2011 has been a fabulous year for the publishing industry. I was surprised by the number of books or short stories that I have read over the last year (around 195). It was a lot harder than I thought it would be to pick my top 25 books or series for 2011. The main criteria I considered was if the book left an impact on me and was the book published in 2011.
So without further ado here is my list – I hope you enjoy!!!
25. A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley – I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It is a Christian romance set in the 1800’s and is about a young woman name Lucy that wants to be a photographer. She is constantly getting into scrapes David has to help her out of. She finds love in his arms despite what the town’s people think of him.
24. Deep in the Heart of Texas – Anthology featuring Maggie and her two friends. She is supposed to be writing a story on the Dude Ranch but it isn’t what any of them expected. Each story is by a different author about a different girl. They are all tied together nicely but each one could stand on its own. Melissa Ecker’s story is my favorite.
23. Spellbound by Kelley Armstrong is book 2 of the final story ARC for this series. The story continues to follow Savannah and Adam as they to figure out who stole her magic. Along the way they investigate a “cult” of supernaturals who want to come out and take over the world. With the help of her family and friends she is safe for now.
22. Fairy Tales Unleashed series by Naima Simone in this series she takes beloved fairy tales and gives them a modern twist. Book 1 of the series is Loving the Beast a twist on Beauty and the Beast complete with a disfigured hero. In book 2 A Perfect Fit she takes on Cinderella, evil step-sister and all. Both are fun reads and I look forward to more in this series.
21. In the Cards by Cynthia Selwyn is a fun story. Alex writes historical fiction and her editor wants her to write a historotica. She is provided with a box full of stuff to use as inspiration and her sexy best friend is going to play along too.
20. Blood of the Rose by Kate Pearce – book 2 of the Tudor Vampire Chronicles. Rosalind and Christopher continue to try and protect King Henry VIII from Vampires in his court. This time the vampire is his current love interest, Anne Boleyn. Can they put the feud between their families and defeat their enemies?
19. Zodiac Series by Tammy Valentine. The Zodiac club was formed when Izzy and her friends got into a discussion about the specific habits of sign of the zodiac. Izzy has agreed to go out with someone from every zodiac sign to see if Jessica is correct in her predictions. So far she has worked her way through Sagittarius.
18. Dirty Bits shorts from Sapphire Night Books. I have read a couple of these sexy short stories. They include The Heels Made Me Do It by KJ Reed where a pair of Red High Heels is involved in a soldier’s coming home celebration. Spectators by Maggie Wells takes us inside the Spectators Club where elementary school librarian, Grace gets a lesson of her own.
17. The Gift of Shayla by NJ Walters is an unconvential love story. Shayla knows something is missing from her husband’s life and that is Alex. She comes up with the perfect solution that works for all three of them. They may not have a normal relationship but they are able to maintain the warmth and love they’ve always felt for one another.
16. IOU Sex by Calista is Fiona’s coming out party. After catching her sister and finance’ in a compromising position, Fiona is determined to show everyone that she isn’t going to be pushed around any longer. With Michael’s help Fiona makes sure her sister’s bridal shower will not be forgotten.
15. Embrace the Night by Crystal Jordan is the first book in a new series set in the Magickal community. Chloe is a scientist that is helping to develop a serum that will keep werewolves from changing during the full moon. Now she is on the run and it’s up to Marek to keep her safe and figure out who killed the other scientist.
14. Ravished by a Viking by Delilah Devlin is the first book in her Icelandic Viking series. Dagr is king of the Barbarian’s and his brother has been kidnapped so he sets out on a mission to rescue him. They end up on Honoria’s ship and Dagr is drawn to her from the beginning. She was just the middleman in his brother’s capture but he is determined to find him.
13. Rocky Mountain Heat #1 by Vivian Arend was revised and released by Samhain this year. Jaxi has been in love with Blake forever but he doesn’t see her as an adult. When fate intervenes, she ends up staying at the Six Pack Ranch where Blake can no longer run from her. Now is her chance to show him she is the woman for him.
12. Seducing Steve by Maggie Wells was such a fun read that will have you laughing out loud. Sarah has been using her best friend Steve as inspiration to write her romance novels. She is suffering from writer’s block so she enlists his help for “research” in hopes that she can get him to see her as more than just a friend. Steve has been in love with Sarah for years, now is his chance to show her.
