Jen’s Favorite Books of 2013

It’s never too early to start keeping up with the amazing books of the New Year! I am sticking with the tradition I started last year of running “Best of” post, so no great book slips through the cracks.

January
by Kim Harrison

Guys. This is the best installment in the Hollows series to date.  It’s not a book for new readers to jump into Rachel Morgan’s world.  But for established fans, it’s like hitting the jackpot.  The story is more of a continuation of Pale Demon than A Perfect Blood was.  It follows Rachel as she tries to repair the damage her ley line made in the ever after a couple of books back.  Ku’Sox is trying to get her killed.  Ivy is out of town!! It’s heavy on Trent and Al –and delivers the emotional kick to the gut that this series should be known for.  Sexy, funny, heartbreaking, and action packed… this one is a can’t miss read.

Click to purchase: Ever After

March
Night Blade
by JC Daniels
There is a difference, I guess, between saying, “this was one of my favorite books of the year,” as opposed to saying, “this was one of the best books I have read this year.” I can’t really call Night Blade a favorite, as it left me gutted and hunched over, rocking in the corner of the room. But what I can say is that it will be one of the most unforgettable books of the year for me. It affected me. It made me reach out to the book community to talk about it. I couldn’t put it down, and I now look at Shiloh Walker with a combined sense of awe and horror. You don’t want to read this second installment in the series without reading Blade Song first. You’ll probably find that first book a bit Kate Daniels-ish. But this second book takes us where Kate has never been. If you’re not afraid of some angst, I definitely recommend it.

Click to purchase: Night Blade

by Anne Bishop

This is the most unique feeling Urban Fantasy book I have read in ages.  The tone is so dark.  The monsters aren’t just sexy humans with super-powers… they are beasts.  They are killers.  And humans are little more than a food source.  The heroine, Meg, is woman of beautiful spirit.  She shows the “others” the best of what it means to be human.  With her simple kindness and goodwill, she begins to change how they view her kind.  I loved how Bishop portrays the supernaturals in this world; how they are so alien and she doesn’t try to humanize them.  I picked this book up and was glued to the pages until I was done.  Very cool.

Click to purchase: Written in Red

 

by Delilah Marvelle

You may have noticed that historicals don’t feature on my favorites lists quite as often as some other genres. But I really, really enjoyed this third installment in the School of Gallantry series.  (Don’t worry; it works great as a standalone.)  This book has one of my favorite romance tropes: a tortured hero who thinks he is not good enough for his heroine.  Caldwell and Caroline have been friends since she was only 13, but now she is all grown up.  Despite his best intentions, Caldwell can’t help the attraction he feels for her, but he doesn’t want to ruin the one good relationship he has ever had by bringing sex into the picture. There is great sexual tension; characters I felt I knew and I loved; and a romance that I could really root for. Plus, a delicious dollop of angst.  Good stuff.

Click to purchase: Lady of Pleasure

April
Touch & Geauxhttp://www.dreamstime.com/-image4206965
by Abigail Roux

Just when I think I can’t get any more emotionally invested in Ty and Zane, Abigail Roux writes another book and I only fall deeper.  I should have known that this book would take me through the wringer. After all, the last installment ended with everyone so happy. I was feeling so good, I should have known it couldn’t last.  This book takes our men to New Orleans to hook up with Ty’s Sidewinder team. There is big trouble with an old nemesis of Grady’s and it leads to danger and… Who am I kidding? The heart of this book is the giant wedge that slams down the center of our beloved couple.  It’s dirty and painful and I was a sniveling mass of raw nerves when it was over. And the ending. Killed me.  If you are not reading this series, you should be.  One of my favorite romance series of any subgenre.

Click to purchase: Touch & Geaux

June
Heart of Obsidian
By Nalini Singh

heart of obsidianIt’s so rare for a book to live up to the hype.  But this one did and then some.  For a year, Psy Changeling fans made their best guesses and predictions about who this book would be about and whether we would finally discover the identity of the elusive Ghost.  It turns out that this is Kaleb’s story –and he is everything we wanted in a hero and more.  It’s a book full of passion and deep emotion, with amazingly hot sex and a romance that grabs onto your heart and doesn’t let go.  It was absolutely worth the wait and satisfying in every way. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one.  –And if you’ve never read the series, you could still enjoy it, though you are better off starting the series from the beginning.

Click to purchase: Heart of Obsidian

July
magic risesMagic Rises
By Ilona Andrews

There has yet to be an installment in this series that I didn’t enjoy, so I hesitate to call this a “comeback” book.  But I can say that this book really reinvigorated my devotion to this series.  Kate and Curran are as engaging as ever, maybe even more so, as the future of their relationship is put on the line.  What’s so awesome about it, is that I really had no idea how the conflict would be resolved –or if it even could be. That’s a tall order for a series with such an established couple.  The book is a road trip for the gang, but most of the core characters are still there.  And it continues to advance the overall arc concerning Kate and her father.  I am so excited to see where the series goes from here.

Click to purchase: Magic Rises

Rise of the Gryphon
by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

rise of the gryphonI know these books don’t have the same kind of following as Sherrilyn Keyon’s other series.  They are not PNR.  But this series is really good Urban Fantasy. It may not be for everybody. It’s complicated and you have to pay attention to the wide palate of characters, races, alliances, and feuds.  It’s totally worth it, though. This fourth installment is easily the best in the series to date.  Our heroine, Evalle, is finally learning the truth about what she is. She is moving forward in her fragile relationship with Storm.  The plot moves fast.  There is great action and ass kicking.  There is emotional resonance… good sex… and huge arc advancement. I was riveted from beginning to end. Evalle is growing so much.  And the ending left me begging for book 5.  Really good!

Click to purchase: Rise of the Gryphon

August
Guardian Demonguardian demon
by Meljean Brook

This book left me feeling so emotional. It was the perfect ending to the Guardian series.  The romance is exceptional.  Michael’s worship of Taylor is so lovely.  Meanwhile, her wariness and fear slowly morph into a tentative love, and it’s such an amazing journey to watch.  This story broke my heart and made it whole again, while keeping me on the edge of my seat with action and a fabulous master plan.  I loved it.

Click to purchase: Guardian Demon

archangels legionOctober
Archangel’s Legion
by Nalini Singh

This book got me excited for the Guild Hunter series all over again. Raphael and Elena still have so much fire.  But what I really loved about this book is the great pacing. The story just builds and builds until it explodes all over the page.

Click to purchase: Archangel’s Legion

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (historical romance)
Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (paranormal romance)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (YA urban fantasy)
Never a Hero by Marie Sexton (m/m contemporary romance)
How Beauty Loved the Beast
by Jax Garren (steampunk? sci-fi? romance)
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare (historical romance)
The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan (historical romance)
Romancing Lady Stone by Delilah Marvelle (historical romance)
Secret Unleashed by Sierra Dean (urban fantasy)
The Last Hour of Gann by R Lee Smith (sci-fi with strong romantic elements)
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn (historical romance)
Long Time Gone by SE Jakes (m/m romantic suspense)

Check out Carrie’s, Shelly’s, Jaimie’s and Janell’s top picks of 2013.

Comments

  1. Gah! I really have to start this series!

  2. Love this. I’m going to do this in 2013 also (and make sure to credit your brilliance in my announcement post of course!)

  3. Written in red is an amazing book.

  4. I just read Written in Red and was blown away!!! omg so good.

    Great list!

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