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My Favorite Quote from… SWEET RECKONING

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By way of introduction (a recap)…

The point of this feature is to share my favorite quote (or one of the many favorite quotes I have) from a recent read and share why it is a favorite, which will give me the chance to ramble just a bit about a book that I may not get the chance to review. And even if I opt to review a title, I still might create a “My Favorite Quote from…” post because, while most of my reviews do include a favorite quote, I don’t typically get to talk about the many reasons why it is a favorite.

Oh… and I should warn you… in many most instances there will be gushing.

My Favorite Quote

He held his face an inch from mine. “This is our home tonight. Anywhere with you is my home.” — Kaidan Rowe

I know it’s a super short quote. I would have loved to include just a bit of the lead up to it and a bit of what follows, but it’s from a very, very spoiler-y part of the story so I won’t.

But even though it is short, it is still my favorite quote. It is the line in the book that made me melt. Completely. Nothing but a puddle of me was left behind after reading that quote.

There’s just something about a bad boy not only admitting that “home” is a good thing, but that a girl is his home. Though it’s almost as swoon-worthy when said by any boy.

Home isn’t just a place to lay your head. It’s a place that’s yours. It’s a place where you go to retreat from the world. It’s a place where you feel safe, comfortable.

So the idea that this boy, Kaidan, who probably never had a place that felt like home, saw Anna as his home, completely undid me. He could have told her he loved her a million times and it wouldn’t have made me fall to pieces in the way that seeing her as “home” did.

{Teaser Time}

While this was my favorite quote, I had a lot of favorite quotes and passages in this chapter. And while I’d love to reveal just one or two more, I really shouldn’t. But I can say I absolutely adored the bit about the promise of “introductions.” And for those of you in the know, I have just one word: limes.

What about you?

Have you read SWEET RECKONING? If so, what is your favorite quote and why? (If it is spoiler-y, hints or page numbers only, please.)

Or if you haven’t, what quotes or passages are the most memorable for you in The Sweet Trilogy? Are they all about Kaidan? Or do one or two of them involve Kope or Blake or Jay? Are they quotes (or passages) that have a little – or a lot of – heat?

Or, like me, are they the quotes that make you sigh? Do you sigh for Kai?

About the Book

Sweet ReckoningTitle: SWEET RECKONING (The Sweet Trilogy #3)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: April 29, 2014
Pages: 464
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

Description…

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

This Post is tagged with:

My Reading Pile #150

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It was kind of a crazy week at the mailbox this week. A book I was hoping for arrived, a few that were completely unexpected did, too, and a box of amazing ARCs-on-loan arrived just in time for this week’s post.

I also may have grabbed a few titles on Edelweiss and NetGalley this past week…

For Review

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[Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

I received an ARC of FIRE & FLOOD (Fire & Flood #1) by Victoria Scott courtesy of the publisher, Scholastic Press. I’ll be in the book’s tour in February and while I don’t have a review for my stop I was approved for an eGalley and also received a galley in print. If time permits I will definitely be sneaking this onto the pile this week.

I was also super excited to receive an ARC of MY LAST KISS by Bethany Neal courtesy of the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR. This is one of the books on the list I’d submitted to the publisher awhile back and I am dying to read it. It sounds absolutely amazing.

I also received another of the ARCs I’d listed – THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer Mathieu – from the publisher, Roaring Brook Press. I love that this story is told from multiple POVs and I can’t wait to find out just what everyone’s motives are to take Alice down.

And finally, I received a finished copy of THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter from the very awesome publisher, Harlequin Teen. It was a complete and total surprise and I’m not entirely sure how they got my addy and why I received a copy. But I love it. I am so not complaining. THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS is one of my off-the-menu six-star reads and I’m totally stoked to have a print copy for my collection. Receiving it may just have prompted a re-read.

Borrowed

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Courtesy of Jaime of Two Chicks on Books

The very amazing Jaime sent me a few books I’ve been dying to read. Two from Harper that aren’t available in eGalley format and one that is from Delacorte but that I hadn’t heard back about yet.

