2012 Reading Roundup

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!   Sven has canapes and hot punch ready, with champagne chilling for midnight.  So grab a seat, make yourself comfortable, and let’s talk about books and authors we discovered this year.

The beauty of books is that a reader can discover an author’s debut long after the author has released many, many other books.  And that’s part of the joy of discovering such an author.  If I like one book, I can go out and find more without having to delay that gratification for months.  It’s kind of like having a first date with someone and instantly connecting.  

These are a few of the books that made me a their authors’ fan this past year.

For Christmas last year, I got Jillian Hunter’s A Bride Unveiled.  I saw it in a store and was curious but didn’t happen to read it until January.  I fell in love with it.  The hero and heroine were childhood friends, she a girl from a well-heeled family and he a lad from the workhouse.  They met by chance and became very close but  ultimately drifted apart.  Now he’s a swordmaster, his instruction highly sought after by the upper crust.  She’s engaged to an enterprising but dull and oh-so-proper shopkeeper.  

When they meet again, the connection is instantaneous.  And, y’know, actual fencing and swordplay.  It’s a wonderful book.

Later in January, I picked up Bride by Mistake, my introduction to Anne Gracie.  The hero was a dispatch rider in Spain when he rescued a young woman from bandits.  To protect her from a forced marriage she dreaded, he wed her, placing her in a convent and intending to return and have the marriage annulled.  

As the story opens, his petition for annulment has been denied.  In need of a wife, he returns to Spain for his bride.  The attraction between them takes both by surprise and fuels their efforts to form a true bond despite the scars each carries.

I’m now working my way through both these authors’ backlists.  I don’t only read historicals, though.  I also like contemporary romance, and I can get into a sports-based story if it’s a sport I understand.  

Donna had Regina Hart on the blog in 2011, and I bought Regina’s first Brooklyn Monarchs book, Fast Break, from her at the RWA booksigning in New York.  I didn’t get it read, though, until February.

It’s great.  When a former NBA All-Star becomes head coach of a team in serious decline, sparks fly between him and the owner, a lawyer who has set aside her practice to revive the team her grandfather helped found.  There’s basketball action, sure, and team tension, but it never gets in the way of the attraction between the hero and heroine.   I’ve read all the Brooklyn Monarchs books now and am waiting for Hart’s next.

The other sports-oriented story I discovered this year was The Long Shot by Ellen Hartman.  Ellen was Beth Andrews’ guest in the Lair in May.  Several of the commenters raved about this book, which also happens to be a basketball story.  It’s high school basketball, though, so the circumstances are very different.  

A local boy who became an NBA star retires to his hometown, only to have the girls’ basketball coach rope him into helping her team.  Of course there’s a strong attraction, but their involvement also makes him to face the ugly parts of growing up in that town.

On Barbara Vey’s anniversary blog in the spring, I won an ARC of Jill Shalvis’s Lucky in Love. She was one of those authors I kept meaning to read but never got around to (like Lois McMaster Bujold, whose Vorkosigan series sucked me right in once I started).  This is the 1st book in Shalvis’s second trilogy set in the town of Lucky Harbor.  

A local nurse, the kind of woman who’s always there for everyone else and never looks after herself, meets the town’s hunky mystery man, and the air between them sizzles.  But he’s an ex-SEAL in town only until he recovers from injuries while she’s firmly rooted there.  They agree on a no-strings affair, and the result takes them both by surprise.

A change of pace came from Lisa Jackson’s Left to Die.  Jackson was another author I’d been meaning to read for a while.  I chose the Grizzly Falls series, featuring police detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli, because I liked the idea of the two women as continuing characters.

Someone in the town of Grizzly Falls is killing women out in the snow.  The two detectives investigate.  Pescoli has kids and a remarried ex complicating her life, while Alvarez is single and in an off-and-on relationship.  There’s another relationship also going on in this book.  Some readers expressed displeasure on Amazon that the killer wasn’t nailed in this book.  While I found that curious, I liked the characters enough to come back and so wasn’t bothered by that.  I mention it only in the interests of fair disclosure.

I also happened across Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder thrillers.  Kate is the sheriff of a rural Ohio county.  Because she grew up Amish but left the faith, the county’s sizeable Amish population sees her as a outsider.  In Sworn to Silence, the first book, a serial killer strikes among the Amish.  The murder method echoes one from four unsolved killings 16 years ago.  

