Our Favourite Reads of 2013
WOW – what a year 2013 was for M/M books. The M/M team here on Sinfully Sexy read and reviewed a grand total of 965 books altogether and we would like to share with you some of our reading experiences from 2013. And don’t forget tomorrow we will be bringing you the first day of YOUR M/M Favourites of 2013, with a little something special to celebrate… so don’t forget to check back tomorrow for day one of our Readers Choice Awards.
So team, looking back on 2013 which book or books……
1) Impressed you the most overall?
Macky: To be honest it would be easier to pick what hasn't impressed me this year! I've had so many wow moments, its REALLY hard to pick just a few, but the books that still linger at the front of my mind when I reminisce over the last twelve months, are the two that make up 'The Lost And Founds' series: King Perry and King Mai by Edmond Manning. Everything I thought I knew about m/m romance was knocked sideways by an enigmatic, perplexing character who on paper is the antithesis of the usual romantic MC, but OMG he had me emotionally turned inside out and upside down. I laughed, I sobbed and fell head over heels with Vin Vambly and his 'Kings,’ all down to the unique, witty, expressive voice of Edmond Manning.
Tina: Memorizing You by Dan Skinner. No ifs, ands, or buts. :) It’s about young unhappy love, helplessness and believing in second chances, even when it takes forty years. Superbly written, one of my top reads in 2013.
Mark: For me the books that impressed me the most are those that stick in my mind and don’t let go for a long time. After all the books I read in 2013 I suppose those books that I don’t need to refer to a list to remember them should be mentioned here.. So for me I have to first agree with Tina Memorizing You by Dan Skinner, Brothers Of The Wild North Sea by Harper Fox, Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza and Chase The Storm by V.M. Waitt.
Monique: This is a hard question… purely and simply because all of my favourite reads have impressed me, however all for different reasons… so it’s difficult to pull just one out of such an amazing bunch! So I will go with Captive Prince #1 & #2 by SU Pacat… now I actually read these two books when they were free online fiction and ploughed through both of them one after the other… I seriously couldn’t put them down! Amazingly SU Pacat had them published in 2013 and I downloaded them and bought the paperback's… so re-read them in their full published glory… outstanding storytelling… I only wish that book three would hurry up and be released!
2) Made you cry or emotionally moved you?
Macky: Well obviously King Perry and King Mai by Edmond Manning are way high in this category but Tom Webbs My Name is Harley Mansfield totally gut punched me, I loved that short story. The Return by Brad Boney, was a wonderful, magical, emotional journey that had me reaching for the tissues and finally Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza. I cried out of pure delight with that one.
Tina: On the Dock by Kade Boehme. I have still no words. Read it! :)
Mark: OK, this is easy! First of all the books that reduced me to a snivelling emotional wreck were Memorizing you by Dan Skinner and again as Tina On The Dock by Kade Boehme, bittersweet endings that left me emotionally drained. But also Never A Hero by Marie Sexton and The Boys of Summer where I was reduced to tears in the middle but thankfully left the book on a high note with an HEA. Last but not least – Maurice by E.M. Forster, absolutely breath-taking and beautifully written, a real classic, almost like a gay Downton Abbey.
Monique: I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to reading, in most books at some point or another I will end up in tears… but the two books that for me not only reduced me to tears for days and weeks after, but were also both outstanding reads, were Let’s Hear It For The Boy by T.A. Webb and Someday It Will Be by S.A. McAuley… see, I am tearing up just thinking about those two books… I also have to mention Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane, and now, I had best move onto question 3 before I get carried away!
3) Was for you the best debut Author of 2013?
Macky: My stand out debut authors were River Jaymes ( Backup Boyfriend) V M Waitt (Chase The Storm) KJ Charles (The Magpie Lord) and even though technically she didn't debut with Superhero, I have to include Eli Easton who became a major favourite of mine. They've all become auto buys for me.
Tina: OMG… can I add five or more? Fuck! If I have to chose only one though I’ll take Chase the Storm by V.M. Waitt. It was a great, emotional read. Brilliantly written from an author who’s near and dear to me.
