Showing posts from December, 2014

The Year in Review: My Favorites for 2014

This is my first ever published list of personal favorites and what I consider the best books that I've read in 2014. Some of them may not have been published or released in 2014 but since I did only read them this year, they're part of my list. Hey, great books are timeless. ^.^  
I've also got a separate list for series and while a couple of the series are not the complete, they're on the list because majority of the books in the series were released and/or read this year. I decided to go with a separate list because it just made more sense and allowed me to stick with 15 for the first list. And, to be honest, these authors had more than one book on my list of favorites and I couldn't choose just one among their published stuff that I read this year. ^.^
Let it also be said that there are a lot of other wonderful books that came out this year that aren't on the list, not because they don't deserve to be on it but because, sadly, I haven't gotten arou…

Review: "The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant" by Joanna Wiebe

Note: This ebook was provided by BenBella Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is the first book in The V Trilogy by Joanna Wiebe and is a young adult (YA) paranormal novel. A high school junior named Anne Merchant is sent to Cania Christy, a very exclusive boarding school in Maine, and is far different from warm and sunny California as she could have imagined. The more time she spends in the school and in the strange community that's separated by a red line on the ground, the more questions that seem to have no logical answers pop into her head.
Anne Merchant feels like she sticks out like a sore thumb in her new school. Everyone there is flawless and obviously come from more than well-to-do families. She's far from perfect physically and her father would never make it onto Forbes' list of wealthiest men in the country. Her curiosity grows as she doesn't get any direct answers to her numerous questions. The peopl…

Review: "More Than Music" by Elizabeth Briggs (Chasing the Dream #1)

Note: This ebook was provided by Victory Editing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
More Than Music is the first full-length novel in the Chasing the Dream series by Elizabeth Briggs. This book follows Villain Complex, a rock band composed of Jared Cross, lead singer and guitarist turned bassist, Kyle Cross, keyboardist, Hector Fernandez, drums, and Maddie Taylor, guitarist, as they join a TV reality competition show entitled The Sound, which is similar to the actual TV hit The Voice. I read the prequel, More Than Exes, prior to this one so I was familiar with the dynamic within the band and how Maddie noticed Jared from the first time she saw him.
Maddie Taylor is a talented musician, excelling in school and preparing for her internship with the LA Philharmonic. Playing the piano is her forte but she's secretly been playing the guitar for years. When she's offered to replace the bassist of Villain Complex in preparation for their audition on The Sound, she's h…

Review: "More Than Exes" by Elizabeth Briggs (Chasing the Dream #0.5)

More Than Exes by Elizabeth Briggs is a prequel novella in the Chasing the Dream series. Originally released after the first book in the series, I ended up reading this prequel prior to reading More Than Music since I have a thing about reading books in order. This was able to provide a bit of back story regarding the members of Villain Complex, an aspiring rock band. Funny enough, I had downloaded this novella as an Amazon freebie before I even noticed that book one was up for review on NetGalley. I took it as a sign that reading both was meant to be. ^.^
One look at Kyle Cross and the first thing that may pop into someone's head would probably be "bad boy". This tatted-up keyboardist for Villain Complex, a band that he started with his brother Jared, and college student may look like someone parents warn their daughters to stay away from but he's actually a really nice guy. However, nice guys don't always get the girl, evidence pointing to the broken heart Kyle…

Review: "The Two Gentlemen of Altona" by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Two Gentlemen of Altona is the first book in the Playing the Fool series by Lisa Henry and J.A. Rock. The expected end of one of my all-time favorite book series, Cut & Run by Abigail Roux (and Madeleine Urban for the first four books), has me searching high and low for something new to occupy my reading obsessed mind. When I came across The Two Gentlemen of Altona on NetGalley, I immediately found myself curious and the synopsis had me requesting to read and review it, and I'm glad I did! ^.^
Ryan "Mac" McGuinness is a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is quite at his job. When he finds out that someone who agreed to testify against a mob boss has been shot and killed by that very same mob boss and that he has a potential witness to the said murder, he's hoping that everything he's worked for on the case won't be for naught. Unfort…