Investigating, Kate finds an unexpected ally and an hint of romance in John Tomascetti of the state police, a man with demons of his own to fight.  These books are unusual in that they incorporate both 1st person and 3rd person points of view.  I liked that.  

 I’ll conclude with another historical, a mystery, Carol K. Carr’s India Black, Madam of Espionage.  India is, in fact, a “madam,” the proprietress of a brothel in Victorian London.  When a government minister inconveniently dies in her establishment, she learns both British and Russian agents want the secrets the man carried.  Her reluctance to become involved isn’t seen as relevant.  A British agent named French blackmails her into  helping recover the important documents the minister carried.  There’s a hint of romance between India and French but only a bare hint.  We know little about him.

There were quite a few other books that held me enthralled this year, but these are most of the ones introduced me to new authors I loved.  

Which authors or books did you discover this year, and what made you a fan?  I’ll give one commenter today either a paper copy or a Kindle or Nook download of Renegade (download subject to its availability where the winner lives) and a copy of Christmas in Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis, which I got free at a conference.

 

Comments

139 thoughts on “2012 Reading Roundup

  1. 1
    Barb says:

    I’d better go and buy more tim tams…. he wants to see the new year’s Sydney fire works

  2. 2
    Barb says:

    Hi Nancy

    I have found CJ Archer…I won one of her books and it was the second in a series, so of course I had to have the first abd the ones after ….. and also I found Carrie lofty…. luckily they haven’t got too big a back list as the TBR pile is getting ever bigger… I am sure there are others I have bought lol

  3. 3
    AmyConley says:

    I found Rose Gordon. I read one of her books as an e-book, reviewed it on Amazon and a couple of other places and she asked me to read and review her Reluuctant Bridegroom series. She sent me all 4 books, and I read them like I was reading 1 big book. Although each could stand alone, I was so in love with all the characters, I couldn’t stop reading. Also, she had so of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen in my life! There are several other new authors I’ve come across this past year, Cathy Maxwell is one and she’s got to be in my top 10 favorites right now. I have read so much this year since I was a part of Avon’s Avon Addicts inagural group, I can’t remember half of them. JB Lynn CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN was a huge surprise to me, a good surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. Like I said though, way to many to list.

    • 3.1

      Amy, the hitwoman book sounds intriguing.

      I’m not familiar with Rose Gordon. What type of romance does she write?

      Cathy Maxwell has been on my “must try”list for a while. Which book did you read first?

      • 3.1.1
        Amy Conley says:

        Rose writes historical romances, with characters and plots so rich and real you want to be friends with most of them. And I can’t remember which Cathy Maxwell I read first, but I will probably die if I don’t get an ARC of the 3rd book of the Chattan Curse I’ll just die.

  4. 4
    Helen says:

    Nancy

    I too love finding new to me authors and I have discovered a lot of them here in The Lair.

    Addison Fox’s Baby Its Cold Outside is a wonderful story set in Alaska I am looking forward to the next one (which I won here whoo hoo)
    I also did a review for Kallie Lane’s Dark Abandon a great romantic suspense and I have read both in this series so far
    Cheryl Ann Smith’s The Accidental Courtesan was a gret historical romance
    Kylie Griffin’s Vengance Born very good and I discovered CC Coburn who writes for Harlequin fantastic stories set in Colorado.

    I am sure there are many more but the list could go on forever LOL.

    Have Fun
    Helen
    I can see my TBR pile growing again love it LOL

    • 4.1
      Amy Conley says:

      I too won an Addison Fox book. Got as far as her dedication and started to cry. My daughter’s name is Audrey and we haven’t been getting along the way we used to so just reading that got to me and I had to set it aside, for right now at least.

    • 4.2

      Helen, I find a lot of new authors in the Lair, too. All of the ones you mentioned sound great.

  5. 5
    Mary Preston says:

    Some of my favourite discoveries actually came from my daughter’s recommendations.

    The series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George RR Martin has to top my list for 2012. Come on George I’m more than ready for the next.

    • 5.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Ooh, Mary, the A Song Of Ice and Fire series was my 2011 Mother’s Day gift from my son – the whole series!

