Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rita's Best Reads in 2010!

It was hard trying to narrow down the field for the Best Book that I read all year. As you guys should know, I visit my library almost weekly and I've read so many books from the 90's and even the 80's. I try to stay up to date on the latest, but sometimes the oldies really are goodies. This year's crop had some real pleasers and it was so hard to choose just one as my fav. But I did, so without further adieu, My Pick for the Best Book in 2010:

'Till Dawn With the Devil' by Alexandra Hawkins
Click for: My Review

This book was just gold! The heroine wasn't some simpering miss or sassy blue stocking. She had a quiet grace to her and astounding dignity despite the fact that she was nearly blind and everyone around her treated her like some delicate cripple. It captivated our hero almost as much as it inspired me. And speaking of the hero, he was great to read about. Being a Lord Of Vice, you wouldn't expect to feel empathy for him, but you do. And combined with the fact that he brings the best out of an already amazing heroine, you can't help but love this pair!

Some other 'Best of the Best':
'The Princess In His Bed' by Lila DiPasqua
Click for: My Review

DiPasqua debuted early this year, but I am already smitten with her work and count her as a fav. Her stories are a bit different from the classic regencies I tend to favor, but her stories just become increasingly captivating and I can not wait for what she has in store for us. TPIHB is the second addition to her Fiery Tales collections and her best yet. The stories carried a lot of depth to them that I didn't expect to see, and each story could have been extended and made into its own full length book. The tales were hot, steamy, and just like their classical molds, held a message for each of us to pick up on and learn from.

'Love In The Afternoon' by Lisa Kleypas
 Review Coming Soon

Anything Kleypas is a sure ringer for greatness. I loved this book so much! The tortured hero and blue-stocking miss is always delightful to read about. I thought Captain Phalen and Beatrix were wonderful together. I loved the chemistry and heat of their encounters and the slow realization that the one they thought they disliked the most turned out to be the one the need most of all. The Captain's occasional flip-out due to his time in the war was a scary mirror to what some soldiers with PTSD might go through, but with Beatrix's kind heart and sharp tongue, the issue were nothing their true love couldn't conquer. And the format of back and forth letters was really cool to see. I enjoy it. Great read. Period.

'Wicked Delights Of A Bridal Bed' by Tracy Anne Warren
Click for: My Review

I discovered TAW earlier in the year and read the book that came before Wicked Delights. Upon reading the first 5 pages, I was checking the cover to see if I picked up some Lisa Kleypas book I forgot about. Her writing style was a treat to read and I wanted to know if that would translate into her next work. The answer is yes. Mallory is the tortured one in this story and as she deals with her grief, in walks the rake and family friend, Adam. Their response to each other was great to see. We were dealing with a couple that already knew each other for years, so reading their interactions were fresher to me than some of the other books I've read this year. The secret torch Adam carried for Mallory was a vulnerability that endeared him to me almost instantly. Another tremendous read!

'Seven Nights To Forever' by Evangeline Collins 
book cover of Seven Nights to Forever byEvangeline Collins
Click for: My Review

This was another fresh romance that just worked! I hadn't read any books where the hero was married to another for pretty much the entire story. Also, the heroine was a worker at an elite brothel, which I thought was 'on the edge' and something I wasn't use to reading. There was a vulnerability to both James and Rose that tugged on your heart strings and never let go. You empathized with the characters and the story stands out as not only being different, but being raw and emotional and everything a romance should be.

'My Reckless Surrender' by Anna Campbell 
book cover of My Reckless Surrender byAnna Campbell
Click for: My Review

As I said in my review, this was my first by this author, but most certainly not the last. I enjoyed the deception (yeah, I am morbid), and I enjoyed the inevitable joining of the characters. It was just a splendid read. Very diabolical ;). The type of read that you enjoy from beginning to end and then get pissed when it's over because you realize you don't have all of Anna's works waiting for you in a TBR pile so the wait for the next story will be more than 5 seconds and your attention span doesn't allow for such delays =)

'Knight Of Desire' by Margaret Mallory 
Review Coming Soon
Although this on came out in 2009, I read it this year and it fastly became a fav. This is the first in Mallory's 'All The King's Men' series, and while I have read and feel in love with all the books, the first will always hold a special place in my heart. The heroine was the typical medieval woman who just got out of a horribly abusive marriage and was in need of protection. Cathrine was a character that could have gotten on my nerves or be annoying, but somehow wasn't. The the hero was all that is manly and honorable, but his sweet spot for the heroine just made me melt. This was definitely a favorite read.

Honorable Mentions: 'The Dangerous Viscount' by Miranda Neville, 'Seducing The Duchess' by Ashley March, 'The Accidental Marriage' by Anne Gracie, 'Never Less Than A Lady' by Mary Jo Putney, 'A Kiss At Midnight' by Eloisa James, 'The Most Wicked Of Sins' by Kathryn Caskie (2009), 'Knight Of Pleasure' by Margaret Mallory (also 2009), 'One Dance With A Duke' by Tessa Dare, 'The Wicked Wyckerly' by Patricia Rice, 'The Hellion In Her Bed' by Sabrina Jeffries...List goes on
SO...There are the reads that I really dug in 2010! I've probably skipped out on tons of great ones this year that I'll pick up in 2011 and go:"Oh, I really should have mentioned this one last time". But hey, it's not when or where, it's what. These books really made my year. So how about you? Which books did YOU read this year that knocked your socks off?

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