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TinaNoir

Tina's Reading Books

Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Best of 2014 - Part 3 - The Newcomers

Natural Beauty - Leslie DuBois 25 to Love! - Joye Johnson The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles

Goodreads tells me that I read 132 books this year written by 85 different authors.  Of those, 32 authors were new-to-me this year.

 

It is always fun to discover a new author whose works resonate with you.  If it is a first time author it gives you someone to follow over the course of their career and grow with them, seeing their talent and abilities develop.

 

If it is a veteran author whose works you are just discovering then it is like finding Pirate's booty.  You have a treasure trove of back list books to raid and gorge yourself on.

 

This year, three new-to-me authors round out my top ten best of 2014.  And it was gratifying (and rather interesting for me to note) that these three books feature as their main characters black women and gay males.

 

The Newcomers:

 

I have to list this one first.  Right out of the box this book made such a strong and favorable impression on me that I can't think of a single book that matched it in sheer impact for me this year.  The wit of the writing, the clever framing hook, the arresting cover, and the unadulterated fun of the storytelling hit on all levels for me.   It is by turns a voyage of self discovery, a laugh-out-loud breezy chick lit and a satisfying romance all rolled into one.

 

Is yet another book that made immediate impact.  This was the first year I decided to dip my toe into m/m romance.  I had never paid it much attention but some of my online friends gave me the names of of some authors to look up and some good titles during my massive slump in 2013, that I decided to use 2014 to visit some of the titles.  I saw a review of this book that really snagged my attention and decided to give it a go.  I loved the mix of gothic horror and paranormal.  This author writes so visually that I really felt like I saw very clearly everything going on.  And it didn't hurt that one of the main characters of this book -- intelligent, sarcastic & short - reminded me strongly of one of my very favorite fictional characters ever (the incomparable Miles Vorkosigan).  I love that this is a series, so there are more to go.  This is a treasure ready to be raided.

 

 

This was a kindle freebie.  This is one of those books where the blurb looks mildly interesting so you snag because "Eh, it's free."  I honestly had NO expectation.  Come on, look at that cover.  A bit of a fright isn't it?  But oh man, this book was smart and funny. Set on a Bachelor-like reality dating show, this first person POV is incisive and has quite a bit of bite.  A fantastic narrator in main character Lola is shored up by some equally great supporting characters.

 

So this finishes up my top 10 of 2014.  The other two are here:

 

Part 1 - The Reliables

Part 2 - The Overachievers

 

Tomorrow I'll do the last installment Part 4 - The honorable mentions