Feb 29 2012 6:23pm

Best of February 2012: Ugly Ducklings, Alchemists, and Pioneers

Almost Everything by Tate HallawayAt the end of last year, we ran our fabulous bloggers’ lists of top reads of the year. Those posts were so fun that we’ve decided to continue, asking our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read each month (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle just a bit more. So here’s this month’s installment for February 2012 (and if you missed it, be sure to check out the January 2012 picks):

Brittany Melson

The best book that I read in February was Almost Everything: A Vampire Princess Novel by Tate Hallaway. It’s the third book in a series that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, with an ending that left me wanting more. I particularly like the way the main character juggles multiple love interests. 

Natasha Carty

My favourite read of February is a March urban fantasy release, Sins of the Son by Linda Poitevin (Book 2 in the Grigori Legacy). It’s got sexual tension, angels, Lucifer, and amnesia. What more can a girl want? Oh! A kick ass storyline that keeps on moving even when your eyes try to close and go to sleep. Definite late night read! Loved every minute of it!

Firelight by Kristen CallihanPamela Webb-Elliott

Firelight (Darkest London #1) by Kristen Callihan!!!

The dark and gothic feel combined with the richly dimensional characters and kick-ass, super awesome heroine entranced me.


My favorite February read was How to Dance with a Duke by Manda Collins. I’ve watched this book develop from premise to polished gem as debut novel, and I’ve loved it at every stage. More reasons I love this book—I’m a fan of ugly duckling tales and bluestocking heroines, and I adore the hero, who loves the heroine for all that she is. 

The House on Butterfly Way, Elizabeth Bevarly’s first single-title novel in too long, was also a favorite. It’s women’s fiction, but it has a strong romance element with an ending that twists a romance convention. It left me cheering.

The Unnaturalists by Tiffany TrentSynde Korman

Tiffany Trent’s upcoming YA novel The Unnaturalists (available on August 14).

Science, steampunk and mythology make this new YA book from Tiffany an amazing read for any age. LOVED it.

Best steampunk I have read to date; the heroine, Vespa Nyx, is someone I would aspire to be.

Kiersten Hallie Krum

I’m digging the Murder She Writes: Guns and Roses anthology. From a practical standpoint, it’s great bang for your buck at $4.99 with about 10 original short stories and/or novellas from some of the best romantic suspense writers out there. I also like how it shows what a collaborative blog can evolve into, as this anthology is created, produced, and self-published by the members of the popular Murder She Writes RS blog, and prove another example of what can be achieved with self publishing today. Finally—dude! It’s got a rock star title! Makes me want to go perm my hair before I keep reading.

The Wood Queen by Karen MahoneyChelsea Mueller

The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney

The second book in Karen Mahoney’s Iron Witch trilogy, The Wood Queen is one to be devoured. The writing is sharp and the wit cutting. Donna will eventually have to work within the alchemists’ system to bring it down, but watching her fight them and try to save her mom, deal with conniving fey and spend much time with a shirtless Xan is just plain fun.

Wendy the Super Librarian

Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Guhrke

This historical from 1996 won a RITA back in the day and has recently been made available digitally by the author.  An excellent, character-driven American historical featuring a wounded Irish hero, a Southern heroine desperate to hang on to the family farm and raise her three adopted daughters.  I’ll be honest, the Irish elements in this story just about killed me (in a good way!) and if you’re a reader who loves swoonworthy heroes?  Look no further.

Wildest Dreams by Rosanne BittnerWildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner
Bittner is a veteran western writer with 50+ books under her belt. She paints the western landscape the way I like to read it—gritty, harsh, but at the same time beautiful. Originally published in 1994, this was reprinted by Sourcebooks this month. More of a historical saga than a traditional romance (so bad things happen to good people!), it tells the story of our hero, a driven young man determined to prove himself to a bitter father in the harsh, still largely uncivilized, Montana frontier. Along the way he meets our heroine, they marry, they have children, facing many victories and hardships. It’s a rip-roaring soap opera that lets the reader follow a couple’s life together over the course of 25 years. 

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Barbara Bauschka
1. njoireading
I totally agree with Pamela; Firelight was a fabulous book. I gave it a 5 star rating, as the writing is very good, the premise and story fantastic, and the love story superb. After finishing I went to get the prequel Ember; it does fill in some of the gaps about Miranda and Archer.
2. tlc
I have found Janet Evonovich and absolutely love her. I finished up # 18 this month and can't wait for the next one. All her books are so captivating. Their funny and suspenseful. They are just what I would be like if I tried to get out there and be a bail bondsman. LOL
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