SWEET RECKONING (The Sweet Trilogy #3) by Wendy Higgins

THE LOVELY AND THE LOST (The Dispossessed #2) by Page Morgan

RENEGADE (Mila 2.0 #2) by Debra Driza

I love all of these series and can’t wait to dive into these installments. I’m definitely going to have to find a way to sneak them all on the pile in the next week or two.

From Edelweiss

Courtesy of HarperCollins/HarperTeen…

BE WITH ME (Wait for You #2) by J. Lynn

THE LAST BEST KISS by Claire LaZebnik

DON’T CALL ME BABY by Gwendolyn Heasley

I received an eARC of BE WITH ME for review for the blog tour I’ll be on early next month. I’d missed it when it was available awhile back so I’m totally stoked to have a copy now. And the other two titles are ones that sound amazing and I just couldn’t resist the urge to click to download.

From NetGalley

Courtesy of Harlequin/Harlequin Teen…

GRIM by Christine Johnson, Kimberly Derting, et al

HOUSE OF GLASS by Sophie Littlefield

I received an eARC of GRIM for the blog tour I’ll be on in February, though I already have it pre-ordered and had been fighting the urge to grab a copy on NetGalley. And after receiving an email about a review copy for HOUSE OF GLASS I decided to grab a copy on NetGalley instead so that I could check it out sooner.

SO…

That’s 12 books I have to read and review. *GULP.* It seems just a bit overwhelming. Especially as every single one of the books I received is one I want to read right now.

But I can only read two… maybe three if I sneak another onto the pile. And they are…

Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

(January 26, 2014 – February 1, 2014)
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Sweet Reckoning

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First up on the pile is SWEET RECKONING by Wendy Higgins. I received this ARC to read early thanks to the very stellar Jaime of Two Chicks on Books.  I swore I would read it the instant I received it, and I am reading it right now… well, I was reading it until I had to stop to create this post. But I plan on devouring it tonight – and hope to be at least halfway finished with it by the time this post goes live.

SWEET RECKONING might normally have been one of those books in a series that I never would have said goodbye to. But I can’t resist seeing just what happens with Kai and Anna. I’ve heard this final book in the series is all sorts of steamy, swoon-y and all around yummy. So I cannot wait to see if it lives up to its promise.

It’s been awhile since I read the description, and I’m not going to now. Because I want this read to be as much of a surprise as it can be. I don’t want to read something that might make me not want to say goodbye. And since I’m currently reading it, and have to send it back, delaying would not be a good thing.

The Description…

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

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The Secret Diamond Sisters

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Next up on the pile is THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS by Michelle Madow. I received an ARC for review from the author and I’ve been dying to get it on the pile ever since.

I can’t wait to meet Savannah, Courtney and Peyton. I am just so curious about what’s in their past that is such a secret. And I am excited to read all about this book’s lush and opulent setting.

I love that this takes place in Vegas. I’m curious to see how illusion fits into the story. And if all goes as planned I’ll find answers to all of my many questions on Wednesday.

The Description…

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

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Wishful Thinking Reads

My wishful thinking read is BE WITH ME by J. Lynn. While I have to read it next week for my tour stop on the 7th, I desperately want to be able to read it now. I just recently devoured the first book in the series and the alternate POV novel back-to-back. And I would have loved this to be my very next read. But as I have a couple must read books ahead of it on the list, for the moment this can only be a wish.

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Those Left Behind

I did not do very well with my reading pile last week. With the very long three-day sailing class I was taking, it completely wiped me out. Aside from reading COASTAL CRUISING MADE EASY from the previous week’s pile, I didn’t get to read much of anything else.

I’m about one-third of the way finished with CRUEL BEAUTY, and I hope to be able to finish it Saturday night, assuming I’ll have finished reading SWEET RECKONING by then. But I didn’t even start reading CRESS and won’t get the chance to pick it up until Monday.

I’d also hoped to write a few reviews this past week, but returning to work after a couple days off kept me super busy. And for the past couple of nights I’ve managed to fall asleep on the sofa while watching TV instead of working on my posts or writing my reviews.

If all goes well I hope to be able to write my reviews for A LITTLE TOO HOT and UNINVITED on Sunday. And while my blog schedule is a little crowded with tours this week, I hope to be able to post them both. I also hope to be able to finish reading, and write my review for, CRUEL BEAUTY so I can share my review on my tour stop day on Wednesday.

