Sometimes I think I grade too easily. But when I looked back at my favorites for 2014, I only had a handful of five star books this year. My biggest observation for 2014 is that many of my favorite authors did not make the list. This was the year of new favorites for me. Except for two or three permanent favorites, that is.
So here we go. The best of 2014 for Jen….
Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare ** AMZ * BN * S * K
Romancing the Duke was highly touted and I was doubtful. Silly me. Fabulous, fabulous book. What a story. Normally the hero is my focus for a book however Izzy stole the show in this one. She is an excellent heroine. This book caused many a happy sigh from me.
“I didn’t do it on purpose.” His arms went around her. “I just . . . I just needed to keep you up here.” He walked her backward until her knees met the edge of her bed, and they both tumbled onto the mattress. “In this bed.”
He stroked her hair, fanning it out over the pillows, and framed her face in his hands. “But I couldn’t discern what it was you needed to feel safe. I tried everything. Finally, tonight, you gave me the answer. Light. So now you have as many candles as you please. But now it’s gone all wrong. Because you’re here in this bed. But I’m here, too. And God help me, Izzy.” His brow pressed to hers, and his weight settled over her, crushing and warm. “I don’t know how to leave.”
The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas ** AMZ * BN * S * K
Full disclosure, this is the first Sherry Thomas book I have ever liked. And I loved it. For some reason, her writing doesn’t usually work for me but this time it worked well enough to be a favorite for 2014. Lovely, lovely historical romance.
“Why me, then?”
He looked directly into her eyes. “Because I’ve never been wanted so much by a woman who dislikes me so. And I would like to experience that fully.”
God damn his beautiful eyes. And the good Lord really ought to answer for why He so often chose to bestow comeliness upon the most corrupt souls.
“What is wrong with you?” she huffed.
“An aristocrat with degenerate tastes – how shocking,” he murmured, not at all chastened.
Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews ** AMZ * BN * S * K
This one stands out most in my mind when I think of 2014. I can’t really say why it is better than all the rest other than that I was engrossed from start to finish. This book was freaking amazing. I loved Rogan and I loved Nevada. I’m excited it will only be a trilogy and will not drag out forever, if that makes any sense. This book came out mid-year and I have already read it three times.
“I would really like to know”, he said with genuine curiosity. “The next time I kill someone, I’d like to do it in a way that doesn’t freak you out.”
Head Rush by Carolyn Crane ** AMZ * BN * S * K
I discovered Carolyn Crane this year and what a discovery it was. I picked Head Rush as my favorite because it is book three in The Disillusionists series. I can’t say enough about CC’s writing other than the fact I am impatiently tapping my fingers for her next book.
“Love is a state of the heart, but also, an activity. And quite an awesome one.”
Hell Bent by Devon Monk ** AMZ * BN * S * K
Devon Monk is another new to me author for 2014. I’m a big fan of the engaging, fast paced storyline of all her books. I was really hoping for a Shame and Terric hookup but that was not the case. I am still a fan and found another auto-buy author.
Another price I paid for casting magic? Terric’s nagging.
(I had a difficult time picking just one)
“Quick, Derek, it’s your chance to shine,” Ascanio said.
Derek gave him a withering look.
“Desandra is a mother, Robert is married, Kate’s affianced, and I’m an old soul. You’re the closest thing to a virgin we’ve got. Get on with growing some flowing locks.”
Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop ** AMZ * BN * S * K
I’m still wary of this series and Ms. Bishop. She traumatized me good with the Black Jewels. But, even with that, this book is so full of awesome. This series is so full of awesome. Fingers crossed Meg doesn’t take the same fate Jaenelle did.
“The cow-shaped cookies have a beef flavoring, the turkey-shaped cookies have a poultry flavoring, and…”
Jane held up one of the cookies. “Human-flavored?”
Meg stifled a sigh. That would be the first thing on her feedback list: don’t make people-shaped cookies. The Wolves were way too interested and all of them leaped to a logical, if disturbing, expectation about the taste.”
Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway ** AMZ * BN * S * K
Each book Ms. Cosway writes is so unique and spellbinding. I was already a fan but Six of Hearts spoke to me in a special way. I felt every emotion poured out onto the page and could not put this book down. Two very different characters on the same journey but one of them doesn’t know it. Such a great story.
“So why not live with the magic? Be a kid again and believe in the fantastical. Life is more fun with a little smoke and mirrors.”
I love you. That’s what he was thinking. He wanted to mouth it to her. He wanted to whisper it into her lips, into every secret place in her body. He wanted to scream it out in front of the entire world.
The Witness by Nora Roberts ** AMZ * BN * S * K
I’m not sure how I missed this one over the years but now that I have read it, I will say it is my favorite NR. Abigail/Elizabeth is one of the best heroines I read this year and the persistence of Brooks was awesome. Great individual characters and even better as a couple.
“Studies show adolescent males often make decisions based on sex. Many fail to grow out of it.”