Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich Review

Hey guys! So earlier I said I had posted my last post for 2014. Well, I lied. I had one more thing to do to finish out my to-do list and I want to start 2015 out with a clean slate so.... with that being said, I have a new review for you guys! This time up for review is a debut novel from an incredible author that just so happened to turn out to be one of my Top Reads of 2014. How did that happen? Keep reading to find out! This time on the chopping block? Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich! Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the book and the author:
Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich
Release Date: December 4th, 2014
Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.

A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancĂ© she’s almost certain she can learn to love. 

But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
Available now at AmazonB&NKobo & iTunes

Sarah Negovetich

Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.

Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.

Sarah divides her time between writing YA books that her husband won’t read and working with amazing authors as an agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her life’s goal is to be only a mildly embarrassing mom when her kids hit their teens.

My Thoughts

Sarah first approached me back in October about reviewing her upcoming novel. I read the synopsis and thought it sounded pretty awesome. I responded back to Sarah, and an awesome partnership was born. While it took me quite a bit longer than I anticipated to get this novel read and reviewed, every second was worth the wait. Holy smokes, what a phenomenal way to end 2014! This book actually ended up being one of my favorite reads!

In true One Guy's Guide to Good Reads, allow me to get the negatives out of the way first. While I ended up truly loving this novel, it didn't start out that way. For some reason, it really took me a bit to get into this story. I'm not sure if it was my mindset or what, but I really couldn't get into it. I have to say that the dystopian genre is getting to be pretty bloated, so it takes something pretty amazing to grab my attention. There is only so many times I can read about a futuristic War-torn United States before I am going to lose my mind. Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched... Need I go on? This novel really reminded me a lot of some of the other extremely popular dystopian series out there. It really wasn't until we got passed the introductory stage of the book that I became interested. It wasn't due to any bad writing or anything negative on Sarah's part, I was just looking for what made Rite of Rejection different. And then I found it. That's where any and all comparisons stopped.

My only other complaint about Rite of Rejection is kind of a moot point, but bear with me here. So in RoR there were more than a few moments that were.... cringe worthy. Moments where I was like "is this really about to happen...?" or "Oh no, I hope that doesn't...." and then they actually don't. Sarah is tricky. Seriously several times in this novel I thought the book was going to take one direction, then at the last moment something came out of left field and 'rightened' out the plot. I dig it. I like being kept on my toes, but those few moments of hesitation were almost more than I could handle!

Complaints over. Let's rave.

So the characters in Rite of Rejection were phenomenal. I loved each and every one. As you guys all know, I have a soft spot for villains and as it turns out, this time was no exception. My favorite character in RoR was actually the villain. I can't say who or why because it would be a huge spoiler in the plot line, but seriously. It happened. Sarah's character development in this novel was spot on. The way I felt about these characters was genuine. Every triumph had me cheering, while every pitfall gave me the blues. We all know how important characters can be to a storyline, and Sarah did a great job incorporating phenomenal ones into hers. I also loved how the characters did a really great job of representing society in different facets. Unlike other dystopians, in RoR, it is through the characters in which we learn about the surrounding world and life, not the plot. That was very unique to me. It's amazing how much Sarah was able to say with so few words.

The originality of this read is what really made it stand out for me. Dystopians are everywhere these days so you really have to do something special for me to take this much interest. Sarah did. Never before have I ever seen such an idea implemented in a novel. This was absolutely fantastic. Sarah is on top of her A-game and Rite of Rejection is a work that definitely stands on its' own. I have mad respect for that. There is no need for any comparisons here, in fact, others should be trying to live up to this standard. If every dystopian author put half as much work into their novels as Sarah clearly did here, we would have such an over-inflated sub-genre.

The last big thing I want to bring up is the setting in RoR. So if you guys read the synopsis and have heard about the book, you've heard of the PIT. The PIT is where the "outcasts" of society are sent to live after their Acceptance 'Rejection". The world that Sarah creates inside the pit is amazing. It was truly like I was there. Imagine the worst post-apocalyptic city you can, covered in trash, filth, crawling with rapists, and never knowing what may lurk around the corner. Yes. That. Seriously. The mood that Sarah set for the settling was perfect. I seriously think that was my favorite part of this novel.

