Melanie’s Top Reads of 2015

Well, it’s that time of the year again… Time to round up my top picks of 2015. This is always a hard thing for me to do because I’ve honestly enjoyed SO MANY books this year. However, I’ve managed to compile a list of books that seemed to hit me in the right spot. So, without further adieu… Here are my TOP READS from such an amazing literary year. ENJOY!

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**Note that even though some of the books on this list may not have been written/published in 2015, but these are books that I simply had the joy of reading this year.**

Second Chance Romance:

Walk Through Fire- Kristen Ashley

“Kristen Ashley had me walk through fire and I loved every single damn minute of it. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I obsessed over this book. I wish that I could somehow replicate all the FEELS that Kristen Ashley splayed out on the pages of Millie and Logan’s story onto my review. This was a second chance romance that defines what second chance romance is all about.”

Creed- Kristen Ashley

“Their relationship was beyond beautiful, so beautiful I found myself squeezing at my heart wanting to cry. The years that span between the two of them is nothing less than out of this world amazing. I fell in love with them the very same moment they did without even truly knowing it yet. I wanted to hug the hell out of Kindle, to savor just a little bit more of Sylvie and Creed. This book was WOW, it was exactly what I needed and it is exactly the sort that will leave you with a massive book hangover.”

Before We Were Strangers- Renee Carlino

“Renee spoke from the heart, her words causing heart stopping effects. “ I looked for you inside of everyone else.” My heart just about failed to beat at that point. A simple sentence that can cause such confounding and conflicting feelings. This is the kind of book that will take you back, the sort that will have you scrolling through old song lists; an homage to the past. This book deserves a place on everyone’s book shelves. If you’re in the market for romance, heart ache, nostalgia, and smart writing then this one is for you.”

My Skylar- Penelope Ward

“My Skylar had everything that I long for in a book and of course, first loves have and will always be my weakness. What sets Skylar and Mitch apart is that they aren’t just each other’s first loves, they are each other’s forever loves. What can be better than that?”

Don’t Let Go- Sharla Lovelace

“There were so many lines in this book that were just so beautifully written; my Kindle highlight option is sill healing from being overused. The author did a sensational job expressing the height and volume of Noah and Julianna’s story. I praise her for the seamless transition between the past and the present, never once confusing or overwhelming me. She took me along with her, without trips or bumps along the way; even with the countless number of twists and turns. The characters were easy to love despite the number of flaws they had. They became a friend, at times I could even see myself in them. This is what I live for as a book lover. It is being sucked into the pages, swimming and then drowning into the author’s words. Don’t Let Go is a DEFINITE TOP FAVORITE of ALL TIME for me. It’s a love story that I will never forget, a book I will revisit over and over again.”

Hottie Tottie (thigh clenchers/melt my panties stories):

Off Limits- Callie Harper

“Personally, the sexual chemistry between Jewel and Tuck was the highlight of this book. The seduction and the repression combined for something extremely sensual.”

Say Nothing- T.A. Roth

“What I loved most about this book is that she took something most would consider “vanilla,” and turned it into something scorching hot. HOT like it caused my pants to melt right off of me and I felt the heat continue to linger long after the book ended. “

MILF- Erin Noelle

“The chemistry between these two will leave you panting, heart beating, skin flushed. WHOA MAMA! And even more, the journey in which the author takes you—she pulls you in fast and doesn’t let you go until the very end (though I do wish it wasn’t as rushed). An unexpected but a more than pleasant surprise, MILF is a definite 2015 top read in my book.”

Priest- Sierra Simone

“Priest by Sierra Simone debased me, it made me uncomfortable in the best way possible. I’m going to put it out there, I’m a Catholic and attended Catholic school for a great portion of my younger years. I respect the sanctity of the religion and I am reverent in its beliefs but my goodness… I’ve got to say it, “Bless me Father for I have sinned” by reading this book and thoroughly loving every single sinful minute of it.”

My Time in the Affair- Stylo Fantome

“Something transcends when Tal and Mischa are together. They are ELECTRIC and ENERGIZING. Both their SEXUAL and basic needs of one another so HOT, so COMBUSTIBLE that I swear, my heart was racing entirely too fast for my own good. Tal’s alpha tendencies along with this unmovable confidence had my panties melting away into thin air. The hottie tottie scenes in this book— HOLY MOTHER!!! They had me PANTING and WANTING. Always WANTING so much MORE of them. “

Throb- Vi Keeland

“This book. Oh my God, this BOOK!!! To say I was enraptured at every beat of this book is the understatement of the year. I was caught up and I was THROBBING during every single moment. The throb felt around Melanie’s world as I like to refer to it; I felt it in every part of my body. “

Series:

The Belonging Duet- Corinne Michaels

“I cannot, CANNOT tell you enough how much I loved this book. Both Beloved and Beholden are on my top reads to date and definitely book shelf worthy approved. “

With a Twist/Chaser- Staci Hart

“Staci Hart knows how to write a damned good romance! Light hearted with a level ten swoon factor. That’s exactly what both With a Twist and Chaser were.”

