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Best Romances of 2009

It’s the time of the year where everywhere looks back and thinks of their favorite and sometimes least favorite things for the year. I thought I’d list my top romance reads for both print and e-books. NOTE: Most of the above books came out in 2009, but a few of these are 2008 releases. I read them this year and therefore they’ve made my list.

Favorite Romance reads in no particular order.

1. Wicked Burn by Beth Kery (erotic contemporary)
2. Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, Book 1) by Larissa Ione (paranormal)
3. Able-Bodied (Harlequin Blaze) by Karen Foley (Blaze)
4. Amorous Liaisons (Harlequin Blaze) by Sarah Mayberry (Blaze)
5. Bound to Shadows (Riley Jensen, Guardian, Book 8) by Keri Arthur (paranormal)
6. On the Prowl (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 2) by Karen MacInerney (paranormal)
7. She’s Got It Bad (Harlequin Blaze) by Sarah Mayberry (Blaze)
8. The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson (historical)
9. Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews (urban fantasy)
10. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (contemporary)
11. Bound to Please by Lilli Feisty (erotic contemporary)
12. Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carrigan (historical paranormal)

Favorite Romance e-books in no particular order.

1. Hard Fall by James Buchanan (m/m)
2. Branded as Trouble by Lorelei James (erotic contemporary)
3. High Line by TA Chase (m/m)
4. The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon (m/m)
5. Rough Stock by Cat Johnson (erotic contemporary)
6. Happy Ending by LB Gregg (m/m)
7. Hara’s Legacy by Bianca D’Arc (futuristic)
8. Gray’s Awakening by Cameron Dane (m/m)

The interesting thing is that while I’ve read plenty of e-books this year, many of them have been by NY published authors. I’ve purchased far more books in e-format than print this year. There are some books in my to-read pile that I suspect would have made this list, if I’d had time to read them such as Tere Michaels’ Love & Loyalty and NJ Walters’ Alexandra’s Legacy. I’ve been drowning in edits for the last two months, which cuts into my reading time!

Which books made your “best of list” for 2009?

Reading Roundup

I haven’t mentioned books and reading for some time. I’ve read some excellent books recently that have really stayed with me, and with every one of them it’s been the characters that have grabbed me by the throat. It’s also interesting to note that three of the four books below are written in first person. I’d highly recommend any of the following:

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas – I always used to read Ms. Kleypas’ historicals, but after historical burnout I hadn’t picked up one of her books for ages or tried her contemporaries. This is the third contemporary set in Texas and featuring members of the Travis family. I hadn’t realized this was a series of sorts and as usual picked up the books out of order. They are written in first person. I started reading quite late and had problems putting the book down. I liked the two main characters, Ella and Jack and their interaction and the plot moved smoothly. There was some great dialogue too. I liked it so much I went looking for the first two books and ordered them online. This particular story is only available in hardcover as yet and was borrowed from the library. I think I’ll be buying a copy in paperback when it comes out because I liked it that much.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews – This is book three in the Kate Daniels series, an urban fantasy rather than a romance. I think this series gets better and better with each book. I loved the interplay between Kate and Curran. Once again, it was the characters that grabbed me, although I like the interesting plots in this series. This one contains some Indian mythology.

The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson – This is Beth’s first NY published book, set in the American West. I liked the characters, although I have to say that the plot didn’t ring true with me. This didn’t stop me devouring the book, and I could be wrong because I’m not an expert in American history by any means! I’m not going into detail because that would mean spoilers. Beth has another book coming with some of the characters she introduced in this book. I’ll be snapping the second book up when it comes out.

Hard Fall by James Buchanan – this is a gay romance. It’s written in first person and is about a Mormon cop who is in the closet. He falls for an ex-con and while investigating a murder, his secret comes out, creating havoc in both is personal and business lives. Joe, the main character is interesting, and I liked the glimpse of the Mormon faith. This is an excellent read.

What books have you read recently? Do you have any recommendations?