A New Tradition: the QueenBee’s Top 5!

QBTP15It’s been a great year, literarily speaking.  Between the amazing finales to some epic series, and some unexpected surprises, bibliophiles this year rejoiced!

Personally, I read almost 150 books in 2015!!  I know…crazy, right???

In celebration of the literary excellence, I have compiled my personal list of best and brightest.  These books are listed in no particular order because, frankly, if they made this list, isn’t that enought? 😉

Oddly, all five of my choices this year came from a series.  This is not intentional – it’s just the way things worked out.  I hope you’ll still love me 😉

I am also noting books I read this year not published this year, even though I read them this year, because they were great reads you really should add to your list.

So without further adieu, I give you…

The QueenBee’s Top 5 Books of 2015!

914A4w9sAzLTime’s Divide by Rysa Walker

In the epic conclusion to Rysa Walker’s Chronos series, secrets are revealed, hearts are broken, dreams are reimagined and the world just may be saved…or will it?  Ms. Walker’s attention to historic detail makes her books delicious for a history buff like myself.  She includes romance, but it’s not the main plot of this story – as it is in many for the YA and NA genres.  It’s just plain great writing, too.  If you have not yet read Timebound (the first book in the series), you’ve waited long enough; go download it now.

Make sure to also pick up the accompanying novellas which really enrich the story and the characters.  Rysa is an Amazon Worlds pick and it’s for good reason, so you may want to check out some of the “fanfic” that support her books, too!



41WygrU5oDL._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_Rogue by Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch’s Relentless series was one of the most refreshing reads of 2015 for me.  The books were not overly sappy, filled with an interesting plotline with lots of disarming twists.  The protagonist wasn’t whiny or constantly running half-cocked into danger, and the brooding guy let her be herself and find her strength.

Overall, it’s what I consider to be an ideal relationship – two imperfect people who bring out the best in one another to achieve their common goals… in this case, ridding the world of a vile vampire supreme leader.

In the end, this couple must beat what appear to be insurmountable odds in order to finally have what they most desire.  Start with Relentless and keep reading.  You’ll love it.  Read our spoiler-free review of Rogue, too.


iniquity-amy-bartolIniquity by Amy A. Bartol

When I tell you that I loved the last book in the Premonition series by Amy A. Bartol, you should probably trust me.  I waited a really long time for it.  I had just come off the emotional roller coaster that was The Kricket Series (definitely an Honorable Mention this year) and I was terrified to see how this all ended.

I’m happy to say that this book was everything I could have wanted and more.  I know people felt it ended abruptly, but honestly, there was no “perfect” conclusion that would satisfy all.  And since this is my list, all it had to do was satisfy me.

Will Evie give up her soul to Sheol?  Will Reed win her heart?  Does Anna get her aspire?  The only way to find out is to dig in.  If you have not yet started the series, start here.


51TchNbW09L._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_Revolution by Randi Cooley Wilson

This was the fourth in a five-part series, and it was hard to choose between the fourth and fifth books, but in the end I chose this one because the ending is so incredibly good, the feels so intense, it really made me fall in love with the author and become a true fan.

Eve and Asher really should have no hope.  They start out star-crossed, but what they have is undeniable and magnetic.  That isn’t the only pull to this book though – what a fabulous storyline!  The premise is strong, the ancillary characters are perfect (Uncle Urie!) and it does what all good books does – it makes you emotionally invested.

If you have not read this series, start here. Please also check out my spoiler-free review of the final book here on LitBuzz.

51Ra7hsuHFL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Scarlet Deep by Elizabeth Hunter

What is true heartbreak?  If you ask Anne O’Dea and Patrick Murphy, you’d likely get entirely different answers, but the target of that pain would be the same – each other.  In this passionate continuation of the Elemental World series by Elizabeth Hunter, we are taken into a broken relationship one hundred years in the making, and a mission that involves uniting for the greater good.

Anne and Patrick are stubborn, hurt and still irrevocably in love, inexplicably after so much time (which is even unusual for their kind – vampires.)

This was undoubtedly my favorite coupling in the Elemental World series so far, but I’m anxiously awaiting #Benzin (it’s a thing).


My Honorable Mentions list includes some hot guys, an intrepid fairy and an orphan train…

51F5OjI+cXL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_A Faerie’s Revenge by Rachel Morgan

I found the Creepy Hollow series this year during a reading slump, when I just wanted something a little “different”. Enter fairy guardians and an epic cataclysmic breakup resulting in the darkest days of fairy existence.  Deep right?Well, once the dark days pass, the adventure continues for Calla Larkenwood, who has recently discovered that her first love is also Enemy #1 for her entire race.

The question is, does she believe what she’s heard, or her own heart?

The Creepy Hollow books are notorious for a good cliffhanger, so if you aren’t into that, you might want to wait for the series to conclude.  If you can handle a bit of suspense, you can start with The Faerie Guardian and go from there.  There’s a great offer for all three of the first books in the series for $5.99 on Amazon, too.

51Og80HN9uL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

Kaidan Rowe isn’t just “kinda” hot.  He’s a lot hot.  What happens when you take the ultimate bad boy and pair him with the Queen of Virginity?  Well, you get a really frustrated guy who gets to know a girl he thinks he doesn’t want, then shouldn’t want, then maybe just can’t have… and finally can’t live without.

Admittedly, I liked the original three books in the Sweet Evil series, but I loved this story from Kaidan’s perspective.  I prefer the limited detail on the trivial things, but really understanding how he feels going into various moments (like the airport scene).

Though this is technically “Book 4” in the series, it functions as a standalone, though it probably makes better sense after reading the Sweet Evil series.


oblivionOblivion by Jennifer Armentrout

Daemon Black is perfect. He’s hot, he’s protective, he’s literally the boy next door.

But learning how he feels about Katy from his own thoughts and actions makes him even sexier!  Discovering that important parts of the storyline are entirely different with elements of his really change how you see his actions in the original books.  Though I was not really a fan of the original series, I inhaled the story from Daemon’s perspective.

The fact that Ms. Armentrout included the first three books  from his perspective in the Kindle version was a serious bonus!

If you have not yet read the Lux series, you can start with the original books, or you can just skip them and read Oblivion and be much happier. We will have a review up soon.

51-5zvWjwrL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

I am a product of familial adoption.  My story ended happily, but the sad truth is that for most, that is not the case.  America’s foster system is broken, and has been for a very long time.

This story seamlessly addresses the heartbreak of two women, one at the end of life and one just on the precipice of the beginning, who are both victims of this system.  It’s beautifully told, weaving the past and the present smoothly and emotionally.

Vivian and Molly are both strong and vibrant characters and seeing them find solace in one another through their shared pain is really a beautiful read.  According to 14k reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads, it looks like a choice you should make. I am glad I did.


Now it’s your turn!  Weigh in below with your Top 5, share this post with someone you think would enjoy it and one lucky winner will be randomly selected to receive a $5 Amazon gift card to start your new year off with the best thing ever… BOOKS! Giveaway ends at 1130pm ET 12.31.15 – the last giveaway of this year 😉