Monday, January 2, 2012

Artemis' Top Picks for 2011

Top Picks for 2011

I don't know if the pickins' were slim, life got really complicated, there were too many books to choose from (Yeah, like that could ever happen!), or Mars and Venus didn't align properly, but for some reason those few books did not take hold of me this year and refuse to let go as they had in the years past.  Also, I wasn't able to read the all of the mainstream romance (paranormal, historical, erotic, etc.) due to the influx of new authors.  Don't get me wrong, I found some great talent that I otherwise never would have discovered.  Those other mainstream books I mentioned, you know where they ended up.

Looking back over the year, I found that I just barely met one of my resolutions for 2011.  I did read a few new authors, but I was only able to read three or 
more works of one new author.  Other than that, I missed everything else by a long shot.  Did I meet my goal of reading 125 books – No, only read 117.  And that TBR pile I was to start on.  Oh. Hell. No.  It has grown to ginormous levels.  I added a bookcase during the year and need another two or three.  Don’t get me started with what is on the Nook.  #shakingheadIdon’twanttolook

So, without further ado, and in no particular order……but I did notice that two authors from last year made it again this year.  Oh, and my most favorite cover model, the ever gorgeous, to-die-for, Paul Marron, is on two of the covers, Girlfriends!  Just sayin’….

Paranormal Romance
TEMPTED (Eternal Guardians #3) by Elisabeth Naughton

DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pound through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius did all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she’s gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned.

As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought. And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

Historical Romance (tie)
THE MANY SINS OF LORD CAMERON (Highland Pleasures #3) by Jennifer Ashley

Lord Cameron Mackenzie is intrigued when he finds the pretty widow, Ainsley Douglas, hiding in the window seat of his bedchamber. Cam remembers Ainsley Douglas all right—six years ago, he’d caught her in this very bedchamber, during a house party in the Mackenzies’ Scottish manor. Enchanted by her ingenuous excuses, he decided to seduce her, but stopped shy when she’d made a rather touching appeal about her “good husband who didn’t deserve to be heartbroken.”

Later, Cameron learned that her visit to his bedchamber was part of some female intrigue against him, the kind his late wife used to practice. Ainsley protested her innocence, but Cameron’s anger made him never want to see her again. Now she’s back, at another houseparty—and Cameron finds the gray-eyed minx in his bedchamber, again. Her excuses are just as ingenuous, but this time Cameron is determined to teach her a lesson.

They have unfinished business, Cameron tells her. He asks her how many of her many buttons she’ll let him unclasp, promising that before the houseparty is over, she’ll be asking him to undo them all.

Ainsley’s dismay is real. She’s on a mission to prevent embarrassment to Queen Victoria, and time is running out. Though the needs he’d stirred long ago during her unhappy marriage rise again, she knows it would be foolish to fall for love-them-and-leave-them Cameron Mackenzie.

But he asks her a question that challenges her beliefs about love and happiness, and she finds herself risking all to be with the black sheep of the Mackenzie family.

PRIDE & PASSION (The Brethren Guardians #2) by Charlotte Featherstone

Lucy Ashton had long ago given up her quest for true love. In the rarified society of Victorian England, Lucy plays the game—flirting, dancing and dabbling in the newly fashionable spiritualism. Even marrying when—and who—she's supposed to. If the stuffy Duke of Sussex cannot spark the passion she craves, he can at least give her a family, a home of her own, and a place to belong. But when her polite marriage reveals a caring and sensual man, Lucy begins to wonder if she can indeed have it all.

But Lord Sussex is not the man the London ton has come to admire. And Lucy has some ghosts of her own, as well. Thus, when a blackmail scheme turns to threats of danger, the newfound peace of the Sussex marriage is cast upon the rocks. Passion has a price, Lucy learns. And not all ghosts stay buried.

Erotic Novelette

Two years is too bloody long to be abstinent, especially when one is married to the insatiable Earl of Warwick.

Countess Alexandra Falkner is desperate to rekindle the passion in her marriage. Unfortunately, she lacks the confidence and experience to accomplish her goal. She solicits the help of sexy hypnotist, Vincent Delacroix, to empower her and teach her the art of seduction. What she gets is an education in temptation that leads her heart astray. Will she lose sight of her goal in Delacroix's arms? Or dare she risk everything to keep them both?

