I’m approaching my “Best of” post for 2012 a little differently than I did last year. Instead of trying to stretch my brain at the end of the year to recall which books I loved best –perhaps months after I read them– I’m keeping a running post this year that I will update as we go along. They’re listed by the month of publication.
It’s part historical, part paranormal, part faerie tale and all good. This original take on the Beauty and the Beast theme was a big winner for me at the beginning of the year. It appears to be just a marriage of convenience between Miranda (the daughter of a merchant) and the enigmatic Lord Archer… but it’s so much more. Our hero, Archer, is dark and mysterious. He wears a mask covering his face and he is deliciously tortured. The heroine is strong and loyal and the perfect woman to help tear down his walls and save him in every way that matters.
Click to purchase: Firelight
This third installment in the Charley Davidson series is easily the best yet. It’s action packed, sexy and so funny! If you’re not familiar with the series, Charley is the grim reaper and a PI. She is irreverent and snarky. And she is in love with Reyes, someone –er– more than human. Theirs is a rocky road, but it’s so great to watch them stumble toward each other. A great twist at the end of this story has me panting for book 4.
Click to purchase: Third Grave Dead Ahead
I was really worried when I finished Spider’s Revenge. After all, that book resolved the major conflict facing Gin Blanco throughout the course of the series. It was the perfect swan song… the logical conclusion to Gin’s story. But then Jennifer Estep delivered this: the best book yet in the Elemental Assassin series. The story follows our favorite assassin as she takes her little sister on vacation and learns that the Spider never truly takes time off. It’s fast paced, emotional and unpredictable. Very, very good.
Click to purchase: By a Thread
As much as I loved Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart, this latest edition of the Elder Races series is officially my favorite of the bunch. It centers on Khalil the djinn and his unlikely relationship with Grace, the young Oracle raising her sister’s children. It’s not a big, epic action book. It’s a love story. It’s sexy and it’s romantic. Khalil is a fabulous hero. Harrison doesn’t even try to make him human, and perhaps that is part of the reason why he is so captivating. I’d recommend this for fans of the series, but it would still be enjoyable for new readers.
Click to purchase: Oracle’s Moon
I want to kick myself when I think about the fact I almost gave up on this series during the first book. Because it is now one of my top UF series of all time. This book proves once again what an amazing talent Stacia Kane has. She has created a heroine who is fundamentally broken in a way that may not ever heal. And Kane stays true to that, never giving in and simply fixing her. Here we see Chess trying to just be happy, now that she has accepted her love for Terrible. But they have many more twists and turns –and obstacles to overcome. Throughout the story, I feel what Chess feels. I watch her running toward her own destruction and basically turn my insides into something resembling a pretzel. But I couldn’t put the book down and I mourned it when it was over. (Not to mention, I think I may be in love with Terrible, myself.)
Click to purchase: Sacrificial Magic
by Larissa Ione
This is another story made amazing by a fantastic hero. I say all the time that I am a sucker for a tortured hero and that’s true, but some are done better than others. And Callum is done right!! He spent the past seven years in captivity. His torture ravaged his body and stole his voice. But the kindness showed to him by his captor’s betrothed saved his sanity. Once he becomes free, he never gives up on the woman who touched his heart and changed his life. Go buy this book. Seriously.
Stars & Stripes
by Abigail Roux
Click to purchase: Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed