Tag: Best of 2015

Worst of 2015: The Books

Posted January 8, 2016 by Holly in Features | 2 Comments

Worst Books


I didn’t read a lot of new-to-me authors this year, and I did a lot of re-reading besides, so my average reading experience was, on the whole, pretty good. I did read a few duds this year, though. Here they are.

  1. Six Months by Dannika Dark: I enjoyed most of the books in this series, but Six Months failed on many levels. Mainly it was the heroine who killed it for me.
  2. Wild and Free by Kristen Ashley: I generally love Ashley’s books, but this one didn’t work for me. To be honest it was mostly boring, though it was also confusing in parts and I didn’t connect with the characters.
  3. Heart Legacy by Robin D. Owens: I didn’t actually dislike this book. On the contrary, Celta is one of my favorite fictional places and I love visiting it. But the ending really hurt the story. When I look back at it, it’s mostly with frustration over the way it ended.
  4. Cat’s Lair by Christine Feehan: In this case, I really loved the heroine but the hero was such an ass I couldn’t get past his actions. I generally love Feehan’s heroes, but this one just didn’t work for me. At all.
  5. Beastly by Alex Flinn: It was the sheer implausibility that killed this book for me. I can generally set aside any disbelief when I’m reading paranormal/fantasy novels, but the problem is this is written as a contemporary novel with the witch’s curse as the only fantastical element. That really hurt the story for me. Plus, the typos killed me.

Dishonorable Mentions: Waking the Beast by Lacey Thorn, Black Wolf’s Revenge by Tera Shanley, and Hero by Samantha Young.


I read quite a few middle of the road books this year but there were a few that really stood out as BAD to me.

  1. Mad for You by Anna Antonia: Creepy stalker hero who lies about everything and the heroine still wants him. Just…no. Not my idea of a romance AT ALL. Serious editing issues as well.
  2. Sweet as Sin by JT Geissinger: This book was filled with angst and drama and when I thought it would finally die down I got more angst and drama. My God it was nonstop and a bit frustrating.
  3. Last Light by M. Pierce: The love story – if I can even call it that – was so incredibly dysfunctional I couldn’t handle it half the time. Matt is a neurotic nutbag and Hannah ends up being his enabler. She tries to make a stand at one point in the book (as she did in book 1) and of course that doesn’t work because she LUUUUVS him. Puuuhlease. Spare me. They’re both whacked in the head if they think that they can keep doing the same things time and again and expecting a different outcome.”
  4. 99 days by Katie Cotugno: Girl supposedly loves her boyfriend but then sleeps with his brother.  Just no. I couldn’t get over that.
  5. Given to the Pack by Abby Weeks: This was the absolute worst read of the year.  I couldn’t even give it one full star.  This woman (I can’t even call her a heroine of the book) was TSTL and should never be able to leave home. She’s degraded, raped, slapped, – you name it and just keeps going along with it. She does say no to the rapes but not vehemently and she doesn’t actually try to fight the men off or run away (which she had chances to do over and over). The story of a rugged town in Alaska where the men protect the women but only if the women sleep with them ALL is so ridiculous. I think it was supposed to be considered taboo or titillating but it was too convoluted to be either. Just a ploy by the author to throw horrifying sex into the book.


It’s been quite a while since I’ve read some really bad books but last year, I read a few. That surprises me cause I’m normally easy to please…but apparently, not last year.

