I remember this time last year: I was on some forum and was amazed at the sheer number of books my fellow posters could go thru in a year. I am a slow reader and i consider myself lucky if i read over 150 books in a year. Well — if I count rereads and books that I only finished half of — I did read over 160+ romances this year. The entire list can be found here.
I was hoping to put away over 200 this year but it just didnt happen. Of the 160+ books, about 66 were published in 2007. Of those 66, these five are the ones that I remember with the most affection looking back. In no particular order:
Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath
This is the second book in a series which the author is stretching out a bit just to torture me. I found the premise intriguing when Heath was doing the blogging rounds in promotion of the book. A nobleman selling himself in marriage to the highest bidder; very Consuelo Vanderbilt, I thought. I didnt like either the H/H in the beginning but I loved the way that Heath revealed their layers slowly and made the romance painful and believable. Some authors just click for me where so many others dont for whatever reason. I can see all the manipulations in Heath’s writing a mile away, she uses no bells-and-whistles but it still leaves me a sobbing mess at the end of most of her books.
And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
I am not the biggest LLG fan so I was surprised by how much this book impressed me. It came out in the spring and I was hoping some of the fall books by my favorite authors would surpass it but this remains the best book of the year for me. LLG was working on all cylinders with this book. Putting a secretary romance in late Victorian times made this historical seem very fresh and the writing itself was equal to that spark of genius. LLG was very thorough in setting up the setting, the quirks of the H/H and their relationship. There was a very tactile quality to the way that LLG described everything in the book from the taste of chocolate and kisses to the desolation of tears and loneliness. The pacing was careful and leisurely but never too slow that it stalled, which I find happens all too often in a lot of books. A very fine line, indeed. Brava!
The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
My expectations almost killed this book for me. I had my eye on the hero ever since he first appeared in the first book of this trilogy — The Raven Prince. I just adore a witty fop ever since I read The Scarlet Pimpernel when I was 13. I was expecting this book to be as urbane and debonair as the hero. Instead, what I got was an operatic book about dark revenge, full of blood and violence. It sure packed a punch and stood out in a sea of paplum, no matter my minor quibbles about it.
Desperate Duchesses by Eloisa James
Les Liaisons Dangereuese written as a romantic comedy. Again, very different from most of what you read out there. Full of naughty, decadent people who hint at vulnerabilities underneath their glittering laced, ribboned, perfumed, pomaded surfaces as they make bets upon bets with each other. As a set-up book for a series, I thought it was great. Full of promise, as a series opener should be. Unfortunately, I wasnt as impressed with the second book in the series, An Affair Before Christmas.
Sleepless at Midnight by Jacquie D’Alessandro
I dont usually go for Cute.
In fact, I hate Cute! Hence why I always look slightly bilious whenever Julie Garwood’s name is mentioned but I have to admit that I found this straightforward try at the old Lord-of-the-Manor-and-the-Spinster/Apeleader bit rather charming. Basically, I was a sucker for how the Hero was besotted with the Heroine almost from the beginning despite the fact that she is no beauty. We will probably never meet again on this same road but I shall always have the memories of. . .
Untouched by Anna Campbell
Voices of the Night — Lydia Joyce