2013 was an interesting year. I got into more book slumps than I could count, I abandoned so many popular books halfway but what I choose to focus on, are the books that lit up my reading and blogging world.
NB: These books might have been released earlier but I read them this year.
And so in no particular order, books that I will recommend till I’m blue in the face…
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
NB: An absolutely amazing stand-alone!
Blurb: I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.
But I couldn’t run far enough.
I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.
I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.
In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.
And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.
My review: One word – sofreakingawesomeIwanttoputitinaloopandneverhaveitstopplaying! Now minus the excitement – so freaking awesome, I want to put it in a loop and never have it stop playing! Should I say it? I’ll say it. It’s officially one of my favorite books of 2013. In fact, it’s competing with just two books for top spot. Sigh… Click to read full review.
Genre: Erotic Romance
NB: An incredible stand-alone!
Blurb: Imagine a world where a woman’s every pleasure, every wish and wildest fantasy is granted by the man of her dreams. Such is Avalon, an elite, private club in Washington, D.C., that caters solely to female desires.
There, magazine reporter Billie Cort meets Adrian, the club’s most infamous companion, with the intent to interview him for an article on high-dollar male escorts. Billie can’t foresee, however, how quickly Adrian will strip her defenses and expose her true desires.and in the process, fulfill his own yearning for love.
My review: God it was such a beautiful story! I couldn’t possibly love this book more. I think it’s my favorite book of 2013 so far. Angst, hot-as-hell-steam, and love, love above all… Click to read full review.
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
NB: Book #1 in a series. I had mixed feelings about the entire series but book one is an absolute favorite.
Blurb: He even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…
Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life. He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .
But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me. I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations. If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me..
My review: This is the first time since owning a kindle that I actually want a paperback copy of a book. And I plan to dog-ear it with multiple re-reads! Click to read full review.
Genre: Dark Erotica
NB: A Series of short Novellas, currently at no. 13. I’d advice to read them as volumes. And be warned, not for the faint hearted.
Blurb: Descend into a world of deception, depravity, decadence, desire and desperation…
In the opulent setting of London’s aristocracy, lives a young woman fractured into two distinct individuals, one face with multiple facets. One façade, a whore, London Brown, who will confess unfathomable truths, the other, a loving daughter, Desniah Williams will pull back the curtain to reveal what lurks in the shadows.
Caden Jacob Carrington V, a politician will do anything to reclaim the woman he lost, including dredging up pains of the past.
Rhys Christos Edward Stowell, a philanthropist will fight to win the woman he loves while baring the darkness of his soul.
My review: You know the feeling after finishing a brilliant book and you just can’t bring yourself to read another book? When the thought of picking up another book feels like cheating? That’s precisely how I feel. Click to read full review.
Genre: Erotic/Contemporary Romance
NB: Part of a trilogy (Spiral of Bliss Series) and book #2, Allure is just as incredible. Book #3 Awaken comes out January 7th and I can’t wait! Nina Lane is one of my favorite authors, her writing.. you have to experience her writing!
Blurb: “One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me,” he said. And he did.
Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv’s inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure. But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other. And when dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface, the fallout might break them apart forever.
My review: Sigh, I could read only Nina Lane’s books all year and be completely sated. Click to read full review.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
NB: This series (Kathleen Turner Series) contains 5 books total. Turning Point is book number 3 and you have to read Book #1- No Turning Back and Book#2 – Turn to Me before reading this one. I loved the first two making this series a favorite, but book#3 is absolutely AMAZING!
Blurb: After her promotion from law firm Runner to Investigator, Kathleen Turner is learning the ropes of her new job from none other than assassin-for-hire Kade Dennon, a situation her boyfriend Blane Kirk is none too happy about. But the lessons with Kathleen take a back seat when Kade becomes a target. Previously untouchable, his enemies now know of the chink in his armor – his brother’s girlfriend.
And Kade’s not the only thing coming between Kathleen and Blane. From Blane’s inexplicable defense of a man guilty of a horrible crime, to a mysterious stranger from Kathleen’s past, to Kathleen’ risky investigation into human traffickers, the obstacles mount against a relationship that’s just begun to find trust again.