  1. Overruled by Emma Chase: This book drove me right up the wall. Between the hero and his dumbass shenanigans to the heroine letting the hero getting away with said dumbass shenanigans, I just couldn’t get over it and I ended up hating this one. Just thinking about this book again is making my eye twitch. Ugh.
  2. Making Up Your Mind by Jill Mansell: OMG, this book drove me bat shit crazy. Too many of the characters drove me bonkers and the crap that Lottie’s kids got away with made me want to make them pick a switch for an ass beating the likes of which they’ve never seen before and then the adults weren’t any better. Lottie putting her nose in her ex-husband’s business, just ugh. All of it got on my nerves.
  3. After Hours by Claire Kennedy: I like food and books set around diners, restaurants, bakeries, whatever. I’m all about those books but the shenanigans that went on behind the scenes in this book made me realize how old I am. Reading this book reminded me of when I watched that one movie Project X. Everything that was supposed to be funny or “good” made me mad. Like, ragey mad. I felt the same way about this book.
  4. A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride: This was another YA book that just did not work for me. The decisions these teens make, the dumb shit that they got themselves into – none of it worked for me. All it did was piss me off and make me want to kick them all in the nuts…even the kids without nuts.
  5. Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley: Deacon (the hero) was a dick and Alex just kept right on pissing me off throughout the entire time I was reading this book. You know I didn’t like them when they show up in the second book and I hate them still in that book. Stupid decisions, dumb ass shenanigans equals I did not like this book one bit.

Dishonorable Mentions: The Night We Said Yes by Lauran Gibaldi, Redemption Road by Katie Ashley and Game On by Katie McCoy.

What were the worst books you read last year?

Tagged: , , , , ,

Best of 2015: The Heroes

Posted January 7, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments


2015 was the year of the New Adult novel for me. I read and loved so many NA books and it definitely shows in my heroes list. 🙂

1) Jake Becker from Sustained by Emma Chase: Oh, Jake. Freaking Jake. I loved the hell out of this guy. I liked him so much better than his friend Stanton. I loved his reserved personality, the way that he thought about things and I absolutely loved the relationships he developed with those kids. He opened up more and more and the meeting he had with the kids at the end? Asbolutely LOVED it and LOVED HIM!
2) Judd Lauren from Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh: I’ve been curious about this guy for years, ever since Julie James was walking around RWA with a “Judd is my Boyfriend” button on her shirt. She wore that button loud and proud so I knew that I was going to read this book, I just didn’t know that it would take me so long to get around to it. But Judd lived up to every impossible expectation I had and now I know why he’s such a popular Nalini Singh. He is just flat out the bomb.
3) Mateo Torres from All Played Out by Cora Carmack: I’ve been reading about Mateo Torres for two books and I’ve been wondering how Carmack was going to have him settle down and not be such a party boy and she really knocked it out of the park with this one. I absolutely adored Torres. I loved his personality, his tenacity where Nell was concerned and I completely loved the list he made of ways he loves Nell. He did a lot of growing up in his book and I just loved the hell out of him.
4) Garrett Graham from The Deal by Elle Kennedy: Garrett Graham is that hero that knows he’s hot and is really arrogant about it but you still fall head over heels for him anyway. I loved how confident he was but I also loved the way that he loved Hannah. The way that he helped her overcome her hangups, how good a friend he was to her when she needed one, I loved it. I adored everything about Graham. His desire to do well in school, the loyalty he showed to his friends, everything about G was great. I loved the hell out of him.
5) Carter from Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams: Carter, Carter, Carter. He was another hero that surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to love him quite as much as I did but I’m oh so glad that I did. His love for Arizona, the way that he didn’t shy away from the feelings that crept up on him. The way that he knew Arizona better than she knew herself and did whatever it took to let her have the experiences she needed to have. I loved every minute of getting to know Carter and he was just one of those good guys that made my heart all fluttery and mushy. Love him!

Honorable Mentions: Trevor Callaghan from Midnight Games by Elle Kennedy, Knox Maddox from Sacked by Jen Frederick and Gray Grayson from The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan.


Generally this is one of the hardest categories for me to narrow down, but I did so much re-reading this year I didn’t have a lot of new books to choose from.

