2013: What We’ve Read and Liked. A lot.
J: Our favorite reads of the year. First, I should thank you for getting me to read again
it’s been a fun year
and I’ve been amazed at how much time I actually have to read when I make myself do it
M: when you look forward to it
I still maintain you can’t write if you don’t read
for a whole myriad of reasons
plus, just the whole experience and worlds reading opens
J: for me, I didn’t think I could write if I did read. because I wanted all my free time to go toward writing
of course, I still only read just before bed
so more often than not, I pass out before I even open the kindle app
but I’m getting there
M: I’ve read so many book this year, I’d be scared to keep count
but a few stick in my mind as favorites
J: I’m guessing a few of those favorites will match mine
M: Kate SeRine’s Transplanted Tales series, of course
Red, The Better To See You, Along Came a Spider
if I named a number one, that would be it
M: Yes. Downloading Red was one of the best things I did this past year
and still my best example of how offering free days for your ebook works big time
I love everything about that series and her writing
jeebus, her imagination
J: the connections she makes
and the leaps that don’t end up being leaps at all
Nate is still my number one hero for the year, but he’s closely followed by Ivan from Delphine Dryden’s first in the Science of Temptation series, The Theory of Attraction
M: Kate does great heroes. All three so far are great.
And I did like Ivan, too
but the Transplanted Tales series just has it all, in my opinion. Solid writing, amazing world-building, great characters, hunky heroes, intriguing plots
can’t go wrong
and, I’ve rec’d to a ton of people and haven’t heard that even one didn’t enjoy
my mom actually went and ordered the print copies from her local bookseller to have and hold, she enjoyed so much
J: well, plus Kate’s super nice
M: oh, yes. that’s just a bonus
Great series and an author who is so, so nice and genuine
she deserves all the good
J: I agree
M: Ben Monopoli, of course
Homo Action Love Story: A Tall Tale was just a huge, rollicking romp
J: oh, I finally read it!
J: oh, I loved
I don’t know why I forgot to mention
I read it a couple months ago while we were kind of on hiatus
M: I think Boots McHenry gets the award for best character name ever
J: I have to agree with you there
but if I were to choose my favorite of his three, you know I’d go with The Cranberry Hush
M: all his books make the list
so many feels, and such amazing diversity in his writing while still maintaining that level of response
J: I’ve not cried so hard reading a book in ages
M: to me, that’s the sign of a good writer
J: also, nice guy
M: also very nice guy, yes
J: but seriously. Sobbed.
M: amazing story
J: who’s next?
M: well, I know you didn’t read, and I have some things to say about this one
J: off you go
M: Lover At Last by JR Ward
J: oh yeah
M: I loved and hated this one – I have such complicated and conflicting feels
I love Qhuinn. Love him. One of my all-time favorite fictional characters
But JR Ward. Argh. The Black Dagger Brotherhood has become so frustrating
I loved this one because Qhuinn finally got his HEA
but, the completely outrageous lack of research and expectation of suspension of disbelief – the plane scene, for example. So outrageously wrong in so many ways.
And…his and Blay’s story had so much potential to be amazing. Super amazing, with all the feels, because he’s such a complicated character that feels so much himself (and did I mention amazing? ‘Cause he is)
I can’t help feeling it missed the mark in living up to all that
J: sometimes it’s hard to live up to the potential, especially if there’s just SO MUCH potential
M: well, I know there was a lot of expectation for this particular book
but this series started out with great emotion and feels, but has kind of gone away from that as it continues
I mean, as I’m reading, I could actually note the scenes where the opportunity for something amazing was there, but just wasn’t developed
not just an overall sense of overhyped expectation not met, if that makes sense
J: it does
I’m sad it didn’t quite hit the mark
but sounds like it still left an impression
I have the first one in the series, Dark Lover, packed in my laptop bag for tomorrow, btw
M: worth the read
the series and characters are so great and so frustrating at the same time
my mom and I call it the “Yay! Factor”
you know it’s wrong and stupid, but…”Yay!” You’re so caught up, you don’t care.
J: well, I’ll finally know what all the fuss is about
M: we could do months worth of chats on both the awesome and the wtf-ery of that series
let me get caught up
I’ll let you know after I read the first
anything else on your list for the year?
M: I’m really enjoying Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, as far as erotica
Beyond Shame, Beyond Control, Beyond Pain so far
I know you weren’t as enamored, but I’m hooked
And CD Reiss’s Song of Submission series was a good alternative to Fifty, right up until the last part of the serial/series – book 7
I disliked so much, it ruined the whole experience. Big bummer.
J: oh, I started that one
but didn’t go past the first
M: no? Didn’t like?
J: I think maybe the hype for BDSM?
because I loved Del Dryden’s stuff
but it wasn’t the same old thing, either
M: what were your faves?
J: well, definitely Kate and Ben
and then my little geek love kick brought me to Delphine Dryden’s The Science of Temptation series
which I just adored
but that’s because I do love the betas
M: I really liked the first one of the series
I haven’t read the rest, but I will
J: and then I loved Charlotte Stein’s Control and Power Play
again, beta heroes
M: I don’t think I’ve read those yet
J: I enjoy her a lot
very deep pov
takes a bit to get used to it
feeling EVERYTHING the heroine feels
but then you’re so deep you can’t get out
M: I read another of Charlotte Stein’s that was like that
did take a little getting used to, but I enjoyed
the one with them on a boat – Curve Ball
J: oh, shit. Elizabeth Hunter
how could I forget?
Her vampire series, Elemental Mysteries, was excellent. A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, The Force of Wind, A Fall of Water
but her new book and series The Irin Chronicles, is just wow
cannot wait for the next one
M: I enjoy her stories, too
J: I liked them enough to buy them for my mom
I don’t usually do that
the only other author I’ve sent her way is you
M: there is a meandering-ish quality to her stuff that keeps her just on the edge of making my fave of the year list, I have to admit
I can’t quite put my finger on it
J: have you read The Scribe yet?
it had a slow start, but all those things that made me pause in the vampire series were smoothed out in this one
M: I did, and I liked
maybe too much time spent in the character’s heads? I’m not sure
but then we really know the character, too
M: definitely a new fave author
J: something she seems to like to do is make the good guy appear to be the bad guy in the beginning
I think that might be the extent of my faves this year
M: I do like the good guy/bad guy juxtaposition
a couple new-to-me authors I’m looking forward to reading more of next year
Karen Rose – I read her You Belong to Me, romantic suspense
really liked it
and Rebecca Zanetti. I had a ton of love for the first in her Sins Brothers series, Forgotten Sins, up until one certain scene that seemed just way over the top for me, and then the story and heroine took a completely different turn. So weird. The first 2/3 I loved a lot. Last 1/3, not so much
but I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next in the series, Sweet Revenge, to see if it is as awesome as the beginning of the first book
J: I choose stuff based on what’s in front of me at that moment
so I don’t even know what I’m looking forward to
I know there’s more from Kate SeRine coming
and Ben has a novella out that I need to get
M: the next two in the Transplanted Tales will be out in 2014
J: I’ll be all over those
M: Grimm Consequences – more about Nate and Red
and Gideon’s book, Ever After
J: guh. Gideon.
M: Wait. Whaaaaat? Ben has a novella out?
the hell? and how did I not know?
I forgot to tell you?
Stag: A Story
M: well, if that isn’t the perfect brb ending, I don’t know what is.
gonna go order.
Happy Holidays, everyone!!
photo credit: shawncalhoun via photopin cc