January: Cherry on Top Picks and Giveaway

January 31, 2016 12:44 pm Published by 38 Comments

It’s the end of the month and that means two things…our Cherry on Top for January list and our end of the month giveaway! January’s Cherry on Top picks range from paranormal to historical to yes, even the hotly debated contemporary. See, all is not lost in the contemporary world, even Nikki found one worthy of a mention! As always, please remember our Cherry on Top picks are not necessarily new releases for the month of January, just books we read in January that left a good impression on our souls.

Scandal’s Pick

isadora by ella frankISADORA (Masters Among Monsters #2)
by: Ella Frank
Amazon Review

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it until all of you guys are reading this series…Ella Frank can build a paranormal world worthy of your time and effort. Ella Frank writes compelling stories with interesting twists that will leave you stunned into submission. Ella Frank’s vampires are fuck hot. Ella Frank is an author that should be on your stop drop and roll list. What she does in ISADORA is nothing short of genius. The Greek mythology slant on vampires coupled with well, an interesting menagerie of couplings will pull you into this tale and make you question the good vs. bad scenario from chapter one. I can honestly say, I have no idea where she is taking us on this journey but I am enjoying the fuck out of this ride! Start at the beginning, Alasdair.

 

Nikki’s Pick

22926494APPEALED (Legal Briefs #3)
by Emma Chase
Amazon | Goodreads

I have a love/hate relationship with Emma Chase’s heroes. Basically, I love to hate them. I totally get the appeal of their snarky, man-child humor, but it wears on my nerves. That grating was certainly exacerbated by the fact that the Legal Briefs Series is written almost entirely from the male point of view. The male perspective is all sharp edges and blunt corners, and I find myself craving the buffer of the female mind. We lose a great deal of insight into the heroine without the female point of view, as well as the softness that comes with the feminine perspective. That being said, there are few authors who write men as well as Chase, and no author I’ve read who is as capable of crafting a three-dimensional, fully-fleshed character completely without the benefit of their internal dialogue. While I was amused by the goings-on of Drew et al. and found Overruled and Sustained enjoyable, Appealed was the first Emma Chase book I absolutely loved. Brent was a pleasant surprise, very, very different from the man I’d built in my mind after the first two books, and Kennedy was . . . perfectly imperfect. Best friends as children, Kennedy and Brent fell out after high school, when he did next to nothing to alleviate the bullying his girlfriend, the stereotypical beautiful-inside-but-rotten-through-and-through mean girl, showered on Kennedy. The shit this girl is subjected to would break a lesser woman, and it certainly took chunks out of our heroine, but she came out the other side stronger, smarter, snarkier and a whole hell of a lot more guarded. I wanted to smack Brent about his head on more than one occasion, but I appreciated that he went all-in with Kennedy very early on and set about righting the wrongs of the past. Both characters give us the very worst of the ugly they carry inside and still manage to pull at your heartstrings, and Kennedy’s journey from victim to valor was an ass kicking, girl power pleasure to read.

 

Teena’s Pick

Scandal Never SleepsSEDUCTION IN SESSION
(The Perfect Gentleman Series #2)
by Lexi Blake and Shayla Black
Amazon | Review

I reviewed this book for the blog early in the month and despite some valiant contenders this book is the winner. By far one of the best suspense series i have read in a long while. Please be warned this is the second book in the series and is not a stand alone. Read these books in order otherwise you will be lost and not know who did what to whom and who is supposedly dead!! I will say no more!

 

 

 

TJ’s Pick

25798810CHASING CRAZY
by Kelly Siskind
Amazon | Review

I read a lot of books in January and most of them were forgettable but this one was not. Nina our awkward heroine and one syllable Sam our sweet and broken hero were the perfect match. Sam makes Nina own her crazy, and Nina gives Sam a reason to love again. This book was refreshing and different. It was such a pleasure to read. My only problem with it was I didn’t want it to end.

