Want to know what books your favorite bloggers most enjoyed in 2011? Be sure to check out each post in the Best of 2011 series!
Loretta Chase (who else?) Silk is for Seduction: Loretta Chase at the top of her game. A duke who actually acts and has the opinions of an aristocrat meets a woman making her own way who challenges everything he believes.
Kristan Higgins My One and Only: My One and Only includes everything you love about Kristan Higgins, but takes it to the next level. For the first time we also get the hero’s point of view and it works.
J. D. Robb Treachery in Death: Yes, there’s murder, but this one focuses on the issues of dedication and loyalty. A surprisingly touching study of the relationships in Eve Dallas’s world.
1. Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley
Sweet as Sin was probably my most surprising read of the year. I went into it expecting a sweet, funny story, but found an angsty, complex and utterly memorable one. This is one digital-first contemporary romance that I will be rereading for years to come.
2. Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D’Alessandro
I’m a big fan of Jacquie D’Alessandro’s historical romances, but had not read any of her contemporary work. This book was a very nice beach read, but it also reassured me that Jacquie D can write in any genre and make me laugh.
3. Unveiled by Courtney Milan
My favorite historical romance of the year, Unveiled featured a sigh-worthy hero and an unusual premise. I’ve liked Courtney Milan’s books in the past, but I think this is her best book so far. Her skillful use of legal expertise and her gutsy choice of an illiterate hero make this one a keeper.
The Black Hawk, Joanna Bourne—The much anticipated story of characters with whom I was already fascinated, this novel is about a perfectly matched pair. They know all the scars the other bears, physical and psychic. It exemplifies the best of romance fiction: a hero and heroine, strong individually, who become more together than they could be separately. This is Joanna Bourne’s best book yet, and all of her books are extraordinary.
The Duke Is Mine, Eloisa James—The Princess and the Pea, the inspiration for this novel, is about a “real” princess. James shows love transforming into “real” a heroine who believes she can never be a true duchess, a hero who knows he has nothing in common with fairy tale heroes, and a cast of flawed secondary characters. This book moved me to laughter and to tears. And, as always with James, I delighted in the wit, the literary allusions, and the unexpected setting of a love scene.
What I Did for a Duke, Julie Anne Long—The tension between image and reality is an old theme, but it’s one I love when it’s done well. It is done excellently in this book in which hero and heroine push past superficial images of conventional maiden and dangerous rake to discover truths about one another and to recognize unexplored parts of their very selves. Plus, I do love a hero (and an author) who understands the power of words to seduce.