I didn’t get anywhere near my goal for 2015, but I ended the year with having read 44 books… Better than none, right?
Colleen Hoover has easily become one of my favorite authors. I absolutely LOVE her books! November 9 was no exception. I eagerly awaited the release date for this one and with a snafu on Amazon and me receiving it a few days late, I almost had a nervous breakdown. But it arrived and I read it in less than 24 hours. In the almost 2 months since it’s release, it’s already received over 20,000 ratings on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.54/5.. I myself gave it 5/5 because it is that good. Goodreads synopsis is: Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
I love to support local authors, and by local I don’t necessarily mean city-wide, but I mean Mississippi authors. Any chance I get to purchase and read a book, especially if they are there signing, then I will. My mother bought this for me and had it personalized, but he told her it was probably not going to be my type of book. He was right, it wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t like it. Soil was definitely different from anything I usually choose to read and it took me about 3 months of putting it down and picking it back up again to get finished with it. I rated it 3/5 stars and on Goodreads it has an average of 3.37 stars from 271 ratings, so it’s not quite popular yet. Perhaps one day it will be and I will have a personalized copy! Goodreads synopsis is: It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he’d be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself. When Jay Mize discovers a corpse on his property, he is sure his bad luck has come to a head and he is being framed. Were Jay in his right mind, he might have reported the body to the police at the very same moment they were searching for a missing tourist from Ohio. He might have not dragged the body back to his farm under the cover of night and spent hours disposing of it. But Jay Mize is not in his right mind. His mounting paranoia is accelerated by a hot-rod local deputy, nosing around with questions about the missing tourist and making dark comments about Jay’s estranged wife Sandy. It’s enough to make an honest man a maniac.
Wish List by Sylvia Day is a holiday themed novella, so it’s super short. I see a lot of reviews on Amazon about it being too short, but really, what does “novella” or “short story” mean? It definitely doesn’t mean long! When I chose this, I was really looking for just a short naughty story to read and that’s exactly what it is… Nothing more, nothing less. I rated it 3 stars on Goodreads and it has an average rating of 3.61. Goodreads synopsis is: When Nicolas James draws Stephanie Martin’s name in their law firm’s Secret Santa exchange he knows he’s in for a merry Christmas-if he can figure out what to give the woman he’s wanted for months. When he works late and finds a crumpled piece of paper listing Steph’s personal wish list, he knows he’s in luck. Because all Steph wants for Christmas is him, in a number of naughty ways.
Elin Hilderbrand is another one of my go-to authors. Her summer themed books about Nantucket are divine and I really want to travel there one day! Winter Stroll is the follow-up book to Winter Street, which I read last year. Both books in this series are good and I rated them 3/5. Goodreads has an average rating of 3.66 for Winter Stroll with a little over 3,000 ratings. Synopsis is: Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn’s French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy–her devoted colleague, Scott. Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve’s baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket’s traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley’s estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn’s former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn’t the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns–and the inn–through the holidays intact.
With Holiday Affair I was looking for a light, romantic read with a holiday theme. This fit the bill perfectly! While it wasn’t my favorite holiday book, I did give it 3/5 stars. Even though it was released in 2012, it only has around 840 ratings on Goodreads, so maybe it’s not very popular or the author isn’t as well-known. Goodreads synopsis is: Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And she would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless. When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted woman. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?
Seriously, I don’t know how she does it! Another 5 star CoHo book and I am hoping for a sequel. I read Maybe Someday in less than 24 hours because I just couldn’t stop – I had to finish it! With over 82,000 ratings, it’s rated 4.27 on Goodreads, which is great! Like I’ve said before, it’s hard to find books rated over 4 at all. Goodreads synopsis is: At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be. Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
Spring Shadows is book 3 in the Seasons of Love series by Jennifer Gracen. I read the first one a few months ago and really enjoyed it! Although it was published over a year ago, it only has 112 ratings on Goodreads, however, the average is 4.17. Goodreads synopsis is: Lydia wasn’t looking for love. Having just finalized a difficult divorce, she attended her best friend’s destination wedding with a simple plan: to reconnect with old friends and take a much needed break from the stresses of single parenthood. But life had more in store for her. In AUTUMN GETAWAY, Book One of the Seasons of Love series, Lydia connected with charming, sensitive Sam over that weekend, and took a chance on someone new. Then, in WINTER HOPES, Sam and Lydia explored the excitement of blossoming romance. Even though a long distance relationship isn’t easy, in each other they found renewed hope, both overcoming past losses to learn to trust and love again. Now, in SPRING SHADOWS, Book Three of the series, author Jennifer Gracen brings Lydia and Sam one step closer to lasting happiness. But it isn’t all romance and roses. The realities of a long distance relationship held between Chicago and New York start to take a toll. Add in the complications posed by Sam’s overprotective brother, Lydia’s difficult ex-husband, and an unexpected tragedy, and it all threatens to tear them apart before they’ve even begun to truly be together. Lydia and Sam must face their pasts and come to terms with old fears and insecurities. They need to focus on the things that really matter: true love, forgiveness, compassion, and fearless commitment–another leap of faith. Full of the sweetness and heartfelt emotion you’ve come to expect from the Seasons of Love series, SPRING SHADOWS shows us the power of purposeful communication, understanding, and unrelenting self-awareness, proving that true, lasting love is possible when nurtured by healing and hope.
Although I didn’t reach my 2015 reading goal, I am happy with the amount of books I read. I am looking forward to what 2016 will bring. I have already read 2 books so far and will be starting another this weekend!
What was your favorite book in 2015? Who is your go-to author? I’d love to hear!