When I chose Dark Horse by Michelle Diener as my favorite romance of 2015, I mentioned that I often have trouble thinking back to books I loved early in the year when choosing these things. Today when I sat down to pick my overall top books of 2015, I made a conscious effort to search through some of our 2015 reviews and my own book release calendar in order to remember all of the books I enjoyed this year. Here are the top ten of my favorites, in no particular order:
Dark Horse by Michelle Diener. As I said in our earlier blog, for me this book had everything. Rose MacKenzie is amazing as the first human to enter alien society. Abruptly abducted from Earth, held captive, and then suddenly free with the human-like Grih, she remains so calm and reasonable. So many adventures, so many awesome characters…yes, this was definitely my favorite book of 2015.
The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long. Who wasn’t eagerly awaiting this book? For me, it was one of the highlights of 2015, when I got the chance to finally sit down with Olivia and Lyon, after anticipating it for so long. Ms. Long did a wonderful job of fleshing out the epic romance that’s been hinted at throughout the series, showing how their Romeo and Juliet-like affair began and finally ended, giving Lyon and Olivia a much-deserved HEA.
Radiance by Grace Draven. Maggie’s DIK review had me rushing to my tablet to get myself an eBook copy, which I promptly devoured in a matter of hours. I adored this fantasy romance showing how two people who initially repulsed each other could end up in love. Ildiko and Brishen, two royals of completely different species forced into an arranged marriage, more than make the best of the situation.
Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh. I’ve loved most of Nalini Singh’s books since I began reading them, so it wasn’t surprising to find this was one of my highlights of 2015. The world of archangelic politics grows ever more complex in this latest book, against the backdrop of charming Naasir finally finding himself a mate. It’s a must-read for anyone who’s read some of the books in the series.
The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan. I normally try to avoid getting sucked into books during the Christmas holiday, since I’d rather spend my time with family. But, in a rare moment of free time, I decided to start this New Adult trilogy by Kristan Callihan (beginning with The Hook Up and The Friend Zone). I was impressed by the realistic mindset of the characters, as well as their humor, and completely lost myself in their world for a few days.
Uprooted by Naomi Novak. There was a period within the last few months where I found myself desperate to read sci-fi or fantasy romance. Uprooted was the perfect book for that moment—the enchanting tale of a witch and a Dragon and an enchanted forest kept me glued to my tablet when I should have been studying or getting other work done.
Born of Defiance by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This book and its hero hooked me from the moment I opened it. Talyn Batur has so much going against him, most of it due to his low rank in society. In spite of that he’s managed to maintain a good outlook, and when he decides to find himself the closest thing he can get to a girlfriend or wife, it’s obvious that any girl would be lucky to have him. Talyn’s is the ultimate underdog sort of story.
Once Upon a Marquess by Courtney Milan. I’ve always loved Courtney Milan’s books, and this was no exception. She somehow manages to subtly pull the strings of a story together over the course of the book, until before you know it, two people like Judith Worth and Christian Trent, who have a very difficult history between them, are suddenly in love. It happens so naturally, it’s like magic.
The One in My Heart by Sherry Thomas. I was a little uncertain when I set out to read Ms. Thomas’ first contemporary romance, but given her success in other arenas, I had faith she’d do well. She did spectacular—Bennett and Evangeline are some of my favorite characters of 2015. They’ve both got a passel of insecurities that they drag along and try to work out throughout this book. Bennett’s trying to return to his family, Evangeline is struggling with letting herself be vulnerable…apart, they’d have a difficult time, but together they make a beautifully crafted romance.
The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas. When I read the first book in this trilogy, The Burning Sky, I was both devastated and overjoyed to realize it would have two other books following it. On the one hand, I don’t like to be left hanging, but on the other I knew the day would eventually come where I would sit down and rave about the fact that I’ve enjoyed three amazing YA fantasy books about Iolanthe and Titus. Somehow, The Immortal Heights lived up to/surpassed its predecessors and brought a fitting end to this marvelous trilogy.
Looking back at this list, it seems to sort of track my reading moods throughout 2015. More than half of these books are set in some sort of fantasy/sci-fi world. Although I read plenty of historicals and contemporary romances, I think they simply didn’t quite catch my eye the way the fantasy books did. Last year I seem to recall many of my favorites being historical. Do you go through the same changes in reading moods?