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Best Books I’ve Read in 2014


Another year has come and gone which means that it’s time to participate in Two Chicks On Books, Reading YA Rocks, Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and Tales of a Ravenous Reader annual TOP 10 OF 2014 week long meme. Not only do I love lists but these posts are easy to put together and schedule during the holidays so that I can spend time with my family. Enjoy!

*Click on book cover to visit Amazon / GoodReads for more info.

10. The Given by Vicki Pettersson

This was by far my favourite installment in this trilogy; Vicki Pettersson sure knows how to go out with a bang! If you’re in the mood for something a bit different, give this supernatural noir mystery series a whirl. My Review
09. Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

It’s always difficult saying goodbye to characters who have been a constant presence in your life for years, but it was especially tough where Cat & Bones were concerned. Frost did a top notch job of ending their story though! My Review
08. Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

I can’t recommend this series enough! If you haven’t discovered Kate & Curran yet I only have one thing to say to you: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? Renée Raudman’s audiobook narration is equally kick ass. You can’t lose! My Review
07. Visions by Kelley Armstrong

I wasn’t sold on these novels at first, but Armstrong delivered a stellar follow-up installment which makes all things CAINSVILLE a must read. She’s my favourite Urban Fantasy author AND she’s Canadian, so one-click this already! My Review
06. A Secret to Die For by Sierra Dean

2014 was the year of UF series finales, and I’m really going to miss SECRET MCQUEEN and all of the wonderful secondary characters that make up Sierra Dean’s universe. However, as far as send offs go, this one was a monster WIN! My Review
05. Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

YA has been making a comeback on my TBR, and that’s in large part thanks to these books. This was also my first Dystopian EVER, so I have a pretty high opinion of this genre at the moment. Yes, there’s a love triangle, and yes, it’s still awesome. My Review
04. Black Widow by Jennifer Estep

Estep’s ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN series receives 5-star reviews from me on a regular basis, but this latest one was truly remarkable. The author pulled out all of the stops, and it read like Gin Blanco’s last hurrah, but it’s NOT. YAY! My Review
03. Evernight by Kristen Callihan

DARKEST LONDON consistently wows me at every turn; I’ve loved everything that Callihan has written in this world. Her style is in a league all of its own, and every novel is vastly different from its predecessor which is no easy feat. My Review
02. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

I managed to squeeze in a decent amount of titles from my someday pile this year, and last but definitely not least was Briggs’ ALPHA & OMEGA. I inhaled all 3 books in record time, however this first one was definitely my favourite. My Review
01. Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

I hope you aren’t sick of me singing this series’ praises yet, but Anne Bishop’s writing really is that good. There’s a reason why this novel has nearly 300 5-star reviews on Amazon. It’s fan-freaking-tastic! My Review

What were your top reads of 2014?

Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. Quite a few of your top reads are on my TBR pile or wish list, so I better get to it, Carmel!!
    Pili recently posted…Top of 2014: Best Books I’ve Read on 2014!!

    • I just looked at your list, and ditto. LOL! Perhaps some of your picks will make the cut on mine NEXT year.

  2. I’ve read/listened to a bunch of these and loved them. Others are on my TBR pile. I guess I need to get moving. Instead, I’m relistening to Written in Red. 🙂
    Melanie recently posted…Review: Wilder’s Mate by Moira Rogers

    • As far as relistens go, that’s not a bad choice. I added White Knight to my reading shelf this past weekend, then got distracted by Burn for Me. Hehe! Oops.

  3. Great list! I loved Up From the Grave & Evernight, I still need to read the rest… I’ve heard great things about all of these, and they’re all on my TBR, so I’m glad you loved them.
    Aleksandra recently posted…Top 10 of 2014: Best Books I’ve Read in 2014!

    • If I could live in a fictional universe if would be Callihan’s; here writing is oh so good! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Ohhh Murder of Crows! I concur. It would make my list as well. Sad that I only know a few of these books. 🙁 Great list, hun! <3

    If I don't talk to you before Christmas, I hope you'll have a great one!
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Purge! [Giveaway]

    • Murder of Crows is really the only one that you HAVE to have read IMO. Merry Christmas to you & yours, Joy!

  5. Somewhat surprisingly I didn’t read a single one of those. I swear I read some Urban Fantasy! I do!
    Nathan ( recently posted…Fantasy Review: ‘All the Turns of Light’ by Frank Tuttle

    • Yeah, yeah. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m surprised that you haven’t read Bishop’s series, it’s more Fantasy than UF.

