I tweeted out my top 10 (or 12 depending on how you count them) books for the year on 17 December so those who follow me on Twitter will not be surprised by this list. Here’s the version with pretty pictures. It’s a list of books I liked. That’s it.
These are my favourite new releases for 2014. It’s not a best of because I’m sure there are many wonderful books on my TBR of Doom or which haven’t made it that far even. Besides, personal taste being what it is, what does “best” really mean anyway?
I’m not really ranking the top 10. They were all wonderful and memorable and enjoyable and I loved them. That said, perhaps the biggest surprise to me is that when I do a “favourite book of 2014. Go!” gut check, the 1st answer which pops into my head isn’t even a romance. (Do I need to turn in my romance card?) So, I guess, *if pushed* I’d say the number one read was:
The Martian by Andy Weir. It’s a cracker of a book. If a reader has any interest in sci-fi or space travel books at all, I highly recommend it. The science is sound and the writing is engaging and funny and the tension is dialled right up there all the way to the end of the book. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist (heh) to read or understand it (trust me on this) and did I mention that it’s funny?
My best “discovery” of the year (h/t Jane @ Dear Author) was Sarina Bowen. I loved all of her Ivy Years books (which would make this into a top 12) but let’s go decimal and list my top 2 – The Year We Hid Away and Blonde Date. The latter is a novella and it’s tone is fairly different – it only covers one night and it’s more in the vein of light and charming (adorkable Andy!), whereas The Year We Hid Away was angsty goodness and Bridger stole my heart.
Another author made it twice into the list – KJ Charles. It’s not often the second book of a series is the one which works for me best but A Case of Possession certainly did and then later this year I was semi-reluctantly charmed by Think of England. There’s been lots of discussion about potential problematic elements but the fact remains that I loved it. I admit to having limited interest in English cozy house party mysteries. The mere thought tends to send me to dreamland (my husband loves to watch them, I avoid them like the plague – it’s part of the charm that it is us). So I suppose I entered Think of England not expecting to like it as much as I did. And, it kept working for me so much that I even talked myself into bumping up the grade as I wrote the review – a thing that’s happened to me twice this year.
Which brings me to Bad Behavior by KA Mitchell. Apart from that my fingers itch to add the “u” into behaviour, this book pushed all my good book buttons. Beach’s character resonated so well for me and it was a welcome return to form for me from this author.
The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan was another welcome surprise to me. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. This one was a true delight.
Play by Kylie Scott made my list and not because of our semi-incestuous relationship either. I loved Mal’s weirdness and laughed my way through the story.
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs makes my list too. I know a few (many?) people had trouble with the way Christy (Adam’s ex-wife) was portrayed and what Adam did or didn’t do in the story but I found it entirely consistent with the existing world building. I am hoping Christy (if she appears again) will become more developed because I don’t want the same story to be told again and again and I’d like to see where she can go but Adam and Mercy are my favourite urban fantasy couple and I adored this book.
My lucky last (but not least) is a book I took a chance on. The author emailed me and asked me for a review. I say no more than I say yes (and those no’s are becoming very much the norm these days) but this day, I got lucky and I said yes. Indecent Exposure by Jane O’Reilly introduced me to another new author. Even though I haven’t read any more of her work yet, I have bought a number of her books and I was delighted to see last night that she has a new one coming next February (I believe) which looks delicious. If I could convince Jane to read it it would make my week – she doesn’t like novellas but it’s really good Jane!! I did pimp this one out to all and sundry and Mandi at Smexy Books was one of my first converts. It’s a funny, SEXY story and I can’t tell you in any sensible way why I haven’t read the other books in the series yet. Because there’s just no excuse for it.
I’ll be back another day with a list of my other favourite reads for the year because I don’t see why great books released before 2014 should miss out on the fun.