I had an absolutely fantastic reading year in 2014! I always enjoy looking back through all of the books that I’ve read and remembering the characters, the emotions, the angst, the laughter, the tears, and yes, all of the swooning (and there was a lot of that going on)! Although making this list is nostalgic and fun, it is also difficult to take over 100 books and narrow it down to the books that really hit all of my buttons. As always, I am amazed and grateful that there are so many talented authors out there who want to share their stories with us. Here is the list of my favorite books that I would gladly, enthusiastically, and emphatically recommend! Some of these books may not have been released in 2014, but if I read them in 2014…then I counted them!
This list is not in any particular order.
Fall Semester- By Stephanie Fournet
I loved this book! I was shocked to find out that this was the debut novel by this author. Her writing is beautiful, eloquent, and simply amazing. This is a love story between a university professor and a graduate student. It has all of the forbidden elements that I love in a book, but there is so much more to it than that. As soon as I finished this book, I knew that it would be one of my top books of the year. I cannot wait to read more by this talented new author!
(Read my review of Fall Semester.)
Making Faces – By Amy Harmon
Where do I begin?! I loved every minute of this book! Amy Harmon is a wonderful storyteller who has created characters that will always hold a place in my heart. This is such an emotional book that will make you so glad to be a reader! If you haven’t read Making Faces, please pick it up…you won’t be disappointed.
(Read my review of Making Faces.)
Maybe Someday – By Colleen Hoover
No list could be complete without Colleen Hoover! Maybe Someday is a story that deals with infidelity, friendship, betrayal and falling in love. There is absolutely nothing easy about the relationships in this book. They are complicated, angst- filled and real. This is what makes the book so good. It deals with situations that can happen in the real world and then she adds in her twists and turns that turn the story on its head. This book tugged on my heartstrings, made me cry, made me smile, and made me laugh out loud. Fantastic!
(Read my review of Maybe Someday.)
Reclaiming the Sand & Chasing the Tide – By A. Meredith Walters
I adored both of these books! If you are looking for an unlikely romance book, one that will make you feel, feel feel…then look no further! Reclaiming the Sand was an emotional, heartbreaking, and hopeful story between a bully and her victim. Yes, her victim. He isn’t just your average character/love interest. He has Asperger’s Syndrome. I fell in love with Ellie and Flynn in Reclaiming the Sand and was off-the-charts happy when I found out that the author was writing the sequel. Chasing the Tide was everything that I had hoped for in the continuation of Ellie and Flynn’s unique story.
(Read my review of Reclaiming the Sand.)
(Read my review of Chasing the Tide.)
If I Stay – By Gayle Forman
I had to put this book on my list of favorites. I read this book in one sitting! I’m pretty sure that my husband thought that I was losing my mind while I was reading it - I would be crying on one page and then laughing on the next. This was repeated throughout the entire book. He kept asking me if I was alright. If you are just looking for a romance book, this might not be it. Although it did have some romantic elements, there was so much more to the story than just romance. (Read my review of If I Stay.)
Veiled Innocence – By Ella Frank
The synopsis of this book is a little vague, but I had heard that it was a student/teacher romance and I knew then that I had to read it. It had everything that I look for in a forbidden love story – the turmoil, the angst. I was glued to the pages from start to finish. I never really knew what was going to happen or where the story was going to take me. Loved it!
(Read my review of Veiled Innocence.)
Stolen Breaths & Shattered – By Pamela Sparkman
Another fantastic debut author who blew me away with her writing skills! Stolen Breaths is a beautifully written, emotional story that captured my interest and stole my heart. It is a story about family, loss, overcoming tragedy, and fate. The characters are so likable and “real”. It was impossible not to fall in love with their story.
(Read my review of Stolen Breaths.)
Shattered is the next book in the Stolen Breaths Series. It is about a couple that was introduced in Stolen Breaths. It can be read as a standalone. Joe and Maggie’s story was incredible. Pamela Sparkman creates fantastic book boyfriends! I adored Joe and all of his corny jokes. The dialogue, the banter, and the connection between the characters is some of the best that I have ever read.
(Read my review of Shattered by Pamela Sparkman & Deanna Gohn.)
Ugly Love – By Colleen Hoover
With a title like Ugly Love, I knew that it was going to put me through the emotional wringer! If you are looking for a sweet, easy, instant romance…then this might not be the book for you. This book is intense, the characters are flawed and real, and their story is anything but easy. This book is heart wrenching, painfully beautiful, and amazing. You don’t just read a Colleen Hoover book, you experience it! (Read my review of Ugly Love.)
Becoming Calder & Finding Eden – By Mia Sheridan
These books are Part 1 & Part 2 of Aquarius (Sign of Love Series).
Wow! Original, emotional, heartbreaking, and beautiful are just a few of the words that I could use to describe these two books. Mia Sheridan has written a stunning book about the innocence, purity, and essence of young love. This series was one that I thought about long after I finished reading it. You know how readers often say that they experienced a book hangover after finishing a particular book? Well, I was in a book haze! These books gave me all of the feelings that I crave when I read – the butterflies, the anticipation, and the heart palpitations.
*These books must be read in order.
(Read my review of Becoming Calder.)
(Read my review of Finding Eden.)
Faithful (Fearsome Book 3) – By S.A. Wolfe
S.A. Wolfe does an incredible job of creating characters that we can all relate to. They could easily represent our neighbors, our employers, or our closest friends and family. This is what makes her writing so engaging…it’s real. The banter, the wit, the sarcasm, and the attraction between Imogene and Cooper is second to none. I laughed so hard while I was reading this book that I had to wipe the tears from my eyes! This book was romantic, steamy, funny, emotional, and heartwarming.
