Reader Favorites – Cristina’s Top 13 Reads for 2015

by Maryse on January 23, 2016 · 9 comments

in Book Recommendations

YAY!!!! Another 2015 favorites list, and it’s from a fairly new (but fun and active!!) member of our crew that has joined us (at least comment-wise) late 2015, but trust me, she’s been reading and she has great book-taste! A nice mix of contemporary romance and paranormal here. And I just LOVE that she included a tidbit about herself, so we could get to know her better.

She says:

“Here’s the list of my favorite books of 2015.  Surprisingly, I haven’t been a life-long reader.  As a matter of fact, growing up, I hated reading.  I know… *gasp!*  I just couldn’t ever find books that appealed to me or that I could relate to.  Even as a little girl, I read at the request of my teachers only.

Fast forward to March of 2009.  My brother bought me a DVD entitled, “Twilight.”  I remember sitting down to watch it, and then I watched it again, and again, and again… You get the picture.  Lol.  Once I learned it was based on a book series, I ran to the nearest bookstore and purchased the entire series.  I DEVOURED it in four days!  I still remember staying up till 5:30am reading Eclipse (my personal fav).  I also remember feeling my first bout of book hangover when it was done.  It was awful!  I was depressed and didn’t pick up another book after it.  I didn’t think anything could top that series.

Shortly after finishing Twilight, I returned to school to complete my degree, so my reading habits were strictly academic.  In spring of 2013, I made a promise to myself that once I graduated, I would try to re-ignite my love for reading.  I would do my best to find another book to fall in love with.  So… in June of 2013, after hearing all the great and sordid reviews, I bought “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  I read it in one day!  I quickly purchased my first Kindle and completed the series.  Then I started one-clicking one book after another.  I have been an avid reader ever since.  To date, I’ve read somewhere around 1000 books in three and a half years.  I guess I was making up for lost time.  ;)

Reading is an escape for me.  It’s a great form of personal therapy too.  I suffer from small bits of anxiety, which can sometimes make falling asleep impossible.  My mind races and I can’t seem to turn it off.  Reading helps to calm those thoughts. I can fall into a story and into someone else’s made up world. I have found so many wonderful books, enjoyed so many beautiful stories, and have met some yummy book boyfriends.”

2015 List (In no particular order):

1.) Tiffany Snow’s “Kathleen Turner Series – This was my first romance/suspense series and I just! loved it!  Add in a love triangle (brothers no less) and it’s the perfect book recipe for me.  Lots of action, angst, and romance.  Ms. Snow has become one of my favorite authors so I will include her other “Risky Business” series, because it too, was awesome!  Highly anticipating book 3 next month!

2.) Elle Kennedy’s “The Deal (Off-Campus Book 1) – One characteristic of a 5 star book for me is witty banter.  I love the back and forth commentary between the H and h.  If I’m laughing out loud, then I know it’s a great book!  This one had it in spades!  This has been one of my all-time favorite book series!  These boys are just… *swoon*

3.) J.R. Ward’s “The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series  Yes, it took me this long to finally read it.  *head hanging* I still haven’t completed the entire series, but the first three were incredible!  These boys just get hotter with each book!

4.) Emma Chase’s “Sustained – I know some were not fans of the first book in this series, “Overruled,” and it probably deterred them from picking up the second.  But I bought it and I’m so glad I did!  Another laugh out loud book for me!  I had tears streaming down my face!  It was such a great light and funny read!  It was perfect and just what I needed after finishing a dark read.

5.) Roya Carmen’s “The Ground Rules” books 1 and 2.  What can I say?  Taboo subject? Absolutely!  These books are probably my #1s for the year.  I still remember reading the blurb for book #1 and saying out loud, “What?!  Nuh-uh, no way. Yes way!”  One-click please.  I mean come on… two couples switching partners?  And there are rules?  Cue the drama… I love books that challenge my moral compass.  Plus I have always been curious about those sorts of arrangements.  I mean how in the world could it not be complicated?! Needless to say… they were freaking AWESOME!!!  I hadn’t felt book hangover like that in quite a while after reading book #1.  I was jumping at the bit for book #2 and now the wait continues for book #3.

6.) Jennifer Armentrout’s “The Covenant Series – I was happily introduced to this fantastic series during my road trip this summer!  I have a tendency to lose focus during lengthy series, but this one held it strong!  I just completely fell in love with it!  It was great to read a series based in Greek mythology.  The ending was different and unexpected, but very fitting.  LOVED IT!

7.) Anna Zaires “Twist Me Series – The title says it all!  Definitely twisted me up!  This was my first dark read experience.  I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I was ready for it.  I was hesitant at first, wasn’t sure if my mind could take it, but then I thought, “Might as well jump in!”  So I did.  It’s hard to describe my feelings during this series.  Lots of emotions all the time.  So many ups and downs, twists and turns.  It was creepy but fascinating, which is how I describe most of my dark reads.  I like forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  In order to be open-minded, you have to be open to new things and experiences.  This series had me all over the place, and it was so well written that it kept me completely tuned in from start to finish.

8.) Alessandra Torre’s “Hollywood Dirt – Another great book with some awesome banter between H and h.  Loved it!  Ms. Torre is just such an awesome author!

9.) Penelope Douglas’s “Corrupt – This book just totally screwed with my mind.  For me, it was on the lighter side of a dark read, but had me on the edge of my seat the entire time!  I really enjoyed the plot of the story.  It was different, and I enjoy changing things up.  Predictable for me equals boring.  Not to mention the hot scene in the steam room… I SO did not see that coming and it still makes me blush!

