So here's my UH MAZINGS of 2014:
AND LOVED IT! So much so, that reminds me I need to order her next book that's already been on the shelves for a few months! I'm so behind.
What did I like best?
The heroine wasn't run of the mill, Regency heroine. AND, the author didn't try to emulate or copy Jane Austin or Downton Abbey, and yet I still came away with that same warm feeling that entices me with a good English read. I've read a review that felt Turansky tried to copy Jane Eyre ... I didn't see any remote attempts at that. And I am, after all, practically a descendant of Jane Eyre. ;)
Carrie Turansky is a true mistress over the regency and deserves SIX stars for this novel!
Why did Until I Found You stand out?
A blizzard for one. Do you realize how many contemporary romances are set in summer, spring, tropics, TEXAS, or even on a cruise? There is a blizzard in this one. Loved. It. And the hero wasn't NICE. Ok. I am often misunderstood for why I don't like "nice" heroes. By "nice" I do NOT mean I want the hero to be an abusive brute who is self-centered and lazy. But I do tire of super good, sensitive heroes. My Dad is sensitive, but he has his issues and is manly. My husband TRIES to be sensitive, but I always tease his epitaph will be his biggest catch phrase "Get Over It". The hero in this book is a lot like that. He's tough, manly, has a past, but also loves fiercely and will move mountains if needed. LOVED this new, fresh voice in contemporary fiction.
Good heavens help! I really DID step out of my norm to read this novel. For two reasons: one, the cover is stunning and demands you read it. Two, Laurie Tomlinson practically puked praises for the author and the book's context.
So I read it. Strike that. DEVOURED it.
Everything about this speculative fiction novel was amazing. Or is it Dystopian? I dunno. Those genres confuse me.
But the heroine is so angsty and troubled and snotty and loyal and hurt and passionate and loving and fierce, that I totally related to her. I almost felt as if I were her. Scary. Because my hair isn't white and I can't summon storms with my emotions.
And the best part is book 2 is already on my preorder list. So, take it from me, if you're a die-hard historical reader, venture forth, brave soul. Storm Siren will not disappoint.
Can I make a horrid confession? I've had a difficult time reading historical romance this year. Maybe it's cause I'm grumpy, but I felt they're all starting to sound, well ... the same. But I thought I'd give Karen Barnett's new historical romance a try. Partially and primarily because we share the same literary agency for representation.
Holy buckets! Yes, I just said "holy buckets". The woman freaking made me cry. CRY I TELL YOU! I blame Karen for that. For the tears I shed in the truck on the way home my from in-laws, reading by the light of my cell phone and scaring my poor little children.
"Who died?" my husband quipped. And I blubbered and blathered my way out of his questions so I could curl up and finish this intense and satisfying read. Karen is a MISTRESS of the historical romance. There was a plot. And by that, I mean, a story. Something that drove this romance forward. Not mystery, or suspense, but good solid story. 500 Stars for Karen!
Kristy Cambron mastered her heroine's journey through the concentration camp. Her harrowing, heartbreaking journey shattered with loss and yet sparkling with hope.
In the pit of an earthly hell, Cambron's characters shine heaven. It's a story of love, of hope, of music whose melancholy tones drift through the pages with a crescendo that climaxes in an epic finish.
I breathed the story for days after finishing it.
And that, my friends, is what defines literary greatness.
What was your best reads of 2014? Please share!