We kicked off our best of 2014 reads here. Now, we continue. We make no apologies for the state of your TBR pile.
From rural romance author Lisa IrelandShotgun Lovesongs – Nickolas Butler. This is a beautiful novel about friendship and the impact of fame. I found out after I’d finished the book that the author grew up with the lead singer of Bon Iver. The Return – Silvia Kwon. A novel set in rural Australia at the end of WW2. There is simmering tension running beneath the seemingly mundane lives of the characters in this book. Miss Spelled – Sarah Belle. I love Sarah Belle’s comedic voice. I read this book in one sitting!
From paranormal and SF romance author MA GrantHaving Her: – Jackie Ashenden: I love every book by this author, but Having Her really pushed all my buttons. The uptight hero, the witty heroine, a losing-your-virginity story and all the sass, cleverness, and dark emotions Ashenden always puts on the page. Read it in one sitting and have it in a place of honour on my iBook shelf.A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – Ishmael Beah: It’s not often I read books that leave me completely speechless. This is one of them though. It’s a painful read that I may never take on again, but worth every second.Henry V – William Shakespeare: What’s not to like about a classic tale of brotherhood, military underdogs, and some of the most famous monologues in history? And if you’re not a hardcore Shakespeare nerd like me, you can always read it and then watch Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Prince Hal in The Hollow Crown series.
From contemporary and romantic suspense author Elisabeth Rose:Safe With Me – Amy Hatvany. After a mother’s only child is killed in a car accident she donates her daughter’s organs to save another life. By chance she meets and befriends the mother of the daughter whose life was saved. It sounds rather grim but was a beautifully written, very moving story about love and life and the strong bond that develops between the two women and the daughter.Pompeii – Robert Harris. I’d read Harris’s books about Cicero so when I spied this book in a bookshop during our stay in Rome it was a must buy, especially as we’d visited Pompeii the previous day and climbed Vesuvius to peer into the crater. Harris tells a gripping firsthand tale of the few days before the eruption and then the devastating day it happened. The protagonist is the engineer in charge of the aqueducts providing water to the city. He becomes concerned by the sulphur smell and begins investigating the reason. Gripping stuff.
From seriously hot contemporary romance author Rhyll Biest:
The Summer Rain anthology. All the stories in the collection are good but the beautifully written and deeply touching story by Ruthie Knox stayed with me the longest because there was such a contrast of light and dark packed into her short story.
The Charley Davidson series – Darynda Jones. She’s one of the funniest writers I’ve ever encountered, has a unique voice, and the heroine of her paranormal romance series is a cross between Stephanie Plum and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Her writing skills are also top notch.
From erotic historical author Viveka Portman:
My Life as a White Trash Zombie – Diana Rowland. I don’t like zombies, but I loved this book. The main character is a self confessed ‘white-trash’ Louisiana girl, with no education, low self esteem, and a substance abuse problem…. what’s not to love about her? She ends up, frankly, being one of my favourite characters of all time and yes… she ends up being a zombie. If you like your Urban Fantasy with a bit of grit and more than a little brain eating… this is a total must read.
From sweet contemporary romance author Anna Clifton:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain. I love books that make me sit up and question something that the whole world, including me, might be taking for granted: this one got me thinking about the hidden power of the quieter ones amongst us.Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote. It’s hard to believe that Capote thought his friend, Audrey Hepburn, was miscast as Holly Golightly: a gem of a book that I should have gotten around to reading years ago.Star Attraction – Vanessa Stubbs. I’ve read so many wonderful romance novels this year but there was something fresh, bold and honest about the beautifully written Star Attraction that I loved: Madison and Jamie’s story has been wafting around in my head ever since.
From erotic romance author Keziah Hill:The Good Girl – Mary Kubica. A psychological thriller that goes back and forth in time, before the crime and after the seeming resolution of the crime. Two different point of view. One the mother of the kidnapped daughter and the other the cop working on the case. The structure is integral to the story, and there’s a twist at the end. This House of Grief – Helen Garner. A true crime examination of a father who murders his sons. Garner is an exceptional writer who doesn’t fall into the trap of depicting the father as a monster (and therefore not of us) but as someone whose banality and inadequacies are all too recognisable. This makes his crime even more devastating.Satisfaction – Sarah Mayberry. This was just out and out good times. Hot, great writing, reminds me why I like reading and writing romance. Waiting impatiently for the next in the series.