So there were a crap ton of fantastic books released this year. As we come to the close of 2014, I wanted to highlight my top reads of the year.
Now we all know I read a lot, so let me just say that narrowing this list down was extremely tough because I read so many phenomenal books this year, and I would highly recommend many of the books I read to y’all, but the books on this post just stuck out to me in one way or another. These are books that just went above and beyond and gave me some truly unforgettable reading experiences.
I struggled so much that I you’ll find many of my top reads for a particular book include the follow up to those books. (For instance you’ll notice that many series are listed as top reads because I LOVED all of the books and couldn’t pick a favorite. That happened. A lot.)
The struggle is real people. Very real.
So below you’ll find my Top Reads of 2014. These books were just my favorites for so many reasons. All of these books were exceptional, and magnificent, and phenomenal, and just about every other positive adjective you can think of. They have it all and were all more than 5 star reads! They were just the best.
They truly are Top Reads, and I couldn’t recommend them more to you, so be sure to check them out!
**All books in this post were released in 2014.
**Top Reads of 2014**
~The Hacker Series: Hardline & Hard Limit by Meredith Wild~
“It means that every waking breath you take, every step you take, you don’t just take to move your own life forward, but ours. You take it knowing I’m right there with you, irrevocably tied to every decision you make.”-Hardline
“You’re in my soul, Erica. I couldn’t hide from you if I tried. Just….” I knit my brows together. ‘What?’ ‘Just be careful while you’re in there, okay? You have more control than you think.” -Hard Limit
Both of these chapters for Blake and Erica were just fantastic. Each one pushed these characters more and more, and the results of that was nothing short of phenomenal. I felt so much reading these books, and the level of emotion they have is so varied and just breathtaking. These books are some of my all time favorites, and I for one cannot wait to see what comes next for the ever dynamic Blake Landon and Erica Hathaway.
~The Wake Series: Bait by M. Mabie~
“If flying from one part of the world to another across time zones and datelines gave one jet-lag, what was it called when a persons heart traveled from one man to another man and then back in mere minutes? I’d love to know.”
Ah, Blake and Casey. I fucking love these two. So hard. Casey made me want to swoon. Constantly. Blake was so real, and even when I wanted to slap that girl silly, I loved her and I got her. Blake & Casey land, aka Bait, was one of my favorite places to be. It’s full of flaws and it’s messy as all get out, but it’s glorious and so full of love too, and I for one cannot get enough of Blake & Casey. Or Casey’s hair.
~The Hale Brother Series: Drops of Rain & Starless Nights by Kathryn Andrews~
“So quickly I went from feeling like I was drowning in the water to drowning in him. No guy has ever stirred these types of emotions in me or caused the sensations rippling through me. I never want to come up for air.” -Drops of Rain
“Beau, why do you like the stars so much? Because they remind me of you.” -Starless Nights
Drops of Rain and Starless Nights were such emotional and beautiful reads that I just loved. All the feels, all the emotion, and all the love. Drew Hale, Ali Rain, Beau Hale, and Leila Starling just molded themselves to my heart when I met their characters. You’ll love the intricate and just plain wonderful layers to these books, stories, and characters, and I guarantee there’s no way you won’t be loving the Hale brothers by the end of these books.
~Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan~
This was my first book by Mia Sheridan and her writing just drew me in. Archer’s Voice is one of those books that just welcomes you in with welcomed arms, and you won’t ever want to leave those arms. This book is beautiful. It’s vulnerable. It’s breathtaking. It’s feeling. It’s emotion times ten. It’s love and heartache all in one. It’s so much. The beauty of this book will have you feeling everything, and there’s no possible way that Archer Hale won’t be your latest book boyfriend after this book.
~Picking Up the Pieces by Elizabeth Hayley~
“I think when you meet the person you’re meant to be with, your heart just knows, even if it takes your brain a while to catch up. You can deny it and fight it all you want. But it’s no use. there is no living without that person.”
Holy mother effing love triangle. This is one of the best love triangles I’ve read because I really did not know who Lily, the main character would pick. Sure, I knew who I wanted her to pick, but you’ll be dying to figure out who she chooses. Elizabeth Hayley are two of my favorite writers and the way they combine hysterical humor, sarcasm, and authenticity with a crap ton of love and emotion just had me loving this conclusion to their Pieces Series. This book will have you loving Lily, Adam, and Max and their crazy selves over and over again.