#Nerd/#Hater/#Player- Cambria Hebert

“I can honestly say that I haven’t had enough. I could spends weeks and months surrounded by them because they are just THAT lovable and I’d definitely risk a perma-smile along the way. If you’re looking for a sweet and romantic read that will have you swooning like crazy with a cup full of suspense then seriously, #oneclick this today.”

Manwhore Series- Katy Evans

“OMG!!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!! I am soooooo doing a happy dance right now!!! I reached deep in my book allowance and caved; finally deciding to purchase Manwhore by Katy Evans. This book held me captive and I swear, I was holding my breath during the entire time I inhaled this book. There was no time for pause, no time in which I could afford to be away from Malcom Saint and Rachel Livingston. These two together were electric; the tension and the want that bounced off the pages were exactly what I needed.”

Rom-Com

Sustained- Emma Chase

“A story packed full of romance, LOL comedy, and an endless amount of endearing moments. This book just made me feel happy and satisfied. “

Wrong- Jana Aston

“I became a laughing hyena with the biggest lady boner when reading Jana Aston’s, Wrong and it was so wrong for me to have started this book during my lunch hour because I came to realize that it’s never a good idea to mix business with this sort of literary pleasure. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was laugh out loud funny with a whole lot of inappropriateness.”

Pucked- Helena Hunting

“ Helena Hunting made cackle, had me feeling hot and bothered, and found myself falling head over heels for Violet and Alex. These two have made my top favorite couples of all time. I cannot tell you enough just how much I loved, loved, loved this book. Pucked is a must read and I can’t wait to read it again and again and again.”

Sports Romance

The Hook Up- Kristen Callihan

“The Hook Up is so much more than the atypical NA romance- it goes beyond the usual playboy jock falling for the beautiful wallflower. There are real issues that the characters deal with and the author takes the level of heat between her characters to perfection. This book made me deliriously crazy and I cannot sing enough praises for it.”

The Game Plan- Kristen Callihan

“I loved everything about this book. The plot, the characters, and the author’s writing style. These were the triple threat that created for a 5-star read.”

The End Game- Kate McCarthy

“I swear it guys, this is a must read. The feelings that the author was able to garner out of me reminded me so much of how I felt when I re-discovered my love for reading. I felt like a giddy seventeen year old. The ups and downs and the twist and turns that happen throughout their story was just sensational. So, so, so GOOD! I feel like I can run miles and miles from the adrenaline I got off of these two.”

Follow Up Books

Feisty Princess- Michelle Valentine

“Though, I usually don’t gravitate towards this new, shorter, more fast paced series, I have to admit that I adore Ms. Valentine’s Sexy Manhattan Fairytale series because of how extremely well done it is. While it gets right down to the nitty gritty, Michelle Valentine doesn’t hold back on the content and doesn’t compromise her writing style or the development of each of her characters.”

Grey- E.L. James

“The best part about all of this? She still managed to make me feel every bit of emotion I did when I first picked up this series. My goodness did I fall in love all over again with these two. My heart soared and crashed during scenes I already read about and what a beautifully stifling feeling to be able to find myself reinvigorated and completely lost in EL James’ story once again.”

All THE FEELS

The Air He Breathes- Brittainy Cherry

“This book had it all! Seriously, it just touched on every possible emotion imaginable. She had me hiccupping, fighting through tears from just the first few pages and I knew, I just knew that I was in for something great. Tristan and Elizabeth and Emma – these were the trio of something great. Their story was even greater than I had anticipated. Who knew that something so incomprehensibly tragic could turn into something so inexplicably beautiful?”

Every Wrong Reason- Rachel Higginson

“This novel is so emotionally taxing; it was brutally honest, raw, real, genuine, heartbreaking, and eye opening. This spoke to me and I know it will undoubtedly speak to you too.”

The Five Stages of Falling In Love- Rachel Higginson

” Approximately 10 tissues, 1 tear soaked pillow, and 2 puffy eyes later I am still reeling!!! The Five Stages of Falling In Love by Rachel Higginson has got to be one of the best reads I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Everything about this was wholeheartedly well done. I was sobbing like a madwoman during so many times in this book; my shoulders shaking like the San Andreas fault, I couldn’t clearly breathe through my nose. The amount of emotions that flowed out of the pages straight through to my own heart was unlike any other.”

Paper Swan- Leylah Attar

“The Paper Swan by Leylah Attar will have you quivering; breathless from its blinding goodness. This book was so damn good, I could cry. I’ve read plenty and let me tell you, this author has written what I would say is the best “full circle” story I’ve ever encountered. The harmonious manner in how she pieced the past, present, and future together to wrap up this gritty, heartbreaking, and beautiful love story trumps anything I’ve read thus far.”

Ugly Love- Colleen Hoover

“A jolt of electrifying goodness that kept me awake for way too late because for the life of me, I couldn’t get myself to put it down. I had to know how ugly love truly was and when those pages began to unravel just how ugly, I was left with a waterfall of tears sitting cross legged on the floor again unable to get myself to move past the heartbreak, unable to physically move; stuffed up nose and puffy eyes and leg cramps me damned. Ugly Love had the perfect mix of sensuality, tragedy, and love which were an overdose of “THE FEELS.” “

Kyland- Mia Sheridan

“What Mia Sheridan was able to portray through the eyes of Kyland and Tenleigh was nothing short of phenomenal. Everything about their story so intense; the love that develops both so achingly slow and yet so powerfully steadfast between them. There was no middle ground when it came to these two, only boundless yearning and devotion.”