  6. Great list. I’ve read them all but #10 and #7 but they are on my TBR.
    Jennifer recently posted…Top 10 of 2014 | Best Books I’ve Read in 2014

    • Aside from the contemporary titles, our lists are very similar. Weird. 😉

  7. Bishop rocks and made my top ten for audio this year. I am seeing some books that are in my tbr pile and makes me excited to read them! I will be sharing all of my top tens after Christmas 🙂
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Revival by Stephen King

    • Good to know! My blog hopping is probably going to take a hit over the holidays, but I’ll make a note to check out your lists.

  8. Hi Carmel!
    Many top reads for me in 2014, but of course my favourite was “The Getaway God” by Richard Kadrey, continuing his Sandman Slim series. You’ve made some great picks on this list, and everyone’s been raving about the new Anne Bishop series so I think I’ll be adding this one to my TBR because it sounds fabulous, and I greatly enjoyed her jewels of the blood series previously. Have a happy, safe, and fun holiday!

    • I picked up two of Richard Kadrey’s books at RT14, but haven’t gotten around to actually reading them yet. Thanks for the holiday wishes, right back at ya!

  9. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but Visions, Black Widow and the first Anne Bishop book are on my to-read list. I think I even own all 3 books, hope to read them soon. I loved the first Cainsvile book and I can’t believe I still haven’t read Visions.
    Lola recently posted…Review: The Aether Sea by Edward Turner

    • At least most of my top 10 are on your to-read list, that’s a good start. And, YES, you really do need to make time for Armstrong!

  10. Endless Knight was fantastic. I really want to read Anne Bishop and Jeanine Frost – they’re both on my TBR for sure!
    Nicole recently posted…Review – Mortality by Kellie Sheridan

    • It was indeed! I can’t WAIT for 2015 to arrive because with it comes the next Kresley Cole book. Squee!!

  11. All of your picks are on my top 10 list or my hurry-up-and-read-me-soon (before-Carmel-sends-the-book-ninjas-to-force-me) list LOL! Great choices 😉
    Traci recently posted…Coffee Shop Talks, #84

    • I love the whole silent communication thing we have going on, Traci. Who’d have thought that my death stare would be so effective online.

  12. I think it’d be hard to pare the list down to 10, but that these made your list says a lot. And I’ve not read a one of them…YET! But you know that if they weren’t already on my tbr, you added them, right? 😉

    Happy Monday! I hope you have a wonderful week!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ The Darkest Part ~ Trisha Wolfe**

    • It took me soooo long to narrow my top 10 down, you have no idea! We were allowed honourable mentions too, but then my list would go on forever, so I said screw it. Walk away, Carmel.

  13. Oooo yes, I so loved Black Widow Carmel!!! And Cry Wolf of course. I can’t wait for the next Charles and Anna book:) Looking forward to the rest of you lists:)

  14. *your

    • Cry Wolf probably should have been on this list years ago, but better late than never. Love that you’re as anal as I am about typos. Hehe!

  15. Endless Knight and Written in Red, bowing down to those books! Coming up with my own list is going to be a tough one but these two will surely be in it.
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Series 101 + Giveaway: SilverMoonSaga by Marah Woolf

    • I could have gone with top 20 instead of 10, but the hosts said that was a no-no, so I’m trying to be a good lil’ blogger & keep it short.

  16. Once again Carmel I have not read ONE book on your top 2014 books list but I trust your word! I bet they’re all super awesome.
    Lily recently posted…{Blog Tour} This Shattered World (Starbound#2):Review

    • That’s just the way it goes sometimes. Hopefully you’ll read at least one of ’em in 2015. 🙂

  17. Fabulous list of books! I love most of these series and the others I don’t, only because I haven’t tried them yet. 😉
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Gone Too Far by Natalie D. Richards

    • Thanks! I steered mostly clear of my werewolf books because that list will come later this week.

  18. Great list Carmel! I see some books that I really want to catch up to soon ( Magic Breaks and Endless Knight) and I have Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop just waiting for me on my shelf *hangs head* lol. So glad you had such awesome reads. I’m sorely tempted to finish Magic Breaks on audio and join the challenge as well : )
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Young Adult Book Review: Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

    • At least you’ve read Written in Red, so you’re halfway there. Ilona Andrews’ series is FABULOUS in audio; I’m listening to Burn for Me right now. Trying to hit 50 for this year’s challenge before the end of the month.

  19. My TBR list is crying lol I think the only one I’ve read (I’m reading now) is Black Widow. Adding the rest 🙂

    • Save those tears for later this week because there are four more of these posts on the way. Hehe! Black Widow was one of Estep’s best EA installments IMO. ENJOY!

