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Tina's Reading Books

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

Best of 2014 - Part 4 - The Honorables

Hard Time - Cara McKenna Broken Open - Lauren Dane Saga, Volume 3 - Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples Kiss of Fire (St. James Family) - Lavender Parker In Want of a Wife - Jo Goodman Burn for Me -  Ilona Andrews

I had a lot of books I liked this year.  Honestly there were a bunch that just made me happy.  And I still have a lot I got that I didn't even get a chance to read.  New authors I discovered whose backlists I need to glom.  New series that I need to keep up with. 


I managed to curate my book reading a lot better this year than last year and it really showed in my ratings.


Here are a few of the books that I liked a whole bunch but didn't quite make my top ten.


The honorable mentions.


For the second year in a row, Cara McKenna just missed my top ten.  For the record, she is one of my favorites.  I like her voice and her style.  It feels like she writes just for me.  Her heroes are tough and blue collar.  Her heroines are great but not super hot.  Her sex scenes are smoking.  I was skeptical when I first read the blurb for this.  I am not a fan of anything set in a prison (Orange is the New Black is a notable exception).  But this romance was great.  Sweet and hot and I loved both Annie and Eric.



I love graphic novels but haven't had as much time to really suss out the ones that I think would appeal.  Luckily Brian K.  Vaughan and Fiona Staples are cranking out the Saga series and making it such a rich storytelling and visual feast that my hunger for graphic novels is being ably satisfied (for now at least,  i am a little bit of a glutton).




Lauren Dane is probably my MVP this year.  I read four of her books and enjoyed the heck out of all of them.  I adore her Rowan Waite series of which Blade to the Keep - Lauren Dane  (read in January of this year) was just fab.  And then I got introduced to her Hurley brothers series.  The first book The Best Kind of Trouble (Hqn) - Lauren Dane  just worked on every level.  Sometimes all I want is a nice low-conflict contemporary romance that just lets the couple work out a relationship.  And that is what that book did.  Hit my sweet spot.  And it introduced the crackling hot chemistry of Tuesday and Ezra in Broken Open - Lauren Dane.  It was one of my more anticipated books and it did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded expectations.  I can't wait for the third book in the series.


I read quite a few new authors this year and Lavender Parker probably stands out my one of my favorites.  I read three of her books and one thing I loved is that they all felt very different from each other.  In Stone Cold Knockout (House of Pain Book 1) - Lavender Parker,Katy Farrell  we meet a young female boxer who wants to show she has what it takes to participate in a city-wide tournament with the big boys.  In  Flower in the Desert - Lavender Parker,Katy Farrell , a novella that felt surprisingly full-bodied,  we meet a divorcee who is left for dead in the trunk of her car in a desert.  And In this book, Kiss of Fire (St. James Family) - Lavender Parker  we meet  the bright, irrepressible (and weed smoking) ballerina Toni who was out to get her man.  She was relentless (but cheerful) about it.  In my review of this book I wrote "the author did a lot of showing rather than telling" and as anyone knows that is important in really sinking into a story.  She is one I am going to be on the look-out for.


I actually read a lot of historical romances this year, but this was one of the few that I super loved.   In addition to its' sorta-kinda prequel  True to the Law - Jo Goodman, this book made me realize how much i really miss early Americana & Western Hist Roms that authors like Maggie Osborne and LaVyrle Spencer would write.  Jo Goodman gets the vibe just right.



  I nabbed this on name recognition of the author alone.  I had no idea what I was in store for.  And let me tell you, this first installment of a new Urban Fantasy (pay NO attention to that cover or that blurb talking about a handsome billionaire) series was a thrill ride.  So good. 


This puts a capper on a pretty good reading year.  Already got a TBR a mile long for 2015 (March looks to be a boffo month for releases).


The first three parts of my Best of 2014 detailing my top ten are here:


Part 1 - The Reliables

Part 2 - The Overachievers

Part 3 - The Newcomers