The year 2015 ended a few hours ago. But before I begin another reading journey for 2016, I want to look back at 2015 and the amazing books I’ve read and share them with you.
255 – That’s the official number of books I’ve read this year.
68, 582 – The number of pages I’ve read this year.
3.2 – My average star ratings on Goodreads.
I gave 5 stars to 13 books this year, and sadly, gave 1 star to 28 others.
Nevertheless, I consider 2015 to be a good year for me. I’ve read a lot of great books and some not so great books. But all of them, in some way or another, left a mark on me. And for that, I am extremely grateful.
2015 was also the year where I started reading a lot of darker and edgier stuff. Books like Corrupt by Penelope Douglas or Ruin & Rule by Pepper Winters would have been a hard no for me before, but now, I know I can read dark books and even enjoy them tremendously. So I’ll definitely continue reading darker and edgier books this year.
As much as I enjoyed venturing into dark territory, my reading heart would always beat for contemporary romance especially if they contain humor. Yes, angst are good, too. I have a few of them on my list. I do enjoy a good ugly cry book especially if there’s HEA at the end because I LOVE my HEAs. And I need it in my books.
This year, second-chance romances reign supreme: The Trouble with Love, Paper Hearts, and This Heart of Mine. Two of them are friends-to-lovers. The rest are romantic suspense, erotica, coming of age, and romantic comedy. Aside from the HEA, these books all have great dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart warming plot, humor, and serious steam factor. These are the books that made me laugh, cry, and swoon.
And with that said, I present to you my top reads for 2015, in no particular order.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy – Probably my most adored book of the year. The Deal wasn’t particularly groundbreaking. It treads one of the most common tropes in romance, but Elle Kennedy made it fresh by infusing the story with fantastic humor, awesome banter and likable characters. It was cute and fun…and yeah, adorable.
Paper Hearts by Claire Contreras – If someone were to ask me a recommendation for a second chance romance book, Paper Hearts would be on top of my list. Jensen and Mia’s road to happily-ever-after wasn’t an easy one, which made the ending so much worth it. And the feels. Oh the feels I have for this book.
The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan – Say what you will about the title, but this book was endearing and fun to read. Banter, humor and one of the hottest scenes I’ve read this year made this one a big winner. Plus, there’s just something about Kristen Callihan’s writing that hits all the right spot for me.
Seduction Game by Pamela Clare – I have a confession to make. Romantic suspense is probably my least favorite sub-genre in romance next to paranormal. So the fact that Seduction Game is on this list is significant. Pamela Clare delivered a balance between heart-racing action and steamy romance, and I loved all of it.
The Queen by Tiffany Reisz – What can I say? Tiffany Reisz is the QUEEN of erotic romance, and The Queen was everything I could ever hope for as the last of the series. I might have said goodbye to Mistress Nora and company with this last installment but I doubt I’d be saying goodbye to Tiffany Reisz on my top 10 lists anytime soon.
Sustained by Emma Chase – I actually have two unforgettable Emma Chase titles this year, and I had to choose only one to include on the list. I chose Sustained because, duh, if Jake Baker plus 6 of the most adorable kids in romancelandia aren’t enough to make your ovaries explode, I don’t know what will.
The Slayer by Kele Moon – Brutal and sexy. Two words that shouldn’t go together but Kele Moon seamlessly combined the two in The Slayer. Alaine and Chuito’s story surprised the heck out of me. I didn’t think someone would be able to unseat Wyatt as my fave Kele Moon hero, but Chuito managed to do just that.
Untamed by SC Stephens – Untamed was my dark horse this year. I didn’t expect to love Griffin’s story as much I did considering that I wasn’t crazy about Kellan’s book, Thoughtful. But man oh man, Griffin’s rise and fall and then eventual redemption did something to my heart. I connected with his story and I could not stop rooting for him even while he was being an ass. Loved it.
The Trouble With Love by Lauren Layne – Lauren Layne is my most read author for 2015. Not surprisingly because she writes my kind of romance. Not all of them are winners but I can say without a doubt that The Trouble With Love stands as my favorite of hers. It has everything I love in a second chance romance: huge betrayal followed by a separation (off page) where the two characters grow and try to move on but can’t, and then followed by the inevitable reunion.
This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak – Another second-chance romance on this list. This Heart of Mine is a story about a mother who went to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she had also been pregnant. Fast forward, 16 years later, she comes back to the town who shunned her to spend time getting know her now grown son. And on gosh, my feels are all over the place. First chapter in and I was already bawling like a baby which is always a good sign.
Honorable mentions: Heart of Obsidian & Rock Hard by Nalini Singh, Ricochet by Keri Lake, Overruled by Emma Chase, Sin & Suffer by Pepper Winters, Losing Control by Jen Frederick and A Perfect Ten by Linda Kage. There are reasons why these books didn’t make it to the top 10. One is that most of these books are first in the series, and while I loved the first book, the second one was just okay or a disappointment or the second book is yet to be released therefore, the story is incomplete. Another reason would be that while I loved the story, there were issues I couldn’t really forget or set aside.
Thank you, authors, for sharing your stories with me. While there were books that didn’t work for me, the good definitely outweighed the not so good. And I for one, am looking forward to reading more stories from you. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.
So there you have it, folks. Ten of my favorites from 2015, and a few honorable mentions.
What about you? Share your favorite reads for 2015 in the comments and let’s compare notes! I’d love to hear your very own top 10 list!