Welcome to the Top Ten of 2013, hosted by Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books, and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads!! Today is Reader’s/Blogger’s choice, and I chose 2013’s Best Couples. I love looking at character chemistry. These are the couples I thought really hit it off:
#1: Neolle and Andy: Romancing the R.A. (Campus Romance #1)
Noelle Buckman is looking forward to making a fresh start in college, one that doesn’t involve immature high school boys. The second she steps on campus for freshman orientation, she can sense the possibilities. Especially when she spots Andy, a resident advisor who’s not just hot but also thoughtful enough to open doors for a girl.
And Andy has his eye on Noelle. Even when her nerves take control and she thinks she comes off as a hillbilly with no direction, Andy can see what she’s really like and he’s more than a little interested.
But orientation is less than two full days and there’s an entire summer between Noelle and Andy. Will her attempt to romance the R.A. be as short-lived as college orientation?
#2: Katie and Adam: Heartbeat (Heartbeat #1)
She carries the scars of a first kiss gone terribly wrong.
He uproots his life to flee the stinging betrayal of an ex.
When trust is no longer an option, all romance is suspect.
As a young paramedic, Adam rescues people for a living but cannot save himself. Katie, just out of high school, struggles with a tortured home life she cannot escape.
Everything changes when Katie hops into the front seat of Adam’s ambulance. Overwhelmed by what they are feeling, neither possess the confidence to make the first move. They walk away from each other, full of regret.
To find her, Adam risks his future. To be with him, Katie sacrifices her security.
Little do they know, what little time they do have, is being measured by a heartbeat that is slowly dying out.
#3: Taylor and Justin: The Weight of Souls
Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…
She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.
But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.
Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?
And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
#4: Dez and Reese: Destiny’s Fire (Kythan Guardians #1)
It’s the year 2040, and sixteen-year-old Dez Harkly is one of the last of her kind—part of a nearly extinct race of shape-shifters descended from guardians to the Egyptian pharaohs. Her home and her secret are threatened when the Council lowers the barrier, allowing the enemy race to enter the Shythe haven.
As the Narcolym airships approach, Dez and her friends rebel against their Council and secretly train for battle. Not only is Dez wary of war and her growing affection for her best friend Jace, she fears the change her birthday will bring.
When Dez’s newfound power rockets out of control, it’s a Narcolym who could change her fate…if she can trust him. Dez’s guarded world crumbles when she discovers why the Narcos have really come to Haven Falls, and she’s forced to choose between the race who raised her and the enemy she’s feared her whole life.
#5: Anaya and Cash: Blurred (Kissed by Death #2)
Cash is haunted by things. Hungry, hollow things. They only leave him alone when Anaya, Heaven’s beautiful reaper, is around. Cash has always been good with girls, but Anaya isn’t like the others. She’s dead. And with his deteriorating health, Cash might soon be as well.
Anaya never breaks the rules, but the night of the fire she recognized part of Cash’s soul—and doomed him to something worse than death. Cash’s soul now resides in an expired body, making him a shadow walker—a rare, coveted being that can walk between worlds. A being creatures of the underworld would do anything to get their hands on.
The lines between life and death are blurring, and Anaya and Cash find themselves falling helplessly over the edge. Trapped in a world where the living don’t belong, can Cash make it out alive?
#6: Star and Xarion: Astarte’s Wrath (Kythan Guardians #0.5)
A tragic love story.
Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Guardian Astarte was vowed to protect by the binds enslaving her to the Egyptian pharaohs. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls.
This is the beginning.
Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria, Star struggles with her guardian duties as her feelings for the newly named pharaoh of Egypt grow deeper. Not only is Caesarion her duty, he’s the son of Cleopatra, and he’s human. All of which makes their love forbidden.
But when a conspiracy linked to Caesar creeps into Alexandria, Star must choose between helping her fellow Kythan free themselves of their servitude, and protecting her charge—the last pharaoh—while Egypt burns around her.
#7: Less and Austin: A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2)
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.
One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.
With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
#8: Amelia and Joshua: Elegy (Hereafter #3)
A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths—Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does.
Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again.
Faced with impossible choices, Amelia decides to take her afterlife into her own hands—and fight back.
#9: Sam and Holden: The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood #1)
Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.
Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler’s remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only…is Sam ready for him to leave her?
When the black sheep of the Marks’ family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler’s case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother’s ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him…plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.
On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she’s unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.
#10: Sofia and Derek: A Shade of Vampire (A Shade of Vampire #1)
On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.
A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.
Sofia’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.
Will she succeed? …or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?