Mika’s Best Books of 2014

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Best Books of 2014

orchidsIt’s that time of the year for the Best of Lists. Here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words its the books that have stuck with us, made us laugh, made us cry, made us think and dream.

Mika’s Best of 2014!

 

I had two favorite books of the year!  But after those, I have listed, in no particular order, the other memorable books that I couldn’t put down.

Only Love by Garrett Leigh (Fav Book of The Year)
Spencer by J.P Barnaby (FAV Book of the Year)

Broken Pieces by Riley Hart
Loving Jay by Renae Kaye (Down Under Showcase Author)
Stay With Me by S.E. Harmon
Stories Beneath Our Skin by Veronica Sloane
When All The World Sleeps by Lisa Henry
Mark Cooper Versus America by Lisa Henry (Down Under Showcase Author)
Say Something by B.A. Tortuga
Watch Me Break You by Avril Ashton
John & Jackie by TJ Klune
The Art of Breathing by TJ Klune
Bloodline by Jordan L. Hawk
Rack & Ruin by Charlie Cochet
The Devil’s Ride by K.A. Merikan
Tangled Minds by Posy Roberts

MelanieM’s Best Books of 2014

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Best Books of 2014

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MelanieM’s Best Books of 2014

 

Winnowing down my list of Best Books is always a near impossible project.  To me it always feels like trying to leave a book shop during a particularly wonderful sale.  My arms are full to overflowing with books, with ones toppling off the pile here and there as I totter over to the sales counter.  My impulse is to go back and get more because all are books I loved and need to have near me.  Sigh.  And this year makes it particularly hard.  So many great books came out this year,  terrific short stories,, fabulous endings to series I love…..so this is as close as I got…check it all out below:

Best Series:

 Best Holiday/Whatever Time of the Year Anthologies:

Best Contemporary Fiction:

 

Best Science Fiction:

Best Fantasy:

 

Best Supernatural/Paranormal:

 

A Sammy Review: Slave Eternal (In His Arena #1) by Nasia Maksima

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Fight or fuck, that was the decree of the Empress, and the way of life for her gladiators.

Slave EternalLucan is an Unnamed – a slave with little skill, belonging to a house that is falling more by the day, until it finally crumbles. It is then that he becomes property of House Vulpinius, the Slaver-Priests. He is literally marked and claimed, bound by an Ebon that is rumored to only be broken by the truest of loves.

Little does he know that he’s part of a bigger plan, one in which he will become a puppet. Ignorant, he relishes being trained by Hektor Actaeon, primus palus and most favored by even the empress herself. Between blood, gore, battle, and love, their story winds together in an inseparable way.

But Lucan is simply a pawn in this game, and even his survival is not guaranteed.

“Pain is temporary,” Hektor’s words rang in the back of his mind. “Glory will resound through the ages.”

I simply cannot hide the fact that I have a thing for historical stories that involve warriors, particularly gladiators. There’s something so enchanting about the grotesque nature of their fights and the sheer violence that dictates their culture. So, of course, I was pumped for Slave Eternal.

The story is far from historically accurate, and the author acknowledges that in the beginning, mentioning that she takes liberties. With the basis of a gladiators life she creates a culture that is quite intriguing – and hot. Even the most evil of characters drew me in and made me engaged in their stories.

Unfortunately, it had some downfalls. For one, the editor missed a few things. For example, at one point during a Claim, the name of the one to be claimed is incorrect – it switches to a past character instead of the one it should be. Granted, it switches right back, but at the moment it takes you out of the story. Also, there were some typos peppered in, but nothing I couldn’t overlook. I think the thing that will lead most people to roll their eyes is the choice of words, most often during sex. I wish I could just tell authors that they do not need to crack open the thesaurus to find more words for cock or dick. Those are just fine, thank you. Furthermore, you do not have to embellish every description. It didn’t annoy me as much as I know it will annoy others, but sometimes I just wanted to say “for the love of God, you can just call it a cock. It doesn’t have to be a pole or man flesh.”

I’m also not a big fan of the blurb because it gives away some really great parts of the plot, and some of my favorite elements. Lover pinned against lover in a battle to the death? Talk about tension. If she had kept it a surprise, it would’ve had so much more impact. It’s still a very interesting plot line, especially when you throw in just a dash of dark magic to make everything all that more interesting. It wasn’t enough that I felt like it dominated the book, but it had a backdrop as to what made certain characters act the way they did at times. It just would’ve been better served, again, if the author didn’t make everything come out in the blurb.

Still, did this story quench my gladiator thirst? That it did! I would certainly read more of this series, and I hope we get to see Alession, the evil bastard that he is, get a taste of his own medicine. Or love. I’m cool with either.

The cover art by Fiona Jayde Media speaks to the story. With a coliseum in the background, it sets the stage for much of the story. My only point of contention is that the hairstyle is borderline mullet, but beyond that, it’s a nice cover for a pretty good story.

Sales Links:   Loose-id LLC             All Romance (ARe)                  amazon               buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 266 pages
Published November 11th 2014 by Loose Id, LLC
ISBN139781623006174
edition languageEnglish
seriesIn His Arena #1

A Mika Review: Hummingbird House by Kenzie Cade

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

HummingbirdHouseLGTo honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason.

 Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was.

Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.

This short work was a lovely, sweet read, and I was able to finish it in an afternoon. I really enjoyed it. It was romantic,  charming, and heartwarming. I didn’t want it to end. Indeed, I wish it was a full length novel. Trent was amazingly strong once he set his mind to it. I really enjoyed Callum as well; he was determined to fight for what he wanted.

Both gents have a big past of each other’s lives. They have made their mark, and it was only a matter of time before they were reintroduced back in each other’s lives. Trent was dealing with his emotions and grief from the death of grandmother. I wish we could have seen actual moments in time with her; she was really warm and loving for him. Trent’s own mother was no where to be found, and while she decided she didn’t want to be a parent; his grandmother did with open arms. We start the book by her writing letters because she has the feeling that her time is ending. I loved what she had to say, and all her sneaky ways of getting letters to Trent at different times.

Upon her death, she made sure he went back to the United Kingdom to the family’s Hummingbird House Estate which has always been in the family. It was hard for Trent returning to a place where his first heartbreak ended, but he would have done anything to please that woman. The family theme is heavenly in this book. Callum’s family welcomed Trent back with open arms and warm hearts. I found myself cheesing through certain moments in the book. I love how Callum decided that he wasn’t going to just walk away because Trent told him. Callum was very patient, and I thought he was cute for interacting with the grandmother and no one knew new about it.

I would definitely recommend this sweet read to people who want to see your one true loves returned to each other. I wish we could have gotten this in full length, who knows maybe one day down the road Kenzie might produce a full length sequel. 

Cover Art by Catt Ford. I actually liked this cover a lot. I loved the snowy background, because it was Christmastime in the novel. I think both of these guys descriptions are spot on with Trent & Callum.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press eBook      All Romance (ARe)  amazon       buy it here
Book Details:

eBook, 51 pages.
December 1st, 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781632167439
Part of Dreamspinner Press Celebrate – 2014 Advent Calendar

Edition Language: English