 

 

 

 

Carmela’s Pick

27249396WICKED BEAUTIFUL
by J.T. Geissinger
Amazon | Goodreads

This is the first book by this author that I’ve read and it won’t definitely be the last. It is a revenge, second chance romance with an interesting plot twist and loveable primary and secondary characters. The writing is superb, filled with chuckle inducing banter as well as heartfelt moments that left me all teary eyed. Note to the author: Can we have Tabby and Connor’s book, please? (PS – Scandal note: This one is free on KU at the time of this post)

 

 

 

 

Hope’s Pick

107776Highlands’ Lairds Series
by Julie Garwood
The Secret #1
Ransom #2

January has been a month of rereads.  The Secret and Ransom are two of my all time favorite reads.  I’ve read them for years, so many times.  It is hard to choose which is my favorite.  I love the friendship between Judith and Francis Catherine and I love the bravery of Gillian.  Don’t even get me started on Iain, Brodick and Ramsay.  These books are simply delightful.

 

 

 

 

Lee’s Pick

risking it all by tessa baileyRISKING IT ALL
by Tessa Bailey
Amazon | Review

After finishing 2015 in such a book funk, I needed a good start to the New Year. Luckily I have had a great month of reading. With so many good books to choose from I can place myself completely in Tania’s shoes when trying to choose just one, but choose one I must, so my pick for January is Risking It All by Tessa Bailey. I know I am late to this series but with Boiling Point sitting on my Kindle taunting me I had some serious catchup to do. Apart from Ms Bailey’s excellent skill in writing a dirty talking Alpha male, this story had so much more for me. I loved Bowen and Sera, the way they bared their souls to each other, their actions that spoke louder than words, the emotions in the decisions they made and the way I felt so involved in each encounter. Both characters were complex, each with their own inner demons to battle and I thoroughly enjoyed their road to redemption and love. The whole story for me felt so intimate and the suspense just added another engaging layer for me to what was a well rounded story.

 

Rebeca’s Pick

Love In The Light by Laura KayeLOVE IN THE LIGHT (Hearts in Darkness #2)
by Laura Kaye
Amazon | Goodreads

The full length follow-up to Laura Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness novella, Love in the Light picks up the story of what happens with Makenna James and Caden Grayson after their chance meeting in an elevator stuck by power outage and their resulting love affair.  Ms. Kaye won me over with her ability to pack such a detailed and engaging love story into a short collection of pages in that first story and I was thrilled when I learned a sequel was coming.  Love in the Light delivered more than I could have hoped for.  Caden is not your everyday idiot that’s just too afraid to give himself to a good woman. He has legitimate issues battling PTSD and clinical depression and Laura Kaye does a phenomenal job of pulling you into the heartbreaking whirlwind of Caden’s beautiful mind. This story takes us on a journey of his realization that he needed to fix himself in order to be the man that he wants and needs to be, as well as the man that Makenna needs and more importantly, deserves.

 

Sunny’s Pick

25476654MERCURY STRIKING
by Rebecca Zanetti
Amazon | Review

Mercury Striking is book one in Rebecca Zanetti’s new series, The Scorpius Syndrome. It’s a dark and dangerous dystopian with a premise so possible, it is terrifying.  Edgy characters and non-stop action makes this a book you cannot put down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lola’s Pick
51lgLpJgTZL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_RUSH (Mackenzie Family)
by Robin Covington
Amazon

I had the pleasure of getting an early ARC of Rush by Robin Covington. This 100-page novella packs a punch and kicks off a new project within the world of Lilianna Hart’s Mackenzie Series for those familiar with the popular romantic suspense collection. Several other authors such as Avery Flynn, Kimberly Kincaid, Cristin Harber and Christopher Rice are all involved in contributing to the extension of this world and for Covington this book kicks off her foray into erotic romance. The reclusive Atticus is not only forced out of his mountain hideaway for an important case but he is also required to collaborate with his ex-wife, Olivia. A woman born with a silver spoon and sticky fingers, one can easy conclude that the dynamic between these two is convoluted, as you’ll get. It’s action-packed and Robin has planted the seed for more great things to come for Atticus and Olivia. Rush releases February 16 by the publisher of 1001 Dark Nights collection, Evil Eye Concepts and is bound to appeal to lovers of suspense with a dose of eroticism.

