Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lisa's 25 Favorite Reads of 2013


I love sharing this list with you, because I love each of these books! They are in no particular order; asking me to choose would be like picking between Gone With the Wind and Pride and Prejudice-just can't be done. Over the last year they have become cherished, reliable friends. Some made me cry- a big snotty ugly cry; some made me laugh out loud and wish I had someone to share the laugh with, some frustrated me and made me throw my Kindle against the wall. (good thing I have a sturdy case for it!) A few of them gutted me or pushed my book comfort level and I had to remind myself that it's safe on this side of my Kindle. Sometimes I need a book that will let me have a good cry or one with a hot guy I can lust over, or one that is soothing and sweet. At different times in my book life, I have different needs and these books are my comfort food for my soul. But they all have one thing in common-they all made me feel something. That is the sign of a great book-the reader you are before reading the book is not the same reader you are after you finish.  

Mia Asher

I was completely captivated by the Ben/Cathy/Arsen trio. This is one of the best written romance triangles I have ever read-the angst, the pain, the betrayal. I felt every emotion and loved every moment! I bled for the three of them. In this game of hearts can there ever really be any winners?

Can you hear it? The sound of my heart breaking, of ceasing to beat.
Can you feel it? Excruciating pain, eating me alive, slowly tearing me apart, limb by limb. It's my fault. Only mine. Not his. Not theirs.

Amazon Link

Bully/Until You
Penelope Douglas

(Counting these as one book for this list)

Jared and Tate's story remains one of my favorite book memories for 2013. First I saw things from Tate's POV and thought Jared could never redeem himself in my eyes. He proved me wrong in Until You and all is forgiven!
"The lantern is you, Tate. The light. I got it after I got in trouble last year. I needed to clean up my act, and my mom decided to do the same thing with her drinking. We both picked one thought that would get us through the day. A dream or a desire..."

Amazon Link

Until You
Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas does an outstanding job writing from Jared's POV. Every tortured thought, every snarky remark, every longing glance is captured and resonates with the reader. Sequels rarely live up to the expectations of readers; this is not the case for Until You. If anything, I loved this one even more than Bully!

"You wanted to know what other girls got of me. Well, that's what they didn't get." My voice was firm but soft. I needed her to hear me. "I never touched their bodies like that or held them. I never cared about them enjoying it. They didn't get any part of me worth having, Tate. Especially, K.C. I never touched her like this. I stroked her hair. "You own me body and soul, and everyone is going to know it."

Amazon Link

Wethering The Storm
Samantha Towle

Jake Wethers remains my favorite Book Boyfriend! I adored his story with Tru in The Mighty Storm but WTS hit a new high for me. The growth of his character; his sauciness; his absolute unwavering love for Tru-these things put him over the top in this one!

"My love for you is limitless, it knows no bounds. You're in my veins. I bleed you. I belong to you...I always have and I always will." He takes a deep breath. "You will always be my June, Tru."

Amazon Link

Nicole Williams 

I've had my crush for Jude Ryder starting with Crash, moving right along with Clash and coming full circle with Crush. Jude and Lucy often drove me crazy but it was a crazy I loved and I am all the better for taking a ride on their crazy train. Crush was my favorite of the three and their story ended beautifully.

"That it doesn't matter why I ran," he said, staring at me without blinking, "because I came back. I'll always come back, Luce. No matter how many rip-roaring fights we have and no matter how many miscommunications we have. I'll always come back because you're where I belong."

Amazon Link

Beautiful Broken Rules
Kimberly Lauren

Emerson and Jax are enchanting in BBR! They had an unconventional love story, but accepted those parts of each other that were broken-Jax may have acted like an asshat at times, but he is so in love with Emerson, he just needed things to happen in their own time. Emerson had so many demons to wrestle with, but I loved that she eventually opened herself up to all the wonderful things that love offers.  

"I AM YOURS," he avowed, while pounding his chest. "When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is of you and every minute for the rest of my day is spent thinking about you in some way or another," he ground out. "Jax..." I didn't know how to respond. "I'm yours, Emerson." 

Amazon Link

Madeline Sheehan  

Of all of Madeline Sheehan's books (and honestly she could write the Yellow Pages, and I would read it)this one is my favorite. I love Ripper and Danny! Their story is ugly and beautiful and raw. Danny sees so far into Ripper's soul; as wounded and jaded as he is, and Ripper sees the beauty in Danny's heart that she tries to hide from the world. Theirs is no fairytale, but they have their HEA just the same.

