Most Fun New Series
The Phoenix Series by Anna Hackett
Indiana Jones in space, with more Romance, and assassins, and a nebula full of baddies with a shifting wormhole entrance. It's fun. It's different. It's romantic. Each book can stand alone and focuses on different characters, but the prior stars are in the background of the later books. After the second story I bought the entire series, which incidentally, all came out in 2014. Well, so far.
Most Mysterious SFR
Into the Black by Sheryl Nantus
Sam Keller leaves the military to captain a ship transporting courtesans between planets. When one is murdered she teams up with Marshal Daniel LeClair to try to figure out the complicated puzzle while slowly falling in love. The mystery kept me guessing until the end. Well done!
Best Fairy Tale Jump Off
Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye
This is the second book in a series loosely framed around Snow White. It stands alone so well I didn't even know there was a first book. There's a space elevator, religious crazies, a crazy ex, interstellar power plays, and cool biotech all included in a good Romance.
Creepiest Use of Ancestors
Mission to Mahjundar by Veronica Scott
Princess Shalira was blinded as a child, making her worthless in her society and a target to her evil stepmother. Her dying father arranges a marriage to a warlord in the distant hills, then orders a visiting Sector Special Forces officer to deliver her. Mike Varone just wants to finish his short mission and retire, but is stuck ferrying a Princess into the hills. A touch of fantasy, some brutality, and a slow broiling Romance make this story an intriguing read.
Best 'Opposites Attract' Story
Lana's Comet by Lyn Brittan
A Drill Instructor who lives and dies by the rules and a spunky recruit who hates the military with a passion but is on a secret mission combine for a hot and surprising action-packed romp through back streets and space. The secondary characters are terrific enough to warrant stories of their own.