Reader Advisory: Our sexy heroes aren't the only two educating the Countess. Alexandra's new maid has a lesson or two as well.

Sci-fi/Fantasy Romance
THE KRAKEN’S MIRROR by Maureen O. Betita

Treated by our youth oriented society as invisible and sexless Emily Pawes attends a pirate festival to recapture the make believe magic she knew as a younger woman. She wins an interesting bit of booty at an old woman’s bric-a-brac stand. The Kraken’s Mirror is a magical portal and transports her to a land of Hollywood piratitude, where swashbuckling heroes own iPods. With little choice, she embraces the madness, deciding she’ll play pirate until she figures out how to get home. Or wakes up in a padded cell.

Instead of men in little white coats, she encounters the handsome Captain Alan Silvestri. He is a man haunted by a strange curse. Good luck is his to command, but it comes at the cost of any place to call home or people to call family. Resigned to die shunned by all, forced to sail every three days, he begins to dream of a special woman.

When they meet, sparks fly, passion flares. He needs her to be free, but more than that, he needs her to be whole. They set sail, uncertain of who has control of the wheel, seeking to defeat his curse of good luck and discover all the Kraken’s Mirror plans for them.

Contemporary Romance
THE CHASE (Fast Track #4) by  Erin McCarthy 

Kendall Holbrook is determined to make it to the top, even with the challenge of being a woman on the male-dominated racing circuit. She doesn't have time for romance-especially not with racing rival Evan Monroe, the man who nearly crushed her dream years ago. Tricked into meeting him, Kendall is experiencing all those old feelings again-and she can't deny that they still have enough chemistry to set fire to the track.

Romantic Suspense
FACE OF DANGER (The Guardian Angelinos, #3) by Roxanne St. Claire

Private investigator Vivi Angelino has never met a risk she wouldn't take-and her latest client, a starlet with a madman on her heels, gives Vivi the perfect opportunity to walk on the wild side. That is, as long as she can make sure a certain overprotective, overly gorgeous FBI agent stays out of her way-and out of her fantasies.

Special Agent in Charge Colt Lang is not about to stand back and watch Vivi dangle herself as bait for a serial killer. Yet trying to rein her in means throwing his well-worn rulebook-and his iron self-control-to the wind . . . and taking the chance that his heart will become collateral damage in an already perilous case. Because a woman who can't stop searching for the truth is impossible to resist-even when every discovery she makes brings them closer to a calculating murderer with nothing to lose.

Erotic Paranormal Romance
BLOOD LAW (Blood Moon Trilogy, #1) by Karin Tabke

For all eternity, only one thing shall separate them—until the Blood Law is avenged…

The coming of the Blood Moon will lead two Lycan packs into war, spur two rival brothers into conflict, and spark an act of vengeance so evil that its effects will be felt for generations.   One woman stands at the center of it all.

As undisputed Alpha, Rafael must choose a life mate to preserve the dominance of his Lycan pack. He never suspected, his mate would be a human, the same wounded, girl-woman he seduces from the brink of death. Falon is a dangerous combination of Lycan and Slayer—beings bred to destroy his kind. Even more, she’s a mesmerizing beauty whose sensuality tempts the seasoned warrior to take unnecessary risks. The primal heat between them is irresistible, yet surrendering to it could destroy them both…for a vengeful foe stands ready in the shadows to fulfill what is rightfully his by Blood Law.

Remarkable New Discoveries in 2011

Well, they are New Discoveries for me!  Listed here are the authors I have discovered in 2011 whose work I find to be invigorating and notable.  You have to put their writings on the top of your TBR pile.

No new resolutions for 2012.  I’m just going to recycle the ones from last year.  HA!

Blog Mistress Laurie has given me new tasks, so you may see me around a bit more.  She keeps pushing books at me, like I’m supposed to read them or something….

I’m looking forward to AAD 2012 and finally putting faces with names.  


  1. The end of Blood Law about killed me. I think I might wait until the final 2 books are released in the series before finishing it because I don't know if I could take another ending like that.

    Great list!

    Paranormal Haven

  2. Yeah, but, I just love her work - she is one of my very few auto-buy authors.

  3. Is it wrong that I can recognise Paul's nipples without his face being on the cover???

    Blood Law and The Chase both sounds great, another couple to add to my list for 2012. Not that I need any new books, I'm also in a 'not enough space, too many books' situation at the moment.


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