By Kelly Bridgewater
During 2014, I have always wanted to find out how many books I read during the year. I read A LOT, but I have never kept a journal with the names and authors of whose books I read this year. I did in 2014 and plan to keep adding new books for the 2015. Maybe for the rest of my life. It is neat also to remind myself of books that I have read during the year. On New Year’s Eve, I finished my 192 book for the year.
Yes, you read it right. 192 books.
I was happy. I plan to work harder and read more in 2015. Or maybe I’ll be at the same place. I’ll tell you next year. So come back in 2016 and find out how many books I read during 2015.
But for today, I want to inform you of my favorite books of 2014.
So here goes:
10.) Deceived by Irene Hannon
I loved how Irene Hannon kept the real truth of what happened so quiet in the story. It was well-written and kept me on the edge of my seat. Plus, the romantic tension kept me begging for Kate and Conner to get together.
Like most of the books on the list, I love romantic suspense especially when the writer keeps the romance on the edge of the mystery. I want the mystery to take the forefront of the story, but the romance was a nice touch. Patricia Bradley is a romantic suspense author to keep an eye out for.
8.) A Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron
Kristy did a great job at combining her love of art history and World War II history and making a story that affects two different timelines with her dually plots. It was neat to learn about the art work done during the Holocaust. I didn’t think of any art work coming out of this horrible concentration camp, but Kristy did a fantastic job at informing her audience of the art work created behind the camp walls. I can’t wait for the second book in the series, A Sparrow in Terezin, which comes out in April 2015.
Lately, I have been fascinated with the World War II genre. As a child, I liked the movie Schindler’s List. I couldn’t imagine someone being so horrible to someone just because of what they believe or how they look. It makes me shudder. Kate Breslin took the time to retell the story of Esther while weaving in the Holocaust. It is a great story! I will never look at the story of Esther without thinking of Breslin’s masterpiece. Thank you, Kate!
6.) The Drew Farthering Mystery series by Julianna Deering
I know there are three books in the series (right now), but I loved all of them. It reminds me of Sherlock Holmes meets the 1930’s. It was a great fit. I truly loved how Deering weaved in the romance with the mystery. Like Bradley, she kept the romance to the back burner. I enjoyed how she kept the romance from fully blooming until the third book. The mystery kept me on the edge of my seat while I finished the each book in one sitting.
I reviewed this book for Revell and enjoyed it immensely. Sarah’s characters are smart and creative. I loved how she took the nurses of the war and made them realistic characters. I wanted more stories with some of the secondary characters, and I was glad to learn it was a third book in the series. I read the first two books and then found she wrote another three book series. I devoured them too. Sarah Sundin has become another author I will keep buying her latest novels. Thank you, Sarah!
4.) A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman
I was introduced to Julie Lessman this past year because A Passion Most Pure was free for the Kindle. I usually don’t like historical books, but Julie Lessman’s characters are funny and quirky that I couldn’t put down her books. The romance is sooo realistic. I love the strong heroines who don’t put up with men who try to control them. I enjoyed A Hope Undaunted because I love the hard-headed, feisty Katie O’Connor. She was a great character who I still think of after I have closed the book. I will definitely keep an eye out for new books by Julie Lessman.
I am a huge fan of Christy Barritt’s writing. I own every single one of her books. She writes mystery and romantic suspense books for the Love Inspired Suspense line. This book features Holy Anna Paladin who believes she has a year left to live, so she decides to do random acts of kindness to others, but gets caught up in a mystery instead. Great book with a lot of twists and turns. If you haven’t read anything by her, I suggest you download any of the books in her Squeaky Clean Series offered by Amazon. Great series!
2.) It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren
I have truly loved everything Susan May Warren writes. I have not been disappointed yet. The Christiansens’s family tugged at my heart when they run a lodge in Northern Minnesota while a couple of the sons play hockey. Being an avid fan of hockey, I love reading stories where the characters enjoy the same sport I follow every year from October until June. This story featured a romance that tugged at my heart and made me smile along the way. One of my favorite aspects of Susan’s writing is her ability to describe the scene without pulling the reader away. Trust me, as a blooming writer, I have been studying a number of her books to figure out how she does this.
And finally, my favorite book of 2014:
1.) Checkmate by Steven James
I absolutely love Steven James’ writing. He is one of my favorite thriller/ suspense writers. I recommend him to all my friends who don’t want to read Christian books because “it is too safe and PG.” I have converted a number of them. Steven James writes with more description and twists and turns than most writers. But Checkmate is the last book in the Patrick Bower’s series (for now), and I loved every minute of the story. James' has a great knack for storytelling, which I love. The story has three climatic moments that I didn’t see. I finished the book in a little over twenty-four hours. I loved it and can’t wait to read more by Steven James.
What were your favorite books from 2014? Have you read these books? Did you discover a new genre to read?