11. Royal House of Shadows series with contributions by Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter, Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe, Lord of Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen and Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh. This is a great series that gives a modern twist to beloved fairy tales. Each book gets better and better.
10. Pacific Passion series by Vivian Arend is the continuation of Matt and Laurin’s story started in Stormchild. They journey continues with Stormy Seduction and concludes with Silent Storm. Matt is the Shaman/doctor for the otter tribes and Laurin has been teaching the children. She is an air shifter and Matt is a water shifter which has been causing problems with their relationship, among other things along the way.
9. Starfire by Kate Douglas is book 3 in the Demonslayer series. This was my favorite book so far in this series. Dawson continues to help Dax and Eddy in their battle to save the world from Demons. One of the warrior women, Selyn is beaten to near death and Dawson saves her life. From the beginning he is drawn to her and willing to risk his life to help them save Lemuria and the world.
8. Long Shots series by Christiana D’abo is set around a coffee shop owned by three siblings. The first in the series is Double Shot which is Sadie and Paul’s story and introduces us to the sex club Mavericks and its owner Josh. A Shot in the Dark takes us on a journey of discovery with Paige and Carter. In Pulled Long we finally find out “blue eyes” name when he sets out to convince Ian that he is serious about him.
7. The McDougal sister’s series by Debra Kayn takes you on an emotional journey with the family as they find out their daddy’s secret. In Chantilly’s Cowboy she is upset that her father hired someone to help run the ranch – her ranch. Jack never envisioned falling in love when he answered the ad for ranch foreman. In Val’s Rancher, Sam is back and Val is not happy about it. He says he’s back for good but she is having trouble believing him now he has to prove he is there for her.
6. Truth or Dare series by Lee Brazil is a well written series that follows the Blake brothers. It starts off with Keeping House, which is Mischa’s story (my favorite one). Telling the Truth is Terry’s coming of age story and Giving Up shows Brandon that he doesn’t always have to be in control. All three books are based around the Blake brothers and their weekly poker game that ends in a game of Truth or Dare.
5. Sex Ed by Myla Jackson is a sexy, sensual story that is worth sharing with your significant other. Kendall has been in love with Ed forever and she is determined he will see her as an adult. He promised her brother he would look after her but he doesn’t think giving her “sex ed” lessons was what he was talking about.
4. Turn it Up by Inez Kelley is a fun, sexy book about Charlie and Sebastian that will never let you look at peaches the same again. The two of them have a talk show Dr. Hot and the Honeypot where no subject is taboo. Sebastian wants a lifetime with Charlie but she doesn’t do commitments, who will win the “wed or bed” wager?
3. Paramour by Margaret Ethridge is a captivating story that draws you in from the very beginning. Cam returns home after her father’s death to find her childhood companion Frank was still there. She discovers her new neighbor Brad and wants to get to know him better. She is torn between Brad, who is here and Frank, who is the ghost tied to her room, which one will she choose?
2. Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley is the best contemporary romance I read in 2011 and I still can’t look at a cupcake in the same way. John is a tortured hero that writes children’s books to hide from his past. Livvy owns cupcake shop in town that specializes in erotic confections but she is looking for something to propel her to the next level. She knows John is not the settling down type but there is something about him that draws her to him.
1. Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh is the long awaited story of Hawke and Sienna and the author does not disappoint. Hawke is attracted to Sienna but thinks they can’t have a future. Sienna has been in love with him since she first laid eyes on him but she can’t get him to see her as anything other than a young girl. They are a well matched pair that needs each other to be complete; it just takes them time to work through all of their issues. This series gets better and better.
I hope you have enjoyed this look back over my favorite books of 2011. I want to thank all of the publishers that have provided us with books to review whether it was Breathless Press, Kensington, Turquoise Morning Press and Sapphire Nights, NetGalley, House of Erotica, independent publisher or self-published author – Thank You, you are appreciated.
Now on to the fun stuff, how does your list compare to mine? Did we have same books on our lists? What were your favorite books of 2011? Leave a comment for a chance to win an ARC of Heidi Betts, Must Love Vampires. You can comment here or at my personal blog – Heather’s Musings http://habrewer.wordpress.com/ or at Everybody Needs a Little Romance before next Sat when Vivian Arend will be joining us and I will draw a winner.
Happy New Year, I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012.