~The Wrecked & Ruined Series: Changing Course, Stolen Course, Among the Echoes, Broken Course by Aly Martinez~
“Our relationship is not simple or straightforward. It’s not perfect the way young couples dream about. It’s rough and flawed, but it’s ours. And sometimes, if you get really lucky, something truly beautiful can come from the imperfections.”-Stolen Course
“Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I’ll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you’re the one who is mistaken. You’ll be at the end of that story, beautiful. You either come willingly or you force me into the dark after you. It doesn’t matter to me, because either way, I’ll find you.”-Among The Echoes
“I love you. I love you despite it all, and now, I’m standing here, begging you to love me despite it all too.”-Broken Course
Years ago one fateful night changed it all. It sliced through life as these characters knew it, and it put them all on paths they never expected to find themselves on. Those paths are ones laced with so much emotion they will take your breath away. This series follows all of these unique and thoughtfully crafted characters as they try to make sense of it all, all while trying to figure out where they go from the painful night that changed everything. Each of the outstanding books in this series follows someone touched and affected by that night, and I LOVED each one so freaking much.
~Rules of Protection~
This book has everything going for it. It’s got an alpha male, a sassy female, and more humor than you can shake a stick at. The main characters are absolutely wonderful in every way, the family that makes up the supporting characters will have you feeling the love, humor, and the southern awesomeness, and the story itself will hook you in from the first word to the very last. It’s magnificently balanced with the love story and suspense, and you’ll want to fight for Emily and Jake and what they have together throughout the entirety of the book.
~The Dearest Series: Dearest Clementine & Finding Dandelion by lex Martin~
“We stay together.’ He holds my face with both of his hands. ‘Because you’re what makes me want everything else.”-Finding Dandelion
The Dearest Series is one of my favorites because it has witty characters, plenty of humor, and just so much feeling within its pages. These books are true new adult books, and I connected so much with these characters as I read them. They were beyond believable to me, and I loved that. Lex Martin does a fabulous job of creating so many engaging and dynamic characters that will make you swoon, laugh, and smile all while bringing a certain blush to your face. Both books do a fantastic job of balancing the light and heavy, the funny and serious, as well as creating stories where you just can’t help but root for the main characters.
~Bright Side by Kim Holden~
Bright Side by Kim Holden is a book that changes you. I can’t say enough good things about this book and the utterly emotional story encapsulated within its pages. This book made me feel the gamut of emotions. It made me think and feel and experience with everything it had. This was a full bodied reading experience that was nothing short of phenomenal. Bright Side made me cry like a mother effing baby too, but with tears pouring down my face I devoured this book and was just enveloped by its amazingness. Reading Bright Side is like reading literal magic, and I honestly don’t have the right amount of words to describe how wonderful that is.
~Fade In by M. Mabie~
“Baby, just be honest. Please, just say you feel this. Feel it for real, not just fro some fling. Not just to scratch an itch. I want you so badly that I’m losing my mind, baby. But I won’t stop after you say go. Tatum, give us this.”
Oh Benny and Tatum, how I love thee. In my opinion Benny and Tatum are the bees motherfucking knees. Fade In is a book full of humor and plenty of fun times, and it is so heartwarming that you will just be feeling all the love and emotion. Ben practically had me on the floor from swooning so much during this book, and Tatum and her spitfire self had my cheeks hurting from smiling so much at the things she said. Fade In is bursting with laughs and humor, but it’s also bursting with so much love and emotion and vulnerability that’s just going to make your heart happy. Bottom line: I love me some Benny & Tatum!
~The Rocker Who Wants Me by Terri Anne Browning~
Boy do I love me a rocker book, and no other series delivers like The Rocker Series by Terri Anne Browning. I have loved every book and every single rocker I’ve met in this series, but I think it’s safe to say that Axton Cage is my favorite. Dallas and Axton are still two of the most stubborn characters I have ever read, but I absolutely loved that about them. Their stubbornness just adds to their passion and it made me love them more. Dallas and Axton are getting a third chance in this book, and their story is one you wont soon forget. These two have such an undeniable chemistry together that you won’t soon forget. Not to be outdone, all the fantastic supporting characters just round this book out, and they’ll have you feeling all the rocker love.
~On My Knees by Meredith Wild~
“It had never been so blatantly clear that deep down she needed me as fiercely as I needed her. Knowing that she did bound me to her in a way that I’d never felt before, ever. I was going to put her back together. I’d unbreak everything I’d broken and bring her back to me if it was the last thing I did.”
