Heal: Historical Romance with Physicians – Europe 

A Promise by Daylight (Hqn) - Alison DeLaine Sea Change - Darlene Marshall Last Wicked Scoundrel - Lorraine Heath All He Desires - Anthea Lawson Unraveled by the Rebel - Michelle WillinghamEcstasy Wears Emeralds - Renee Bernard The Surgeon's Lady - Carla Kelly A Kiss for Midwinter - Courtney Milan When Beauty Tamed the Beast - James Griffin, Eloisa James That Scandalous Summer - Meredith Duran

We made a trip to the doctor today- a small issue that would have been a big deal a century ago. Boy, am I grateful for modern medicine and can’t wait to see it get to the point where what we do today is considered “barbaric.” Here is a list of great Historical Romances with doctor heroes or heroines. This list is European. I will do an American one later. My lists are never in any particular order.

 


1. That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran

When recluse Lord Alastair, Duke of Marwick, threatens to cut off his younger brother’s income and close his charity hospital unless he marries a woman of whom Alastair approves, second son and physician Lord Michael de Grey decides to rusticate to Cornwall, becoming, as Mr. Grey, the local doctor’s backup. There he meets the infamous widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Chudderley, who, because of her late husband’s spendthrift ways, is surreptitiously looking for a wealthy suitor to keep her estate and household intact. As they become closer, such as when she assists at a tenant’s caesarean section, they realize that although they are in love, they can’t be together. When Elizabeth throws a party, inviting several available bachelors, she’s shocked to find that Michael is more than a rural physician, but is, in fact, titled. This discovery means nothing, however, since both are still poor and she has a reputation that Alastair won’t like. (Booklist(

 

2. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

After Prince Augustus Frederick reneges on his promise to marry her, Linnet Thrynne faces social ruin since everyone—based partly on her mother’s scandalous past and partly on Linnet’s ill-fated decision to wear a ball gown that gives the impression she is pregnant—now believes Linnet is a hussy of the first degree. Fortunately, Linnet’s aunt, Lady Etheridge, comes up with a solution. Rumor has it that Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, is in the market for a wife. The irascible nobleman’s only requirement is that his bride-to-be be a woman “more beautiful than the sun and the moon,” a condition Linnet easily meets. Linnet is certain once the beastly Piers meets her, he will fall under her spell. But immediately after encountering the cranky doctor, Linnet realizes the intractable, intelligent, and altogether intriguing Piers is not exactly the husband for whom she bargained. (Booklist)

 

3. A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan

Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time. But no matter how hard she smiles, she can’t forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation. Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham. She wants nothing to do with him…or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He’s been in love with Lydia for more than a year. This winter, he’s determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own. And he has a plan to do it.

If only his plans didn’t so often go awry…

4. The Surgeon’s Lady by Carla Kelly

As a surgeon in the Royal Navy, Lieutenant Philemon Brittle has proved his bravery countless times. But he’s never known the thrill that comes with falling in love. Until he meets the beautiful Lady Laura Taunton, who has turned to nursing the wounded as solace from her unhappy past. Philemon will need to draw upon every bit of his strength and determination to convince the marriage-shy Laura that establishing a life together is the truest path to love and happiness….

5. Ecstasy Wears Emeralds by Renee Bernard

Like all the Jaded Gentleman, Dr. Rowan West may have his secrets, but he’s done his best to forgive the ghosts of his past. Until the beautiful Miss Gayle Renshaw appears on his doorstep, jeopardizing his medical practice, his reputation, and, worst of all, his heart.

6.  Unraveled by the Rebel by Michelle Willingham

 A spinster with a secret…After being seduced and ruined by her worst enemy, Juliette Andrews has vowed to marry no man—especially not Dr. Paul Fraser, her childhood sweetheart. Content to bury herself in accounts and numbers, she refuses to let the devastatingly handsome Highlander back into her life.

 

A rebel with a cause…

Paul Fraser’s heart burns with the need for vengeance against the earl who executed his father and drove the Scots from their homes. But when he learns that his enemy hurt the woman he loves, Paul has sworn to destroy him.

Can Juliette overcome the darkness of her past in the arms of the man she once loved? Or will her secrets tear them apart?

 

7. All He Desires by Anthea Lawson

Far from home and her noble relatives, Miss Caroline Huntington has been injured in a fall from her horse. Called to her side, Alex Trentham knows he must assist her, though he has not practiced as a physician for a long while. Just to see so lovely a woman in a state of undress is a hard test of his self-control. Caroline is all that is warm and feminine, beautiful and pure. Brave to a fault, she does not flinch under his hands, and soon she is on the mend. To hide his feelings becomes impossible and Alex cannot. Her radiant innocence is dangerous to a worldly man. . .and she seems achingly eager to experience all the pleasure he could show her. . .

 

8. The Last Wicked Scoundrel by Lorraine Heath

William Graves is the last of Feagan’s scoundrels. A onetime grave robber turned royal physician, he has devoted his life to saving others—because he knows there is no way to save himself. Especially not around a lady like Winnie. Though undeserving of her touch, he cannot resist. His passion cannot be tamed … even in the face of certain danger.

Winnie, the Duchess of Avendale, never knew peace until her brutal husband died. With William she’s discovered burning desire—and the healing power of love. But now, confronted by the past she thought she’d left behind, Winnie must face her fears … or risk losing the one man who can fulfill all her dreams.

 

9. Sea Change by Darlene Marshall (The heroine is British)

American privateer Captain David Fletcher needs a surgeon for his wounded brother. But when he captures a British merchantman in the Caribbean, what he gets is Charley Alcott, an apprentice physician barely old enough to shave. Needs take priority over skill, and Captain Fletcher whisks the prisoner aboard his ship with orders to do his best or he’ll be walking the plank.
Charley Alcott’s medical skills are being put to the test in a life-or-death situation–Charley’s life as well as the patient’s. Even if Charley can save the captain’s brother, there will still be hell to pay, and maybe a plank to walk, when Captain Fletcher learns Charley is really Charlotte Alcott.

