A look back at the first half of 2014!

July 1, 2014 Random Acts of Reading 0

Hi, JulyThe Little River Band sang about the glorious pastime of reminiscing, and that is exactly what I am planning to do.

Well, somehow time seems to have arrived at July 1. Six months of the year have just flown past (or at least it feels like that).

Seeing as we are entering the second half of 2014, I’m going to talk about how I have seen the first half, here at My Written Romance.

The Challenge!

Last year, I read 252 books, surpassing my goal of 250, and as I am a rather competitive beast when it comes to….well, a lot of things, I decided to up this year’s goal to 300 books. Yes, that is nearly one a day. There have been times in the last six months where I have flown through books, and others where it felt like I hadn’t read in days. However, I have managed to stick to my Challenge, and as it stands today:

I have read 162 books toward my goal of 300 books.

That puts me 14 books ahead of schedule, according to some random Goodreads timetable. If you want to check out my reading list for 2014 so far, just click here.

Here are some random stats for the books I have read this year:

♥  From 162 books, I have only DNF’d five books. Three of which made me incredibly stabby.

♥  There have been 28 books that blew my socks off to the extent, I just had to award them 5 stars. What made me really happy – 16 were books by Australian romance authors!

♥  I have discovered that I love dark, brooding and mysterious heroes. Thanks to Maisey Yates and Jackie Ashenden for that one!

What have been my favourite books of 2014 so far?

How do you pick a favourite?As there have been some many incredible books that I have read this year, this is not the easiest list to compile. I don’t want to miss any one out, but in the interests of keeping this post reasonably short, and this is in no particular order, but here are some of  my 5-star books for 2014:

♥  Nobody but Him by Victoria Purman – my first 5-star read for the year
♥  Lost in Kakadu by Kendall Talbot – I will be reviewing this next week as part of the RuBY Reviews.
♥  Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha – I’m constantly amazed at the incredible world created in these books. Oh, and the sexytimes….
♥  Red Sand Sunrise by Fiona McArthur – This brought together two of my loves – rural and medical romance – in a great way.
♥  Unforgettable You by Georgina Penney – Jo Blaine is infinite levels of awesome!
♥  Outback Blaze by Rachael Johns – How can you go past those eyes? So, so good….
♥  Floored by Ainslie Paton – I still maintain I want this as a movie.
♥  Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy – This book will tear your heart out, and make you cry all the ugly cries, then give it all back to you.
♥  The Greatest Lover Ever by Christina Brooke – I did not want this book to end…ever.
♥  Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr – This was the book that, within a couple of pages, I just knew I would love it!

There have been a couple of fabulous authors who have provided me with more than one 5-star book so far this year:

♥  Jackie Ashenden’s Having Her and The Billionaire Biker
♥  Amy Andrews’ Risky Business and 200 Harley Street: The Tortured Hero
♥  Alison Stuart’s Lord Somerton’s Heir and Claiming the Rebel’s Heart

Other bringers of awesome this year for me includes Jessica Scott, Robin Covington, Helene Young, Kylie Kaden and Sarah Mayberry.

What is in store for the rest of the year?

Well, more of the same hopefully! I am really looking to build on the awesome first part of the year, and keep bringing more fabulous books to you, my readers. There are book tours, giveaways, random thoughts that will escape my mind – many things are planned for the rest of 2014.

cd6861c452ef2b8442254a70442d4e99The big thing I am looking forward to is the Romance Writers of Australia conference, which will be held in Sydney in August.

Just over a month until I get the chance to connect with new romance writers and readers, as well as catching up with my existing peeps! I popped my conference cherry last year in Fremantle, and thanks to the fabulous members of RWA, I had the best time.

I’m currently assembling my costume for the Friday cocktail party – think 1980s hair metal! My inspiration is being drawn from Vixen….now to find leather pants that don’t require copious amounts of baby powder or Spanx to get into.

Time to say thank you!!

cat-cute-followers-funny-favim-com-10483381As always, I have to thank all the lovely publishers and authors who have passed their book babies over to me to read and review. Because of you, I have been able to discover some amazing new authors, and uncover a formerly unknown love for certain sub-genres of romance.

I said this last year, and I will say it again: Maybe I haven’t enjoyed every book I’ve read this year, but I still really appreciate the opportunity to read and review!

To my ever-patient Hubby and my tiny overlord, Miss Ruby, thank you for allowing me the time to pursue this.

Finally, a massive thank you goes to the ever-awesome and continually brilliant collective that are the Naughty Ninjas. Rhyll, Georgina, Sandra, Cate, Lily, Sarah and Andra, you have allowed me to become part of your romance dojo, and introduced me to some rather….”interesting” things. You, my dear Ninjas, radiate awesome! The support you give is always appreciated.


I hope your reading year has been, and continues to be, as awesome as possible.

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