On My Knees follows Maya and Cameron and their scorching off the page chemistry, as they try to figure out what is what between them as they get a second chance at being together. They are drawn to one another for a lot of reasons. This story follows them as they try to find, build, and cross the bridge from where they were to where they actually want to be. Their journey is wholly theirs, and makes for an extremely engaging story that will have you in tears one moment, breathless from the visceral moments so eloquently written in the next, smiling like a fool in others, fanning yourself from the connection you feel between them, and in the end you will just feel balanced from how it all comes together.
~Crashed by K. Bromberg~
“I accept you, I tell him. All of you. The broken parts. The bent parts. The ones filled with shame. The cracks where hope seeps through. The little boy cowering in fear and the grown man still suffocating in his shadow. The demons that haunt. Your will to survive. And your spirit that fights. Every single part of you is what I love. What I accept. What I want to help heal.”
Crashed is the fantastic conclusion to The Driven Trilogy by K. Bromberg. I’ll be the first to admit I was late person to the whole Colton Donovan party, but boy when I got there did I want to stay forever. Crashed was everything I wanted and more in a conclusion. K. Bromberg knows how to go out with a bang, how to hit it out of the damn park, and how to write the endings of all endings. There was so much that happened in Crashed, but I loved how much the events of Crashed pushed Rylee and especially Colton. This series, but especially this book pushed them to exactly where they needed to be, even if they both didn’t know it at the time. This book is just more and it was so worth the lack of sleep to devour.
~The Belonging Duet: Beloved & Beholden by Corinne Michaels~
“Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. That may seem like a stupid thing to say, but you should remember it. If your life isn’t what you wanted-you can change it. You have the power to make a change. Live the life you want to live. If someone doesn’t treat you well…cut them loose. If you want something bad enough…go after it. There’s nothing in this world that comes easy. Take your life by the horns and don’t let go.”-Beholden
Beloved and Beholden were two beautiful and emotional reads that tell the story of Catherine and Jackson. Catherine has spent her entire life feeling like she isn’t enough. Jackson Cole was a male character that you will just adore. Reading how things unfold between them was humorous at times, hugely emotional at others, and just made for a truly phenomenal read with both these books. These books and characters pulled at my heart, and with each minute I spent with them, I was more in love with their story. Catherine and Jackson just felt so real to me when reading, and you’re going to feel every ounce of every emotion and feeling these two share. You will feel every ounce of happiness, and pain, and doubt, and questioning, and joy, and elation.
~Black Lies by Alessandra Torre~
The Breathing Series: Rescue Breathing & Life Support
“You’re the only one I want to be with. If you need me to tell you all the ways I want you, I’ll do it. I could go on all night. What this is between us, it’s good, Olivia, and I don’t want it with anyone else. You own me Olivia. Don’t you see that?” -Rescue Breathing
“Listen carefully to me. I love you. I need you, and there will never be anyone else. I’ve found what I didn’t know I was even looking for in you. When I’ve found my other half, why would I need to continue looking? I want you and only you-forever and always. I may be the guy who’s out there saving people every day from burning buildings, but you save my life every single day. You give me life. You give me confidence and strength I didn’t know I had. And more importantly than all of that, you give me your love, which I know, without hesitation, I would die without. “-Life Support
Rescue Breathing and its phenomenal follow up Life Support have a hot as all get out fireman who’s got charm out the yin yang. They also have a female main character that is one of the realest and most authentic characters I’ve ever read. And you’re going to love her the moment that you meet her lovable butt. Owen & Olivia are just plain awesome. These two meet after a chance encounter and what ensues after is hot and real and so flipping good to read. Both these characters feel with everything they’ve got and they were so real to me with everything they felt and did. These two will engage you with their fiery magic from the moment you meet them, and you will be very sad to let them go, but that in no way lessens the fact that they will blow you away with everything they’ve got.
~Locke by Harper Sloan~
I knew that Maddox Locke was going to be my favorite P.O.V. from The Corps Security Series by Harper Sloan, the first moment I met him in Axel. I am not lying one bit when I say that. I knew then that that complicated and dark man was going to blow my mother effing mind away, and let me tell you:Maddox Locke doesn’t let you down one bit.Maddox Locke’s story is one filled with so many things, but after finally stepping into his dynamic head, I’ve realized that Maddox Locke is what male characters should be made of. He’s fierce, he’s intense, and his story is one filled with so much varied emotion that I couldn’t love him more if I tried. And don’t even get me started on how much I absolutely LOVE Emersyn, the lucky little sassy lady who enraptures Maddox Locke from the moment they first meet. This was the perfect conclusion to this series, and I for one was sold from the first word.