I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this series. Fair warning, book one ends on a rather abrupt note with a massive cliffhanger. Don't say I didn't warn ya. I was so upset to see it end there!

In the end, Rite of Rejection proved to not be just an amazing book, it proved to be one of my favorite reads of 2014. Seriously. I saved one of the bests for last in this instance because I wouldn't have changed a thing. Loved. This. Book. It should be no surprise then, that I am granting Rite of Rejection an extremely well-deserved 5-star review! You guys have got to check out this debut novel from Sarah Negovetich, you will not be disappointed!

Alright you guys, that's all I have for you on the topic of Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich. Have you guys read it yet? If not, definitely add it to your TBR lists, Sarah Negovetich is an author you are definitely going to want to keep your eyes on! If you have read it, let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Huge shout out to Sarah for contacting me about this book a few months ago, it's been an awesome ride so far ma'am, working with you has been quite an honor! Have I mentioned that Sarah is the awesome lady I intern under? Yeah. She's an awesome author/agent AND she's my boss-lady. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe her! 

Now... that was my last post for 2014. Until next time (and 2015), Happy Reading!


Top 14 of 2014: Top 14 Books of 2014

Hey everyone! First off Happy Holidays! Second, 2014 is coming to a close and a few of my favorite bloggers are ending this year on a high note with their very own "Top 14 of 2014" blog series! Each day from now until New Years, a host of bloggers will be posting their "Top 14" answers to the following questions:

Sounds exciting, right?

As you can see, today's topic is "Top 14 in 2014". This one was my most difficult category so far. Forreal you guys. This year has been FULL of amazing reads. I am extremely nervous to share this list with you because it really was hard to pick just 14 books out of all of the books I read in 2014. Seriously difficult! 

I present to you: my 'Top 14 Books in 2014"...

*Note: for this particular post, each book must have been published in 2014. I will be doing a separate post to recognize the reads that weren't

*Click each book's/series' title to be taken to its' Goodreads page.


While most of these will not be in any particular order, I would like to recognize the following five novels as they truly were my Top Reads of 2014. Rather than pick one favorite, I have divided them into categories. Also included are five very short notes to the authors, congratulating them in my own personal way:

Top New Adult Book of 2014: The Collectors' Society by Heather Lyons
Heather- I know I've told you this one million times, but I seriously don't think TCS could have been better written if you tried. Each and every literary nod made my heart soar. Thank you for TCS, it was everything I hoped it would be, and so much more. I've gained so much more than a favorite read from TCS, I gained you as an awesome friend!

Top Young Adult Book of 2014: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Danielle- Words will never describe how much this story meant to me. I have told you time and time again that I believed Oz was really coming to an end. My life was completely changed when you came into it. Thank you so much for DMD, for bringing Oz to life for a whole new generation of readers. You are the reigning Queen of Oz, my dear. Ozspeed in 2015!

Top Fantasy Book of 2014: Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire
Mr. Maguire- I'm sure you have no idea who I am, but I can assure you that you have no bigger fan than me. Your works have been the single most influential on my life and it is no secret that you are, in fact, my all time favorite author. Every time you put ink to paper, magic happens. Thank you so much for giving Baba Yaga a whole new chance to shine. I will never look at Russian culture the same way again.

Top Romance Book of 2014: Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
Chelsea- I don't even like romance and you broke me. Seriously. Thank you so much for everything you did this year. Archers may have opened my eyes to you, but BKOB sealed your fate as one of my all time favorites. Between your beautiful words and even more beautiful personality, you made my 2014 amazing. BKOB deserves each and every accolade that it receives. I hope you know how special it is! P.S. I still love your guts!

Top Series of 2014: Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O'Neale
Stacey- I never would have thought when I picked up TSP way back when that my life would have changed in the way it has. Over the past several months I have gotten so much more out of this series than three great reads. I've made many memories with you and am so proud to call you a friend. It has been such an honor to promote you and this incredible debut series. I am beyond thrilled to bestow upon it the title of my favorite series of 2014!

