Best Books of 2015 + Giveaway!

Can you believe it’s already the end of 2015!? It went by SO fast, and yet it’s been an amazing year filled with so many incredible books. I read over 300 books this year (what!?) and I STILL have a never-ending TBR, which I’m sure will last me my lifetime. So to celebrate the end of the year, I’ve compiled my list of my top 15 books of the year, PLUS a fantastic giveaway to win one of the books below and a $15 gift card! It was so hard to narrow down to 15, but I really tried. So here they are alphabetical order (except for one)! Let me know in the comments what your favorite books of 2015 are!


1. Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

KULTI!!!!! Hands down, Kulti is my absolute FAVORITE book of the year!!! This book is the only one out of order because it’s seriously the BEST book I’ve read this year. It was just so easy to choose my all-time favorite, because Kulti is that amazing and more. This was my first read from Mariana Zapata, but I know it won’t be my last. I adored EVERY single word of Kulti – the hilarious, sassy heroine, the moody, sexy hero, the friends to lovers romance between them, even soccer. This is simply romance at its finest.

“Every single thing that has ever happened in my life has led me here, Sal. Destiny is a ladder, a series of steps that takes you where you’re supposed to go. I am the man that I am, and I have done the things that I’ve done, to get me to you.”


2. Risking it All by Tessa Bailey

Risking it All by Tessa Bailey

Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I went on a Tessa Bailey reading marathon this year and literally read every single one of her books, and Risking it All is seriously my FAVORITE of them all! BOWEN!!!! I’m obsessed with this alpha bad boy. The love he has for his heroine, the way he’ll do anything for her and to protect her, his dirty mouth… it takes my breath away. Risking it All was the perfect bad boy-good girl read!

“Ah, sweetheart, I don’t fuck around with virgins.” His head dipped, teeth closing around her ear and tugging. “But I’ll get down on my knees and eat that untouched pussy like a motherfucker.”


3. Zack by Sawyer Bennett

Zack by Sawyer Bennett

My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads

Zack is my faaavorite Sawyer Bennett book to date! This was the perfect forbidden love story between a widowed single father and his son’s babysitter. It was sweet, charming, emotional, surprisingly funny, and seriously hot as hell. It’s also a hockey romance (who doesn’t love those!?), so for fans of sports romances, you definitely need to read this book (and series). Each of the books in the Cold Fury Hockey series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend read them in order.

“You were what has been missing all my life.”


4. The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I still cannot get over how freaking HOT that cover is. Just look. at. it. I adore every one of the books in the Game On series, but The Friend Zone is without a doubt my favorite of the series so far. It’s a friends to lovers book, which is my all-time favorite trope, so how could I not love it!? It’s a fantastic NA sports romance with hilarious characters and the sweetest, most heart-warming romance there is. Gray just makes me SWOON!

“The fact is, Ivy, for me, there is one absolute truth. The sum of my existence equals you.”


5. The Master by Kresley Cole

The Master by Kresley Cole

Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

I have to admit, I’ve already reread The Master at least five times over the course of the year. I wasn’t a big fan of the first book in The Game Maker series, but when I read this second one, it blew me away. I was seriously addicted to Cat and Maksim’s story! Cat is one of my favorite heroines ever, because she’s just so hilarious and sassy and doesn’t hold back from Maksim. And holy god, Maksim!!! He is sex on a stick. If you’re looking for a fantastic erotic romance, you absolutely NEED to read The Master!

“You aren’t done with me yet?” He pinned my gaze with his own. With a surprisingly smooth accent, he told me, “Nunca voy a terminar contigo.” I’ll never be done with you.”


6. Aflame and Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Aflame by Penelope Douglas Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Aflame: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Corrupt: Character Q&A • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I’m cheating here a little, including two Penelope Douglas books, but I had to! Aflame and Corrupt are my two favorite reads from Penelope this year. First off, I am so, so happy she decided to write Aflame. Even though I was hesitant to read it, it really did feel like the right direction for Tate and Jared, and I couldn’t be happier with the way their story continued in Aflame. This book is the perfect ending to one of my all-time favorite couples, but mainly, I just LOVED reading about Tate and Jared again.

“For better or worse, you’ve been my other half since I was ten years old, and I can’t imagine a future I’d want without you in it. You’re the love of my life.”

