Best of 2011?

No – that’s not a typo. Bring on 2011! So apparently I do this every two years. This being the second time – so I can say that. I’ve seen a lot of people’s “Best of 2010” posts. Well, I’ve been in a reading slump since 2009. Perhaps this will end it? Anyway, this list is my most anticipated books of 2011. Because I only like following the herd so far.

First, I’d like to list some disclaimers. By no means  was this based on a comprehensive list of all romances to be published in 2011. I did the “best I could” – using an advanced search via amazon, with the parameters of romance, print, and 2011. (You can’t choose more than one format type and I definitely didn’t want to be getting calendars, etc in my search.) I searched through 100 pages, and then amazon cut me off. I ended around March 1, 2011, so I did another advanced search for the same, only limited to March 2011, and repeated it for January and February.

There are some books I considered at first glance, but I’ve had books by those authors and never bothered to read them, and I figured if I had a book that others seemed to like and based on what I read (back cover, excerpt etc) and I couldn’t bring myself to read it, I probably shouldn’t put it on my “most highly anticipated” list.   Sorry, authors, my reading slump hasn’t been any fun for me either. I also admit I looked a lot at author names, titles, and book covers. I never thought book covers would catch my eye quite so much, but when you’re scrolling through thousands of titles, it helps.

I was super excited to learn that I had more than ten books I to look forward to! In fact, paring down the list was extremely difficult. I did my best- and please don’t anyone mention anything about cheating because I didn’t okay?!

The order of the first [two] well, I’m sure you can figure it out. Although they are somewhat chronologically done. And the rest, well, this list isn’t ranked in any way other than date. And the two books that have the same release date I just listed alphabetically. There’s a method to my madness.

1. A Tainted by Temptation by Katy Madison

Yes, the title is less than desirable. (I can’t help it okay? Law school and professional responsibility broke me. Broke me, I tell you!) I can’t help but look at the title and think “oh dear” but the premise is great. And I almost don’t even care that there’s no excerpt because… well… Katy Madison is Karen L. King! I found her! I bloody found her! Karen L. King is an author I’ve long mourned the disappearance of (that sly minx, she’s been around!) I’ve recommended her to many friends, and the response has always been “who?” so now – you can find out for yourself. And I’m going to be absolutely gutted if this book doesn’t live up to my expectations. No pressure, of course, Ms. Madison. :X

1. B An Unlikely Countess by Jo Beverley

This also counts as one because… well the premises are slightly similar, and I couldn’t choose. Also while I’m not 100% sure if I’ve read Ms. Beverly’s books before, the excerpt for this was fantastic. Also, the basis of the book! I love the blurb too, how Prudence is … well, reasonable. Rational. Do you know how very rare that is in a heroine? Especially in a historical romance? And the hero’s name is Cate. Well, Catesby. Which I actually like, much to my surprise. And he drinks gin too! Lots of it. Honestly, I don’t see how this book can go wrong. I’m very excited to read it, and join the masses who absolutely adore Ms. Beverley’s writing and clamor for more.

2. A Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

SEP is one of my favorite romance authors. Although I haven’t been quite as in love with her more recent releases, she has written some of my most favorite romances of all time. And more importantly, this is Teddy’s book. Teddy! The wonderful character we all know and love! I’m totally apprehensive of an entirely grown up Teddy, but I have high hopes. And almost as important, the heroine is not Lucy, and is indeed Meg. Many people don’t like Meg, but I never liked Lucy. Didn’t even like the book she was in – First Lady – though I guess I should give it a re-read. I’m hoping Call Me Irresistible has a heavy romance focus, and it makes me fall in love with SEP’s writing all over again.

2. B The Chase by Erin McCarthy

Evan Monroe hasn’t been my favorite character in the Fast Track series… but Ms. McCarthy has been making me enjoy all these books about NASCAR despite myself. (Still so not my “sport.”) I’m undecided as to how I feel about the heroine. Female race car driver? Pretty cool… though I fear a gimmick I suppose. Also the whole former flame story line is generally hit or miss for me, but considering who the author is, I have high hopes. I’m scared, but I’m still definitely going to read it, and anticipate loving it. I’m sure Evan will grow up and surprise me, and that Kendall will keep him on his toes – after she knocks him on his butt.

3. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

Well first of all, Eloisa James is one of my favorite romance authors. Second of all, who doesn’t love the story of Beauty and the Beast? Then there’s the fact that I was a kid when Disney came out with their animated version, which was still during the “Golden Age” of Disney, meaning I’ll love this fairy tale forever. Forever. Then it’s got a great premise – and… I have to say… a baby daddy scare. A regency royal baby daddy rumor! And a historical House, M.D.! Crotchety men – heroes especially – can be so much fun because they fall so hard, and I know Ms. James is a master at making the men she writes grovel. It’s delicious. I sped through the excerpt and just knew I had to get my hands on this before I’d even finished two paragraphs.

4. Everyone Loves a Hero by Marie Force

I have to admit, this book choice surprised me a little – but I chose it based solely on the author. (And ok, the publisher too – but let me explain.) The cover, the title… almost even the premise aren’t things I’d normally go for, but I’ve learned my lesson with Ms. Force. I absolutely adored both her previous books with Sourcebooks Casablanca. I know I can expect a fantastic story with surprising depth and incredibly well developed characters who come alive while reading. The whole hero pilot bit almost seems too cliche, but I love that his world is going to be turned upside down. (We’re not surprised that I like the hero to suffer a little, right?) Also, this story just seems unique. I’m expecting something surprising and delightful.

5. The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

If you know anything about Jaci Burton, you’ve seen this cover. Hell, possibly even if you don’t. She  – and others – have been posting it everywhere. (And with reason, yes?) I’m not usually for the half naked man covers but just… look at this one! And if you know anything about me, you know I’m er, fond of football. (Ok, I’m rather mad for it.) I read romances. A LOT of romances. I watch football. Basically as much as I can. An entire romance novel about a professional football player? You’d almost think Ms. Burton wrote this story for me. If only she had. Then I might already have a copy so I wouldn’t have to wait until bloody February 1st.

6. Deadly Vows by Brenda Joyce

Well first off, Brenda Joyce is a rockstar romance author – she’s written so many books I love. But even if that were not so, this is a new Francesca Cahill book. I’ll say it again so you have time to process. A new Francesca Cahill novel. Francesca is a kick-ass heroine. She’s an amateur sleuth, smart, and really, you just need to read the books. Finally! A new one! We all thought this series would be left hanging forever! This series is also wonderful because it’s a historical romance set in America – which is so rare. We’ve been waiting for years for Francesca and Calder to get married. Of course they still run into delays in this book, but hey – at least they’re one step closer!

7. Saddled and Spurred by Lorelei James

First of all, Lorelei James is a fantastic author. But this book is part of my list because I loved the previous book in the series Corralled. It was one of my favorite reads last year. The fact that this book is here is telling because it’s the second book of the series. And… well I’m starting to hate series. So that says something. Also who doesn’t love a book where the heroine is a curvy cowgirl? (Ok, so I haven’t read many – if any – books with that characterization, but I’m looking forward to it.) I also love when the heroine exceeds the hero’s expectations, and makes him eat crow. Based on the premise of this book/the blurb… that’s going to happen. And of course it’ll be a wonderfully written, extremely sexy story as well.

8. The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

Well, it’s Jill Shalvis. Really, that should be enough said. But obviously I’ll say more. Wait for it… it’s Jill Shalvis! This is going to be a good book. Then, we have the characters. Sisters are evil, but they can be really entertaining in fiction. All that bickering, the warm fuzzy childhood memories… the way they understand each other. And the big draw for me – the love triangle. I’ve been missing that. I’ve never burnt out on that device, likely due to when I “entered” romance world, so I’m super jazzed to see it. And of course, it’s two guys and a girl. The way it should be. Angst all around, with a difficult decision for the heroine to pick which man is best for her. I expect a lot of humor too, and for this book to be a feel good read.