A war is raging on the world’s oceans, and two enemies will fight their own battles and their attraction to each other as they undergo a sea change neither of them is expecting, but cannot deny…

 

10. A Promise By Daylight by Alison Delaine

A notorious rake…

In the aftermath of a near-fatal accident, the virile and charming Duke of Winston vowed to reform his ways. But for an infamous rogue, it’s easier said than done. Hiring a personal medic, he sets about recovering from his injuriesand avoiding temptation at all costs. Little does Winston know, the one temptation he can’t resist might be hiding before his very eyes.

A tenacious virgin…

Without a friend or farthing in the world, posing as a man is Miss Millicent Germain’s only chance to achieve her dream of becoming a physician. But working for the decadent duke is trickier than no-nonsense Millie anticipatedand his touch threatens to awaken her deepest desires. By daylight, the two are at odds…but by night, their attraction may prove undeniable.

 


Did I miss your favorite? Let me know!

To vote for the best of the best go to my Goodreads list, Historical Romance with Physicians.

Cat’s Best Romance Reads of 2014 That Were Not Published 2014

Yeah. This is the last list of 2014 Best of Cat’s Books. I think…

I reread a lot but we are not even going to go there. I don’t really pay much attention to when a book was published before I select to read it (barring the very old school).

Here are my great new to me reads of the year. A mix of trusted authors that I just can’t keep up with and the bliss of newly discovered writers.

Click on the Stars to see the review and the book title for the Amazon link.

Enjoy!

Contemporary Romance 

 

 

5 Stars

Painted Faces  by L.H. Cosway

 

 

 

 

 

 The Rosie Project: A Novel (Don Tillman Book 1) by Graeme Simsion 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Girl with the Cat Tattoo (Cool Cats Book 1) by Theresa Weir 4 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Geek with the Cat Tattoo (Cool Cats Book 2)  by Theresa Weir 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Almost Summer (Fool’s Gold series) by Susan Mallery 4 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 Two of a Kind (Fool’s Gold Book 11) by Susan Mallery 4 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Talking Dirty With the Boss by Jackie Ashenden 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Just One Taste (Recipe for Love) by Louisa Edwards 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden  4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Principle of Desire  by Delphine Dryden  4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Dom Project (LA Doms Book 1) by Heloise Belleau  4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Control by Charlotte Stein 4 Stars*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Historical Romance

 

 Coming Home for Christmas by Carla Kelly 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Fool for Love (Duchess Quartet Book 2) by Eloisa James 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 Much Ado About You (Essex Sisters series Book 1) by Eloisa James 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Romance

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiding (Return of the Nine Book 3) by Viola Grace 4 Stars

Hunting (Return of the Nine Book 6) by Viola Grace 4 Stars

Designing (Return of the Nine Book 7)  by Viola Grace 4 Stars

Balm by Viola Grace 4 Stars

 

 Skypirate (The Coalition Rebellion Novels Book 2) by Justine Davis 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Entwined (Darkest London) by Kristen Callihan 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Guilty Pleasure Read

 

 

 Transcendence by Shay Savage 4 Stars

Time Travel Caveman Romance. Enough Said. Well, he is non verbal so really enough said.

 

Cat’s Best Historical Romance Reads of 2014

I had some truely lovely historic times this year. The quirky is coming to this sub genre. Yea!

 

Here are my best Historical Romance Reads of 2014. My list are never in are particular order but I did put the 5 Star reads first 🙂

 

 Published in 2014


Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan 5 Stars 

Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.
All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.

 

In Want of a Wife by Jo Goodman 5 Stars 

SHE HAS NOWHERE LEFT TO TURN

Jane Middlebourne needs a way out. In 1891, life in New York is unforgiving for a young woman with no prospects, especially when her family wants nothing to do with her. So when Jane discovers an ad for a mail-order bride needed in Bitter Springs, Wyoming, she responds with a hopeful heart.
HE HAS EVERYTHING TO LOSE

Rancher Morgan Longstreet is in want of a wife who will be his partner at Morning Star, someone who will work beside him and stand by him. His first impression of the fair and fragile Jane is that she is not that woman. But when she sets out to prove him wrong, the secrets he cannot share put into jeopardy every happiness they hope to find….

A Man and a Woman by Robin Schone 4 Stars

Widowed Megan Phillins longs to experience the intimacies shared with a man just once more. Playing the role of a harlot, she travels to the Land’s End Inn, where she knocks upon the door of a mysterious stranger. After a night of forbidden passion Megan is shocked to discover the traveler is actually Connor Treffrey, an Englishman who was marooned and sold into slavery. But now Connor has returned to reunite with his well-bred family. And together, he and Megan will embark on a breathless journey of indescribable pleasure…

 

 

 

 

Charming the Duke by Holly Bush 4 Stars

1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.
The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.
Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner 4 Stars 

Nick Dymond enjoyed the rough-and-tumble military life until a bullet to the leg sent him home to his emotionally distant, politically obsessed family. For months, he’s lived alone with his depression, blockaded in his lodgings.
But with his younger brother desperate to win the local election, Nick has a new set of marching orders: dust off the legendary family charm and maneuver the beautiful Phoebe Sparks into a politically advantageous marriage.

One marriage was enough for Phoebe. Under her town’s by-laws, though, she owns a vote that only a husband can cast. Much as she would love to simply ignore the unappetizing matrimonial candidate pushed at her by the handsome earl’s son, she can’t. Her teenage sister is pregnant, and Phoebe’s last-ditch defense against her sister’s ruin is her vote–and her hand.

Nick and Phoebe soon realize the only match their hearts will accept is the one society will not allow. But as election intrigue turns dark, they’ll have to cast the cruelest vote of all: loyalty…or love.

 

 The Unexpected Bride by Lena Goldfinch 4 Stars

Rebecca Sullivan has been “Becky” all her life, a real hoyden. Her childhood sweetheart taught her to ride bareback and shoot a rifle, but then he chose a “perfect lady” for a wife–a real Southern belle, who’s now expecting a baby. Heartbroken, Becky signs up to be a mail-order bride to a Seattle man, sight unseen. She resolves to squelch her hoydenish ways and become a “perfect lady” for her future husband.
If logging-operation owner Isaac Jessup had wanted a bride, he’d have chosen a sturdy frontier woman, not some fragile lady from back East. Ready to explain the mistake, honorable Isaac takes one look into Rebecca’s vulnerable eyes…and knows he’ll marry her, even though this delicate waif is obviously unsuited for wild Seattle.

Could an unexpected marriage be a match made in heaven?

I love discovering new books and authors. Please let me know your best Historical Reads of 2014.

 

To vote for the best Historical Romance published in 2014, go to my Goodreads list: Best Historical Romances of 2014.

Cat’s Best Paranormal Romance Reads 2014

I adore Paranormal, Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance. I adore it so much I feel like a a plate spinner at a middle school talent show just trying to keep up with all my series and the new good stuff. I know I missed a lot of great reads from new to me authors and ones  for which I have long standing love. I hope to catch up next year.

Here are my best Paranormal Romance Reads of 2014! My lists are never in any particular order.

   Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane (Meljean Brooks) 4 Stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.


In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn’t a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier’s first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms.

 Heart Fire (Celta) by Robin D. Owens 4 Stars

On the planet Celta, accepting a HeartMate can be the greatest challenge in the universe…

Antenn, an architect hired to build a cathedral in Druida City, dares not think of his HeartMate. Even though he yearns for her, he’s taken steps to ensure she will be forever unknown to him. After all, how could he, a commoner who grew up in the slums, the brother of a murderer, be worthy of any woman?

Tiana, a priestess, has her own fears about being a HeartMate. She’s watched her friends struggle with such a stormy destiny. She’s sure her HeartMate has never claimed her due to a terrible scandal involving her Family, and she’s set aside hopes for love.

Antenn’s gotten the commission of his life. The cathedral will make him famous, but more, it will last for ages and prove to others he can contribute to Celta…if the controversial structure isn’t destroyed while being built. Tiana, too, is an integral part of this process, but the villain who wrecked her Family is ready with firebombs. Can they trust each other in dangerous circumstances to succeed…and to love?

 Light My Fire by G.A. Aiken 4 Stars 

The trouble with humans is that they’re far too sensitive. Forget you put a woman in the local jail for a few months–and she takes it so personally! And yet she is the one trying to assassinate the queen. And now I’m trapped with Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight…gods! That endless name!

But what am I to do? I am Celyn the Charming with direct orders from my queen to protect this unforgiving female.

Even more shocking, this unforgiving female is completely unimpressed by me. How is that even possible? But I know what I want and, for the moment, I want her. And I’m sure that she, like all females, will learn to adore me. How could she not when I am just so damn charming?

 

 Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark Book 14) by Kresley Cole 4 Stars

Eternal Obsession

As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

Endless Yearning
Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

Can the heat of desire burn brighter than vengeance?
With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

 Shield of Winter (Psy/Changeling Book 13) by Nalini Singh 4 Stars

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

The Cage King by Danielle Monsch 4 Stars

To the Victor belong the Spoils, and as the Ruler of the Fight Scene, all the spoils belong to Esh – Money, Fame, Power… Everything, except one woman who disappeared five years ago.
Now Nalah is back, a member of the Guild and in need of his help to get access to the greatest Cage Match in the New Realms. To Nalah, this is nothing but an assignment, Esh only a tool to be used to collect a magical artifact of great power, and she will not, will not, allow the fire that has always burned bright between them to reignite – no matter how much Esh tempts her.

Five years ago Nalah left, and in that time she may have forgotten something, something Esh will remind her of – when The Cage King fights, he always wins.

 

Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison 4 Stars

Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.

Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.

A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.

They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.

When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.

 

Please let me know your favorite Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Romance reads this year! Clearly, I don’t read enough.

To vote for the best Paranormal Romance published in 2014, go to my Goodreads list: Best Paranormal Romance of 2014. 

Cat’s Best Contemporary Romance Reads of 2014

Every year, I tend to have a sub genre I glom. This year I had an amazing run of blessings with Contemporary Romance.  Contemporary Romances published in 2014 were particularly good so this post is just about those beauties.

Here is my best reads of Contemporary Romance published in 2014.  So many 5 stars, it is dazzling.  These books are not in any particular order. They are all great. Read them!

 

His Road Home by Anna Richland 5 Stars

Special Forces medic Rey Cruz needs to find a fiancée, fast, or he’ll end up in a marriage orchestrated by an Afghan warlord. Finding a picture online of a girl he barely knew back home, he fakes an engagement photo, thinking no one else will see it. But when Rey loses both legs and the ability to speak while rescuing a local boy, the image goes viral.

Seattle marine biologist Grace Kim is shocked to find out she’s engaged. When she’s offered a plane ticket to visit her “fiancé,” she takes it, looking for the answer to one question: Why did he lie? Touched by Rey’s funny texts and the determination she sees in him, Grace offers her friendship—a big step for someone who prefers whales to most company.

And when Rey is finally sent home, Grace agrees to help him drive his classic car cross-country over Thanksgiving—a once-in-a-lifetime road trip that leads to what feels like real love. In front of his friends and family, she plays the caring fiancée, but what place will Grace have in Rey’s new life once he’s ready to be on his own again?

Truly: A New York Novel by Ruthie Knox 5 Stars

May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.
Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand 5 Stars

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been best friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?
Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

 Love Hacked by Penny Reid 5 Stars 

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn’t been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra–near desperation and maybe a little tipsy–gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.

 

 

 

 Hard Time by Cara McKenna 5 Stars

Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

 

Deeper by Robin York 5 Stars

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.


West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.

They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.

When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.


Live: A Burnside Novel by Mary Ann Rivers 5 Stars 

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.


Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.

 

 The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand 5 Stars

She hated him.

Patrick Chevalier. The charming, laid-back, golden second-in-command of the Paris pastry kitchen where Sarah worked as intern, who made everything she failed at seem so easy, and who could have every woman he winked at falling for him without even trying. She hated him, but she’d risked too much for this dream to give up on it and walk out just so he wouldn’t break her heart.

But he didn’t hate her.

Sarah Lin. Patrick’s serious, dark-haired American intern, who looked at him as if she could see right through him and wasn’t so impressed with what she saw. As her boss, he knew he should leave her alone. The same way he knew better than to risk his heart and gamble on love.

But he was never good at not going after what – or who – he wanted.

He could make magic out of sugar. But could he mold hate into love.

 Beyond Repair by Charlotte Stein 5 Stars 

When Alice Evans finds a bona fide movie star on the floor of her living room, she has no idea what to do. Ordinary men are frightening enough, never mind someone as famous and frankly gorgeous as Holden Stark.

However, once she realizes that Holden is suffering behind that famous facade, she knows she has to help. He needs someone like her to give him a taste of sweetness and desire and love. He needs normality. The only problem—Alice is hiding a secret that is far from normal. In fact, her name isn’t even Alice at all.

And once Holden finds out, the intense connection they are just beginning to build may well be torn apart.

 

 

 

 Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid 4 Stars

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella  by Laura Kaye 4 Stars

Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves–which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to

 

 

 Shoreline Drive by Lily Everett 4 Stars

Dr. Ben Faulkner is a veterinarian on warm, welcoming Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses. Though he’s dedicated his life to healing animals and rescuing the ones no one wants, Ben is nursing deep wounds of his own. After tragedy tore his family apart, he gave up his dreams of finding happiness long ago…until Merry Preston arrives on the island. Vivacious, friendly, and instantly loveable, Merry is everything Ben is not. She’s also nine months pregnant and attempting to carve out a new life for herself and her unborn child.

Though Ben tries to keep his distance, when a raging storm cuts them off from the mainland, he’s forced to help bring her new baby into the world.  It’s a harrowing experience that leaves him with one great certainty: I want these two to be my family. Seeing his opportunity, he makes a dramatic proposal to the young mother: a marriage of convenience. If Merry marries him, he’ll draw up a contract naming her son as his heir and promising to provide for them both. But as they’ll learn, love is more than a business proposition…and it’ll take all the magic hidden in Sanctuary Island to turn Ben’s proposal into something real and lasting.

 

So, there it is! What a wonderful year! Thank you!

 

I read about 300-400 books a year. My best reads come from that pool of books.  I would love to know your favorites that I may have missed in Contemporary Romance published 2014.

 

To vote for your best Contemporary Romance from this year– Best Contemporary Romance 2014.

Cat’s Best Independently Published Romance Reads of 2014

I love giving my money in the right percentage to authors. I adore the quitting of day jobs to write more books for me to read.

Here are my best Indie Author Romance Reads of 2014!

Published in 2014 (in no particular order because I lack those kind of skills or inclinations)
 Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

  Artistic License  by Elle Pierson (AKA Lucy Parker)

“Picasso would have loved his face.”

An art exhibition in Queenstown, New Zealand results in an unlikely friendship and a reluctant love when shy art student Sophy James meets reticent security consultant Mick Hollister. Content with her solitude and independence, Sophy has never desired a long-term relationship. Born with a face that apparently not even a mother could love, Mick has given up hope of having one. They don’t have a lot in common; they shouldn’t even like one another – and they can’t stay away from each other.

 

 

 

 

 Beauty and the Mustache: by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston: 1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her Amazon kindle one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous— local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.

 Sun-Kissed by Laura Florand

They called her the Ice Queen.

Anne Winters. Self-made billionaire. Household name. Divorced single mom. Convicted felon. She didn’t let anyone or anything get to her. No one was allowed to breach the walls around her heart except for her own son. She had only one trusted friend: her vacation house neighbor. They’d been walking the beach together for twenty years. Not that this gave him access to her heart, of course…

They called him a man who got what he wanted.

Mack Corey. Self-made billionaire. Dominant world player. Widowed father of the bride. No felony convictions yet, although his daughters had come close. He’d transformed his family company into one of the top 500 by the age of thirty. He’d raised two daughters who dumped him for idiot arrogant French chocolatiers and went off to live in Paris. Hell, he even managed to tolerate his dad. But that Ice Queen act Anne Winters had going was really starting to get to him…

They’d been best friends for twenty years. Could they become lovers?
Could a frozen heart be kissed by the sun?

  Just Not Mine by Rosalind James

Destiny can sneak up on you. Or it can smack you in the face.

Hugh Latimer’s coping with a few problems just now. A broken hand, missing the European rugby tour . . . and a half-brother and sister who are playing havoc with his love life. Instead of packing down in the scrum, he’s driving the carpool to ballet—or forgetting it’s his turn. When he hears his neighbor wailing out bad pop in the wee hours, it’s the last straw.

Josie Pae Ata is a fortunate woman. A new house, good friends, a gorgeous boyfriend—oh, and stardom, too. Getting involved with her new neighbors would bring risks she doesn’t need. But life has a way of changing the rules. And when you get more than you can handle, sometimes all you can do is hang on for the ride.

 
The Key  by Victoria Darkins

Jack and Carrie are lost souls. Jack is an eminent university lecturer in English Literature who suffers from quadriplegia after a spinal cord injury in his late teens. Having convinced himself that he was better off on his own he has closed the door on any romantic entanglements and instead directed all his energy into his work.
Carrie is trying to unchain herself from a cruel, neglectful and guilt ridden childhood. She has earned a place on a degree course of her dreams but it comes at a costly price.

Both are thrown together by Mary, a mutual friend and past social worker, who has hatched a plan to help Jack and Carrie with their predicaments. Carrie becomes Jack’s live-in carer securing her with an income and unexpected benefits.

Will it be too late from them to find out that they both hold the key to unleash each other from the chains that hold them to their past? A key that will unlock their hearts.

Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan

Nobody knows who Miss Rose Sweetly is, and she prefers it that way. She’s a shy, mathematically-minded shopkeeper’s daughter who dreams of the stars. Women like her only ever come to attention through scandal. She’ll take obscurity, thank you very much.
All of England knows who Stephen Shaughnessy is. He’s an infamous advice columnist and a known rake. When he moves into the house next door to Rose, she discovers that he’s also wickedly funny, devilishly flirtatious, and heart-stoppingly handsome. But when he takes an interest in her mathematical work, she realizes that Mr. Shaughnessy isn’t just a scandal waiting to happen. He’s waiting to happen to her…and if she’s not careful, she’ll give in to certain ruination.