While it all sounds easy-peasy and totally doable, I am already starting to wonder if maybe it’s just a little too ambitious. But we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll be able to get everything done as planned.

Because next week there are more books to devour, and I have to start studying for the 5-hour Coastal Navigation exam that I missed in December as I rescheduled the exam for February 16th. Oh and I have to finish writing a short story by Friday. Ack, where are those 48 hours days!?!

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NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

Aside from grabbing the review books on NetGalley this past week, I didn’t really spend any time poking around. But when popping on to check if there were any books of interest for this post, there were a few that I did find.

And they are…

DEAD SILENT by Sharon Jones (Hachette Children’s Books, Feb 6 2014)

SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY by Julie Murphy (Penguin Books Australia, Mar 26 2014) ***Australian Reviewers ONLY***

THE YEAR OF THE RAT by Clare Furniss (Simon & Schuster UK Children’s, Apr 24 2014)

THE WILDERNESS by C.J. Harper (Simon & Schuster UK Children’s, Mar 13 2014)

THE DARK INSIDE by Rupert Wallis (Simon & Schuster UK Children’s, Jan 30 2014)

THE BLOOD LIST by Sarah Naughton (Simon & Schuster UK Children’s, Feb 27 2014)

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At one point I was way ahead of the game with my Goodreads reading challenge, but now I think I’m back to being on schedule. I haven’t even had time to scroll down to see my progress, so I’m not entirely sure. But at this point I don’t really want to know.

This past week was crazy IRL. I spent around 26 hours in sailing class over the course of three days and stayed up way too late trying to study each night. And after all of that, I spent one entire day not moving at all. But at least I passed the class. I received my certification and am now officially – almost – ready to begin revving up for the next one.

How is that relevant to this post exactly? Well it means that until Wednesday night, I didn’t even get near a work of fiction. And I was so thrashed on Wednesday and Thursday evenings that I barely had the energy to read at all. Which means I have two books to catch up on this week just after I finish the first book on this week’s pile.

I’m not sure it can be done, but as always, I am ever hopeful.

I am also hopeful that there were a few new books in your mailbox and that there are one, two, three or more books on your pile this week. If you’d like to share what you received and are reading, feel free to leave a comment and/or a link.

And here’s to a very, very happy reading week ahead!

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Do you create a reading pile?

If so, what’s in your reading pile this week?


Top 10 Character Couples of 2013

Top 10 of 2013 Banner

Today is the third of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

A week of Looking Back…

…and Looking Forward.

And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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Today’s topic is…

Best ____ of 2013

Last year I chose favorite quotes. But this year I’m going for CHARACTER COUPLES. Even though many of this year’s reads paired up characters I’d rather see paired with someone else, there were quite a few character couples I love, love, loved.

And instead of rambling about all of my reasons why I love these character couples I thought I’d let the characters speak for themselves. They do a much better job of it than I ever could. Though I’m so very tempted to chime in…

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Favorite Character Couples 2013

1.

Shadowfever

SHADOWFEVER (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Mac and Barrons…

“I’m not the hero, Mac. Never have been. Never will be. Let us be perfectly clear: I’m not the antihero, either, so quit waiting to discover my hidden potential. There’s nothing to redeem me.”

I want him anyway.

It’s what he wanted to know.

I exhale impatiently and shove hair from my face. “Are you going to talk me to death or fuck me, Jericho Barrons?”

2.

Endless Knight

ENDLESS KNIGHT (The Aracana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Evie and Death…

“What are you thinking about, creature?” His words were husky.

Licking your runes? Thank God he couldn’t read my thoughts anymore. Face flushing, I grasped for something to say. “I bet you were expecting a taller Empress this time around.” Lame.

“I would change nothing about your appearance.”

When we locked eyes in the mirror, his burning gaze made even more heat cascade through my body.

Death rose with that lethal grace and strode toward me. I swallowed. Would he try to kiss me? And what would I do if he did?

3.

