I have a lot of auto buy authors – too many to list. But there are some that are even more than auto buys. It’s interesting that although they are on my top 10-author list, some of the following don’t have a book on my top 10 of 2005 list even though they probably have at least one release for the year. Further qualification to make my list is at least 3 5 out of 5 books and some 4 ½ & 4’s. In picking my author list, I went for the entire repertoire rather than individual books. So, without further adieu here they are:
Linda Howard: I love her books – just love them. There may be one or two stinkers in the bunch but considering the number of books she’s written and her stinkers were earlier books, she is easily on my top ten list. She writes excellent funny (Mr. Perfect, To Die For) and excellent suspense (Dream Man, Shades of Twilight). Heck she even excels at time travel (Son of the Morning). In my most humble opinion – she is simply the best. Now if only she could get herself a web site.
JD Robb: I swore off Nora Roberts a couple of years ago and it continually amazes me that I am still so mesmerized by JD Robb – the same person. But I think her In Death series is phenomenal! I know some readers are getting tired of them and they seem to be turning the same old same old, but for me it’s the slow growth of Eve and Roarke and slowly getting to know all the other characters that makes this series so compelling. Every time I read a new one, I feel like I’m visiting very special friends. I can’t ever imagine getting tired of these books. And note that while neither of her releases this year made it into my top ten list, JD Robb is number 2.
Liz Carlyle: I haven’t read one of hers that I didn’t enjoy!!! With the exception of perhaps JD Robb, she is the only author I can say this about. From the very beginning she has impressed me with her writing ability. After having one book a year since 1999, she had 3 this year – well officially 2. This is a good thing – very good.
Jo Goodman: I haven’t read her Dennehy Sister books yet, I have some in my TBR pile and keep thinking I gotta read this one next. But the books I have read of hers, are all exceptional. Her latest book, A Season to be Sinful made it onto my favourite books of 2005 list. I say she ranks right up there with the best of the best, Judith Ivory, Laura Kinsale, Marsha Canham and Loretta Chase. I think what keeps her from getting more recognition is many readers have preconceived opinions of Kensington and Zebra. I would love to see her more widely read. She really is an outstanding author.
Gaelen Foley: She’s only had one book I didn’t like – Lord of Ice and one book I was meh about – The Duke. Other than those two exceptions, I’ve loved everything she’s written and I’ve read them all. Whether it’s her Knight Miscellany series or her Ascension trilogy, I find her very entertaining. I know some scoff at her – well – flowery turn of a phrase, but hey – I like it.
Susan Anderson: She is contemporary author who hasn’t written a book I haven’t liked. Her heroes are for the most part quite alpha although she does occasionally write them less so. Elvis of Exposure is my favourite of all her heroes and the hero in Hot and Bothered had an eye rolling nickname – Rocket – apparently named after a certain part of his anatomy *eye roll* but other than that, I’ve liked a lot/loved all her books.
Anne Stuart: When I was doing this I checked. I own 25 Anne Stuart books. She is another author who amazes me in her ability to cross genres and write wonderful books in each of them. Her 2003 book Into the Fire got scathing reviews, but it was my choice of guilty pleasure that year and this year’s Black Ice made it onto my top 10 list. She wrote some remarkable series books too. Night of the Phantom is one of my all time favourite series book. And she is definitely the Queen of the Anti-hero
Loretta Chase: Although she doesn’t have as long a back list as some of the other authors, other than her regencies which I haven’t read, Loretta Chase has written some truly wonderful, wonderful books. She is one of the leading authors of romance and deservedly so. Lord of Scoundrels I think is a classic in the romance genres. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read this one. Captive of the Night is another great one. When I think of favourite authors who have disappeared, I am always heartened thinking of Loretta Chase. She wrote The Last Hellion in 1998 and then mysteriously vanished for six long, long years. This was before I discovered the Internet and every month I would dutifully check out the bookstores hoping against hope to find a new release. Once I discovered the Internet and romance review sites I began to hear rumblings – but no releases. I had just about given up all hope and then lo and behold in the spring of 2004 she came back!!!!!! Finally one of the masters had returned. Not only had she returned, but also she has a series planned. It started with Miss Wonderful, continued with Mr. Impossible a book which came oh so close to making my best books of 2005 list and soon she will be releasing Lord Perfect – ugly cover and all. Not only that – but they will be re-releasing Lion’s Daughter next month and Captives of the Night in May. Now if only they will re-release Lord of Scoundrels with a different cover.
Lisa Kleypas: Although neither of her books released in 2005 made my top list, she is an author again like Loretta Chase who came oh so very close. Of all the books she has written – 19 not including some very old Onyx books and a few anthology short stories there have only been 2 I can honestly say I didn’t love or at least very strongly like. One was one of the Onyx books whose name escapes me at the moment written very early in her career and Lady Sophia’s Lover. That is some damn fine track record. Dreaming of You is THEE quintessential romance book and if Nicole were to ever read it, I’m sure she would agree (grin). For anyone who has never read this book with Sarah Fielding and Derek Craven, Joyce Ashby (boo, hiss) et al please – I beg of you – read it. You WILL thank me. I think more readers are eagerly awaiting her next two releases than many another books. I honestly can’t imagine a historical romance reader not including her on their favourite author list.
Now this leaves me two authors short. When I was thinking up this list, I wanted it to include authors who had written at least five books that I’ve read and have had a release in 2005. I’m still sticking to the five published book rule(in my head) but I have to include books released in 2004 to make up the top ten. See, it’s my list and I can make my own rules.
So (drum roll please) the other 2
Susan Grant: She writes the most excellent futuristic. I’ve read her entire backlist, which admittedly isn’t long but she didn’t score lower than a 4 on any of them. Once a Pirate, her first book knocked my socks off. As did The Star King, The Star Princess and The Scarlett Empress. I checked out her website and although she didn’t have a release in 2005, she had 2 in 04 and it looks like she has quite a few coming out in 06. I can hardly wait.
Michele Albert: Her book in 2005 was her least impressive (IMO) of all her books to date and I still gave it a 3 ½. The rest of her back list is very very good. She’s changed her name from Michele Jerrott. At first I thought I’d lost her after the change, but luckily I found her again. She became an autobuy after her first book and a favourite by her third. Now she’s on my top ten list.
There are a lot of authors whose books I love that didn't quite make it for one reason or another Wendy Lindstrom and Pamela Clare only have 4 published books. There are other very promising authors who just don't have enough books to make the list although they are auto-buys. Hopefully soon, this will be a 20 favourite author list