 

 

Charming the Duke by Holly Bush

1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.
The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.

 Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.
Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.

A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.

They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.

When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.

 Apples Should Be Red  by Penny Watson

Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Start with 62-year old politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon.

Add 59-year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls.

Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor.

Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome.

Tastes like happily ever after.

 

Here are some Indie’s that I wished I had been able to read but haven’t been able to yet!

 

1. Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

2. Tempted by a Rogue Prince by Felicity Heaton

3. Seducing Lauren by Kristen Proby

4. Embattled Home by J.M. Madden

5. Broken Blade by J.C. Daniels

6. Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane

7. I Love How You Love Me by Bella Andre

8. Mistress of Melody by Anthea Lawson

9. The Syrian Virgin by Zack Love

10. Legal Briefs by N.M. Silber

 

Vote for your favorite Best Independently Published Romances of 2014!

Cat’s Best Romances Read in 2013 Not Published in 2013

I had a great reading year. There are many books on this list that should be but I tried to practice restraint. Here are some wonderful not to be missed Romances that weren’t published this year but you should read the hell out of, they are new to you!

My lists are never in any order because cat.

 The Chocolate Heart (Amour et Chocolat Book 5) by Laura Florand 

Mille-Feuilles can’t buy you love…
No one hates Paris–except Summer Corey. The moody winters. The artists and their ennui. The inescapable shadow of the Tour Eiffel. But things go from bad to worse when Summer stumbles into brooding, gorgeous chef pâtissier Luc Leroi and indecently propositions the hero of French cuisine…
Luc has scrambled up from a childhood panhandling in the Paris Métro to become the king of his city, and he has no patience for this spoiled princess, even if she does now own his restaurant. Who cares if she smiles with all the warmth of July? She doesn’t eat dessert!
There is only one way to tempt her. A perfect, impossibly sweet seduction…

 Hidden Crimes (Hidden Series Book 3) by Emma Holly 

Cats and dogs shouldn’t fall in love. Like any wolf, RPD detective Nate Rivera knows this. He can’t help it if the tigress he’s been trading quips with at the supermarket is the most alluring woman he’s ever met—sassy too, which suits him down to his designer boots.

Evina Mohajit is aware their flirtation can’t lead to more. Still, she relishes trading banter with the hot werewolf. This hardworking single mom hasn’t felt so female since her twins’ baby daddy left to start his new family. Plus, as a station chief in Resurrection’s Fire Department, she understands the demands of a dangerous job.

Their will-they-or-won’t-they tango could go on forever if it weren’t for the mortal peril the city’s shifter children fall into. To save them, Nate and Evina must team up, a choice that ignites the sparks smoldering between them

 Just for Fun (Escape to New Zealand Book 4) by Rosalind James

What happens in Fiji stays in Fiji … except when it doesn’t.
Nic Wilkinson is a responsible, organized, disciplined rugby player for the New Zealand All Blacks, and a man at the top of his game. Emma Martens is a sometimes-scattered, often-emotional, and always-broke would-be designer with a big chip on her shoulder where Nic’s concerned.

They have no history together, except one perfect week. Nothing in common anymore, except the most important thing of all.

Getting together again would be messy. Complicated. Scary. And, just maybe, worth every risk

 

 Romancing Olive: Prairie Romance  by Holly Bush 

1891 . . . Spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?

 The Shy Bride (Traditional Greek Husbands Book 1) by Lucy Monroe

Thrust into the limelight, child star Cassandra timidly enchanted audiences night after night…. But when her parents died, Cass retreated into her own world—too shy to leave her home. Once a year she shares her musical passion by offering lessons in a charity auction…. This year, money talks. The winning bid: $100,000!

Enter Neo Stamos, arrogant Greek tycoon. He wants Cass with a burning desire, though he knows that, shy and sweet, she will need a gentle awakening…. But Neo’s the master of seduction!

 

 

His Tattooed Virgin by Heather Rainier

Jayne Sheridan intended to wait until her wedding night to give up “the goods.” One life-threatening illness and a decade later, she’s wondering if she’ll ever get married and if she shouldn’t just “go for it” now that she’s cancer-free. Her undeniable attraction to the town tattoo artist has her contemplating getting more than a tattoo. Seth Carter has crammed a lot of living into his years and had his heart broken in a way that he believes is irrevocable. Jayne confuses and intrigues him but he doesn’t want her to look back with regrets, so he turns down her offer. He doesn’t count on the onslaught of jealousy when Jayne decides to take matters into her own hands. Jayne is his. When the past treads on his doorstep, can Seth handle unexpected blessings and protect the ones he holds dearest to him?

 

A Scandalous Plan  by Donna Lea Simpson

Strong-willed and intelligent, Lady Theresa is tired of spending her days listening to the gossipy village spinsters talk about the mysterious gentleman who just moved into the village. Known to be headstrong, and happily unattached, she takes it upon herself to call on the new resident and find out if the awful rumors about his family are true.

The Honourable Mr. Martindale welcomes life as a recluse. A widower, he’s made his fortune and now hopes to dedicate his time to working the land and raising his two young children—free of interference from the locals. When Lady Theresa comes marching up to his door, it’s the last thing Martindale wants, a husband hunter who thinks she can tell him how to raise his children and, worse, how he should comport himself.

Yet before long Lady Theresa has worked her way into Martindale’s quiet life and hatched an outrageous plan to win the village’s approval for both the man and his unusual children. But what she fails to see is how badly the plan could backfire, or how it could jeopardize her own place in a family she has come to cherish—and in the heart of the man she has come to love.

 Packing Heat by Kele Moon 

Dark and brooding firefighter Brad Archer has spent months denying his attraction to his roommate, police officer Gavin Connolly. Gavin is just the kind of guy he likes: tall, tough, and buff enough to actually handle Brad’s big size and rough nature.

To hide his real feelings Brad holds the handsome, seemingly straight cop at arms’ length until a shooting at work leaves Gavin a little too vulnerable to ignore. What starts out as a simple attempt to comfort his roommate blows up into something wild, sexual, and wholly unexpected when Gavin wants more from Brad than a strong firefighter’s shoulder to lean on.