 

Giveaway

Normally our end of the month giveaway is a selection of e-books from the month. I’m switching things up a wee bit because I still have quite a few paperback books to giveaway so this month’s prize is a random box of books. I can tell you, it will be a nice mix of very new releases and a couple of older ones, too! To enter, just do what the rafflecopter tells you!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scandal &

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38 Comments

  • Amy Schmid says:

    Craving Molly by Nicole Jacquelyn. Nicole did an amazing job with a strong heroine, and I absolutely LOVED Reb, Molly’s daughter.

  • Jo says:

    Do I have to pick just one???
    Love in the Light by Laura Kaye, Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas and All I Want by Jill Shalvis.

  • Kathy says:

    You guys know I am a hard core KA fan, so, of course my pick is Sebring. I will admit it took me a while to get into it. I don’t know if it was my mind set or the fact that I knew it was the end of that series. Or the fact that in the previous books, Nick was a total douche & maybe I wasn’t ready to love him yet. Whatever the reason, it took me until about halfway in to really get into it, but once I did….I ended up really loving Nick. To prepare for him, I did a re-read of that whe series; this took time. Also, I kinda made a New Year’s resolution; I am trying very hard to read from my TBR list.

  • Michelle Harlan says:

    My favorite read was The Bride by Julie Garwood. The fabulous Tessa Bailey & her group of Babes recommended the book & they were so on point with their suggestion. I loved everything about the story! Alec was amazing! I loved that he enjoyed making Jamie upset & went about it in such a way as to teach her an invaluable lesson. That lesson? That she is allowed to be upset with him. He’s not going anywhere! Major freakin’ swoon points for that one! Jamie was a fun character to read. She’s strong, opinionated, and all about protecting others. This book was an excellent way to start my return to reading the “classics”. I’ve already checked out several other JG books-in fact, Ransom just downloaded this morning!

  • Tanya Guthrie says:

    I have read a lot of books this month, but I haven’t read any new releases yet this year. That being said I think Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught is my favorite from the bunch I read. Every Judith McNaught I’ve read so far are worthy of re-read status at some point. They just make me happy.

  • Jami Birnbaum says:

    My favorite read for January was Her Secret Lover by Robin Covington. I have loved every book that I have read of hers, and this was no different. It had everything a great romance should have: lust, heartbreak, entertainment & don’t forget the heat. I would definitely recommend it!

  • My favorite read this month was Roy Teel, Jr.’s seventh book in his Iron Eagle series. It was the best yet, filled with action beginning on the first page. Teel knows how to pack a punch and and doesn’t sugar-coat reality in his depiction of criminals. Of course, in HIS world, criminals get what they deserve.

  • Susana says:

    Not much reading done this last month, between flu-cold that keep on giving and does not want to go and a major reading slump since December 2015. A little depressing 🙁
    I did read 2 new books Angel’s Halo and The Score, both good but nothing like the other in the series. I can blame it on my mood I guess. I promise myself to read more historical, hopefully soon. Love all the recommendations and Nikki post. My kindle does not thank you ;P

  • Terri Talbott says:

    Sebring b K.A., The Baller by Vi Keeland, The Rock by LaurenBlakely and Feverborn by KMM were my January reads that I looked forward to the most in January.

  • Rita says:

    I loved Tessa Baileys Boiling Point. The Bronze Horseman was excellent in totally different way!

  • Habiba Ibrahim says:

    Wow!! I am all excited to read these books!!

  • Diana Merritt says:

    Loved Seduction in Session and I can’t wait for the books in the McKenzie family!

  • Wendy R. says:

    Karen Kingsbury – Chasing Sunsets

  • Julia Lis says:

    My favorite read of January would have to be Scarless & Sacred by Bethany Kris. I love mob romances. There my all time favorite reads, and the chemsitry Theo and Evelina had were off the charts. This book was action packed, that left me on the edge of my seat!

