Carrie’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014Lots of great reads in 2014! I could’ve listed a few more but wanted to just give you my most favorite of the year. I especially loved favorite authors that started new series (Callihan, Andrews & Bennett) and new to me authors (Bowen). Bring on 2015!

New Adult

hook upThe Hook Up by Kristen Callihan – Callihan’s foray into New Adult is a smash and my #1 reread of 2014. Star quarterback falls head long for a smart sarcastic girl who wants nothing to do with him. Fantastic tension with well-developed relatable characters with a seriously steamy story made this riveting read.

Click to purchase: The Hook Up

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen – A new to me author that I’ve fallen for. The first book in the Ivy League series is a sentimental coming of age story with a strong heroine who is navigating a different kind of freshman year after a hockey accident landed her in a wheelchair. It gave me all the angsty butterflies that a first love can give. [Read more…]

Review: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

banishing the darkReviewed by Jen

I can’t believe that it’s over.  I just found this series and already I have to say goodbye to the fantastic cast of characters that make up Cady’s world.  It was a fantastic ride with a worthy climax. Through it all, Jenn Bennett kept the action high, the tone consistent, and the emotion both realistic and relatable.  When all is said and done, everything is tied up in a nice bow, almost guaranteed to leave you satisfied. [Read more…]

Review: Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett

binding the shadowsReviewed by Jen

Wow. THAT is how you leave readers wanting more.  Jenn Bennett really amps things up in this third installment of her Arcadia Bell series.  The story starts in the middle of the action and it feels like poor Cady can’t so much as take a breath –even up until the last page.  It is just one thing after another, keeping me on the edge of my seat, only to blow me away in the final few pages. [Read more…]

Review: Leashing the Tempest by Jenn Bennett

leashing the tempestReviewed by Jen

What a satisfying novella! So often, stories like these can fill like pure filler, but I really enjoyed this afternoon spent with Cady, Lon, Juke, and Kar Yee.

It takes place just a couple of weeks after Summoning the Night. Lon and Cady have decided to take Juke out on a boat to test his new knack of persuasion.  Kar Yee agrees to be his guinea pig.  [Read more…]

Review: Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett

summoning the nightReviewed by Jen

No sophomore slump for the Arcadia Bell series.  I enjoyed this second installment every bit as much as the first.  It was action packed –and it still had heart.  There was not a drop of relationship angst, yet I stayed enamored of the romance.  And perhaps my favorite character in the series is emerging –and he is a 14 year-old boy named Jupe.

The story begins just a few weeks after the events of Kindling the Moon.  Cady is forging ahead with her relationship with Lon… recovering from the attempt on her life.  She’s not using her new powers.  Things are going well.  [Read more…]

Review: Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

kindling the moonReviewed by Jen

When you read a lot of paranormal stories (like I do,) many of the books start to feel tired and familiar, even when I’ve barely started.  One of the things I liked best about this book is that it didn’t fit the mold.  It felt fresh. The world-building is simple and easy to understand.  The heroine is likeable and easy to relate to.  And there is just the right amount of romance to make me leave satisfied. [Read more…]

Review: Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett

bitter spiritsReviewed by Carrie

I super duper love Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell series for its fun and witty characters, tight action writing and excellent world building.  When she said she wrote a PNR set in the 1920’s featuring a bootlegger and a spirit medium, I practically stalked her twitter for an advance copy.  I am so so glad I did, because it was everything I hoped for and more.

The novel opens in a Prohibition-era San Francisco speakeasy where the heroine, Aida Palmer, performs nightly as a spirit medium.  [Read more…]