Ok. The first thing you need to know is that before I made this list, I literally spent over an hour just agonizing over how on earth I was to choose and list my top favs.
Do I pick a Top 10? Impossible! Only 10?? As if! … okay, so then I tried Top 20. Nope, still not enough. Then I tried to make it ‘match’, Top 12 of 2012.. Top 22 of 2012… still too few… ok, fine, Top 25?? Top 30? Ok, now we’re just getting excessive… *sigh* Do I choose the top books read in 2012, or the top books published in 2012??
Eventually I gave up. I stopped counting. I don’t know how many books are on this list and I never want to count. The only thing I know and the only thing that matters is that each and every one of them are on my favorites list. They are ALL beautiful books that make my heart race, have a beautiful love story and a happy ending. That’s what I spend my time seeking. That is the heart of my reading addiction – the need to find these books, to read them, love them, and finally share them with everyone I know… But, considering I have only been running the blog for less than a year ( I started it in April 2012 – feel like its been so much longer though!), I decided to choose to list my fav books that I read in 2012. Books that left a mark on my heart in one way or another.
So, without further ado, here’s my list of Favorite Books Read in 2012 🙂
THE BRONZE HORSEMAN TRILOGY by Paullina Simons
This is, without a doubt, the most well-written, most intense, most incredibly beautiful, and heart wrenching yet heart warming love story ever told. It is unforgettable, incomparable, is guaranteed to make your heart overflow with emotion and will probably make you feel more strongly than any book you have ever read. Seriously, the epic depth of the story and the intensity of the love between Alexander and Tatiana is something every single reader must experience. On a scale of 1 – 5, each of these books easily gets 10 stars from me!
“Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask: what do you believe in? What do you hope for? But most important – ask: what do you love?
… I know who I am, she thought, taking his hand … I am Tatiana. And I believe in, and hope for, and love Alexander for life.”
THE CROSSFIRE TRILOGY by Sylvia Day
If I had to custom order a series from the deepest book desires of my heart, it could not be more perfect than this. It had me swooning, drooling and panting over Gideon Cross and had me reading for the better part of it with the world’s biggest grin on my face. It was the perfect blend of heart warming actions and lines, HOTNESS , and seriously tortured hero (and heroine). Bared To You was one of the only books ever where, the moment I was finished, I flipped it over and started again at page one and read it through right away again.
“I want there to be happily-ever-afters for the fucked-up crowd. Show me the way, Eva honey. Make me believe.”
THE SLAMMED SERIES by Colleen Hoover
One of the most deeply heart-felt and powerful series I’ve ever read. These books touched my heart in a way that is just beyond words. Absolutely everyone in the world must read them.
“My heart pounds against my chest. Not because I’m nervous. Not even because I want her worse that I’ve ever wanted her before. It’s pounding against my chest because I realize I’ve never been so sure about the rest of my life than I am in this moment. This girl is the rest of my life.”
This is an absolutely beautiful, unique and unforgettable story about survival and love. Its well-written, riveting and heartfelt. The ending and epilogue brought the happiest tears to my eyes. I honestly don’t have one single complaint to make about this book. I absolutely adored it.
“I kissed her as soon as we were inside her apartment, and I wasn’t gentle about it, holding her face firmly in my hands and pressing my lips hard against hers. She wasn’t anyone’s to own – I knew that – but right then she was mine.”
THE THOUGHTLESS SERIES by SC Stephens
A rockstar. A love triangle (one of the only love triangle stories I’ve ever loved). And a story that sucks you in, makes your heart race and drop, and doesn’t let you stop turning the pages even for a second. Kellan Kyle is easily one of my most favorite book boyfriends ever written!
“…but what it all boils down to is three words that don’t mean nearly enough… I love you.”
Hopeless utterly blew me away. It was the kind of book that makes me want to stand on a rooftop and shout how amazing it is to the whole world! Beautiful, heart-wrenching and uplifting. Absolutely breathtaking!
“And once again in my new world full of heartache and lies, this hopeless boy somehow finds a way to make me smile.”
The Sea of Tranquility is a beautifully written, deep, heart-wrenching drama about two damaged teens surviving unchangeable tragedies, and devastating grief, hurt, and pain, learning to cope with them, accept them, and somehow finding healing, safety and finally happiness and love in each other along the way. This book has one of the most powerful endings I have EVER read!! I literally just read it over and over and over again with tears in my eyes. Ah-ma-zing and uplifting!!!
Back To You is a gorgeous, believable second-chance friends-to-lovers story that was both heart breaking and heart warming, with an uplifting, satisfying ending that left me clutching my heart, with happy tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I absolutely loved it with all my heart!!!
“I always knew I would fall in love with you,” he said softly, “But you were never supposed to love me back.”
