Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My favourite Reads of 2008

Well, everyone is doing it and since I love to share books I've enjoyed, I'll join in with everyone else. This is my list of favourite reads, hero/heroines and authors for books published and read in 2008.
I had a great year in reading this past year. It started out with a bang right from the get go with The Spymaster's Lady and it stayed good all year! The strongest genre for me, surprisingly enough was Historicals. All the books in the Honourable Mention I graded 5 out of 5. Except for Broken Wing which for the first time ever, got a 6 out of 5. And every favourite in each genre garnered a 5 out of 5

Favourite Historical

Broken Wing by Judith James

Honourable Mention

Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas

The Price of Desire by Jo Goodman

The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne

To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt

Untamed by Pamela Clare

Favourite Paranormal

Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

Honourable Mention

Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian

Best Contemporary

Blue Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas

Honourable Mention

Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy

Just One of the Guys by Kristin Higgins

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Letters to a Secret Lover by Toni Blake

Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves

Favourite Romantic Suspense

Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare

Honourable Mention

Death Angel by Linda Howard

Favourite Urban Fantasy

Countdown by Michelle Maddox

Honourable Mention

Hidden by Eve Kenin

Favourite SciFi/Futuristic

Moonstruck by Susan Grant

Favourite Hero

  • Gabriel St. Croix – Broken Wing – Judith James

Favourite Heroine

  • Haven Travis – Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas

Favourite Tearjerker

  • Broken Wing – Judith James

Favourite Author

Tie – Both these authors had two books in my favourites and honourable mentions

Lisa Kleypas

Blue Eyed Devil - Best Contemporary

Seduce Me at Sunrise – Honourable Mention - Historical

Pamela Clare

Unlawful Contact - Best Romantic Suspense

Untamed – Honourable Mention - Historical

Favourite New/New to Me Author

Judith James

Very Very Honourable Mention

Joanna Bourne

Julie James

Kristin Higgins

Michelle Maddox

There are a few things I'd like to mention. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I don't have a Western on this list. How incredibly sad!! I checked my spreadsheet thinking I must be wrong - surely there is at least a Cheryl St. John book there. But it looks like she didn't have a single title published in 2008. There are a couple of anthologies, but I very rarely get them. I bought a few Westerns, though not nearly as many as in years past, but either I didn't read them or they didn't make the grade :-(

Another genre that was lacking for me this year that I've loved in the past is Medievals. This also shocks me! Until I was doing this list, I didn't realize I was missing this genre either. Again, Ive bought some, but much fewer than in the past and I haven't finished reading them.

There are a couple of books not on the above list that I think would be be on it if I had had time to read them.
  • The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran - I'm reading this one now and really enjoying it. But I have to work Jan 1, 2009, so I can't stay up all night to finish it :-)
  • Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair. I've adored all her books I've read so far and I keep bringing this one out to read it, but then in a mad rush to clean up, I put it someplace and it takes me weeks to find where I've put it. Next time I find it, it goes straight into the purse!!

Oops - had to make a change! I 'discovered' Lara Adrian in 2007, not 2008 and I forgot to add Michelle Maddox.


Carolyn Crane said...

Hey! Great list! Wowl people are really loving Pamela Clare this year - she has gone on my must read list for sure.

Carolyn Crane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great list, Kristie! I still have to read Pamela Clare's suspense novels. Soon. Soon. And you know, I have yet to read a Nalini Singh book, but I hear such great things about them.

Tracy said...

Great list Kristie! I've heard such good things about Pamela Clare but haven't read her yet. I know, I really need to. Maybe 2009 is the year... :)

Happy New Year Honey!

Wendy said...

Well Cheryl St. John did have a book out this year - but it JUST came out in December....Her Montana Man.

I need to get cracking on my year end list(s). Yep, I'm planning on doing more than one post on the subject.

Kati said...

Terrific list, Kristie. And I love the Canadian spelling of favorite. It's fancier! ;o)

I am determined to read some of Pamela Clare's historicals. I read one of her suspense books and liked it but didn't love it. But the gushing everywhere about her historicals makes me determined to try them.

Kristie (J) said...

Kati: LOL - we do love our U's. It's the British in us. They are also in colour, honourable and a few other words too :-) Depending on what version of Word (either Canadian or US)I use I either get a red line or I don't. Another big difference is we pronounce the letter Z - zed as opposed to zee. It does spoil the ryhming in the alphabet song though!
And as far as Pamela Clare's historicals, I'm just tickled pink that other readers are reading and enjoying them. I've been fan of hers since her first release way back when. They do have a slightly different 'feel' than to her RS books - though I love both. Besides being Very Well Written, they are such a nice change from the dukes and spy's in the majority of historicals released today. And the fact that they take place in Colonial America where they still have the incredible scenery today makes them somehow more relateable.

Wendy: *g* I know. And I ordered it from Harlequin and it's 'in the mail' and hopefully I'll get it next week! I was hoping to read Jodi Thomas's series but alas, I ran out of time in 2008. Hopefully this will be a better 'year of the Western' in 2009. I did start reading one of your favourites, The Rebel and the Lady but *gulp* it was a DNF for me :-(

Tracy: Well *grin* I think very highly of Pamela Clare's books and it seems other do now too - and they have just rereleased her earlier books at a special price........

Barbara: Unlawful Contact is my favourite of her RS - and can be read on it's own me thinks. But I also quite enjoyed Hard Evidence - and the cover of that one is very fine, very fine indeed - if you are one who is drawn to covers - as the shallow side of me can be - heh heh heh.

