Sadly, there are only four books worthy of the 5 star rating that I read last year. Of course, one of them is my re-read of Outlander which shouldn't be that surprising.
#1 Fractured by Amber Lynn Natusch: Part of the Caged Series, this is the fifth volume of the series and what has constantly been true of this series is the high ratings and the series only seems to improve as it continues. The Caged Series is about Ruby a young woman who loses her parents violently and is thrust into a supernatural and paranormal world that leaves her life spinning out of control. With new revelations comes new friends and Ruby starts building an unconventional family of friends who are willing to stand between her and all manner of things that seem to be coming for her. Truly fantastic storytelling, suspense and surprises. A paranormal series well worth the time.
#2 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I'm sure if you've known me for more than a few months you've read about my love of Outlander. It is a wonderful series and a fandom I just can't help but love more than anything else. This book is being made into a 16 episode television show for Starz which should be airing sometime this summer. So if you have seen the trailers for the show or are interested this is the book, should you be so inclined to read it. Do you need to read the book? No, and in some cases, I'm wondering if you should. It is a great series of books but I know as a fan that all the twists and turns of the story will not be a surprise to me when the show starts and yet I highly recommend the book and the series.
Trailer for the show with alternate ending (original trailer here):
#3 Love Reborn by J. R. Ward: The tenth volume of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This volume tells the story of Tohrment who was dealt a tragic blow in the series. This book was something fans waited for with barely restrained patience and Ward didn't disappoint. The book was more emotional than I would have thought, knowing that it had to be, and with the coming end to Ward's original warriors came the introduction of more story which never seemed forced or out of place. Ward's ability to tell us the story of one warrior while keeping the overall arc in place is one of her greatest gifts and makes this series one of the better paranormal romance series.
#4 Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon: The Dark-Hunter series is full of ups and downs. Some of the early books are clearly the best in the series and yet as you move through the series you find hidden gems and occasional failures but then no one is perfect. I think Dance with the Devil was a first attempt at introducing us into the world two of Kenyon's most anticipated characters would have to endure and yet Zarek's story did not lack anything in telling for the character himself. Zarek was a slave and treated badly and yet that is the biggest understatement. As I read this story, I cried for this character. Kenyon is a master and poignant phrases making you feel the despair so many of her characters endure before the dawn. And it seems the point of Kenyon's series is to point out just what it takes to overcome. A great book for a good series.