Mark: OK, then here I have to agree with Macky and Tina, I just loved Chase The Storm by V.M. Waitt. For her first published novel, it is beautifully written and a heart warming story of a broken heart being mended by a new love. Also Vivaldi In The Dark by Matthew Metzger a young author who writes beautifully and this book impressed me for the depth of insight into troubled teenagers and their problems. This will be an author to keep an eye on for future publications.
Monique:: Garrett Leigh would have to be one of my debut authors for 2013 with Slide and then her second book Bullet… I am incredibly excited about this author! Another author that has super amazed me this year is SU Pacat and her Captive Prince Series… an author who started this series as free online fiction and then to have it picked up by Penguin no less… that’s impressive, although understandable as this is an outstanding series! I do also have to mention Kol Anderson, because I think as a young writer, he has so much potential, although, his writing for me, can be frustrating at times… at others, it’s sheer genius!
4) Made you laugh lots?
Macky: I had so much fun this year with some really laugh out loud books. Kyle Adams and his freebie 'Dirty' series absolutely tickled my funny bone and I loved Slam by JL Merrow. Had me limericking for weeks afterwards! I have to include Edmond's King Perry and King Mai again too. I laughed just as much as I cried and that was a lot! The Gillibran Brown series Fun With Dick and Shane had me in stitches but it also had me bawling like a baby too, so I guess they should be included in question three as well!
Tina: That’s not easy to answer. I’m not a great fan of comedy. Hmm… maybe Slam! by J.L. Merrow. Jude and his limericks were just hilarious. Oh, and I learned a new English word: campy J But there’s another one that’s worth mentioning. Dirty Cop by Kyle Adams. Dirty, kinky, sexy, funny, sassy… even though it’s only 10!!! pages short it still puts a smile on my face… :)
Mark: For me some of the funniest moments in a book aren’t necessarily contained in a book that sets out to be a comedy. I snorted with laughter in Josephine Myles’s book Merry Gentleman when I gay Santa Claus attracts the attention of the market goers by singing Abba songs because he only knew the words to only a few Christmas Carols. Also the Tigerland series by Sean Kennedy, full of Australian humour and funny moments, also Good Breeding by JL Merrow, loved the cockney council house family.
Monique: I am a bit of an emotional junkie when it comes to reading, I prefer my dark reads, so I tend not to go for the humorous offerings out there… but the characters that have me laughing every time we have the pleasure of their company are Ty & Zane, from the Cut & Run Series. Abigail Roux has that whole snarky humour down to a tee… as does SE Jakes with MY Prophet and Tommy, in the Hell or High Water Series who also never fail to have me laughing out loud… but I suppose the one that sticks out the most for me this year would be Bear, Otter and the Kid… TJ Klune has a wicked sense of humour and I just loved that book!
5) Contained your favourite new main character(s) of 2013?
Macky: I fell in love so hard with Liam Lassiter and Jaxon Montcrieff from Lily Veldens How the Light Gets In books. Those two gorgeous men stole my heart completely. I absolutely adore Vin Vanbly and both Perry and Mai from The Lost And Founds, Ash Winters and Darien Hall from Alexis Halls Glitterland, Totes reem! And last but not least my two newest book boyfriends are Dylan Booth and Alec Johnson from The Backup Boyfriend.
Tina: Okay, that’s definitely Touch & Geaux. My list isn’t complete without Ty and Zane, right? This one was my most emotional buddy read, btw… J
Mark: Well, I suppose for me it has to be Nichloas and Davey from Julie Bozza’s Butterfly Hunter series. Also later in the year Tyack and Frayne appear on the scene under the pen of Harper Fox, Tyack a Cornish village policeman and Frayne the psychic who helps him solve various mysteries and crimes the alternative way. Of course Ty and Zane remains an evergreen.
Monique: Ty & Zane from the Cut & Run Series by Abigail Roux are a given… love them, they are responsible for my addiction to M/M Romance… but not that I am being unfaithful or anything, but they have some contenders for my heart… namely Prophet seriously, I LOVE HIM… and Tommy from SE Jakes Hell or High Water Series and without a doubt, Merq and Armise from The Borders War series from S.A. McAuley and not forgetting Mac and Gunny from Beyond Duty… yes, you’ve guessed, I am a bit of a floozy when it comes to my book boyfriends!!!
