2014 has seen plenty of new authors create amazing reads across a wide variety of genres, and with the the year drawing to a close, now is the best time to find a 2014 debut author perfect for your winter reading needs!
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Science Fiction and Fantasy
Pitch Imperfect by Elise Alden
Once-famous singer Anjuli Carver has returned to tiny Heaverlock Village alone and nearly broke. She’s poured every last penny into a rambling Victorian manor, hoping to start over. Trouble is, her money pit is falling to pieces and the only restoration architect for miles is Rob Douglas…her ex-fiancé.
For eight years, Rob has regretted not telling Anjuli why he never answered her letters. Being left at the altar broke his heart, but being used for sex one night in London after the fact nearly drove him to the edge of sanity, and he’ll be damned if he allows Anjuli to wreak havoc on his life again. He’ll restore her manor, all right, and give her a taste of her own medicine while he’s at it.
But how long can revenge last when memories of their shared past keep rushing to the surface?
Soon, Rob wants answers. Why did Anjuli leave the international spotlight to become a recluse in the Scottish Borderlands? And why does she refuse to sing? Anjuli wants nothing more than to be left alone with her grief, even as she struggles to keep her sexy fantasies about Rob in check. With gossipy villagers, interfering friends and more secrets between them than notes on a scale, Anjuli and Rob will need to find forgiveness in order to work together, then decide if they’re willing to risk it all on an encore performance.
Cooking Up Love by Amylyn Bright
Is there anything more pathetic than a food critic who can’t cook? That’s Holly Darcy–secret socialite, wannabe author, lousy chef and “The Covert Connoisseur.” Feeling like a fraud for critiquing restaurants when she can’t boil a pot of water, Holly joins a cooking class for beginners…and quickly cooks up serious chemistry with the sexy instructor.
Mark Bennett was born to be a chef, but his foray into restaurant ownership fell far short of his dreams thanks to a scathing review from The Covert Connoisseur. Now teaching is the closest he will venture into a kitchen. Luckily the job comes with an unexpected perk: the attraction simmering between him and a curvy, clever writer with pinup-girl looks.
Flirting over pasta soon leads to passionate kisses and a sizzling relationship. But how can Holly be honest about her job when Mark blames his restaurant’s failure on her review? And when Holly’s secret is exposed, how will Mark be able to forgive her for ruining his life?
Blamed: A Blood Money Novel by Edie Harris
Born into a long line of spies, sanctioned killers and covert weapons developers, Beth Faraday carried out her first hit-for-hire when she was still a teenager.
That part of her life–the American spy royalty part–ended one year ago, with a job gone wrong in Afghanistan. The collateral damage she caused with a single shot was unfathomable and, for Beth, unforgivable. She’s worked hard to build a new life for herself, far away from the family business.
But someone, somewhere, hasn’t forgotten what Beth did in Kabul. And they want revenge.
As the Faraday clan bands together to defend Beth and protect their legacy, Beth is forced to flee her new home with the unlikeliest of allies-MI6 agent Raleigh Vick, the only man she’s ever loved. And the one she thought she’d killed in the desert.
An Inconvenient Kiss by Caroline Kimberly
Georgiana Phillips always conducted herself according to the rules of polite society. So catching Simon Ashford in a compromising position should have been shocking. Instead it was…arousing. And kissing him herself was absolutely delicious–until it led to her ruination.
That perfect, scandalous kiss has haunted Simon for six years. He doesn’t regret it, though he’s tried desperately to restore Georgie’s reputation. When he’s ordered to look after her in the wilds of India, it’s an opportunity to finish what he started. But he’s no match for Georgie’s adventurous spirit–she seems set on getting herself killed, diving in after hungry crocodiles and braving monsoons to hunt for lost treasure.
Georgie wouldn’t trade her exciting new life for anything in the world, including marriage. And yet Simon seems determined to rein her in, rewarding her brief moments of propriety with kisses far more exotic than any tribal ceremony or archaeological expedition. How can he convince her that she’s so much more than a beautiful obligation?
Taste of Treason by April Taylor
Book two of The Tudor Enigma
Blood, frogs and a deadly threat to the firstborn…
Luke Ballard, Dominus Elemancer and Privy Inquirer into Divers Mischiefs and Grievances, has grown his magical powers since his last encounter with the Sunderers, dark sorcerers who will stop at nothing–including partnering with England’s mortal enemies–to destroy the throne. But is he skilled enough to protect his own and prevent tragedy from reaching the royal family?
The continuation of Tudor rule and the future of England’s true religion rest with King Henry IX’s new bride, Queen Madeline of Scotland. Pregnant with a possible heir, she’s nearly killed–twice–in incidents that bizarrely mimic the Plagues of Egypt. And she is not alone. All of Hampton Court, it seems, has been surrounded by a dark cloud of otherworldly danger.