While Blane considers a job offer that would take him back to the front lines in the war on terror, Kathleen is determined to pursue her new career, with or without his approval. Unfortunately, her current case is far more dangerous than anyone knows. Someone close to Blane will go to extreme lengths to split them up, lengths that may prove worse than death for Kathleen.
Kathleen, Blane and Kade must atone for the sins of the past and the present. The fallout will force Kathleen to a turning point…in her career, and her life.
My review: Tiffany A. Snow has created the best love triangle I’ve ever read. I’m addicted to the characters and I can’t thank her enough for creating a heroine so reminiscent of my favorite heroine growing up… Click to read full review.
Genre: BDSM Erotica
NB: Part of a series (The Original Sinners Series) containing 4 books. The Angel is Book #2 and has to be read after Book#1 The Siren. I loved The Siren (was in my Favorite of 2012 list) but the series just got better and better!
Blurb: No safe word can protect the heart.
Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.
Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.
But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.
My review: My! It’s never good for a reviewer to lack words… and I’m always rendered speechless by Tiffany Reisz’s books. I’m in awe… Click to read full review.
Genre: BDSM Erotica
NB: Part of a series (The Original Sinners Series) containing 4 books. The Mistress is Book #4 and has to be read after Book#1 The Siren, Book #2 The Angel and Book #3 The Prince. This is the conclusion of the series and Tiffany Reisz completed it as only she can, to perfection. It even topped The Angel as my absolute favorite in the series!
Blurb: There’s punishment-and then there’s vengeance.
Nora Sutherlin is being held, bound and naked. Under different circumstances, she would enjoy the situation immensely, but her captor isn’t interested in play. Or pity.
As the reality of her impending peril unfolds, Nora becomes Scheherazade, buying each hour of her life with stories-sensual tales of Søren, Kingsley and Wesley, each of whom has tempted and tested and tortured her in his own way. This, Nora realizes, is her life: nothing so simple, so vanilla, as a mere love triangle for her. It’s a knot in a silken cord, a tangled mass of longings of the body and the heart and the mind. And it may unravel at any moment.
But in Nora’s world, no one is ever truly powerless-a cadre of her friends, protectors and lovers stands ready to do anything to save her, even when the only certainty seems to be sacrifice and heartbreak…
My review: Tiffany Reisz is brilliantly brutal… or brutally brilliant… but saying more would be giving away too much… Know this, she’s become my SI Unit for brilliant erotica! Click to read full review.
Genre: Dark Erotica
NB: A standalone!
Blurb: Can love come from pain?
Evie always dreamed of seeing the world, but her first night at a motel turns into a nightmare. Hunter is a rugged trucker willing to do anything to keep her—including kidnapping. As they cross the country in his rig, Evie plots her escape, but she may find what she’s been looking for right beside her.
My review: I found the perfect book. Perfect because as a lover of dark erotica, I am aware that most of it is not about romance… but I never stop hoping… hoping that even as they embrace the darkness, they can find some equilibrium, some light, maybe even love. This is precisely why Wanderlust is the perfect book for me… incredibly dark, but emotional too and yes, I rooted for this unlikely couple. Click to read full review.
Genre: BDSM Erotica
NB: A series (Songs of Submission Series) comprising 7 novellas. I’ve named the entire series my favorite series ever, because it’s pure genius. But I can’t cram all 7 of them here so I picked my absolute favourite, Control. They have to be read in order though – Beg, Tease, Submit, Control, Burn, Resist, Sing.
Blurb: What you’re breaking isn’t some little, meaningless coupling. We aren’t some casual fuck, and we never were. Not from the first night. Not from the first time I laid eyes on you. You were built for me. I denied it as long as I could, but we were meant to be together. You are the sea under my sky. We’re bound at the horizon.
