Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 Reading List

I had the pleasure to read many awesome books in 2010. In a lot of ways, I think it was a notable year for several favorite authors and I had the pleasure of discovering a number of new authors for my auto-buy list. Here's a list of my favorite 2010 titles:

BEST CONTEMPORARY/ROMANTIC SUSPENSE - Hands-down, the SEALs trilogy. I'd really like to know where Stephanie Tyler's military heroes have been all my life. Hold on Tight was Chris's book and the final installment in Tyler's first trilogy. I read it in a day and a half...and I'm slow. Chris's character completely rocked his purple cover. Just look at that! Do I really need to say more? Sorry, I have to. Mostly because I felt that Chris's character was remarkable. He exemplified the wounded hero without losing his an ounce of his alpha-ness. I unfortunately have not read any of Tyler's new Shadow Force books, but if her SEALs trilogy is any indication, I will not be disappointed.

BEST PARANORMAL - It comes down to a mind-blowing tie. This is the first time my favorite paranormal authors have not shifted year-to-year, and of course those are the outstanding likes of J.R. Ward and Larissa Ione.

With Ward's Lover Mine, she continues the awesomeness that is the Black Dagger Brotherhood while telling the love story of my favorite character, John Matthew. This might have been my favorite book of the year because it lived up to its highly-anticipated hype and set the bar extremely high for the next book in the series.

Ione delivers! It's a phrase fans of the Demonica series have said from day one. Sin Undone is the final book in the Demonica series and talk about living up to the hype! I really didn't think Sin's book would like up to Wraith's, but I was so, so wrong. It had all the ingredients I've come to love about Ione's dark paranormals and more. I cannot wait until her next series launch in 2011.
BEST HISTORICAL - I read more historical romance in 2010 than anything else and two stand out more than any other. Both the authors are new to me and I was thrilled to add them to my auto-buy list.
The first is by established historical author Rosemary Rogers. Scoundrel's Honor explores the intriguing streets of St. Petersburg while delving into the life of the Beggar Czar, Russia's most notorious criminal. The hero reminds me of a historical Roarke. And it's rare that I love both the hero and heroine in equal measure.
The second is by author Veronica Wolff and is the first book in her Clan MacAlpin series. I've never fallen in love with a Highlander romance faster than I fell for Devil's Highlander. The story is textured richly and the characters are delightful. The hero, Cormac, is to die for - the epitome of both the alpha and Highlander hero. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Devil's Own, in March.
BEST GENRE-DEFYING NOVEL - Zoe Archer's Blades of the Rose series is historical. But it also has deep roots in the paranormal. And romance. And adventure. Suffice it to say, these books are in a league of their own. Zoe Archer gets five stars for originality alone. The first book in the Blades of the Rose, Warrior, which launched in September, was absolutely outstanding. It would seem impossible to combine so many different sub-genres without one overwhelming another. That's what makes Warrior so unique. The historical frontier of Mongolia proved to be exciting new terrain for romance. And the romance - ooh la la! Absolutely nothing was lost there. The characters are as lovable as can be. The hero struck me as particularly three-dimensional. The elements of paranormal and adventure wove the plot together and the ending was so satisfying I immediately wanted to dive into the second Blades of the Rose title, Scoundrel.
Other 2010 notables include Alexandra Hawkins's Lords of Vice series, which will be continuing with its third installment in 2011. I also discovered the guilty pleasure that is Christine Wells's suspenseful historical. Ann Agguire's butt-kicking, sci-fi heroine, Sirantha Jax, became a must-read. And Cynthia Eden delighted fans by crossing over into romantic suspense.
Readers, it's your turn! What were your favorite titles of 2010?

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