In the half-year since Anne and I started this blog, I’ve read and reviewed a lot of books. A few are real stinkers, many are quite good, but there are a handful that stand out in the memory, and that is the list we’re focusing on as we close out the year.
These tales may not have gotten the highest ratings; those values are highly time-sensitive and subjective, of course. But these are the ones, in reviewing the list at the end of the year, that bring back the fondest memories, are the most-memorable stories, with the most-lovable characters.
Without further fanfare, here is my top-ten list for the year, in no particular order:
- Passion to Protect (Harlequin Romantic Suspense) — An amputee firefighter helps to save his old flame and her kids from her crazed ex-husband. This story was the first of its’ line for me, and a great blend of romance and action
- The Rebel (Harlequin Blaze) — War veteran Finn returns to the place of old family vacations to get his head screwed back on straight, and finds an old friend. Fantastic plot, and incredibly steamy intimate scenes make this one a real standout.
- Expecting Brand’s Baby (Silhouette Desire) — She’s not only got to get married to inherit, she needs a baby, so she ropes in a cowboy for that…but he’s not to be put off when he’s no longer needed! Here we had two people very damaged by their upbringing, who manage to fall for each other.
- Always and Forever (Harlequin) — Country-girl Amabel is happy living out in the weeds, until her mother brings home an obnoxious new man; a handsome doctor helps her find her way in the world. You knew there’d be at least one Betty Neels in here, didn’t you? Chaste, but a sweet, sweet love story.
- How to Lasso a Cowboy (Harlequin Special Edition) — A self-described dowdy old schoolmarm decides to catch that cowboy she’s had her eye on since high school. This is a story that the geeky, nerdy girls (like me) can fall right into. Been there, done that.
- Dancing in the Moonlight (Silhouette Special Edition) — Amputee war-veteran nurse comes home to heal, and re-meets the boy next door, now a doctor. For me, as an amputee, this story really sticks, because of Thayne’s handling of our heroine’s coping with her body image after losing a leg.
- Fortune Found (Harlequin Special Edition) — Young widow raising two kids alone gets to know a ramblin’ man of the great-big Fortune clan. Amazing, amazing sex, but can they make a life together? Here, we see Flint Fortune deal very sensitively with the issues of blending a family.
- Big Sky Bride, Be Mine (Harlequin Special Edition) — A basically good guy gets put in a sticky position trying to buy the farm out from under the woman he has fallen for, to satisfy his father. This one is a standout as you watch an advanced game of get-away-closer between the protagonists.
- The Pregnant Mistress (Harlequin Presents) — Shipping magnate hires a translator; their families have been trying to push them together, and it finally works, in the guise of “just business.” This book is a simple, straightforward story, easy and pleasant to read, with lots of gorgeous descriptions of people and places.
- Blade’s Lady (Silhouette Intimate Moments) — A touch of the paranormal, as two people finally meet the person they’ve seen in their dreams for years. A little action/suspense mixed in make this a fantastically done story.
As the owner and senior editor here at Numbers on the Spines, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our reviews. I think I speak for Anne as well, that we’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, and are looking forward to more great reviews and growth in 2013. Check back Tomorrow for a New Year’s blog hop, with great prizes to be won!