The Edge of Never was such an unexpected read for me! It just swept me away on an emotional journey about friendship and love, of living in the moment, living life to the fullest, being true to yourself and not being afraid to reach for your dreams. A top fav!
“…dwelling and planning is bullshit,” he says. “You dwell on the past, you can’t move forward. Spend too much time planning for the future and you just push yourself backwards, or you say stagnant in the same place all your life.” His eyes lock on mine. “Live in the moment.”
This book reduced me to a hyperventilating, tear-streaked, deliriously happy puddle of goo. It was just one swoon/drool/squee-worthy scene after another. An absolute GEM.
“It was wild. Abandoned. Rough. Wet. Intense. Fiery. Thorough. Exquisite. Heart-pounding. Blood-singing. Soul-rocking. Life-altering. Lucious.”
Travis Maddox is without a doubt my most favorite bad boy of all time! This book is one of the ones responsible for introducing me to the world of contemporary romances. Its one of the most addictive and absorbing books I’ve ever read. A top fav!!
“You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!” In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face. “WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.”
Books like this remind me why I absolutely ADORE reading. It highlights the gut-wrenching horrors of abuse, the beauty of a second chance, of finding the strength to stand up for yourself and for those you love, and of the healing power of love.
The dedication at the beginning of the book says it all:- “Because it shouldn’t hurt to be touched.”
THE DARK DUET by CJ Roberts
A dark, powerful minfuckingly amazing read with a twisted and yet beautiful love story, multi-layered, complex characters that will test the boundaries of your heart and mind, a plot that will captivate and disturb you but at the same time leave you unable to turn away, and a raw, gritty, brutal world of betrayal, revenge, honor, lust, and love. It seduced me and it sickened me. I felt emotionally drained, utterly mindfucked and yet, ultimately, somehow completely at peace. This series blew my mind!
“What’s going to happen to me?” I asked quietly, almost hoping he hadn’t heard. I wasn’t sure I wanted an answer. There was no answer – then, “Whatever I wish.”
UP IN THE AIR SERIES by RK Lilley
This series would easily top my list of ‘What to read after Fifty Shades and Crossfire’. Its an addictive, emotional, HOT and kinky BDSM trilogy that just works its way right into your heart! James Cavendish made my list of top book boyfriends ever! A must read!
“It was hard to remember we weren’t supposed to feel anything for each other when he looked at me like I was more important than his next breath.”
THE LOVE SERIES by Tina Reber
If the idea of a romance with Hollywood’s hottest heart throb makes your swoon then Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed are absolute must reads! The Love series have just the right mix of angst and pure swoon to keep your heart racing and melting! … seriously, Love Unrehearsed may have actually been THE swooniest book I have ever read. Ryan is just… perfect! <3
“You’re my world, babe. Mine. Not theirs. They can have me, but they can’t have you, too…. I meant it when I said forever… You are it for me… The me that is standing in front of you right now is not the same me that’s out there in the spotlight… They only get the outside, not the inside. That’s for you.”
A wonderful blend of HOT HOT HOT kinky fuckery and a deep emotional journey and love story. E.L James is just genius at depicting emotions, understanding relationships, and communicating what is going on in her characters’ minds. These books have made my heart burst and break, made me laugh and cry… It is definitely one of my favorite series ever. Hands down. The depth to which the characters are taken and described is beyond words.… this is one of those series that will stay with you forever!!!
“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly. “No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard”
I read most of it with a big stupid grin plastered on my face and pretty much just alternated between squeeing, squealing, giggling, snorting, crying, shaking and cackling with laughter. The banter! The chemistry! The flirting! The texts!!!! *melt* The nooking! The wooing! … this book is just loaded with win! Easily my fav lighthearted book of the year!!
“He was wooing me. And I was letting him woo. I wanted the woo. I deserved the woo. I needed the wow that would surely follow the woo, but for now, the woo? It was whoa.”
HOLY ALPHA MALES!!!!!!! Yowza!!!! *fans self* I’m surprised this series didn’t self-combust from the degree of utterly squee/drool/swoon-worthy, bossy, possessive, unapologetic, sweet, tender, badass, HOT UBER ALPHA males!! I mean WOW! This series is pure deliciousness!
“We’ve hit the hot guy motherlode.” **SHIVERS**
Pure. Freaking. Gold. This series had me laughing out loud, squeeing (out loud), tearing up, grinning for pages on end and fanning myself from the hotness. I love how, as the series progresses, we see more and more of the characters. What a HUGE core group – there must be at least like 25 of them and just the dynamic of all of them together makes for some absolutely BRILLIANT scenes. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, you should bump it way up on your to-read pile. You are seriously missing out!
“Swear to God, these boys should be locked up. It isn’t safe, men with that much testosterone coursing through their blood free to roam.”