      By mid-June, I had consumed the first four and had pre-bought the fifth. Martin is, apparently, a very slow writer and I can see why. These are LONG, complicated books. But the reader in me is champing at the bit!

    • 5.2

      Mary and Caren, I’m trying to psych myself up into starting those books. I’m awaiting the end of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga early this coming year. That one became much longer than originally anticipated. What started out as a trilogy became something like 13 or 14 volumes, each over 1000 pages. Epic fantasy is dangerous that way.

      So I’m worried that starting Song of Ice and Fire will, like, totally take over my life.

      • 5.2.1

        I think I made it through four or five books of the Fire and Ice series and then quit. Too much of following lots of characters travel around not really doing much. He split one monster book into two so you followed half the characters – unfortunately they weren’t the characters I was most interested in. But I really loved the first three books.

  6. 6
    Minna says:

    I found Gini Koch’s Alien books.

  7. 7
    Lianne says:

    OMG … twice I’ve written a longish list and it’s disappeared

    This year I seem to have read quite a few new / new to me authors including
    Christy REECE, “Sweet Justice” part of her Last Chance Rescue Trilogy, romantic suspense, liked the cover and the characters (read all the trilogy and more)
    Kate CARLISLE’s Homicide In Hardcover, a biblipohile Mystery – loved it
    Tessa DARE’s “A Week To Be Wicked”, liked the cover, the setting and the characters (read more by her)
    Vanessa KELLY’s His Mistletoe Bride, great cover and book, had seen it reveiwed here!

    … and a lot more!!!!

    • 7.1

      Liane, sorry WordPress is eating your list! That’s sooo frustrating! Thanks for persevering.

      I love RS and have one of Christy Reece’s books in my TBR pile. I met her at an RWA conference, and that’s how she came to my attention.

      I love Kate’s books, and I have a Vanessa Kelly also in the TBR pile. I wish I could whittle that pile down faster.

  8. 8
    Amy Conley says:

    I did forget to mention the YA author I discovered, Rachel Harris and her book, My Sweet 16th Century Birthday. Excellent storytelling and IT cannot wait for the sequel.

    • 8.1
      Amy Conley says:

      Why is typing on this tablet so darn hard? I really do know how to spell and type fairly well, but have yet to post one thing here error free. Grrrr maybe that rooster could peck out the words better than I can type them.

    • 8.2

      Amy, that’s a interesting title. Is the book a time travel?

      I have a terrible time with typos on my iPad. It’s like I don’t even see them until it’s too late. So I sympathize.

  9. 9
    Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    One of several authors I started reading is Debora Geary, she just had a new one come out “A Different Witch”, the 5th in a series, I had to go back and read the backlist of this series and another series that she has writtien. I love them and can’t wait for more.
    There are so many others I would have to sit down with my Kindle and go through and see just how many new authors I have read this past year.

  10. 10
    Beebs says:

    I haven’t read Jillian Hunter yet but I’ve loved Anne Gracie’s books for many years.

    New to me this year were Lydia Dare, Regency werewolves and vampires,, CS Harris, Regency mysteries with a gorgeous Viscount investigator, Jillian Stone’s Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series, HOT Victorian detectives. I’m sensing a theme here :)

    I’ve also been catching up on Anna Campbell’s and Sabrina Jeffries’ backlists, as well as all my other favourite authors and series. It’s been a busy year for reading :)

    Happy 2013 everyone!

    • 10.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Beebs, I’ll pass your compliments on to Lydia and Sabrina, who both happen to be good friends of mine. They will be tickled they made your 2012 list! :)

    • 10.2

      Beebs, I would probably love that Scotland Yard series.

      You may have realized Sebastian St. Cyr has numerous fans in the Lair, including Anna Campbell.

      My holiday reading included The Winter Wife by Anna C. and ‘Twas the Night After Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries. I loved them both.

      • 10.2.1

        Hey, thanks, Nancy. Renegade still hasn’t turned up in my postbox. Christmas mail! Hopefully this week – public holiday here today.

        • 10.2.1.1

          Anna, thanks for ordering it. I’m so sorry it isn’t easier to obtain.

          • 10.2.1.1.1

            Oh, it wasn’t hard to obtain – it’s just a victim of the annoying slowness of Christmas mail. A lot of my stuff didn’t get overseas in time this year and it was posted in plenty of time and I guess it’s working the other way as well. Sigh.

