Dahlia’s Best Of New Adult List | 2014

Dahlia Adler New Adult AuthorHiya, friends! 2014 has been such a great year, and, personally, my Twitter feed and TBR list would not have flourished like it did without the influence of Dahlia. As a debut writer and fantastic blogger, it’s been a pleasure to check out her work, read about her adventures in publishing, and know she is always available for a book recommendation!

We’re thrilled to have her on Rather Be Reading Blog chatting about her favorites in the world of new adult books, especially as she prepares for the December 9th release of Last Will & Testament! More info on her latest contribution to new adult can be found below but before that, make sure your wallets and TBR lists are handy!


Thanks for having me, Estelle & Magan! Anyone who knows me at allllll knows I pride myself on my book recs, but because I blog primarily about YA (at both YA Misfits and Barnes & Noble), I don’t get to talk about NA as much as I’d like. (Except, on Twitter, where I talk about everything I like all day, every day.) So I was really excited when Rather Be Reading Blog asked me to share my recs for my favorite NA novels of the year, especially because I think it’s been a pretty great one for the category.

So, without further ado, here are my 2014 NA faves:

Deeper by Robin York – I had never read a novel by Ruthie Knox before embarking on this one under her NA pen name, but I knew I had several friends who were die-hard fans. And now I totally see why. Deeper grabbed me from the very first chapter, with the main character’s misery and strength and fierceness and growth and candor and ugh, just everything. As I said to the friends I promptly encouraged to read it when I finished, it’s full of the same tropes as lots of other NA, but there’s something about the way York writes them that made me believe them for what felt like the very first time. I know the “revenge porn” theme isn’t for everyone, but I just found it relevant and well done and good lord can York write a sex scene.

The Year We Fell Down and Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen – My good friend Katie recommend Bowen’s books to me, and I promptly devoured all three Ivy Years books in one week. Much as I’ve been loving NA lately, it’s pretty sorely lacking in diversity, so the fact that the series features a romance between two disabled students (one temporarily, one permanently) and one between two guys is pretty freaking huge. These books are sweet fun, and I’ll definitely be buying the next installment on release day.

Make it Count by Megan Erickson – What was really notable to me this year was the amount of light NA I enjoyed. That was something I really hadn’t been finding in NA, so Megan Erickson’s books were a serious gold mine. They’re so much fun, the characters have so much personality, and I particularly loved this first one for featuring a main character with dyslexia.

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Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St John Brown – Oh man, this book. I don’t know what I thought I was getting with it, but it was such a pleasant breath of fresh air. One of the traits I prize absolutely first and foremost in a person is being non-judgmental, and it struck me as I was reading that that was exactly main character Zosia. I just respected her in a way that felt really cool. Add serious chemistry between her and Finn, real family background, and the Tokyo setting, and you have a book that not nearly enough people are reading.

Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh – Hot. Hot hotness. Cade is a tattooed chef, Winter’s a BAMF, and together, they’re just hot. I’m such a sucker for both guys who cook and girls with an edge, so I really loved this pairing and their chemistry, and the secondary characters too. I’ve been following the teasers for the next book in this series, and holy hell yes, I will be buying that.

The International School series by Chanel Cleeton – This was originally a duology, and now there’s a third book—French Kissed—I haven’t yet read but absolutely will. I love the setting of the international school and the diversity of the cast, not just because it’s nice to actually see diversity, but because the cultures of the different characters are really utilized in the personalities of the characters and the school’s social structure.

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The Star Thief by Jamie Grey – I am so not a sci-fi person, but this one by Jamie Grey was a lot of fun. Super sexy, cool heroine with a great voice—definitely a pleasant surprise for almost-strictly-contemp me.

And finally, speaking of spec-fic NA, I loved The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian, as well as the subsequent “insanely hot lesbian novella” (extremely accurate description), Our Broken Sky. I loved the concept and the writing style; perfect for a book that sort of straddled the lines of horror, thriller, and dystopian. And given the serious dearth of f/f NA, that novella was very appreciated.

