Best Reads of 2011

I have read many good books in 2011, and it was impossible to narrow the list to just ten.  Here is my list of the ones that really stood out but there are more that were very good and they are listed on my “Favorite Reads” page (up in the header).  Some of these books were published earlier than 2011 but I only read them this year.  In no particular order here are the best of the best:

1. Pennyroyal Green Series by Julie Anne Long, Historical Romance- Regency

2. The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn, Historical Romance-Regency

3. 9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah Maclean, Historical Romance-Regency

4. Liberine’s Kiss by Judith James, Historical Romance- Restoration period

5. Hounded by Kevin Hearne, Urban Fantasy(bk 1, Iron Druid Series)

6. Duncan by D.B. Reynolds, Urban Fantasy Romance (Vampires In America Series, bk 5)

7. Double Cross and Head Rush by Carolyn Crane, Urban Fantasy Romance (bks 2 & 3, Disillusionists Trilogy)

8. Before Everafter by Samantha Soto, Fantasy/Romance

9. A Matter of Class by Mary Balough, Historical Romance-Regency

10. Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford, Paranormal (Vampires)


Filed under Fantasy, Favorites, Historical Romance, Opinion, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Vampire

25 responses to “Best Reads of 2011

  1. I haven’t read any of these which is WONDERFULLY exciting because now I have books to add to my 2012 list. PS. love the background of books. Makes my heart happy.


  2. Edyta

    Wow I have to agree with quite a few of these. I read the first in your #1 and loved it. Have the first in your #2 but didn’t get to it yet. You also got me to try #3 and I really really liked that one, though will not be reading the other 2 in that trilogy (the sister annoyed me and the brother’s book got very mixed reviews). Read and loved 4, 5, 7 and 9. Not bad. I’ll have to look up the other titles you’ve listed. BTW I can’t seem to get enough of these end of the year top reads lists.
    My Top 2011 reads include: Toby Daye series (which I discovered this year and it is by my favourite UF far), Private Arrangements, World War Z and The Winter Sea (beautiful book).


    • Hi Edyta, I hate to tell you not to read a book but don’t read Duncan until you have read the others in the series. It will make more sense. I did not care for the others that followed the book in #3 above. They were okay just not as good. I hope you get to read the Samantha Soto book, I loved it. I have the Toby Daye series on my wish list. I will check into the others. I love your reccomendations!


      • Edyta

        I have read Raphael and have Jabril on my Kindle. I will get to it soon as Duncan coming out reminded me about it. I will definitely look for the Soto book.

        Mo, I have had Williamson on my “to try” list. Her backlist is up on Amazon but it’s really pricey (11$ for a backlist title is too much for me anyways). I’ll have to look for her in actual paper format (gasp). I’ve not read Layton but will try one of the titles you mention.
        I don’t ever (almost) read YA, but Ms Rebecca did get me to try a couple. Bitterblue (Graceling) is coming out this year and I’m on the fence as to whether I’ll read it. If one of you does, I’ll see what you say. Did either of you read Wither? I’ve seen it reviewed but am not sure if I want to try it. Don’t want to risk a dud (have had a few of those as well).


        • I’m gonna haveta read Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore is just plain brilliant and I loved Graceling and Fire. Too bad they are YA. 🙂
          I don’t know the Wither trilogy. Did you read the first one?
          I forgot you read Raphael, and you liked it if I remember correctly. It is still my favorite but I am in love with Duncan, have been since book one.


        • mo

          Oh, I loved Fire. I preferred it slightly over Graceling. Will definitely be reading Bitterblue too. I haven’t tried Wither but I think it got mixed reviews. I have heard lots about Divergent by Veronica Roth, also dystopian. I’ve read a lot of Aussie YA and have been loving it. Melina Marchetta is one of my favourites. Jellicoe Road is brilliant, and if you like dark fantasy then her Finnikin of the Rock trilogy might interest you.

          Edyta, I got an old library copy of The Passions of Emma, I will not pay $11 for an ebook. You can always buy 2nd hand via Better World Books.

          Okay, so I have both of you praising Raphael etc…, so I’m thinking I need to hop onto this wagon 😉

          Edyta, cannot wait for Sherry Thomas’ releases this coming year!


  3. mo

    Dot, I agree with heaps of these too. I have to read Hounded, I’ve heard many good things about it. A few of my favourites this year would be Unsticky by Sarra Manning, The Duke’s Wager and The Choice by Edith Layton, Private Arrangements, The Passions of Emma by P Williamson and a few YA books. But I also had more duds this year than in previous years. I think I’m becoming less patient.

    I love these lists too, my TBR grows astronomically this time of year.


    • You more than likely agree with this list because you are the one who recommended them to me. 🙂 (I just read JAL’s latest in the Pennyroyal series, review next week.) Thanks for your other recommendations I will put them on my wish list. Keep me posted on good reads.