The sexual magnetism drawing the two of them together forces secrets to be revealed, and though the sex is mind-blowing it may not be worth weathering the storms their relationship could stir up.

The Marann (Tales of Tolari Space Book 1) by  Christie Meierz

Marianne Woolsey is a high school Spanish teacher in rural Iowa, when Earth Central Command decides her linguistic talents would be better exercised if she spent 26 years teaching the daughter and heir of an alien ruler on a planet 24 light years from Earth. Now she’s alone on a planet of aliens so humanlike that she has to keep telling herself her student’s noble father is just her boss.

Handsome – and deadly – the Sural has ruled his province and led his planet far longer than he can admit to his daughter’s human tutor. He hides much more from the space-faring races of the Trade Alliance than he is willing to reveal. What he doesn’t want Central Command to know, he has to conceal from Marianne, but Marianne is concealing her own secrets from him – and as an empath, he knows it.

 Love Kinection by Jennifer James

Love, romance, hearts, flowers, cupid…. Rubbish.

Abby Fine still hasn’t gotten over the pain of a year-old betrayal and plans to spend this Valentine’s Day drowning her sorrows with a ménage of men named Ben, Jerry, and Riesling.

Her plans are diverted when she drops and breaks her new iPhone and gives in to a momentary hormone surge, agreeing to let office hottie and tech god Tom Walker squirm his way into her condo to fix it.

Tom shows up with his Xbox, spicy Chinese food, and a habit of stealing kisses every time she lets her guard down.

Can a weekend of laughter, video games, and movies change Abby’s opinion of stupid Cupid?

 

I hope you had a great reading year too!

Cat’s Best Paranormal Romance Reads of 2013

As the year speeds through December, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the best books in each sub genre of romance I read that were published in 2013.

I already did Contemporary Romance. So, next up is Paranormal Romance!

Oh how I love you, witches, shifters, and wonderful magic worlds.

Paranormal Romances are (according the RWA and they should know) romance novels in which the future, a fantasy world, or paranormal elements are an integral part of the plot.

Here are my top ten (11)  reads in this sub genre published this year.  They are in no particular order.

 Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson Book 7) by Patricia Briggs

Mercy’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Alpha werewolf Adam Hauptman has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After a traffic accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack. They’ve all been abducted. Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related to the political battle the werewolves have been fighting to gain acceptance from the public—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely

 Heart of Obsidian: A Psy-Changeling Novel (Psy/Changeling Series Book 12)  by Nalani Singh              

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.

A woman whose very existence has been erased.

A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.

A deadly price that must be paid.

The day of reckoning is here.

 

 

 Wolf with Benefits (The Pride Series) by Shelly Laurenston

There’s nothing like a good-ol’-boy wolf. And ace security expert Ricky Lee Reed serves, protects and seduces with all the right moves…

Sure, Toni Jean-Louis Parker has to be the responsible oldest sister to a crazy-brilliant clan of jackal siblings. But now she’s cutting loose for some hot, sweaty, no-commitments fun—and the sexy, slow-talking, swift-moving predator assigned to keep her family safe is just the right thing to shapeshift her love life into overdrive. Trouble is, he’s starting to get all obsessive wolf on her every time he looks in her direction…

Getting serious about anyone isn’t in Ricky Lee Reed’s plans. Hell, even now he doesn’t really have a plan—outside of catching whoever is threatening this dangerously brilliant family. But the more he sees of Toni, the more he’s howling for her. And whatever it takes to convince her that what they have is everything, well, this wily wolf is down for the sizzling chase…

The Wolf’s Mate Book 6: Logan & Jenna  by RE Butler

Jenna Odile planned to spend the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday partying with her friends before she cast a spell to find her truemate. Before she can, she’s captured by a group of criminally-minded werewolves who want to use her fae-abilities to commit crimes. Poisoned and left for dead, she used the last of her strength to cast the spell for her truemate, hoping that he would find her before it was too late.

The last thing Logan Anderson wanted to do with his Saturday evening was watch over the young male wolves in his pack while they attended a dance in hopes of finding their mates. As the night wore on, he began to feel compelled to leave, and his instincts led him to race into the woods at the side of the highway. In the darkness of the woods, he finds a woman near death, who begs him to protect her. Now, nothing is more important than helping her get well. He’ll deal with those who hurt her… later.

 Tiger Magic (A Shifter’s Unbound Novel) by Jennifer Ashley

He was once a captive, but his urges were never caged. Now he’ll release them on a beautiful stranger whose own secret desires are longing to be sated…

He doesn’t have a name. He doesn’t have a clan. The humans who held him prisoner for forty years have taken them away. He knew nothing but captivity until nearly a year ago, when he was released into the light. Now Tiger lives in the Austin Shiftertown, where he struggles to belong and searches for an identity.

Carly Randal thinks her fabulous life is complete—until her car breaks down on the side of the road, and a wild-looking Shifter is the only one to help her. Tiger takes one look at Carly and knows instantly—she will be his mate. As Carly is drawn into his Shifter world, she risks everything she has for that forbidden something she still wants: passionate love.

Stone Guardian: Gargoyle Urban Fantasy Romance (Entwined Realms Book 1) by Danielle Monsch

Gryphons flying past skyscrapers? Wizards battling it out in coffeehouses? Women riding motorcycles with large swords strapped to their backs? All normal sights since the Great Collision happened twenty-six years ago.

Well, not normal for everyone. Larissa Miller may have been born after the Great Collision, but as a history teacher who lives in the human-only city, she has never come into contact with any other race or species, nor has she wanted to. Her life is as ordinary as it gets – that is, until one day she walks out of her apartment and is attacked by a mob of Zombies, only to be saved by a Gargoyle.

Gargoyles trust no one outside their Clan, but due to a cryptic prophecy, Terak, Leader of the Gargoyles, has been watching over the human woman for months. While he can find no reason why the woman has been singled out, something about her stirs every protective instinct within him. When the attack confirms that the threats against her exist and are real, he convinces Larissa that though their races have never been allies, the best chance of discovering why she has been brought into his world is by working together.

In the course of their investigation Terak becomes entranced by his little human. But when he discovers why Necromancers want her and the great reward that awaits him if he betrays her, he must choose between the welfare of his Clan and not only Larissa’s life, but the fate of this New Realm as well.

