me authors whose books made such an impression that they’ve made my list below. In no particular order, here we go:
Vespertine by Leta Blake and Indra Vaughn: This M/M romance took me by surprise. New to me authors, Blake and Vaughn’s take on a relationship between a priest and a rock star with a myriad of issues between them truly worked in this second chance love story. (review)
Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan: In book 3 of Ms. Cullinan’s Love Lessons series, we are given the story of Baz and Elijah. A truly realistic look at the lives of young, gay men in college who try to move forward after a horrific event. An emotional journey where our leads struggle with everything that happened in the past to bring them to the where they are in the present. Love this series. Highly recommend!
Shadow’s Strike by Dianne Duvall: In book 6 of Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series, we are given Ethan and Heather’s story. I love this series. In this book, Duvall gives us an interesting love story while continuing to intrigue us by dropping hints about our characters. The “Others” continue to wreak havoc making the Immortal Guardian’s job of keeping the humans safe even more difficult. Add to the the threat of the vampire army someone is trying to create and you have a lot of action and excitement to enhance the romantic aspect. Fan’s of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Alexandra Ivy, and Lara Adrian may enjoy this paranormal romance. (review)
Hidden In The Stars by Sadie Grubor: Another new to me author, Grubor does a great job of humanizing the celebrity. Finding that someone special isn’t easier because you are rich or talented. I loved seeing such vulnerability in a male character. I really enjoyed the mix of character personalities in here, especially Sid, who I hope will get her own book soon! (review)
A Bad Boy for Christmas by Jessica Lemmon: This contemporary series (Second Chances) continues to impress me. In this installment, we get to watch Connor and Faith fall in love and it was truly satisfying in all ways. For Connor, Faith is it and he will do everything in his power to make sure she knows it, even if it means letting her go. I’ve really enjoyed this series as a whole and highly recommend it. (review)
Hide and Keep by K. Sterling: This book, talk about the feelz….definitely a highlight read for me in 2015. Though short in pages, it was big in emotional appeal and I loved it. Sterling delves into the very unique headspace of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome. Aidan is high functioning and very intelligent, but he has his quirks which throw Lane off at first. Aidan’s inability to filter his thoughts in any way bring a level of honesty and truth to this story, as well as some very humorous moments. It was one of those stories that kind of stick with you long after you’ve read the last page. (review)
Storm by Carian Cole: Another new to me author, it was the cover and blurb that lured me into reading it. I loved that our protagonists meet after an accident and then are stuck in a truck in the white out conditions of a blizzard. I loved that Evelyn didn’t know that the man who had come to her rescue was a famous rock star. And I loved that the author treads carefully when dealing with the fine line of cheating in this story when our heroine meets the person she’s supposed to be with when she’s with someone else. (review)
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews: Why oh why did I wait so long to read the Kate Daniels series??? Well, I finally found time to read, or listen to this series in 2015. I blew through the first 7 books via audible and then read this 8th book when it released this summer. I loved it. I’ve avoided UF for years because of the lack of romance but I adore this series and it just got better and better with each book. The world building, unique characters and just everything about how these stories flow have me anticipating the next release. Loved it and I look forward to exploring all the other books by this author.
Shards of Hope and Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh
Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward
Ok, I can not let 2016 go by without starting the Kate Daniels series!
I always miss a strong romance thread when its missing, but some UF is so good I can still really enjoy it.
Scale from 1-10 is this series at least a 6 in the romance department?
Everything Ilona Andrews writes is an 11 in my book and I read all the genres. The romance factor can vary from book to book, and they’re more into slow burn escalating than POW! we’re doing it right now baby, but it’s always a very satisfying read regardless. I have read pretty much everything they’ve written and never been disappointed in the slightest. One of the best things about this author is how doggone funny they can be :)
Yes, while I NEED that romantic element, I found that I didn’t really miss it with this author(s). And yes, the humorous writing is just awesome! I really do look forward to reading their other series.
Yes, you must read. I plan to glom their other series as well. As for romance, it’s tough to rate. My immediate answer is YES, definitely…once they finally get to it (around book 4); but if you’re looking for actual scenes with smexy times, there are only a few throughout and they, err, let you use your imagination…BUT Kate and Curran will give you all the feelz because Curran is freaking awesome just as he is!
I haven’t read a single book on your list, but you’ve peaked my interest with some of these, especially your M/M picks. This was a huge DNF year for me, too, and as much as I hate doing it, it has really improved my reading life. Here’s to less DNFs for us in 2016!
Here, here! I look forward to a better reading year all around! Happy New Year!
I have only read the first Dianne Duvall book, but I will certainly continue this series.