Monday, December 30, 2013

My Favorite Books From 2013

As I began to put together this list, I had a couple of realizations. If I cry while reading a book, that definitely increases its rating for me. I love authors that can pull that kind of emotion for a fictional character out of me. 

There were 47 total books that when I initially read them and wrote the reviews on them that I thought might make this list for 2013. But the main thing that puts them on the final list is if they stuck with me. I read around 400 books a year. Most don't stick in my mind. These ALL a big way and I would sit down and re-read any one of them right now if I had the time. These are the books that my heart, in my mind, and in my library. 

Most of these books, I own in multiple forms....ebook, audiobook, and print versions. I can promise you....ALL my favorite books, I buy in print for my personal library (if I can...some are only available in e-book and I hate that...LOL.)

So, without further ado, here is my 

1. Nightblade by J.C. Daniels
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book #2 in this awesome series. Never in my life have I sobbed when reading a book like I did the final chapters of this book. It was an incredible book with an incredibly harsh ending, but I loved the book. I love the series. It's definitely up there with my top Urban Fantasy series that more people should be reading. Book #3, Broken Blade, is absolutely one of my most anticipated releases of 2014. 

2. Six Ways from Sunday by Mercy Celeste
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Again this is a book I sobbed through... twice, before I put it down. This is a friends-to-lovers story, but it's so much more than that. One guy's in the military, one is in the NFL. Their relationship has always been under-wraps because of both their jobs. Over the years, they get little snippets of time together, until their world is blown apart. It is such a GOOD BOOK. Omg, as I write this, I'm thinking it's time for another re-read of it. If you've ever debated reading male/male romance, this is a GREAT starter book with an incredibly romantic, heart-melting story.

3. The Witness by Nora Roberts
Genre: Romantic Suspense
This was a book I read way back in the Spring. I started the audiobook on a road trip and made a stop by the bookstore as I came into town to buy a hard copy so I could finish the book that night. It was that good. The book is excellent, but this is one of those that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND in audio because the narrator's voice interpretation is incredible for this story. It's not your normal love story, but it was an INCREDIBLE book and story. The first 25% of the book is about the heroine as a teenager and the backstory of how she ends up as this witness...not something I would normally enjoy. But this story...Nora Roberts wove it all incredibly well. If you haven't read it, you need to!

4. Fogotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti
Genre: Romantic Suspense
I'm a sucker for a good amnesia story and this was an excellent one. Great characters in Shane and Josie and a heart-pumping story line that I loved. Romantic Suspense at its finest!

5. Who We Are by TJ Klune
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
This is another one of those books which is 2nd in the series and this one you definitely need to read #1 first (it's good, too...this one was just better.) This is a fabulous, fun, snarky book/series that keeps me laughing out loud the entire time I read it. The entire book/s is told from Bear's POV and he talks directly to the reader. There aren't many authors out there that use this POV, but I fell in love with it and this family of characters in this series. So sweet and heartwarming. I dare you to read it and fall in love with this family. They are awesome characters!

6. The Reason is You by Sharla Lovelace
Genre: Contemporary Romance...with a touch of paranormal
Everything about this story was good...the mother/daughter relationship, the backstory, the ghost and Dani's gift, the sacrifices she has to make for her daughter. All of it was so well-written and so heartwarming. This was one of those books that simply made me smile and happier for having read it.

7. Cowboy Take Me Away by Jane Graves
Genre: Contemporary Romance
This was another just really good book that made me cry. Great story. Great back-story. Incredible characters that I fell in love with. This book also made me re-examine my daughter's request for a cat for her 6th birthday...something I'd been resisting. The story line in this revolves around the animal shelter. As a result, we have two new members of the family....Max and year old cat brothers who were raised in the local shelter because no one ever adopted them. We love them.

8. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Genre: Young Adult
I'm not a big YA reader, but I'm so glad that I made an exception for this book. This is another one of those that I started as an audiobook and then the book was just too good so had to move to reading it, although the audio was absolutely fantastic. If you have the time and patience to wait through a REALLY amazing book, I highly recommend the audio version on this one. The book is told from 1st person point of view, but that switches between the hero and heroine (the audio has both male and female narrators.) The characters are teenagers, but I dare you to not fall in love with them and all the angst in their lives. SO GOOD!

9. Don't by Jack L. Pyke
Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m)
I'll preface this with a warning....this is absolutely NOT a book for everyone. It's gritty and erotic and dark. It delves into the darker side of BDSM and definitely doesn't hold back any punches. But it's haunting and has such moments of emotion and suspense. The characters are extremely complex and again, the word haunting comes to mind. It's a book that's stuck with me and for me, that's a huge sign that it was a good one. 

10. Wait For Me by Elisabeth Naughton
Genre: Romantic Suspense
This is one of those stories...seriously, just haunting. His wife died 5 years ago. She doesn't remember anything prior to her life 5 years ago when she was in an accident. Coincidence?? Um, no. Such an amazing story that made my heart just ache for these two characters. As the whole story unfolded, the hope for a happy ending....a happy anything kept me reading. Two characters who deserve their HEA. They earned it the hard way.

Honorable Mention. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Genre: General Fiction
This But there's a reason that it's an honorable mention and not on the main list although by rights it should probably be #1 or #2. If you can handle an unhappy ending, then you need to read this book. I am not that person. My review goes more deeply into the "why's" on this one.


creativedeeds said...

Great list! Some of them I might have to check out. ;) TJ Klune has been on my TBR list for a while now and I will read ANYTHING that Elisabeth Naughton writes. Wait for Me was amazing... and there's going to be more! Can't wait. ;)

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

Nice! I've only read Zanetti's and enjoyed it. But I've got most of the rest on my tbr list. Glad you enjoyed them!