“I want you. I want to taste you. I want to f*ck you. I want to make you come and I want to hear you moan my name when you do so I know that you know it’s me who made you come.”
An utterly beautiful series with some seriously epic badass moments that highlights how, if the love is pure and real, no amount of years of separation will ever really dull it. Totally beautiful concept. Strong themes of Loss. Healing. Betrayal. Trust. Family. Friendship. Loyalty. Bonding. Love.
“The only things precious in my life breathe.”
The Mighty Storm is a well-written, faced paced, absorbing ROCKSTAR romance that put me through a deliciously emotional angsty ringer, made my heart race and flutter and had me swooning like crazy over Jake Wethers. Freaking. Thrilling. Read. LOVED IT!!
“I love you… I’ve only ever loved one girl, Tru – and that’s you. It’s always been you. I’ve loved you from the moment I knew how to love.“
Another top fav funny book. I cried with laughter to the point where I’d have to stop reading in order to catch my breath!! If this makes you laugh, you’ll love this book:
“I decided… I was going to be a labor and delivery consultant. I was going to stand next to every single woman in labor and every time.. the woman’s husband said something stupid like, “Just breathe through the pain,” it would be my job to squeeze the living fuck out of their reproductive organs until they were curled up in the fetal position… and I’d say “Just breathe through the pain, asshole!”
Sempre was totally different than anything I’ve ever read yet in that it did a fantastic job of blurring the lines between good and bad. So many times when reading it I felt conflicted. Everything about some of the situations were so wrong but at the same time, I was liking, maybe even loving, the characters who were doing evil actions. Good guys put in bad situations, forced to make hard decisions that made them do wrong things for the right reasons but in the end the wrong thing to do actually ended up being the right thing… Yeah, if that confuses you, it sure as hell confused me too lol. And I loved it!!!
“There was an ache in his chest, originating in the center of his heart. It was the pain of all-consuming, overflowing love, so powerful it took his breath away. “Do you feel this? We belong together.” He kissed her. “ Sempre.”
This book was a heart breaking, heart warming, heart racing, keep-you-up-all-night, have-you-swooning-squeeing-and-declaring-your-undying-love-for-the-hero kind of story. It made me laugh, squee, cry, grin…. everything you could want in a book!
“I loved you then. I love you now. I’ve loved you every day for the past seven years… Every day, every minute, every second.”
TAKE THIS REGRET by AL Jackson (My review)
This is an achingly beautiful, heart wrenching book about a second chance at love and with an wonderfully sweet HEA that tugged at ALL my heart strings!! The level of emotion it pulled out of me right from the beginning was so strong and intense that I read most of it either with a huge lump in my throat or in tears (most often happy tears since the point of this book is about healing). Highly, highly recommended!
“She was mine, had always been, and I’d always been hers. Despite what I’d done, the wounds I’d inflicted, she had always been mine…. our hearts had been tied, our bond one that neither of us could ever escape.”
I flat-out LOVED this book! A top fav YA read! This book is about relationships. Not just romantic ones, but also about deep family connections. It deals with many painful hurts that the family has experienced and throughout the book we see their healing process as this dysfunctional family puts the broken pieces of their lives back together… oh, and it has a twist!
The Sweet Gum Tree was an intense, utterly riveting book that I literally could not put down, that kept my heart racing, kept me near tears for a good chunk of it, that had me hanging off of every word that I read, and the story just ripped my heart out but yet still had a very sweet ending.
“You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted, Alix, the only one I’ll ever want. That’s a promise.”
An unconventional erotic romance. If you are ever in the mood for something ‘different’, this is a great one to try! Its a raw, heavy, dark and introspective read that guilt, self worth, trust, survival. And a sort of love.
“I’d met men who made me laugh, who made me sigh, even a few, very few, who’d made me come. Until now I had never met one I couldn’t forget.”
A beautiful friends-to-lovers story about a girl from a broken home and the bad boy who made her feel loved and safe again. I devoured it and am eagerly waiting the sequel!
“…when it all comes down to it, it’s just me and her against the world. Always has been.”
“Just breathe,” my mom would say. “Ten tiny breaths … Seize them. Feel them. Love them.”
This is a story about a girl who was drowning in the pain of her shattered life and the boy with a dark past of his own who pulled her out and helped her to breath, to live, and to love again.
“Give me your heart, Kasey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.”
PURE YA GOLD!!! I’ll be honest here, I didn’t think I was going to love a book about aliens. That’s why I put off starting this book for so long. Its not that I had anything against them, I just wasn’t sure if they were my ‘thing’, you know?? I was wrong. Horribly wrong. They are SO my thing. Well, at least Daemon is. Holy hotness. He’s just… *fans self*… seriously for a YA book the sexual tension is just out of CONTROL!! I mean wow! I totally loved it!! Honestly, I have no complaints… well, maybe only that the series isn’t finished yet and I freaking want MORE but there’s not much I can do about that except bite my nails and wait no-so-patiently.
“Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.”
This is not a traditional love story but ohhhh I loved it! Its about a male prostitute and a single mom finding love and finding a way to make a relationship work despite the difficulties of their situation. Its wonderful, well-written, and swoony, with toe-curling hotness, a beautifully functional relationship, no stupidity and a very happy ending.
“There’s sex, and there’s… this.” He met my eyes. “Just being with someone like this. This isn’t something that can be bought or sold, and I couldn’t manufacture it for someone no matter how much they tried to pay me for it…. That’s why I’m here tonight. Because I need this. And here, with you, is the only place I can get it.” He swallowed hard. “Or give it.”
This book reduced me to a inconsolable, uncontrollably sobbing, shaking, and wailing WRECK!! It is so NOT my typical read. In fact its almost the antithesis of the kind of book I like and it took me many months to work up the emotional courage to read it because, yes, this is a love story between a brother and sister (*cringe/gulp*, right?). It is only for the most open minded and non-judgmental readers. It takes the concept of a “forbidden love” to a whole new level. It does not have a HEA and the ending is guaranteed rip your heart to shreds. But it is still one of the absolute best books I have ever read! And I absolutely PROMISE you, after reading their story, you will be wishing they could have a happy ending. Its raw, emotional to an extreme, powerful, achingly painful, beautiful and devastatingly tragic.
Down To You is a wonderful, addictive read that will have your heart fluttering, have you fanning yourself, with just the right amount of angst and a really cool twist… oh, and twins, REALLY HOT, panty-melting twins
“Did you think of my lips when he kissed you?… Do you still want me? Because if you do, I’m all yours.”
A heart-wrenching YA book about two broken teens struggling to put the shattered pieces of their lives back together and finding love along the way.
“If you’re scared, tell me. If you need to cry and scream, then do it. And you sure as hell don’t walk away from us because you think it would be better for me. Here’s the reality, Echo: I want to be by your side. If you want to go to the mall stark naked so you can show the world your scars, then let me hold your hand. If you want to see your mom, then tell me that too. I may not always understand, but damn, baby, I’ll try.”
This was my first Abbi Glines book. Ever. How I’ve managed to read this long and NOT read one of her book is a still a complete mystery too me. Her books feel almost like some sort of rite of passage as a reader. Everyone is always talking about them and now I know why!! I absolutely loved it, cliffhanger and all! A deliciously angsty bad-boy-meets-innocent-girl forbidden(ish) romance.
“Blaire, I’m not a romantic guy. I don’t kiss and cuddle. It’s all about the sex for me. You deserve someone who kisses and cuddles. Not me. I just fuck, baby.”
This book is about love and healing. That love can be found anywhere if you let it – no boundaries, no limits. And to accept it wherever and however it comes into your life. And that no matter how bad things get, it is always possible to heal.
“Open up your heart and see where it leads you…”
What a fun book!! The perfect blend of funny (hilarious actually!), sassy, sexy, goofy and swoony! Definitely a great lighthearted read for after a very emotional book.
“He had known exactly what I needed and when I needed it. It was as if he was put on this earth for the sole purpose of giving me pleasure. Who am I to argue with intelligent design?”
BACKSTAGE PASS (SINNERS ON TOUR SERIES) by Olivia Cunning
Hot, smutty, gorgeous, sexy, and sometimes kinky rockstars. Need I say more??
… did I mention HOT? oh, I did. Ok. ’nuff said 😉
ROCK ME and LEAVE ME BREATHLESS by Cherrie Lynn
Some times what you just need is a heavily tattooed and kinkily pierced bad boy hero with big heart, super cute and very steamy love story, no big bad guy, laugh out loud moments, and a happy ending. Right??
“You touch yourself in front of me and I’ll pull over and have your knees crammed around your ears in a fucking nanosecond. See if I don’t.”
MAD WORLD SERIES by Christine Zolendz
These paranormal rockstar books grabbed a hold of me and I didn’t want to put them down for a second! The sexual tension, the banter, the twists, the one-liners, the characters… just so much awesome!
“I promise you, I will pick up every broken piece of you, every single fucking piece, Grace, and for the rest of my fucking life, I will put you back together… I’ll make you whole again.“
Hey heyyyy, you actually made it to the bottom of the list!! I wasn’t sure anyone would scroll that far, but now that you’re here…
I want to know – what are YOUR top favs of 2012? Which books utterly rocked your world?
What are your Top 5, 10, 20?… list as many or few as you want, but I’d love to hear from you!! And I think its really awesome to be able to share your lists with other readers and to see what everyone else has loved this year.
So please comment and let us know what were your favs 🙂