Five Books that rocked my world in 2013

Taking a quick look back at some of the books I read this year. Here’s a summary of the few the really took me by surprise and rocked my world.

EASY – Tammara Webber

This brave romance was able to deliver an engaging, sweep-you-off-your-feet romance that didn’t shy away from some heavy subjects. It delivers a solid message to the New Adult audience about a woman’s need to be able to defend herself, all while introducing a hero that makes you weak in the knees. Webber is currently developing a campanion novel told from the hero’s perspective, due out in 2014.

 

SUDDENLY ROYAL – Nichole Chase

In some ways, this is the classic Cinderella story, but in most ways, it’s much more and much better. Samantha doesn’t know about her royal lineage until Prince Charming shows up and dazzles her right into her birthright and into his arms. It’s a great read for those who want a light-hearted love story with a little bit of heat. Chase currently has two more books in this series releasing in 2014.

A HIDDEN FIRE (Elemental Mysteries, Book 1) – Elizabeth Hunter

This is one of those books that I give the b-word to: BOLD. Is it a romance? Is it urban fantasy? Is it adventure? The answer is yes. Since the Twilight-True Blood phenomenon, vampire stories have been a dime a dozen, and few of them particularly noteworthy. Yet, Hunter found a way to make her world completely original and 100% engaging. Hunter’s true skill lies in her ability to move ALL of her characters through the world in tangent, not in isolation. This ability makes for a rich tapestry of fiction. And the hero? Did I mention he’s an intellectual, hot, Italian hunk? Yeah.
BONUS: At the time of this post, this ebook is free, an introduction to the series, and they’re ALLLLLL great.

 

GABRIEL’S INFERNO – Sylvain Reynard

If there is such a category as intellectual romance, this would be a prime example of it. The story both references and parallels Dante’s Inferno, but you don’t need to have read the literary classic to enjoy the tale. Why? Because it’s a timeless tale, and one wrapped in layers of sensuality and introspection. There’s also plenty of love scenes for the flesh-lovers. It’s a slow burn romance that puts the emphasis on intimacy.

DETROIT – Charlie LeDuff

So, yeah, y’all know I have a thing for Michigandia and non-fiction. Detroit is a bellwether for so many American stories and cities. Believe it or not, this was a painful read for me. As in, in it, I could see woven the stories of many people from my own community and family that it hurt me to read it knowing how true it is. While the author does at times hijack the story of the city for his own personal tale, it simutaneously highlights the fact that a city is not buildings and utilities and streets; it is its people. It’s a heartbreaking examination of the death of one of America’s industrial hubs.

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