My Written Romance’s Best Books of 2014

January 27, 2015 Random Acts of Reading 10

As always, picking favourites and best-of lists is a task fraught with danger, and more often than not, I find myself remembering more and more awesome books after I have posted.

However, there were some books that I read last year, and they truly took my breath away. There were stories that made me laugh, made me cry, ripped my heart out of my chest and handed it back to me on a platter. I discovered a deep, abiding love for the dark and brooding, and if you have a character that doesn’t quite fit the norm, pass it my way – total Roz catnip!

A few fun facts and figures:

  • I read 314 books in 2014 – 14 ahead of my target of 300.
  • I had a great run of 5-star books – you guys write some awesome stuff.
  • I only had 5 books that I had to give a DNF to.
  • I read or listened to an entire 20-book series.

What have been my best reading moments of 2014?

My favourite series of the year, without a shadow of a doubt, was the Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives series from Escape Publishing. Nine incredible books from nine incredible authors – delicious, dirty, hot and sexy! Thank you, Escape, for bringing this to fruition.

Thanks to some high-quality book pimping from Maisey Yates, I discovered a love for the dark, sexy and damaged hero! I have read some seriously dark characters this year, and I can’t get enough!

I didn’t think I’d make my target of 300 books this year, however thanks to a change in jobs – partnered with not having to drive into work, I was able to squeeze in plenty of precious reading time!

Without further ado, the My Written Romance Top 5 for 2014:

This was freaking hard, my lovelies! There was much awesome spread around the book world this year, and these were FIVE of the very best! Other than number 1, the rest of the Top 5 are in no particular order. It was difficult enough to pick just 5, let alone put them in order.

Number 5:

Imaginary Lines - Allison ParrImaginary Lines by Allison Parr

I stated in my original review, and in my tweets, that while reading this, I had that the moment when you are reading a book, early on the piece, and you look up, and you just know that you are going to freaking love it. I’d been wanting Abe’s story for a long time, and I freaking loved it.

This left me smiling the biggest, goofiest smile.

You can check out my review here.

Number 4:

Lord Somerton's Heir - Alison StuartLord Somerton’s Heir by Alison Stuart

I knew, from the magnificent opening paragraph,

In the light of the lanterns held up by the stablehands, the glossy hide of the great, black horse reflected fire. The animal shivered, breaking the fire into golden sparks. …

that this was going to be a book that I would love deeply. The detail, the emotion, the suspense – just fabulous.

You can check out my review here.

Number 3:

Mine to Take - Jackie AshendenMine to Take by Jackie Ashenden

Gabriel, Gabriel, Gabriel…… ****gets distracted by hot cover****

I will describe it as I did in my original review: Much Hot, Very Gabriel, Such Dark, Wow Ashenden. Jackie writes the deeply flawed, dark and brooding heroes and heroines so very well, and Gabriel and Honor are perfect examples of this type of character.

You can check out my review here.

Number 2:

No More Mr. Nice Guy - Amy AndrewsNo More Mr. Nice Guy by Amy Andrews

Holy sh!t, this was good. I mean, surprise alleyway sexytimes, people!!!

It wasn’t just the hot bits that were awesome, this was just so well written and so much fun to read.

You can check out my review here.

and now for…..

Number 1 for 2014:

Floored - Ainslie PatonWell, as with last year, my favourite book for 2014 was from an Australian author. This year, the book that stuck with me from the moment I picked it up to….hell, it still sits in my memory….was:

Floored by Ainslie Paton

In my review, I spoke of how goddamn hard it was to put this book down. Incredible pacing, vivid settings, flawed and real characters, and sexual tension hot enough to burn a hole in my e-reader – Floored just had it all for me.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – if you read the clipper scene, and don’t feel the heat radiating from the page, there is no hope for you! NONE!!

And now for the thank yous!!

Once again, thanks to all of the wonderful people (authors, publishers, publicists etc.) who have given me the opportunity to read their work. You give so much joy with what you send out to the world, and I am glad that I can help put the word out there.

An lovely, big, squishy thank-you goes to the lovely people of Romance Writers of Australia – as always, the executive, conference organisers, and members are an amazing source of encouragement and inspiration.

I have so much planned for this year! There may not be as many reviews this year, but for good reason. My writing goals are going to take more of a front seat this year – I have one story mapped out, and another begging to be plotted and written, so I am pulling my head out of…well, you get the idea…and I am committing to getting this done.

A collective hug of awesome goes out to my Ninjas. Thank you for bringing me into your den of fabulous! If you have not taken yourself off to buy the collective works of these wonderful women, you are missing out!

To the Tall Man and the Tiny Overlord, thank you for giving me the time to pursue something that I love. It seems I have passed on my love of books to the TO, so my work there is done.

I hope you all had the most wonderful of festive seasons, and that you took plenty of time to read.

My Signature

10 Responses to “My Written Romance’s Best Books of 2014”

  1. thebookdate

    Can’t agree with you more over Floored. Ainslie Paton is an amazing author, love anything I have read of hers.

  2. Belinda Holmes

    And great choices! Ainslie is the best, and I edited her and Secret Confessions and I KNEW they were both winners. I am so very lucky to work with authors of this calibre. Thank you for acknowledging them as they deserve. I’m so proud of them.

  3. Belinda Holmes

    You might like to keep an eye out for Cafe Nix. Ainslie’s idea, fourteen authors, fifteen happy endings. Includes Ainslie, a few of the Secret Confessions authors, and Amy Andrews… Coming soon.

  4. amymedicalauthor

    Love this list, Roz 🙂 Thanks for including NMMNG on it.
    And yes, look out for Cafe Nix!

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