Through the Zombie Glass

THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Alice and Cole…

“I just… I can’t seem to stay away. You’re like a magnet, and I’m drawn. And what about you? You’re supposed to yell at me, scream profanities and tell me to go and never come back. Why aren’t you yelling?” he asked almost bitterly.

Because, despite everything, I liked that he was here.

Foolish girl.

“You want me to yell?” I said, and drew in a deep breath, preparing. “I will.”

He shook his head, looked up at me through the thick shield of those dark, dark lashes. “It’s too late for that. I’m going to kiss you, Ali.”

Kiss… Yes… No! “You made your bed.”

“I know. But I still want you in it.”

4.

With All My Soul

WITH ALL MY SOUL (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Kaylee and Tod…

“This is the most frighteningly beautiful mouth I have ever seen. The most terrifyingly delicious lips I have ever tasted. These lips make me hungry for more every time I kiss them. This mouth, and the tongue inside it…they speak words I hang on to. Words that make me want to be a better man. Words I would gladly build my entire afterlife around. But they also say things that terrify me. Things that send chills all the way to my heart. They speak about dangers I can’t prevent. Threats I can’t always see. They threaten to do things that could get you hurt, when every single beat of my heart tells me that I need to protect you.”

I stared at him, stunned, and he leaned in to kiss me again, softly. Almost chastely.

5.

Crash Into You

CRASH INTO YOU (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Isaiah and Rachel…

Rachel tries to lower her head, but I reach up and touch her chin. “Don’t.”

I tilt her head up, engulfing her line of vision. She’s going to see me and me alone. No cars, no Zach, none of the other assholes trying to win her eye during the night. The sweet scent of jasmine entwining with the salty smell of the beach rushes into my lungs. I lick my lips, wanting to kiss her, but I’m too full of energy to dare let my lips brush hers.

Beneath my fingertips, her pulse beats wildly. “I don’t understand you, Isaiah.”

“Then we have something in common, because I don’t get you at all.”

6.

Sweet Peril Cover

SWEET PERIL (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Anna and Kaidan…

“For the record,” he ground out in a guttural whisper, “I was more myself with you during those three days than I’ve ever been with anyone in my life. It’d be easier if I could be fake with you, but you bring out everything in me, little Ann. All of it.”

His sudden fierceness frightened and excited me. He was not in his right mind. I blinked several times before taking a step back and running into the rail. I could do nothing but stare as he went on.

7.

Foreplay

FOREPLAY (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Pepper and Reece…

He gave my sweatshirt a small tug, inexorably pulling me toward him, bit by bit, and it was like the other night again. His presence was overwhelming, the heat that emanated from him. The blue of his eyes that seemed to turn to smoke when he looked at me. I was under his spell. Maybe I had never ceased to be. I’d been spellbound since our first kiss and especially since the night I spent in his loft. Maybe this was what had brought me back here in the middle of the night. Maybe I was hoping to repeat the experience.

“I’ll never lie to you, Pepper.” That soft utterance blew through me like a sonic blast. Crazy, but I heard more than his vow to be honest. The words were full of the expectation that there would be a him and me, an us. That we were really doing this. Whatever this was.

8.

While You're Away

WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Sarah and Will…

It was easy to kiss Will Spencer. We moved in tandem, both turning at the same time. It was like we were machined to fit together, the right key in the right lock. Rising on my toes to meet his mouth, I looped my arms around his neck. Stretched against him, I felt long and tall, and strangely lovely. I wasn’t transformed by his touch. I was revealed.

9.

The Beautiful and the Cursed

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED (The Disposessed #1) by Page Morgan

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Ingrid and Luc…

Ingrid froze as he grazed his fingers through her hair, scattering a few pins to the floor. Then he gripped the back of her head, his tangled fingers tugging at her hair, and Ingrid thought she could finally read something in the way he looked at her: a longing so tangible that it made her ache.

“I haven’t ended you because you’re my human.”

And then Luc did what he hadn’t done in the orangery. His lips found hers. It was a light sweep of a kiss, and Ingrid, who’d quit breathing, feared he was going to stop again. The idea of it knifed through her and her hands itched to reach up, latch on to him, and refuse the retreat.

It didn’t come to that.

10.

