Book Ends: December Reads and a Look Back

RadioSilenceMy last book post about 2014. Gasp. First, here’s what made my hot list in December:

The Companion Contract by Solace Ames (out 2/9, erotic romance, e-book)
Unfixable by Tessa Bailey (new adult contemporary romance, e-book)
The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen (new adult LGBT contemporary romance, e-book)
Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole (out 2/2, post-apocalyptic new adult romance, e-book)
Flirting With Disaster by Victoria Dahl (out 1/27, contemporary romance)
Say Yes to the Marquess, by Tessa Dare (historical romance)
A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (historical romance, e-novella)
OneKissRockStarThe Obsession, The Enslavement and The Fulfillment by Liliana Lee aka Jeannie Lin (erotic romance, e-novellas)
One Kiss With a Rock Star by Amber Lin and Shari Slade (erotic romance, e-novella)
The Secret Heart by Erin Satie (historical romance, e-book)
Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell (contemporary romance, e-novella)

Adventures in the backlist included Divergent by Veronica Roth and His Risk To Take by Tessa Bailey.

If I counted correctly, I finished 2014 having read 120 stories I actually loved and would recommend to others. There are a lot of books I didn’t catalog because I DNFed them, didn’t like them, etc. I bet if I’d kept track of those, I’d be closer to 200 books for the year. Oh, my.

princeofshadowsMy favorite book of the year was Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows, which takes on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet from the points-of-view of Benvolio and Rosalind. Exquisitely written and beautifully plotted, this novel effectively “fixes” the classic tale, giving meat and motive to an inexplicable love and fleshing out the supporting characters in a way that will break your heart.

But there were so many other books that stood out. Courtney Milan’s The Suffragette Scandal is probably her best work to date, hilarious and heartwarming and so damn smart. Jeannie Lin, who never stops taking chances, penned the gorgeous The Jade Temptress, matching a courtesan and a constable in two mysteries: one of the heart and one of murder. And that’s just one of the fantastic diverse books that came out this year. If you’re not reading Alyssa Cole, Alisha Rai and Solace Ames, you should be. (They’re also friends of mine, which makes me VERY lucky.)

Can I top the reading success of 2014? Good question. I should probably stop blogging about books and go turn a few pages…

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