Rockstar Romance

A Stone in the Sea & Drowning to Breathe (Bleeding Stars series)- AL Jackson

“You cannot go wrong with picking up this hauntingly beautiful love story that leaps bounds after bounds in the quest to find that one person who was meant to be yours; the person whom the greater power had planned your lives around. A captivating mix of dark and light; of the good and the bad… All of which are an eye-opening reminder of just how strong the light and the good can be when love is at the forefront of it all.”

Beat- Vi Keeland

“If you were lucky enough to have read Throb, then you got a little taste of Flynn in that book. I swear, I knew this guy was sweet as honey even with from that little bit of taste I had but man did he far exceed my expectations. I wanted to ladle up boundless of gallons of him. A hot musician with a heart of gold and mouth that would make you lose your mind amongst other things. I loved him. Plain and simple I fell madly and deeply head over heels in love with him. A definite book husband in my eyes he had all the qualities to make your knees grow weak and have you embarrassingly wish that his strong arms could wrap around you and pick you right off the ground. There were countless scenes that had me seeing hearts, ovaries bursting like birthday piñatas.”

Jaw-dropping Cliffies:

Consolation- Corinne Michaels

“This book had everything I could have possibly asked for. Not only will Consolation leave you giggling, swooning, crying, and deliciously clenching throughout Natalie and Liam’s love story but it will have you leaping out of your seat on to your feet needing answers, needing more. I cannot friggin’ wait for the second installment of this duet series and I am counting down the days. “

Broken by Lies- Rebecca Shea

Broken by Lies has converted me. I WANT MORE, I NEED MORE! Those are the two things echoing all over my head right now. It has made me a believer that given the right balance between suspense and romance, I can love a book in its genre. 

Dark Romance:

Amber to Ashes- Gail McHugh

“The relationship that develop between these characters was intense. This whole book was intense. Fast paced and provocative, you will find yourself heated, a slow burn so good you will be fanning yourself like a maniac in hope to alleviate the fire incinerating every part of your body. I stand and applaud Gail McHugh for introducing us to a different side of her. While her Collide series was smothered in sweet honey and maximum swoon-worthy factor, Amber To Ashes is multi-layered. It is mysteriously dark, gritty, and thrillingly perverse in levels that I couldn’t fully comprehend. This was so unexpectedly warped, I swear she just blew my mind away. “

Black Iris- Leah Raeder

“EVERYTHING… EVERY SINGLE THING about this book was CRAZY. I felt myself going crazy; felt the darkness swallow me whole without apology. I will forewarn as has the author that Black Iris has so MANY trigger points— this book has zero inhibitions. It’s shockingly honest; enough to warp your thoughts and emotions. It was sensational, it was unforgettable and looking back, regrettable because once you dive in, there is no putting yourself back together. Black Iris is haunting and you will need an open mind to survive it. BRAVO and major accolades to Leah Raeder for reaching DEEP into her own personal ghosts to share this with the world. It was done impeccably well and still has me reeling 2 days post-read.

Standalone

Play It Safe- Kristen Ashley

“A romance made for the ages that had me falling in love over and over again. This book is one that I wish I could unread so that I could re-read it all over again and experience the beauty that only Kristen Ashley could write.”

 

AND FINALLY…………

 

 MY BEST of 2015

Maybe Someday- Colleen Hoover

I am in awe of how Colleen Hoover managed to jot down such intense, intangible words that I wanted to tattoo right on to my body. Maybe, Someday didn’t take a taboo subject to enhance the power behind it, it took situations that I’m sure we’ve all during some time in our lives encountered—only, she took thousands of steps above, she heightened the level of emotions that are swirling around a time when we’re being pulled into different directions. When our hearts and our minds are at a violent war against one another. She took me to a place, to an unexplainable journey that only an absurdly talented writer could. Maybe, Someday didn’t need taboo, it didn’t need big bad villains because the heartache and the once in a lifetime love that ensues are enough to make you lose your breath, gasping for air to catch up on those missed ones. It is enough to bring out the box of tissues to wipe away the tears that warrant a confused look on your husband’s face. Maybe, Someday was more than enough. It didn’t try too hard, it was seamless. It was a brilliant story told by an even more brilliant mind which will leave your mind hazy and your eyes sting reminding you exactly why it is that books are such an essential part of who you are.

Thank you, Colleen for writing this story. For reminding me that I can still lose my bearings without the countless, benign hottie tottie scenes we all seem to be chasing these days. Thank you. Just, well. Thank you!

I am super psyched, I’m sure just as much as you are to begin a new literary year! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for all of us. Here’s to new book boyfriends, to swoon-worthy stories, heart pumping plot lines, hottie tottie scenes, and of course to ALL the feels. Here’s hoping that next year’s list will be just as stellar as 2015.

CHEERS!

Xoxo,

Melanie

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