As for Corrupt, this book totally messed with my mind. It left me speechless in the best way possible – I had such high expectations since the second this book was announced, and I wasn’t disappointed. Rika and Michael’s story consumed me, and I honestly still can’t get it out of my mind. It’s an unforgettable, gritty, thrilling read, and if you like dark erotic romances, you absolutely MUST read this book.

“Our scrapes and bruises, tattoos, scars, smiles, and wrinkles told our stories, and I didn’t want a pristine piece of wallpaper. I wanted her and everything she was.”


7. Manwhore series by Katy Evans

Manwhore by Katy Evans Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans

#1 ~ Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Manwhore +1: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Ms. Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Malcolm. Freaking. Saint!!! AHHH!!! This gorgeous billionaire stole my heart and took my breath away! Katy Evans knows how to write alpha-males, and she hit it out of the ball park with Malcolm Saint. If you love heroes who will sweep you away, you absolutely must read the Manwhore series. I am obsessed with this series!!

“Do you know what I’d do for you?” A huskiness enters his voice as he circles my chin with his thumb. “You’re the only heaven I will ever know, Rachel”–He looks into my eyes–“and if you were a hell, I’d sin my whole life just to stay with you.”


8. Bad Habits series by Staci Hart

With a Twist by Staci Hart Chaser by Staci Hart

#1 ~ With a Twist: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Chaser: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I’m so happy to have discovered Staci Hart this year. She’s a new-to-me author and I LOVED her Bad Habits series. Each of the books in the series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading them in order, because each is very closely connected to each other. With a Twist is a charming friends to lover romance and Chase is the sexy older brother’s best friend trope. All of the characters in the series are written so well that they felt real to me, and I can’t wait for the third and final book!

“I’ve been around the world, and I thought I’d seen everything it had to offer until that night, until I saw you. In all my life, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful, not standing in the Blue Mosque or the Taj Mahal. Not in the streets of rome or canals of Venice. Making you smile gives me life. Making you laugh gives me hope. Making you happy is all I want, other than to keep you.”


9. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November Nine by Colleen Hoover

My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

What’s a top favorite list on Booklovers For Life without Colleen freaking Hoover!? And it just so happens that November 9 is #9 on my list! You guys, I loved this book. It was such a unique, addicting read. CoHo’s writing is flawless as always, and the fascinating storyline (the main characters meet once a year) kept me riveted to the pages. If you haven’t read Colleen Hoover’s books yet, you really need to get on that. Her books are NA at its finest!

It took four years for me to fall in love with him.
It only took four pages to stop.


10. Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy

The Deal by Elle Kennedy The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

#1 ~ The Deal: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Mistake: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The Off-Campus series just might be my favorite sports romance series of the year. I LOVED The Deal – this is a must-read NA book. I didn’t think Elle Kennedy could top it, but I was so wrong. The Mistake, Logan’s story, is definitely my favorite of the series so far. Logan is hilarious and so adorable, and the way he makes his mistake up to Grace makes for an incredibly entertaining read. This book – and series – is well-written, funny, heartwarming, so freaking sweet… You absolutely need to read it if you haven’t already. (And btw, The Score is SOOOO GOOD!)

“I need you. I can’t stand the thought of being without you.” He releases a shaky breath. “You’re the last person I think about before I go to sleep, and the first person I think about when I open my eyes in the morning. You’re it for me, baby.”


11. Elements of Chemistry series by Penny Reid

Attraction by Penny Reid Capture by Penny Reid Heat by Penny Reid

#1 ~ Attraction: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Heat: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Capture: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1-3 ~ Elements of Chemistry Bundle: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I’m so ashamed to say that I only started reading Penny Reid this year. I have seriously been missing out! She writes the best, SMART romances with witty characters and fantastic stories. The Elements of Chemistry series is my favorite of hers yet – I loved Katy and Martin’s journey of a romance. I loved the way their characters developed and grew over the course of the series. Their story is funny, sweet, addicting, and so much fun to read.

“Why do people care about each other? What is attraction? I can’t give you a list of reasons why I react to you like I do. This isn’t an equation to balance. You’re the one I’m always thinking about. It’s you. It just is.”


12. Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Rose and Connor make up my all-time favorite power couple!!! I adored them in Kiss the Sky and fell in love with them even more in Fuel the Fire. This book was… phenomenal. I’m so glad Rose and Connor got a second book, but I’m going to miss them so much! They are unique and endlessly fascinating and I could honestly read about them forever. And just for the record, the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series is my FAVORITE NA series of all time, so if you haven’t started it yet, I can’t recommend it enough!

There are rare people who will fuel the fire inside of you, who will awaken a dormant passion, who will challenge you, who will push you and better you. She alone is my rarity.


13. The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

I had no idea what I was in for when I started The Hotter You Burn – I found myself utterly charmed by this book. Gena Showalter has written an absolutely delightful, feel-good, heartwarming romance that I can’t recommend enough! It’s equal parts wickedly sexy and heartwarmingly sweet. The humor in this book had me giggling so hard, and it was just so easy to fall in love with the characters and story. I can’t wait to read the other books in The Original Heartbreakers series after reading this gem of a novel!

“There is nothing I won’t do for you, and nothing I won’t do to keep you. You’re it for me. My one. My only.”


14. Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Naasir’s book was a long time coming, and Nalini Singh did NOT disappoint. This book was captivating, sensual, heart-pounding, and unputdownable. I don’t read paranormal romances much these days, but reading Archangel’s Enigma reminded me of all the reasons why I love that genre. Naasir stole my heart and I was swept away by his and Andromeda’s romance. The romance is truly one of the best I’ve read from Nalini Singh, which is saying something, because her romances are top-notch.

“If you’re mine, you’re mine. And I’m yours. Today, tomorrow, always.”


15. Untamed by S.C. Stephens

Untamed by S.C. Stephens

My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Untamed is the book that surprised me the most this year. I didn’t like Kiera and Kellan in Thoughtless, and I honestly thought I’d never pick up another book in that series again. But Untamed had me curious since it was Griffin’s story… and it simply blew me away. It took me a while to get into it, since Griffin is just so crass, but by the end of it, I nearly wanted to cry, I was so emotional. This book was surprisingly so much more meaningful and heart-wrenching than I’d expected, and I applaud S.C. Stephens for the incredible way she wrote Griffin’s character development. I’ve never felt more proud of a character than I had when I with Griffin when I finished his story.

I’d been handed fame on a platter and hadn’t appreciated it until it was too late.


giveaway button

2 winners (open internationally):
Your choice of TWO of the listed favorite books (paperback or ebook) + $15 GC!
Your choice of ONE of the listed favorite books (paperback or ebook) + $15 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

lacey


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Review: Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Aflame by Penelope Douglas
Series: Fall Away #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate? 

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

Oh. My. God. I absolutely LOVED Aflame – it’s a brilliant, fantastic ending to one of my most favorite series of all time. From the second I started this book until I got to the very last word, I couldn’t stop smiling. And THAT ENDING!! It was beautiful – this whole book is a treasure, really. Admittedly, I wasn’t too sure how I’d feel about this book existing at the cost of Jared and Tate breaking up. I adored them in Bully and Until You, and I never wanted them to break up! But Penelope Douglas has yet to steer me wrong, and I knew she’d blow me away with Aflame – and she did. Heart-pounding, sexy, and intense, Aflame will wow fans of the Fall Away series and have them falling in love with Tate and Jared all over again.

Like warmth and peace and no matter what changed in my life, the people I met, the things I lost, or where I lived, if I was in his orbit, then I was home.

It’s been two years since Jared left home and broke Tate’s heart. I hated that Jared had to break up with Tate, but I could understand his need to find himself, to be a better man for Tate. For so long, he’d been living under her shadow and if he continued to live that way, he’d never be the man Tate deserved. But in order to be that man who could support her, he’d have to be able to support himself first. So he left, broke their hearts (and definitely mine too), and paved his own way in life doing what he loved – racing. But when his mother gives him some unexpected good news, Jared has to return home and face everything he left.

While I love Jared, it was Tate who blew me away in this book. I’ve loved Tate since she performed her monologue in Bully, but the Tate in Aflame is absolutely stunning. She’s grown and matured so much – she’s no longer the girl who lets her emotions get the best of her. She’s a woman now, and while Jared may have broken her heart two years ago, she’s grown stronger and more resilient since. So when Jared comes back home unexpectedly, she faces him head on, not allowing him anywhere near her heart ever again. Tate fights against their still-existing, wicked-hot chemistry, but Jared, this boy who has turned into the most incredible man, sets out to show her that they were always meant to be.