CJ: I've been noticing that too, much to my delight!! I just love it when I see authors I've enjoyed for years who aren't the big names, gain in popularity!!! I saw this happen last year with Jo Goodman and I did a little happy dance for each reader who 'discovered' her for the first time. *chuckle* It would be nice to do many happy dances with year with Pamela Clare. And I was fortunate enough to meet her in person - and she is SUCH a nice person who loves her fans.

Wendy said...

Sigh, that's OK Kristie. Although I thought for sure you'd like it because it's a very hero-centric story. I'm actually beginning to think I'm the lone voice in the wilderness on that book. I adored it, but haven't found anyone else (yet) who loved it as much as I did :(

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy, well - I haven't written it off entirely - it might be one of those it's not you, it's me books. I went through a number of slumps and it might just have been a by-product of that. I still have it. And I DO love the cover ;-)

Chantal said...

Kristie, I am reading Broken Wing right now :-)

Kwana said...

Thanks for your list. Happy New Year!

KT Grant said...

BED is the ultimate winner it seems! So many good, good books for 2008. I can't wait to see what 2009 brings :D

Kristie (J) said...

Seneca: And??????? *laughing* What do you think so far?????

Kwana: You are most welcome!! I always love this time when everyone starts putting up their favourites - great way to find new books!!

Katie: *chuckle* I'm not sure what you mean. My ultimate favourite of 2008 was Broken Wing. But if you're looking at everyone's list - then yep - it seems BED is the big winner. And I have NO PROBLEM with that :-) since I found it a deeply moving, emotional read. I've read it 3 times this year!! And I know there will be many more reads to come!!

Renee said...

Great list, Kristie! A lot of my faves are on it (Kristan Higgins, Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Hoyt) and a lot of new ones I've been meaning to try (Joanna Bourne, Eve Kenin, Pamela Clare.)

It really looks like that Shomi line (Michelle Maddox, Eve Kenin) is a winner.--I really loved Phenomenal Girl 5!

Anonymous said...

Kristie: thank you so much for including Just the Sexiest Man Alive on your list!! It's really wonderful to hear how much people are enjoying the book. FYI: based on your recommendation, I went out and bought Broken Wing... I can't wait to dive in. And I love that her book and mine were next to each other on the shelf-- such good company to keep!

AnimeJune said...

Awesome list, Kristie! I really REALLY loved "The Price of Desire" and it made go out and buy a ton of Jo Goodman books at my used book store!

I'll have to disagree with the nomination of "Countdown" by Michelle Maddox. It was a good romance, but I've read good sci-fi and the sci-fi element in "Countdown" was NOT good sci-fi, but I've noticed that a lot of authors who do major genre cross-overs like romance fantasies and romance sci-fi have problems maintaining the sci-fi settings.

nath said...

I'm reading Broken Wing as well and I'm almost done!!

All in all, you have a great list of good books, Kristie! :D

Kristie (J) said...

Nath: And *gulp* I'm hoping you're enjoying it. Your one of the tougher critics - so if you enjoy it then I'll not only do a happy dance - I'll make it a jig! And I'm so glad I'm a cross genre romance reader. That way there are so many TOTALLY different styles and stories!

AnimieJune: I think - just a sec - I have to go double check - OK - I checked and I put Countdown as my Favourite Urban Fantasy. I'm a little bit confused as to what exactly constitutes a book as Urban Fantasy - but in my mufflehead, it qualified :-). Moonstruck was my favourite SciFi/Futuristic. And again I'm a little bit vague on the difference between SciFi romance and Futuristics - except I think SciFi romance is a bit heavier on the SciFi then the romance (eg - Linnea Sinclair) but I loved Moonstruck and *g* IMO it's has enough SciFi to qualify.
But I'm so glad you've dived into Jo Goodman. She's been writing for years and has been a real buried treasure. It's wonderful to see readers start to open that chest!!

Julie: *laughing* you can blame my aversion to Christmas that I read Just the Sexiest Man Alive in time for 2008. I went on a real reading tear then. JTSMA was a delightful book that took me completely away from the Christmas doldrums I was in. And *g* it would be hard to miss Broken Wing for you wouldn't it? Not only are your last names both James, but both first names start with J,U. Can't get much close than that. I hope you enjoy it!! It's a total different kettle of fish from your book - but that's just one of the joys of reading - being able to really enjoy such polar opposite type books.

Renee: I was all excited about the Shomi line. I adored Driven and then Hidden and loved Countdown. But then the rails went off the track and I had two DNF's. I'll still buy them - but judge on author rather than line. So - Phenomenal Girl 5 eh? That's one I haven't tried.

Cheryl St.John said...

You missed my December book HER MONTANA MAN! :-( You can even get it in a hardcover through Doubleday or Rhapsody book club if you belong. Thanks for thinking of me!

Kristie (J) said...

Cheryl: Thank you so much for dropping by! I know :( I've ordered it from Harlequin and I'm hoping I have a package in the mail when I get home from work. Believe me if I'd gotten it in 2008, I would have read it right away 'cause I LOVE your books! I've been a fan since Rain Shadow! And that's going back a few years now :)

Pamela Clare said...

Hi, Kristie — I can't tell you how happy I am to see both of my 2008 releases in your Best Of list. I'm so glad you enjoyed them both. I consider you a key critic, so if you like them, I feel like I've done something right. :-)

Thanks again!

rachel said...

Looks like you just added a few more books to my TBR list...thanks. :)