Monday, December 5, 2011

Best Books Read in 2011 ~ A Year In Review

For the first time ever, I have been keeping track of the books I read over on my Goodreads profile. I have even set a goal for this year--to read 200 books by December 31, 2011.  I am this close. **index and thumb finger almost touching** UGH! I have read about 190. My profile shows 183, cause I don't include re-reads. Maybe I should reconsider, lol.

Trying to come up with just one book out of the year is tough--there are so many damn good authors out there, that I cannot single out just one. IMPOSSIBLE. **NOTE- this compilation comes from the books I have READ in 2011, NOT books that were published in 2011. Kay?

So, I have come up with 25.

They are in no way in order-it's like trying to pick my favorite kid. I can't favor one over another. NOPE. NOT GONNA. But I do follow this list with a few Awards---they don't win anything, of course, but it's fun to do. Maybe when I win the lottery I can offer up some trophies?

1. Shadowfever ~ Karen Marie Moning.
2. The Club Shadowlands Series ~ Cherise Sinclair. To Command and Collar Book 6 is the top fave of the series
3. The Reluctant Dom ~ Tymber Dalton
4. The Groupie ~ Ginger Voight 
5. Sinners On Tour ~ Olivia Cunning  Backstage Pass Book 1 is my fave.
6. Dark Ink Chronicles ~ Elle Jasper  Afterlife Book 1 is my fave
7. Chicagoland Vampires ~  Chloe Neill  Hard Bitten Book 4
8. Nickki Styx and The Devil's Bargin series ~ Terri Garey GAH--toughie--Devil Without A Cause if my fave.
9. Night Huntress Series ~ Jeaniene Frost  AGAIN-toughie-Book Two, Chapter 32, LOL. One Foot In The Grave
10. Charley Davidson series ~ Darynda Jones Second Grave on the Left
11. Men Who Walk The Edge of Honor Series  ~ Lori Foster  Savor The Danger Book 3
12. My Blood Approves Series ~ Amanda Hocking  Book 1 My Blood Approves
13. Jolie Wilkins Series ~ H.P. Mallory  Toil and Trouble Book 3
14. Deadly Series ~ Cynthia Eden  Deadly Heat Book 2
15. KGI Series ~ Maya Banks No Place To Run Book 2
16. Lover Unleashed - ~ JR Ward
17. Envy ~ JR Ward
18. Breaking The Rules ~ Suzanne Brockmann
19. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ~ Michelle Hodkin
20. The Fall ~ Marie Force
21. Sing Me To Sleep ~ Angela Morrison
22. Second Chances ~ Lauren Dane
23. Delicious ~ Shayla Black
24. Larissa Ione ~ Immortal Rider
25. Lara Adrian ~ Darker Than Midnight

SHOCKER of the Year  AWARD for me was from a new-to-me author, Ginger Voight. Her book, The Groupie was an emotional roller coaster--it was like watching a train wreck and I couldn't pull my eyes away. The emotions were heart wrenching and I am dying to see where she takes me in the next book.

Link for Author

Into any girl's life a star could fall, but there's a thin line between love and obsession.

Andy Foster never expected lightning to strike when she met the enigmatic frontman of an up-and-coming rock band, but Giovanni Carnevale left her thunderstruck. At first it was easy to use her freelance writing career as an excuse to indulge the steamy flirtation, but soon she finds herself entangled in the fake and sometimes dangerous world of celebrity where nothing is as it seems, including the celebrities themselves.

She hangs on to find something real amidst the illusion, while Giovanni balances what he wants against what he fears most. Unknowingly they race toward a dramatic moment of truth that will leave two people injured, and one dead.

TEAR-JERKER of the Year AWARD is a tieThe Reluctant Dom, by Tymber Dalton, had my sobbing several times. I still am not over it.

Link For Author

 Sometimes, love hurts...if you’re lucky.

How can you refuse when a dying friend asks you for the biggest favor of all? Kaden and Seth have been best friends for over forty years. So when Kaden confesses not only that he’s dying, but that he wants Seth to take over as his wife’s Dom in their BDSM relationship, it rocks his world.

Seth has always seen himself as the perpetual screw-up and Kaden as the strong and steady one. To find out he is the only one Kaden trusts to protect and care for his wife, Leah, is a shock.

