Narrowing down the list of my favorite books this year was not an easy feat. It never is. These books made the top of the list because they all left a mark on me. They are books I would recommend to anyone. Each one on this list is a MUST READ, including each “honorable mention.” Read below to find out why.
Aflame by Penelope Douglas – This book, the final story about Fall Away Lane, caused a lot of controversy when it was first announced. Controversy that was filled with people telling PD what kind of story she needed to tell. Thankfully, she shut them all up when Aflame was released and Jared and Tate got the ended they both needed and deserved.
Fairytale Come Alive by Kristen Ashley – Less than three chapters in and I was kicking myself for waiting so long to read this. It’s no secret KA is my favorite author, but this book takes it to a whole other level. Your heart will be broken and mended countless times and you will enjoy every second of it.
The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry – This book is going to knock you on your ass, only to lift you back up, and knock you down again. The emotion is real and powerful and the story is so well told, you will find yourself completely lost in the words. Read it with a box of tissues and a strong drink.
Sustained by Emma Chase – This book had it all. I found myself completely wrapped up in the flawed, but endearing characters and outstanding writing. I read it voraciously, but never wanted it to end.
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley – I LOVE books about men who bust their ass to raise kids who are not their own (see above), but KA just puts her own spin on a tried and true story line and knocks it out of the park. Joker and Carissa’s story is one of the absolute best KA has given us.
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley – So here I was, riding high on Ride Steady when KA gives us High and Millie. I didn’t think it could get better… it did. Page by page, word by word, I was once again transported to Chaos and I never wanted to leave. Millie and High share the perfect second chance romance, and I am once again grateful for strong heroines who stay true to themselves.
Hold On by Kristen Ashley – There is a lot to say about this book, and you can read all about it in my review, but for now, I just have one word for you. EPILOGUE.
Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis-Graves – This book was chock-full of amusing, smart dialogue, and characters that you immediately fall in love with. I couldn’t put it down and was pleased to find out we will be seeing more of Kate and Ian.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy – What starts out as two people using each other to get what they want… Hannah to make the object of her desire jealous, and Garrett to get good enough grades to keep him on the hockey team, turns into something neither one of them expected.
The Score by Elle Kennedy – What happens when the player falls in love with a girl who has no desire to be played? You get more amazing writing from Elle Kennedy, of course. There were so many opportunities for this book to fall into a predictable pattern, and it ever happened, making it one of the best I read this year
Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy – Sarina Bowen’s The Understatement of the Year was my first introduction to m/m books and is a Top 3 all-time book of mine. That being said, I knew I wanted to read Him, I just didn’t know that I would love it as much as I did. Foolish really when you are coming the incredible talents of Sarina and Elle. Why wouldn’t you get perfection…which is exactly what Him is.
Cement Heart by Beth Ehemann – There was no way for me to write a review without ruining what makes this book so great. The blurb is purposely vague and going in blind is truly the best way to wring every single piece of heart stopping emotion out of this book. Incredible doesn’t even cover it.
Fighting Shadows by Aly Martinez – I am convinced that Aly Martinez in incapable of writing a bad book, and her fighting series, among others, is a testament to that. I thought Fighting Silence was awesome, and it was on my best of 2014. The next book in the series, Fighting Shadows follows right along with outstanding writing and original storytelling.
Priest by Sierra Simone – Easily the hottest book of 2015. This book had me squirming from start to finish, but what made it stand-out from the crowd was the story. This wasn’t just sex for the sake of it. Poppy and Tyler will push your boundaries and drag real emotion out of you.
Coming up with 15 books was near impossible. I felt like I was leaving for vacation without some of my kids. These are the books that were FIVE STAR reads for me and books you NEED to put at the top of your list.
Wildest Dreams, The Golden Dynasty, Fantastical, and Broken Dove (Fantasyland Series) by Kristen Ashley– Another series I waited too long to read because I wasn’t sure about the fantasy aspect. I was WAY wrong. KA has this way of making everything seem like a reality and that is never more true than in Fantasyland. Each book is outstanding on its own, but when the revolving story comes to a head, you won’t know which couple to love more.
Sebring by Kristen Ashley – Fans of the Unfinished Heroes will be very familiar with Nick Sebring, and most probably feel the same way I did. He is not redeemable. One thing I learned, never, EVER doubt the Queen!
Where We Belong by J Daniels – Mia and Ben are back in this sexy novella that was just what we needed from them. They will continue to be one of my favorite couples and I loved watching them navigate life with kids and complications.
The Shameless Hour and The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen – I really feel like Sarina does not get the exposure she deserves. She may write NA, but it’s NA like you have never seen. It’s smart and engaging. The characters are well developed and meaty. The storylines are original. The Shameless Hour and The Fifteenth Minute are books 4 and 5 in her MUST READ Ivy Years Series.
The Friend Zone and The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan – Kristen joins Sarina and Elle on the NA done right train. This year, Kristen gave us two stories in the Game On series that restores faith in good writing. In The Friend Zone, we have two friends are insistent on keeping their relationship stricly platonic, until it becomes impossible to deny their feelings. The Game Plan brings us Dex, the wise one of the group, who is now in the NFL, and the girl he has been secretly pining over for years. It’s time for Dex to up his game… and he does just that.
Kiss Me Kate by Katy Regnery – This story was the final book in the English Brothers’ series, which will go down as a top series for me. We’ve been teased with Kate’s story from the beginning and Katy delivered. Kate and Etienne’s story was everything I needed and wanted.