Let’s start the countdown!

The #LifeBooksWriting blog challenge issued a might task this week – post my top five books. Narrowing down a list of my favorite books is like asking me to choose one flavor of ice cream for the rest of my life. It’s impossible! I’m a lover of all books – romance, chick lit, YA, NA, mystery – the possibilities are endless. The only genre I can’t read is horror. Oh yes, I’m a scardy cat and sleeping with the lights on is not an option.

Juicy beach reads in the summer and holiday-themed stories in the winter always put me in the spirit of the season. I have the pleasure of enjoying children’s books with my little man. We read fresh releases (much respect to Little Blue Truck and all the dragons that love tacos) and revisit the classics. Much to my delight, The Little Engine That Could is one of his favorites.

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite romance reads. My list is extensive, but these books have had special significance for me. Enjoy!

Belong to Me, The Wicked Lovers Series by Shayla Black

I’ve often said, “Shayla Black had me at ‘thwack.’” It’s the first word in Belong to Me and the statement is true. I read Fifty Shades and loved the books, but once I finished reading, I wanted more. It was a strange moment for me because I never read romance before Fifty, and I never considered reading anything in the genre after I finished. It’s very true that I never read romance because I always thought the stories were filled hearts and flowers, poetic prose and guys with long flowing hair. I believed that romance wasn’t for me because that stuff makes my throat close. Belong to Me was a next read suggestion via my Kindle and, after reading the first few lines, I became deeply entrenched in the world of the Wicked Lovers. It changed my world!

Logan and Tara shifted my ideas about what romance could be and how people express their love for each other. After Logan, I met his brother Hunter. Then, I met Jack Cole. Don’t even get me started on that man… Love!

Here’s the bottom line – this book rocks and the series is amazing. You must get your hands on the Lovers!

Handcuffed By Her Hero, The WILD Boys Series by Angel Payne

Zeke Hayes in a secluded cabin…`nuff said. Zeke is a hardcore badass that captured my heart in the first few pages. The WILD Boys series is a raucous journey with a vibrant cast of characters, but Zeke is the one I crave. Maybe it’s his Hawaiian shirts, maybe it’s the piercing, or maybe it’s his dance moves, quick wit, or sharp mind. Who knows! That man has a chokehold on my heart as does his gorgeous creator, Angel Payne. If you haven’t gotten WILD with the Boys yet, this summer is the perfect time to feel the heat.

The Submission Series by C.D. Reiss

I’ve only ever sobbed like a baby twice when I was reading. Once during The Deathly Hallows when Harry talks to his mother before he sacrifices himself to Voldemort and again while reading this series. If you haven’t read the books, I’m not going to spoil it for you, but if you’ve had the pleasure of reading Jonathan and Monica’s story, then you know the scene…they are in the hospital and talking and here come the waterworks.

This series is edgy, bold, and captivating. It’s delivered in tight, beautifully constructed vignettes, which allows the reader to quickly devour all the goodness these two have to offer. Trust me it’s delicious! I had the pleasure of meeting C.D. Reiss at a signing several years ago. I still look at the snippet of support she wrote in my copy of Beg when I need a little inspiration.

Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvian Reynard

When I think about Gabriel and his Julia, I swoon. Their romance is beautiful, guarded, and paced. They are lyrical, intellectual, and brutally passionate. Gabriel’s Inferno is one of those stories that made me gasp aloud when I got to that part of the novel. Much like the Da Vinci Code, Reynard blends works of art into the story. It adds a level of sophistication and class without becoming stuffy.

This story is enthralling. Maybe it’s because the story takes place just a few hours away from my hometown, or it’s the depths of Gabriel’s emotional wounds and how Julia helped him heal. Maybe I was drawn in because he walks with her in an orchard and lays with her under the moonlight. I’m not sure exactly. But, when he beat the stuffing out of the bad guy while wearing a tweed jacket, my heart beat a little harder for Professor Gabriel Emerson.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

If you have not had the chance to get your hands on this book, you must! Erin Morgenstern is a genius with imagery, and the love story is wonderfully compelling. Here’s the gist – two magicians unknowingly pitting against each other in a duel to the death fall in love… Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff.

The Night Circus takes an intriguing look at what pleasure is and means for people. What do we love and how do we love. What are the moments, scents, people we crave and how do we bring those things in to our world. This tale also possesses wonderful mystery, intrigue and a healthy dose of subterfuge. If the Night Circus popped up in my town, I’d be at the gate with ticket in hand.
Well, darlings, that my list! If you have read any of these books and want to share your thoughts with me, feel free to chat with me on Facebook. If you’re inspired to pick up one – or all – of these fabulous reads, I’d love to hear from you as well.

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!
<3 Piper