6) Plot intrigued you?
Macky: And the award for most Intriguing plots has to go to...The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles, Bone Rider by J Fally and all the books in the Whyborne and Griffin series by Jordan L Hawk. All fresh, innovative and original.
Tina: Unhinge the Universe by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A. Witt. While a romance, it’s a piece of German history as well: A very painful history. It Intrigued me immensely….…beneath the uniform they are nothing but human.
Mark: A well developed plot for me is the most important thing and funnily enough I always seem to find some of the best plots in the historical subgenre, therefore I loved Maurice by E.M. Forster, also the historical crime story Come To Dust by Joanne Soper-Cook. Last but not least Junction X by Erastes. All thoroughly engaging plots.
Monique: I am going to have to go with The Borders War Series by S.A. McAuley for this one… Both One Breath, One Bullet and Dominate Predator have been like putting together a collection of puzzle pieces… I LOVE this series!
7) Cover impressed you?
Macky: Lily Veldens covers for Same Page and The Race Is On. Wow! I'm a sucker for a beautiful pair of eyes and those are not only stunning but mesmerising too, and with those little surprises in the pupils when you get up close... Just gorgeous!
Tina: Painting Fire on the Air by J.P. Barnaby
Mark: The danger with covers is when designers always use stock photos, therefore you get the same faces / models popping up everywhere. I like original covers, therefore for me it would be Junction X by Erastes and The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison.
Monique: My favourite cover, is from a book I haven’t read yet… Aftermath by Cara Dee I loved the cover so much I bought the book! From the books I have read, it would have to be Out of Blackness by Carter Quinn.
8) Surprised you the most?
Macky I think J Fally's Bone Rider really took me by surprise. Who would have thought a puddle of silver goo could become one of my major book crushes! Lol. This one kind of came out of left field and took a lot of us by surprise.
Tina: Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza. A May / December romance par excellence. Beautifully written; a fantastic, intriguing and unforgettable read.
Mark: Two books this year really surprised where I wasn’t expecting much and then wham…..the books grips you and takes you on a journey you weren’t expecting. This for me was Memorizing You by Dan Skinner and Scrap Metal by Harper Fox. This was my first book by Harper and since then she is now an auto buy author for me.
Monique: The book that surprised me the most this year was way back in January… and that book was Don’t… by Jack Pyke… I bought it on a total whim downloaded it and started reading straight away… and it didn’t leave my hands until it was finished, the characters, the plot, the intrigue and emotion… I loved all of it, I went through every emotion possible reading that book and it remains on my BEST EVER shelf!
9) Your favourite book series of 2013?
Macky: I could go on and on in this question because I love my series' but after much soul searching final answers have to be : Life Lessons by Kaje Harper, Whyborne and Griffin by Jordan L Hawk. Cut and Run by Abi Roux with the gorgeous Ty and Zane , the wonderfully exasperating Gillibran Brown books and of course The Lost And Founds by Edmond Manning.
Tina: Life Lessons by Kaje Harper. It started in 2011 but Learning Curve was published in 2013. Tony and Mac’s journey to being a couple and a family was just awesome. Love it.
Mark: Three spring to mind and they would be Julie Bozza’s Butterfly Hunter series, The Haunted Moor series from Harper Fox and the Tigerland series by Sean Kennedy.
Monique: Ohhh GOD… I don’t like this question, cause I am a total series junkie and seriously, there are a few, where I would DIE if I didn’t get my fix! OK, that might be slightly overdramatic but… I am an addict! So here goes… Hell or High Water & Men of Honor Series by SE Jakes, The Flesh Cartel by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz, Borders War Series by S.A. McAuley, and not forgetting my boys from the Guards of Folsom Series… one more and I promise that’s it… City Knight by T.A. Webb and that is all without me mentioning the obvious one!
10) Were your personal favourite top three books read but not published in 2013?
