Tag Archives: Top Ten

Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Hi friends! I … well, I had played with posting this in early January, but then life was OMGWTF. And then I wanted to post it at the end of January. Because that’s what somehow made sense to me. So here we are. Anyway, I’m going with the post date and sticking to it!

This is a “tradition” I started way back in 2009. When everyone else was posting their “best books of the previous year” lists… I wanted to do something different. So I did. Now, we see more such lists as this one. I’m going to take credit. Because I can. And I’m feeling grouchy. [No seriously though – when I googled it in 2009 and wrote my first one I found not a thing. So you’re welcome, okay?!]

It’s also a bit flawed because some books, there simply is no information out there, other than the title and author, and I’m not willing to make it a top 10 want/recommended book based only on that. Um, this system works, you know, cuz it’s a bit quirky, a bit flawed, and yet exciting. Like me! >.> … yeah.


This year… I’m also making a tentative pledge to not only read but also review all ten books on this list. You’ll notice then there are no extras. Because… I want to set a goal I can actually accomplish. And now you guys can keep me accountable. (I’m already starting to think I might’ve made a mistake…)

Listed in nothing but chronological order… the books!

1. My Wicked Little Lies by Victoria Alexander

Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all—a genteel Victoria life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve”, a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting . . .

Adrian Hadley Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as the veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love . . .

What really won me over was the book excerpt. I also bought the book. Especially because the kindle cost wasn’t the same as the print!

 2. Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess…

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn’t resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he’d fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

I mean… a duchess! And then how Olivia “surprises” them all and… yeah. Much want. I mean, read the excerpt. I dare you to finish it and not have some sort of “!!!” reaction. Mine was “Oh. My. God!” and a giggle. <3

 3. Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…

You can also read an excerpt here. Which is what won me over over the football book. You have to love a hero who just is a good guy, right? Especially when he’s a sports star. I don’t know why we give famous people so much more leeway (we can discuss that later) – but it’s still refreshing, especially in romances – to see them as “the good guy.”

 4. Taming an Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch

One year ago, Lady Camille Pryce left her haughty fiancé at the altar—for good reason. Not only was the marriage arranged before she could even walk, her betrothed was too smug to exert himself to meet her! Now, disowned, with no husband or family to support her, she’s left with one option: go to work in the notorious Tantalus Club…

A gentleman’s gaming house run by a woman, the Tantalus is no place for a proper lady; so, to save face, her jilted fiancé must retrieve her. But banned from the club, he’s forced to employ his ne’er-do-well cousin instead. A handsome, experienced rogue, Keating Blackwood is the perfect man to lure Camille away. But the moment they meet, Keating instead wants to save her…for himself. Impossible? Perhaps. But if Camille can make the ultimate player lay his cards on the table—and risk his heart—all bets are off…

It’s just… we all have read the “bad boy” hero, yes? And even sometimes the “bad girl” heroine – but here, she appears to be something of a bad girl, yet… not. I like that interesting premise. And you know, it’s always nice to see a rake brought to his knees through love. I also enjoyed how the guys talked to each other based on what I read.

 5. No Longer a Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney

Grey Sommers, Lord Wyndham, never met a predicament he couldn’t charm his way out of. Then a tryst with a government official’s wife during a bit of casual espionage in France condemns him a decade in a dungeon, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Yet his greatest challenge may be the enigmatic spy sent to free his body—the only woman who might heal his soul.

Half English and half French, Cassie Fox lost everything in the chaos of revolution, leaving only a determination to help destroy Napoleon’s empire through her perilous calling. Rescuing Grey is merely one more mission.  She hadn’t counted on a man with the stark beauty of a ravaged angel, whose desperate courage and vulnerability touch her frozen heart as no one ever has.  With Grey, she can become the passionate woman she has long denied.  But a spy and a lord are divided by an impassable gulf even if they manage to survive one last, terrifying mission….

I found this excerpt here, and it’s nice to see even damaged, the hero is still kind. Even in the beginning. Not to mention the fascinating premise! For me it was a pdf that opened in my browser, just an fyi.

 6. Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he’s about to become a father.

Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he’s ever wanted-a family.

