Monthly Archives: December 2014

My Top 10 Reads for 2014

It was a slow year for reading. I only read 27 novels. And, frankly, I was hard-pressed to dig up 10 to recommend. I actually had to cheat and go back to Nov. 2013 to find that 10th one. I guess I read a lot of dogs this year. My resolution for 2015 is to STOP reading a dog and move on to the next book. This is one case where I don’t need to finish what I start. Life is too short, and I’m sure there are great books out there waiting to be found.

All of these books demonstrate excellence in writing, character development, dialogue, storyline, and un-put-downability. And I rate would rate them with either 4 or 5 stars. Four out of the ten were independently published. Here’s the list in the order that I read them:

Dance With Me by Louanne Rice. A contemporary romance that explores themes of loss from various perspectives, and how each character deals with it.

The Alignment by Kay Camden. A contemporary, somewhat paranormal, romance with an intricate plot that will keep you reading. The 1st person, present POV is a bit off-putting, but the story was good enough to override that irritation. Warning: 1st book in the series–cliffhanger ending.

Ridiculous by D.L. Carter. Historical romantic comedy that is thoroughly entertaining.

Song for Sophia by Moriah Densley. Historical romance. One of the year’s favorites. There’s just so much here to love: A savant hero, a tortured heroine, and how they save each other. <sigh>

The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Another historical romance with great character development and sizzling romance.

MacCallister’s War by Dana George. A bit short in the romance department, but it has an interesting historical story set in the midst of the  American Indian wars.

Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh. They don’t get much better than this. A time travel romance with an intricate plot and no loose ends. A romance with lots of sparks and yet, pristinely clean, this is my favorite read of the year.

97: The Warloch’s Pact by V. L. Holt. Contemporary YA paranormal romance. A very imaginative plot with roots in the medieval era that has implications for the present when a Battle Bred Warrior on his 97th life (out of 100) just wants a normal life with a normal girl while being tracked by the monstrous Lochspawn.  More of a novella in length.  Warning: 1st book in the series–cliff hanger ending.

The Gypsy Pearl: Caren by Lia London. YA Sci Fi adventure. Another very imaginative plot that I can’t begin to condense down to a sentence. This is a YA book that doesn’t feel like a YA book. Even though the main characters are teens, it has appeal for all ages. Novella in length. 1st book in a series, and you know that the story isn’t over, but it doesn’t feel like a cliff hanger. This particular part of the story feels resolved.

The Gypsy Pearl: Craggy by Lia London. Yes, Ms. London won two spots on this year’s list, as I had to go buy the 2nd in the series after reading the first.  Lovable characters that grow and change with an intricate plot that won’t let you put it down. Novella in length. Warning: The 3rd in the series hasn’t been written yet. Get with it, Ms. London!

Now go buy a book! Authors need your love!



Meet the Characters in Rocky Mountain Sunrise: Rhonda

Rhonda slipped an arm around her waist and stood looking out with her. She wore a pale pink, knee-length sheath and matching peep-toe pumps. Mari looked at her sideways. “What? No glib reassurances?”

Rhonda returned the look with eyebrows raised. “I don’t know this guy well enough for reassurances. For all I know, he won’t show.”

Mari turned her attention back out the window. “Thanks a lot, that helps.”

“With or without a groom, you are by far the prettiest bride I’ve ever seen.” She gave Mari’s waist a squeeze. “You didn’t mention that he was as dumb as a box of rocks, so I’m sure he’ll be here. This is just another exercise in faith.”

Mari turned away from the window. “I’ve exercised my faith more in the last week than the previous thirty-one years, but look at me now.” She held out a shaky hand.

Rhonda took it. “Remember to the last, that while there is life there is hope.”


Meet the Characters in Rocky Mountain Sunrise: Ben

Ben was singing Chanukah hymns with a light heart as he prepared latkes for their traditional Chanukah meal. As he grated the potatoes, he couldn’t keep from thinking about the pretty girl he had just met as he was leaving campus. With long, curly auburn hair past her shoulders and green eyes that flashed with irritation at her current car troubles, Ben had been captivated and more than happy to lend his assistance.

She had left an interior light on that had drained her car’s battery. Ben gave her car a jump and made sure he got her name before she left. ­Susie Minnet. Her name rolled around in his head as he pulled eggs out of the refrigerator and started breaking them into a bowl.

He remembered with satisfaction how she had lingered for a few minutes even after she had her car started, asking him about his jacket with the zoo logo on it. That jacket was far too lightweight for the sudden cold wind, but he would have stood out with her until he was frozen solid just to look into those eyes.