Melanie’s Best of Romance List for 2014

Top books of 2014, huh? Sometimes I feel picking my favorite books is something similar to picking one’s favorite child – nigh on impossible. To be honest, I didn’t read a whole lot of books published in 2014 – most of my books this year were older publications, and those that weren’t were mostly review books for AAR. I was able to pull out a few that were particularly memorable.

To make things a bit easier, I split my list in between things I read and reviewed for the site and a few of the other romance-related books I read over the course of the year. After going through my list of books I’ve read this year, though, I’ve come to one conclusion – I read far too much.

Beautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown


The writing here was just absolutely beautiful. The story was a bit slow to start, but honestly? I didn’t really care. It’s not the kind of book I would read and reread regularly, but it is definitely one I’m keeping. Plus, the author is working on a companion novel (according to her website), which I am seriously looking forward to.

Paradox Lost by Libby Drew


I’m a fan of a well-done sci-fi, and this was well done. I liked the varying timelines, and how everything fit together so well. Just, in general, it works.

The Wrong Cowboy by Lauri Robinson


This one was really just adorable. I mean, flat-out cute-as-a-button kind of adorable. There’s not really any other way to describe it. Too cute. Like puppies and kittens playing together in a basket or something.

Transcendence by Shay Savage


I am honestly not sure why I liked this as much as I did. There were some odd moments, but overall it was definitely an interesting read. It’s not often you read romance completely from the guy’s point of view. And without any dialogue. But yeah, I liked it. And everything is neatly tied up in the end.

Born of Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon


I don’t know why I love these books so much, but I really, really do. Kenyon writes some seriously f*cked up heroes – tortured, abused as children in a variety of ways (neglect is the best case scenario for many of them), and her heroes of The League series are some of the most scarred. They are definitely not realistic, and the romances are out there, but I love these stories, and I read each new one as they come out.

Prince’s Fire by Amy Raby


While my favorite of this particular series was the first one, Assassin’s Gambit, I enjoyed this one, the third in the series, more than I was expecting. We didn’t get much of our heroine, Celeste, in the first books, but she’s interesting – she’s shy and extremely intelligent, and the romance is tempered by a healthy dose of political intrigue.

Cress by Marissa Meyer


Okay, so maybe this one isn’t really romance, but the whole series is focused around the central plot of fairy tales – that counts right? This one focused more on moving the series along, but there are several different fairy tale relationships moving along with the story, and the next two in the series should be out next year.


I actually didn’t get through half the books I wanted to read this year (too distracted by TV. And job searching. And the final Hobbit movie, which ripped my soul out and stomped on it). And I have a backlog of things-to-read on my Kindle (over 600 files, at last check). Here’s to hoping 2015 has me finishing up more of those!

I did manage to hit my reading goal for the year, though. How about you? Did you read as much as you wanted this year? What does your book backlog look like?


oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anne Marble AAR
Anne Marble AAR
01/08/2015 3:03 pm

I’m glad you mentioned Transcendence. I bought it and have been meaning to read it. That’s the problem with (ahem) owning more than one device. ;) And now you’ve made me buy a couple of other books. Sigh.

A lot of these sound like the sort of really really different book that indie publishing makes possible. When eBooks were first coming into their own, advocates said that e-publishing would make it possible for writers to publish books that were outside of what mainstream publishers wanted. I’m really glad to see that happening in so many ways (futuristics, m/m, new adult, etc.)

01/07/2015 11:31 am

YES! YES! YES to Trancendence!!! I don’t know in a factual way, why I loved it so much – if one is a technical type reader there is a lot to point that doesn’t really add up – but I did. I didn’t just love it, I LOOOVVVEEEDDD it. It took me quite a while to move on to the nect book from the well of emotions Trancendence brought out in me and while I read it in early July, the feelings still haven’t left – over six months later and I had to read again just a couple of weeks ago to ease the urge. It’s one of those very, very rare 6 out of 5 books I come across every five years or so.

AAR Melanie
AAR Melanie
Reply to  Kristie(J)
01/07/2015 1:06 pm

Exactly! I’m not sure what it was either, but I loved it. There’s something about the guy’s innocence that was particularly appealing, even with the constant thinking about sex. He was just so….sweet.

01/07/2015 10:31 am

This was fun to read – I enjoyed your clever and vivid descriptions of the books. You’ve definitely got me curious about Transcendence.

AAR Melanie
AAR Melanie
Reply to  CarolineAAR
01/07/2015 12:57 pm

It’s different – the reviews I read before getting it were all over the place. I really couldn’t say why I liked it, but there was something almost innocent about the guy (who is a caveman narrator – definitely unique!).

01/07/2015 9:51 am

Fun list Melanie! I will definitely check a few of them out. I definitely read a LOT this year and still have lots of ebooks to read as well as library books that come at any given time.

AAR Melanie
AAR Melanie
Reply to  LeeB.
01/07/2015 1:04 pm

Library books kill me! In the best of ways, of course. There are just so many things I want to read, and so I check them out from the library, and don’t have time to read them all! And you can only renew them for so long before the library wants them back….

Larissa Brown
Larissa Brown
Reply to  AAR Melanie
01/07/2015 4:22 pm

Thank you again for including Beautiful Wreck!

As an author published by a really small publisher, I want to be sure people have access to my book, but public libraries often will not buy and carry an indie book. They also have a very hard time stocking e-books in general (due to publisher shenanigans that are slowly clearing up.)

I read a lot too, and it is hard to pay for all the books. I just wanted to let you know why it might be hard to find some of the titles you’re seeking. It’s a systemic issue that publishers and libraries are working on. There are ideas about libraries publishing content, buying straight from small publishers, etc. I work with one of the busiest library systems in the country, and this is what I understand from work.

Thank you all for reading, reviewing and blogging. It’s so great to be included on All About Romance.