The blurb, the start of the excerpt, I mean this isn’t even normally my thing. But come on here. And even the cover! I guess it appeals to my teenage self, because you know it’ll be Angsty McAngst-town. And sometimes? You just want a little of that. In fiction.

 7. Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles—protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society—flirtation, double entendres, and scandalous liaisons—Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar—and his lips so tempting.

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything—the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

I mean even the blurb just makes you [or at least me!] think “scandalous!” in a good way, of course. And I like how things just jump right in at the beginning. Always nice to find a half dead man on your doorstep… right?!

8. Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

Millicent understands the terms of her arranged marriage all too well. She gets to be a Countess by marrying an impoverished Earl. And in return, the Earl

Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage—and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives.

It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing. Somehow Millie has fallen head over heels in love with her husband. Her husband, who has become her very best friend, but nothing more… Her husband, who plans to reunite with his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful and newly widowed Isabelle, as soon as he has honored the pact with his wife…

As the hour they truly become husband-and-wife draws near, both Millie and Fitzhugh must face the truth in their hearts. Has their pact bred only a great friendship—or has it, without either of them quite noticing, given rise to a great love?

This one was hard. Like. Really. I was so torn between this and Beguiling the Beauty but… the premise of this one intrigued me more. Just watch me love the non-listed one more. It happened last year… But the whole “love at first sight” line at the beginning gets me. When they’re kids it’s just so aaaaawwwweeeee. In books.

 9. Tart by Lauren Dane

Juliet Lamprey is having the time of her life running her successful bakery, TART, when Gideon Carter comes back into her life. Returning home to help his grandfather run the family on the farm, Gideon is back for good. When they meet again, the spark between them is immediate, and it isn’t long before the former childhood friends play catch up in bed.

That’s not good news for local lawyer Cal Whaley. Though the sexually open but strictly monogamous Cal has loved Jules for a long time, he’s hardly ever taken it further than friendship. When he sees her start to fall for Gideon, he knows he has to make his move or risk losing her forever.

Who would have anticipated that all three of them would connect on such an intimate level? The trio’s scalding liaisons take them places they’ve never dreamed. But such an intensely passionate and unusual relationship comes with equally as complicated emotions, and when Jules must suddenly leave town, she wonders if she’ll have a choice to make when she returns

Every so often, you just want a spicier book. I’ve enjoyed Lauren Dane’s contemporary novels, and she writes ménages so very well. Also, hello! Bakery. Also, Cal! Love it! Want! There’s no excerpt yet… but I’m [pretty sure] Ms. Dane has been tweeting random lines from it. And… yeah. That’s enough for me. Also, I’m not going to link where the excerpt will go because it’s this weird pop-up-ey type and it like kills the website. Yeah I don’t know.

 10. Exposed to You by Bethany Kane

HOLD UP. I know, you’re all thinking “Lime! That cover isn’t Exposed to You … that’s Addicted to You! Your citrus brain has… fermented!” Well, no, it hasn’t actually. That’s a place holder, because Exposed to You isn’t even up on Amazon yet. There’s no cover of course. (For the previous two I had to snatch and grab from author websites, so … thank you, Picasa!)

It’s not often you’re hired to paint a body tattoo—and what a body—on a total stranger at a Hollywood film set. A reserved and careful art teacher, Joy would never forget it. In a rare fit of raw desire she gave herself completely, knowing she’d never see him again, or ever repeat such a shameless, naked impulse.

Little did she know, the man with whom she shared that lightning bolt of lust was star Everett Hughes. For Everett, women and sex came as easily as fame. But how could he hope to convince the guarded Joy that beneath the hard body and sexy façade of celebrity was a real man who wanted only one, real woman?

In the heat of an intoxicating affair, Everett endeavors to break down her barriers, gain her trust, and expose himself as the real deal. But can Joy do the same, and reveal to him the vulnerable woman who longs to be loved, wanted, and desired forever?

I loved Addicted to You. And guess what? It’s only six dollars right now. I also loved Everett. And/so, if his book is anything like Rill and Katie’s? Yeah. I know it’ll be on my “favorites of the year” list.