Some of those may have been able to mix and match categories, but in order to find a way to make sure each of them were properly recognized as a "Top" favorite of mine, I wanted to make that distinction. With that being said, the rest of my list is composed of the remaining 9 novels that I thought were absolutely superb and rounded out my "Top 14 of 2014" list!

Honorable Mentions: 
These book were truly phenomenal and were just shy of making my 'Top 14 List"!



Alright guys, there you have it. My Top 14 Books of 2015 (plus some honorable mentions)! Did your favorite make the cut? Let me know in the comments below! I'm sure I could list about 14 more so if a book didn't make the cut, don't worry, I'm sure I loved it! I know many of these authors outside of the book world and they have become incredible friends as well. All of these authors have already proven to be very special to me, I cannot wait to see what they come up with for 2015 and beyond!

Head on over to the hosts' blogs to see their awesome posts as well:
Kim @ KimberlyFaye Reads | Krista @ Krista's Dust Jacket | Jessica @ A Midsummer Nights Read

Until 2015, Happy Reading!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Top 14 2015 Books on My TBR

Hey everyone! First off Happy Holidays! Second, 2014 is coming to a close and a few of my favorite bloggers are ending this year on a high note with their very own "Top 14 of 2014" blog series! Each day from now until New Years, a host of bloggers will be posting their "Top 14" answers to the following questions:

Sounds exciting, right?

As you can see, today's topic is "Top 14 2015 books on my TBR". Probably one of my most difficult categories so far. Geez guys. Some of these are a bit more difficult to showcase than others. Some of my favorite upcoming reads don't have titles, only six of these even have covers. Writing is always a work of hard labor and lots of love so you just can't rush art. That being said, use your imagination to make up for the lack of... anything but author links on this one.

In no particular order, I present to you: my 'Top 14 2015 Books on my TBR"...
*Click each book's/series' title to be taken to its' Goodreads page.


I've already read this one as a beta-reader, but oh man. It's everything I was wanting out of Liz, and more. Plus, this book will forever hold a special place in my heart for more reasons than one. Guess you'll just have to wait until it's spring release to find out!

Jon's World Aflame series has made this list several times already. Is it any surprise I'm excited for the final chapter? I just don't know that I'm ready to say goodbye to Xander and Sammy just yet, but from what I know of Mr. Messenger, I know I will not be disappointed.

"Ethan, that's the wrong cover!" Go away. THIS is the right cover. Seriously. I Love. This. Cover. This is the UK version, and definitely the one I want to get my hands on! I have already read this one, but I can already tell you it's going to take something pretty phenomenal to take this one's place in my heart. Seth's own series debuts in a far more awesome way that I could have ever imagined. Also, Josie is my new book girlfriend. Hands down!

The final chapter in Stacey's debut series. Excuse me while I go wipe the tears from my eyes in advance. If Marcus dies, I may never find the strength to blog again. Seriously though, this has quickly become one of my all time favorite series. I know Stacey will see it off to perfection!

The sequel to one of my Top Reads of 2014? Need I say more. Alice and Finn have a whole lot more ground to cover in this novel. Just from the sneak peeks and glimpses Heather has given me, I am already chomping at the bit for more.

Okay, I'll admit I've already read this one too. I will go ahead and say that if I had read this in 2014, it would have been my favorite romance read of 2014. Seriously people, it's that good. Good news, it's slated for an early 2015 release so go pre-order your copy NOW!

We all know I fell in love with Blue and Charlie in Carnival, so why wouldn't I be excited to see what happens next? Word on the grapevine says this may be their last outing. I sure hope they go out in true Carnie fashion! 

Team Zayne? Team Roth? Team Layla! Seriously guys, I have my opinions on who should win, but at this point, I'm just begging for more JLA. This book cannot get released soon enough. I am so excited to see how this one wraps up. I know it will be worth the wait! Also, my second JLA book on this list, anyone surprised? Nope.

The highly anticipated sequel to another of my top reads of 2014, Kallie Ross will definitely be bringing her A-game for Defend. I have no doubts that this will be every bit as amazing as I anticipate!