      • 10.2.2
        Beebs says:

        I read and loved those too :)

        • 10.2.2.1

          Hey, thanks, Beebs! TWW was my first attempt at a Christmas story – will definitely do one next year. You really feel like you’re getting into the swing of the season when you’ve got something out to fit the time of year.

    • 10.3

      Beebs, aren’t the C.S. Harris books the bee’s knees? I just love them. Have you tried the Julia Spencer-Fleming books? They’re absolutely fantastic although I recommend reading in order, starting with In the Bleak Midwinter. Another favorite historical mystery series is the Maisie Dobbs books by Jacqueline Winspear. And something lighter but great fun set in the 20s is the Daisy Dalrymple series by Carola Dunn. All great reads!

      Ooh, and then I see you’re catching up on my backlist! Thank you!!!!! x

  11. 11
    Maureen says:

    Happy New Year! I know I have read several new to me authors this year that I really enjoyed but the only one I remember right now is Tammara Webber’s Easy.

  12. 12
    Beth Andrews says:

    Nancy, I’m definitely going to have to try some of these authors (all are new to me except Ellen *g*) in 2013!

    At some point over the summer I read Tessa Dare’s A Night to Surrender and was immediately sucked in by her fast-paced and witty dialogue. I’m working my way through the rest of her Spindle Cove books now and will then go back to her earlier works.

    Happy New Year!

  13. 13
    Caren Crane says:

    Nancy, what a timely post! I just finished the most amazing romance I have read in a long time. It was Scarlett Bailey’s Married By Christmas. She was a new author to me. Sadly, since she’s British, her first book and novella are not available on Kindle in the USA. I could smack someone really hard for that!

    This was the perfect romantic comedy. It was laugh-out-loud funny, but also so sweet and romantic and full of best-friend issues. She is an astonishingly good writer. I may have to pester her into blogging with us soon. Hm…

  14. 14
    Carol Cork says:

    I was lucky enough to discover two enormously talented authors this year – Courtney Milan (Turner series) and Victoria Vane (The Devil DeVere series).

  15. 15
  16. 16
    Pat Cochran says:

    Hi, Nancy, Happy New Year to all !

    I took notes as I read your post, that’s one
    way I learn of new authors – by “word of
    mouth”! I now have a list of authors and
    their books which calls for a bookstore
    trip very soon! That was how I found Anne
    Gracie’s Bride By Mistake which now resides
    on my keeper shelf.

    Pat C.

  17. 17
    Connie Fischer says:

    The year 2012 was a very good year for books and authors for me. I enjoyed getting to know Karen Ranney, Anna Campbell and Marguerite Kaye as good friends. Love their novels as well. I also discovered other authors such as Grace Burrows and Anne Gracie and am so excited to be reading many of their novels in addition to others. My TBR Wish List is growing with leaps and bounds and I’m as happy as a clam!!

    Happy New Year to the Banditas and I am so looking forward to seeing what is in store for 2013. *rubbing hands together in anticipation*

    Connie Fischer
    email hidden; JavaScript is required

    • 17.1

      Connie, Happy New Year to you, too! Since you like Grace Burrowes, you might want to be sure you drop in January 29, when Grace chats with me about the pleasures of a long-running series.

    • 17.2

      Connie, right back atcha. I’ve really enjoyed our email chats. Hopefully one day we can have a natter face to face over a pot of tea! Happy New Year!

      • 17.2.1
        Amy Conley says:

        I think I started stalking Anna C last year. I must say I found Grace and Donna MacMeans thanks to the liar. Won books from both, just as nice as the books were the beautiful cards they included in their packages. So beautiful I’ve framed them.

  18. 18
    Sandyg265 says:

    I dicovered a Eller Adams’ mysteries.

  19. 19
    Janga says:

    Nancy, I read Anne Gracie’s The Gallant Waif back in 1999, and it is still one of my all-time favorite romances. I became an ardent Gracie fan with that first book and have read every book she’s written since within a week of its release. I am eagerly awaiting the February 5 release of The Autumn Bride, the first book in her new Chance Sisters series. I know I can depend on a Gracie book to move me to laughter and tears. Jill Shalvis and Ellen Hartman are also auto-buy authors for me.