There was a short list of about 16 books… with Sophia Nash, Manda Collins, Vicky Dreiling, Samantha Grace, Sarah MacLean, Jill Shalvis, Lisa Klyepas, Eloisa James and you know, others. Some didn’t make the list because they didn’t have book information up, so I couldn’t in good conscience put up a book I didn’t know enough about. Those authors I didn’t mention. Because, well, I’m not trying to call anyone out here.

There was a longer list of books to consider – about 30 or 40 of them. And… the way I did this? I did an advanced search at amazon looking at each month’s romance listings for 2012. I scrolled through about 5,000 titles. Yeah – that’s dedication. I also found some eye-bleachingly traumatic titles and covers, that in no way belonged in romance. I suffered for you.

So – what’s not here that is on your list? Generally I do an “honorable mentions” and all, but gotta keep it strictly to ten so I can reach my goal. 🙂

“Best of 2011?” Honorable Mentions

I think there are one or two books I wanted to have on this list and… I lost them. I didn’t copy and paste properly (which is yet another reason why I shouldn’t be writing these posts in the wee hours, like 2:30 AM, and yet here I am at 1:30 clicking away.) I’m sorry for not searching for them again, but I just don’t have the fortitude to go through thousands of titles again. I browsed through something like 200+ amazon pages for my books post. Will not do it again. I am weak. Forgive me.

And, I’d like to remind you, before anyone gets all het up about this list… these are books I think are going to be super awesome. I’m just… explaining why they aren’t on my other post. Because I’m stupid and feel the need to explain and shoot myself in the foot, obviously.

So without further ado and in no particular order… here are the honorable mentions:

The Seduction of His Wife by Tiffany Clare
I LOVE the premise of this book. I’d actually been thinking “I wish there were more books about couples after they’re married.” And here is the perfect set up. I’ve also been meaning to read one of Ms. Clare’s books, because I’d heard so many wonderful things about them. Also, they’re unique. The characters, plot, setting, of her books all stand out in my mind. I had a really hard time taking this off my “10” list.


Mesmerized by Lauren Dane
I have to admit, the book by Ms. Dane I really really really want to read is Never Enough – which is Adrian Brown’s book. (The setting, his character… *drool*) But I think his book won’t be out til 2012, so I guess I’m not allowed to talk about it. Anyway, this book sounds awesome. Not just because the heroine is bad ass. And yes, these Phantom Corps books focus on the heroes. I’m all for that. but the heroine here, Piper – sounds awesome. And, here comes the confession. I couldn’t in good conscience put this book on the other list because well… I haven’t finished Insatiable yet. Which actually makes me really sad. No, honest. I LOVED his sister Abbie’s story. SO! LOVED! And I thought Daniel was fantastic, and I was so eager for his story. I just… can’t seem to get into it. I’ve started it a few times, from the beginning to make sure I don’t miss anything, and each time I get a little bit further, but I just… haven’t managed to get to the end yet. And I know a big part of it is and was my reading slump. In my defense, another reader friend I was talking to said she LOVED Insatiable but when I asked her about it a few months after she read it she couldn’t remember a thing. So maybe, in the tiniest, darkest, smallest corner… it’s not entirely me.
However, I seem to like Ms. Dane’s second book to a series more than her first – and as Mesmerized is the second Phantom Corps book… I’ve got really high expectations. I’m probably going to read it, then kick myself for not reading Daniel’s book faster so I have all the background.

Sweet Possession by Maya Banks
This book … sounds awesome to me, and not. I love Conner. He’s an awesome character and I’ve liked him throughout all the other Sweet books. And considering how I feel about series these days, that’s huge. I’ve been waiting for his book. And based on his personality, I expect this story to be more like Sweet Seduction which was hands down one of my favorite books of 2009. What kept it from “the list”? The heroine. Lyric Jones, “outrageous and out-of-control, is a spoiled pop star who lives hard and fast.” This falls way too close to the heiress heroine and I just… no. Just thinking about it now is annoying me. I find it very difficult to like and sympathize with the bratty heroine. “Oh no. I have so much money. Everyone loves me. My life is soooooo hard.” Yes, I bet the story will be great and I’ll enjoy it. But how I feel about the heroine just edges out my “yay Conner!” feelings… And honestly – did you see the ten I posted? All these books were neck in neck!

Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer
The premise of this book sold me. 100%. Also, on the amazon page, the description of the heroine: Miss Grace Fairchild is under no illusions about her charms. Painfully plain, she is a soldier’s daughter who has spent her life being useful, not learning the treacherous ways of the ton. She may have been caught in a scandal with society’s favorite rogue, but how can she marry him when it means losing herself?

Grace Fairchild is not beautiful. She has few social graces, having spent her life following the drum with her father. Diccan Hilliard is society’s premiere bachelor. Suave, elegant and witty, he barely notices Grace exists….until she wakes in his bed, naked. The situation might have been orchestrated by Diccan’s enemies, but the outcome is the same. Marriage. Now the two most mismatched people in the ton will have to learn to live together  as they seek the traitors who seek to overthrow the throne.

The whole “traitors seeking to overthrow the throne” might have me rolling my eyes a tiny bit. I’m sure it fits in the plot, but based on the blurb it seems like a bit much. I suspect there will be a lot going on in this book. Also there’s no excerpt on the author’s page, which doesn’t reassure me. But the point is – zomg! The heroine! The hero! He’s going to fall head over feet and it’s going to be wonderful. I just know it!

Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson
This book is an honorable mention, because hello it’s Rachel Gibson. However, it’s also on this list because I don’t know anything about it. Aside from  a tiniest excerpt. And the whole “my ex wife hates me and I was a jackass but I guess I love her…” : And I really don’t want a re-hash of an already written hockey story. (I felt that the most recent was perilously close to her first book.) As a side note it must be said… I still super hate her website. I just hate it. But the point being, I am excited about this book. I’ll probably be even more excited once I read the book blurb and a longer excerpt. But at this point, knowing so little, it doesn’t get to be a most anticipated book.

[Cover Not Yet Available] Collide by Megan Hart
For many of the same reasons as Any Man of Mine, Collide by Megan Hart is on this list. I think I’ve seen one line teasers from it, that Ms. Hart tweeted while writing or editing, but that’s obviously not enough. It’s here though, because it’s a Spice book, and an erotic romance. I’m big on those happy endings. Also, I love the song by Howie Day. This book always makes me think of it, and I’m sure the song is like the perfect soundtrack for much of this book. It’s so perfect it’d almost be disgusting if it weren’t so damn awesome. I have to say that Deeper was a bit much for me, and I couldn’t get into it, and I haven’t read Naked yet… but Stranger, Dirty, and Broken are always on my “books I recommend” list. The books just gutted me. What comes to mind first is “guh” – as in my reaction. After finishing them, I’m just speechless and… well… guh. I expect the same thing from Collide and I’m almost as nervous as I am excited about it.
Also, it comes out on my sister’s birthday. Which is exactly one week before my birthday. It’s fortuitous.

A Lot Like Love by Julie James
I have to say that Ms. James absolutely gets the best covers ever. It’s probably because she’s always so perfect her publisher’s art department is scared to give her anything less. (Have you ever seen her? She’s the cutest thing and always put together. I think I hate her.) But seriously – pretty much everyone and her mom absolutely gushes about Julie James. So much so that I have all her books. Yes, I bought them. (And one I was lucky enough to win in a contest – thanks!) But uh… I haven’t read them yet. :X I discovered her during my reading slump, okay?! Also, I tried to start one, and it was going well, until there was this tiny throw away less than one sentence thing that… stopped me in my tracks. I just… no. And it’s not a big deal and I totally realize it’s entirely a personal thing but I just… haven’t worked up the nerve/will to go back. I have no idea if it’ll even bother me now, but it’s been built up in my head so much… and also with the slump I have a TBR pile/list of like 1,000 books (and I’m actually not exaggerating) so it hadn’t been a priority to race through her books. However, the premise to A Lot Like Love sounds like something right up my alley, so I might just have to move Ms. James’s books up in my pile. Or just read out of order, which totally doesn’t bother me. (And yes, I realize this last statement just horrified a bunch of you more than anything else I’ve said.)