  20. That’s a pretty impressive list! I have a couple of those (Black Widow & Magic Breaks) are on my list as well. Since I’ve started audiobooks this year, I made two lists – reads and listens. My reads tend to be published in 2014, but the listens tend to be pre-2014 and felt that they deserved their own category!

    Looking forward to sharing 2015 with you and seeing what you find next!
    Jen Twimom recently posted…Mistletoe Madness 2014: Amanda J. Greene

    • Audiobooks are a great way to catch-up on some of the series that have been on your TBR forever. That’s mostly what I use them for aside from the odd MUST listen that I hold out for. Seems like we’ve been on the same audio path lately; first Briggs’ Alpha & Omega novels, and now Burn for Me.

  21. That’s a strong list of choices and sadly I’ve only read two of them, Briggs and Frost. It was definitely a great year for books.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Review: Gunpowder Alchemy by Jeannie Lin

    • Two out of ten isn’t horrible, you read a lot more Historicals than I do, so you’re kicking my butt in that genre. Hehe!

  22. I really need to read Anne Bishop’s books. One of her novels has been on my wishlist for a long time now!
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Ask Me Anything- No Really, Ask Me! (Giveaway added)

    • The Others is one of my FAVOURITE series, I wish I could say the same about her Black Jewels trilogy. Still working on getting to book 2.

  23. There are so many series up there that I have yet to try. Elemental Assassin and Kate Daniels are my musts for 2015. Totally agree about Murder of Crows. Love that series. My best of goes up tomorrow.
    Heidi recently posted…Review: The Heart of Christmas(Whiskey Creek #7) by Brenda Novak

    • You’ll have your hands full with Estep & Andrews’ series, but they are well worth your time, so it’s all good. I’ll be sure to check out your list tomorrow. 🙂

  24. Oh Some wonderful books there and I loved a lot of them! I need to do my post, I just didn’t take the time to do so but I’ll!

    • I didn’t think you were participating in the top 10 of 2014, but then again it’s been a while since I last glanced at the host linky. Unless you’re doing your own list, that works too!

  25. I loved Endless Knight, too! I personally like Death more than Jack, and I’m curious to see who Evie will end up with in Dead of Winter.

    I also really want to read the Written in Red series! It sounds super unique 🙂
    Montana recently posted…2014 YA Contemporary Challenge Final Link-Up and Giveaways

    • I’m team Death all of the way, and super anxious to read Dead of Winter too. Fingers crossed that the Cajun doesn’t get the girl. LOL!

  26. Commentreat list Carmel. I have a lot of 10 star reviews on my list for 2014, at least half of those are re-reads, so not counting them. I really have to mention Jean Johnson – Theirs not to reason why series. It is amazing.
    I am not up to date on some of the series you mention, but I have to agree with Patricia Briggs and of course Anne Bishop. I so look forward to book 3!

    • This list doesn’t have to be just 2014 titles, anything goes! As a general rule, I read more new releases than oldies, however I did pretty good this year on that front compared to usual.

  27. Lol the anonymous comment is made by me. Strange name …
    aurian recently posted…Rachel Caine – Ghost Town

    • Oooh, thanks for letting me know! I actually recognize the Twitter handle, so I totally thought it was someone else. Stupid CommentLuv playing tricks on me again…

  28. What a great list! Most of these are on my tbr list but Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost and Jennifer Estep wrote awesome books this year, as always. Happy holidays 😀
    Lea Krnjeta recently posted…TOP 10 OF 2014: BEST BOOKS I’VE READ IN 2014

    • They sure did! Those three authors are on my auto-buy list; I never miss one of their releases. Happy holidays, Lea!

  29. I agree! Evernight was pretty fantastic. It was my first Darkest London book and I can’t wait to go back through the rest of them.

    I have Endless Night in Mt. Read Me. Sounds like I better get on it!
    Stephanie recently posted…Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga *Stephanie’s Review*

    • I was first introduced to Callihan’s writing by another blogger, and ever since I just can’t stop reading ’em. Every single novel in that series has received 5-stars from me.

  30. Oh yea! The Given was the book I wanted from the start. It was my fave too! You have several up there I’m not quite caught up with yet, but I’m trying! 🙂 Great list!
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Audiobook Review: I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas by Molly Harper

    • I was slightly worried about how Pettersson had planned on ending her trilogy, but The Given was pure perfection!

  31. One week left so might reading some more awesome books then 😉 I am waiting with my list
    blodeuedd recently posted…Sweet Inspiration / Sweet Magik – Penny Watson

    • It’s so crazy that Xmas is just days away, and 2015 is not too far behind it. Where does the time go!?

