Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nose Stuck in a Book's Top 10 Picks of 2014: Yvette's List & Giveaway

My idea of a perfect book is one that makes me smile early and often in the narrative. I love witty banter between protagonists, characters whose antics provide endless entertainment, and couples that are so perfect for each other, there is no doubt that a Happily Ever After is in their future. I actively seek out books that will brighten my mood and keep me captivated from start to finish. The following books are ones that stood out to me because of their swoon-worthy romances and memorable characters and I would highly recommend adding these to your TBR.


Avoiding Amy Jackson by N.A. Alcorn

Yvette's take: "With her penchant for cursing like a sailor and her imaginative euphemisms for all things sexual, Amy Jackson is quite possibly my all-time favorite heroine. Avoiding Amy Jackson is a raunchy, entertaining read that will keep you in a near-constant state of humor."


Meet Amy Jackson. An outspoken, raunchy, in-your-face, loudly inappropriate ER Nurse who makes a career out of indulging.

One-night stands have always been her thing.

Commitment and relationships are two words that are not in her vocabulary.

Amy doesn't have dreams of soul mates and white picket fences. She adamantly refuses to even consider the idea of getting married and starting a family. She’s also obstinate in allowing a certain physician to get on her good side…

James Williams. A cocky, smug, too-damn-good-looking orthopedic surgeon who has his sights set on the very feisty Amy Jackson. He is more than intrigued and ready to do whatever it takes…

“I want this woman. I’m the type of guy who will fight for what he wants until he gets it. I will take my time with Amy. I won’t rush her. I will continue to slowly slide myself into her life until she realizes that I belong there. And then…I won’t let her go.”

This is Book Two in The Infamous Series.

Melt for Him by Lauren Blakely

Yvette's take: "Lauren Blakely injects humor and passion into every sentence of the story, and my enjoyment of the book’s characters ensured that I was completely invested in the outcome of the narrative. The combination of sexy firefighters plus Lauren Blakely’s penchant for dirty-talking Alpha males and lively heroines resulted in the perfect ingredients for a successful new romance in the Fighting Fire series."


He knows exactly how to make her burn…

Fire captain and bar owner Becker Thomas usually spends his nights alone, trying to escape painful memories from his past. When he meets a sexy, free-spirited brunette outside his bar, he knows he’s found the perfect way to forget for one night. But when he later discovers the woman he’s itching for another night with is his best friend’s sister, everything comes to a halt.

Just out of a toxic relationship, Megan Jansen is only in Hidden Oaks to visit her brother, photograph the firemen’s calendar, and then slip off to another adventure. The brooding man who gave her the best sex ever is an unexpected surprise. The problem is, he’s her brother’s friend and a fellow fireman, and Megan’s rule is no firemen. She knows she’s going to get burned …but keeping their hands off each other is easier said than done.

Read Yvette's Full 5 Star Review of Melt for Him

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Yvette's take: Dallas is one of the most entertaining heroines I’ve encountered, mainly because of her hilarious tendencies towards social awkwardness but also because I sympathized with her internal struggle to find herself. Her character is the type of person I'd want to be friends with in real life; we'd bond over our mutual dislike of college parties and our unabashed appreciation for sexy muscled athletes.


In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them knows how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

“Laughter + heartache + hot sexual tension = the perfect Cora Carmack book.” - Monica Murphy

Read Yvette's Full 5 Star Review of All Lined Up

Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

Yvette's take: While I don't tend to gravitate toward books where the terms "quivering loins" and "male member" would be right at home, I loved the fact that Alice Clayton incorporated the love of steamy romance novels into her Contemporary Romance. Screwdrivered may not be the first book I've read where the daydreaming heroine prefers to get swept away by a fictional fantasy, but it IS the most amusing, especially in regards to how Viv’s love life is affected.


Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?

By day, Viv Franklin designs software programs. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian.

Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?

Read Yvette's Full 4.5 Star Review of Screwdrivered

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey

Yvette's take: "Scoring Wilder had me grinning from ear to ear throughout the narrative, not just because protagonist, Kinsley Brant, is sassy and unapologetically blunt, but because Liam Wilder is a swoon-worthy, romantic hero with just the right amount of bad boy thrown in to keep things interesting."


What started out as a joke— seduce Coach Wilder—soon became a goal she had to score.

With Olympic tryouts on the horizon, the last thing nineteen-year-old Kinsley Bryant needs to add to her plate is Liam Wilder. He's a professional soccer player, America's favorite bad-boy, and has all the qualities of a skilled panty-dropper.

• A face that makes girls weep – check.
• Abs that can shred Parmesan cheese (the expensive kind) – check.
• Enough confidence to shift the earth’s gravitational pull – double check.

Not to mention Liam is strictly off limits. Forbidden. Her coaches have made that perfectly clear. (i.e. “Score with Coach Wilder anywhere other than the field and you’ll be cut from the team faster than you can count his tattoos.”) But that just makes him all the more enticing…Besides, Kinsley's already counted the visible ones, and she is not one to leave a project unfinished.

Kinsley tries to play the game her way as they navigate through forbidden territory, but Liam is determined to teach her a whole new definition for the term “team bonding.”

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Yvette's take: "These are characters that are far from perfect but despite their flaws, I couldn't help but love them anyway. Their intense connection and undeniable attraction to each other gave the story an element of excitement and intrigue, as did the connection they established through their mutual love of music. It's a testament to Collen Hoover's writing that I was so drawn to their unconventional relationship, because I felt that in less capable hands, the narrative could’ve easily turned me against Ridge and Sydney."


