I read some pretty bad books this year. I have never had so many DNF’s as I tend to try to hang in there until my disdain begins to manifest in more physiological ways that could affect my overall sanity. Needless to say, I’m the girl who tries to see the good in any book that I take on and even I had an inkling to petition for a 2015 Top Flops list! But then, something miraculous happened. Thoughts of the really good books I did come across this year took over and I was suddenly able to regain my footing. Here are my top books of the year- In no particular order- or my head would explode:
Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh – Exceeded my every expectation. A totally blissed out literary experience. Rapturous even. Nassir, the beast of Archangel Raphael’s Seven is epically endearing. (review)
The Unlikely Lady by Valerie Bowman – (A+++++++) My most enjoyed Historical Romance of the year. The Playful Brides historical romance series by Valerie Bowman is a pleasure of mine. The merriment! The mischievous heroines and clever, cheeky dialogue! The distinguished gentleman dressed in a rake’s clothing. Delicious. (review)
Nice Girls Don’t Ride by Roni Loren – Best novella! Sexy, fun and felt good! Huge grin after reading. (review)
Call on Me (Loving on the Edge) by Roni Loren – Roni Loren is my spirit animal. She totally delivers in this comical romp about a responsible single mom by day and phone sex operator by night and the heart throb playboy musician who shakes up her world. (review)
Be Mine Forever (Bennets #3) by Kennedy Ryan – Be Mine Forever illustrates the beauty and raw honesty necessary for the redemptive power of love to be everlasting. Authentic and bold, it is a love story that celebrates two souls, wild and brave enough to reach out for one another when remaining apart would forever change their destiny. One of the best contemporary romances I read this year. (review)
The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston – Brilliantly hilarious. Epic. Unique and flawless world building. Frankly it was fascinating. (review)
Forged in Fire/Sealed in Sin by Juliette Cross– Meaty, sexy paranormal world with a plot that made this book 1 and 2 combo impossible to put down. Simple, but gooood. (review)
Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh– Shards of Hope is such a deep novel. Multi-layered plot and the new story arc is a masterpiece. I have chills. Still. The ending is probably the best set up for the next novel in her entire series- ever!
Naughty Little Wishes by Nina Crespo – So damn sexy I still get the shivers and quivers! Seriously enjoyed. (review)
The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor by Paula Quinn – A supremely lush Highland/Historical Romance. That’s it. I’ve decided. Paula Quinn is a deity in this genre with her rich, multi-dimensional characters, thrilling plots and imagery that captivates me into submission. The Scandalous Secret of Abigail MacGregor is my favorite Highlander Romance of 2015. And I indulge in this yummy genre often. Abigail is the fierce and loyal daughter to the true heir of the English crown and she will stop at nothing to protect her beloved Highland homeland from the possible threat of invasion by the sitting queen. Hero, Daniel (Daniel!!!!) is the most beloved Knight in the queen’s forces who is duty bound to fetch Abigail and bring her to meet the Queen to ensure no usurping is on the horizon. Exemplary read. (review)
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley– So, so, so much MORE than just another trendy MC club romance novel. Ride Steady is a deep, rich and well-rounded story. Heroine was fantastic. She was one of the most relatable heroines I’ve read in a while. MC romance done right in it’s best form.
Land of Beautiful Dead by R Lee Smith – Haunting and so enigmatic I could slap myself. Far less gruesome than what I have come to expect from this author, however, there was plenty of clever- plot weaving to consider. R lee Smith is a national treasure. She should be housed in the Smithsonian. Where she writes. More.
Badger by Cara McKenna– Whoa. Heavy, dark and stays with you. Heroine is unreliable and flawed in her own right yet pales in comparison to her lover, the Badger, a man so traumatized that his pain leeches off the pages and into your very soul. Very dramatic and captivating. Disturbing- but well executed.
Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss– Lusty! Dramatic! Dangerous and a peripheral view of the lecherous King Henry VIII! Tudor court intrigue at it’s best! (review)
Waking the Dragon (Vale of Stars #1) by Juliette Cross– The author created a very interesting paranormal world. I love (wipes drool) man-beasts and these Morgan- Men (they have wings- squee!) definitely had my attention. Thinly reminiscent of Nalini Singh’s Angel’s Blood (which I LOVE) but utterly unique in its execution.
Risking it All by Tessa Bailey – An undercover female cop, and the dark kind of hero that sets me to squeeing. Bowen is Bad but not inherently so. A little lost, a lot scarred, a bit (a bunch) of a brute and alpha to his core with the damn dirtiest mouth EVA.
Sera is cop gone undercover and a bit rogue, and together they navigate a dangerous criminal underbelly. Seriously sexy, but you knew that because, hello, Tessa Bailey.
Reaper’s Fall by Joanna Wylde– A MC club romance story of love, disappointment, redemption and forgiveness, all set in one the the best MC world’s created. Painter and Melanie have a rough and tumble romance that ignites, catches fire, is smothered by bad choices and doused by unexpected life events- but never truly burns out. If I had to pick a favorite, Reaper’s Fall just may be it. It says a lot when an author can sustain 5 books deep in a series and each book rivals it’s predecessor and can stand toe to toe with the often untouchable, unicorn greatness of “Book 1.”
Blood Kiss by J.R Ward
Better with Sugar by Katrina Kirkpatrick
OffBase by Tessa Bailey and Sophie Jordan
Hard to Break by Bella Jewell
How to Marry a Royal Highlander by Vanessa Kelly
That was a thoroughly enjoyable read! Loved your enthusiastic descriptions! I now have more to add to the TBR and pray I’ll find time to read them.
Hayson Manning says
Yay, some to be added to my bulging TBR pile. I adored Reaper’s Fall. The best in the series for me so far.
I thought Ride Steady and Reaper’s Fall were really great reads, too. One of your faves made my DNF list. LOL This is the first year I’ve really been able to embrace DNFing. I’ve always stuck it out no matter how much I disliked a book. I’m glad I don’t feel that pressure anymore. I can’t wait until I can fit Badger in!
Great list Sheena! And of course I agree on the Nalini Singh books.