So he stared at Danny, held her gaze, making sure she knew it all, everything he felt; trying to tell her that none it, not one fucking second had been a mistake. That he'd do it over again, all of it, even what he'd gone through with Frankie if it meant he'd end up at her senior prom, she'd end up in his bed, and the two of them would end up forever changed. He would end up forever changed. A better man. She'd done that. I love you, beautiful girl. Her chin wobbled. I love you too. There it was. Everything that mattered. Danny. Him. And peace.

Amazon Link

Emma Chase 

Could there be a more loveable douche than Drew? His sense of humor and his observations are so unique and so funny I laughed almost as much as I swooned reading this one!

She jumps down my throat.
"I'm not having sex with you!" I force myself to look surprised. "I'm wounded. Really. Who said anything  about sex? I would never require sex as part of our agreement." And then I smile. "It's optional. Clothing too." She rolls her eyes. "Is that it?" "Nope." "What else do you want?" Oh, baby. If she only knew. Though it's probably better that she doesn't. Don't want to scare her away.

Amazon Link

Beautiful Bastard
Christina Lauren

Bennett and Chloe have the perfect love/hate relationship. Bennett and his panty ripping ways is hot and sexy and irresistible. Chloe is steel tempered and a kick ass chick to boot! I loved this book, it is funny and snarky and satisfies all the boxes on my check list for a great romance novel!

Why would I be angry that my mom wanted to set her up? Probably because you're sleeping with her, dumb ass. Well, not really sleeping with her so much as fucking her. Okay, fucked her...twice. "Fucking her" would imply an intent to continue. Oh, also, I felt her up in an elevator and was hoarding her shredded panties in my desk drawer. Creeper.

Amazon Link

Jettie Woodruff  

This is one of my "go to" books. Morgan and Drew have one of the most unconventional relationships I have ever read about. Loving Drew is my guilty pleasure; he is Morgan's jailor, and her punisher and her downfall. And yet, somehow, he has wormed his way into my book heart and I am under his spell.

"You need to decide, Morgan. If you don't want me, then tell me. Stop keeping me at bay. Either be with me or don't. I can't wait any longer. I have tried my best to give you time. I've given almost six months. You have to choose Morgan."

Amazon Link

Own the Wind
Kristen Ashley

How can anything written by Kristen Ashley not be great? This first book in the Chaos series knocked me for a loop. Shy Cage is one of the hottest alpha's on a bike that I have ever met in my book life, the way he adores Tabby from afar and then goes in for the kill-sheer magic! He keeps her grounded but allows her to grow. And the things he says...this is one naughty biker who will steal your heart! 

"I'm putting my ring on her finger, I'm givin' her babies, and when she's laid to rest, that ring I give her will still be on her finger."

Amazon Link

Very Bad Things
Ilsa Madden-Mills

Nora is so lost and has so much hurt that she thinks she can gain control over her life by being bad. Leo has the responsibility of raising his younger brother and starting a business. He has no time for love. When their lives intersect Leo learns how good being bad can feel.

This...this was a kiss. I never wanted it to stop. I never wanted his lips to leave my body. This was like Prince Charming kissed Cinderella, only this prince was no gentleman; he was sexy and hot and played a guitar. Instead of riding on a black stallion, he drove a bad-boy Escalade. Instead of wearing a princely cloak, he wore tight True Religion jeans. It was fairytale fucking worthy.

Amazon Link

When It Rains
Lisa De Jong

Asher Hunt! Do I need to say anymore? This book is so sweet, and endearing and heart crushing. The napkins, the rain, french fries and milshakes...aagghhhh, the most painful, most wonderful feelings in the world. I cried buckets and would gladly do it again for this book. It is so well written, it's like shards of glass and a warm, fleece blanket enveloping you at the same time.   

"You gave me my life back. You cared about me enough to push back my demons. You made me want to be with you every minute of the day because you made me feel things that no one else could."

"When it rains, Kate. Remember me." 

Amazon Link

S E Hall

Laney and Evan and Dane. I loved all three of them. This coming of age, atypical triangle of first loves and last loves is wildly addicting. These two guys are both too wonderful. I wavered and went from Team Evan to Team Dane-back and forth back and forth. This book sucked me in and I emerged (pardon the pun) myself in it and had to know- who would she choose? 

"You are magnificent. Thank you for waiting for me, for this." She blows out a long breath. "I love you. I didn't know what that really meant until I met you. You were made to be my other half and I yours."

