Top 10 Romance Books I’m Waiting for in 2017

After the hundreds of books I read in 2016 with some really goods ones (Top 10 Favorite Books of 2016), I’ve already pre-ordered over 100 books for 2017, but here are the ten books I’m looking forward to the most.  (I noticed several are about the next generation — children of heroes and heroines I already love).

10. BLAME IT ON THE DUKE by Lenora Bell (release date: April 18th): A marquess who never intends to marry gambled away by his father to a social climbing man who wants him for his daughter.  The daughter has been plotting to avoid marriage, but now she and the marquess plan a marriage of convenience to both their ends. I’ve loved the others books in this series because Bell has a fresh voice and some hysterical scenes. This plot has some definite promise to it.

9. THE LADY BY HIS SIDE by Stephanie Laurens (release date: March 9th): I loved Devil Cynster and now we get to read about his son Sebastian and his lady-to-be who happens to be the daughter of Devil’s friend and sometimes rival Chillingworth.  I’m anticipating these fathers making an appearance and having to deal with their offspring hooking up.  Plus, this will be the third generation in this family line.  Laurens best books are her Cynster books and I hope this might be a new favorite.

8. ROYALLY MATCHED by Emma Chase (release date: February 21st): The Bachelor show in a actual castle with an actual (and kinda naughty) prince as the prize.  What’s not to want to read about that especially when it comes from the pen of Emma Chase who does funny and heartwarming so well especially from the male point of view.

7. THE DUKE by Kerrigan Byrne (release date: February 7th): The fourth book in the superb Victorian Rebels series, this book is the story of the Duke of Trenwyth, a dark and devastated man. He has lost those he loved, been betrayed and held as a prisoner of war. Byrne’s books are ones I always look forward to.  She does dark and angst so well and I have high hopes that this book will meet that standard.

6. SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh (release date: June 13th): Singh begins a new chapter in her Psy-Changling series with the Trinity series.  This first book features Silver Mercant who is beautiful and eminently competent Psy and also is still in the emotionless Silence of that race.  She’s matched up with an Alpha bear shifter in a dangerous time for the Trinity alliance (where Silence is an integral component). I imagine that this book will be sexy and oh so good. (Plus, there is the possibility of seeing Kaleb who remains my favorite hero of the series).

5. BEAUTIFUL TEMPEST by Johanna  Lindsey (release date: July 11th): I’ve been waiting for this book for years.  GENTLE ROGUE is my all time favorite romance book.  This book is about the daughter “Jack”.  The daughter of a viscount, rogue, rake and “gentlemen pirate” and the American woman who captured his heart, Jack is as unique as her name.  Now her father’s past has brought Jack a dangerous man of her own.

4. DEVIL’S CUT by J.R. Ward (release date: August 1st): I’ve been a fan of this big, sprawling, soap opera of a story about a Kentucky bourbon family combined with sex, murder and drama. In the finale, I’m looking forward to a lot of secrets being revealed.  (I’m also hoping for some happy endings because at the end of the last book so many people were messed up!)

3. DUKE OF DESIRE by Elizabeth Hoyt (release date: August 29th): The final book in the Maiden Lane series features a dark, scarred hero and a heroine kidnapped by a secret sex cult. I’d have put this book on my list even without any description at all because the Maiden Lane series is one of my all-time favorite series with some of my favorite books.  Hoyt has never disappointed me with her sexy emotional dramatic Georgian historicals and so I will be counting the days.

2. DEVIL IN SPRING by Lisa Kleypas (release date: February 21st): One of my all time favorite books is DEVIL IN WINTER, the best rake and wallflower story, with the fabulous St. Vincent.  This book is the story of the son.  That alone would make me want to read this book, but the heroine also sounds amazing.  She is a game designer. The two end up in a marriage of convenience after a scandal.  Now, I absolutely cannot resist.

1. THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS by Sarah MacLean (release date: June 27th): The hero of this book might be the biggest jackass I’ve ever read about.  In a prior book in the series, he is blatantly cheating on his wife in public and humiliates her despite her being pregnant — but the DAY OF THE DUCHESS is coming and I would bet that he’s going to get what’s coming to him.  I love an angst filled book where a jerky hero can be redeemed after he gets what’s coming to him.  I have great faith in MacLean making him suffer for it.

