~Conflagration by Tessa Teevan~
The first time I met Branson Wellington in Incinerate, I wanted to punch him in the face. Hard. By the end of Conflagration I still kind of wanted to punch him in the face, but then I wanted to hug his stubborn butt so hard. Branson Wellington will prove you wrong in this book. And Ari, the main girl of the hour? Be prepared to love her so hard you won’t be jealous one bit about the fact that she’s the one Branson Wellington chooses to finally risk it all for. I don’t have the right amount of words for what Ari and Branson have and how beautiful and powerful that is, but I will say that what they have together is built on many things, but at its core it’s built on the idea that love has the power to change you if you let it. Conflagration is about one Branson Wellington not giving up. It’s also about one Ariana Covington believing those same words, and practicing what she preaches. Give this wonderfully flawed man and his fierce lady a chance, and you’ll be oh so happy you did. Their love will revive your faith in the power of love.
~Consequences of Deception by Ella Fox~
This was the first book I ever read by Ella Fox, and I think it’s always going to be my favorite. I love me some Killian and Sloane something fierce. They are complicated and dynamic and messy and so damn fierce. Sloane and Killian have a past history together. Four and half years ago, they were on the fast track to starting up something fierce when a tragic and horrible event brought that all to a screeching halt. Consequences of Deception is the story of what happens when Sloane and Killian are thrust back into each others lives for reasons you don’t fully find out until much further into the story. Its got drama, some very raw and emotional moments, plenty of times that will make you want to hit someone, or cry, or laugh, or smile like a fool, and of course its got just enough romance to make you want to melt into a puddle asap.
~Knights Rebels MC Series: Incandescent & Affliction by River Savage~
“I want to relish in the feeling of now, of in this moment knowing it’s something I’ll want to remember. That pivotal point when you know the man you’re giving you’re body to just took a little of your heart. Lust my ass, my heart sings.”-Incandescent
“So I’m going to do just that. I will sit in the darkness waiting, waiting for her to come and guide me back out. And while I wait, hoping the light comes soon, I will thank God I’m not afraid of the dark.” -Affliction
Incandescent and Affliction were my first real MC reads, and they just hit it out of the damn park for me. These books were hot with a capital H, and they had characters that just didn’t quit. Incandescent is Nix and Kaydence’s story, and he’s one dirty talking alpha male and she’s a sassy little school teacher. Boy did those two just work. Their book was just so fucking fun to read, and even in all those light and sassy moments there was so much passion and feeling with them. Holly and Sy took me on a seriously emotional journey in Affliction. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would feel for these two or the pasts that they had, but I embraced everything they made me feel because it was nothing short of exceptional. I felt for those two so fucking much. These books are heavy on the emotion, heavy on the heat, and seriously heavy on the love and feeling. River Savage’s fantastic writing along with the dirty talking alphas and sassy spitfire women just keep winning me over again and again.
~Redeeming Justice by Suzanne Halliday~
So we all know by this point that I love me a dark horse. I LOVE reading male characters with pasts they must overcome in order to be with the women they love. That’s one of my favorite kinds of stories and male characters to read, and Alex Marquez and Redeeming Justice deliver on that tenfold. There’s just something that gets me about attempting to overcome all that darkness. It also helps when there’s a sassy female character in tow, and Meghan O’Brien certainly fits that bill. Redeeming Justice is a book about a lot of things. It’s about redemption for things in the past. It’s about healing from past hurt. It’s about finding the light, and it’s about finding the love that makes all the pain worthwhile. This book was out of this world remarkable, and made for a truly great reading experience you won’t want to miss. The characters are great, the story is magnificent and well paced, and in the end, you’ll be so happy you had a chance to experience it!
~Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover~
“Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”
You know I couldn’t end my top reads list without a bang, right?! Ugly Love was the book that introduced me to Colleen Hoover. I loved this book so vehemently that I didn’t even care that it made me break down in tears in the middle of Disney World. In fact, I think that’s part of the reason I loved it so much. Ugly Love introduced me to the seriously wonderful thing that is Colleen Hoover’s books, but it also gave me Tate and Miles. I felt so much reading Ugly Love, and I connected with these characters and all they went through in such an extraordinary way. It’s an unconventional love story that at certain times hurt my heart, but at others made my heart whole with all the love. Miles and Tate just had a story so full of emotion and pain and hurt, but also full of so much love. The best kind of love and ugly love. This book will always be one of my all time favorites because it introduced me to one of my favorite authors. It’ll also remain one of my favorites because it really is a book about overcoming and accepting it all, even the bad parts, and that just blew me away, and it still does.