 MacRieve (Immortals After Dark Book 14) by Kresley Cole

A BEAST IN TORMENT
Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.

A BEAUTY IN CHAINS
Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a wicked immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.

A FULL MOON ON THE RISE
With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe…from himself?
 Soul Kissed (Shadow Kissed) by Erin Kellison

At the mage Council’s bidding, dangerous outsider Mason Stray joins forces with Cari to hunt down the fiend responsible. But can he trust the daughter of wealth and privilege, especially when his own son is at risk?

 

 

 

 

 

Heart Fortune (Celta Series Book 12)  by Robin Owens  

Jace Bayrum has always been a loner. Concerned more with getting an adrenaline fix and making money to live on his own, Jace cares little for family ties or matters of the heart. On the other hand Glyssa Licorice, Jace’s former fling and true mate, is both loving and loyal. She is determined to track down her HeartMate and have him claim her.

After hearing that Jace has been involved in an accident, Glyssa sets out to find him, departing for the excavation site of the lost starship Lugh’s Spear. Though her goal is to help Jace and finesse him into recognizing her as his mate, the excavation itself draws her in…

Thrust by fate into working side-by-side, Jace and Glyssa’s electric connection from years before sparks once more. She intrigues him, and Jace begins to realize that a HeartMate can make a difference. And one as magnetic as Glyssa could be exactly what he has been searching for…

I am sure I have missed some great reads that came out in Paranormal Romance in 2013. Let me know!

If you would like to vote for the best of the best go to the Goodreads list: Reader’s Choice: Best Paranormal Romance of 2013

Cat’s Best Contemporary Romance Reads of 2013

As the year speed through December, I thought it would be fun to reflect on the best books in each sub genre of romance I read that were published in 2013.

I thought I would start with Contemporary Romance because I returned to reading this sub genre with a vengeance this year. My guess is there was a lot of  great new to me and debut authors writing these kinds of books and was sucked in by the vortex of their talent.

I am saving the crack of the publishing world that in New Adult for another list. I don’t love it much but I did find some treasures.

Contemporary Romances are (according the RWA and they should know) romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship, released as individual titles, and set in the current time period.

Here are my top ten reads in this sub genre published this year.  They are in no particular order.

 

 Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (TooMuch Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan – aka Sir McHotpants – witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

After Hours by Cara McKenna

Erin Coffey has been a nurse for years, but nothing’s prepared her for the physical and emotional demands of her new position. Needing to move closer to her dysfunctional family, she takes a dangerous job at Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital, where she quickly learns that she needs protection—and she meets the strong, over-confident coworker who’s more than willing to provide it.

Kelly Robak is the type of guy that Erin has sworn she’d never get involved with. She’s seen firsthand, via her mess of a sister, what chaos guys like him can bring into a woman’s life. But she finds herself drawn to him anyway, even when he shows up at her door, not eager to take no for an answer.

What Erin finds even more shocking than Kelly’s indecent proposal is how much she enjoys submitting to his every command. But he can’t play the tough guy indefinitely. If they want to have more than just an affair, both will have to open up and reveal what they truly need.

Lush (Delicious Book 3) by Lauren Dane

Mary Whaley has her hands full running a successful catering company and overseeing her supper club. She has everything she ever wanted—or so she thought. When she meets ridiculously hot and very dirty rock star Damien Hurley at her friend’s engagement party, the attraction she feels is overpowering—and she isn’t about to deny herself.

Damien is used to a hard and fast life. He and two of his brothers started a band when they were fresh out of high school—then they hit the big time and stayed there. He’s also a legendary madman on the stage and in the bedroom. But when he meets Mary, something clicks, and the bad boy starts thinking he may have finally found something good.

What begins as a series of fleeting trysts soon gets much more complicated. Damien can’t figure out why Mary doesn’t want more from him. And before long, it’s Damien who wants more from Mary. But it turns out Mary is no stranger to celebrity news, and he’s got a very big job ahead of him: proving that he’s worth more than a one-night stand…

Dream Nights with the CEO (A Secret Desires Novel Book 1)

by Kathy Lyons

Hotel chain CEO and millionaire Wyatt Monroe is a stick in the mud. Sure, he’s hot as sin, even with the tie, but free-spirited assistant Megan Bradford refuses to jeopardize their perfect working relationship. Why mess that up with sex? She knows he’s the love ’em and leave ’em type, and she’s determined to find a family man.

Wyatt would never cross the line between boss and employee with Megan, no matter how hard it might be to resist the temptation. But when they visit a mysterious B&B in a bid to acquire the property, he starts having erotic dreams about the sexy brunette that make it hard to resist her in daylight.

Soon the line between reality and dreams further blurs when they learn they were sharing the same erotic dreams…
 The Story Guy (Novella) by Mary Ann Rivers

I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won’t share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?

Play With Me (With Me In Seattle Book 3) by Kristen Proby

Will Montgomery is a successful professional football player and seemingly has it all. He’s not used to being told no, and certainly doesn’t take no for an answer. So when he turns his charms on his sister’s sexy rocker-chick friend Meg, he’s not only turned down, but met with open hostility, piquing his curiosity and libido. He’s determined to show her that he’s not the arrogant jock she thinks he is, and to get her into his bed.

Megan McBride is not impressed with Will Montgomery, his fat contract, fancy car, or his arrogant public persona. She doesn’t have time for a relationship, and if she’s learned anything in life, it’s that loving means losing, so she guards her heart ferociously. But she can’t deny the overwhelming attraction to the sexy, tattooed athlete, and when Will starts breaking down her defenses and grabs hold of her heart, will she be able to admit her feelings for him, or will her troubled past cause her to lose the first man she’s ever truly loved?

Fire Inside: A Chaos Novel by Kristen Ashley

Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She’s too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can’t say no. And he doesn’t regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that’s ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

 

 Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City Book 2) by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

How to Misbehave: A Novella: A Camelot Novella (Camelot Series Book 1)  by Ruthie Knox

As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own—unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?

His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey

Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation with the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.

Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into the pub he’s at with his new coworkers and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?