1) Kaleb Krycheck from Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh: Kaleb was everything I expected him to be..and so much more. I adored him.
2) Carson “Joker” Steele from Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley: I was surprised at how much I loved Joker since we knew so little about him going into this book. He was such a strong, stand up kind of guy. I loved watching him overcome his past and fall in love.
3) Lyon Redmond from The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long: The long awaited story of Lyon. I loved how much he loved Olivia, and all he devious and dastardly plans to force her to realize how much she loved him in return.
4) Gray Grayson from The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan: Oh Gray. How did I love thee… I loved how he loved Mac. I loved how loyal a friend he was. I loved how funny and adorable he was.
5) Ethan Dexter from The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan: Ethan embodied everything that was the strong, silent type. Talk about a deep well. He loved babies, stayed true to his friends and loved his girl like no other. I adored him.

Honorable Mention: Noah St. John from Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh.

What heroes made your best of 2015 list?

Tagged: , , ,

Best of 2015: The Heroines

Posted January 7, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 13 Comments


  1. Bella from The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen: Bella. Holy cow, Bella’s book hit me in the feels and I don’t know if I could have survived the stuff Bella survived. She was probably one of the strongest heroines that I’ve read in 2015 and even when she was being a bonehead, I admired the hell out of her. Of course she was making this list.
  2. Pia from Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison: Another strong heroine that I liked getting to know. Pia and Dragos romance was pretty steamy but I liked how headstrong Pia was and how she gave as good as she got where Dragos was concerned. Dragos wasn’t used to someone speaking up and calling him out on his shit and considering how scary and mean Dragos was, I really enjoyed Pia’s character.
  3. Hannah from The Deal by Elle Kennedy: Hanah’s book was my most re-read book of 2015. I couldn’t get enough of her hero, Garrett at first but with each re-read, it was Hannah that I liked more and more. Her situation, her outlook on life and just her personality was one that I really liked. Garrett and Logan weren’t the only one with crushes on Hannah. She was just great.
  4. Leanne from The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen: I really liked Leanne. Like, really liked her. I thought she was the adorable little dork from Bella and Rafael’s book but she really comes into her own in her own book. I liked seeing her come out of her shell (and her room) and you could see the growth in her character over the course of the book. She was just great.
  5. Chelsea from Sustained by Emma Chase: The premise of this book immediately sparked my interest. Chelsea’s brother and his wife died in a car accident, leaving Chelsea the sole guardian of six children. Chelsea was in her early twenties and she stepped up without pause to take care of her nieces and nephews. She was completely over her head in worries, grief and responsibility but no matter how big the load on her shoulders got, she steadfastly continued on. She moved her life to be with those kids and pushed her own welfare and worries to the side to make sure those kids knew she was there for them. Jake (her hero) never stood a chance. She freaking rocked.

Honorable Mentions: Ellie from Sacked by Jen Frederick, Nell from All Played Out by Cora Carmack and Ivy from The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan.


This is the hardest category for me each year. I just don’t connect with a lot of the women in novels. These are all pretty great, though.

  1. Ivy Mackenzie from The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan: She was funny and caring. I adored her.
  2. Sahara from Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh: Talk about strong. Sahara survived things other never could and still came out fierce and loving.
  3. Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews: Kate is pretty kickass. There were things about her that bothered me, but I can’t deny I kind of want to be her when I grow up.
  4. Lady Mary Lennox from The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley: Mary was awesome. She was strong and independent, stood by her man and was willing to do whatever she needed to do.
  5. Carissa Teodora from Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley: Carissa was really awesome. She put her kid first, picked herself up when life knocked her down and kept a great attitude through it all. I really loved her.

Who were your favorite heroines of 2015?

Tagged: , , ,

Best of 2015: The Series

Posted January 6, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments


There were a lot of series that I either started or continued last year and these are my top series of 2015. I’m telling you, I love New Adult books…they made every single one of my lists. Haha.

  1. The Off Campus Series by Elle Kennedy.
  2. The Psy-Changeling Series by Nalini Singh.
  3. The Rock Kiss Series by Nalini Singh.
  4. The Rusk University Series by Cora Carmack.
  5. The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen.

Honorable Mentions: Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy, The Game On series by Kristen Callihan and On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young.


I didn’t read very many new books in 2015, but I did finally catch up on some long-standing series.

  1. Off Campus by Elle Kennedy
  2. Psy/Changeling  by Nalini Singh
  3. Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
  4. Ink and Chrome  by Lauren Dane
  5. Game On by Kristen Callihan

Honorable MentionsElder Races by Thea Harrison, Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh and Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs.

What were your favorite series of the year?

Tagged: , , ,

Best of 2015: The Books

Posted January 5, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 12 Comments


I read a lot of books each year and it’s always hard to pick favorites but this year, it wasn’t that hard for me. I liked many books but my favorites were pretty easy to choose.

  1. Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams: Absolutely loved this one. I am a sucker for friends to lovers story lines and this one completely worked for me. I loved Carter. I loved Arizona. I loved their romance. Such a freaking good story.
  2. The Deal by Elle Kennedy: This book was my most read book of 2015, especially toward the end of the year. I just kept re-reading this book like it was disappearing from the earth. I loved it that much. I loved the main characters, the secondary characters and I really loved the romance. Elle Kennedy was one of my top authors of 2015 and this book was a huge reason why.
  3. Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh: I knew that I was going to love this book. Too many of my trusted book pimps loved it so when I finally cracked open the book, I waited for Nalini Singh to amaze me and she freaking blew me away. The story was interesting, the characters were fantastic and the world that she created for the Psy and Changelings just worked for me. Judd is my boyfriend…spread it around. 🙂
  4. Sustained by Emma Chase: Holy crap, this book! Unlike Caressed by Ice, I wasn’t prepared for how much I was going to love this book…especially considering how much I did not like the book that came before this one in the series. But it was like night and day for me. For everything that I hated in Book 1, I absolutely loved in this book. So much of this book hit me in the feels that I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters. I LOVED Jake and I loved Chelsea and all of the kids and Emma Chase won me over. I’m thirsty for more of her stuff.
  5. True Devotion by Liora Blake: Simon Cole had me swooning all over the place while reading his book. From the time we meet him in True North and he’s introduced as that wears too much cologne, flirty guy, I wondered if I would like him but then his book starts and I’m immediately in love with this guy and throughout the entire book I fell in love with him more and more. This book rocked all of my socks in my socks drawer. It was that good for me.

Honorable Mentions: Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath, Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh and Sacked by Jen Frederick.


I had a hard time picking my favorites this year, since so many of my favorite authors had new releases.

1. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh: I’m pretty sure I highlighted almost every page of this book. It was amazing.
2. The Deal by Elle Kennedy: Hannah and Garrett were such a great couple. I loved their story.
3. November 9 by Colleen Hoover: This book was such an emotional roller coaster ride. I loved it…and hated it.
4. Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley: Carissa was probably my favorite of all Ashley’s heroines. I loved her and Joker.
5. The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan – Gray! Mac! Special Sauce and Cupcake! So.Much.Love.

Honorable Mentions: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy, The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan and Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh. I didn’t include them in my list because I didn’t want to double dip.


I had a lot more than just 5 books that I really loved this year but I think these are really my top favorites (a lot of friends to lovers stories caught my attention this year):

  1. The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen: So good!  I loved the slow burn of the friends to lovers story.
  2. The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen: The best part of this was Bridger and his wonderful personality.  I loved how he took such great care of his sister and the romance was spot on too.
  3. Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase: Amazingly wonderful.  Loved the wit and sarcasm and the story rocked as well.
  4. The Deal by Elle Kennedy: Another great friends to lovers story and oh so hot.
  5. Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh: I got action, adventure, intrigue, love, respect, kindness and hope all wrapped up in a wonderful story and frankly I didn’t want the book to end.

Honorable Mentions: Nice Girls Don’t Ride by Roni Loren: Short but sweet story that was awesome; and With a Twist by Staci Hart: Really great friends to lovers story with lots of laughter and friendship.

What were your favorite books of 2015?

Tagged: , , , ,