  32. Love Jeaniene Frost and Patricia Briggs but I’m behind and haven’t read the books you listed yet.
    Jennifer recently posted…Top 10 of 2014 ~ Best Books I’ve Read in 2014

    • Well, you know what they say… there’s no time like the present. Thanks for stopping by to check out my list! 🙂

  33. Murder of Crows and Magic Breaks are on my list too. It’s been a good year for reading!

    • Indeed! And, I must say, you have EXCELLENT taste in books. Hehe!

  34. That’s a great list. I think a couple of the books that really stuck with me this year are.. Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan, Wild Wolf by Jennifer Ashley, Rule Breaker by Lora Leigh, How To Seduce A Vampire Without Really Trying by Kerrelyn Sparks and Wulfe Untamed by Pamela Palmer.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Happy Raturday!

    • Wild Wolf will be on tomorrow’s list; I tried not to feature too many titles more than once, but it was tough. I enjoyed Pamela Palmer’s Vamp City novels, her Feral Warriors are still on my wishlist.

  35. I have never heard of these titles yet :O I must be missing a lot. I’ll add them to my TBR, thanks for sharing, love. <3
    Chyna recently posted…Accepting GR friend request

    • Ha! Well, apparently you have some catching up to do in 2015. 😉

  36. Look at all those new series I’ve got to get into, lol. Fortunately I already have the first books in these series so it won’t hurt too badly.
    Anya Breton recently posted…Giveaway – 15 Signed Paperbacks to Ring in 2015 (Open Int)

    • That’s a good starting point, many of them are fairly long though, so you might be at it for a while. Oh well, it’s a burden you’ll just have to bear.

  37. I haven’t read any of those! Thanks for sharing! Here’s my Best Books of 2014 post.
    Karsyn recently posted…Top 10 of 2014 ~ Sign Up & Best Books

    • I probably haven’t read any of the titles on you’re list either, so we’re square.

  38. Great list! I see books on my TBR list & others I need to check into! I have no idea how to narrow down to 10 & I think I read a lot of “not new” books in 2014! For sure I’d have to add Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater, LOL!!
    Tricia recently posted…What’s On Your Book Wish List?

    • Sinner will show-up on my top werewolf books on Wednesday, but yes, I could have easily featured it on this one too.

  39. Wheeeeeeeeee, I see MURDER OF CROWS is in this list, and it pleases me to see it ranking so high. I absolutely agree! If I were to rank all my best reads this year, Anne Bishop’s book would topple the rest as well. There’s just something so charming and magical about her work that I can’t find anywhere else.

    Faye at The Social Potato
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: Transcendent by Lesley Livingston

    • If Bishop published an Other novels over the course of any given year, it automatically trumps all other books IMO. It’s no contest! Glad we’re on the same page. Hehe!

  40. Damn I haven’t read any on your list, but man oh man, I really want to read (listen) Endless Knight!
    Nereyda recently posted…Top Ten of 2014: Favorite Covers!

    • Isn’t your blog name Mostly YA Obsessed? Hmmm… 😛

  41. I’m super excited about Endless Knight and Magic Breaks so I’m pleased to see they made your list.

    Adding a few more to my tbr pile 😉 A great list of books Carmel.
    Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…Series I’ve started and LOVED but I’m yet to finish!

    • Thanks, Sharon! There were some fantastic series finales this year, but unfortunately I wasn’t caught-up on all of ’em, but I did the best I could.

  42. I really need to get back into reading Patricia Briggs’ books again! The other books sound pretty interesting! Great list!
    Ronyell (a.k.a Rabbitearsblog) recently posted…The Sunday Post Meme (11)

    • I’m now up to date on two of Briggs’ series; I still have a few shorter ones left to go, but I’m getting there!

  43. Anne Bishop is a goddess. And yes, Frost is one of my favorite authors now because I just discovered her this year thanks to youuuu <3
    Paula M. recently posted…SNEAK-A-PEEK: Forbidden (Forbidden #1) by Kimberley Griffith Little + GIVEAWAY!!

    • Oooh, nice! So happy that you gave Frost a chance; she’s super talented, I LOVE Cat & Bones. Anne Bishop is a head above the rest for sure.

  44. Magic Breaks, Black Widow, and Cry Wolf. Spot on!!! I still need to read Up from the Grave.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Review: Thrive by Krista and Becca Ritchie

    • Thanks for approving of my picks! It’s mostly UF, but a PNR & YA title managed to sneak in there too.

