Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Top 10 Reads of 2014

You'd think for someone who reads as much as I do that compiling a top 10 books list would be a piece of cake.  Really, you'd think so.  The reality of it, however, not so much.  This has been hard.  Really, really hard in fact.  Coming up with a top 5 came easily but then adding on to that and picking ones that I not only liked but actually deserved to be on a "top ten" list made it much more difficult.  I think I have finally got my list together and it's done, after weeks of going back and forth, and back and forth again.  Here we go, my top ten list followed by a short synopsis that I copied from Amazon.!

#10  Second Chances  by H.M. Ward & Stacey Mosteller

I'm not a catch, I'm not even certain I'm what they'd call 'mentally stable,' not anymore. Too much has happened too fast and it ripped my soul in half. I'm alone, with a plastic stick in my hand that says the one word we'd been so eager to see. 


Lucky in love once is a miracle, but I lost him, and this baby is all I have left. My life turned to ash in a blink and there's nothing I can do about it. 

Years pass and I'm still here, but it doesn't feel like it, not until the lawn guy, Daniel Clement, checks me out. Me. A yoga-panting, pony tailing, frumpy-butt, frizzy mommy who's covered in whatever the baby tossed on me at lunch. 

Daniel's dark eyes linger too long, as if he likes what he sees. I'm shocked and flattered, but he's too young. The age gap between us is over a decade, but that doesn't stop him. If I sleep with him everyone will think I've lost my mind. Maybe I have, because everyday that I see Daniel's sexy, toned body glistening in the sunlight, I consider feeling him pressed against me, naked. The few times his fingers grazed my skin were heaven, but once the clothes come off--he's a god and I'm... me. 

I've been alone for so long. Surely one kiss won't hurt anything, one taste of his mouth should be harmless. Things don't have to go that far, but I'm wrong. 

Love only comes around once in a lifetime. Only fools think otherwise, and I'm the biggest fool of them all. 

#9  Black Box  by Cassia Leo

Mikki and Crush have crossed paths twice before, but they've never met. Their first encounter changed Mikki's life forever, but their second meeting left them both scarred from a violent attack. 

Three years after the attack, Mikki and Crush both book a flight to Los Angeles to escape the memories of the past and expectations of their families. Crush plans to record a song he wrote for a girl he doesn't even know: Black Box. He's never felt his life had any purpose, until he meets Mikki in Terminal B. 

When Mikki and Crush cross paths for the third time in Terminal B, neither has any idea who the other person is; until they slowly piece together their history and realize fate has more in store for them than just another love story.

#8  Stepbrother Dearest  by Penelope Ward

You’re not supposed to want the one who torments you. 

When my stepbrother, Elec, came to live with us my senior year, I wasn’t prepared for how much of a jerk he’d be. 

I hated that he took it out on me because he didn’t want to be here. 
I hated that he brought girls from our high school back to his room. 
But what I hated the most was the unwanted way my body reacted to him. 

At first, I thought all he had going for him were his rock-hard tattooed abs and chiseled face. But things started changing between us, and it all came to a head one night. 

Then, just as quickly as he’d come into my life, he was gone back to California. 

It had been years since I’d seen Elec. 

When tragedy struck our family, I’d have to face him again. 

And holy hell, the teenager who made me crazy was now a man that drove me insane. 

I had a feeling my heart was about to get broken again. 

#7  Because of Ellison by M.S. Willis

When I was nineteen years old, I lived for sex, drugs and a good party. I had it all - good looks, a fast car and a hot girlfriend. Nothing in life was more important. 

That was, until I met Ellison James…. 

Since the moment I first saw her she was a raging bull; tackling me in the mud and throwing out insults as fast as her tongue could form the sound. 

She was snarky 
She was rude 
And she pissed me off like no other woman could. 

I lived beside her for a summer and in the three months that I walked by her side... 

She opened my eyes 
She changed my life 
And she made me a better man 

#6  Crossing Tinker's Knob  by Inglath Cooper

Becca Miller has lived her life trying to do the right thing, even when its cost has been giving up the boy she loved and wanted to marry. The sacrifice she made for her sister isn’t one she regrets because there was no other choice for her to make. And for eighteen years, she lives this choice with full commitment and as little looking back as she can manage. 

When Matt Griffith returns to Ballard County for the funeral of his grandmother, the path that had seemed so straight begins to loop back and take her across feelings she thought she had put away for good. As it turns out, those roads we’ve traveled do not fade at all. They simply wait to be retraveled, leaving us with the decision to follow them exactly as we did before, or make a different choice and find out where it will lead us. 

#5  Maybe Not  by  Colleen Hoover

When Warren has the opportunity to live with a female roommate, he instantly agrees. It could be an exciting change.

Or maybe not.

Especially when that roommate is the cold and seemingly calculating Bridgette. Tensions run high and tempers flare as the two can hardly stand to be in the same room together. But Warren has a theory about Bridgette: anyone who can hate with that much passion should also have the capability to love with that much passion. And he wants to be the one to test this theory.

Will Bridgette find it in herself to warm her heart to Warren and finally learn to love?


Maybe not.

#4  Ugly Love  by  Colleen Hoover

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past. 
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated. 
Promises get broken. 
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

#3  Maybe Someday  by Colleen Hoover

At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She's in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter's cheating on her--and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there's something about Sydney that Ridge can't ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one...

#2  Letting Go  by Molly McAdams

Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

~~~~~aaaaaaand, (drumroll please) now for my # 1 pick of 2014~~~~

Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you ...
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

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