“You want to play,” he charged, biting out every word so only I could hear.
“Challenge accepted, Tatum. This time I don’t want you hurt,” he continued, his breath falling over me as he got in my face, “and I don’t want you small. I just want you. Do you hear me?” He jerked me into his body. “It will be my ring on your finger and my kids in your belly someday.”

I never thought I could love Jared and Tate more than I did after reading Bully and Until You, but after Aflame, my love for them knows no bounds. I freaking LOVED them in Aflame! I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling at their banter. And holy mother of god, the sexual tension. Aflame is the HOTTEST book Penelope Douglas has written yet – I thought Jax’s book was sexy, but Aflame was off the charts. The love and hate between Jared and Tate are explosive – it was like how it was in Bully, except better, more mature and refined. Fans of Jared and Tate absolutely NEED to experience them in Aflame!

At its heart though, Aflame is about two people who are finding their way back to each other. There is no doubt that Jared and Tate still love each other, that they always have and always will. They belong together, and it was a heartwarming experience to read about Jared and Tate again. They are two of my favorite couples, and I couldn’t imagine a more honest, heart-wrenching, beautiful journey for them.

“For better or worse, you’ve been my other half since I was ten years old, and I can’t imagine a future I’d want without you in it. You’re the love of my life.”

5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Fall Away series

Bully by Penelope Douglas Until You by Penelope Douglas
Rival by Penelope Douglas Falling Away by Penelope Douglas Aflame by Penelope Douglas

#1 ~ Bully: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Until You: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rival: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Falling Away: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Aflame: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads


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Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Aflame Banner

Happy Release Day to Penelope Douglas – Aflame is finally here!!!

Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Title: Aflame
Series: Fall Away #3.5 (full reading order below)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: NA / Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Add to Goodreads

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Bully, Until You, Rival, and Falling Away comes the sizzling conclusion to the Fall Away series.

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iTunes • BAM

Reading Order: Fall Away series

Bully by Penelope Douglas Until You by Penelope Douglas
Rival by Penelope Douglas Falling Away by Penelope Douglas Aflame by Penelope Douglas

#1 ~ Bully: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Until You: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rival: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Falling Away: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Aflame: EbookGoodreads

about the author

Penelope DouglasPenelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to “just get the degree!” She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.

Website • Facebook • Goodreads • Twitter • Pinterest

giveaway

The giveaway is international and ends at 11:59 PM CST 04/25/2015.

  • (2) Signed set of Bully, Until You, Rival & Falling Away
  • (2) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Aflame by Penelope Douglas

AAAHHHH!!!!! I am SO excited to share the cover and blurb of the much-anticipated Aflame by Penelope Douglas!!! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Aflame by Penelope Douglas

Title: Aflame
Series: Fall Away #3.5 (full reading order below)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: NA / Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Add to Goodreads

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Bully, Until You, Rival, and Falling Away comes the sizzling conclusion to the Fall Away series.

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.

Preorder Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • B&N • Kobo • iTunes

Reading Order: Fall Away series

Bully by Penelope Douglas Until You by Penelope Douglas
Rival by Penelope Douglas Falling Away by Penelope Douglas Aflame by Penelope Douglas

#1 ~ Bully: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Until You: My Review • Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rival: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Falling Away: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Aflame: EbookGoodreads (April 21, 2015)

about the author

Penelope DouglasPenelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she is the oldest of five children. Penelope attended the University of Northern Iowa, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, because her father told her to “just get the degree!” She then earned a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans, because she hated Public Administration. One night, she got tipsy and told the bouncer at the bar where she worked that his son was hot, and three years later they were married. To the son, not the bouncer. They have spawn, but just one. A daughter named Aydan. Penelope loves sweets, the show Sons of Anarchy, and she shops at Target almost daily.

Website • Facebook • Goodreads • Twitter • Pinterest

giveaway

The giveaway is international and ends at 11:59 PM CST 01/28/2015.

  • (1) Signed set of the Fall Away series (Bully, Until You, Rival & Falling Away) (Intl)

a Rafflecopter giveaway