Well, I read about 200 books more than I reviewed. Wow. I don’t have stats for you, cause I just can’t be bothered, but I average about 4-5 books a week, so I’m guessing I read somewhere in the neighborhood of 225-250 books this year. Just knowing my preferences, I’d guess the majority were either historical or romantic suspense.
What were my favorites? In no particular order…
Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James: James also makes my list of 2 new to me favorite authors. While I really loved Just the Sexiest Man Alive, I absolutely loveloved Practice Makes Perfect. Such a great hero, and James writes fabulous, witty, intelligent banter, even if the characters are sometimes completely juvenile. Heh. Wishing now I’d gotten around to reviewing them both.
Rapture in Death by JD Robb: Thanks to Christine, I finally broke down and began reading the In Death books. While I’ve loved them all, Rapture in Death has to be my favorite. It’s the first time we really see Roarke truly vulnerable, and Eve shows tremendous growth when she has to be the strong, supportive one. I’m currently on book 9. I blame Christine.
Relentless by Lauren Dane: OMG – such a touching (and hot) romance against incredible world-building. There was not a page of this book that I didn’t adore.
One Week as Lovers by Victoria Dahl: Everyone is putting her contemps on their “Best of” lists, but I much preferred her historicals. This one made me say Wow when I read it.
Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare: Dare gets the tie vote with Julie James as my favorite new (and new to me) author. While her trilogy was fabulous, it was this first one that really made me sit up and take notice. Fantastic hero, heroine, and story. And I’ll never look at an armoire the same way again ☺
Gray, the hero of book 2 made it a tough choice, though…
Rage Against the Meshugenah by Danny Evans: This non-fiction, self-deprecating, hysterical look at depression was absolutely wonderful. Of course, I went into it expecting great things. Evans’ blog is fantastic, and he grew up with two of my good friends, in my city. I recommend it to anyone who needs a good look at depression, or anyone who wants a funny read.
Fade to Black by Leslie Parrish: The perfect mix of romance and suspense, IMO. Grisly enough to keep my interest, and romantic enough to satisfy.Parrish reminds me very much of Karen Rose (before she turned super-grisly *g*). The first book by Blaze author Leslie Kelly's alter ego. Parrish goes into the auto-buy favorite author category as well.
A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore: While I abhor love triangle stories, somehow this one managed to worm its way into my heart. I felt so bad for all the characters, and really wanted everyone to be happy in the end (darn, no three-way marriage *g*). If it wasn’t for the conclusion of the villain story, this would have been absolutely perfect.
Mercy Street by Mariah Stewart: This was Stewart’s return to wonderful romantic suspense. Her recent books have been heavy on the suspense/thriller and too light on the romance. While I love me a good grisly thriller (Lisa Jackson, anyone?), somehow, Stewart’s books do better for me with romance added to the mix. The next two in the series were great as well, but this one realy stood out for me.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: Another non-romance to make my best reads this year. Holy cow – amazingly powerful! Simply a must-read for those who want to understand how Afghanistan got to be the place it is today. The follow-up, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was equally as riveting.
Dark of Night by Suzanne Brockmann: While some were outraged by the pairing of Decker and Tracy, I loved it. Not being a Sophia fan, I thought Tracy a much better match for Deck. Plus, this book gave JenniferB and me the chance to do our first buddy review together!
Honorable mention to Coming Undone (although it doesn’t release till January 2010, I got an ARC – thanks, Lauren!): All I’m saying is go buy this one now! It’s coming out this week. I’m a huge Lauren Dane ho.
Honorable mention to The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson: I first read this in ebook format years ago. Williamson got a contract with Brava and re-released this and wrote two more. Absolutely wonderful western historical romance author.
Honorable mention to
Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis: Shalvis always delivers smart, sexy contemporaries with humor, sensitive but strong heroes and heroines and a delightful afternoon of reading. This one was no exception – from the juvenile antics of the brothers to the sparkling banter, to the tender love, Shalvis had me at hello.
I think this is the first year that I've had two non-romances on my "best of" list. I'm happy to see a good mix of contemporary, romantic suspense, and historicals. I'm sure that I read far more historicals this year than anything else (although I probably read about 30 Harlequins), but I'm really pleased that I obviously enjoyed romance across the genre, and outside of it, too.