Saturday, December 31, 2005

Top 10 current authors

I want to say that these are authors who are still writing romance. I have more favourite authors who haven’t been heard from for a while such as Judith Ivory, Candice Proctor (who has switched to historical mystery with a dash of romance) and a few others who for one reason or another haven’t had a book published in recently.

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

'til later

10 comments:

Kaitlin said...

Kristie-Thanks for the comments on my review. I appreciate it. :)

I don't really have any fave authors for the year. When I look back at my reading this year (or lack thereof), it's kind of pathetic. *sigh* Lack of funds and all that nonsense. :)

I know you're not a fan of Nora, but I do recommend Blue Smoke. It was probably one of the best books she's written in a couple years.

I'm with you on the In Death books. To me, they just get better and better. I love the way Eve and Roarke's relationship continues to grow. :)

I hope you have a very wonderful New Year! :)

Kristie (J) said...

It's not that I don't like Nora Roberts. I think she is a fabulous author and would have no problem recommending her to anyone. That's part of the problem. I've read tons and tons of her books and I was midway through the witches trilogy when I realized I had read almost the same book only with different characters too many times. I'll still read her single titles on occasion and I have heard good things about Blue Smoke. I'll probably get it used (since she really doesn't need my $$$'s anyway). Oddly enough, it's the very repetion that I finally couldn't take anymore about NR that keeps me coming back to JD Robb. Odd, I know.

Kaitlin said...

No, I totally understand. Yeah, Blue Smoke is good because...well, let me just say that Bo Goodnight is one of the hottest heroes (other than Roarke of course) that I've read in a LONG time. He's just yummy. :)

I agree with the whole repetition thing. I can't imagine I'd be able to come up with completely new ideas if I'd written as many books as she has. I think that's why the JD Robb books are the ones that catch me right now because they're just so good and they're the same characters. Character growth is always fun. :)

CW said...

GAAH! That cover for LORD PERFECT is awful. (although the dude seems to have chest hairs/dirt on his chest *wink*)

Thanks for the note on it and the rereleases. I'm going to go count down the days, now. :P

Jay said...

I've still never read JD Robb. Just wasnt in the mood when I had Naked(?) in Death out from the library and haven't thought about it again since.

I thought I liked Susan Anderson because I read Be My Baby and Baby Be Mine many years ago and I remember enjoying them, but after tracking down a couple of her more recent releases I've found that they just annoy me. So no more SA for Jay.

I've never read Susan Grant but Your Planet or Mine? and The Assassin Ate Chocolate (I cant remember if that's really the title and I'm too lazy to go check) sound like they should be good.

I thought Michele Albert still wrote under the Jerrott name but used it for her YA stuff? Hmm. Will have to look into that later.

Happy New Year!

Rosario said...

Linda Howard: In my list, as well. I'm not crazy about her early categories (including Mackenzie's Mountain, actually *ducks the rotten tomatos*), but I've very much liked everything she's written in the past few years, and absolutely adored quite a few. I'd say Cry No More is my absolute favourite by her.

JD Robb: Love, love, love her. And I still love Nora, even though I totally agree many of them give me a certain dejà vu.

Liz Carlyle: I'm a total fangirl of hers. I haven't read one of hers that I didn't enjoy, either. I think One Little Sin was the one I felt most lukewarm about, and I still liked it.

Jo Goodman: haven't read her yet, but I've been hearing lots of good things lately, so I will.

Gaelen Foley: Meh. I liked The Duke and Lord of Fire ok, and Lady of Desire, too, but I tend to laugh at inappropriate moments with her. A bit overwrought for me.

Susan Andersen: Another meh. Liked some, disliked some, but I'm not crazy about them. Elvis I liked, but that one had the most annoying child character ever!

Anne Stuart: Hit or miss for me, but usually she's a hit. I love that you never know what you're going to get with her books.

Loretta Chase: Lord of Scoundrels alone is enough to put her on my list, and I loved all of her others.

Lisa Kleypas: Love her, too. At one point it seemed to me she was going in a direction I didn't like (starting with Lady Sophia's Lover, actually), but her Wallflower series has been great so far.

Susan Grant: I like her, but not love her.

Michele Albert: Yes, I agree her latest was a bit lackluster, but I loved all the others, including her Michelle Jerott titles. My favourite is a MJ, actually: All Night Long.

Oh dear, this has gone a bit longer than I planned! Sorry for hijacking the comments!

CindyS said...

I'll hi-jack the comments now ;)

LH - I'm with you on loving her when she is on her game. I didn't like her last one at all - completely bored but Dream Man and Duncan's Bride are in my top 20 romances of all time.

JD Robb - read the first one and got 1/3 of the way through the second and I was bored. I haven't read Roberts in years because I don't remember where I left off.

Liz Carlyle - I've read 2, hated one and loved the other. I am going to try more but not until I get a few great reads under the belt.

Jo Goodman - haven't read but just received Beyond a Wicked Kiss so I'm looking forward to trying her.

Galen Foley - need to read pronto. Super angst is all me! Someone just recently compared her to Stuart - I'm in!

SA - hit Elvis and I was done

Anne Stuart - Squeeeeee!! Enough said.

Loretta Chase - I have only liked two but I am going to buy the re-issues and see if they work for me. They didn't the first time.

Lisa Kleypas - I read Lady Sophia's Lover first and loved it. I guess I'm in for a real treat once I get reading again!

Susan Grant - meh
Michelle Albert - haven't tried

Somethings burning in the kitchen! Gotta run!

ag said...

Kristie, you've got a great list there.

I'm with you on Gaelen Foley and Lisa Keyplas. They're amongst my faves too!

For some reason, I stopped Anne Stuart after one of her supernaturals. Hmmm .. time to pick her up again?

Am definitely giving Liz Carlyle a try. Your praise of her books say a lot!

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