Now Seth finds himself immersed in a role he’s far from comfortable with—inflicting pain to provide emotional comfort for the woman he’s secretly loved for years. Can he deal with his crushing grief and learn the skills he must master in time to become THE RELUCTANT DOM?


Lauren Dane's Second Chances had me crying in my bed. I was an emotional wreck-all splotchy-faced and weak from sobbing so hard.


Link to Author

Ten years ago, Rori Simon left town shy, unattractive and with zero self-esteem. Now she’s back, older, stronger and finally loving herself—and it shows. Hot men are soon knocking at her door, including Jude Callahan, the bad boy who starred in her teenage daydreams…and her adult fantasies.

Jude can’t believe the sexy, confident woman before him is actually Rori! She’s gotten under his skin like no other woman has…and brings out secret desires he can’t resist. He wants to dominate Rori with every fiber of his being. Wants to own her and pleasure her. To cherish her as he makes her his.

Rori discovers she likes being controlled. She also knows Jude is not a one-woman man. Everything changes when she meets Zach Helm. Edgy, sensual Zach knows just what she needs, and before long, she’s in love. Jude watches them together and wonders if he’s lost his chance forever…


MOST ANTICIPATED AND DIDN'T DISAPPOINT AWARD goes to Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. Her final book in this series was WELL DONE--and fit perfectly regarding the world she created. Some readers thought that there weren't enough answers. ME? I thought Karen handled it well. Sometimes, things can't be neatly tied up in a cute package. What is Jericho really?......To me, it doesn't matter.

Link to Author

                "You're Mac, and I'm Jericho. And nothing else matters."  ---Jericho, from Shadowfever.


MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

Best DEBUT AUTHOR again---is a TIE.
We'll start with H.P. Mallory. I simply love her writing style and her Jolie Series. Her new book can't get here fast enough.

Link To Author

Do not be fooled by her comical cover---this series is really great. I have suggested this book to other avid readers and they LOVED IT. So, I have to pimp it here.  H.P. started out self-publishing and her popular books rocketed her to a 3 book contract with Random House. WOOT WOOT! Which means her Jolie series will include 3 more books, starting with the release of  Witchful Thinking, to be out in stores Feb. 28, 2012.

Next, is Olivia Cunning, and her first book, Backstage Pass. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book (and my book pimping got a lot of peeps hooked as well)!

Link to Author

It's been months since Brian Sinclair, lead guitarist for the famous rock band, Sinners, composed anything. Unable to write the music that once flowed so naturally, Brian is lost without his musical mojo. But when sexy psychology professor Myrna Evans comes on tour to study groupie mentality, Brian may have found the spark he needs to reignite his musical genius. When lust turns to love, will Brian be able to convince Myrna that what they have is more than just a fling, and that now that he's found his heart's muse, he doesn't want to live without her?



I adore and LURVE Darynda Jones. I would walk the ends of the earth to get her book. She is THE nicest author I have had the priveldge to meet. And her books?  AWESOME, AMAZING, AND FUNNY AS SHIT--not to mention, her questionable hero, Reyes, is SMOKIN' HAWT-and sometimes--not in a good way.


Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.
Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?

JR Ward's Fallen Angels series started out kinda iffy for me. As a huge fan of the BDB series, I was shocked when I thought Covet was just okay. NOT her usual work.  But as I continued with this series, it started to woo me-rock me--and make me all tingly in certain places. That's why ENVY gets the HER BOOKS JUST GET BETTER AND BETTER Award.

Link to Author

A man and a woman tread the lines of danger, desire, and deliverance in the new novel of the Fallen Angels from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series....

As the son of a serial killer, homicide detective Thomas "Veck" DelVecchio, Jr., grew up in the shadow of evil. Now, on the knife-edge between civic duty and blind retribution, he atones for the sins of his father---while fighting his inner demons. Assigned to monitor Veck is Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly, whose interest in him is both professional and arousingly personal. And Veck and Sophia have another link: Jim Heron, a mysterious stranger with too many questions that are deadly. When Veck and Sophia are drawn into the ultimate battle between good and evil, their fallen angel savior is the only thing that stands between them and eternal damnation.

So there are my picks for 2011.
What were your faves in the same categories that I picked? Your overall fave read of 2011 that you read? I'd love to hear what you guys have to say.

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