9. A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran

Well, there’s no cover for it yet – [if I remember] I’ll add it once it’s posted. The premise was awesome. And although I haven’t liked Ms. Duran’s following books as much as her first, others praise them highly, and I still anticipate a fantastic story from her. Who am I kidding. Beyond fantastic. I expect lush settings, interesting characters, and if I’m honest, an unusual story as well. But in the best way possible. Which is why I hope – and believe – this will be one of the best books I read all year.

10. Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day

I love Sylvia Day’s historicals. Love. So excited she’s writing them again and… while I know she has one being released sooner, this is the one that made me squee when I read about it on her webpage. It’s going to be a sexy, emotional, awesome romp. I just know it.

(ETA 5/19/22: And… considering how much I freaking loved Pride and Pleasure I’m totally excited. Especially when *shh* when I read P&P’s blurb I was like “enh, okay…” so I’ve got incredibly high hopes :D)

ETA: #Not Eleven. This list isn’t going over 10, dammit, and … I can’t kick one off now… but… Never Enough by Lauren Dane it’s not even listed on Amazon yet. (Which is how I missed it, and never you mind the fact that I even visited her web page a few times throughout the course of writing these posts to check.) Z-O-M-G. Adrian. Brown. Gah. And… Seattle. And I don’t even so much care he’s an musician. And he’s like selling me on tattoos and… My analytical and intelligent reasons for putting this book on the list are as follows: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, actually, now I kinda hate Lauren for letting me know I can’t have this book for another eight months. Thanks a lot for nothing, Ms. Dane!

So… that’s my list. And there are a bunch of “honorable mentions” but… this post was getting too long, at least in my humble opinion so I’ll talk about them in a future post. And who knows – if one of these books does meet my expectations maybe I’ll buy a copy for one of you! 😀

But my question is – what books are you most looking forward to this year? Have you got one pre-ordered already? What do you think should be on this list that isn’t?

0 thoughts on “Best of 2011?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Best of 2011? « Limecello --

  2. tumperkin

    hey! I`ll be keeping my eye out for autobuy authors but don`t tend to have an awareness of what’s coming out when and I never pre-order.

    I`ve never read sylvia day but got a free book for kindle by her just the other day so will push that higher up the tbr pile based on your recc

    1. Limecello Post author

      Oooo which book for kindle did you get by Sylvia Day? I loved The Stranger I Married -which is one of her earlier historicals. I re-read it often.

  3. Brae

    Let’s see I have Jaci’s book and the next one pre-ordered. I’m a fan of the half naked man flesh on covers. Must be from almost 16 years being married.

    I have a few Maya Banks books on pre-order as well. Hidden Away and In Bed With The Highlander.

    I’ve cut back on pre-orders and books to run out and get. I still have 2 bookcases of books to read through. Plus I won The Season’s Mega Giveaway of 55 books.

    1. Limecello Post author

      LOL! Maybe it’s the marriage thing 😛
      I’ve read the KGI books… but am less sold on the Scottish historicals. But obviously I’m going to read Maya’s books. (Even though she told me I was dead to her :X)
      Also ZOMG! You lucky girl! 55 books of awesome! I’ve tried to go the ebook only route… so I can pretend I don’t have a problem 😉

      1. Brae

        I still pretend I don’t have a problem. I keep saying that I brought a lot home from RomCon for free or won this here or there.

        I have a Nook now too that I’m slowly filling. Its not a sickness or obsession…. its a lifestyle. 😀

  4. Kathryn

    Great post! Wouldn’t know where to begin with romance, just learning now there’s a whole new world of romance out there and I can’t wait to dig in. I seem to be following a few of the rom authors on Twitter…they’re crazy. In a good way.

    Looking forward to more posts.