The Collector

THE COLLECTOR (The Collector #1) by Victoria Scott

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Dante and Charlie…

“But you need to know the truth. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” I stop, considering what I just said. “Actually, I guess I did mean for this to happen. At first. But then I got to know you, Charlie. I got to see how you are, the things you do for other people. The way you smile when there’s nothing left to smile about, and the way you laugh…it hurts to even hear it. Because it reminds me what it’s like to live. To be happy.” I take a deep breath. “You are beautiful, Charlie. You’re so beautiful, and I can’t believe I let you think you weren’t.”

I turn around but focus on the ground. I can’t see her face. It’ll end me. But my eyes are deceitful, and before I can gouge them from my face, they slide up and land on her. On Charlie. And she’s crying. Tears rolling down her cheeks, sliding into a wide, happy smile.

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A Few Other Couples I Love

Deception

Rachel and Logan

DECEPTION (Defiance #2) by C.J. Redwine

The Eternity CureAllison and Zeke

THE ETERNITY CURE (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

The Girl with the Iron TouchFinley and Griffin

THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH (The Steampunk Chronicles #3) by Kady Cross

DescendantCoverMason and Feen

DESCENDANT (Starling #2) by Lesley Livingston

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Wishful Thinking Character Couples

As I mentioned, there were a number of characters I’d have liked to see paired up with someone other than the character they ended up with… or the character they’re with at the moment.

So I decided to create a Top 10 Wishful Thinking Character Couples list. But instead of listing them here, since I have exactly ten, I thought I’d create a completely independent list over at The Annex.

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The Giveaways

We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link Up



Top 10 Books I’ve Read in 2013

Top 10 of 2013 Banner

Today is the first of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

A week of Looking Back…

…and Looking Forward.

And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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Today’s topic is…

Best Books I’ve Read in 2013

I read a ton of awesome books this year. Many from the same series by the same author. But as I was trying so very hard to keep my list to just ten, I decided to choose only one book from each series, even if I read multiple books in a particular series that I thought were amazing.

And I couldn’t list all my favorite reads this year since one or two of them were a secret. Nor could I list all the 2013 releases I love, love, loved since I read some of them in 2012. But I’m not too sad about that, because reading them last year made creating this list just a little bit easier.

There were also a few books I loved in 2013 that were not YA. But in keeping with my typical YA only “best” list, I didn’t include them in this post. Though I plan on posting my non-YA favorites on The Annex. Yes, I’m cheating just a little… as usual. But I just can’t seem to help myself.

Anyway…

It took me ages to narrow my list down from my original picks and to keep my “honorable mentions” to only four titles, just like last year. But after much hair pulling and nail-biting I was able to get it done.

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The Best I’ve Read in 2013

1.

With All My Soul

WITH ALL MY SOUL by Rachel Vincent

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

As sad as I was to see this series end, I still couldn’t help falling madly in love with this last installment. It was heartbreaking and nerve-wracking and exciting and heartwarming and I loved every single minute of the read.

I especially loved the fact that I was able to become intrigued by a brand new character, that the story wasn’t rushed and that the ending didn’t leave me feeling like something was missing. It was the perfect ending to an amazing series and I couldn’t have loved it any more than I did.

2.

Endless Knight

ENDLESS KNIGHT by Kresley Cole

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles are completely and totally amazing. They are so my kind of books. From beginning to end in both books in this series I was utterly riveted.

And while I didn’t think it was possible, this second book in the series was even more exciting than the first. It was darker, it was hotter, it was all sorts of sexy. The lore was fascinating. And it made me fall head-over-heels in love with Death just like I hoped it would.

To say that I am dying for the next installment in this series would be a major understatement.

3.

Through the Zombie Glass

THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS by Gena Showalter

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

I read both books in this series in 2013 and absolutely loved both of them. They were unputdownable reads and I couldn’t have been more surprised by the fact that I fell so completely in love with zombie books that gave a nod to Alice in Wonderland.

Gena Showalter was incredibly creative with her stories. She did not skimp on the action. It was edge-of-your-seat exciting. And the love story was angst-filled and twisty-turny to the max.

And as I opted to choose just one of the two books in this series as a favorite, I had to select the one that absolutely killed me in the best possible way.

