I read more in 2014 than I have in the past few years. I have hesitated to read books for myself, I think, because I just get so absorbed in them and I don’t focus well. But, this year I did make reading a priority so here are a few of my absolute favorites:
1. The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla: A Pink Carnation Novel (Pink Carnation series Book 11)
This is the penultimate book in the Secret History of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, and I could not put it down. I also was not expecting the ending, at all. Sally Fitzhugh was a fantastic heroine (and she reminded me a lot of my Anabel, so I instantly liked her). Willig’s series is told through the framing narrative of the eyes of Eloise Kelly, who is finishing up her dissertation about spies during the Napoleonic Era. She learns the elusive secret of the identity of the Pink Carnation, something that had never been discovered before, and through this story arc we learn about spies and their love lives. It’s pure fun, and a must read for anyone who loves historical fiction and romance.
2. The Divorce Papers: A Novel
I read about this book one day on Jezebel and was instantly intrigued. The author is a retired lawyer named Susan Rieger and she completely blew me away with a story told via a paper trail. I learned a great deal from this book, such as how getting divorced is really expensive and a lot of work. After I finished it, I told my husband that we would have to just work out any problems we encountered, because we would never be able to afford it and it would probably take FOREVER. That being said, I loved the main character, Sophie. She was a nice mix of sweet and firm, spunky and cute. Even though I was reading a book that was basically a bunch of documents (including very legal looking ones), I couldn’t put it down.
3. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
When I heard that Cary Elwes had written a memoir of his time portraying Westley in The Princess Bride, I could not snap this book up fast enough. I saved it for our Thanksgiving trip where I had the opportunity to read while my baby napped, and I think I finished it within 48 hours. It is a sweet love song to the Princess Bride, and I came away from it feeling like the family that the actors and crew grew into while they were making that movie had taken me in, and I was a part of them. The stories about Andre the Giant were particularly moving, and it’s nice to know that Robin Wright was truly as lovely a person as she seemed (even though now she bone-chillingly plays Claire Underwood perfectly in House of Cards).
4. Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls)
So true story: I love Maggie Stiefvater’s novels. Just adore them. Sinner is the fourth in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series (which I highly recommend) and it focuses on my two favorite characters from the series, Cole and Isabel. The thing is, I liked Sam and Grace, the original protagonists, okay. But Isabel was deliciously wicked and bitchy, and Cole was the sexy bad boy rock star, so what wasn’t to like? The best part was, the author did total justice to her characters and even though this is part of the series, it is a standalone in its own right. I loved it. It was perfect.
5. To Dwell in Dreams (Once Upon a Reality Book 2)
Full disclosure: Elizabeth Rose is published by my publisher. But I read her book because I wanted to, and neither she nor my publisher had anything to do with my absolute love of her novel. I utterly adored this book. I was afraid that I wouldn’t at first, because I found myself having a strong distaste for the heroine right away. But a few chapters in and I was hooked. I could not put it down, and I loved the elements of fairy tale interwoven with the story set in the present day. It was an engaging, disturbing, and absolutely riveting read.
So there you have it, my favorite books of 2014. What did I miss? Let me know.