2015 was an enlightening reading year for me. Genres that I’ve read since I first started reading have lost their appeal and different ones are jumping in to fill the void, I have finally mastered the art of DNFing (it has improved my reading life dramatically,) and most shockingly (to me) M/M books are my newest obsession. Like the other Badass gals, my Top 10 list is in no particular order and compiled with books that have stuck with me throughout the year.
|#10: Making a Play by Victoria Denault
Book 2 in Hometown Players
Rose’s innocent nature and her unwillingness to play games with Luc was a breath of fresh air in a genre saturated with games and contrived ‘misunderstandings.’ This heroine made choices that I didn’t understand, but fell right in line with her character. There were times when I was thinking WTF? But the more I read Making a Play, the more her choices made sense. I loved the way the author was able to pull everything together in a plausible way.
|#9: Asking for It by Lilah Pace
Book 1 in Asking for It
If Making a Play was a breath of fresh air, Asking for It went in the opposite direction and took my breath away. It covers a controversial topic deftly. The hero and heroine are intelligent, interesting people you wouldn’t be surprised to find in your circle of friends, and you can’t help but root for them even with their unusual circumstances.
|#8: A Wicked Way to Win an Earl by Anna Bradley
Book 1 in Sutherland Scandals
I pulled an all-nighter (on a work night no less,) for A Wicked Way to Win an Earl. The sexual tension in this book heightened with every page, and I was on the edge of my seat dying to see how Delia and Alec would next try to one-up each other. A spunky heroine and alpha-hero who stayed true to character until the very end made this a delicious read.
|#7: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Book 3 in Chaos
Joker was a bit of a departure from the typical KA hero. He was more alpha-lite than I’m used to, and that made Ride Steady a stand out for me. He adored Carissa and wasn’t afraid to show it. His past was behind him, he was intent on the future, and he wasn’t a man who was afraid to go after what he wanted.
|#6: The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward
Book 1 in The Bourbon Kings
The Bourbon Kings had an 80’s stamp on it that reeled me in from the very beginning. Secrets and lies abound among the Bradford clan and all who surround them. The imagery in this book is incredible, and the constant will they find out or won’t they is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
|#5: Claimed by Elle Kennedy
Book 1 in Outlaws
Claimed was easily the hottest book I read this year. A kick ass heroine who’s not intimidated by a gruff hero on the battlefield or the bedroom was a sexy combination, and secondary characters I feel invested in make me so excited to read the next book in the series.
|#4: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Book 3 in The Others
I may have been late to the party on this series, but since I’m on my third series listen (and I only discovered it this year,) it’s only fitting that Vision in Silver make my list. The world building in this series is incomparable, and the social issues Vision in Silver explores in such a unique context is enthralling. I didn’t just read about this world, for almost fifty hours, I lived and breathed it.
|#3: Hold Me Close by Megan Hart
Megan Hart pushes the envelope on a consistent basis more than any other author I read. The characterization in Hold Me Close was stellar; even when Effie was driving me crazy, I still found myself rooting for her. I could not put this book down.
|#2: Misfits by Garrett Leigh
Misfits took me completely by surprise. It’s the only book on my Top 10 list that I rated less than four stars, so you might wonder why it’s here. It’s because this book has stuck with me all year long; I am still in its clutches. Wendy receives at least one email a week from me that contains something along the lines of ‘Hey, remember in Misfits when…?’ This was such a beautiful story of acceptance and love, and if you’re an M/M/M fan, this book needs to be on your to be read list.
|#1: Prince’s Gambit by C. S. Pacat
Book 2 in Captive Prince
Man, the things this book did to me. If we’re measuring books by email exchanges, then Prince’s Gambit wins hands down. I would guess anywhere from two to three hundred emails were swapped during the reading of this book and its predecessor, Captive Prince. Never has a book told from only one point of view made me think so hard about the second character’s motivation. Prince’s Gambit is an all-consuming story that will have you chasing your tail the entire way through.
There were some other books that I feel really reshaped my reading life this year, but they were published in previous years. Some opened my eyes to newer-to-me genres, and some highlighted that even genres I don’t typically enjoy have that diamond in the rough:
I hope to spend next year exploring new genres and (if I can find the strength) abandon some that don’t seem to be working for me anymore. I was very late to the Urban Fantasy party, and my badass buds have a huge jump on me there. I’d like to get caught up on some of those so I can be part of the hubbub when new books release. I’m looking forward to some more amazing reads in 2016!
What did you think of my Top 10 list? Did any of these books hit the top of your list for 2015?
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