Macky: Three top read were King Perry, King Mai and Chase The Storm. Two published in 2013 but one in 2012. All stories that stayed with me for a long time after and totally blew me away.
- Mick’s Journey by Mickie B. Ashling. The whole series moved my like no other. Mick’s Journey (the third book) made me cry so much, my eyes were puffy for days.
- Suicide Watch by Kelley York. Fantastic writing, touching, breathtaking… When I think about this book I’m still at a loss of words.
- Scrap Metal by Harper Fox, poetic, lyrical and instantly engaging.
Mark: oh to narrow things down, probably the most difficult thing to do. I would say;
- Memorizing You by Dan Skinner,
- Chase The Storm by V.M. Waitt ……..and believe it or not…….
- Maurice by E.M. Forster.
Monique: Only three huh?!? The first one and my absolute favourite read of 2013 but published in December 2012 was Don’t… by Jack Pyke… that book totally blew me away! The second one would be Second Chances by T.A. Webb an author I discovered in 2013 and I completely fell in love with the man and his writing and lastly Bear, Otter & the Kid by TJ Klune, this was actually an audio book I downloaded for my Summer hols and I kid you not, I have listened to it 6 times I LOVE it so much along with the second book in the series… Who We Are.
11) Was your favourite author overall for 2013?
Macky: I'm taking the fifth on this one because honestly, I can't choose just one. I hold every author I've mentioned above and more besides that I haven't been able to include, in my heart so In the cop out words of Sir Bruce Forsythe: " You're all my favourites! "
Tina: Impossible to answer… simply impossible. Tom Webb, Kade Boehme, Garrett Leigh, SJD Peterson, K.C. Wells, Aleksandr Voinov, and so on…
Mark: If the question above is next to impossible to answer then this one most definitely is, but put on the spot I would say it has to be Dan Skinner for reducing me to a blubbering emotional wreck at the end of is book due to truly beautiful writing and a heart felt story. However, all the authors I have read have been absolutely perfect, Julie Bozza, Kaje Harper, Marie Sexton, Harper Fox and, and, and,……..I could go on forever really.
Monique: Nah… I’m going with the consensus, every author I have mentioned above is precious… and more besides, all for various reasons, and all have touched me in so many different ways it would be nigh on impossible to chose just one!
Macky’s Personal Top Ten of 2013
★ Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes ★ King Mai by Edmond Manning ★ His Name Is Harley Mansfield by Tom Webb ★ Superhero by Eli Easton ★ King Perry by Edmond Manning ★ Same Page by Lily Velden ★ The Return by Brad Boney ★ Chase The Storm by V A Waitt ★ Glitterland by Alexis Hall ★ Butterfly Hunter by Julie Bozza ★
Tina’s Personal Top Ten of 2013
★ Chase the Storm by V.M. Waitt ★ Memorizing You by Dan Skinner ★Unhinge the Universe by Aleks Voinov and L.A. Witt ★ Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson ★ Same Page by Lily Velden ★ Gangster Country by Kade Boehme ★ Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux ★ Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza ★Clarity of Lines by N.R. Walker ★ Never a Hero by Marie Sexton ★
Mark’s Personal Top Ten of 2013
★ Memorizing You by Dan Skinner ★ Learning Curve by Kaje Harper ★Chase The Storm by V.M. Waitt ★ Once Upon A Haunted Moor series by Harper Fox ★Of Dreams and Ceremonies by Julie Bozza ★ Touch and Geaux by Abigail Roux ★ Brothers Of The Wild North Sea by Harper Fox ★ Never a Hero by Marie Sexton ★ Junction X by Erastes ★ Vivaldi In The Dark by Matthew Metzger ★
Monique’s Personal Top Ten of 2013
★ Long Time Gone by SE Jakes ★ Captive Prince by SU Pacat ★ Someday It Will Be by S.A. McAuley ★ Out of the Blackness by Carter Quinn ★ Touch & Geaux by Abigail Roux ★ PUP by SJD Peterson ★ Dominant Predator by S.A. McAuley ★ Bad Idea by Damon Suede ★ City Knight: Working It by T.A. Webb ★ The Flesh Cartel by Rachel Haimowitz & Heidi Belleau ★