Top 10 Favorite Books of 2016

What follows are my Top 10 Favorite Books of the year.  My methodology was simple. I looked at the books that came out this year that I read and asked myself “which of these books would I start reading again right now”.  From that I kept comparing and eliminating books until I got to a Top 10.

Choosing my Top 10 Favorite books of the year was very difficult this year.  I had fourteen strong contenders.

The first thing I did was impose a rule that I couldn’t have more than one book by a single author.  That cleared up some choices (I chose DUKE OF PLEASURE over DUKE OF SIN by Elizabeth Hoyt — both great books, but DUKE OF PLEASURE wins out because I adored Alf) but I still had a hard time choosing between ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR and ROCK WEDDING by Nalini Singh and HOT IN HELLCAT CANYON and WILD AT WHISKEY CREEK by Julie Anne Long.

The two books by Nalini Singh have some similar traits. Both are book where the entire cast appears for a summing up and thus there are so many great interactions between characters.  I began reading Nalini Singh through her ROCK series and my favorite book of hers is still ROCK ADDICTION. I ultimately gave the nod to ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR but it was really close.

The two Julie Anne Long books were almost impossible to choose between.  I loved them both and there are so many great moments in both.  I finally gave the nod to HOT IN HELLCAT CANYON only because the wedding speech is one of the best explanations of love I’ve ever read.

Here is my list (Click on the links to see my original reviews of the books).

10. A CHANGE OF HEART by Sonali Dev: Heartbreaking and beautiful. I have a thing for angst and drama and things not being what they seem.  This book isn’t at all what I expected from the blurb.  A man loses his wife and wallows in despair until a woman comes into his life claiming to have received her heart in a transplant.  It is the story of loss, grief and recovery. The story felt so raw and real. I fell in love with the characters and their journey.

9. THE ANGELS’ SHARE by J.R. Ward: Can I admit that I the Bourbon Kings made me like the Black Dagger Brotherhood better?  I had been burnt out and unhappy with that series until I saw how Ward applied the same narrative techniques she uses in the Black Dagger Brotherhood to her contemporary soap opera series about a wealthy family in Kentucky. I love Angels’ Share which is filled with murder, sex, lies, flawed people and lots of drama.

8. SCOT IN THE DARK by Sarah MacLean: Who can resist a Scottish hero? Especially one who is determined to save a woman from her ruin, but she ends up saving him from his own demons.  A book about overcoming shame, surviving and accepting ones past mistakes, this book also has humor and intensity. There are no magic wands here that change the past, only characters that find acceptance in one another.

7. 738 DAYS by Stacey Kade: A girl who was kidnapped meets up with the washed up actor whose poster was on the room where she was held. Two people who have had their lives ripped apart at a young age travel through pain and disappointment. Yes, this book has its share of angst, but there is also charm and humor.

6. RUINED by Jess Michaels: The aristocratic girl is ruined when runs off with a man who turns out to be a criminal but returns to the man who she has wanted but couldn’t have for years who happens to be the family’s horsemaster.  Hot, sexy and full of angst and drama, I just loved the mixed class romances where the man is of the lower class.

5. NO MISTRESS OF MINE by Laura Lee Guhrke: A second chance at love between a man and the woman who was his mistress but threw him over for another man.  Imperfect flawed characters who have to accept their own faults.  I loved the self-made woman who made the best of her chances, did what she needed to do to survive and succeeded in being a good business woman in the end.

4. ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR by Nalini Singh: A book that had the purpose of tying up the fourteen book Psy-Changling series with numerous points of views and characters from all those book seems like an impossible task. In Singh’s hands, however, this book manages to become a celebration of everything I loved about the prior books in the series, a satisfying conclusion to their stories and the lingering questions, and a launching pad for more stories. It is rare that authors write books that are truly for the fans, but this one is one big love letter for them.

3. HOT IN HELLCAT CANYON by Julie Anne Long:  The question whether Long could transfer her emotionally complex, small village stories from historical England to contemporary California was a resounding Hell-cat yes!  A book about a small town waitress and a not so popular actor was enthralling with its depictions of love, pain, struggle and ultimate triumph. No one can express in words the lyrical depiction of love like Long.  The wedding toast given by the hero is so amazing that it alone would have gotten this book on my list, but this book is so much more.

2. THE HUNTER by Kerrigan Byrne: Dark, angst driven but wonderfully redemptive.  The story of an assassin in Victorian England who falls in love with the woman he is supposed to kill. I adore damaged heroes and Christopher is a man who is so damaged that he has convinced himself to want nothing, need nothing, feel nothing. His romance with Millie opens his soul to beauty and possibility.  One of my catnip tropes is the man who stands on the line between hero and villain and Christopher is certainly in that category.

1. DUKE OF PLEASURE by Elizabeth Hoyt: The bastard son of the King meets up with a woman masquerading as a boy and also taking on the role of the Georgian equivalent of a superhero. Combine this with the lyrical and fierce emotional heft of a Hoyt book and you have a winner. Alf, the heroine of this book, manages to be both cynical and worldly but also gentle and innocent in ways I never expected. Even in the penultimate book of the Maiden Lane series, Hoyt is still surprising me and writing books that immediately go to on my all time favorite list.

I also had two honorable mentions.

MR. PRESIDENT by Katy Evans:  The first part of the secret romance between a woman and the man who could be President was amazing because of the combination of sexual and emotional tension combined with a sweet romance. The next part is going to be published in January and I can’t wait.

BIG EASY TEMPTATION by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake: Book three in the Perfect Gentlemen series is about a couple who were torn apart by the ongoing mystery in this series. The pain and emotional complexity in this couple kept me reading…and keeps me checking to find out when the next book of the series will be available.

2016 was a great reading year and I look forward to what is coming up in 2017.

Happy New Year to you all!

Author Interview and Giveaway: Valerie Bowman

The Legendary Lord (Playful Brides) by 

We want to thank THE LEGENDARY LORD author Valerie Bowman for agreeing to answer our Top 10 Romance Questions!

Question 10:  What is your favorite romance book and why?

Judith McNaught’s Once and Always. I’ve read it SO MANY TIMES. It’s my favorite because I’m completely in love with the hero, Jason Fielding. *swoon*

Question 9:  Your books are set in the Regency Period.  What attracts you to that historical period?

The fun of it! The Victorians seemed quite dour and sad, but the Regency was full of parties and happiness and good times. A perfect setting to place happily ever afters. What’s not to love?

Question 8: How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

Reading, watching reality TV or PBS, and spending time with my family including my 1 year old Schnauzer, Huckleberry.

Question 7:  Your newest book is THE LEGENDARY LORD.  What can you tell us about this book?

This book has been a long time coming. The hero, Christian Forester, Lord Berkeley, has been a character in the Playful Brides series since the beginning and he’s finally getting his story. Just like all the books in the Playful Brides series, it’s inspired by a famous play. This one was George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Christian asks the beautiful, betrothed belle of the Season to help him find a wife. Guess what happens?

Question 6:  THE LEGENDARY LORD is sixth in your Playful Brides series.  Do you think a reader needs to know any background from the prior books before reading THE LEGENDARY LORD?

Nope. All the books are standalone and can be enjoyed individually. I always ask a new reader to read each book to ensure that if there are any questions that need to be answered (from the other books), they are worked out before the book publishes.

Question 5:  Christian Forester, the hero of THE LEGENDARY LORD, has a bit of a problem in that women have seen him more as a friend than a romantic hero.  Why do you think readers will fall in love with Christian?

Christian is sooo lovable. He’s an introvert, quiet, a bit shy, intelligent, kind, loving, giving. My kind of hero! I loved writing his character because so many heroes are bold and charming. Christian is more of the best friend who you slowly (and perhaps unconsciously) fall in love with. One of my favorite romantic comedies is Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. I see Christian as being like the Topher Grace character in that movie.

Question 4:  Sarah Highgate, the heroine of THE LEGENDARY LORD is willing to marry a man she doesn’t love to please her family.  Why do you think woman are sometimes willing to give up personal happiness to please others?

