Ringing in the New Year with My 2011 Favorites!

Happy New Year!  I cannot believe it is already 2012, this past year really flew!  In celebration of the new year, I wanted to post some of my favorite books from last year.  I am not going to put them in any particular order because I really don’t like doing that, in fact I hate rating books, which is why you do not and will never see a rating system on my blog.  If I love a book, I will say that, if I don’t like it, I will say that too.  It is hard to put an exact number on my enjoyment of a book so I choose not too.  Okay, getting off track here, my point is I am just going to split them into two categories, Adult and Young Adult.  I am going to list the title, author, my review and a summary from Goodreads.  Let’s start with the Young Adult books first.

Touch by Jus Accado (review here)  This is the start of a promising new series and I really enjoyed the two main characters in it.

When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst (review here)  I loved the heroine in this book, Pearl is just awesome!

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire… fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil… until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast — as the entrees.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev (review here)  This is an amazing trilogy that is filled with Shakespearean references and is written so beautifully!

All Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has ever wanted is a true family of her own. And she’s close to reuniting her parents when her father disappears. Now Bertie must deal with a  vengeful sea goddess and a mysterious queen as she tries to keep her family – and the Theatre Illuminata – from crumbling. To complicate it all, Bertie is torn between her two loves, Ariel and Nate.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (review here) This book took me by surprise,  I went in not knowing a lot about it, but came out loving it!

One hour to rewrite the past . . . 
 
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (review) One of my favorite dystopians this year, I am so excited to see what has become of Deuce and Fade in the next installment.

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first Deuce thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

Darkness Becomes her by Kelly Keaton (review here) This is another title that I cannot get out of my head, it stayed with me long after I was done reading.

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach (review here)  This is a book that I do not think got enough attention, it had a mysterious plot with an adorable romance woven in. I loved this book!

A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt — not to mention a princess for a roommate! — all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa (review here)  This is another must read series for me.  I cannot get enough of Ash and Meghan.  Julie tormented me a little with the ending in this book, but at least we had The Iron Knight to give us some closure. 😉

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over.That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who’s sworn to stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I’m not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum (review here)  This entire series is just ridiculously good, this book is the conclusion to it and it blew me away!  Loved it!

The future is uncertain. The battle to control the past has begun. The final book in the riveting Hourglass Door trilogy begins when Abby steps through the black door, and she doesn’t dare look back. Though it means leaving Dante—wounded, bleeding, and possibly blind—she knows it is the only way to save her family and stop Zo from manipulating the river of time and throwing the future into chaos. In the end, Abby must face a final confrontation that will take her to the very origins of the hourglass door.

Touch of  Frost by Jennifer Estep (review here)  This is a fantastic young adult urban fantasy.  It blends so many mythologies together and has an intriguing female protagonist to leading us through her world.

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy — a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why—especially since I should have been the one who died. . .

Now onto my favorite Adult books of 2011, again no paticular order.

Touch of the Angel by Rosalie Lario (review here)  This whole series is just awesome, but this is the latest one that just released in December.

After months of no work, interdimensional bounty hunter Ronin Meyers jumps at the chance to locate an incubus who’s using succubi as murder weapons. Faced with the possibility of being forced to return to hellish Infernum if he fails, Ronin and his brothers will stop at nothing to take out the incubus and anyone else involved—even the beautiful succubus who stole his heart, then nearly his life, during the most mind-blowing hour of his existence.

Night after night, Amara and her fellow succubi are forced to extract special abilities from the strongest Otherworlders for their psychotic master’s growing collection. When the gorgeous angel-demon hybrid she believed to be dead captures her, Amara is both stunned and elated. But the happily ever after she’s dreamed of will have to wait. Together, they must bring down the madman hellbent on destroying them…and become each other’s salvation in the process.

North of Need by Laura Kaye (review here)  I joked around with Laura on twitter one day that I cannot look at a snowman anymore without thinking of Owen, haha.  This is more of a contemporary with magical elements, but I still loved this book!

