Another year at the end and once again, I've finished the TBR challenge I joined at the beginning of the year. I'm so glad to have done this and to do it again next year. I think it's a funny way to read and to look for titles in the pile. Here are my small impressions about each title.
Thank you again to Wendy, for hosting it.
January - The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley (short story)
This short story was a success for me because I love the series and plan on keep reading until its end. The story was well paced for its length. It's about a man, family to the Mackenzies but not always accepted. Now he has family and a woman he wants to protect and love.
February - Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair (series catch-up)
I had some struggles with this story because I loved the previous book and this one, just like the title, had a darker shade and that changed the way I felt about it. Couple Gabriel and Chaz are still looking to defeat the enemies that want to control the Fleet and everything and while in their journey they accept a man that will make them be at odds and that will change permanently their lives.
March - Devil's Honor by Debra Dier (new to you author)
This was a new author for me and it's one of those older books that haven't really changed with time and it shows. The story was so so and not very exciting. I barely remember any detail. It's about a man not wanting commitment and having to marry and of course his intended being amazing and they fall in love. New edition released this year.
April - Sex and the Single Fireman by Jennifer Bernard (contemporary read)
This was a sexy story about a couple that almost had sex and when things went wring they discover the next day they are to be boss and employer. A well seen troupe that I usually like and this one was both funny and sexy and well done, in my opinion. It was also well paced and has good scenes, which makes it good enough for me.
May - Forever and Ever by Patricia Gaffney (more than one book by the author)
This captivating story features a couple from different classes and with different takes on life that fall in love and have to overcome many obstacles to be truly happy. This book is part of a well liked trilogy and I liked it for the most part. Some things didn't seem perfect for me, but I liked the storyline and the possibilities it highlighted.
June - Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas (romance classics)
So many readers love this story and the hero but for me it was just good, not amazing. I think the romance wasn't as special as I imagined after so many good opinions. Sara makes Derek Craven fall for her and comes a time his life is completely changed by that fact and not even his own opinion about his character will change her feelings. Sweet but could be better.
July - It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (RITA winner)
My first book by the author. It's about not seeing past first impressions and to slowly fall in love. Several memorable scenes, a good pace and structure and interesting characterization. Phoebe and Cal prove opposites attract, enemies can become lovers, great two troupes, and even more if they see the qualities of the other. I liked it and already have the rest of the series lined up for next year.
August - I Never by Lena Matthews (erotic story)
Sorry, who cares what's this is about, I didn't like it. I suppose a good plot and development could turn this lovers wronged story line good, but I never saw it and got bored and only finished just because.
The worst of the bunch.
September - Wife By Wednesday by Catherine Bybee (recommended read)
This wasn't something on my radar but I'm glad Ive tried it. It's a light story about a woman with a matchmaking business looking to pair up an important man but they end up falling in love. I think it's a sweet story but it lacked some depth and development. Still, it was enjoyable, good to just relax, despite the small angst moments.
October - Crash Into Me by Jill Sorensen (romantic suspense)
I liked this one. I can recognize the author's style, two romances in one, being one a YA sub plot. The mystery is well inserted in the romance (or vice versa) and it provides a good character study. I think more romantic scenes and dialogs would help but overall this story about a woman being undercover to see if a man is a murder and instead they fall in love is a good story with a satisfying end.
November - The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin (historical romance)
This was quite the surprise, set in ancient China, it offers a very different type of story development, cultural details and social rules. I was rooting for the couple from different social classes, the poor girl and the playboy rich man who fell in love while trying to prove a murder and help someone else. I plan to read more by the author.
December - Snowflakes and Stetsons anthology (Christmas holidays)
An anthology with three stories, I only really liked one, the others were OK but not exceptional. All stories set during Christmas time, all historicals. Of the three authors I only knew one and that was the author whose story I preferred, about a Marshall guarding gold in a train but a snowstorm and a planned robbery change his plans and he has to take care of a woman and two children. Romantic.
-> All in all, a successful year, the ones I liked were more than the ones I didn't enjoy that much. Still, none of my picks will make my Top of the year. Maybe I should have picked better, but overall, many entertaining hours or reading were chosen, so no regrets.
More details following the links.