Each month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle a bit more.
I’ve been reading Lisa Renee Jones’s Dangerous Secrets. Even though I got a little tired of Julie Harrison (a jaded divorce attorney) constantly reminding herself—and the reader—that love was only fleeting and not worth a chance, by the middle of the book she began to soften her stance. Luke Walker was a good, robust character and nice example of a sexy hero who has more on his mind than getting into her pants. The suspense of the story was believable and held my attention. Just a good book overall. This was my first story from this author, and I’m looking forward to reading more.
Colleen Hoover's Hopeless
Why? With Hoover's third book in just one year, Hopeless proves Colleen Hoover is a master storyteller and standout in the rising New Adult genre. Hopeless has it all: witty dialogue, a heart-wrenching plot, first young adult love that's SO MUCH MORE, and perfect pacing (not to mention the best first, not-a-kiss-kiss in the history of first kisses). Hands down, Hopeless is my favorite romance read of January.
The Best of All Worlds by Karen Lord, a science fiction novel that includes a romance, is the best book I read in January—the worldbuilding reminded me a bit of Ursula K. LeGuin's Hainish novels. I enjoyed the different ways Lord presented ideas about family and culture and loss and recovery, and it had really great, nuanced characters.
Aftershock by Jill Sorenson was an exciting romantic thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. When the paramedic heroine survives an 8.5 earthquake in San Diego, she finds herself trapped under a collapsed freeway overpass with wounded strangers, including escaped prisoners from a prison transport bus. I loved the action movie vibe, the risky choices the author makes over the course of the story, and the authentic southern California setting.
I have found a bounty of good reading among January releases, so many I could do a top ten. But I'll limit myself to a top category romance: A Hometown Boy by Janice Kay Johnson, a behind-the-headlines story that pushes the boundaries of what a romance can be; a top historical: How to Entice an Earl, the conclusion to Manda Collins's Ugly Duckling trilogy, with Christian Monteith, Earl of Gresham as the hero, a character I fell in love with when I read the first book in the series; and the top contemporary: Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe, featuring the flawed (at times even unlikeable) characters that O'Keefe creates with such great skill that they capture me, head and heart, and don't let go even when I turn the last page.
I was completely wrapped up with Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard this weekend and by Monday morning I had already begun Gabriel’s Rapture, the second in the series. The sexy, controlling and pleasure seeking Dante specialist, Professor Emerson, carried a world of guilt and self- loathe on his shoulders. When his torched soul was reunited with the girl who saved his life, he didn’t recognize her until he pushed her away one too many times. It was a little monotonous with the really rich and powerful millionaire but I can’t refuse a bad boy who wears a bow tie!
It seems so limiting to say my favourite book for January 2013 was Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley because it's more than a book, it's an entree into a new world. Ashley has been justifiably labeled crack and I can understand why — once you commit to her voice, forget about anything but finishing the Ashley you've started.
Motorcycle Man is particularly fantastic because the hero, Tack, and the heroine, Tyra, are both strong individuals, forthright and realistic and oh my, when they're together, they simply combust. They are so much more together than separately. There are reviews everywhere for why this particular Ashley is compelling — suffice to say that I 100% agree.
The Other Side of Us by Sarah Mayberry
There are many things that make this story great: the adorable beta hero, the strong heroine, and an interesting role reversal. But my favorite part is the love story between two mature people who know themselves well, are familiar with their strengths and limitations, and decide that it’s never too late to give love a second chance. It’s a quiet, unassuming romance that feels authentic and real.
My best of January is a surprisingly funny & very entertaining novel titled 50 Shades of Jungle Fever by L.V. Lewis. I'd picked it up on Amazon when they had a free promo for free and I am glad I did. The book centers on Keisha trying to make her way in the music industry while navigating her feelings for Tristan. Upon finding out that he prefers bondage-domination sexually, she's initially afraid then intrigued. As their relationship-of-sorts progresses, Keisha not only struggles with her deepening feelings for Tristan but also ghosts in her past. It's the first book in a series, with book two scheduled for release in February.