While attempting to escape the agonizing memories she associates with Christmas, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband and collapses in tears against the snowman at the sight of what she’ll never have.

Called to life by the power of Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.

Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things, and her heart opens enough to believe he’s a Christmas miracle. But this miracle comes with an expiration before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.

Forbidden Embers by Tessa Adams (review here)  This is a series about dragons, really that is all it needs to hook me in, but it also has a great plot and hot romance.

Desperate to save his clan from deadly biological warfare, Dragonstar sentry Logan Kelly infiltrates the dangerous Wyvermoon clan- by posing as a rogue dragon. But his plan is compromised when he falls for Cecily, the Wyvermoon queen…

Blood Law by Karin Tabke (review here)  This book is one that will always stay with me.  It was amazing!  The ending absolutely killed me though!  I cannot wait for the next one.

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.

A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang (review here)  This is a fantastic urban fantasy with a kcik a$s herioine and an awesomley perveterd unicorn!  I know that sounds weird, but he is sweet!

The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.

Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter (review here) This is one of my favorite series and this is now my favoite book in the series.  It was hilarious!  Win?

Possessed by the demon of Defeat, Strider cannot lose a challenge without suffering unimaginable pain. For him, nothing stands in the way of victory. Until Kaia, an enchanting Harpy, tempts him to the razor’s edge of surrender.Known among her people as The Disappointment, Kaia must bring home the gold in the Harpy Games or die. Strider is a distraction she can’t afford because he has an agenda of his own-steal first prize, an ancient godly artifact, before the winner can be named. But as the competition heats up, only one prize will matter-the love neither had thought possible…

Eternal Kiss by Laura Wright (review here)  This series has a set of smoking hot vampire brothers with complete potty mouths, lol.  This is a must read for any pararnomal romance fans!

Raised by the Breed, Nicholas Roman wants to stop the Eternal Order of Vampires from controlling his life, and using other males from his bloodline-including possibly his son-for their vicious reign. Only a beautiful vampire stranger can help him. But what are her true motives?

Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (review here)  I have been looking forward to this book since we saw Hawke in book one!  It was definitely worth the wait. 😉

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (review here) Thea Harrison is a force to be reckoned with in the paranormal romance world.  She already has three books out in this series, but the first was still my favorite!

Half-human and half-Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder Races.

As the most feared and respected of the Wyrkind, Dragos Cuelebre cannot believe someone had the audacity to steal from him, much less succeed. And when he catches the thief, Dragos spares her life, claiming her as his own to further explore the desire they’ve ignited in each other.

Pia knows she must repay Dragos for her trespass, but refuses to become his slave—although she cannot deny wanting him, body and soul.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole (review here) This is another must read series!  Kresley writes amazing books and as long as she keeps writing them, I will keep reading them.

HE VOWED HED COME FOR HER . . .

Murdered before he could wed Regin the Radiant, warlord Aidan the Fierce seeks his beloved through eternity, reborn again and again into new identities, yet with no memory of his past lives.

SHE AWAITS HIS RETURN . . .

When Regin encounters Declan Chase, a brutal Celtic soldier, she recognizes her proud warlord reincarnated. But Declan takes her captive, intending retribution against all immortals—unaware that he belongs to their world.

TO SATE A DESIRE MORE POWERFUL THAN DEATH . . .

Yet every reincarnation comes with a price, for Aidan is doomed to die when he remembers his past. To save herself from Declan’s torments, will Regin rekindle memories of the passion they once shared—even if it means once again losing the only man she could ever love?

And those are some of my favorites from 2011.  What about you?  Are any of those your favorites from last year or are there others you liked more?  Let me know in the comments and Happy New Year!

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One response to “Ringing in the New Year with My 2011 Favorites!

  1. Censoring an Iranian Love Story was my favorite for this year. Drink, Slay, Love sounds like a pretty fun book.

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