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole
I have, well not exactly mixed feelings about Regin, but I’m not sure how much I like her. I mean she’s ok, but I’m not dying for her book. The whole reincarnated bit for the hero sounds interesting… also DoaDW didn’t make the “10” because >.< I haven’t read the previous book in the series yet. (Although I have it.) And okay, I’m really starting to hate series. If I keep going, how long will I be sucked in? I’m one of those people who does her best to follow something through. Even to the bitter end. And let me tell you, some ends get really bitter. Not that I’m saying Ms. Cole will write her series into the ground, or even that I expect her to – I mean hello this book is on my honorable mentions list! It’s just… I’m scared, okay? And that’s making me react aggressively and defensively.

Heat Waves by Susan Lyons
I loved Susan Lyons’s books. The Fantastic Foursome quartet is a set of books I happily recommend to anyone looking for books with some heat. But not only does Ms. Lyons write sizzling stories, there’s so much to them. Amazing characters, all these wonderful emotions, and depth. So much content. It’s delightful. I also have to say, I’m super psyched that she’s writing under the name Susan Lyons again. (She writes under Susan Fox for Brava because I guess they made her change her name – which personally I think was silly…) but anyway. I have to say I’m behind on her Susan Fox books. I just… enh. So… while I am very eager to read this book, I have the tiniest shadow of apprehension. Also there’s the fact that I don’t know a darn thing about it. No blurb or excerpt on her page-  so add the reasons behind Collide and Any Man of Mine to this book as well.

Almost Honorable Mentions…

Her Ladyship’s Companion by Evangeline Collins is a book of interest but … I’m not sold on it. The cover is extremely eye catching, and Ms. Collins has a lovely site as well… but… the premise. It’s… I’m just not sold on it. The hired lover part could be interesting, but the fact that the heroine is still married really gets me. Even though she fals in love with her hired lover… they can have no happy ending. Or, there’s that whole legal/moral aspect that is setting off my spidey sense.


[Cover Not Yet Available] Merciless by Diana Palmer is another book of interest because… well, in 2007 I started on an almost quest of sorts, to read every book Diana Palmer has ever written. At the time I’d run out of romance authors, and I was really excited to find one who had a back list. Little did I know she has the mother of all back lists. If I had been smart I would’ve checked before decided on my little endeavor. But I didn’t, so now I’m stuck. Nevertheless, she’s something of a romance powerhouse. Like the modern day Barbara Cartland. And some of the books Ms. Palmer has written rank right up there with my favorites. Unfortunately, some of the books she writes make me consider giving myself papercuts on my eyes with the pages. Ok, so none of her books have been that bad [yet] … but close. So this choice is rather personal. I’m a Diana Palmer addict, and that’s not going to change. I don’t expect you to put this book on your list, but it’s here on mine.

Wishful Thinking On My Part

[Doesn’t Exist But Should] by HelenKay Dimon I don’t think Ms. Dimon has any sort of [non category] single title romance coming out in 2011… other than the HCI book and I’m sorry. While I’ll read it, and I’m sure it’ll be good, I just… I just can’t be that excited for a “based on reality” book. I firmly believe “reality tv” can be blamed for a number of society’s ills. However, all too often I’ll be late to the party in reading one of Ms. Dimon’s books and I’ll be kicking myself for the delay. My general thought is “how could I have been so stupid and let so much time pass before reading such an awesome book?” Holding Out for a Hero is a great example. If you haven’t read it, go. Do so. So any publishers, editors, if you’re reading this, please offer Ms. Dimon a contract for a single title.

[Doesn’t Exist But Should] by Dee Tenorio. Ms. Tenorio has been one of my “people don’t know about her but should” authors since 2009. I recommend her stories, or suggest her as an author to look into, and generally the response is “who?” Or “oh, I really should… sometime….” I really enjoy Ms. Tenorio’s contemporaries – and her writing and stories appeal to a number of different people. What doesn’t work for one person does for another. There’s just something that… seems to be missing, at least in my opinion, this tiny unnamed indescribable aspect that keeps one of her stories from being the best book ever. But you know, I have faith it’ll happen, and in the mean time, her stories are still wonderful. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with wonderful. So I hope she gets to write this book – and that it’s made available to us readers.


So there you have it. My books that I thought about, and want, and really want… but they’re just a smidgen off. We’ll see though. Maybe I’ll be wrong. I hope so. I hope the majority of all the books I read knock my socks off.

What about you? Am I wrong on any of these? Who would you put on this list?

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?