My Review: I can’t explain what CD Reiss’ writing does to me… if you’ve experienced it then you know what I’m talking about… it’s beautiful… flawless… I laugh out loud like I used to when I adored Jill Mansell‘s books, but there’s also so much steam… and so much heart… It’s basically the best of everything all in one… and I could read this series over and over and over… I’m absolutely in love with these two characters… I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself once I’m done with the next installment 😦 Click to read full review.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
NB: The first book in a trilogy (Love Me With Lies Series), all 5 star reads. But this is the book that started it all 🙂
Blurb: Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back.
Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.
My review: There’re many ways to get me to love a book. But of all of them, my favorite is when I look down at my reading progress and realize I’m at 80 percent and wonder how it all went so fast. Oh and closely related? When I get to the last chapter and my heart is beating like a bongo drum, then I get to the last page and I’m pretty sure I might cry with satisfaction that I loved it so much, and dissatisfaction that it wasn’t 1000 pages long
The short of it – I loved it. Easily a 2013 favorite. Click to read full review.
Genre: Erotica/Erotic Romance
NB: A standalone,prepare your tissues for this one!
Blurb: Their passion will consume everything and everyone in its path.
I’m on a train.
I don’t know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don’t. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my life—a good life with everything a woman could want—and suddenly, there is something more I didn’t know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly fulfilled.
So this is where I am, on a train that’s out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I’m the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster.
If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn’t help it, that I’ve been swept away, that it’s not my fault, that it’s fate…would that be easier? The truth is, I didn’t know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must’ve been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away.
This is my choice. And I don’t know how to stop.
Or even if I want to.
My review: Megan Hart is my favorite author. And this book proves yet again why that is. This is erotica as it should be… or maybe erotica as I like it to be… Click to read full review.
Genre: Dark Erotica
NB: A stand alone but not for the faint hearted!
Blurb: Lilith Bresson, an independent, successful young artist, is forced to travel from her home in Spain to the wild borderlands of northern England, to repay her feckless father’s latest debt by painting a portrait of the enigmatic Lady Blaine Albermarle.
On her first night at Albermarle Hall she meets Finn Strachan, Blaine’s ‘companion’, a cultured and hauntingly beautiful young man who seems to have it all. But Lilith has an artist’s eye, and a gift for seeing what lies beneath the skin. She soon discovers that Blaine is more gaoler than lover, and if the price is right, depravity has no limits.
As the weeks pass, Lilith finds that she too is drawn into the malign web that her patron has spun, yet against the odds she forges a strong friendship with the damaged, dysfunctional Finn. In a dark, modern twist to an age-old story, Lilith Bresson proves that sometimes it’s the princess who needs to become the rescuer.
My review: This book here is the reason I love Dark Erotica. I’m actually left not knowing what to do with myself. This book will break your heart, then mend it back together, and you’ll love-hate-love every minute of it.
Genre: BDSM Erotica/MM Erotica
NB: Part of a series of stand-alones (Nature of Desire Series) and the only MM erotica on the list. I have to say Joey W. Hill is my newest and favorite discovery of 2013! I now can’t mention BDSM Erotica without her name coming in next… And this one book I’ve re-read 3 times already. It’s just that special.
Blurb: When his father dies, Thomas is forced to abandon a burgeoning art career in New York. As difficult as it was to give up his lifelong dream, it’s nothing next to walking away from the man he loves. Marcus taught him to embrace who he is, a sexual submissive who responds to the touch of only one Master. But why would the sophisticated Marcus need some farm kid from the South?
Then Marcus shows up and offers him a way to continue his art career and help his family. There’s only one hitch-he asks Thomas to spend a week with him in the Berkshires. Thomas knows he should refuse. But he’s never been able to say no to his Master.
My review: I’m trying to put a name on what it is about Joey W. Hill’s writing that has me so enthralled. I have to actually force myself to pick up another author’s book. I’ve read sensual books, angsty books, erotic books… my favorites have all three… but her writing is different from what I’ve read. It touches me to my core. I think it’s because of the almost spiritual undertones… the good vs evil, Heaven and Hell… the idea that one has seen the pits of hell and gets the beautiful ending he deserves. It’s a fairy tale I want to believe in and she gives it to me. Click to read full review.
Would love to hear your favorites of 2013, feel free to comment below 🙂 xx