Apr 30 2015 4:00pm

H&H Bloggers Recommend: Best Reads of April 2015

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for April 2015 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs via the Related Posts section at the bottom of the post):

Jessica Moro

My best read of April has to be The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. A unique viewpoint to WW2, it weaves through years of despair, horrifying events and heartbreak. But through it all, the two sisters find strength in each other and their family. There is some romance but it's secondary to the two sister's journey. It's eye-opening and gripping and yes I ugly cried but I loved every second of it. It's a story I'll always remember.


These days, it seems that I’m reading more women’s fiction books than romance.  And in doing that I am discovering some wonderful new to me authors. The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick is my first book by this author, but it won’t’ be my last. While the premise of a career woman returning to her small town and re-evaluating her life’s goals is not new, the characters are extremely appealing—especially the backstory of the main character’s sister. There was enough romance to satisfy the romance reader in me, and a hint of a mystery that lead to a sweet- poignant ending.  

Wendy the Super Librarian

Breaking All Her Rules by Maisey Yates has a hook more powerful than catnip—a hero who hasn't had sex with anyone (uh, other than himself) in six years.  Six long years.  I love the romance genre, but heroes who have more sex than Caligula can get a bit monotonous after a while.  A heroine who has spent a lifetime overcompensating with ambition gets just what the doctor ordered when she meets our hero, our celibate cowboy turned artist.  New York City setting, plenty of steam, and just enough angst to keep this novella from descending into mindless fluff territory.

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

Mala Bhattacharjee

I have two top books for April. The first is Tiffany Reisz's novella The Headmaster which, despite the author's penchant for erotica and the suggestive title, is not about what you think it's about. Instead, it's a contemporary gothic, set at a boys' school in rural North Carolina. Originally published in a Harlequin E-Shivers box set, it definitely delivers on the “Shivers” and Reisz is at the top of her game prose and story-wise. The banter will make you laugh and the twists will make you ache. My other story of the month is Alyssa Cole's May release Signal Boost, post-apocalyptic male/male New Adult and the second book in her Off the Grid series. John is Korean-American and Mykhail is Ukrainian and their poignant, funny journey is everything you could want out of an emotional and taut tale of two guys out in the world after a global event. I kind of wanted to wrap them in bubble wrap and not let them go anywhere...but Cole takes them to all the right places for a gripping adventure!

Darlene Marshall

Hands down, my best of April is This Gun for Hire by Jo Goodman. So much love for this book! It's a historical with a strong heroine and a hero who Gets Her, snappy dialogue, great characters across the board, and a plot that kept me guessing pretty much up to the end. I also love that we're seeing an author who writes western historicals, a much neglected sub-genre of historical romance in recent years.


My best of April is Kelly Bowen's A Good Rogue is Hard to Find (The Lords of Worth #2). This one has everything that I love in my historical romances: A sexy duke, a strong spinster heroine, a cause to champion, a lot of humor, and chickens. (Ok, I don't normally look for chickens in my historical romances but the use of them in this series is cluck-worthy.

Sahara Hoshi

The Broke and Beautiful Series by Tessa Bailey—Bailey ratches New Adult to a new level that is even hotter and more fun.

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy—Logan and Grace are funny as hell and a great story of hook-up to lovers romance.

Miss Bates

My “Best Of April” comes from an author whose every book she anticipates. Simone St. James’ post-Great-War novels of mystery-ghost-story-romance provided me with my favourite readerly combination of shiver and swoon. St. James’ latest, The Other Side Of Midnight, tells the story of reluctant medium, Ellie Winter, and former-nemesis-turned-lover, James Hawley (yes! there’s back-story there and it’s a great one). Their pursuit of a killer who’s born of the wounds of war is as fascinating and bone-chilling as their love is tender and sexy. The prose is elegant; plot, intriguing; characterization, perceptive; and history, meticulous. St. James’ Other Side of Midnight is a compelling read and comes highly recommended.  

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Victoria Janssen

The best book I read in the last month was a galley of Naomi Novik's new fantasy novel, Uprooted. Not only is the worldbuilding, based in Polish fairy tales, deep and satisfying, but the plot surprised me more than once. It might be the best book I've read this year.

Anna Bowling

My best read for April is Just One Day and Just One Year, by Gayle Forman. This YA duology is really one story, recounting the singular day that Allyson, an American student and Willem, a Dutch actor, spend together in Paris after their first meeting where both meet, by chance, in London, where Allyson ditches her tour to watch Willem perform Shakespeare in the streets. Though Willem doesn't even know Allyson's real name (he dubs her “Lulu,” and she doesn't correct him) the chemistry between the two is electric and life-altering. They fall in love in the space of one day, but before they can plan a future together, the same chance that brought them together tears them apart. Just One Day is told from Allyson's perspective, Just One Year from Willem's. Through red herrings, near-misses and seeming dead ends, neither Allyson nor Willem can forget the other, or the love that has already changed each of them forever. The bard would be proud.


Learn more about the books mentioned:

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah  
The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick  
Breaking All Her Rules by Maisey Yates  
The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz  
Signal Boost by Alyssa Cole  
April is This Gun for Hire by Jo Goodman  
A Good Rogue is Hard to Find by Kelly Bowen's  
The Broke and Beautiful Series by Tessa Bailey    
Need Me: A Broke and Beautiful Novel  
Chase Me: A Broke and Beautiful Novel  
The Mistake by Elle Kennedy  
The Other Side Of Midnight by Simone St. James  
Uprooted by Naomi Novik  
Just One Day by Gayle Forman  
Just One Year by Gayle Forman  


Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. ChristinaRae
I just want to say thank you all. I look forward to this post every month and generally end up with a list of new-to-me authors to check out. Bad for my TBR pile, but good for me :)
2. Kareni
Thanks for this post. I'll second the recommendation for Gayle Forman's duo both of which I enjoyed a year or so ago. And I'm eager to get my hands on the new Jo Goodman book; she's a favorite author of mine.
3. Kareni
I just started the Jo Goodman book, and I'm enjoying it already.
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