  • Maria Malaveci says:

    My favorite was Pucked by Helena Hunting

  • Joy says:

    Lexi Blake & Shayla Black’s Seduction in Session, love what these two authors think up together. Also The Titan series by Cristin Harber, Midnight Breeds – Lara Adrian, Sons of Sangue series by Patricia A Rasey, can’t wait for Rogue’s story, anything by Rebecca Zanetti. Too many favourites too choose just one. 😞

  • Trudy Dowling says:

    My favorite in January was Love in the Light by Laura Kaye. Caden is so swoon worthy. A love at “Not” first sight brought a smile to my face. Makenna is a wonderful heroine. She has patience. She is caring. She is compassionate. The romance was fantastic because it began with personalities and not looks.

  • Joy Greenway says:

    Love Seduction in Session, two of my favourite authors. But have so many other also – Lara Adrian, Rebecca Zanetti, Patricia A Rasey, Cristin Harber too name a few.

  • Kassandra says:

    I was doing a little “try to get through some of the TBR shelves” this month. The two that stuck with me are from the same series: Disenchanted & Co. and The Clockwork Wolf by Lynn Viehl. The character and world development is spot on and immediately engaging (if you like Steampunk!). I really want there to be more in this world/series but have seen nothing in the works as far as I can tell. I am not usually into a love triangle (tends to be a not gonna even read it for me) but this one only alludes to the possibility of one, when in fact the heroines heart really only belongs to one of the suitors. It was written in a way that I could believe, which is the kicker for me when it comes to love triangles.

  • Kim says:

    Full Domain by Kindle Alexander

  • Kim Brewing says:

    I loved Heated Ride by Chelsea Camaron. I reminded us that you have to work at your HEA.

  • Debra Taylor says:

    SEBRING by K.A.and CRAVING MOLLY by Nicole Jacquelyn

  • Appealed by Emma Chase – why? EMMA CHASE! And I love a good second chance romance.

    Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren – why? I love everything that has their name on it. But I really liked this one because one of the heroine’s from the first book ex gets his HEA.

  • Karen Gagnon says:

    It was a bit slow reading this month as I had a killer cold and cough but I was able to read several really good books. Big Rock by Lauren Blakely was a favorite because it was refreshing, hilarious, sweet and dirty! Everything I love about a book! I also listened to it on audio and Sebastian York was brilliant! =D Defenseless by Corinne Michaels was also funny, suspenseful and sexy. Thanks for the post and the chance to win!

  • Angela says:

    Without a doubt my favorite read of Jan was Angel of Redemption. Tania recommended it and it was just so awesome. Real people, with real everyday problems, well written and just beautiful.

  • Sofia T. says:

    My favorite read for January was Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning because it’s AWESOME! The Fever world is MINDBLOWING and the characters are even better. I absolutely love Barrons, Mac, Ryoadan, Jada and actually most of them!

  • Laura Lovejoy Brunk says:

    One of each…No seriously my reading list is almost identical ! I think if i had to choose…Isadora . I read Alaster and im hooked in this new vampire series and i adore Ella’s books !

  • Sue LeBlanc says:

    My favorite series in January was Ruin & Rule and Sin & Suffer by Pepper Winters. I loved them both because I love dark, on the edge of your seat thriller love stories and Pepper never disappoints.

  • Holly Stillwagon says:

    Oh. My. Word.
    I just found you.
    Where have you been all my life?
    Thanks you for real reviews! I am off to stock up on new books!

  • Martha says:

    I totally agree with Rebeca’s Pick, Love in the Light. I loved the follow novel that built on the Hearts in the Darkness which was only Happy-For-Now. I was so eager to hear/read what happened next. This novel completed their journey to a solid HEA. Laura Kaye sensitively presented Caden’s PSTD and clinical depression. The hero was flawed but he worked so, so hard to get better for Makenna.

  • Sara says:

    Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid. Penny has become one of my favorite authors, I love her quirky, nerdy heroines. I loved this one in particular because it was different…not a story of new or rekindled love, but enduring love. There were many marriage moments that I could identify with and it was nice to really be able to connect in that way with the main character.

  • Bonny Bordeleau says:

    Wow, what a selection of books! Mercury Striking looks awesome!

  • KV says:

    I liked Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne because it was a friends to lovers story that was realistic.

  • Trapped by Alison Aimes because it was unique and sexy and everything I love about books LOL

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