I would like to think in 2016, Sarah would never do such a thing. But in 1816, it was not something you could easily do, get out of an engagement to marry someone you love vs. someone your parents have chosen for you. Sarah was deeply loyal to her family and knows what her duty has been since birth. She’s horribly torn when she discovers she’s fallen for the wrong man.

Question 3:  Your books are often known for their humor, but I greatly admire the deep emotions in them.  How do you approach the balance between humor and emotion in your books?

I write the books I would want to read and for me that’s funny but also with some angst thrown in for good measure. I really spend time trying to capture both, make sure they’re both there.

Question 2:  What can readers expect from you after THE LEGENDARY LORD?

I’m working on the final books in the Playful Brides series. Never Trust a Pirate comes out in Spring 2017. It’s about Cade Cavendish, who readers met at the end of his twin brother’s book, The Irresistible Rogue. The series will definitely end with Delilah Montebank’s story (after she grows up, of course).

Question 1:  What is the one word you would use to describe THE LEGENDARY LORD?

Fun! << I hope all my books can be described that way, actually.

Thank you so much for having me, Sheila!

We got a preview copy of THE LEGENDARY LORD and the Top 10 Romance Books review can be read here.

To celebrate its release, we have been lucky enough to get two (2) copies of THE LEGENDARY LORD to giveaway to readers.  Enter below and we will choose two winners on November 7th.  Sorry, US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway









Top 10 New to Me Books I Want to Read After RT Booklovers Convention

by Alice Clayton, Alyssa Cole, Donna Grant, Elle Kennedy, Em Shotwell, Julie Murphy, Katherine Reay, Leigh Bardugo, Lexi Blake, Savannah J. Frierson, Shayla Black

In April, I attended the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas. It was a fantastic experience.  The parties were fun, the panels were usually very interesting and I came home with bags full of free books, but what I loved most was standing around talking with people about the books that they love.

The convention opened my eyes to authors, genres and all kinds of books that I never knew were out there.  I made a commitment that I would pick 10 books by authors that I haven’t really read before and try them out in the next year.

There is no method in the books I chose other than my limitation that they not be from authors that I regularly read. I ended up with dozens of possible books to read, and decided to just chose 10 that sparked my interest in some way.

What follows are my list of books in no particular order:

Blackbird Summer

Blackbird Summer by Em Shotwell: This might be the most shallow reason for choosing a book — I was walking around the book fair and loved the cover of this book.  I spoke with the author who gave a good pitch for the book.  It features a heroine with supernatural powers and takes place in the rural South. It happened to be on sale on Kindle so I bought it right then. The cover looks like a pictures I’d like to have on my wall.

Mixed Signals (Off the Grid, #3)

Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole:  I saw the author speak at one of the panels and was impressed by how articulate and funny she was.  I really like clever books so I have hopes that this author’s personality will transfer to what she writes. The book is part of a post-apocalyptic series and I’m going to have to decide whether or not to read from the beginning of the series or start here.

Being Plumville

Being Plumville by Savannah J. Frierson:  I met this author at the Book Fair.  I was wandering around talking to different authors and approached her table.  I asked what her book was about.  When she told me that the story was about an interracial couple in the 1960s, I was hooked.  I know I haven’t read this book before so I was determined that it would make my list of books to read.

Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1)

Scandal Never Sleeps by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake: One of my favorite events at the RT Convention was the Perfect Gentlemen event.  Lots of cool swag and a free copy of this book along with a signing by the authors.  As we waited in line for the signing, the group of women I was with laughed and drank the pink champagne.  It was a fun time. The entirety of the event plus the blurb on the back made me put this book in the read really soon pile.  A group of powerful and really sexy men finding strong women while investigating the death of one of their members is definitely my type of catnip.


Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: This book was chosen as Book of the Year at the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards.  I love the idea that all people deserve a happy ending.  Once again, I was impressed with the author as she accepted her awards that night.  Her remarks were touching and I knew I would have to read this book.

Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1)

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton: Lot of buzz about this author and series at the convention.  Someone else had recommended the book to me a while ago, Sarah MacLean has recommended it several times, and the repeated recommendations at the convention finally moved it to my list.

Dear Mr. Knightley

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay:  I went to the Sweet Romance Morning Coffee Break event and this author was in attendance.  One of the attendees at my table recommended reading this book and I was intrigued by the letter writing involved in the book and its connection to Pride and Prejudice.