(Read my review of Faithful.)
Nocte – By Courtney Cole
You have to read this book and experience it for yourself! It is brimming with mystery, insanity, and secrets. It is a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, unpredictable book that will leave you craving more! I was glued to the pages and did not want to put it down. I can’t really say too much more about it…just read it, trust me! I can’t wait to read the next book, Verum. It releases on February 2nd!
(Read my review of Nocte.)
Presently Perfect (Perfect Series #3) – By Alison G. Bailey
I could not wait to get my hands on this book! Present Perfect was among my favorite books of 2013. I fell in love with Noah and Amanda’s (Tweet) story right from the very beginning and I continued to fall deeper with every page of this book. I didn’t think that it was possible to like their story any more than I already did, but Alison Bailey has created two characters that have such a beautiful friendship and love that I couldn’t help but be swallowed up in the emotion all over again. This is the perfect friends to lovers story! I highly recommend this whole series (one of my all-time favorites)!
(Read my review of Presently Perfect.)
Deliver – By Pam Godwin
This book is a darker romance. It’s not for the faint of heart! It deals with human trafficking/sex slavery. Pam Godwin has a knack for writing a book that grabs your attention at the beginning and keeps you flipping the pages until the very end. Deliver is a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, raw, gritty, suspenseful ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
(Read my review of Deliver.)
Black Lies – By Alessandra Torre
This book completely shocked me. I can honestly say that I didn’t see any of it coming. The characters were so well done, so perfectly created to weave this elaborate tale of love and deception. It was one of the most uniquely written love stories that I have read in a long time.
(Read my review of Black Lies.)
Ignite & Burn – By R.J. Lewis
This is a friends to lovers story (I love those), but it goes far above and beyond that. This is not an easy, sweet, birds chirping in the background kind of love story. This is a difficult, raw, passionate, roller coaster ride. You need to read Ignite first. Burn picks up right where the first book left off. R.J. Lewis does a great job of weaving the story, keeping you on the edge of your seat, and trying to figure out what is going to happen next. The relationships in these books can only be described as dysfunction at their finest! So good!
(Read my review of Ignite.)
(Read my review of Burn.)
Archer’s Voice – By Mia Sheridan
Okay, I know that I already had Mia Sheridan’s Sign of Love Series on my list, but I had to mention Archer’s Voice! How could anyone not love Archer Hale? Archer is a gorgeous man who lives a reclusive lifestyle. Bree is a newcomer to the small town who just wants to find some peace and try to make a fresh start. This book can be best described as a beautiful slow burn. When Bree takes it upon herself to make friends with Archer, he wants nothing to do with her. He is used to being on his own. Mia Sheridan has done a terrific job of creating these characters, setting up their gradual relationship from friendship to more. This is a beautiful, unique story that will stay with you long after the final page.
(Read my review of Archer’s Voice.)
Love, in English – By Karina Halle
This is another forbidden romance. Vera is a 23 year old student who is teaching English in Spain for the summer. Mateo is a 38 year old businessman and former pro soccer player. When they meet up for this English immersion program, they quickly become friends. Mmhmm, this is where the whole forbidden aspect comes into play. They have a pretty big age difference, they’re at different points in their lives, she is free spirited, and he is settled down…married! Oh, the turmoil, the angst, the tension, the heartache! This was a great contemporary romance that delivered everything that I love in a book.
(Read my review of Love, in English.)
The Force of Gravity – By Kelly Stevenson
This is a fantastic debut novel by a very promising new author. I have read quite a few student/teacher romance books, and I would have to say that this one ranks right up there with some of my favorites. Kaley Kennedy is in her graduating year of high school, has great friends, a gorgeous boyfriend, a loving family, and big dreams for her future. Her life seems perfect and on the right track. But that would be a boring story…and this book is anything but boring! Throw in a young, good looking math teacher, a forbidden attraction, secrets, lies, betrayals, and a ton of angst, and you’ve got The Force of Gravity. I can’t wait for the sequel!
(Read my review of The Force of Gravity.)
The Fall of January Cooper – By Audrey Bell
This was a great book! January Cooper was a rich, spoiled young woman whose life changed in the blink of an eye. Christian Cutlass had already lost everything that mattered to him. They were both broken and just wanted to be whole again. This is not your average cookie cutter romance. When January and Christian meet, there is an immediate attraction between them, but their relationship is certainly not all lollipops and dancing unicorns! They do develop a friendship and seem to grow to like each other, but even that is not without a lot of bickering and problems. I enjoyed their sarcastic banter, they definitely don’t hold anything back. This is a smart, entertaining, witty, emotional, angst filled book.
(Read my review of The Fall of January Cooper.)
It is so difficult to narrow down this list. I have been extremely fortunate to have read some amazing books this year. I would like take this opportunity to name a few more that I truly enjoyed.
- Loving Mr. Daniels – By Brittainy C. Cherry – A fantastic, emotional student/teacher romance.
- Insurmountable (Sins of the Father) – By T.E. White – This was a debut novel that had a twist that I never saw coming. There were a few editing issues when I read it, but it didn’t take away from the story itself.
-Sugar on the Edge (Last Call Series) – By Sawyer Bennett – A grumpy, sexy, scotch-swilling author with a dirty mouth. This book was sizzling and fun!
- A Different Blue – By Amy Harmon – Another great book by Amy Harmon! This is a student/teacher romance that deals with so much more. A beautiful and emotional read!
- Knockout & Brawler- By Tracey Ward - This is not a sugarcoated romance! A great series!
I hope that you enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed writing it.
May 2015 fill your bookshelves/e-readers with even more great books!
Please feel free to comment or share.
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