Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nothing I like better than . . .

Nothing I like better than Book Pimping.
Except bragging.

This is a case where I can do both.

Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches does the Romance blog at Kirkus Reviews.  Here is her Best of 2010 list.    Here.

I'm posting it in case you have been hiding out in Serbia in a cave, meditating, and you somehow missed it.

Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase (Avon, 2010)
Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy (Berkley, 2010)
The Summer of You by Kate Noble (Berkley, 2010)
Something About You by Julie James (Berkley, 2010)
Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie (St Martin’s, 2010)
Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey (Carina Press, 2010)
Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Berkley, 2010)
Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin (Harlequin, 2010)
His at Night by Sherry Thomas (Bantam, 2010)
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (EgmontUSA, 2010)
What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss (Harlequin, 2010)
Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh (Berkley, 2010)
Scoundrel by Zoe Archer (Zebra/Kensington, 2010)
All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins (HQN, 2010)
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts (Berkley, 2010)
Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews (Ace, 2010)
The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (Berkley, 2010)
Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean (Avon, 2010)
Naked Edge by Pamela Clare (Berkley, 2010)
Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton (Dreamspinner, 2010)
Seven Nights to Forever by Evangeline Collins (Berkley, 2010)

I'm going to make a couple few comments.

1.  The first is that I'm on it.  See!  Lookit!!
Isn't that ultimate cool?

2.  We got books on this list from publishers who are not the New York Usuals.  Very interesting.

3. We got four books from various arms of HQN.  Category don't get no respect from reviewers and it's nice to see a list with HQN authors on it since HQN sells more books than Aunt Minnie has cats and always holds big juicy numbers at Bookscan.

4.  About half these books are from a single publisher -- Berkley --which happens to be my publisher.  So congratulations Berkley, you are doing something right.

I suspect this has to do with publishing innovative stuff.

5. I've read:

Last Night’s Scandal,
The Summer of You
Butterfly Swords,
His at Night.

These four are just excellent and I recommend them to you.

I haven't read more than four because I mostly can't read Romance while I'm writing.    It messes with my head.
I have another four of these 20 in my tbr pile.

I've held off buying the Berkley books in the hopes I can get free -- and signed -- copies at RWA National.  (. . .  sorry about that.)

So there we go.  New authors and old favorites.  Wonderful books.  Go buy some.


  1. I've only read three from this list:

    His at Night
    The Forbidden Rose
    Nine Rules to Break...

    I remember reading and loving Kate Noble's previous book. I need to get my hands on The Summer of You - and all the others, too!

    Congrats on making the list!

  2. Thank ye kindly.

    I can recommend the Kate Noble book.

  3. Berkley's definitely doing many things right! Smarter, fresher, more satisfying books than seem to be coming out anywhere else. Your books, of course, plus Nalini Singh and Meljean Brooks--wow!

    After seeing it turn up on several "Best of" lists, I'm reading The Iron Duke right now. VERY interesting book. Definitely add it to your TBR pile. (For WHEN Justine is finished!!)

    Congrats again!! Sarah Wendell's not called Smart Bitch for nuthin'.

  4. I'm about 90% sure I've already bought this and it's sitting on the bookshelf waiting for me.
    (I'd have to stand up to go check. *g*)

    If not, I'll buy it when I next send in an order. I am so looking forward to reading this.

  5. Hey Jo!

    I'm hoping you're staying warm today. I'm poking my head out of my Serbian Cave :) and let me tell you, it's cold out there!

    I've also read only four from that list:

    Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase (Avon, 2010)

    His at Night by Sherry Thomas (Bantam, 2010)

    The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne (Berkley, 2010)

    Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean (Avon, 2010)

    Sara says, and I quote: "...books that are emotionally moving, with characters that seem like truly living people, with a plot that prevents you from putting the book down without considerable resentment for the interruption. Most of all, romances that are mentioned with the Good Romance Novel Noise are the ones that you want to reread, so you can revisit those characters and experience that amazing plot all over again." I'm 100% in agreement with her. When I read, I want to be THERE, I want to feel, smell and taste what the author is writing about. In my case only three books that I've read did that. Try as I might, one of those has utterly failed me. I'm not going to blame the author, as I know she's a great one, but rather I'll place the blame on myself, the reader as I feel that I'm getting jaded and my expectations have risen too high, I think.

    I was surprised not to see Judith James's name on there. Her "Libertine’s Kiss" was such an excellent read. Or for that matter Eileen Dreyer's "Barely a Lady". What a great book that was!

    I'm truly excited for Adrian's story to see the light of day and so looking forward to it. I'm trying to stay away from your website so as not to be tempted to peek at postings in regards to the story. I am too weak I must admit.

    Oh, and just in case you doubt I'm Serbian :)
    Please feel free to stop by my blog at

    Thanks for writing books that take me away!

  6. Hi Mel --

    I have been to Serbia. I remember it for the stunning scenery and the great kindness of its people. We had three flat tires in ten miles which gave us a chance to appreciate both of the above.

    We are not so much cold here as rainy.
    I love rain. t makes me poetic or something.

    I have the Judith James and Eileen Dreyer books on my TBR list. If I can ever lift my nose from the grindstone what wonderful treasures await me.

    I won't say anything at all about the Adrian/Justine story until it gets close to publication time. And that's next November.

  7. Three things:

    1. Congratulations on Forbidden Rose receiving another well-earned honor! I am sure there are more to come.

    2. November for Adrian? This is going to make it very hard for me to follow my mother's advice not to wish my life away. And believe me, I'm well past the age at which I can afford to rush through a year.

    3. I feel quite dumb, but what does HQN stand for?

  8. Oh, duh. Harlequin. Did I mention I can't afford to wish away anymore years? *g*

  9. Hi Annie --

    I was a little surprised at November myself. I'm hoping it means I have lots of time to work on the editorial changes.

    I imagine there will be a few. *g*

  10. Anonymous10:55 AM

    Congratulations !!!

    Your books stood out so far from the 'pack' that I was really surprised that you didn't get more press.

    Hope you keep going with the high quality.

  11. Hi Anon --

    Thank you so very much.

    I like to think some folks enjoy my books. I work very hard to make them as good as I can.
    But I don't expect huge sales or much notice in the Romance Community as a whole.

    There are a LOTTA great books on the shelves.

  12. I just got a Kindle for Christmas and one of the first things I did was look up which of your books are available in the UK Kindle Store - I just discovered the Spymaster's Lady and I'm hungry for more! Is there any likelihood that you will be publishing more on the UK Kindle Store in the near future?

  13. Hi C G --

    I think all three books (Spymaster's Lady, Lord and Spymaster, and Forbidden Rose,) are available on Kindle. I think they're all available for download in the UK. (It's not always easy to know how the international rights are laid out.)

    The next book is slated to come out November 2011. So far as I know it will be on kindle at or soon after the publication date. Berkley seems to be pretty good about this.

  14. Unfortunately only Spymaster's Lady seems accessible through the UK Kindle Store (doesn't seem possible to download from the US Kindle Store in the UK). No matter, I will go for the print version! Means I can read it in the bath :) - thanks anyway!

  15. Hi Charity Girl --

    I am so sorry these are not all three available as kindlebooks in the UK.

    And somebody said the audiobook is not available anywhere.

    Well, rats!