Caffeinated’s Top Ten 2014 Adult Reads

December 30th, 2014 Kimberly Feature 46 Comments

30th Dec

It’s that time of year again, where I pull my hair out trying to select my top ten adult reads. As many of you know I read adult fiction in many genres, making my task incredibly difficult. Below is the list I complied. You will notice all are not five cups of coffee reviews, but each book was memorable.  2014 was quite the year with favorite series ending and new to me author.  I only scratched the surface of my TBR pile. Grab a cup of coffee, cocoa or tea and enjoy. You can click on any title to read my full review. Maybe you will find your next read….

Adult Top Ten

Caffeinated’s Top Ten Adult Reads

Burn for Me
Burn For Me
by Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy #1
on October 28, 2014
Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire… Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire. Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive. Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Burn for Me was the perfect blend of suspense and characters with a super-hero vibe. I loved in so much I began listening to the Kate Daniels series and have completely caught up on the series! If you have never tried Andrews this is an excellent place to start.

Bitter Spirits
Bitter Spirits
by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties #1
Also in this series: Grim Shadows
Publisher: Penguin
on January 7, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance, Paranormal
 Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

First in a new romance series: It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits… Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act. Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her… On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…

I love the world Bennett has created from the 1920’s setting to the ghostly cases.

Chasing the Green FairyChasing the Green Fairy
by Melanie Karsak
Series: Airship Racing Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Chasing the Star Garden
on March 4, 2014
Genres: Steampunk
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A sabotaged airship. A recovering opium addict. A messenger with life-shattering news. With the 1824 British airship qualifying race only weeks away, Lily Stargazer is at the top of her game. She’s racing like a pro, truly in love, and living clean. But on one ill-omened day, everything changes. Pulled head-long into the ancient secrets of the realm, Lily soon finds herself embroiled in Celtic mysteries and fairy lore. And she’s not quite sure how she got there, or even if she wants to be involved. But Lily soon finds herself chasing the spirit of the realm while putting her own ghosts to rest. And only accepting the truth–about her heart and her country–can save her.

A fantastic steampunk Karsak continues to amazing me!

A Dangerous Madness
A Dangerous Madness
by Michelle Diener
Series: Regency London #3
Also in this series: The Emperor’s Conspiracy, Banquet of Lies
on May 19, 2014
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery,Romantic Suspense
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Duke of Wittaker has been living a lie… He’s been spying on the dissolute, discontented noblemen of the ton, pretending to share their views. Now he’s ready to step out of the shadows and start living a real life…but when the prime minister of England is assassinated, he’s asked to go back to being the rake-hell duke everyone believes he still is to find out more. Miss Phoebe Hillier has been living a lie, too… All her life she’s played by society’s rules, hiding her fierce intelligence and love of life behind a docile and decorous mask. All it’s gotten her is jilted by her betrothed, a man she thought a fool, though a harmless one. But when she discovers her former fiancé was involved in the plot against the prime minister, and that he’s been murdered, she realizes he wasn’t so harmless after all. And now the killers have set their sights on her… The only man who can help her is the Duke of Wittaker–a man she knows she shouldn’t trust. And she soon realizes he’s hiding behind a mask as careful as her own. As the clock ticks down to the assassin’s trial, the pair scramble to uncover the real conspiracy behind the prime minister’s death. And as the pressure and the danger mounts, Phoebe and Wittaker shed their disguises, layer by layer, to discover something more precious than either imagined–something that could last forever. Unless the conspirators desperate to hide their tracks get to them first.

I love Diener’s brand of historical suspense. While the romance is subtle the cases are engaging.

The Book of LifeThe Book of Life
by Deborah Harkness
Series: All Souls Trilogy #3
Also in this series: A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night
Publisher: Penguin
on July 15, 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The highly anticipated finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Discovery of Witches. After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago. With more than one million copies sold in the United States and appearing in thirty-eight foreign editions, A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night have landed on all of the major bestseller lists and garnered rave reviews from countless publications. Eagerly awaited by Harkness’s legion of fans, The Book of Life brings this superbly written series to a deeply satisfying close.

I thoroughly enjoyed the All Souls Trilogy and was delighted by the final book. This is a series I recommend to fans of witches, historical fiction, and swoon-worthy romances.

