Quarterly Report: What I've Read Recently ...


It's time for another look at what I've been reading recently! It's the last instalment of the year, and I'll be honest: I hit a major reading rut this fall. Some of my most highly anticipated books of the year came out in November, so I was able to pick up with those and thoroughly enjoy them. But still, definitely not the best reading months I've had like in previous years. Check out what I read this season ...

Favourite Reads of 2014

I honestly can't believe that another year has come and gone. 2014 moved so fast, and while it wasn't always great for me personally, I did manage to get a ton of reading accomplished throughout the year. I really worked to broaden my reading tastes this year - and while this list doesn't necessarily reflect that, I truly did read some stories that made me think differently about things. Remember, these are my favourite books that I've read this year - not necessarily published this year.

Badlands / Jill Sorenson
Read in: January
Badlands is a romantic suspense novel that tells the story of Owen, an ex-convict-turned-bodyguard and Penny, the daughter of a presidential candidate who are both kidnapped and taken into the California badlands. What follows is both a physical journey out of danger but also a deep, emotional journey to healing for both characters - but especially for Owen. I thought this was an excellent wrap up of Owen and Penny's story, that began at the beginning of Sorenson's Aftershock trilogy.



I shall be near to you / Erin Lindsay McCabe
Read in: February
Basically, this one made me cry. McCabe explores one of my favourite types of stories: the idea of what happens when women pass themselves off as men and enlist to fight a war. In this case, the setting is the Civil War, as Rosetta volunteers to fight in order to be closer to her husband, Jeremiah.  The prose was wonderful and descriptive, and I highly recommend sitting with tissues when you approach the end.
The winter sea / Susannah Kearsley
Read in: April
This was the first novel by Kearsley that I read, and I loved it so much I went out and read most of her backlist. The Winter Sea tells two intertwined stories: one of the author Carrie McClelland set in present day, and the other of Sophia, her ancestor and current muse. Kearsley's ability to craft a compelling tale is wonderful, and I was kind of surprised by my own ability to stretch my imagination and accept what was happening. The Winter Sea had lovely depth and it really kept me guessing as to how things would turn out in the end.



It happened one wedding / Julie James
Read in: May
Julie James is always so on-point with each one of her heroines. Sidney Sinclair is an investment banker who is unapologetically looking to find The One. But for the moment, she'll settle for a friends-with-benefits (-ish) situation with charming-playboy Vaughn Roberts. What follows is an absolutely wonderful story of forced togetherness when their siblings decide to get married. As with many Julie James' books, the banter and wit are top notch and the eventual happy ending is well worth the wait.

The son / Phillipp Meyer
Read in: June
This book wrecked me. Just absolutely wrecked me. To put this in perspective, I read this six months ago and every once and a while I think about the last line of the book and still get sad. The Son is a multi-generational story that covers three distinct generations and their challenges to earn and maintain power in Texas. The history nerd in me loved this book - and while I still saw romanticization of the West, it was brutally graphic and realistic at times as well. This is honestly a book I see staying with me for many years to come.


Sweet filthy boy / Christina Lauren
Read in: July
This was a genuinely surprising read. I initially laughed at the title (and still kind of wish it was better, really), but co-authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Bilings really created a sweet story with lots of depth. And yes, okay, the sex is pretty filthy too -- but this book has so much more. Sweet Filthy Boy begins in Vegas as a wild celebration turns into spur-of-the-moment nuptials between complete strangers, Mia and Ansel. An equally spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Paris to be with him sends Mia in a new direction in life, and the exploration of their fragile relationship is thoughtfully crafted and depicted. And as with any romance novel with multiple characters, it dutifully sets up the next in the series without tipping the delicate balance of the plot.

Isla and the happily ever after / Stephanie Perkins
Read in: October
I'll admit, I had absolutely no interest in the second instalment in Perkins' series - but this one hit just the right note for me. Isla and Josh find themselves navigating their senior year and dealing with family drama. While the book has a straightforward plot, the characters are what makes it a wonderful book. Isla and Josh are lovely to read about, and you really can't help but root for them - both romantically and to see success in their future. This really was a wonderful wrap up to the series by Perkins.

Quarterly Report: What I've Read Recently

Another three months have gone, and with it, summer. I miss it already. If you're curious about what I've been reading during the rest of 2014, check out my posts for January to March, and for April to June. I had an interesting quarter of reading, I think, this time around. A wide  variety of things: historical romances, non-fiction, young adult titles, and everything in between. Read on if you want to see what I read these past few months!