Kate’s Year in Review and Best Books List

Way back at the beginning of January, I set some reading goals.

1. I wanted to read 200 books before the end of the year,
2. I wanted to finish reading the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn (I had already read the first one and loved it), and
3. Anne challenged me to read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward (I reluctantly agreed because I don’t read vampires).

So how did I do, you ask?

1. I am at 193 books so far, and I’m pretty confident that I can read 7 more before the end of the year,
2. The last of the Bridgerton books is waiting for me to pick up a the library (and I can’t wait), and
3. I not only loved, loved, loved the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the next book The King on (*gasp*) 4/1/14.

In reviewing the books I’ve read this year, I noticed something. I read my way through a lot of new-to-me series. Some were newly published, others have been on bookshelves for years. Here are the ones that I loved and recommend:

Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward-obviously. I’m still not a huge fan of vampires, but I am a huge fan of the brotherhood. If you’re one of those few that haven’t tried the series yet and you like your romance with a bit of a bite (yes, that was a bad pun), you need to try this series. First book-Dark Lover.

The Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn-although I’m probably the only person who hadn’t read this series before this year, I’d recommend these books to fans of historical romance. The humor that runs throughout the books blends perfectly with the romance. I know I’m in love with them. First book-The Duke and I.

Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken-independent heroines, strong heroes, arrogant dragons, and humor that will make you snort out loud. What’s not to love? If you don’t mind shifters that end up with scales and flame-breathing abilities, this series is for you. First book-Dragon Actually.

The Chrysalis series by Elene Sallinger-BDSM relationships that don’t happen overnight. The buildup to these relationships is so perfect and the characters will have you following each high and low right along with them. Perfect for BDSM readers who prefer more emotion to their stories. First book-Awakening.

Tucker Springs series by L.A. Witt, Heidi Cullinan, and Marie Sexton-m/m series that mixes emotion and passion to sexy, steamy perfection. I can’t pick a favorite among this series. I highly recommend to any readers of m/m romances. First book-Where Nerves End (by L.A. Witt).

The Professor’s Rule by Heidi Belleau-m/m BDSM reads. The first one blew me away. It was something completely new. The second one was exactly the story I wanted and the third one left me wanting more and more. Luckily there are more coming to this series. These are around 50 pages each. If you read one series of short m/m BDSM books, this should be it. First book-Giving an Inch.

So now that I’m caught up on all of these series, what series should I attempt to complete for next year’s goal?

Anne’s Best of 2013 List

My 12 favorite reads of the year, in order from most super favorite to favorite.  I really tried to get this down to 10 but I couldn’t cut any more!  These were all wonderful stories!!!
1.  Family Man by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton (m/m, contemporary)
2.  The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers (novella, contemporary)
3.  Making It Last by Ruthie Knox (novella, contemporary)
4.  The entire Tucker Springs Series especially Dirty Laundry (m/m, contemporary)
5.  The Seduction Hypothesis by Delphine Dryden (contemporary, nerd, BDSM)
6.  Heating Up the Holidays by Mary Ann Rivers and Serena Bell (novella, contemporary)
7.  Wolf With Benefits by Shelly Laurenston (paranormal, shifter)
8.  Croc and The Fox by Eve Langlais (paranormal, shifter)
9.  College Boys by Daisy Harris (m/m, contemporary)
10.  Sweet Young Thang by Anne Tenino (m/m, contemporary)
11  Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha (Dystopian, erotic romance)
12. Toy Box by Delphine Dryden (novella, contemporary, BDSM)

Mine To Keep by Cynthia Eden

Mine to Keep (Mine, #2)
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-Mine #2
Genre-Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by Kay
280 pages

Where to start, where to start? I read the first book in this series and thought it was just okay. Let me say that I love Cynthia Eden whether it’s her paranormal books or her Deadly series. So, I was kind of disappointed with the first book. But this one was fantastic! I loved it in a BIG way.

Trace Weston is a former black-ops soldier, foster child and now a billionaire security specialist. Don’t let the billionaire thing turn you off. It totally worked in this book. He met Skye Sullivan in one of his foster homes and he saved her from an attempted rape. The two of them fell in love then. Then Trace disappeared for ten years. Skye went looking for him when she was being stalked and Trace helped her.

In this book it’s someone from Trace’s past in the military that is stalking them both. This book continues their love story and their struggles to overcome their pasts. Secrets are everywhere here. Skye wants Trace to open up about his past and he doesn’t want to for fear that she can’t handle the darkness that lives inside him if he tells her.

A lot went on in this story. Love, action, plot twists, new character introductions, heart pounding suspense and tons of hot sex. Really hot sex. Cynthia Eden has really hit her stride with this book. I simply can not wait until the next book comes out!