2014 has been a great reading year for me. I decided to put my money where my mouth was and read more diverse books. I tend to read for pleasure, not to become a better person or smarten myself up, but you know what? Broadening my horizons a bit actually increased my enjoyment. Sometimes the road less traveled can make all the difference.
Books featuring GLBT and/or characters of color made up about half of my reading this year. Here is a list of my top books read (not necessarily published) in 2014.
1. Princess Shanyin: The Obsession Saga by Liliana Lee, aka Jeannie Lin
Oh baby. This erotic trilogy is SUCH a delight. Dirty, romantic and gorgeously written.
Book 1: Perfect
Book 2: Flawed
Book 3: Unexpected
By far my favorite of the year
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Romance-positive, funny and touching.
3. Summer Chaparral by Genevieve Turner
Fantastic setting descriptions, great heroine, mustached hero. Loved!
4. Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane
Excellent romantic suspense, swoon-worthy hero.
5. Fanning the Flames by Victoria Dahl
Laugh out loud funny with an outspoken, cranky, *horny* older heroine. Some people say they write books that empower women. Dahl actually does it.
6. Hellcat’s Bounty by Renae Jones
This story centers on Anelace Rios, blob hunter extraordinaire, taking risky adventures in space. It’s a low-angst lesbian romance scifi/Western/with a UF vibe? Wildly original and entertaining.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
7. Hold by Zannie Adams
I only gave this 4 stars, but the setup triggered all of my YES buttons. Hard prisoner hero, dangerous confined setting, strong heroine with free will. She chooses to give herself to the hero for protection. I like dark, gritty stuff as long as there is consent.
Some people get upset if authors fail to disclose their relationships with other authors in reviews/praise/promo efforts. I’ve complained before about the problem of review exchanges and tweet favors. I can’t say I’m not part of the cog or wheel or whatever but my recs are honest. Promise! But in the interest of full disclosure, here is more information than you ever wanted to know.
*I might have met Jeannie Lin at a conference before. We are twitter friends. I think she sent me an ARC of book 1. I bought book 2 and 3.
*I follow Sherman Alexie on twitter. He doesn’t follow back.
*Turner is a debut author and I don’t know her. I heard about her book on twitter.
*I’ve been blog friends with Carolyn Crane for years and her books have been on my favorites list before. I think I purchased this one.
*Dahl and I go way back to MySpace. I auto-buy her books. She might have offered to send me this but I’d already preordered it.
*I follow Jones on twitter and probably heard about her book there.
*I don’t know Adams. I found the book on a Goodreads list: Scifi Romance for picky readers.
There you go. That was hard work! I’m going to eat some holiday cookies now. I hope you had a wonderful reading year, and that 2015 finds you happy, healthy and in possession of many good books.