Includes a free original soundtrack by musician Griffin Peterson.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance—and the enchanting music that inspires one young woman to put her life back together.

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, This Girl, and Losing Hope, Maybe Someday is destined to become another bestseller and long-lasting fan favorite.

Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye

Yvette's take: Marz and Emilie’s chemistry is put-the-book-down-to-regain-your-composure and fan-your-face combustible, creating a spark that enlivens every moment they’re in each other’s presence... I'm not normally one to gush about book boyfriends but I'm fairly certain I just lost my heart to Derek DiMarzio.


Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…

Read Yvette's Full 5 Star Review of Hard to Come By

Stay With Me by J. Lynn

Yvette's take: "Take a second to commit the name Jackson "Jax" James to memory because he’s going to be your new favorite Book Boyfriend. The slow, sensual description that serves as Jax’s official introduction to our heroine, Calla Fritz, in Stay with Me by J. Lynn will cause your heart to flutter and will make you feel like one of those cartoon characters with hearts popping out of their eyes, exaggeratedly swooning over the utter perfection of what's in front of them."


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You and Be with Me comes a daring tale that pushes boundaries . . .

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

Read Yvette's Full 5 Star Review of Stay With Me

Play by Kylie Scott

Yvette's take: When I think “rock star”, the first word that comes to mind certainly isn’t “hilarious” yet the relationship between protagonists, Anne Rollins and Mal Ericson, had me laughing loudly and consistently throughout the story. Play has its share of drama and steamy encounters between Anne and Mal, but what I loved most was how much FUN I had while reading.


Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn’t plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn’t count on finding the one right girl.

Anne Rollins never thought she’d ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn’t end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller LICK.

Read Yvette's Full 5 Star Review of Play

The Dare by Rachel Van Dyken

Yvette's take: At the end of every chapter in The Dare by Rachel Van Dyken, my cheeks were so sore from smiling that I had to take a short break to wait for the feeling to return to my jaw. Like the first two books in The Bet series, The Dare requires you to read in the comfort of your home, or risk questionable looks from strangers when you break into hysterical laughter in public.


Boring Beth Lynn has always lived up to her nickname… until she wakes up in a hotel bed next to a sexy as sin state senator she re-connected with at a wedding the previous night.

The biggest problem? She can't seem to remember anything about the night before except for crying into a box of cookies, and she’s pretty sure Grandma Nadine slipped something in her drink. And what should have been a one night stand turns into a six day adventure when Grandma whisks them off to Hawaii to save them from the ensuing media firestorm.

Jace isn't looking for commitment — he believes he made that clear when he left the wedding with Beth. Then again, he can't remember much of anything other than the way her skin felt beneath his hands. Now he's stuck with her at some lame couple’s retreat and trying his hardest to fight the attraction only a woman like Beth could invoke.

He doesn’t think it can get any worse.

But one spider attack… A donkey ride from hell… And an unfortunate episode with Viagra tea — and there’s one thing Jace knows for sure: He should never have agreed to Grandma Nadine’s suggestion in the first place.

Because if this isn’t paradise, and it isn’t a vacation — that only leaves one option.


But to make it through alive… they might lose their hearts in the process.

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  1. Some great books on this list. Thank you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  2. I am sad to say that I've not read a single book on this list. I better start reading more in 2015!! Merry Christmas and thanks for the chance!

  3. Merry Christmas and a happy new year yvette.
    Let's keep this friendship growing stronger in the next year ☺

  4. Great list! Loved All Lined Up, Hard to Come By and Stay With Me! Want to read several others. Have a great holiday!

  5. Awesome list! Thanks for the chance!

  6. Awesome list! Loved Play and Hard to Come by as well as Melt for Him and Maybe Someday!

  7. Eek I've only read one book out of your list. 😳

  8. This is great list. There are some id love to read

  9. There's some amazing books on this list!!

  10. I need to read these books! Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Great books and wonderful giveaway! Happy Holidays

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Holidays!

  13. Most of these books are on my TBR!

  14. Love your blog hun! Happy Holidays

  15. Awesome list a few I haven't read yet but sound really good!

  16. Love the blog. thanks for keeping me informed

  17. OH EM GEE, this selection of books is also AMAzing! Thanks for the Giveaway and the blog! I read it daily!

  18. Thanks for the chance. Happy holidays.

  19. Great graphic and giveaway! Happy Holidays :)

  20. I have read the first book in a couple of these series! A lot of these books are on my TBR list!

  21. Awesome giveaway! Happy Holidays! :)

  22. The list is great, thank you for this giveaway. Merry Christmas

  23. So many great books! Thanks for the chance

  24. Great list and great giveaway! I'd love to win and appreciate the chance!

  25. Happy Holidays!!🎄
    Such a great list!!

  26. Thank you for the awesome giveaway.

  27. I have a lot of work to do!! The only book I've read on the list is Maybe Someday (which I LURVED lol)!

  28. I've read and reviewed MELT FOR HIM. None of the others, looks like another great batch of books! Thanks for the opportunity & Happy Holidays!

  29. Happy Holidays & Thank you for this awesome giveaway!! :)

  30. Merry Christmas !! Thank you for the chance.. wonderful giveaway !! I would love Melt for Him by Lauren Blakely if I win

  31. Thanks for the chance, Merry Christmas

  32. Thanks for the chance. Happy Holidays!

  33. Awesome list of books! Good luck everybody!