Happy New Year – See The Roses’ Top Picks for 2014

Happy 2015!  We tried to come up with our top ten reads for 2014, but found it impossible to limit the number to ten.  Here, then are our top twenty favorites, listed by author.  These are the books that moved us, made us laugh or cry,  or possibly broke our hearts.  They are the books we remember, and have given a place on our keeper shelves.

escapeonly enchanting59b8b-forevermine_dCaptiveTraitorlaird_450Lady Needs coverwhat a duke daresearls mistressdark affairRomancing_the_Duke

fool me twiceSchoolhow to losewhen the dukehighwaymanhow the scoundrel

marcoscandalonce and futureto charmdressmakers

Mary Balogh has two entries from her wonderful Survivors Club series.                                            The Escape is the lovely story of an injured war hero and an unwanted widow                            who find their place in the world and love with each other.                                                      Only Enchanting is about a no nonsense widow who falls head over heels for                           the first time with an injured war hero who finally feels secure when with her.

Monica Burns writes a romantic, exciting  and emotional time travel  tale in                                  Forever Mine.  Lovely epilogue.

Grace Burrowes released a trilogy of books so closely related, we count them as one.                 The Captive, The Traitor, and The Laird are stories of men who went to war –                         one became a tortured prisoner, one his forced torturer, and one with a                                     mysterious purpose.  After the war, each man must come to terms with his life                       and the things he has done, or has endured as he finds healing love.  All three                         books are amazingly written.                                                                                                       What a Lady Needs for Christmas is a story with plenty of heart and warmth                         about a wronged lady in a desperate situation who finds an unlikely knight.

 Anna Campbell takes us on a roller coaster ride to happy ever after  in her book,                         What a Duke Dares, as a lady turns down a proposal from the man she loves,                             when it’s obvious he’s only looking for a convenient marriage.

Liz Carlyle has written a scorching book of a lady fallen on hard times who becomes                     The Earl’s Mistress.  This is absolutely one of her best!

Maire Claremont weaves another compelling tale of a Viscount wracked with grief in                 The Dark Affair.  Can his nurse save his sanity and keep him from permanently                           living in the drug induced oblivion he seeks?

Tessa Dare pens a light and witty story of an heiress coming to claim her castle in                        Romancing the Duke, only to find the castle inhabited by the duke who owns it,                         and has no plans to give it up.

Meredith Duran gives us a story of a down-on-her-luck woman who masquerades as a                          housekeeper in the household of a man nearly maddened with grief and shame.                      He has shut himself away after the betrayal and then death of his wife in                       Fool Me Twice.

Juliana Gray has written a trilogy about sister princesses, fleeing assassins in their                                homeland, and disguising themselves as males to be safe.  These are two tropes                      I really dislike, yet they were so well written, I was hooked.  The third book,                  How to School Your Scoundrel, is a fantastic read, as are books one and two.

Laura Lee Guhrke created a very clever title for very serious subject matter.  In                            How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days, we follow the progress of an estranged couple                      who agreed to live apart forever, but now find that circumstances have changed

 Lorraine Heath crafted what I feel is her finest book.  A man who always did the right                          thing loses his beloved wife, and vows never to feel again.  Another young                                woman who has suffered in another way only wants his love.  The epilogue of                When the Duke Was Wicked is magnificently written.  I love this book.

 Judith James is a writer who deserves much more recognition.  We had a long wait for              The Highwayman, a novel loosely based on actual historical figures.  Can a well                          born lady possibly find happiness with a reformed, yet notorious thief?

Sabrina Jeffries’ third installment in the Duke’s Men series tells a tale of an illegitimate                      man greatly wronged by his half brother.  He is called upon to investigate in                  How the Scoundrel Seduces a young lady’s past, and her own uncertain birth.

Carla Kelly takes us to New Mexico in 1782, a place not often seen in historical romance.            Marco and the Devil’s Bargain is a gritty, vivid, and real telling of how life was                       in this excellent continuation of the Spanish Brand series.

Courtney Milan shows us just how difficult the struggle was for women’s rights in                        The Suffragette Scandal.  Beautiful love story included.  Huzzah!

Sophia Nash‘s Royal Entourage Series about a ducal bachelor party gone horribly wrong                     continues with Prinny deciding who his next matrimonial candidate is.  In                       The Once and Future Duchess, we have a perfect match, if only the potential                           groom can get past a foolish promise holding him back from true love.

Theresa Romain tells a story of a duke who’s a little batty (I love that!) and so                                         determined to be in control of his passions, that he flees society to live in the                           country for a decade.  Circumstances force him to return to town to seek a                               wealthy bride. There he encounters the woman who inspired his desire in                        To Charm a Naughty Countess.

Jess Russell amazed me with her debut novel, the story of a monkish duke, who can’t                           fight his desire for a widowed seamstress.  Everything about this book,                            The Dressmaker’s Duke, worked for me.  I can’t wait to read more from her.

~~The Roses~~



    • Hi Carol. Thanks for stopping by. Lots of great books here, but I think my very favorite is When the Duke was Wicked – absolutely loved that one. (Lots of dukes in this list – LOL)

      Liked by 1 person

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