Every year I struggle with creating my Best Of list. Mostly because a) I read and love a lot of books, so I hate trying to narrow down the list and b) I know I’m leaving something out! To see a list of all the books I’ve read this year, head on over to my Goodreads challenge page here.
Let’s get to it:
This year was apparently the year of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. Of all the books I absolutely loved, the majority of them were all about vampires, angels, chicks with swords and sexy shapeshifters. I think I’m going to have to go with Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian as the best of the best. Because really, it’s the GHOST! So much of the series has built up to this one book, and Nalini did not disappoint. The romance, the angst, the drama…. AMAZING!
Some honorable mentions in the UF/PNR department have to be Ilona Andrews, Larissa Ione, Anne Bishop, and Shiloh Walker. Between Andrews and Walker’s chicks with swords and the shifters who love them, Ione’s sexy angel Reaver and her new vampire series, and Bishop’s new and unique world in which a seer has to cut her own skin and bleed to use her gift, the UF and PNR genres really rocked 2013 with a bang!
In the contemporary romance genre, I’m afraid I’m going to have to break it down even further and give my always favorite sports romance books their own kudos. This year, two Carina Press authors rocked the sports romance genre, earning them a place on my coveted bookshelf next to Jaci Burton’s Play-by-Play books. Alison Packard followed up her debut novel with a down and out baseball player and the team’s PR rep who go through an amazing romance on the road in The Winning Season.
I also came to love and adore the new adult genre this year, and my next author takes not only the sports romance award, but also the new adult genre. Allison Parr’s Rush Me, the first in her New York Leopard’s series absolutely blew me away. I loved this NA book because the hero and heroine are both older than the fresh-faced 18 year olds we usually see in this genre. I loved the heroine’s reluctance to date the hero, and their entire romantic journey was just too cute!
As for the non sports romance contemporary books, I again can’t decide between a new-to-me author and an old fan favorite. Both Robin Covington and Erin Nicholas had books this year that absolutely blew me away. Nicholas already has a huge following, and I discovered her with the Counting on Love series, and have been gobbling up her entire backlist. The first two Counting on Love books, She’s the One and It Takes Two were both incredible. Covington came out of nowhere for me and absolutely enchanted me with her Hollywood romance Playing the Part. Sexy Hollywood A-lister hunk who falls for the romance author teaching him how to pretend to be in love. Oh, my heart!!
And finally, I have to give a huge shout out to the new queens of erotica (IMO): Kit Rocha. We got two full length novels in their erotic post-apocalyptic series, and Beyond Pain was by far my favorite to date. Bree and Donna have absolutely blown me away with their incredible world building and super hot, Hot, HOT romances. I can’t wait to not only explore more of their world, but also see what other kinds of kinky situations they can thrown their characters into.
In order to not leave off the other 5-star books I had this year, here is a list of honorable mentions that are absolutely worth checking out:
Vivian Arend’s Rocky Mountain Freedom
Thea Harrison’s Kinked
Kaylea Cross’ Lethal Pursuit
Shannon Stacey’s All He Ever Dreamed
Jessica Clare’s Beauty and the Billionaire
What an amazing reading year we had in 2013. Here is to 2014, hopefully another year of wonderful and kick-ass reads!
Happy New Year!