  45. I’ve only read three of these (Bishop, Armstrong, and Briggs) but they were some of my favorites as well.
    Kristina D recently posted…New Releases ~ week of 12/22/2014

  46. Yay for Visions!! I read both Omens and Visions this year and absolutely love them, they’re on my top books of the year too 🙂
    Kelsey recently posted…Christmas Vacation

    • I struggled with Omens, but Armstrong hit it out of the park with Visions. I knew she’d get there eventually.

  47. I’m going to have to work on a best of 2014 list one of these days too. I have no idea how you managed to narrow it down to 10 though, I really don’t think I’ll be able to show as much restraint 😛
    Mogsy recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Injustice: Gods Among Us, Vol. 1 by Tom Taylor

    • I looked at all of my 5-star reads of 2014, then I closed my eyes and pointed. LOL! Not, but seriously, it was tough.

  48. Great book picks. I love the Katie Daniels, Alpha and Omega, & Night Huntress Series. I still need to read Up From The Grave. I’ve had the book since the day it came out, but I could not bring myself to end the series. Oh course I can’t wait for the new releases coming in 2015 for Katie Daniels & Alpha and Omega.
    Angela recently posted…Guest Post: Ann Gimpel (Dark Prophecy Book Tour) ~ #Excerpt

    • I got a little broken up over having to say goodbye to Cat & Bones this year, but Frost gave them a great HEA. I’m surprised that you’ve managed to hold out for 12 months!

  49. Visions!!! God I love that book. The Cainsville series is my new “must have” Kelley series. Olivia is such a great heroine and Gabriel has only grown on me since book one. Apparently the hero of her Nadia Stafford series is similar to Gabriel…so I’m gonna need to read that ASAP. 😉 Written in Red is going to be one of my upcoming reads for sure! I have a week of vacation time coming up and I’m sensing a major book binge is imminent.
    Danya recently posted…Review: Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

    • I haven’t gotten around to tackling her Nadia Stafford novels yet, but I finished one of her YA trilogies this year, so that’s progress. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Written in Red!

  50. Love your top 10 Carmel… I scrolled slowly to build up the suspense. Good to see some of my fav’s made the list.

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
    Naomi recently posted…Review ~ Becoming a Jett Girl by Meghan Quinn

    • I should have installed a music plugin to help!

  51. I have Briggs series on my list for 2015…love the list Carmel 🙂

    Merry Christmas!
    sharonda recently posted…Tuesday Jams #107

    • Excellent! I hope you don’t wait until December 2015. 😛

  52. Only read Magic Breaks and Murder of Crows, but this is a very good list, Carmel!
    kara-karina recently posted…Merry Christmas, Everyone!

  53. I finally read the Cry Wolf this year, and absolutely loved it. Fantastic series.
    E.J. Stevens recently posted…The Bite Before Christmas Book Review

  54. I really need to start Anne Bishop’s series, just from all your praises! It looks absolutely fantastic, so I’m not surprised that it made it into your top ten this year, yay! Never heard of the other ones, which is a sign I should really broaden my reading horizons heh. Happy holidays Carmel! xx
    Joy recently posted…MERRY CHRISTMAS!! (+Giveaway winner announced)

    • I’m not the only one who’s singing from mountain tops about Bishop’s series. I can’t recommend those books enough. LOVE THEM!!

  55. The List looks like all books part of series aren’t they!? I should totally make a list
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Made For You by Melissa Marr

  56. Yeah… unfortunately Urban Fantasy doesn’t do stand-alone very often.

  57. Eek! ALL of your picks are either books I’m dying to read or part of a series I’m trying to catch up on.
    Christy recently posted…My Top Reads of 2014

  58. YESSS to Murder of Crows, I think I’ve seen it as the best book on Joyous Reads and Not So Literary Heiresses as well and it makes me so proud I can say it’s on my list too! I love all of your recommendations, it makes me really miss being heavily into UF books and I aim to get into a few more of these series next year, especially the Ilona Andrews one. Great list lovely!
    Jeann recently posted…Chatterbox: Best Movies of 2014

    • Joy and Amir have EXCELLENT taste, so I’m not at all surprised to hear that.

  59. I’m not sure about the Celestial Blues, sounds weird. It really was a year of finales, wow! I read my first dystopian this year too. I’d marked the Arcana Chronicles as a not to read, but I might have to change that since it ranked so highly for you. (I was afraid of the zombies.) It is amazing how many people loved murder of crows, okay I have to read that too! Great list! 🙂

    • The Arcana Chronicles is NOT a zombie series; they are just part of the world, but never the focal point. Pettersson’s trilogy was indeed weird, however that was part of its charm!