10.) Pepper Winter’s “Indebted Series – Definitely a dark read, but OH SO GOOD!  My life seized to exist during this series.  This one DEFINITELY and UNDOUBTEDLY screwed with my mind.  Talk about one heck of a roller coaster ride!  I had so many outbursts and moments where I HAD to set my kindle down and take some deep breaths. Do not pass this series up!

11.) Jeannine Colette’s “Pure Abandon” and “Reckless Abandon – These books were fabulous!  I think it would be difficult to write about such a taboo subject like infidelity, but Ms. Colette did a fantastic job in “Pure Abandon.”  Our heroine is the guilty party, but there was no condemnation from me.  I could feel her plight.   I could understand her feelings.  Plus I empathized with the one left behind, which is why I just had to read his story in “Reckless Abandon.”  I was so happy to see him get his HEA too!

12.) Nikki Sloane’s “Three Simple Rules (The Blindfold Club Book 1) – This book was seriously HOT!  Our h is in some serious need of cash and sells her body to the highest bidder.  She goes in blindfolded (literally) and did I mention tied to a table?  Put on display for purchase and low and behold… who buys her?  The last person she suspects and when she finds out who it is it only gets hotter from there!  This book was such a guilty pleasure!

13.) Abbi Gline’s “Until Friday Night (A Field Party Book 1) – Abbi is one of my all-time favorite authors!  This book was another testament to her awesome writing skills.  Our h becomes mute after witnessing a horrendous tragedy and comes to live with her Aunt and Uncle.  Enter the popular, good looking football player, with a secret of his own.  One drunken night, he relays this secret to the one girl whom he knows won’t repeat it to anyone.  It was such a beautiful story!  And it’s the first book in the series!  More to come!

“I read so many fantastic books this year that it’s so difficult to narrow them down.  2015 was a great year for me as a reader!  I can definitely tell my tastes are becoming bolder.  I love a good book that screws with my mind and keeps me on the edge of my seat.  Not to say there isn’t a place in my heart for the beautiful easy love story.   I just like to shake things up.  I love it when I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I love it even more when a juicy twists takes place and it leaves me with my jaw on the floor!  I love stories that mess with my mind and heart.  I want my characters to fight for it!  It makes the HEA that much sweeter.  Here’s to an awesome 2016! ;)

             

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheryl January 23, 2016 at 8:13 PM

Great list Cristina! I have read several on it and have wanted to read the Kathleen Turner series, but have been a little overwhelmed by the number of books and are they all the same story?

Cristina January 23, 2016 at 10:22 PM

Yep Cheryl, it’s one long story told over a series of books! It was a fantastic series! These were my first books of 2015. :-)

Grey January 24, 2016 at 8:43 AM

Welcome, welcome Cristina! I love that you included a little about yourself too. I think many of us feel the same way, reading is our escape…our own little therapy! It’s a beautiful thing really!

Now, onto your list. 2,3, 5, 9, 10 & 11 are all musts for me as well!! You’ve given me a kick in the pants to read 4, 6, 7, 8 and 13 that have sat in my TBR pile for far too long! But 1 and 12 I had never heard of before, so I am going to check them out! Thank you!! and Thank you Maryse! you ROCK!!!

bev January 24, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Nice story, Cristina. :-)
I have #4 & 8 in my tbr. Really need to bump them up, especially with the love for #4. I have the Ground Rules too. That one is not my usual but thought I would give it a try……sometime.

Pia January 24, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Great list :-)
Nikki Sloane is on my Top 2015 list as well. I love the Blindfold Club Series. Have you read the other books in the series as well? The fifth book is out next week. I’m so looking forward to it :-)

Tessa January 24, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Cristina, I love your list. Kathleen Turner, I have to re-read the first one and read the second. It was good, but I forgot names. Beyond love The Deal, The Covenant series, Indebted series, and Corrupt. I liked Hollywood Dirt. BDD, no comment. I have Twist Me in my TBR now. Even Sustained I have to wait for the library to have it returned before I can read it. Kathleen Turner, I have to re-read the first one and read the second. It was good, but I forgot names.

Pure Abandon and Until Friday Night have been on my wishlist for a while now, I just haven’t heard of Three Simple rules.

Carla January 25, 2016 at 2:01 AM

Great list Cristina. Love BDB anda Kathleen Turner series too. I haven’t read Risky Business yet and I wasn’t sure if I’d like like it, but you convinced me. There are good recommendations here. Thanks!
Oh and since you like supernatural/paranormal stuff, have you read King by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff? I think you might like it.

Cristina January 25, 2016 at 8:42 AM

Thanks guys! I had a lot of fun putting this list together. It was hard choosing my favs of 2015 and wasn’t sure how to tackle it. So, I just went through all of my Kindle digital orders and listed the books that still resonated with me. I’m still working on my all-time favs list now. That one is definitely a little bit trickier. I’ve found so many wonderful books through other peoples’ list that I wanted to throw mine out there too. :-)

No Carla, I haven’t read King, but now I’m going to check it out! ;-)

Bev, definitely give Ground Rules a try. It took me out of my comfort zone, but in a good way. It was just so devilishly good! A lot of people who have read it found it to be out of their usual too, but gave it great reviews! I never thought I would find a book on that subject so sinfully good, but it knocked my socks off!

Stacie January 30, 2016 at 5:21 PM

I have to say thank you to this readers favorites!! First off the majority of the list matched most of my favorites and my love of reading started with twilight so I knew this reader was brilliant! I had never heard of the Kathleen Turner series so I dove in and oh my I am so glad I did. This series is now in my top 5 of all time!!! I’m reading book 5 now and am so sad that this series is almost over for me I just wanted to say thank you for helping me find a new book love!!!

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