Rhonda's favorite books of 2012
When I sat down to decide what my favorite books for 2012 were, it proved to be more difficult choosing just 10, but I selected the books that made me say, "WOW!" when I was finished. 2012 was also a great year for the self-published author, and I had no shortage of their books on my list. So here are my picks in no particular order.
Seduced in the Dark by C.J. Roberts- I was lucky to be one of the beta readers for this book. After reading Captive in the Dark in 2011, this topped my list of most anticipated books for 2012. Let me say it did not disappoint. C.J. Roberts gave me everything I expected and more. The Dark Duet is dark, gritty, and at times was a difficult journey, that has forever seduced me to the dark side. Roberts gave me a anti-hero I should rightfully despise and left me breathless!
Defiant by Pamela Clare- I fell in love with Pamela Clare's writing while reading her I-team series. After reading those I decided to give her historical series MacKinnon's Rangers a try. I was left in awe of the versatile talent this author has. Whether Clare is writing romantic suspense or historical romance, her ability to pen a beautifully written novel with incredible storytelling, swoon worthy heroes, and heartfelt emotion that is sure to have you grabbing your box of Kleenex. Defiant (MacKinnon's Rangers #3) was also among my most anticipated books for 2012, and it was exactly what I expected from Pamela Clare, and completely worth the wait.
The Siren by Tiffany Reisz- This author came out of nowhere, with an incredible voice, and an extraordinary cast of characters in her Original Sinners series. This series is kinky and explores the S&M side of BDSM. Reisz gave us not just one, but three novels in this series in 2012. The Siren was quickly followed up with The Angel, and The Prince, which were perfect additions to the series. Nora Sutherlin and all her men have me eagerly anticipating the next installment to this series.
Sempre by J.M. Darhower- This was an unexpected treat! I will admit to stalking Darhower for a review copy, and she so graciously gave me one. This story involves the Italian Mafia, human trafficking, and a girl named Haven that is born into the human trafficking world. At the age of 17 Haven meets a boy named Carmen as she begins a new life. Carmen is so full of angst and foul language, I just adore him!! This story is an incredible journey of self-discovery, and redemption. What surprised me with this one was not only did I love the story, and the H/h. But Darhower made me love the shady characters too. I loved Corrado just as much as Carmen, and I can’t wait for the next book.
The Ripple Effect by J.A. Saare- I first read this series in 2010 with Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between and immediately fell in love with Rhiannon, Disco and company. Saare definitely has a talent with UF/PNR and with each installment to this series I have watched this author grow as a writer, as she leaves me in knots waiting for the next book. The Ripple Effect (Rhiannon’s Law #3) was just awesome!! It was such an emotional journey that left me hoping that there will be more.
Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan- Now here was an unexpected surprise! This is one of those guilty pleasures that just grabs a hold of you at the beginning and doesn’t let go. This book hooked me at the prologue and I just devoured it. And there it was reminding me of Sons of Anarchy on steroids. When I wasn't reading this book, I was thinking about it! This book had some hard to read scenes, but Sheehan did a great job with the characters and kept me loving Deuce even when I shouldn't have, because there he was redeeming himself repeatedly. I cannot wait for UnBeautifully, which is on my 2013 most wanted list.
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry- This is one of the best contemporary YA books I’ve ever read. This story contains a cast of characters with physical and emotional damage. It is a story of self-discovery, love, hope, and triumph. I loved this story, and look forward to more from McGarry.
Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward- I was a bit worried about this book, especially when I found out who the heroine would be. I knew that the heroine would need to be a worthy one for Tohr after all he’s been through. I was worried we would have a repeat of Phury and Cormia. Thankfully Ward put my concerns to rest early. This was one really emotional read. I don’t think I’ve ever shed as many tears as I did while reading this book. Tohr really pulled my heart strings. And once again I continue to fall in love with John Matthew. I love how Ward has evolved this series to keep the reader interest up. I can say for certain that the long awaited, highly anticipated, Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) is on my most wanted list for 2013.
Bared to You by Sylvia Day- This book was originally released in 2012 as a self-published novel, and was quickly picked up by Berkley Trade. Let me say right now that yes, I am a E.L. James fan, and while there are similarities between Fifty Shades of Grey and Sylvia Day’s Crossfire, I think this book was an excellent read in its own right. Gideon Cross was HOT, and Eva Tramell was a likeable heroine. Sylvia Day is a seasoned writer that brought her story to the table, and I enjoyed every page.
Unspoken Abandonment by Bryan A. Wood- This is an incredible journey that everyone should take with Bryan. This book is taken from his personal journal while in Afghanistan during the early part of the war. This was an eye opening experience for me, I got to see through the eyes of Bryan all the things that the media doesn’t tell us about, and I was able to learn about his long journey home, a journey that so many of our soldiers have to take.