I want to cry just writing about this being the final novel in this phenomenal series. Seriously you guys, I cannot say enough about my love for Rachel's work. This series is just as emotional as it is terrifying. I wouldn't change a second. Rachel, you truly are the "Queen of Scream", I know you won't steer me wrong. Just don't kill my team, please! :P

Probably the most anticipated read on this list, this one already has hundreds of folks keeping their eyes peeled. We all know I'm the president of the Danielle Paige fan club, why wouldn't  be excited about this? DP is my Queen and I am riding this Oz train until she decides to stop. Seriously, I have no idea who she is conjuring up for this novel, but if a certain Wicked Witch is involved, I won't be upset about it. 

This one has me the most confused and unfortunately I have no information to pass on about its' release. All I can tell you guys is that it is coming and that I cannot wait! I will try to secure some info for you guys from the author ASAP. After the big cliffhanger ending in Iron Pendulum, I am anxiously awaiting the next thrilling chapter in this incredible series!

A completely new to me author, S.J. McMillan is really blowing me away with her City of the Gods series. She has experienced some hardships on the publishing front, but her books will be available to everyone across platforms beginning in the spring. You guys are going to love what McMillan has up her sleeve! Phenomenal writing, a gripping plot, and so many feels. Yes, you guy best be excited! Oh, did I mention this is the third in a series? Yes. Go get your hands on the other two ASAP! 

I'm in the middle of listening to the audiobook for Queen of Someday right this moment and am completely blown away by the amazingness that is Sherry Ficklin. This lady is incredible. Historically accurate, flawless writing, and a plot line that keeps you on the edge of your seat: this series is definitely not one you will want to miss. I know everyone will be talking about this one before the years' end!


Alright guys, there you have it. My Top 14 2015 Books on My TBR! Did yours make the cut? Let me know in the comments below! I'm sure I could list about 14 more so if a book didn't make the cut, definitely don't be discouraged, my TBR is 5 miles long at this point! I know many of these authors are hand at work putting the final touches on these novels and I wish them the very best of luck. Regardless of their outcomes, I am going into all of them with very high hopes. I know I'll love them all! All of these authors have already proven to be very special to me so I know I will not be disappointed!

Head on over to the hosts' blogs to see their awesome posts as well:
Kim @ KimberlyFaye Reads | Krista @ Krista's Dust Jacket | Jessica @ A Midsummer Nights Read

Until next time, Happy Reading!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Top 14 Favorite Characters

Hey everyone! First off Happy Holidays! Second, 2014 is coming to a close and a few of my favorite bloggers are ending this year on a high note with their very own "Top 14 of 2014" blog series! Each day from now until New Years, a host of bloggers will be posting their "Top 14" answers to the following questions:

Sounds exciting, right?

As you can see, today's topic is "Top 14 Favorite Couples". This one is not a 2014 exclusive category. These 14 will be picked from all the novels I read in 2014 and not just those published in 2014. Fair warning, several of these authors will be reappearing throughout the next week!

In no particular order, I present to you: my 'Top 14 Favorite Characters of 2014"...
*Click each book's/series' title to be taken to its' Goodreads page.


Seth, The Return
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Seth. I could probably write a novel about why I like Seth so much. He gets all the ladies and he has a mouth like a sailor. Sarcastic as can be and still can put anyone in their place. If I thought Seth was awesome in Covenant, I think he's about the greatest guy ever now that I've read The Return. Holy Hell. Go Seth!

Jace (The White King), The Collectors' Society
Heather Lyons
This one surprised me in a big way. Sure I was excited about Alice's trip back to Wonderland in Heather Lyon's latest novel, but did I expect The White King to be a former love interest? No. Just as brought up in the novel, we all picture The White King as an old man, full of wisdom and white headed. Clearly Heather Lyons saw a little more than that! I'm not complaining. I think that Heather brought a lot of character to his... character. I don't know how else to word that.

