2015 has been an epic year for me personally but a bit lacklustre on the blogging front. I didn’t have many 5 star reads but I really enjoyed half of the 77 books I did finish. I know I missed out on some kick ass books and have a crate full to read along with a very full eReader. Instead of linking you to the top books that I have blogged about, I’m going to concentrate on those that I haven’t as a way of acknowledging their awesomeness. With a bit of luck, I’ll get to blog my reviews of them in the early new year.
Mr R., my first child, was born in October in a fairly dramatic fashion after a very difficult pregnancy. I wish I could say that everything since then has been smooth sailing but it hasn’t. My poor little man has a bad case of silent reflux and we are in the process of getting him the help he needs. I’m determined to brainwash him into loving books and with the help of friends and family, I’m filling up his bookcase with classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where is the Green Sheep? and Possum Magic. He scored lots of books this year for Christmas so it looks like I’ll have even more books to read. The upshot is that I haven’t been able to devote much time to blogging. I have really missed it and as Mr R’s health improves, I hope to be a bit more active. He’s actually lying on me as I type on my tablet and trying to shove his fingers up my nose – the joys of being a mother 😉
So anyway, here are my top picks that I haven’t previously blogged about.
Walker Papers series by C.E. Murphy – looking back at my Goodreads account, I can see that I read the whole urban fantasy series in 4 days which considering there are 9 books, isn’t too bad. Joanne Walker is a Cherokee/Irish cop who could be one of the greatest shamans ever if she devoted a little less time to repairing police cars in the car pool. She just needs a spirit guide or two or three to help her untap her potential. The world building is quite intricate so you really have to concentrate but I found the payoff to be worth it.
Kitty Katt series by Gini Koch – I re-read quite a few of the early books and then caught up. I think this is a sci-fi series that would polarise people as it is so silly what with gorgeous Armani wearing aliens trying to save the world. Fortunately it doesn’t pretend to be anything else and has a great B grade cheese vibe about it. Just don’t consume too many of the books at once or they will leave you with indigestion.
Top Urban Fantasy Reads
Armageddon Rules by J.C. Nelson – this is a very fluffy and often hilarious novel replete with vicious toy poodles as Marissa accidentally starts the apocalypse. Oops! The way she dealt with the four horsemen was sheer genius and those scenes alone are worth coughing up the cash for the book.
Generation V by M.L. Brennan – Fortitude is a very unconventional protagonist for an urban fantasy as he is a spineless pushover of a vampire working a dead-end job. When young girls start going missing he suspects the new vampire that has moved into his mother’s territory. With the help of Suzume, a cute kitsune, he reluctantly starts investigating. The world building is particularly good and the vampire origins unique.
Phoenix in My Fortune by R.L. Naquin – this is the last book in the Monster Haven series and I am not ashamed to admit that I flat out bawled at the end. It might have been pregnancy hormones but I’m fairly sure it was Naquin’s skill at writing. In this tale Zoey takes on Shadowman who is terrifying supernatural creatures (the Hidden) and humans alike. The fate of the world and her loved ones rests in her hands once again.
Top Romance Reads
Autumn Moon by Jan DeLima – I loved the tale of Cormack, the man who was stuck in wolf form, and the woman he adores, Elena. Both were segregated by society as they weren’t traditional werewolves but it is Elena’s ability to heal and manipulate the environment that makes her a target for the resident baddie, Pendaran. The protagonists are engaging, the romance sweet and the action nicely executed. What more could you want?
Ever After by Kate SeRine – this series is all about fairytale characters making it in the real world. In this one Gideon who works for the king of the fairies discovers that the person stealing fairy dust is none other than the woman he adored, Arabella, the female Robin Hood. It is a little uneven in places but I still had lots of fun with it.
Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt – this is the tale of the last Makepeace sibling, Asa, who is rebuilding his beloved pleasure gardens and theatre after they were destroyed by fire. His backer’s purse strings are tightly controlled by the repressed and uptight Eve. Naturally sparks fly. I’ve enjoyed all of this series but this particular novel shone a little more because of Eve’s journey.
Top Mystery Reads
Some Like it Witchy by Heather Blake – I like pretty much anything this lady writes whether it is under this name or Heather Webber. In this book Darcy is helping a friend check out a house that is up for sale when they discover that the real estate agent has been murdered. There is a mystery around a powerful amulet and as usual, Darcy is in the thick of things. The world building is unusual but it is the characterisation that really sells the book. I found this one a little darker in tone which was a pleasant surprise.
Spellcasting in Silk by Juliet Blackwell – Lily is a modern witch who runs a second hand clothing store in San Francisco and solves mysteries on the side. Her cop friend needs her help to investigate a woman who allegedly used magic to push a woman to commit suicide. The plot unwinds in a fairly organic fashion – by that I mean that threads continue to build from previous novels and it is a little messy at times until Blackwell ties everything together at the end.
Ghost in the Guacamole by Sue Ann Jaffarian – two sisters are fighting over whether to sell the family business so they call in Emma. They are hoping she can contact their deceased father and get his input. He wants them to sell because… he was murdered. Naturally Emma can’t leave things at that and starts to investigate with the help of Granny Apples. The latter steals every scene she is in and is an absolute hoot. I ended up racing through the non-Granny scenes because I wanted more Granny Apples even though the mystery wasn’t bad.
I only managed to read two steampunk novels this year – bad Vilia – and I’ve blogged about both so I can’t offer you any more recommendations.