Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review and a word about 2013

So, 2012 was the year that Jen and I abandoned our blog. She to focus more on her beautiful boy, and me to focus on the family and other things. I pretty much abandoned everything else in my life to become involved in politics this past year. I blogged, I volunteered, I annoyed everyone on Facebook and Twitter. But it was important to me. And that’s what is so great about our country – that we CAN do those types of things, get involved and speak out.

But I really miss blogging about books. Writing down some thoughts about books I loved and even those I didn’t. I kind of freaked when I looked and saw our last post was in August. Whoops! My reading didn’t really slow down, I just stopped recording my reads and stopped using Goodreads to track my reading. Shoot! That had been working really well for me until the heart stuff. Then I kind of just gave it up.

So for 2013, I vow to at least do one review each month, if not more. How ‘bout that? Go me!

And now, a quick wrapup of 2012 – at least what I can remember of it!

I stopped recording books in May. Oops. But at that point, I’d read 108 books. I never ever give myself a reading goal, other than to read what I want when I want to. And to read for pleasure, not out of obligation. I can really tell that this was a comfort read year for me. Almost all of my favorites are from historicals. And they are definitely my feel-good comfort reads.

Favorite authors:
I adored the books I read by Tessa Dare and Maya Banks this year. Dare’s Spindle Cove series is a hit with me, and A Week to Be Wicked has to rate among my favorite books of the year. Banks’ KGI series is awesome, although the last couple of books weren’t nearly as good as the first. But I’m just getting ready to dive into PJ & Cole’s story. Yay! Where I loved Banks most this year, though, was her historicals. I read her McCabe trilogy and OMG loved it. Ewan from book 1? Likely my favorite hero of the year. Ok, he might have a little competition. Like from Graeme in Never Seduce a Scot (also by Banks) or Conor in Conor’s Way or Colin in A Week to be Wicked. But I digress. If you love historicals (and love them for the characters, not the historical accuracy), these are the books for you.

Favorite heroes:
OK, I kinda let the cat out of the bag above. Requirements for a wonderful hero? Humor, badass, loves his heroine more than anything in the world. Who fit the bill this year?

Conor in Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Gurhke ( This is why I still try to participate in the TBR challenge. So many awesome books to read! Conor is so sighworthy. He’s amazing with the heroine and with her children. He overcomes adversity. He needs love. He stands by Olivia no matter what. He is just awesome.

Colin in A Week to be Wicked ( He’s funny, he’s hiding a world of hurt, he loves Minerva for who she is, he’s romantic, vulnerable but at the same time he’s manly and possessive. Oh yum.

Ewan from In Bed With a Highlander. I loved how protective he was of Marin. He was alpha to the core, but soft with her. He loves his son. He loves how Marin loves his son. He’s strong, forceful, but unafraid to be vulnerable and loving with those he cares about, especially Marin. Awesome.

Graeme in Never Seduce a Scot. I actually cried while reading this book. I admit it. A sign of his times, Graeme acquiesces to the marriage to the “touched in the head” Eveline. He acknowledges the loss of his dreams of a family. But does it out of duty. Right from the start, he recognizes that there’s something special about Evie. He works to give her more independence. I adored how as soon as he understood what was happening within his clan, he stood up for Evie – not just because she was his wife, but because it was right and he wanted to protect her. He loves Evie. He loves his family so much. He’s an awesome man full of hero. And oh how sexy.

Favorite heroines:
What stands out for me in a great heroine is the ability to love her hero while being completely self-sufficient. She can make it on her own, but is just so much happier and fuller with him around. She’s smart, sassy, and sensitive.

This was the year I broke down and began the Hunger Games trilogy. Granted, I only got to book 1, but still. Katniss is a fantastic heroine. Tough. Smart. Sensitive. Loving. And badass. Nuff said.

Minerva in A Week to be Wicked. Another smart heroine. Fighting a world of hurt, yet unwilling to change who she is for anyone. I love that although she’s so smart, she’s also impulsive and that gets her into a lot of scrapes. She’s sassy, always willing and able to indulge in wickedly delicious banter with Colin. And brings him to his knees not only without emasculating him, but in the process makes him seem even more manly and wonderful.

Eveline in Never Seduce A Scot. Wow. Overcomes adversity in a time when having a disability was huge. She learned to lipread after a fall made her deaf. She is strong and independent. She eagerly enters into the marriage for her own reasons, and fully embraces it. She tries hard to fit in. I cried at how cruelly she was treated by the women of the keep. But cheered when she overcame it all. She is tender and loving, but smart as a whip and overcomes adversity like a trooper. Plus, her romance with Graeme is sighworthy.

Comfortable favorites and looking forward:
This year was a difficult one for me personally, and I needed a lot of comfort reads. I didn’t really read a lot of new-to-me authors. I caught up on old faves and old series. So who did I read? Authors whose books make me feel good. Among others:
Shannon Stacey
Tessa Dare
Maya Banks
Lauren Dane
Shiloh Walker
Allison Brennan
Beth Williamson & Emma Lang
Linda Lael Miller
HelenKay Dimon
Laura Griffin

What do I want to read in 2013?
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to new contemporaries from Shiloh Walker. Her depth of character & emotional journeys make all her contemps especially great reads.

I want more romantic suspense. Please!

More Karen Rose! I am so sad that since I left my job, I can’t take advantage of my UK connection. I used to order her books when they came out in the UK, have them shipped to our UK office (free) and then shipped via interoffice mail (again, free). So I had the books 6 months before anyone else. Now interoffice mail is out as an option. I iz sad.

More historicals from Maya Banks please.

Dylan & Aiden’s story in the Out of Uniform series by Elle Kennedy. If this won’t happen, I don’t want to hear about it. Ever.

Another Kowalski book. Yes please.

The next Rocky Mountain book(s) from Vivian Arend.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?
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