Stacey O'Neale
GUYS. Have I mentioned how awesome Marcus is? Only about 287386478648 times, right? A Hellhound like no other who would take a bullet for his best friend in a heartbeat? Seriously. Marcus is awesome. The most devout and respectable character I have read this year, hands down. I don't have a single negative critique of Marcus, I only hope to one day have a friend like Marcus!

Chelsea Fine
"Wait Ethan, isn't she the villain?" Yeah, and? Raven is everything I look for in a villain: smart, sinister, and incredibly attractive. Well, in my head she is anyway. I think Raven is probably one of the most misunderstood characters of all time. She goes right up there with Snape. Forreal. I'm #TeamRaven all the way. I tease Chelsea all the time about writing a spinoff series: "The Archers of Avalon: The Wrath of Raven". It's coming people. Just you wait and see.

Rachel Aukes
So I mentally made this list a week or so ago and had NO idea I had a Jase and a Jace on it until just now. How crazy? Coming from one of my absolute favorite reads this year, Jase quickly became one of my favorite parts of the Deadland saga. He grounded the story in a way that was very important very early on. From losing his parents to learning to survive alongside strangers, Jase grows from boy to man in this awesome series. Jase also has one of the most emotional scenes I read all year. I still haven't forgiven Rachel Aukes for that one!

Baba Yaga, Egg & Spoon
Gregory Maguire
I'm laughing as I write this now just thinking about all the hilariousness that came from Baba Yaga's mouth during Egg & Spoon. I don't know if any of you guys have read it yet, but man, it's incredible. A timeless Russian witch who lives in a magical hut with chicken legs? Yes, please. Also, she's old, cranky, and more sarcastic than anyone you've ever met. I could not get enough!

Cora Carmack
Silas and Seth go hand in hand here. He's got the ladies eating out of the palm of his hands, yet he's the biggest douche-lobster around. I would be lying if I said I didn't have massive respect for that. Haha! Seriously though, Silas has to make some huge decisions in this series and in the end he comes through not just for himself, but for his team, proving Silas can be so much more than what everyone thinks of him!

Liz Long
Ugh, it's hard to write this without spoilers. When I close my eyes and picture Elias, I see Morgan Freeman with a top hat and a monocle. I'm not sure why, but I do. Elias is the perfect mixture of class and perseverance. Elias knows that his gift (time travel) is among the most useful, but knows how careful he has to be. Elias is one of the most logical thinkers I have ever read about. I have to say that Elias is one of my all time favorite characters, I cannot wait to see how you guys feel about his role in Hunted, the third book in Liz's series!

Danielle Paige
Glinda's 'evil' twin sister, Glamora gave me everything I was looking for and then some. As someone who is so close to Oz, I really can't describe how I felt about Glamora. I have never been a huge Glinda fan, so I was excited to see that Danielle Paige was able to take most of the things I disliked about Glinda and throw them into an entirely different character, contrasting her completely. My favorite part about this series is the impending throw down between Glinda and Glamora. It's going to be epic people. E.P.I.C.

Jon Messenger
I will be the first to admit that this series really grew on me. If you go back and read my review for the first book, I really tore it a new one. By the time I got to book three, I could not put this series down. I don't know what in particular turned it around for me, but I do know that Sammy played a rather large part. Her role in the story is huge and gives the story the emotional anchor that it needs. Sammy goes through hell, literally, over the course of this series, and is now left in an awful predicament. How will Messenger see her through? I cannot wait to find out! One of my most anticipated reads of 2015, that much is for sure!

Claire Cooper, The Devil's Assistant
H.D. Smith
I did not know what to think about this series when i first started it a few month ago, but since then it's really grown on me. Claire plays a pretty great character. You would think being the Devil's assistant would could with some awesome perks. Think again. Claire goes through Hell, haha, on more than one occasion to help some pretty ungrateful people. Even after all of that, I'm still not entirely sure Claire is ever going to get her HEA. I'll tell ya what though, I can't wait to find out!

Atticus Riggs, The Periodic Series
Megan Curd
I have a thing for villains you love to hate. I'm here to tell ya that Atticus Riggs is one villain I loved to hate. He was such an incredible villain... until he wasn't. To be completely honest, I'm still not entirely sure what team Riggs is playing for, but I'm telling you one thing, I know I can't wait to see what happens in book three!