4.

The Eternity Cure

THE ETERNITY CURE by Julie Kagawa

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

I did not expect to love the Blood of Eden series more than I loved the author’s faerie books. But oh my gosh I couldn’t help myself. Dystopia and vampires are an unexpected combination but one that the author made work so amazingly well.

The characters, the epic journey, the killer cliffhanger all worked together to make this one of my favorite books and not simply a 2013 favorite. I’m talking all-time favorite.

5.

Crash Into You

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

I fell under Katie McGarry’s spell in 2013. She is a fan-freaking-tastic writer and her Pushing the Limits series is one of my very most favorite contemporary YA series.

I read all three books in this series, plus the novella, in 2013, which made it very hard to choose only one of the books for my top ten list. But I had to choose Isaiah and Rachel’s story, even though I adored Noah and Echo’s story so, so much.

Perhaps it was getting to know and love Isaiah before reading his story that made me love it that much more. Or perhaps it’s simply just that Isaiah is amazing. But whatever the reason, it is my favorite of the series and it’s definitely one of my favorite reads from 2013.

6.

Afterglow

AFTERGLOW by Karsten Knight

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

I was devastated to see this series end. The world that Karsten Knight created was so unique and fascinating and exciting. The characters were lovable and detestable and completely and totally kick-a**. And this final installment in the series was just as phenomenal as its predecessors.

And that ending. Oh. My. Gosh. That ending. While I can’t talk about that ending, I will just say that it gives me hope. For a certain character. Oh the possibilities.

7.

Star Cursed Cover

STAR CURSED by Jessica Spotswood

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

I was so glad that I got the chance to read both books in The Cahill Witch Chronicles this year. I was completely surprised by how much I loved each of the books. They are not stories in my typical go-to genre and yet both books are among my most favorites.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story, the setting, the characters. It’s a totally addictive read and one that’s definitely re-read worthy. Though even after a re-read, it’s no easier to have to wait for the next installment in the series. This I know all too well.

8.

The Beautiful and the Cursed

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED by Page Morgan

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Yet another unexpected favorite on my list is Page Morgan’s THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED. If someone told me that I could fall in love with a gargoyle I would have totally rolled my eyes at them. I might have even told them that they were crazy. I would have definitely thought it.

Well, this author made me not only fall in love with a gargoyle, but her story about them. The sequel is one of my most anticipated reads for 2014. And the wait is killing me.

9.

While You're Away

WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

I read this book in its serialized format, with just a few chapters available to read in one sitting. It was exquisite torture. This story was tantalizing and nerve-wracking and beautiful and nerve-wracking – yes I said it twice, but it needed to be said two times… if not more.

I was made to root for a love story that I never would have thought I’d cheer for. I was made to wish and hope for a happily ever after for two characters who, at first, I didn’t think deserved one. I was anxious, I was fearful, I was tentatively hopeful and at times I was even sad. But I was keeping my fingers crossed the entire time for the slim chance that things would work out.

10.

A Touch Menacing

A TOUCH MENACING by Leah Clifford

(GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

Leah Clifford’s Touch Trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time. It’s so very different from anything I’ve ever read. It’s very dark. It is full of surprises. Shocking surprises. Devastating surprises. But it is wicked, wicked awesome.

The end of this final installment in the series left me in tears. And, no, I won’t say whether they’re happy or sad tears. But if you have read this book or you’ve read any of the books in this series by this author I think you will know exactly what kind of tears there were.

This last book was non-stop action, with more than a few punches to the face. I couldn’t devour it fast enough. It was that epic. And if I didn’t think it could get any better, the unpublished epilogue made this book that much more off-the-charts amazing for me. Holy-freaking-wow.

Other Books I Love, Love, Loved

SweetPeril

SWEET PERIL by Wendy Higgins

Exciting. Sexy as heck. Captivating from start to finish. Delicious. An absolute must.

The Testing

THE TESTING by Joelle Charbonneau

Gripping. Surprising. Totally addictive. A total stand-out.

The Burning Sky

THE BURNING SKY by Sherry Thomas

Magical. Enchanting. Captivating. Epic. Fan-freaking-tastically good.