    I think 2012 was the year of the great debuts in romance fiction. I don’t know that I’ve ever before been won over by the first book of so many debutante romance authors in a single year. Two of them–Manda Collins and Cecilia Grant–had books on my top romance novels of 2012 list, and I also loved the debut novels of Heather Snow, Jillian Stone, Valerie Bowman, Nancy Northcott, and a number of others (including other bandita debutantes). Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch , a non-romance debut, was lovely and haunting and another favorite of the year. I also discovered some new-to-me authors via ebooks. Dee Ernst’s Better Off Without Him was a wonderful read with lol moments.

    • 19.1

      Janga, I was delighted to see how many Anne Gracie novels there were for me to catch up on. I don’t know when I’ll actually do it, but it’s nice to have them to look forward to.

      Thanks for the shout-out. I’m glad you liked Renegade. I’ve read several of the authors you mentioned and enjoyed them. Manda Collins was a particular favorite, and I think I’ll have to check out Jillian Stone.

      The River Witch sounds intriguing. Is it fantasy, magical realism, or something else?

      • 19.1.1
        Janga says:

        Nancy, The River Witch is hard to categorize. I labeled it Southern Fiction and let it go at that, but I think it could also be termed women’s fiction with touches of magical realism and a tint of Southern Gothic in places. I reviewed it at Just Janga back in August. Whatever the label, it’s a wonderful book, and I’m eager to see what Brock does next.

    • 19.2

      Nancy – Great post! Do you keep a list of the books you read? I may do that for 2013 .

      This year I discovered a new-to-me author, Karen Marie Moning. I read the first book in her Fever series – Darkfever – and loved it. I recommended it to my daughter, who then bought the rest of the series. I’m working my way through it now.

  20. 20
    Deb says:

    I am so far behind on my TBR pile it isn’t funny. I enjoyed Tessa Dare’s new books as well as Suzanne Enoch’s new series. BUT, the best of all was to find out that Julia Quinn was back on top of her game with her new book. Her last 2 or 3 have not been, well, shall we say, Julia Quinn at her best.

    I look forward to finding more great reads and authors now that I have a KindleFire and I can sit in my rocker or lay in bed and buy a book with a click of the icon! Really, has anyone thought about how fascinating that really is to do that?!!

    • 20.1

      Deb, I think a lot of authors hit a patch where they seem to be off their game a bit. It’s always reassuring when they regain their pace.

      Had to laugh at the KindleFire. I buy mostly iBooks, but either way, being able to lie in bed and buy a book is a lot of fun. I do still enjoy browsing in an actual bookstore, though.

  21. 21
    catslady says:

    Oh, so many wonderful books and authors out there. One that hasn’t been mentioned is Kathryne Kennedy. Her books just struck a cord with me – fantasy, romance, historical all in one. I just wish there were more hours in the day so I could read everything!!

  22. 22
    Kim says:

    I didn’t really discover a new author this year. I did enjoy new books by Sherry Thomas, Julie James, Sarah Maclean and Lisa Kleypas.

  23. 23

    What a great wrap-up topic!

    Nancy, thank you so much for taking a chance on the Brooklyn Monarchs trilogy. I’m thrilled you enjoyed them!

    I’m finally cleaning my office and found a book by an author I’ve been meaning to read. Rochelle Alers’ “Sanctuary Cove” looks great.

    Best wishes!

    Patricia / Regina

  24. 24
    Chelsea B. says:

    Oh, gosh. Let me see…
    Sophie Kinsella.
    Suzanne Collins.
    Justin Cronin.
    Bob Mayer.
    Soooo many more…. :-)

    • 24.1

      Chelsea, that’s a great list. What did you like about them?

      • 24.1.1
        Chelsea B. says:

        Well, let’s see:
        Sophie Kinsella is *hilarious* I have never laughed so hard in a book, ever.
        Suzanne Collins: Honestly, I don’t even remember the week in which I read The Hunger Games. I was IN that world. For six days, this world did not exist.
        Justin Cronin: He has a way with the writing, that man does. I liked how we got to read from many, many different characters point of view, but I was never confused, and that’s not an easy thing to do.
        Bob Mayer: He and Jennifer Crusie together are magic. Pure magic. :-)

  25. 25

    Hi Nancy! Happy New Year, everyone! It’s already 2013 here in Australia – let’s hope it’s a great one.