Fearful for his wife and unborn child, King Henry can only turn to one man.
Mistress of Lies by Holly West
Isabel, Lady Wilde, mistress of King Charles II, has made a good living disguised as fortune teller Mistress Ruby, counseling London’s elite. But after the murder of one of her customers, business has taken a downturn, and Isabel is on the verge of accepting the king’s offer to move into the palace.
Isabel’s plans are interrupted when a beggar girl named Susanna shows up at her home, claiming to be her niece. Isabel always believed that her older brother, Adam, died alone during the plague. When Susanna reveals that Adam was actually murdered, Isabel is compelled to take up an impossible task: discover the truth about her brother’s death, twelve years after it happened.
Isabel’s investigation leads her through the gamut of London society, from bear-baiting matches and brothels to the realm of wealthy bankers. But as she uncovers her brother’s dark secrets, Isabel begins to wonder whether the past is better left buried–especially when uncovering the truth could lead to her own funeral.
Goddess Born by Kari Edgren
Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal.
A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it’s Selah’s sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there’s no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.
When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope–that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.
But when news of Samuel’s death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice–forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?
Code Runner by Rosie Claverton
Book Two of the Amy Lane Mysteries
Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn’t been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can’t crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can’t resist chasing the clues–or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped.
Amy is distraught when Jason’s pursuit gets him framed for murder. He’s thrown back in prison where he’s vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.
But Amy hasn’t been honest with him–her panic attacks aren’t getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason’s name before danger closes in?
Elvis Sightings by Ricardo Sanchez
I’m Floyd–no last name needed, thanks–and I’m a P.I. The only other thing you need to know about me is that I’m notan Elvis impersonator. I live my life fast and hard and yes, in sequined jumpsuits, but more importantly I live my life the way Elvis would have wanted me to. Honestly. With integrity.
It was a tip that the King was still alive and living under an assumed name that brought me to Kresge, Wyoming. But there’s something bigger than Elvis happening out here. I’ve been beaten bloody by an acrobatic bartender, roped into the search for a missing councilman, fallen for a bearded lady, and threatened by men in black who reallydon’t want me poking my nose into the town’s business. Half of my leads look like dead celebrities. The other half are either refugees from a broken-down circus or spear-holding Viking wannabes.
I’m in Crazytown, USA, but I can’t leave. Not yet. If I don’t find the missing councilman soon, Kresge will be turned into a Danish-themed amusement park. I’ve never been so close to finding Elvis. And I need to know if my new self-appointed sidekick James Morrison is really who he claims to be…
Hunting the Spy by Tyler Flynn
Revolution rages in France, and war with England is imminent. But Nathan Kennett is fighting his own battle. An undercover spy catcher, he’s after an unknown informant who’s supplying valuable secrets about the English coastal defenses to the French.
When he discovers a dead body in his employer’s house, with Sir Peter Ross hunched over it, he has his suspect. Lean, strong and firm, Peter is Nathan’s ex-lover–and a member of the aristocracy. He represents everything Nathan hates and has the arrogance to match. Peter broke off their affair with no explanation, but is he capable of murder, and treason besides?
Trying to keep one step ahead of his enemies, Nathan has only two days to identify and deliver the informant to his superiors in London. Peter swears his innocence and offers to help find the true culprit, but as riots swell in the streets, Nathan can’t be sure he can trust him. Or himself, when they’re together.
One Door Closes by G.B. Lindsay
Secrets of Neverwood Book One
Years ago, Calvin Ware found a refuge in Neverwood, a home for wayward boys. Now, following the death of his foster mother Audrey, he’s returned to fulfill her request to restore the decrepit Victorian mansion to its former purpose.
Under the threat of repossession, Cal clashes with his foster brothers over restoration plans while fending off the unscrupulous developer who is breathing down his neck. Audrey’s well-meaning presence in his dreams does more harm than good as he struggles to cope with it all. What’s more, the contractor he hires to get the building up to code turns out to be Will Cabot, his high school flame.
As they begin working together, Cal finds he still has feelings for his first love. But his mistakes of years ago threaten their future, just as they ruined their past, and Cal knows he can’t withstand the heartbreak a second time.
In the Fire by Nikka Michaels and Eilewen Griffin
Because the way to a man’s heart…
Eight years ago, the world was their oyster. Until, that is, competing chefs Ethan Martin and James Lassiter’s hot and heavy relationship fizzled after Jamie left for an internship in Paris. Even though Jamie’s career has taken off since his return to the States, with his own television show and a lot of fame, his feelings for Ethan have never quite gone away.
Ethan’s culinary career has developed more slowly, but he’s almost saved enough to buy the restaurant where he works and re-open it as his dream spot, Bistro 30. If only he could get the sexy chef who loved him and left him out of his mind.