K.A. Tucker
A strong, beautiful French woman who just so happens to be one of the most powerful witches in the world? Sign me up. I loved everything about Sophie in this series. The dual POV told partially from her side was among the most unique I have ever read. Sophie played the motherly mentor and a kick ass ally. Who could complain about any of that?

Amy Gumm, Dorothy Must Die
Danielle Paige
I know I already have one DMD character on this list so I really didn't want to add another, but I just can't forget Amy. Amy will forever hold a very special place in my heart. She was the first breath of fresh air that I believe Oz had in... a very, very long time. The last time I remember someone going to Oz that wasn't Dorothy was... 1974? For the record people, I wasn't even alive in 1974. My mother was barely alive in 1974. Oz needed a new face and Danielle Paige gave it that and so much more. Amy is real. Amy has so many problems and is indicative of so many young adults in the twenty-first century. Amy doesn't go into Oz with eyes wide and a big smile on her face. She's the pessimistic-realist from the MTV Generation that Oz so desperately needed. Amy isn't falling for Dorothy's Perma-smile anytime soon! I could seriously type my own novel about how proud Danielle Paige I am and of how happy I am to have met her, she is truly shaking things up in the Oz world and I could not be more excited!

Alright guys, there you have it. My Top 14 Favorite Characters of 2014! Did your favorite make the cut? Let me know in the comments below!

Head on over to the hosts' blogs to see their awesome posts as well:
Kim @ KimberlyFaye Reads | Krista @ Krista's Dust Jacket | Jessica @ A Midsummer Nights Read

Until next time, Happy Reading!


Top 14 of 2014: Top 14 Favorite Relationships

Hey everyone! First off Happy Holidays! Second, 2014 is coming to a close and a few of my favorite bloggers are ending this year on a high note with their very own "Top 14 of 2014" blog series! Each day from now until New Years, a host of bloggers will be posting their "Top 14" answers to the following questions:

Sounds exciting, right?

As you can see, today's topic is "Top 14 Favorite Couples". This one is not a 2014 exclusive category. These 14 will be picked from all the novels I read in 2014 and not just those published in 2014. Fair warning, several of these authors will be reappearing throughout the next week!

Also, this category says "couples". I don't like that, at all. Instead, I am showcasing my Top 14 RELATIONSHIPS of 2014. Relationships could mean romantic or platonic in nature. I do not read a whole lot of romance, so I simply do not have 14 different couples to list here, but I do know of some awesome relationships to list!

In no particular order, I present to you: my 'Top 14 Favorite RELATIONSHIPS of 2014"...
*Click each book's/series' title to be taken to its' Goodreads page.


Carson McClain and Dallas Cole
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack
As most of you guys know, I am a pretty big Cora Carmack fan. Earlier this year I was chosen to be a member of Cora's street team promoting her newest Rusk University series. Never in a million years did I think I would enjoy this story as much as I did. Equal parts awkward and awesome, Dallas and Carson had it all! 

Pixie Marshall and Levi Abrams
Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
Without a doubt the best romance novel I read this year. Whenever someone asks me my thoughts on the romance genre, I am usually not shy in saying I'm not a huge fan. Then I read Chelsea Fine. Holy hell people. Seriously, I have never shipped a couple as hard as Pixie and Levi before in my life. I seriously loved every second of their love story. If Chelsea wanted to write about 15 more books just about Pixie, Levi, and their lives at the Inn over the summer, I'd read them all and love every second of it. So many feels.

Rowan and Marcus 
Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O'Neale
My first non-romantic relationship of the list. These two guys share the ultimate bromance. A fire elemental prince and a Hellhound, these two are the perfect embodiment of friendship. They would lay down their lives for one another in a heartbeat and neither of them are shy about saying it. Marcus is one of the most devout characters I have ever read and Rowan reciprocates all the feels. Seriously, I am constantly in awe of the love these two bros share for one another. They literally go through hell and back for one another and I love ever second of it. I feel like every author should be looking to Stacey O'Neale for inspiration on writing meaningful relationships. Not all great relationships are based in romance and I think it's time some people recognize that!