    Nancy, love your list. I loved the Ellen Hartman. Just goes to show what being a good guest can do for sales. Ellen was so lovely when she visited, I picked up her book and now she’s an auto buy for me. Louisa Cornell, our Bandita Buddy, has recommended the India Black books to me – must get them!

    I’ve had a good reading year. New authors I’ve discovered include Ellen Hartman, Fiona Harper, Susan Mallery, Jeannie Lin, Michelle Conder and Dick Francis. I’m sure there are more but those will do to be going on with.

    • 25.1

      Anna, I now also love Ellen Hartman.

      You’re just now discovering Dick Francis? I noticed you’d been rating his books on Goodreads, but I guess I assumed you’d been reading him for a while. That just goes to show how easy it is to miss an author (as I did Bujold) who has a real presence. I love Dick Francis, especially the earlier books. So glad you’re liking them, too!

      Yes, I think India Black would appeal to you. There’s a novella released today, but I can’t buy it until I get some revisions done.

      • 25.1.1

        Nancy, Dick Francis just passed me by. Perhaps because horse racing doesn’t particularly interest me and they’ve always looked like ‘boys’ books to me if that makes sense. Also I’m a bit contrary, I tend to steer clear of things that sell their socks off – I’m yet to read Twilight or 50 Shades! My good friend Sharon Archer lent me two Dick Francis books just before Christmas and I’m now hooked – I’ve read six and I’m slavering for more. They’re beautifully written, the stories are great, there’s often a nice romance and the heroes are really compelling. What’s not to like?

        • 25.1.1.1

          Anna, we steered clear of Harry Potter at first for the same reason, but we ultimately couldn’t resist. I discovered Dick Francis because of the “Racing Game” series on public TV the summer I studied for the bar exam. I’d come in from my review class, have supper, and watch TV a while. I was initially drawn to the shows because they were set in England, but then I was just drawn into them. I was so glad to find all those books!

          He even wrote a pair with telepathic twins in them–Bolt and Breakin, I think.

          • 25.1.1.1.1

            Ooh, looking forward to those! So far, I think my favorite is Longshot about a novelist down on his luck who agrees to write a bio for an eccentric horse trainer.

  26. 26

    I read my first Ann Aguirre novel, Enclave, the first in her YA dystopian Razorland trilogy. It was great, and when I get the chance I’m going to read the second that came out, Outpost.

    After watching Game of Thrones, I finally started reading George R.R. Martin — A Game of Thrones.

    • 26.1

      Trish, I loved Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series but haven’t tried those. Though you know I love a good dystopia.

      I hear so much about A Game of Thrones. I’m just afraid to start it.

  27. 27
    Diane Sallans says:

    I read Janet Chapman’s Highlander series – they are a wonderful mix of contemporary, historical, paranormal with a quirky humor thrown in. I’m now on the trail of her other books.

    Happy New Year and Cheers to many more wonderful books in 2013.

    • 27.1

      I’ve heard good things about those, Diane, and I do like books that mix elements. Humor, of course, is always tough to resist.

      Happy New Year to you, too!

    • 27.2
      Amy Conley says:

      Ooooh that Highlander series sounds right up my alley. And as I’m sitting here watching CNN, love some AC, but my tablet is in my hand and it is only a few clicks to amazon.

  28. 28

    Well, I’ve been a bit busy this year, Nancy, so my reading took a hit and I haven’t read nearly as much as I’d like.

    I read the whole 50 Shades series while down with a fever of 103 for 3 days. So while I found parts of it intriguing, I’ll have to not comment more…(illness induced psychosis probably affects my opinion!)

    I did manage to read new books by my favorites, JD Tyler, Addison Fox, Julie Garwood, Sherrilyn Kennyon, Steve Berry, the Stieg Larson trilogy (the most fascinating character to appear in books ever!), more in Monica Mccarty’s Highland Warrior series, AND I just read a book that really, really has me craving more…you might’ve heard of it…THE PATRICIAN by our own Joan Kayse!

  29. 29

    Suz, if you could read with a fever like that, you’re way ahead of me! I noticed Joanie’s book, THE PATRICIAN, has a smoking hot cover!

  30. 30
    Kaelee says:

    Well I have mainly read Harlequin books for years and most but not all lines of them. This year thanks to the Banditas I have branched out a bit.