 

I am sure I missed reading some great Contemporary Romances. Let me know what else I should read that was published this year!

 

You can vote from the best of the best on this Goodreads list: Reader’s Choice: Best Contemporary Romance of 2013.

 

Best Historical Romance of 2013

This was a very good year for Historical Romance. Check out these great love stories.

My lists are never in any order. Enjoy!

 

The Jade Temptress – The Lotus Palace 2 (Hqn Books) (Pingkang Li Mysteries) by Jeannie Lin

Charming and seductive, Mingyu is the most sought-after hostess in the pleasure quarter. She has all men wrapped around her finger–except Constable Wu Kaifeng, the one man she can’t resist, the only man to have placed her in chains.

Wu Kaifeng’s outwardly intimidating demeanor hides a reluctant, fierce attraction to beautiful Mingyu. But the passionate temptation she presents threatens to destroy them both when a powerful official is murdered and they find themselves on a deadly trail. Amid the chaos, a forbidden affair could change Mingyu’s fate forever, for following her heart is bound to have consequences…
The Countess Conspiracy (The Brothers Sinister Book 3)  by Courtney Milan

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised–and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership…even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

  The Sharing Spoon by Kathleen Eagle 

A Christmas star shines brightly in the Western skies, bringing hope, love, and miracles in three unforgettable stories of romance trimmed with the holiday traditions of Native America.

 

 

 

 

 

 Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane Book 6) by Elizabeth Hoyt 

WHEN A MASKED MAN . . .

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe-and won’t back down . . .

MEETS HIS MATCH . . .

Artemis Greaves toils as a lady’s companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She’s even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day . . .

DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION

Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn’t without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?

 Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins 

With Destiny’s Embrace, Jenkins brings readers back to the American West, where Logan Yates, a self-important ranch owner, must confront his feelings for his beautiful, free spirited housekeeper, Mariah Cooper. While they bicker incessantly, their sexual tension is palpable, and only rises when Mariah’s former lover arrives on the scene. Will she accept Logan’s heart?

Set in 19th-century California, Destiny’s Embrace features unforgettable characters and a satisfying mix of adventure and passion from nation’s premier writer of African-American historical romance.

 

 

 Sometimes a Rogue (The Lost Lords series Book 5) by Mary Jo Putney 

Sometimes. . .

Even the most proper young lady yearns for adventure. But when the very well bred Miss Sarah Clarke-Townsend impulsively takes the place of her pregnant twin, it puts her own life at risk. If the kidnappers after her sister discover they’ve abducted Sarah instead, she will surely pay with her life. . .

A Rogue. . .

Rob Carmichael survived his disastrous family by turning his back on his heritage and becoming a formidable Bow Street Runner with a talent for rescuing damsels in distress. But Sarah is one damsel who is equal to whatever comes. Whether racing across Ireland with her roguish rescuer or throwing herself into his arms, she challenges Rob at every turn.

   The Double Cross (The Spanish Brand Series Book 1) by Carla Kelly 

The year is 1780, and Marco Mondragón is a brand inspector in the royal Spanish colony of New Mexico. A widower and rancher, Marco lives on the edge of Comanchería, the domain of the fierce Comanche. Each autumn, he takes cattle and wool, and his district’s records of livestock transactions to the governor in Santa Fe.  He is dedicated, conscientious and lonely. This year, he is looking for a little dog to keep his feet warm through cold winter nights. He finds a yellow dog but also meets a young, blue-eyed beauty named Paloma Vega. Paloma is under the thumb of relatives who might have stolen a brand belonging to Paloma’s parents, dead in a Comanche raid. As a brand inspector, Marco has every right to be suspicious of brand thieves. If Marco has anything to do with it, Paloma’s fortunes are about to change. Meanwhile, Marco has other challenges to contend with. An elderly ranchero named Joaquin Muñoz has set in motion events that involve the ever-dangerous Comanches and threaten the uneasy peace of Marco’s jurisdiction. Set against the mountains and high plains of northeastern New Mexico during the decline of Spanish power in the New World, The Double Cross is a story of loss and love regained, at a time when honor went hand in glove with bravery, and danger was never far away

 Beauty and the Blacksmith: A Spindle Cove Novella by Tessa Dare 

Beautiful and elegant, Miss Diana Highwood is destined to marry a wealthy, well-placed nobleman. At least that’s what her mother has loudly declared to everyone in Spindle Cove.

But Diana’s not excited by dukes and lords. The only man who makes her heart pound is the village blacksmith, Aaron Dawes. By birth and fortune, they couldn’t be more wrong for each other … but during stolen, steamy moments in the smithy, his strong hands feel so right.

Is their love forged strong enough to last, or are they just playing with fire?

 

 Penelope ( A Madcap Regency Romance ) (The Fairweather Sisters Book 1) by by Anya Wylde

Leaving behind the rural charms of Finnshire, Miss Penelope Fairweather arrives in London with hope in her heart and a dream in her eye. The dowager, no less, has invited her for a season in London, where she will attempt to catch a husband.

Thus begins our heroine’s tale as she attempts to tackle the London season with all her rustic finesse. Unfortunately her rustic finesse turns out to be as delicate as a fat bear trying to rip apart a honeycomb infested with buzzing bees.

What follows is a series of misadventures, love affairs, moonlit balls, fancy clothes, fake moustaches, highwaymen, sneering beauties, pickpockets, and the wrath of a devilishly handsome duke.

  Her Reluctant Viscount (Rakes & Rogues Book 2) by Aliyah Burke

A man who has given his all in defense of the Crown encounters the one woman destined to make him understand he’s allowed a life of his own.

Trystan Wilkes has secretly served the Crown for years. Josephine Adrys is the one woman he can’t forget. She becomes an unwitting pawn in a cloak-and-dagger game with The Alchemist, once believed dead. As the threat of death shadows them, his only choice—protect the woman who owns his heart.
Jo knows what the tonne speaks of when they titter behind their fans. Wild child from Africa. Untamed. Swept into a world of danger and intrigue she works with the man she’s loved for years—a temptation. Will being on the run and in close quarters allow him to see how perfect they are for one another?

Did I miss your favorite? Let me know! Happy Reading!