Lucy and Gabriel
Donovan Circus by Liz Long
Sigh... How do I start this. First off, sorry Liz, you knew this was coming. So this relationship may or may not happen in the end... To be completely honest I'm not sure including it on this list is even fair to Liz, but I'm doing it anyway. Lucy and Gabriel are part of this love triangle, right? Well, Lucy may have chosen the other direction in this instance, but I am still solely Team Gabriel. Gabriel is am empath. A kick ass one at that. While his power may not be as 'awe-inspiring' as Keegan *rolls eyes*, Gabriel is definitely awesome. He also plays double agent for the entire series and ultimately keeps the Donovan group alive so many different times. What isn't there to love about Gabriel? Also, Lucy is the "hottest" chick in the Donovan clan, also she's smart and sassy, what's not to love?

Alexandria Andros and Aiden St. Delphi
Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Do I even have to write anything here? Anyone who has read this series know that these two were destined for each other form the very first page. Everything about their relationship was awesome except for that creepy pregnancy scare... Awkward when Gods literally live inside you, right? Anyway, Alex and Aiden literally go through hell for each other and I think that in itself is the epitome of the perfect relationship. Also, they get their HEA! Who can beat that? Oh yeah, Seth getting his own series maybe, THAT beats that! Woo!

Amy Gumm and Nox
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
I'm sure this is going to bring about questions of 'is that really a relationship'? And to that I say: I think it was/is. Granted, we are only one full novel into the series, but I foresee big things in store for Amy and Nox. I do have to say I was much more optimistic about this couple before I read Daniell's latest novella, The Witch Must Burn, because it kind of made it seem like Nox had something going on with Jellia too... Hmm... Nox may have some explaining to do.

Layken Cohen and Will Cooper
Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Who hasn't read this series? Is your hand up? Get out of here. Seriously. I jumped on The CoHo train SUPER late, but DAMN this series killed me. I loved every second of Will and Layken's story. It's heartbreak and heartwarming at the same time... is that even possible? Yes. Yes it is.

Evangeline and Caden
Causal Enchantment by K.A. Tucker
Were they the most groundbreaking couple in the history of time? No. Did they overcome huge obstacles to be together? Kind of. Did they have an awesome love story that really stood out to me? Hell yes. Caden is a vampire. Being a vampire isn't always easy, not at all. Caden spends the majority of the series learning to curb his appetite that that he can be with Evangeline and honestly, never in the four novels of this series did I ever fear for Evie's life when they were together. Both Caden and Evie had their hands full with other matters during this whole series, but I still think they made a great couple!

Sophie and Carter
Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine
Damn you Chelsea Fine. Sophie and Carter are probably the best romantic relationship I probably read all year. While they were only around for a short novella, I know they ended up having a very happy ever after. They overcame so much. Life sucks, especially when you're a teenager raising your younger siblings, or caring for your mentally ill parent. Sophie and Carter are not only extremely mature, they are also intelligent, caring, and extremely responsible. I ship it. HARD. Also, Chelsea Fine, I LOVE YOUR GUTS. Have I told you that before? Because I do.

Cash and Clutch
Deadland Saga by Rachel Aukes
Who would have ever thought that anything about the zombie apocalypse would be romantic. Short story, it isn't. But when two people from two very different walks of life find one another, you never know what will happen. Cash, or Mia as she was once known as, and Cash are seriously the greatest 'odd couple' I have ever read. A truck drive and an... accountant? I think Cash was an accountant. Funny how things in your normal life don't mean a doggone thing after the apocalypse happens, right? After some convincing, Clutch takes Cash under his wing and teaches her everything she needs to know about surviving. For two heartbreaking novels now I have read their relationship blossom into what it is today. At this point I'm just hoping that someone doesn't kick the bucket in book three...