    However the one book that really stands out for me this year is a debut Harlequin SuperRomance called The Other Soldier by Kathy Altman.

    I also discovered some of the Bandita authors this year other than the ones I already knew and loved. Looking forward to reading the hockey hunks in 2013 ( I think it was September)

    I also would like to wish everyone a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

    • 30.1

      Kaelee, I love finding out about new authors, even if they aren’t “new” to most of the reading public. I’m glad we’ve been able to offer you appealing options.

      The Other Soldier sounds interesting. I love military heroes.

      I’m also looking for the hockey hunks. They’ve turned up in the Lair from time to time, but now they’re having their own book–very excited about it. Between Joanie bringing Rome to life and Anna S. featuring the hockey guys, the cabana boys are getting their noses out of joint.

      Happy New Year to you, too!

  31. 31

    We have guests coming in, so I’ll be busy for the next little bit. I’ll answer all comments, though, even if I have to do it next year. *g*

  32. 32
    Barbara Elness says:

    I discovered Thea Harrison’s Elder Races books this year, as well as debut books by Cassie Alexander (Nightshifted), Delilah Dawson (Wicked as They Come), Linda Grimes (In a Fix) and Jessica Scott (Because of You). What made me a fan was that the books really stood out as having wonderful characters and a great story line.

  33. 33
    chey says:

    A new-to-me author I was introduced to in 2012 is Donna Leon. I really enjoyed the mystery of hers I read.

  34. 34
    Quilt Lady says:

    It would have to be Jill Shalvis’s books, love them.

  35. 35
    gamistress66 says:

    read more paranormal type books there & discovered a few new (at least to me) authors including shannon butcher (love her sentinal wars series), dana marie bell, lydia dare, elisabeth naughton (enjoy those sexy eternal gaurdians), coreen callahan (sexy dragon shifters) just to name a few. of course there were some excellent historical novels as well — sarah mclean new series started (love her books), read joanna bourne (another favorite) 1st book released in ebook – Her Ladyship’s Companion, suzanne enoch’s scandalous brides #2 & 3, stephanie lauren’s a lady risks all, tessa dare spindle cove #2 & 3. better quit — more I think about the more there was that I’d recommend :)

    2012 was definately a good year for reading :) wishing the same for 2013 for everyone :)

    • 35.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Gamistress, I have a feeling we’ll have a bumper crop of awesome books in 2013 as well. Happy reading!

    • 35.2

      Wow, gamistress, you read a lot this year! That’s quite a list. Some of them are on my should-read list already.

      • 35.2.1
        gamistress66 says:

        I did manage to read an awful lot this year –any excuse to avoid house or yard work ;) the scary thing is how many books were added to the tbr pile & wish list that I didn’t get too.

  36. 36
    Cassondra says:

    I have to say that whoever wins that copy of RENEGADE is in for a treat. That book made me cry, and so few books can do that now, jaded reader that I am.

    I also fell in love with Jill Shalvis’s work this year. Her Simply Irresistible, Maddie and Jax’s story, is my favorite so far.

    • 36.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Cassondra, I read Jill Shalvis for the first time this year and adored all the books I read. Like you, I especially enjoyed Simply Irresistable. Such a great read!

      Anyone who loves Jill, by the way, should definitely read Susan Sey’s Kiss the Girl. What a great book – and I’m not saying that because she’s a Bandita, either!

    • 36.2

      Cassondra, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed Renegade.

      I think Lucky in Love is my favorite Jill Shalvis so far.

  37. 37
    Louisa says:

    The GR in Sydney for the New Year’s Fireworks?? I shudder to think!

    Great topic, Nancy!

    I actually discovered a new author via the Romance Bandits – Michael P. Spradlin. Blood Riders is fabulous! Funny, non-stop action, some romance and a whole lot of fun! Jonas is a kick-butt hero with a wicked wit. Can’t wait for the next one.

    Someone mentioned Courtney Milan and while I have read all of her books her newest series is incredible. It’s the Brothers Sinister series. It starts with a novella The Governess Affair and continues with The Duchess War which is one of the very best romances I have ever read. It continues with A Kiss for Midwinter. All of these books are amazing.

    And anyone who hasn’t read Joanie’s The Patrician. Oh. My. God. SAMOKIN! Turned me into Oliver Twist “More please!”