Pivot Point

PIVOT POINT by Kasie West

Intriguing. Nerve-wracking. Unputdownable. Amazing.

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I tried to keep my rambling to a minimum when it came to my top ten picks for 2013. But I may have gone on just a little longer than I’d planned. Oh well…

But I just couldn’t help myself. They are my favorite reads this year… well, most of them. There are a few others…

I will try to be a lot less wordy in the rest of the posts this week, but when it comes to favorite reads I always feel the need to go on… and on… and on.

But now that I’m done I can’t wait to check out what your favorite reads are, so be sure to leave a link to your posts or Goodreads shelf in the Linky List that follows just below the giveaways.

The Giveaways

We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link Up



Quickie Review: Flirting with Maybe

Flirting with Maybe

addtogoodreads

FLIRTING WITH MAYBE by Wendy Higgins was released in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in eBook format only. It is currently available to order online at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by HarperTeen, the story is 92 pages.

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Description…

He was fifteen and she was seventeen. 

When sophomore Ryan “The Kid” McPhearson makes the Varsity baseball team, he finds himself submersed into the life of upperclassmen, and falling in love with senior Brooke Bennet. To Ryan she’s his dream girl, perfect. Maybe to the outside world a two-year age difference doesn’t matter, but this is high school. Everything matters.

Ryan soon realizes Brooke’s life is not so perfect. He becomes her closest friend, her safe place to fall when she needs to escape. Ryan seems to be benched in the friend zone with no chance to bat.

Time is both a curse and a blessing. It ushers Brooke away to college, and Ryan into the arms of his first girlfriend. It alters Ryan from a kid to a high school graduate, ready to venture to college himself. But when Ryan sees Brooke again he realizes there are some things even time can’t touch.

Though much has changed, one question still remains. Will the things that mattered in high school always stand between them?

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FLIRTING WITH MAYBE is an absolutely delightful and heartwarming novella that follows the relationship of Ryan and Brooke as their friendship develops into the possibility of something more.

Told from Ryan’s point of view, this short story spans nearly three years, giving readers glimpses of significant moments in his life involving Brooke as he progresses from a shy high school sophomore to a more confident high school graduate.

It is a story that tests whether love can overcome any number of obstacles – age, appearances, friends, family, self-worth, distance – even when that love may be one-sided. And it puts it to the test time and time again as life takes Ryan and Brooke in different directions.

This novella is fun and flirty, but also bittersweet. It introduces a character who is outwardly shy but sure of himself and his feelings and one who appears in control but is actually a bit of an emotional mess, which makes for an exciting dynamic and makes this an incredibly engaging read.

While this is only a novella, the story feels complete and the characters are easy to connect with. The author gives readers enough of a peek into their lives to become attached and to feel invested in the outcome. And she keeps them riveted by taking them along on the emotional roller coaster ride she put her main character on.

For readers looking for a quick maybe love story that’s not only hopeful, light and sweet but substantive, FLIRTING WITH MAYBE is a must.

Reviewer gives this novella…

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On a personal note…

What a sweet story. I loved getting to meet Ryan McPhearson, even if it was for only a short while. And although Brooke was so very flawed, I liked getting to know her too.

For a short story that spanned such a long time period, I thought the pacing was perfect and there were just the right number of peeks into Ryan’s life. I was immediately drawn into the story and made an instant connection with the main character.

What I liked most about this story were its characters. Neither was perfect, but the possibility for them to be perfect for each other made me hopeful for a happy ending.

And I liked that the author touched upon some very real issues involving body image, self-worth, alcoholism, broken families. It gave the story a bit more depth and its characters, as well.

Of course, I adored the love story, even if it was a bit of an unrequited one. Whether it ended up that way… well, I’ll never tell.

As much as I loved the novella, I would love to see this story fleshed out a bit more and made into a full-length novel. The story is there. The characters are there. And of course getting only a short peek at their lives makes me want to know more about them. But then I knew that would be the case when I decided to read this standalone contemporary.

Regardless, I definitely recommend FLIRTING WITH MAYBE. It’s a wonderful short story that gave me all sorts of smiles, with a main character I’m very glad I met.

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