  4. Edyta

    I did like Raphael and bought the next right after.
    As for Cashore, I loved Graceling but Fire left me kinda cold (haha sorry I had to). I have not read Wither, but the premise sounds good. I’m afraid it will be another reaction I had with Hunger Games (which I did like) – it just would have been better and much more believable if it were not YA.


    • And I liked Fire better, go figure. I am absolutely with you on the YA page. So tired of teens saving the world. What’s so hard about making the protagonists adults……actually I know the answer…$$.


      • mo

        Oh you two crack me up! I love YA, I wish I had this much good stuff around when I was young. I do think there has been an overload of the dystopia stuff. I’ve stayed away from it and focused on contemporary.


  5. I’ve only read two (three) of the books on your list. 😦 But I loved them. Mind Games was my #1 last year and Nine Rules… was cute. Must check out your other ones. 🙂


    • Julie, Probably the “two or three” on my list that you read are the ones I got reccomended from you. 🙂 Between you, Mo and Edyta its a wonder I find time to read anything else. Don’t any of you stop! My favorite page turners are thanks to you all. My blog readers should make notes of all your rec’s.
      (Blog readers, you can get fab reviews and fun posts from Julie at
      http:// )

      I LOVED! MIND GAMES by Carolyn Crane, so original and imaginative.
      NINE RULES… was excellent but the follow ups were just so-so.

      I will continue to rec RAPHAEL until I get you and Mo to read it. 🙂


  6. Edyta

    “So tired of teens saving the world.”
    Hahaha as always you’ve articulated in one, funny and to the point, sentence. Also, I love it when someone who’s supposed to be 17-18, or even 20, has all this profound life insight. Give me a break. I don’t even mention the books that feature teens that act as teen cuz I would NEVA EVA read those. But I don’t mock, so please don’t be offended Mo 😀

    I will see what you ladies thought of Bitterblue, before I decide to read it. BTW I think she will end up with one of the kids conceived in Fire (sorry don’t remember any names).


    • mo

      No offense taken :). I agree re ‘teens saving the world’ being tiresome. But, I do enjoy reading contemporary YA.

      Sheesh, I am going to have to read Raphael pretty soon now, Dot has applied the pressure.

      On another note, does anyone here have the Sony PSR-T1? I’m thinking of getting one.


      • I had to go and Google a Sony Prs-T1 I had no clue. I still can’t help. It is probably a decent reader. Go look up a comparison site, maybe that will help you decide.


        • Edyta

          I have (and LURVE) a Kindle. So I can’t help you, sorry.

          Re Sherry Thomas one word : FINALLY!!!
          She is my fav HR writer. Her books will be autobuys for me in 2012. The titles are a bit scary, but I will trust in her talent.


  7. I have HIS AT NIGHT by Sherry Thomas on my TBR shelf. I must get at that one. Also I see that she has a new one coming in May2012.


    • Edyta

      LADIES HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May we all have 2012 filled with keepers 🙂

      HaN is very good. PA is still one of my fav HRs though.
      The book in May is first in a trilogy. THREE books from her next year. Me Likey!! Here is the blurb from the one in May (I think it sound sooo good):

      When the Duke of Lexington meets the mysterious Baroness von Seidlitz-Hardenberg aboard a transatlantic ocean liner, he is fascinated. She is exactly what he has been searching for—a beautiful woman who interests and entices him. He falls hard and fast—and soon proposes marriage.

      And then she disappears without a trace…

      For in reality, the “baroness” is Venetia Easterbrook—a proper young widow who had her own vengeful reasons for instigating an affair with the duke. But the plan has backfired. Venetia has fallen in love with the man she despised—and there’s no telling what might happen when she is finally unmasked…


      • mo

        Happy New Year to you all too. Bring the keepers on!

        I have HaN on my kindle app waiting to be read, as well as the rest of the Pennyroyal series I haven’t yet gotten to. Dot, can’t wait to see what you think of Marquess as it doesn’t have any of the two lead family members as h/h. I really want to read Lyon’s story.

        Edyta, that excerpt sounds excellent! I really loved PA and thought NQAH was excellent too. She is wonderful writer. I’m just surprised that she is able to make me like characters who have done things I really hate…that’s talent. I can’t wait. Duran also has one coming out in March. Ugh, my budget is so screwed ;).

        On another note, I am reading What Angels Fear by CS Harris, a Regency Mystery, the first in the series. I’m really enjoying it.


        • Happy New Year, Mo! I have Julie Anne Long’s “To Love a Thief” reviewed on Wednesday and “How the Marquess was Won” on Friday of next week. I have an unusual book up for review on Monday, be sure to check it out.


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