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Those are some favorites, but there were a lot more I enjoyed this year, and a lot of authors—both listed here and not—I’ll be keeping an eye on in 2015 and beyond. I’m so excited to be joining their NA ranks now, and I hope you guys like Last Will and Testament as much as I loved these!


Thanks so much for stopping in, Dahlia!

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia AdlerMore on Last Will & Testament (December 9, Smashwords): Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she’s acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she’ll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn’t exactly Lizzie’s biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you’re ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks… and that she’d like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he’s not the kind of guy who’d ever reciprocate.

Until he does. Until they turn into far more than teacher and student. Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N | Follow Dahlia: Blog + Twitter

Dahlia is also the author of Behind the Scenes, and the upcoming, Under the Lights.

Eclectic Picks from Publishers Weekly | Big Kids’ Table

big kids' table - adult fiction feature on rather be reading

Happy Halloween! Let’s talk boo-boo-books! 😉

It’s been awhile since I picked up an issue of Publishers Weekly and scouted out some good titles.

Last week’s issue made it pretty easy for me to pick out some new-to-me titles (some of yet won’t be out until 2015). Like anything else, there’s no telling if a book is a winner until you actually pick it up and read it yourself. Oh the pressure! But perhaps the best part of plucking up a new book and coming to the love it or hate it conclusion.

Here’s the lineup:

Big Kids' Table November 2014 at Rather Be Reading Blog

 

A Second Bite of the Apple by Dana Bate (November 2014)

Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food. Not with eating it–though she does that too–but with writing about the wonders of the gastronomic world, from obscure fruit hybrids to organic farming techniques. Since food journalism jobs are more coveted than Cronuts®, Sydney pays her bills working for one of TV’s biggest egomaniacs–until she’s left scrambling for shifts at a local farmers’ market.

Stacking muffins for the Wild Yeast Bakery isn’t going to win her any James Beard awards. But soon Sydney is writing the market’s weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of putting her love life into deep freeze, she’s even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot at the story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a crisp–along with her relationship and her reputation… (from Goodreads)

Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar (December 2014) — historical romance!

London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf’s book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of artists and intellectuals throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London.

But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned. Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative, and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa’s constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to protect her own happiness above all else. (from Goodreads)

The Last Cowboy in Texas by Katie Lane (December 2014) — country music + cowboys = a perfect combo!

Country music princess Starlet Brubaker has a sweet tooth for moon pies and cowboys: both are yummy-and you can never have just one. Now Beckett Cates may not be a cowboy, but he certainly has the heart, soul-and body-to whet her appetite. He’s a sexy ex-Marine with a touch hotter than the scorching Texas sun and arms strong enough to catch her when she lands into trouble.

Playing bodyguard to America’s sweetheart isn’t easy for Beckett. But falling for her sure is. Unfortunately, Starlet has a reputation for keeping a guy or two wrapped around her finger and Beckett refuses to be anybody’s backup. So now it’s up to Starlet to prove that she’s put her cowboy-crazy days behind her. Otherwise, she’ll be singing solo instead of living in harmony with the man who’s loved her even before her fame and fortune. (from Goodreads)

Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwaldo (January 2015)

Siem Sigerius is a beloved, brilliant professor of mathematics with a promising future in politics. His family—including a loving wife, two gorgeous, intelligent stepdaughters and a successful future son-in-law—and carefully appointed home in the bucolic countryside complete the portrait of a comfortable, morally upright household. But there are elements of Siem’s past that threaten to upend the peace and stability that he has achieved, and when he stumbles upon a deception that’s painfully close to home, things begin to fall apart. A cataclysmic explosion in a fireworks factory, the advent of internet pornography, and the reappearances of a discarded, dangerous son all play a terrible role in the spectacular fragmentation of the Sigerius clan. (from Goodreads)

The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos (March 2015) — loved her work in the past!

In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary—professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father.

Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. In all that time, Taisy’s family has seen Wilson, Caroline, and their daughter Willow only once.

Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit, encouraging her to meet her pretty sister—a teenager who views her with jealousy, mistrust, and grudging admiration? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir? (from Goodreads)

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So what looks good? 🙂 Don’t forget to share the great non-YA reads you’ve been reading lately!