Review: "The Climax" by Christina George

Note: This ebook was provided by Author Marketing Experts via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Climax is the third book in the Christina George-penned The Publicist series and wraps up book publicist Katherine "Kate" Mitchell's story. This picks up some time after the events of book two, Shelf Life, and we find that while the "happily" part is still in effect, the "ever after" seems to be in limbo. While everyone appears to have moved on, readers will find out that that's not necessarily true, no matter how much the main characters try to convince themselves that they have.
Kate Mitchell is on top of the world--she's engaged to MacDermott "Mac" Ellis, who professed his love and making her the only woman he divorced his wife for, and she has her own publishing house with a number of successful titles under its belt. There's no doubt that she and Mac love each other but it's a wonder that they have yet to set a da…

Review: "The Publicist: Books One & Two (The Publicist & Shelf Life)" by Christina George

I was able to get the first two books in The Publicist series by Christina George for free on Amazon a little over a month ago. I had already noticed the first book when it was initially released and the premise of a publicist in the world of publishing definitely piqued my interest. So, naturally, when the boxed set of the first two books was suddenly available for free, I simply had to do what I do best and snapped it up! ^.^ Then, the third and final book in the series was available for reviews on NetGalley and, yes, I requested and was approved. I love it when everything just falls into place! ♥
The first book, The Publicist, introduces readers to Katherine "Kate" Mitchell, publicist extraordinaire at Morris and Dean Publishing. Hers isn't the easiest of jobs, especially when she's saddled with authors threatening to jump off a building's ledge or forever stuck in diva mode, but she does her job well. She wants her authors to be put in the best light possibl…

Review: "Just in Time for Christmas" by Kim Boykin

Note: This ebook was provided by Tule Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Just in Time for Christmas by Kim Boykin is part of the Christmas-themed and multi-authored Southern Born Christmas series. I haven't had the pleasure of reading the other books in the series so I have no idea if they're connected to one another. This particular book read well as a standalone and since it's Christmas, I naturally had to read something holiday-related and this was a great choice!
Miranda Hamilton has always loved the Christmas season and she's thrilled at finally being given the chance to head the committee for all the activities. Proceeds for the events will be given to the breast cancer foundation created in honor of her late mother, so this is doubly important for her. The one kink in her plans is suddenly finding that she's co-chairing the committee with her longtime nemesis!
Logan Mauldin has never failed to notice one particular woman in Magnolia Ba…

Review: "You're So Fine" by Kieran Kramer

Note: This ARC was provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
You're So Fine is a contemporary romance written by Kieran Kramer and is the first book by this particular author that I've read. This is a multi-layered story of a single mother trying to find her niche in the world and swearing off romantic relationships with actors. A twist of fate has her sharing a lighthouse with one of the most famous and sought after actors in Hollywood and what follows is the evolution of their relationship as a couple and their own personal evolutions as individuals with childhoods that emotionally scarred them.
Lacey Clark has pretty much had to fend for herself for as long as she can remember, but then she's never really put herself first. Her father died when she was very young and her mother and stepfather have never been very supportive of her. Her ex-boyfriends may have been good looking actors but neither of them gave her the happily-ever-af…

Review: "Playing with the Drummer" by Robin Covington (Head Over Heels #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Playing with the Drummer by Robin Covington is the third and final novel in the multi-authored Head Over Heels series. This is a second chance romance and focuses on rock and roll band The Rift's drummer and an entertainment journalist who meet four years ago and spend three amazing days together only to have it all suddenly end when he suspects her of using him for a story. Fast forward four years later and they have no choice but to spend time together while celebrating the upcoming wedding of their friends.
Lita Matthews is an ambitious entertainment journalist who's working her to getting her own television show. Being invited as a guest to what's touted to be the biggest and most talked about wedding of the year will definitely help with that goal, all thanks to her being best friends with the bride's older sister. However, she doesn't want to abuse her friendshi…

Review: "Razor Wire" by Lauren Gallagher

Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Razor Wire is the latest novel by author Lauren Gallagher and is the story of a crime that brings together two women and enables them to find solidarity, friendship, and love in the face of all the challenges before them. They're both Masters-at-Arms (MAs) who are stationed in Okinawa and while they may appear to be very different on the surface, the more time they spend together, the more they realize that they share several things in common.
MA3 Kim Lockhoff finds herself pregnant as a result of being raped by a superior officer. She's hesitant to file charges against him, knowing full well that her perceived reputation as a promiscuous woman and her rapist's position in the Navy are both points against her. The only other person she even considers telling is MA2 Marion and she's skeptical about her accusation against their superior, proving Kim's assumption that the …