Claimed (Outlaws, #1)

Claimed by Elle Kennedy: Another of those post-apocalyptic books, I received and ARC of the second book in this series at a blogger event and decided I had to look at this book to decide if I had to read it first.  I read the blurb “Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.” and I had to add it to my list.

Smoke and Fire (Dark Kings, #9)

Smoke and Fire by Donna Grant: Dragon Shapeshifters.  Nothing else needed except I do need to decide where I want to start with this series.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I talked to many people able YA books and two different people suggested this book to me.  I know that it was on sale on Kindle not long ago so I decided I would give it a try.

Over the next year, I’m going to read these books.  Stay tuned to read my reviews.

Do you create book challenges for yourself? If so, what is on your challenge list?



Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

The following are the Top 10 Romance books I can’t wait to read in 2016.  The order is very variable and subjective. I change my mind depending on what I have most recently read about the book.

10. The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath — I always seem to need Kleenex when I read Heath’s books. This year’s book seems like one for which I might have to have a box.  Edward, a twin takes his brother’s place to protect his brother’s widow who is pregnant.  The only problem is that two begin to fall in love while Edward is masquerading as his brother.  The angst that will arise makes this book be one that I am definitely want to read.

9. Guardian’s Mate by Jennifer Ashley — Ashley’s Shifter series not only are great romances but also have a lot to say about discrimination and acceptance. This book is the story of a the first female Guardian, which is a powerful position in the Shifter hierarchy.  This romance between a sassy,barrier breaking wolf shifter and a polar bear sifter who follows his own rules appears to be ready to continue this fun and thoughtful series by moving in new directions.

8. First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips — Phillips returns to her highly popular Chicago Stars series with this book about a woman who wants to be an accomplished detective and a former quarterback. Phillips Chicago Stars series books are always filled with humor and sexy situations. Phillips has also promised appearances by characters from the previous Chicago Stars books.  I love the humor and unexpected twists of Phillips novels and this one looks like it will continue that tradition.

7. The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter — The final book in the Wicked Trilogy is one I have been anticipating.  Lancelot, Duke of Aylebury is suspected of his brother’s murder and has been forced to retire to the country. To clear his name, he agrees to marry his neighbor’s niece.  He’s not thrilled and neither is she.  In fact, she intends on discovering his secrets and exposing them. I have been intrigued by the duke in the prior books in the series  All the brothers suffered various forms of abuse by their father and older brother and I, too, want to know the duke’s secrets.

6. Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh — This latest entry in the paranormal Psy-Changling series has been promised to be an ensemble book which covers characters from the entire series so far and having a story which pushes the series forward. This promises to be exactly the type of book I love.  I prefer books in a series where the situations and characters are interconnected.  For many business reasons, books in a series are billed as being standalones in order to not discourage new readers.  I, however, prefer to read books in order and if I am intrigued by a new book will most often seek out the prior books in the series to read in order.  Because of this, I want to feel like the books exist in the same world and time with lots of cross book appearances by characters.  This book seems perfect for me because I love the Psy-Changling series and can’t wait to see my favorites again.

5. Only Beloved by Mary Balogh — The final book in the Survivors’ Club series promises to be as intensely emotional as the others in the series.  This book follows the healing of the Duke of Stanbrook who didn’t go to war but ended up losing both his son and wife because of the war.  This series deeply examines various ways that people are damaged and how they go about dealing with life. The six men and one woman who make up the Survivors’ Club deal with physical injuries, pain, grief, emotional injuries and Balogh goes deep into the mind and soul of these characters.  Balogh has a track record of creating fantastic conclusions to series and I expect this one will meet that standard.`

4. The Angel’s Share by J.R. Ward — The first book in this series, THE BOURBON KINGS surprised me.  Many of the characters initially appeared unlikable, but I couldn’t put the book down.  It reminded me of the television series Dynasty or Dallas from the 1980s with rich, often immoral characters.  This family is really messed up but I look forward to finding out if yet another member of this wicked family can find some redemption.

3. Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas — This book was teased in the first book in the series COLD-HEARTED RAKE.  Rhys Winterborne is a commoner who has made himself into a successful businessman.  A semi-arranged engagement to the aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel who is shy and innocent initially seems doomed. Rhys passionate approach to Helen initially frightens her, but she reconsiders and is determined to marry Rhys.  And thus, this story begins.  I am a big fan of these cross-class romances — especially with commoner heroes and aristocratic heroines.  Although I enjoyed Kleypas’s contemporary books, her historical novels are sometimes just magical.  I think this one has incredible potential.

2. A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean — MacLean is always on my must buy list. Her prior series were just amazing.  Her latest has a twist being inspired by modern celebrity scandals but the story is grounded in the Regency period. This one features a Scotsman (who doesn’t love those) who comes to take control of his “inherited” ward who has posed for a naughty portrait. MacLean doesn’t disappoint and that is why this book is high on my anticipation list.

1. Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt — This book wins merely because of the first quote I read from it: “Never mistake me for the hero of this tale.”  Oh, I love me a hero who skates on the edge of being the villain.  Val is complicated and I can’t wait to dive into his psyche and for him to find a woman to bring him to heel.  Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series has been amazing.  Deeply emotional, with lush sexy characters, this series has never disappointed me.  This book has the potential to be an instant classic.

Top 10 Favorite Books of 2015

This list of ten books is not necessarily my best reviewed books of 2015.  Rather, these are ten books which stuck with me for one reason or another.

10. Pia Does Hollywood by Thea Harrison — This novella does exactly what I love.  It revisits characters from the series and moves their story forward.  This novella has a tight story line and reminds me how much I love Dragos and Pia as a couple.

9. The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean — A classic road story, this first book in MacLean’s new series ticks all the classic romantic tropes — two protagonists who start out hating and fighting one another but soon cannot help being attracted to one another, a highwayman, illicit nights spent on the road together, and a rake brought to his knees.

8. Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz — Perfect balance between romance and suspense in this story of the past that comes back to haunt the heroine. I loved the twists and turns of the suspense story and also the connection between the hero and heroine.

7. The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward — A book I was inclined to dislike merely because of its description which sounds like a 1980s Dynasty or Dallas description, I found the story of this rich family that is falling apart on all sides to be compelling.  These are not always likable characters but their development makes great drama. The story is a  sweeping and epic family drama with a lot of romance.

6. Luck be a Lady by Meredith Duran — I love these cross-class romances.  Here, the hero is a criminal mastermind and the heroine is a woman who wants nothing more than to be a strong business woman.  Challenging all her assumptions Catherine has about herself, Nick is clever, daring, rough and sexy.  Their interactions are what I remember most from this book.

5. Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh — Nassir, Nassir, Nassir.  Cuddly as a cat and as dangerous as a viper, Nassir is such unique character.  His search for his mate is as singular as Nassir’s own nature.  I loved that we get to know so much about Nassir and yet he becomes more mysterious and compelling.  Mee-yow!

4. Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh — The only author with two books on my list, Nalini Singh has two diverse genres.  Rock Redemption is her contemporary series about the members of a rock band.  When Noah and Kit were introduced earlier in the series, readers discovered that Noah purposely destroyed any potential relationship between them by having Kit catch him having sex with a groupie.  How these two find a path together is my most heartbreaking and angst filled read of the year.

3. Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase — This book has a quirky relationship between a barrister and an aristocrat.  The two of them have a very bantering relationship with lots of arguments and discussions which draw them together.  I always love the sense of place that Chase novels have with many historical details.  Chase makes a stuffy lawyer very sexy.

2. Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt — Hot, hot, hot. This story between a sensualist and a woman who fears even being alone with a man is romantic and sexy while also being sweet and gentle.  Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series is one of my all time favorites and this book’s story is big and bold and sexy — and so is Asa Makepeace.

1. The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long — My favorite book of the year did something that is almost impossible — exceeded high expectations. The final book of the Pennyroyal Green series, this book tells the star-crossed lovers story of Lyon and Olivia whose families rival the Capulets and Montagues. Lyon and Olivia’s story has been a catalyst throughout the series and thus readers had high expectations for their story. This book was beautiful, emotional and one of the best closures of a series I have ever read.