    1. Limecello Post author

      Kathryn, how exciting! You’re new to the genre? Have you been inundated with book suggestions? [If not I’d be happy to try my hand at it :D]

      And thanks so much for stopping by! <3

  5. Judi L

    I have a few of the same ones as you (Force, Burton, Shalvis and Phillips). Also looking forward to Snapped by Laura Griffin, With No Remorse by Cindy Gerrard, A Lot like Love by Julies James, Any Man of Mine Rachel Gibson, Dreams of a Dark Warrior Kresley Cole. I could go on and on and on (new Tess Gerritsen, Chelsea Cain, Lisa Gardner). *Whispers* I have about 35 books for 2011 already pre-ordered.

    1. Limecello Post author

      Judi – you lucky girl! Also… Heh, a number of the books you mentioned were ones I agonized about, whether or not to put them on my list… although some I didn’t know about, like Laura Griffin or Cindy Gerrard’s – thanks for putting them on my radar! I’m going to go to the author webpages now 🙂

  6. Ali

    Great list… I’ll have to add some to my list that weren’t already there 🙂

    Hm, I’ve already pre-ordered books for 2011… but, can’t remember which at these moments… definitely all of Maya Banks.. but, I’m a sucker for her books, heh

  7. Pingback: “Best of 2011?” Honorable Mentions « Limecello

    1. Limecello Post author

      Hi Mary!!! Yay! I was worried about who would/wouldn’t know about this – it’s totally new – I just started it and you found my very first post! [The long twitter one was pre-dated? post dated?]

      You’re so darling – thanks so much and so glad to see you! *glomps*

  8. Mary G

    I’ve put your site as a fave so I’ll be checking it often. I found the link at Jaci Burton’s web-site. I always check TGTBTU for your posts so I’ve missed you.

  9. Vanessa

    Definitely SEP’s new one.. I can never get enough of her!
    Anything by Maya Banks is an auto-buy..I just discovered her this past summer and it’s love already..
    I haven’t read Jaci Burton yet but I keep drooling over her covers so her new series are ones that I’m anticipating as well..

    Great picks all around and I didn’t even know Rachel Gibson had a book coming out so that’s another one to look forward to!

    1. Limecello Post author

      Vanessa – you found Ms. Banks at the perfect time! I’m really liking her KGI books even though RS really isn’t so much my thing, and some of the books in her Sweet series… just love them!

      The Rachel Gibson one could/should be interesting- I want to say it’s about a hockey player getting back together with his ex… who was his wife for only one day? :X Something like that.

  10. Caffey

    Oh cool, Karen King is back!! Now I must find out when! I do love that cover tho! I’m one who loves alot of the historical covers and do pick them up for the covers (then I read the blurbs!)
    I so have not read Jo Beverly in a while. I’d love to have a week to read some of her backlist, one after another. I like to do that once in a while. I don’t get burned out, if its in my mood. I did that once with reading 6 Governess books of Christina Dodd one week during a blizzard. It was a great week! But first re-reading the DEADLY books of Joyce. Oh those are so good! I think its because of these that I partly got into historical mysteries (and I almost never read outside of romance!) I don’t want this series to end! But i do want the marriage to happen, because if these books stop again like they did before for so long, at least we have a HEA! Off to get more on my wishlist from this list. Can I say thanks?! (Hubby doesn’t, he laughs, LOL)

    1. Limecello Post author

      Cathie!!! EEEEEE I am SO FREAKING EXCITED that you know “who” Karen L King is! I was so “EEEEEE” when I saw her book/her page.
      LOL Tell your husband I say sorry :X But – yay! I really really really do hope Francesca gets her happy ending… this is like the ONLY “series” series I really like. I crave closure.

  11. Katy Madison

    Okay, now I’m shaking in my shoes. But I love this story (Tainted by Temptation) and I hope everyone else who tries it does too.

    As for the title–I called it: The Fallen Ones–but that doesn’t shout romance and prbly only makes sense after it’s been read. Just so you know, there is a lengthy excerpt up on the Avon website. Katy/Karen

    1. Limecello Post author

      Whoops! Thought I commented to this – thanks for the link, Katy! Also, I think The Fallen Ones works for a romance title, but then I’m not in PR I guess 😛
      Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!


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