    Anyone who hasn’t picked up Grace Burrowes or Samantha Grace’s books are missing some great reads!

    And I absolutely LOVED La Divina Campbell’s Christmas novella! I’m chomping at the bit to get my GH entries finalized so I can FINALLY read the copy of Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed that has been beckoning wickedly to me from the TBR stack.

    • 37.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Louisa, I haven’t yet read Courney Milan, but am hearing great buzz about the new series. I can’t imagine anything more divine than Liz Carlyle’s latest series, though. It will take a lot to sway me!

      Get those entries done, girl, so you can get on Seven Nights. Treats like that don’t wait forever, you know. People know where you live and may come snatch it off your TBR pile! :)

    • 37.2

      Thanks, Louisa! I missed Michael Spradlin’s visit, but those books sound interesting. I’ll have to check them out.

  38. 38
    Melody May says:

    This year I have found so many authors I would never have read before. I found Jessica Scott for military romance. I read the Escape Diaries, LOVED IT. So many more. I plan to read more next year. :D

  39. 39

    Oooh, Nancy, I knew it would be dangerous to stop by today and I was right! I already have a whole bookcase of books waiting-to-be-read, and now I’m tempted to add another half shelf of books, at least. Luckily I’ve read a few of the books you mentioned – I’m a huge Jill Shalvis fan, for instance – but now I want to read all the others, too. So many books, never enough time to read them all! Happy New Year to you and all the Banditas. Wishing you a glittering 2013!

  40. 40

    P.S. I met the lovely Anne Gracie at RWA National in 2009 and have been working my way through her backlist ever since. I’m a longtime fan of Lisa Jackson (and my sister and niece are OBSESSED with her books), and I’ve also read a few of Linda Castillo’s books. When I discover an author I like, I want to read EVERYTHING they’ve written, so I’ll never catch up. It’s a self-defeating prophesy, unless – God forbid – all of my favorite authors stop writing books! Even then, I don’t think I’d catch up. It’s a hard life, but what a way to go!

    • 40.1
      Caren Crane says:

      Becke, if you and Anna both say Anne Gracie is the bee’s knees, it MUST be so. Must read her forthwith! :D

      • 40.1.1

        Anna is the main person who got me hooked on historicals. I’ve always liked contemporary romance, and sometimes paranormal, but I didn’t think I’d like historicals. Then I read Anna’s books, and loved them. She gave me a recommended reading list, which I’m still working through. She hasn’t steered me wrong yet! Michelle Buonfiglio and Melanie Murray, who moderates B&N’s Romantic Reads board, gave me more recommendations. Now I’m well and truly hooked. I blame Anna for my overflowing bookcases now – there are a lot of historical authors, and their backlists are huge!

        • 40.1.1.1
          Caren Crane says:

          Becke, finding a new-to-me historical author is always dangerous! I’ll just add, if you haven’t read Liz Carlyle, you MUST. She is so good it gives me goosebumps! I adore the books she wrote for Pocket and the ones she is writing now for Avon are just as amazing. Again, large backlist! :D

    • 40.2

      Becke, I also have to read everything when I find an author I like, so I probably won’t ever catch up, either.

      I second Caren’s Liz Carlyle recommendation.

  41. 41
    Amy Conley says:

    OK, now I’ve read all these posts and had to make a list. The RIVER WITCH sounds awesome. I adore great southern women’s fiction. There is something about it which is so different than any other genre.

  42. 42
    Caren Crane says:

    Happy New Year, everyone! New Coming Attractions post going up any second now, but have a great new year full of GREAT NEW BOOKS!

  43. 43

    Happy New Year, everyone! Thanks for joining us. I’ll post the winner New Year’s night.

  44. 44
    Carol Carr says:

    Happy New Year, Nancy. Finding my name and first book on your list kicked my year off to a flying start. Thanks for including “India Black.” Now, I’m off to use up a few pages of paper writing down everyone’s suggestions. My own find this year: S.J. Bolton. Fabulous plots which are complex but never convoluted, strong female characters and utterly creepy. Do not read after dark in an empty house.

    • 44.1

      Carol, thanks for stopping by! I love strong female characters, which is one reason I enjoy India Black, but I do have to be careful about the not-to-read-at-night stories. *g*