But when someone starts sabotaging the restaurant and a fire threatens to take away everything Ethan holds dear, his only option is to rely on Jamie for help. Back in close quarters, the two men will have to find a way to work through their past if they hope to save the restaurant–and their future.
See how Ethan and Jamie’s romance began in In the Raw,available now!
High and Tight by Vanessa North
Pilot Adam Walker has had one great love in his life: Harris Kingston. But twelve years ago, when he accepted a scholarship and joined the Navy, he chose duty to his country over love. Their on-again off-again relationship was never more than private joy, a frustrating fact of military life.
Harris never wanted to be anyone’s dirty little secret. When Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed two years ago, Adam broke his heart one last time. He’s picked up the pieces and moved on, building a great career and dating guys who aren’t afraid to be seen in public with him. But when Adam strolls into his salon asking for a haircut, his newfound happiness goes to hell in a handbasket.
Adam’s been at war with himself for over a decade. Now on the verge of leaving the military, he’s desperate to court Harris the right way and be forgiven. With two weeks’ leave and a Navy man’s conviction, he’s ready to start over…if he can convince Harris he’s ready to come out and commit.
No Apologies by Sybil Bartel
Hard-edged rocker Graham Allen has it all. He’s flush with cash from playing bass in a band by night and restoring classic cars by day. And there are plenty of women willing to share his bed for a night, complication-free. Perfect, because if there’s anything he learned from his past, it was to never get attached–to anything. So when bartender Carly Sullivan flashes her innocent smile, Graham isn’t prepared for what happens next.
Never fall in love
Two rules, that’s all Graham has–never apologize and never fall in love. He knows Carly is everything he should avoid. Cheerful and sweet, she has “relationship” written all over her. But Graham can’t stay away from her probing questions and concerned blue eyes.
When Graham discovers Carly is hiding a crushing secret, he’s prepared to risk it all. Until in one single moment, everything changes and Graham’s past threatens to collide with his future. His life is crumbling down around him, and soon no apology in the world can save him.
He should’ve known to walk away.
The Line Book One: Carrier by Anne Tibbets
Twenty-two -year-old Naya has spent nearly half her life as a sex slave in a government institution called The Line. Excommunicated after getting pregnant with twins, she’s left with no way to earn a living and a horrifying choice to make: find someone to replace her at the institution by the time she gives birth, or have her babies taken in her stead.
Ric Bennett wants to help. A doctor with a history of aiding ex-Line girls, he runs a team of rebels that can delete Naya’s records, prevent her from having to make an impossible choice, and free her forever. But when his plan is sniffed out, things get bloody, fast. The Line wants them back. The organization has discovered information about Naya and her twins that make them more valuable than just sex slaves. It makes them dangerous–and part of the The Line’s larger plan.
As they hide from government search parties, Ric comes to admire Naya’s quiet strength. And Naya realizes Ric might be a man she can trust. If they make it off the grid, they could build a new life. But first they’ll have to survive the long, vicious reach of The Line.
Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Epherium Chronicles: Crucible by T.D. Wilson
Book two of The Epherium Chronicles
Earth Defense Forces Captain James Hood is on the mission of his life. The Cygni solar system is just one space-fold jump away. One more jump and they’ll have reached the fledgling colony that Earth desperately needs if the human race is going to survive. But a plot to derail him has already damaged his ship, threatened the lives of his crew and cost him time. Time the colonists might not have.
So much depends on him now, but Hood’s confidence is shaken. It’s self-doubt he thought he’d buried, a brutal mind-killer for all military commanders. Yet danger surrounds his team; a brutal insectoid alien race is still out there, intent on eradicating humans, and a greater threat from an unknown, elusive enemy has emerged.
The forces at work on Cygni are like nothing Hood has trained for, tactically or emotionally. When put to the test, he must choose to either trust the unlikeliest of allies, or run and seal the fate of the Cygni colony forever.
Helmut Goes Abroad by Matt Sheehan
Life is pretty good for me, Helmut Haase, dashing detective and ladies’ man extraordinaire. I’m the industrious and charming half of the Fog City Detective Agency. My partner, Shamus O’Sheagan, is the most gifted and lazy Druid this side of the pond, but even he’s settled down with an Amazonian police officer. Together we managed to save the world once already, but our next case is hitting closer to home.
It all started when an old friend came to our door with a wild story about angel bones and necromancers. The bones belong to Azazel, former hero of the dreaded Cretan Empire, and the necromancers want to bring him back to life. The last thing anyone wants is Azazel to return and start another angelic war.
When Shamus locates our quarry in the Mediterranean, it’s bye-bye Wudong, hello luxury voyage to Capri, with a girl in every port and downtime to work on my fighting skills. Too bad such pleasures won’t last. Not with a coven of necromancers ready to fight us to the death over those angel bones and the fate of the world…
Read about Helmut and Shamus’s previous adventure inHelmut Saves the World, available now.