We haven’t quite reached mid-year yet, but I (Grace) am half Swedish and it’s Midsummer, or the longest day of the year. So why not have our After Dark picks for the Best of 2015 (so far) on the day that never get’s dark? Really, you could read a paperback outside in Sweden at midnight. Pretty fucking cool.
Uh, right, here we go . . .
I think our picks say a lot about our personalities and the genres we love. If you haven’t read any of these books, we’d highly recommend you check them out (clicking on the images will lead you to the Amazon purchase link).
Best Lead Character/Narrator – You/Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
So I’m cheating a bit here since You came out in 2014, but it was new to me for 2015 (and just released in paperback). If you can’t tell by my gushing review below, it is easily my favorite read this year, so far.
Plus, don’t hate me, but I’ve read book two, Hidden Bodies, which releases on Sept. 8th (doesn’t even have a cover yet) and it was equally as spellbinding. I should hate Joe, but it’s impossible. He slams all cultural references. He says the things you all agree with but are too chicken shit to admit. As psychotic as he is, I was desperate for him to find love. In his quest, you can’t help but think, who is playing who.
Best Book Hangover – Jezebel by K. Larsen
Mind. Fuck. (The author will be re-releasing this book on 7/3).
Best Dark Romance – Second Debt by Pepper Winters
This is by far one of the best put together series’ I’ve ever read. It’s intense and probably requires medication to read it, but the writing is phenomenal and well-plotted. Book 3 was my favorite of the series so far, but each book adds something to the series and further builds the intensity.
Best Second Chance Romance – Soaring by Kristen Ashley
All I can say. that I didn’t say in my review, is that this book came out at the perfect time for me. I needed it. I devoured it!
Best Series Ending – Aflame by Penelope Douglas
The author drew up a lot of emotions (ranting) with the lead-in to this book. Everyone feared the worst, but the author gave us her best. A perfect conclusion to the series!
Best Romantic Comedy – Pucked by Helena Hunting
This book might not be for everyone, but it was absolutely for me. The humor is crude and I loved every minute of it!!!
Three Simple Rules and Three Hard Lessons – Nikki Sloane.
I was introduced to Nikki Sloane by Neda Amini and I keep thanking her. In Three Simple Rules, I read the best written threesome ever. Nikki wrote it tastefully and it was so hot. In Three Hard Lessons, we are introduced to Dom at first comes off really shy, but what a beast he is in the bedroom and Payton, well I adored her from Three Simple Rules.
Review (Three Simple Rules): http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2015/01/29/book-review-three-simple-rules-by-nikki-sloane/
Review (Three Hard Lessons): http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2015/04/08/blog-tour-book-review-excert-three-hard-lessons-by-nikki-sloane/
The Summer Remains – Seth King
I read this book back in February and I asked Yaya to read it, then I asked our friend Midian to read it as well. We all read, lots of messages back and forth, boxes of tissues, and most of all lots of thoughts. I still think about this beautiful book and the message. I still cannot believe Seth is only 26-years-old!
Best N/A Books or Sports Themed Book
The Deal and The Mistake – Elle Kennedy
I adored Hannah and Garrett in The Deal, these two were so funny together. I adore a snarky sarcastic female add a hot hockey player and I am sold. Of course, I couldn’t wait to read Logan’s story in The Mistake. I adored him and Grace as well. I loved how sassy Grace was with Logan.
Review (The Mistake): http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2015/04/28/book-review-the-mistake-by-elle-kennedy/
The Hook Up and The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan
I read The Friend Zone before I read The Hook Up. Ivy and Gray, oh how adorable these two were together, with their texting and eventually their loving. Where as in The Hook Up Ana tries to keep Drew at bay, this book was a little more emotional for me than The Friend Zone.
Best Mind Fuck for 2015 or rather Psychological Thriller
Jezebel – K. Larsen
Yeah, I still can’t get over this book, I’m still pissed off at Katie Larsen, but I am sure I will eventually get over the shock, yeah, no, no I won’t lol. A total different read for me, but loved it nonetheless.
Best Contemporary Romance
Redemption Lane – Rachel Blaufeld
Again, another Neda Amini recommendation. A story really about second chance and redemption. Rachel Blaudfeld is one to also look out for.
I had to pick two. Trust – by Ella Frank M/M Although the series ended, I have a feeling will be seeing more of Logan and Tate. I’m going to miss these two hot boys.
The Understatement of the Year – Sarina Bowen. Another M/M, but this one was more emotional. A must read!
Three, Two, One – JA Huss
JA Huss can do no wrong in my book. Grace and I had the opportunity to read this and we kept texting each other throughout our read. I still miss Ark, JD and Blue.
Best Role Play Fantasy.
Asking for It – Lilah Pace
Talk about a taboo subject, rape play fantasy. I cannot wait for September for Begging For It because Ms. Pace left me with another book hangover.
Favorite Series of the Year (Half Year)
Sins of Lethe by Arden Aoide
Book of the Half Year
My Time in the Affair by Stylo Fantôme
The Summer Remains by Seth King
Taking the Fall Series by Alexa Riley
For The Girls (F/F)
The Good Girls by Teresa Mummert
ShutterGirl by CD Reiss
Jezebel by K. Larsen
Three Simple Rules and Three Hard Lessons by Nikki Sloane
The Queen and King
The Virgin by Tiffany Reisz
My “Do You” List for 2015
Do you need a dirty talker? Tessa Bailey’s Protecting What’s His by Tessa Bailey was fantastic. Swear Derek Tyler makes me clutch my pearls just thinking about his (dirty) way with words.
Do you love hockey or football? I have a newfound appreciation for New Adult romances because of two sports romance series, Off-Campus series by Kristen Callihan (The Deal and The Mistake) and Game On series by Elle Kennedy (The Hook-Up and The Friend Zone). They were both funny, sexy and so well written, you can’t go wrong with either series.
Review (The Friend Zone): http://afterdarkbooklovers.com/2015/05/05/book-review-the-friend-zone-by-kristen-callihan/
Do you just want to cry and let it all out? The Five Stages of Falling in Love was just phenomenal. It literally had me tearing up in the first chapter. So true to life, it explores the different stages of grief in the most touching way.
THAT’S ALL FOLKS!!! GIVE THESE AUTHORS A HAND AND CHECK OUT THESE BOOKS IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY.