What new books are you most looking forward to reading this year?

Most-Anticipated-Reads-2014

As always, there are dozens of books coming in the new that I’m going to want to read, but some more I anticipate more than others.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs.  Who hasn’t been slavering for the new Miss Peregrine novel? From the moment I learned there was going to be a sequel, it went onto my “Gotta Read That” list.  Here’s the blurb:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was the surprise best seller of 2011—an unprecedented mix of YA fantasy and vintage photography that enthralled readers and critics alike. Publishers Weekly called it “an enjoyable, eccentric read, distinguished by well-developed characters, a believable Welsh setting, and some very creepy monsters.”

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan.  I absolutely loved Horan’s first novel, Loving Frank, so I was overjoyed when I found out she’d written a second book.  This one tells us of the tempestuous love between beloved writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fanny. Here’s the blurb:

From Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing—and who would eventually pen such classics as Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair—marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness—that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

A King’s Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman.  Penman’s long awaited sequel to Lionheart.  Slightly off topic strange fact:  Did y’all know that although Richard was King of England for ten years, he only spent about six months of that in England?  Anyway, the Blurb:

This long-anticipated sequel to the national bestseller Lionheart is a vivid and heart-wrenching story of the last event-filled years in the life of Richard, Coeur de Lion. Taken captive by the Holy Roman Emperor while en route home—in violation of the papal decree protecting all crusaders—he was to spend fifteen months imprisoned, much of it in the notorious fortress at Trefils, from which few men ever left alive, while Eleanor of Aquitaine moved heaven and earth to raise the exorbitant ransom.

For the five years remaining to him, betrayals, intrigues, wars, and illness were ever present. So were his infidelities, perhaps a pattern set by his father’s faithlessness to Eleanor. But the courage, compassion, and intelligence of this warrior king became the stuff of legend, and A King’s Ransom brings the man and his world fully and powerfully alive.

Wulfe Untamed by Pamela Palmer.  The next installment of Palmer’s Feral Warriors series.  I’ve been looking forward to Wulfe’s story for a long time.

The most enigmatic and tortured of the Feral Warriors, Wulfe is haunted by the quiet beauty of a human woman who no longer remembers him. Once a captive of both the Mage and the Ferals, Natalie stole a piece of his heart before he took her memories and sent her safely back to her fiancé. But now the Mage are threatening her again, and Wulfe will risk anything to protect her.

Natalie Cash is stunned when she’s saved by a wolf who shifts suddenly into a splendidly built, if badly scarred, man, a man with the kindest eyes. Swept into a world of intrigue and danger beyond her comprehension, she turns to the powerful Wulfe, finding a passion she’d only dreamed of. But when time runs out, they must trust one another and surrender to a wild, untamed love.

The King by J. R. Ward. Wrath, the King, is my favorite brother after Zsadist, so I’ll read this, but it’ll probably be the last book in this series that I’ll read because, in my opinion, it’s gone on too long. Love the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but it’s starting to get repetitive. Here’s the blurb:

J.R. Ward’s # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh.  Vasic!  Enough said.  Here’s the blurb:

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness….

Written in My Heart’s Own Blood by Diana Gabaldon.  To be honest, the Outlander series as been going downhill since Dragonfly in Amber, the second book.  None of the others have been as good as the first two.  But I still love Jamie Fraser and can’t to find out what happens when he finds out about Claire and John.  The blurb:

In her now classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon told the story of Claire Randall, an English ex-combat nurse who walks through a stone circle in the Scottish Highlands in 1946, and disappears . . . into 1743. The story unfolded from there in seven bestselling novels, and CNN has called it “a grand adventure written on a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across [centuries].” Now the story continues in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is  searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is the brilliant next chapter in a masterpiece of the imagination unlike any other.

The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick. Finally, after coming out across the pond in the UK last summer, this first novel in Chadwick’s Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy will be released here in the U.S.  I hate when that happens. Why can’t they release books on the same day, not to mention in the same year, everywhere? The blurb:

Eleanor of Aquitaine is a 12th century icon who has fascinated readers for 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive.

This stunning novel introduces an Eleanor that all other writers have missed. Based on the most up-to-date research, it is the first novel to show Eleanor beginning her married life at 13. Barely out of childhood, this gives an entirely new slant to how Eleanor is treated bv those around her. She was often the victim and her first marriage was horribly abusive.

Overflowing with scandal, passion, triumph and tragedy, Eleanor’s legendary story begins when her beloved father dies in the summer of 1137, and she is made to marry the young prince Louis of France. A week after the marriage she becomes a queen and her life will change beyond recognition . . .

And these are just in the first part of the year!  What books are you guys looking forward to reading in 2014?

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