Dec 26 2014 3:00pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of 2014, Part 1

Rock Courtship by Nalini SinghEach 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.

It's the end of the year now, and so we've asked them for their top three books that made the year in reading so memorable. Without further ado, here's Part 1 (of three parts) of our bloggers best reads of 2014—and don't forget to stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3:

Sahara Hoshi:

2014 was a year for New Zealand and Australian authors. It was also a great year for realistic New Adult, and of course, MC novels. Every one of my picks has a strong female voice and a unique take on their respective genre.

Jessica Moro:

Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde

I love, love, love this series! Ruger was always my favorite, but Picnic may have pushed him down the list. London and Picnic's story was more mature while still being funny and a wild ride.

Lovely Trigger by RK LilleyLovely Trigger by R.K Lilley

This was an amazing conclusion to a trilogy that gutted me. I was so happy to get Tristan and Danika's HEA and Lilley didn't disappoint. I don't think I've ever rooted for a couple so hard.

Damaged Goods by Nicole Williams

An NA novel with a twist I didn't see coming. There's a huge plot twist that I'm still stunned by. It was such an amazing story but I'm hankering for more from these characters.

Biz Jaust:

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

The “Enemy of Old” is seen in such a different light in this novel.  I loved his character development, but the heat was really what sold me on this book!

The Selection by Kiera Cass

I loved that this was a futuristic Bachelor like book.  The idea of a regular girl becoming a princess is always a fun trope to delve into. 

Twilight with the Infamous Earl by Alexandra Hawkins

I've been waiting for Frost's story for a long time!  He was a mysterious character that I always wanted more well rounded.  This gives the reader a glimpse into his life and a thread to a new series for this author! 

Rhyll Biest:

Scorched by Erica Hayes

I loved the gritty heroine, the noir atmosphere and language and the excellent twist. Its crunchy, ass-kicking goodness blew my mind.

The Summer Rain anthology.

All the stories in the collection are good but the beautifully written and deeply touching story by Ruthie Knox stayed with me the longest because there was such a contrast of light and dark packed into her short story

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda JonesSixth Grave on the Edge, book six in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. Why? Because Jones is one of the funniest writers I've ever encountered and it's not every day the Grim Reaper gets engaged.

Janet Webb:

Roulette, a contemporary romance by Megan Mulry. How I enjoyed Miki's journey, from LA business professor to international entrepreneur with a fabulous French tycoon to sweeten the deal. A luxe, luscious book.

“In the Duke's Arms”, Carolyn Jewel's Christmas Regency novella from the anthology Christmas in the Duke's Arms.

Jewel's Duke was ducal, restrained, powerful—and transcendentally delicious, especially as he attempts to woo a delightfully independent former lady's companion.

Rogue Spy, historical novel by Joanna Bourne

I said it all in my First Look—this was a story so worth waiting for. Bourne's entire spy-world is on display. She's writing at the height of her powers.


Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott

I love this series (Lead is the most recent release hence it gets the reference), it's funny, witty, and deals with some tough themes. But always awesome chemistry between the characters and that very fulfilling HEA.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I looooooove this book. Love that it can be read by both teens and grandparents alike. And the author does a nice job with the interracial relationship - something that I think is still sparse in romance.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

I cried. I laughed. I cried again. I felt the heartache. And swooned.

Honorable Mention:

Hardline (Hackers #3) by Meredith Wild

Great at capturing the give and take in a relationship and all the emotions that entails, especially trust. For those who love Fifty Shades- this series is awesome and the writing gets better and better with each book.

Rachel Hyland

When hailing only three romance (or romance-adjacent) novels as my personal “Best” of any given year, the only way I know how to do it is to first narrow down my current preferred subgenres. This year, I sojourned mostly in the YA, Steampunk and Trad Regency arenas and so it is from there that I have made my selections. From YA, I loved the April release What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick, an utterly absorbing and masterful second novel that gives us a summer idyll replete with an idyllic (yet relatable) heroine. April also returned us to the sexy and supernatural Steampunk-y world of Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series; its fifth instalment, Evernight, is without a doubt the best so far, which is definitely saying something. Among my Regency ramblings, I recently happened upon indie author Kathleen Baldwin, my favorite of her few (so far) titles being Cut From the Same Cloth, released in June. And if I may be so bold as to add a fourth book that I really (if belatedly) enjoyed this year, 2009’s Ripping the Bodice by Inara Levey – which I discovered when deciding upon the Top 10 Romance Parodies – still gives me a chuckle even now, months later, whenever I recall one passage or another. Which makes it worthy of “Best” status, surely?

Lucy Hargrave

The Reluctant Berserker by Alex BeecroftThe Reluctant Berserker by Alex Beecroft

It was simply amazing. I love m/m historical romances and this one stood out from the crowd, partly due to the medieval setting, but also because of Alex Beecroft’s incredible characterisation and realistic exploration of what being gay meant during this period. I loved the exploration into the concept of masculinity along side the sweet romance between a warrior and his harpist.

The Girl Behind the Mask by Stella Knightley

Sold to me as a Fifty Shades of Grey equivalent that ended up being so much more. This book has a dual narrative between contemporary academic historian Sarah Thomson who is visiting Venice, and eighteenth-century Venetian Luciana Giordano whose diary she is researching. While in Venice Sarah ‘meets’ the mysterious millionaire Marco Donato and things get a little more complicated than she was expecting. This book compelled me too keep reading and I swiftly brought the other two in the series.

Finding Home by Lauren Baker

A homeless teenager and a reporter in her twenties meeting on the streets doesn’t sound like the start to a love story but Lauren Baker managed to make it happen. She didn’t shy away from the grittiness of living on the streets and the psychological effect it can have on a person but instead embraced it. Resulting in a gritty, passionate and sexy story about finding love and home in the most unlikely of places. Everyone should read this book. It is fantastic.


To find out more about each book mentioned:

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty  
Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh  
A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev  
Wingman (Woman) by Bella Jewel  
Fear Me Not by Sara Wolf  
Dragon's Lair by Chantal Fernando  
Used by Bijou Hunter  
Virgin by Radhika Sanghani  
Reaper's Stand by Joanna Wylde  
Lovely Trigger by R.K Lilley  
Damaged Goods by Nicole Williams  
Lothaire by Kresley Cole  
The Selection by Kiera Cass  
Twilight with the Infamous Earl by Alexandra Hawkins  
Scorched by Erica Hayes  
The Summer Rain anthology.  
Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones  
Roulette by Megan Mulry  
Christmas in the Duke's Arms (“In the Duke's Arms” by Carolyn Jewel)  
Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne  
Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott  
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell  
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover  
Hardline (Hackers #3) by Meredith Wild  
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick  
Evernight by Kristen Callihan  
Cut from the Same Cloth by Kathleen Baldwin  
Ripping the Bodice by Inara Levey  
The Reluctant Berserker by Alex Beecroft  
The Girl Behind the Mask by Stella Knightley  
Finding Home by Lauren Baker  


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Nicole Leapheart
1. BoxyFrown
Ahhh I loved Lovely Trigger! Dammit I left that and Joanna Wylde off my list. Im adding some books to my tbr from this list. Cant wait to see what the others have to say their faves are!
Great list! My Kindle is about to get a floggin' ;)
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