It’s that time of year again…the Christmas tree is drying out (damn, those needles are EVERYWHERE!), the last remnants of wrapping paper are sticking to the bottom of your feet, and the holiday treat guilt is setting in…
Which also means it’s time for a recap of our 2013 reads! I’ve compiled a list of my top 13 reads of 2013. I’ve read 214 books this year (not including all the re-reads!), and choosing favorites was not an easy task. I’ve been lucky enough that the vast majority of the books I’ve read this year have been fabulous books, with precious few that I really didn’t care for.
My list will be in the order that I read them this year, because there is no way in this or any other lifetime that I would be able to actually rank them. It would be impossible. And YES, I cheated, and some series are included. It’s my blog, I do what I want.
Ready? Let’s get it on!
“How can something so wrong feel so right…?” That’s the perfect tagline for this book. It takes a truly gifted storyteller to get a reader to hope for a HEA for a brother and sister, but that’s just what Tabitha did. However, she’ll also emotionally devastate you in those same pages, but it’s totally worth it. An all-time favorite read.
Knight was my first Kristen Ashley book, and as many of her books that I read and love, this one is still my favorite. Knight is my perfect anti-hero. He’s gruff, he talks like a caveman, and he’s a control freak. But he loves fiercely, and I love the fuck out of him for that. No matter how many times I re-read this book, I can never get enough Knight.
Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
There are few words that can accurately describe my love for the world Debra created for us in the Poughkeepsie series. A world in which we fall in love with a man who thinks he’s made of glass, and a monster of man who only became a monster to protect his family, a world where we shed tears for a knitting gangster. Drama, action, romance, this should be required reading for all.
Kitty Thomas is one of my favorite authors. She could write a takeout menu, and I would buy it in eBook and paperback. Her books are dark, gritty, and quite fucked up. Comfort Food explores the realities of Stockholm Syndrome, and exactly how deep it can go. With an ending that made me say, “Whoa.”, Comfort Food is my favorite Kitty novel, and brought yummy darkness to my black little heart.
Spiral of Bliss Series by Nina Lane
Yes, this is a series. The first two books, Arouse and Allure, are available, and Book Three, Awaken, is coming soon (I’m so excited!).
My favorite thing about this series is that it’s so REAL. We don’t have to suspend reality and imagine an impossibly gorgeous billionaire who can’t find someone to love him, or a 27 year old virgin girl who orgasms simply from hot kisses and dirty talk.
This series is about real people going through real shit, and I love it. (The hot professor doesn’t hurt!)
Not to be confused with the Disney film of the same name, Tangled is quite a different sort of fairy tale. Hilariously raunchy, we have a snarky manwhore instead of a Prince Charming, and a strong woman who refuses to take his shit instead of a beautiful princess. Side-splitting friends and family take the place of singing animals.
When you’re finished Tangled, your pants WILL be wet. But will it be from the hot sexin’, or because you pee a little when you laugh? What?!?!? Just me????
As a Charter Member of the “I Made Mo Cry” Club, Lynetta Halat makes you cry all the tears with this book. She tells a beautiful tale of enduring love and gives us one of the all-time best book boyfriends.
Another story that seems more real that imaginary, Every Rose shows us how true love can change your life, and teaches us to take nothing for granted.
My review of Every Rose by Lynetta Halat
Fear of Falling by S.L. Jennings
Another beautiful story about the redemptive power of love, Fear of Falling was one of the more emotional books I’ve read this year. When I say emotions, I mean ALL of them. I laughed, I cried, I swooned, I got mad as HELL.
This book also has the distinct honor of being the only book in which I highlighted an ENTIRE CHAPTER. Yup.
Featuring a hot, tattooed bartender (who goes commando!!), Fear of Falling also had some of my favorite secondary characters ever.
My review of Fear of Falling by S.L. Jennings
One of my first “Holy Shit” books this year, Arsen makes you say just that. After an intensely emotional journey through this book, at the end, I was left staring blankly at my Kindle, muttering “Holy Shit”. My heart was a mangled mess.
With the most abhorred female lead this side of Kiera Allen, Arsen is truly what it says, a broken love story. A must read.
Mia gave us one of the best husbands ever, and a HOT mister (what IS the male version of mistress, anyways???) that you’re unlikely to ever forget.
My review of Arsen by Mia Asher
So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn
I made the mistake of reading the book immediately after reading Arsen. As Julia Roberts says in Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. HUGE!” My eyes were like sandpaper for an entire day after reading them back to back.
Melanie Dawn explores a similar theme as Arsen, but tells the story in an entirely different way. What do when the big “what-if?” from your past comes back into your life? Love makes them selfish, but in the end, their love is selfless. We also get “the letter”, which is the Express Train to Cry Baby Land for me.
So Much It Hurts gives us the gift of Chris King, misunderstood bad-boy turned hottie rocker. You can’t have him, he’s mine.
My review of So Much It Hurts by Melanie Dawn
Songs of Submission Series by C.D. Reiss
The Songs of Submission series is very unique for me. I called it a literary mini-series. Several novellas make up this compelling and intense story.
This is the thinking man’s smut. Smart, spicy, and spellbinding, this series is pure art.
And lemme tell ya, Christian Grey ain’t got SHIT on Jonathan Drazen.
I don’t have enough adjectives to describe the beauty of this book. Amy Harmon has created characters that are strong, brave, and beautiful, and they are more than just physical attributes. They are truly admirable characters.
This book was truly moving, and I sobbed like a baby. A story of love, loss, and amazing friendship, Making Faces is a significant novel.
My review of Making Faces by Amy Harmon
Emi Lost & Found Series by Lori L. Otto
Three novels in one volume, this book BROKE.MY.FUCKING.HEART. No exaggeration. I’m still not over it, I don’t think I ever will be. Together with the prequel Novella, Not Today, But Someday, Emi’s story spans many years; making this story much more than just a story, it’s an experience.
With characters that make their way into your heart and won’t let go, the Lost & Found series is one of my all-time favorite reads.
So there you have it, my friends! A year’s worth of tears, smiles, and sexy time. I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring! What were some of your favorite reads this year?
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