Gunpowder Alchemy

Gunpowder Alchemy
by Jeannie Lin
The Gunpowder Chronicles #1
on November 18, 2014
Historical Fiction, Steampunk

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

In 1842, the gunpowder might of China’s Qing Dynasty fell to Britain’s steam engines. Furious, the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers—and killed China’s best chance of fighting back… Since her father’s execution eight years ago, Jin Soling kept her family from falling into poverty. But her meager savings are running out, leaving her with no choice but to sell the last of her father’s possessions—her last memento of him. Only, while attempting to find a buyer, Soling is caught and brought before the Crown Prince. Unlike his father, the Emperor, the Prince knows that the only chance of expelling the English invaders is to once again unite China’s cleverest minds to create fantastic weapons. He also realizes that Soling is the one person who could convince her father’s former allies—many who have turned rebel—to once again work for the Empire. He promises to restore her family name if she’ll help him in his cause. But after the betrayal of her family all those years ago, Soling is unsure if she can trust anyone in the Forbidden City—even if her heart is longing to believe in the engineer with a hidden past who was once meant to be her husband…

A fantastic tale, beautiful, descriptive and engaging I loved the characters and world Lin created.

The Witch with No NameThe Witch With No Name
by Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows #13
Also in this series: A Perfect Blood, Ever After, Undead Pool
Publisher: HarperCollins
on September 9, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

At long last… The final book in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series by Kim Harrison! Rachel Morgan’s come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more. But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now. To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.

I was so sad to see the Hollows come to an end, but Harrison’s final book The Witch with No Name delivered leaving this fan smiling.

No Limits
by Lori Foster
Series: Ultimate #1
Also in this series: Hard Knocks
Publisher: Harlequin
on August 26, 2014
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A surprise inheritance reunites a mixed martial arts fighter with the woman he’s never forgotten in the first in a smoldering new series from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster… Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon. Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…

Lori Foster delivers when it comes to romance with a twist of suspense. I adored this first book in her new series and cannot wait for more.

A Cursed Bloodline
A Cursed Bloodline
by Cecy Robson
Series: Weird Girls #4
Also in this series: Sealed with a Curse,A Cursed Embrace, A Cursed Moon,Cursed By Destiny, A Curse Awakened
Publisher: Penguin
on November 18, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Since being cursed with unique abilities, Celia Wird and her three sisters have fought the most bloodthirsty preternaturals in the Lake Tahoe region. But Celia’s greatest threat is someone she would have never suspected: Anara, a werewolf Elder who has allowed his hatred for Celia to spiral out of control. In a play for dominance, Anara tortures Celia and gives her an ultimatum: sever her mate bond with pureblood were Aric—or Anara will kill everyone she loves. From the instant they met, Celia and Aric have shared an attraction that cannot be tamed. So keeping Aric away is impossible, and Aric would sooner die than allow anyone to hurt the woman he loves. Misha, master vampire and Celia’s sworn protector, also finds his way into the chaos, seeking blood from those who have harmed her. Now Celia and her sisters are caught in the middle of a war driven by lust, fueled by hatred, and destined to end in tragedy. For Anara is a force to be reckoned with, and he will not succumb without robbing Celia of those who hold her heart.

Robson made my heart bleed..if you haven’t tried the Weird Girls yet you need to add them to your TBR pile Stat!

Sixth Grave on the EdgeSixth Grave on the Edge
by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #6
Also in this series: Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light
Publisher: St. Martin
on May 20, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong? Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear. Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.

I consume these books on release day and then suffer withdrawal. Humorous, sexy and crazy I cannot get enough of this urban fantasy.

Honorable Mentions

All of these titles are worthy of a slot in my top ten:
Lamb To The Slaughter By Karen Ann Hopkins, A Barricade In Hell By Jaime Lee Moyer, Sweetest Mistake By Candis Terry, Allegiance By Susannah Sandlin, One Night More By Mandy Baxter

For other adult favorites from 2014 be sure and check out my Top Ten Audiobooks for 2014.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

46 Responses to “Caffeinated’s Top Ten 2014 Adult Reads”

  1. Cyn

    Awesome top ten! Definitely loveeed Burn for Me! And No Limits, yay Cannon! I’m really enjoying the Roaring Twenties series, can’t wait for book 3! I also need to check the Hallows series, now that it’s done, haha.

  2. Stacy (StacyHgg)

    OMG I REALLY want to read those Deborah Harkness novels! I have heard amazing things about them so I put them on my TOP LEVEL TBR, you know the TBR that I actually look at 😉
    Great picks!

  3. Jeann

    I think this year will be the year I finally pick up that amazing Charley Davidson series that everyone raves about! I still have to read Book of Life too. Amazing list Kimba, glad you enjoyed htem all!

  4. Tanya

    Great list! I am dying to read the Deborah Harkness series, and I’m mad at myself for not having read No Limits yet!

