Sunday, May 10, 2009

Good Books of 2008

I posted this interview on the Book Smugglers website last December.

Thought I'd repost here, just to improve the world a bit by saying 'this is good,' and 'I liked this,' one more time.

My Favorite 2008 Reads

Let me start out with three great RITA winners and a Finalist. They blew my socks off.

Madeleine Hunter, Lessons of Desire.

I always love her work. Dense. Enticing. Sensual. A rare pleasure.

Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave.

A new-to-me writer. Historical mystery. I love the complex, intelligent interaction between H&H. I have her next book, Silent in the Sanctuary, on my TBR shelf.

Julia Quinn, The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

I spend my whole time chuckling when I read Quinn. You just fall into the delight.

Anna Campbell, Claiming the Courtesan.

(I loved Untouched, too.) High-stakes H&H interaction. Intense writing. Compelling.

Leesee … who else?

Strangers in Death, by JD Robb.
With the In-Death series … it’s like you got a box of milk-chocolate-covered nuts. You know they’re all going to be good. (Even the Brazil nut, which is one of those odd, semi-edible things where you ask yourself, ‘What was God thinking?’)
Anyhow, if we’re doing this chocolates simile . . . Strangers is when you pick the piece of candy out and it’s almonds and almonds are your favorites.

His Captive Lady by Anne Gracie.
I just finished this one last week. Lovely writing. Gotta love that Gracie.

Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas.

She took a whole bunch of writerly risks. It all works. Character driven by unusual characters.

Simply Magic by Mary Balogh.

Intelligent Romance, as always. I find her characters appealing on so many levels. I always think I’d like to know them.

Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase.

Spies. Venice. Intrigue. Hero and Heroine conflict. Loretta Chase. What more could one possibly ask?

His Dark and Dangerous Ways by Edith Layton.
One of my long-time favorite authors. I was looking forward to this one. Multi-layer and realistic characters.
It must have been the year for using 'Ways' in titles.

EDITED TO ADD: We lost Edith Layton this year. A great lady, a great writer. Vade, and we are poorer for it.

Oh, let me mention a really nifty anthology –
It Happened One Night. This is Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Jacquie D’alessandro, and Candice Hern.

They rounded up a whole bunch of my favorite authors and put ‘em all in one book.I mean … What are the odds?

I’ve left off scads of great 2008 books because they are sitting three deep and densely packed in the TBR shelf. I haven’t had time to READ them.

My TBR shelf is like …

You know how your refrigerator whispers about the piece of pumpkin pie you got on the bottom shelf (… pie …pie … pie …pie …) every time you walk by and you gotta go tiptoeing off real fast with your hands over your ears … (Lah la la la lah)

My TBR shelf is like that.


  1. The Edith Layton and JD Robb are the only ones I haven't read from your list. I'd also add this one odd-duck of an author to your list of favorite reads from 2008. Have you heard of her? One Joanna Bourne. Wrote about hot spy action in the early 1800s.

  2. Anonymous10:51 PM

    If you haven't read Meredith Duran's The Duke of Shadows, you should move it to the front of your TBR pile, IMO. I think there were two great books last year--yours and hers. Everyone else's (and there were many I loved) were a notch below.DLS

  3. @Keira --

    Blogger, having chosen to disappear all my comments for a while, now releases them. I didn't get to see this till just today.

    You haven't read JD Robb? Or surely it is that you haven't read THIS JD Robb.

    Surely ...?

    There's a brush of sadness here. I have Edith Layton on the list. Vale Edith Layton.

    @ DLS
    I have indeed read and enjoyed Duke of Shadows.
    I love India in the way one loves a place one has never been except in books.

    I met M.D. at RWA National conference last year, (if you can call it meeting her when I asked her to sign my copy of LoS and gushed about how much I loved her writing.)