What’s Left of Me
Amanda Maxlyn

I discovered this book at the end of 2013 and it has left such an impression on my book soul that I can not tell enough readers about it! Aundrea (Dre) has had a long battle with cancer, being in and out of remission, has exhausted her body and her mind. Parker is just the balm she needs to soothe her spirit. The author writes of Dre's daily struggles with such skill that the reader lives in this character's head. I wanted to sweep Dre up in my arms and give her a huge virtual hug. Parker is not a billionaire, or a rock star or a biker, he is a veterinarian, but you will not find a man more worthy of the title Hero.
I can't have this conversation with him. This talk about marriage and kids. I like him. A lot. The second he learns all this information about me is the second he goes running. I'm not ready for him to go running. Maybe I'm being selfish. I am selfish.I want to keep him around, but I don't want to share anything personal. Is that too much to ask? 
The Rocker That Needs Me
Terri Anne Browning  
I wondered what Drake's secret demons were, the things that tortured his sleep and made him self-medicate with his buckets of Jack Daniels. He has wanted and needed Lana for so long, but would not allow himself to dream of having her; her age and her innocence being the biggest barriers. She is determined to break down those barriers, up until he crosses the line. These two broke my heart, they are so in love and yet so afraid. This is one of my favorites from the Rocker Series.
“Stop,” I whispered, blinking in an attempt to keep the tears back. “Stop making me cry tonight.”

One errant tear escaped, and he lowered his head to kiss it away. “I’ll only ever make you cry for joy from now on. I swear it.”

Amazon Link

Love Square
Jessica Ingro
Jacob, Samantha and Aiden-what a delicious angst filled recipe for disaster! Which one will Sam choose-her husband Aiden or her lover Jacob? Love Square kept me intrigued, page after page. I was rooting for one throughout the book, but both men were so yummy and so crazy about Sam that I would have been okay with either one!

I’m afraid to hurt Aiden.  I’m afraid to hurt Jacob.  And most of all, I’m afraid that it will be a mistake and that I’ll regret my decision.

Kelly Elliott

When I was reading Wanted (the first book in this series) I was more intrigued by Ari and Jeff, the secondary characters than Ellie and Gunner. I was fascinated by their love/hate relationship and the way that Jeff relied on his manwhore ways to avoid starting something with his little sister's best friend. Throw in a jealous slut named Rebecca and you have all the makings for a great story! Saved was that story of loss and deception and longing. For me this one is my favorite of the series-even if Jeff pissed me off most of the book!

"You've believed in me and stood by me through all the craziness that's my life. I can't live one single day of this life without your love, Ari. I was lost before you, and I would forever be completely and utterly lost without you. Your love saved me. I promise you, Arianna, with every ounce of my being, I'll do nothing but love you and cherish you. I'll do everything in my power to make you happy every day for the rest of our lives."

Reaper's Property
Joanna Wylde

I am a sucker for an MC book, I am addicted to them and Horse is like crack for me. He is so bad ass and arrogant and cocky. But his obsession for Marie and his alpha determination to make her his regardless of any obstacles that get in his way-that is the stuff that makes my biker heart flutter. This one is one of my tried and trues-when I am in need of a familiar read. I keep the paperback on my nightstand so Horse is always close by.

"I don't want to be your enemy," he said firmly. "I want to be your man. You make me feel crazy things, Marie, and I don't want to lose you."
Amazon Link 

Tarryn Fisher

While I enjoyed the first two books of the Love Me With Lies Series, I adored Thief. Through all the angst and heartache of the first two books, I couldn't wrap my head around an ending for this series; how could Caleb and Olivia work out all the years of separation and spouses and lies? This one exceeded all my expectations and hopes-it stole my heart and left no mystery unsolved. Thief is greater than the sum parts of the first two books and it probably has one of my most favorite endings to a series. It's that good.

“Olivia, I once told you that I would love again, and that you would hurt forever. Do you remember?” She nods. It’s a painful memory for both of us. “It was a lie. I knew it was a lie, even as I said it. I’ve never loved anyone after you. I never will.”
 Amazon Link

The Forever of Ella and Micha
Jessica Sorensen

I have followed the ying and yang and push and pull of Ella and Micha since The Secret of Ella and Micha. This tortured pair despite the odds, love deeply. I knew if I hung in there long enough, that Ella could overcome her fears of commitment. Micha is a good man, a man worthy of the fight, a man worth keeping and cherishing. I knew if I waited long enough for Ella to realize all those things, that my patience would pay off.