Blue and Charlie 
Carnival by K.B. Nelson
Oh boy, where to start. First off, can I just say this was probably one of my favorite romance novels ever. Carnies, molly, and more sex scenes than you can shake a stick at, Carnival was one of THE most unique reads I have ever taken a chance on. Holy hell I loved every second of it. Blue, the carnie, and Charlie, our high school senior with big dreams, make the perfect couple. I have heard so many people's varying reactions to this love story, but I love every second of it. Haha! Sure it may not be the healthiest relationship ever, but I love it. Their relationship is so much more believable than others I have read. Charlie definitely falls down the rabbit hole with Blue and I can't wait to see how she gets out of it.

Finn O'Malley and Nurrin Sanders
The World Without End by Nazarea Andrews
Back to the romance while surviving the apocalypse thing. Is this a romance? Not in the traditional sense, at all. Do Finn and Nurrin make an absolutely kick ass team? Yes. While I do genuinely believe there is a love story hidden beneath all the angst, sarcasm, and fear they share, I think they have a lot of issues to work out. Finn isn't exactly 'take home to mom' material. Thankfully that makes no difference to Nurrin: her parents are dead. As is her brother. As is everyone else in her haven and most of the people she's ever met. Jesus... someone pour this girl a drink. Seriously, Finn has enough issues in his own personal life to fill a ravine as well, but Nurrin takes it all in and does her best to help him out. They are a great couple in these senses, but I ever foresee wedding bells in their future? Negative ghost rider.

Zayne, Layla, and Roth
Dark Elements by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Another one of those pesky love triangles. A Warden (Zayne) and a Demon (The crown Prince of Hell, Roth) both vying for the heart of half breed Layla? Talk about an awesome story. While I do take issue with a few things about this series, it is probably one of my favorites. In true JLA fashion, all of the characters are written to excellence, the plot lines are fantastic, and the feels are real, folks. The series wraps up next summer when we learn who Layla ultimately picks, but I'll be honest and say I won't accept any ending where Layla doesn't pick Roth. That is, unless she wants to pick Ethan instead?

Drake and Xavier
Rebirth by Becca Vincenza
My first, and only, same-sex relationship to make the list, Becca Vincenza really opened my eyes with this read. I had never read any sort of m/m romance before and almost didn't read this. I am a huge fan of Becca's Rebirth series, but was extremely hesitant to read this one. Nothing against same sex relationships, it's just not something I would have ever thought myself fond of. I do have to say that in the end, the love shared by Drake and Xavier was just as strong, if not stronger, than any other love combo found on this list. Becca's flawless storytelling ability paired with an amazing sense of character development gave me everything I wanted from this story and more. I was a huge fan, theirs is definitely a love worth mentioning!


Alright guys, there you have it. My Top 14 Favorite Relationships of 2014! Did yours make the cut? Let me know in the comments below!

Head on over to the hosts' blogs to see their awesome posts as well:
Kim @ KimberlyFaye Reads | Krista @ Krista's Dust Jacket | Jessica @ A Midsummer Nights Read

Until next time, Happy Reading!


Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry D. Ficklin Cover Reveal


QUEEN OF TOMORROW by Sherry D. Ficklin

QUEEN OF TOMORROW by Sherry D. Ficklin

A Stolen Empire Novel, Book 2
The Queen Arrives on July 14, 2015

Sophie—now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia—had a tough first year at Imperial Court. Married at sixteen to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne, and settled in their own palace, things start to look up. As a new day dawns, Catherine thinks only of securing her future, and the future of their country, during one of the greatest political upheavals of her time. Fighting desperately against forces that try to depose the Empress Elizabeth and put the young Prince Ivan on her throne, Catherine soon finds herself in the middle of a war brewing between her beloved Prussia and her new empire. While navigating the fragile political landscape, she quickly realizes that she has only begun to discover the tangled web of deceit and infidelity woven over the lavish court of Oranienbaum Palace.

When a strange and delicate alliance forms between the young couple, Catherine glimpses a future of happiness, only to see it vanish at the hands of those who still seek to end her life—and prevent her reign. Out of favor with the empress and running out of options, Catherine must sacrifice her own innocence on the altar of Russia if she is to save the nation and herself. To survive, she will have to do the unthinkable, betray those closest to her and become something greater and more dangerous than she ever imagined she could be… a queen.



Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?




Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2015 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.


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