  5. Carolyn

    Kim, you do an extraodinarily good job at promoting. Would you help get the word out about my spot on the sidewalk? My 3 unique reading themes are starting their second year in February. I refuse to be stuck in the Dec 31 rush. 😉 I have activities with international prizes and welcome you as my guest too! I’m forever grateful for your personal support about our dear cat, Love. It was well needed, Carolyn.\”Ethereal\”:\”Gentle Spectrums\”:\”My Kind Of Mystery\”:

  6. Berls

    Hahaha I’m LMAO at you and Carmel!

    Great list, I have only read Witch with No Name, but I have many (most) of these on my list to read. Heck I own several! You’re motivating me to push some up the list though.

  7. Carmel

    I’ve read three out of these which is decent I think, although I must admit that I’m a little shocked that Anne Bishop’s novel didn’t make the cut. Then again, I’m a little late in making the rounds, so I still need to check-out your other top 10’s, maybe it’s on another post. It better be! *shakes fist*

  8. Katherine

    Pretty much all of these are on my TBR for 2015 already because of you! I’m looking forward to getting to them.

  9. Leona

    Some of the books sound like the kind I’d read so I added them to my neverending goodreads stack 🙂 Great picks of Steampunk!

  10. Braine Talk Supe

    That’s why I skip doing lists like this, I’ll go crazy thinking of my “best” although some of your picks I agree with. Happy New Year, Kimberly!

  11. Lola

    Great list Kimba, Bitter Spirits sounds interesting and the combination of paranormal and historical romance intrigues me. My goal for 2015 is to read more historical romances, so I am adding this one to my to-read list.

  12. Valeria

    Wow, I haven’t read any of these, but I’ve been wondering about the Book of Life (its whole series actually), since it was so hyped this year. I’ve also heard great things about the Charley Davidson series, with the 7th book coming out and all. But it is so long, I’m not sure about it yet.

    I definitely got my eye on the Regency London series. Sounds just like my cup of tea.

  13. Lexxie

    Awesome list, Kim! I was really sad to see the end of The Hollows, too, but I thought the last book was beautifully executed.
    I haven’t started the Charlie Davidson series yet, but I received the first two books from my Secret Santa, and I really look forward to them.
    And I’m really happy to see Lori Foster on your list – I love her stories so much 🙂
    Of course, I’m adding those I am unfamiliar with, so thanks for making me take out my crane to make sure I can bring them up to the top of Mt. TBR 🙂
    I hope you’re enjoying the last couple of days of 2014. Happy reading and Happy New Year!

  14. Candace

    There’s a few on here I have and need to read and a few I need to grab still. Nice eclectic list though! I’ll have to grab that Ilona Andrews one, everyone raves about it!

  15. R_Hunt

    Great list! I love to see other folks’ opinion on their best of the best.

  16. Quinn's Book Nook

    I’ve only read one of these books, but I loved it. No Limits by Lori Foster was so good. I just love her books. She always creates these really strong, alpha males, but they are never obnoxious about it.

  17. Nick

    I’ve only read one book in this list, Kim and it was a favorite for sure! I want to try the Jean Bennett one though! 🙂

  18. Lupdilup

    Great list Kimba! I’m still waiting for some of these book to come out on audio (Gunpowder Alchemy and A Dangerous Madness) I added them when you reviewed them, maybe they’ll make my top 10 for 2016 😉

  19. Jenny

    Oh yes Kim, Burn for Me is definitely on my list of favorites for the year as well. I adored Bitter Spirits too and can’t wait for the next book with Winter’s sister!!! I need to read everything else on your list, but I’m probably most excited for No Limits, I just love Lori Foster’s books:)

  20. Kelley

    I was obsessed with Chasing the Star Garden after I read it! And I own Chasing the Green Fairy but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Hopefully in 2015!

  21. Mom2triplets04

    I see you have the book of life on your list. I’ve been debating about picking that one up. Out of the three books is the life one your favorite? Hate when I start a series and it goes down hill by 3rd book

  22. Madiha

    I haven’t heard a lot of these…must be my fantasy high stopping me from the romances at the moment…Sixth Grave on the edge and gunpowder alchemy sound amazing. Great list, Kim 🙂 Best wishes for 2015 🙂

  23. Melliane

    yay so many great books! I love many of them as well. I’m starting the last Harrison book right now! So curious! Great list!

  24. alreem

    I hardly read any adult books, I will try to read some next year and I will use your list as a starting point, thanks for sharing 😀