"Next time come to me-don't just run. Please. I know things are hard right now, but it'll get better. We've always made it through every single bad thing thrown at us." 

Amazon Link

Welcome to Sugartown
Carmen Jenner

This one starts out sweet and sassy and quite funny. And then it takes a bend in the road and BAM! Not so sweet anymore. This Aussie story about Ana Belle and her MC lover Elijah Cade is raw and edgy and not for the faint of heart. It had all the elements I look for in a good read, not to mention some kick ass secondary characters in Holly, Jackson and Coop.

"You did this to us! Not me. I'm just trying to deal the best way I can. I'm trying to save myself from you, because if I give you what's left I'll have nothing leftover to pick up when you leave again. "

Amazon Link

K Bromberg
(Counting these as one book for this list)

The pairing of Colton- race car driver extraordinaire and Rylee- the heart broken sweetheart of a deceased fiancĂ© is pure fireworks! The first book is more of them dancing around each other, each trying to protect their hearts. At times I almost felt like a voyeur with these two and their smoldering chemistry. Colton is such a mass of secrets that the cliff hanger at the end was almost my undoing!

"Oh, sweetheart," he emits a low rumbling chuckle as he takes two steps back from me, "I know exactly what you want." He holds his hand up to motion to Beckett that he's coming when his name is called. His grin widens into one of the wickedest and most carnal smiles I have ever seen. My core coils and I tense to stifle the desire it creates. "And I have just the right tools to give it to you."
Amazon Link

K Bromberg

Fueled picks up where Driven left off. At times, my heart was racing from the angst! Is Colton a cheater, is Rylee ever going to stop running away from confrontation? Waiting for Crashed seems like it is taking forever!

"This is fucking bullshit Rylee and you know it," he says evenly to me before turning to walk out. "I guess you don't love the broken in me after all."

Amazon Link

Jake Undone
Penelope Ward

Technically, I read this book in 2014, but I've had it on my Kindle and it was released in 2013 and I love it so much I redid this list at the last minute so I could add it. This story had a few twists that I didn't see coming, I knew there were some secrets, but they had me guessing. Jake is sweet, and bad ass and cocky and smart and hot and thoughtful..and complicated. Nina completes him, and he helps her overcome her fears. But their story is not a smooth one, and this one will make you catch your breath a few times, and maybe shed a tear or two, but it's so worth it! 

"You're the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thing I think about at night. And then, you invade my thoughts and dreams in between. I have tried so hard to stop these feelings. I have put up as many barriers as I could stand to, but they are crumbling down. I can't do it anymore. I can't do it anymore." "I've come undone."

Amazon Link

Mid Life Love: At Last
Whitney Gracia Williams

This is one of my "go to" stories. I loved Mid Life Love, but At Last is my fav! If I am suffering from a book hangover or I am in a reading slump-I find myself reading about Jonathan Statham and Claire Gracen all over again and I get my book fix. I love their witty banter; the over the top gestures from Jonathan;  the anywhere, anytime, any how sex these two enjoy. I hope Ms. Williams can be persuaded to keep writing about these two, I need to feed my addiction.

"You are the most beautiful woman I've ever met and I can't wait until you're officially mine-forever..." He trailed his finger against my lips. "I'll never hurt you, betray you, or allow anyone else to." "Jonathan..." I was crying now. He was too much. "I'm going to continue to send you flowers every day because you deserve them, because there's nothing I wouldn't do for you...And I promise to love, cherish and fuck the shit out of you for the rest of our lives."        
 Amazon Link 

Scars and Songs
Christine Zolendz

I adored all three of the books from the Mad World series; Fall From Grace, Saving Grace and Scars and Songs. But reading from Shane Maxton's POV gave so much more depth and added layers to the story. So many of my questions about his feelings and his past were answered with this book. He is hot and witty and sweet.

"I've waited for what feels like two thousand years to tell you how much I love you and to touch your lips again," I called to her.

Amazon Link


  1. Wow, thank you Lisa for adding me to this incredible list! I adore you so much! ♥

  2. I love this list and i am excited to see new book to add to my overflowing TBR list.. One to add to your list is "Take what you want" .. just something you might want to add to your list.. Thanks Tia

  3. Lisa! Thank you so much for including my little book baby in this awesome list! Love, love, love you!!!

  4. Thank you for this list. There are so many I haven't read yet and will add them to my reading list. Thanks for sharing.


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