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limecello.jpgNo, that’s not a typo. I’m unique. And the rogue duckie – so instead of making my own “Best of 2008” list… I’m going for the new year. These are the 10 books I’m most looking forward to in 2009. (You’ll notice some books don’t even have cover art yet.) 

N.B. I’d like to issue the caveat that… this is only based on books/lists that I could find. I’d also like to note that… just because I’m excited about it, doesn’t mean its a guarantee I’ll like it. (Color me picky.) 😛

I also haven’t been reading romances that long, and it seems my tastes/author choices differ from a number of people. But that’s ok, because this is my list and I’m sticking to it.

In no particular order…

book cover 1. What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Contemporary romance, Wm.Morrow, 27 Jan 09).  Case in point – I’m not 100% sure how I feel about Ms. Phillips’s last few novels. But I bought them – in hardcover. The premise for What I Did For Love sounds interesting, but hasn’t gripped me. (Then again – I wouldn’t have thought I’d *love* Nobody’s Baby But Mine, based on the plot summary.) So we shall see. But still. It’s Susan Elizabeth Phillips – and she’s one of my favorite authors.
book cover 2. Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (Contemporary romance, St. Martin’s, 31 Mar 09). She’s one of my favorite authors – and… don’t kill me, but Seduce Me at Sunrise and Blue-Eyed Devil were good reads, but not AMAZING. I’m already more excited about Smooth Talking Stranger based on the blurbs. Ms. Kleypas is also one of the few authors that can make me enjoy first person point of view. (Cuz FPPV and I? We are not friends.) But the Travis’s! And… even though it’s a secret baby book, which makes me chuckle, I WANTS it.
book cover 3. Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole (Contemporary paranormal romance, Pocket, nodate Jan 09). I discovered Ms. Cole relatively early in 2008, not too long before I started reviewing, and I think she has the one series I’ve reviewed in total (thus far). And, the hero, Rydstrom, has horns. Horns! I never thought I’d be into horns, but… Ms. Cole has won me over. I love her kick ass heroines who *actually* kick butt -and they’re super hot to boot. And the heroes. Yum. This is a great paranormal world. Fun, scary, violent, full of lore- but one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. My kind of books.
book cover 4. Naked Edge by Pamela Clare (Contemporary romantic suspense, Berkley, 3 Nov 09). I heard about Ms. Clare, and first read Extreme Exposure, which is probably one of my favorite books. Extreme Exposure is extremely well written, great plot, and the hero is one of my favorite types. A good politician. More rare than… well something you’d think is outrageous but I’m sure is in a number of paranormals. Thus, Extreme Exposure (and the subsequent books by Ms. Clare I’ve read, have prompted me to put Naked Edge on my list). I have been waiting for this new I-Team book – and… I don’t know. The heroine Kat is Native American. I think that’s pretty nifty. (Major understatement.)
book cover 5. Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh (Paranormal romance, Berkley, 7 Jul 09). I discovered Ms. Singh early on in ’08, and read all her Psy/Changeling books – in proper Psy/Changeling chronological order, even – serendipitously. Ms. Singh’s book world is intense, and amazing. It’s so well developed you believe it’s real. Scary. (But oh so cool!) Thus, this book edged out Angels’ Blood. (That and the blurb talks about lots of violence and I’m kinda squeamish about teh violences.) AND more importantly, when I read the excerpt for this book my reaction was pretty much “SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE!”
6. True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson (Contemporary romance, Avon, 28 Apr 09). Yes, another one of my favorite authors. And a book back to/dealing with Hockey. I read See Jane Score  – and I was hooked. I was even willing to get into hockey. (SEP‘s Chicago Stars, along with college, were what got me into football. And if you click around in my posts, you’ll see I can be a football nut. Especially College.) Although… I will say I DO NOT like all the Flash stuff on Ms. Gibson’s web page. Yay for her designer and all – but it takes forever and I can’t get to the information I want. Does not like! The book, however… *happy sigh*
book cover 7. Deeper by Megan Hart (Contemporary erotic romance, Spice, nodate Jul 09). I love the title. I love the cover. I really like Megan Hart’s writing. There’s something about it. Like crack. It also often depresses the hell out of me – which I hate – but I love her books. They’re so raw, yet well written. And this book blurb. *shivers* I’m going to smack myself if the ending isn’t relatively happy. (I know not to expect bubblegum yay.)
8. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn (Historical romance, Avon, 30 Jun 09). Yet another author that goes on my “best of” lists – and… while others didn’t like it as much, I adored The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, and I hope to like the sequel just as much. (Especially if, you know, it is its own book.) So joy for another book more like The Secret Diaries!
book cover 9. Written On Your Skin by Meredith Duran (Historical romance, Pocket, 28 Jul 09). This one looks more interesting than Bound by Your Touch – although I’m a little skeptical about some of the settings. Though I expect if anyone can win me over to parts written in Hong Kong, it is Ms. Duran. I hope not to be disappointed. This book also makes the list because had I done an ’08 list, Ms. Duran would have made it with her debut novel Duke of Shadows.
book cover 10. Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy (Contemporary romance, Berkley Trade, 5 May 09). First, it’s Ms. McCarthy. Second, it’s Ms. McCarthy writing a contemporary novel. Third, the heroine’s name is Imogen. I really like a number of Imogen Heap’s songs – so I have a major positive association with her. And – Ms. McCarthy may even win me over to NASCAR. At least in fiction. I read the excerpt, and I am in love. I love it. I want this book. I don’t even want to see when this book comes out (May 09) – because I don’t want to wait.

Honorable Mentions/if I squint just right are included/still within the number 10…

10a. Tasting Fear by Shannon McKenna (Contemporary erotic romance, Brava, 28 Jul 09). Okay, so I have to admit, I know nothing about this book. I think it’s Kevin McCloud’s book – and how exciting will it be for a McCloud book to actually star a McCloud? (See? I can good naturedly mock my favorite authors/self.) I also know that Ms. McKenna is one of my favorite authors, and she is one of the few authors I will venture into adventure/suspense for. (And once I buy Ultimate Weapon, Ms. McKenna might have the sole and honorable distinction of being the only author whose entire back list is in my possession and my property…)
book cover 10b. Relentless by Lauren Dane (Sci-fi romance, Berkley Trade, 5 ay 09). I don’t read scifi/fantasy or futuristic novels. I haven’t read scifi/fantasy since middle school. I’ve never particularly enjoyed futuristic novels. BUT! But! I read Undercover, and I loved it. I can see why Undercover took Ms. Dane to the bestseller’s list – and if you haven’t read it – you should. I enjoyed Undercover so much I had to pace myself, and used it as a way to treat myself. And Ms. Dane’s writing (in my humble opinion) only gets better.
book cover 10c. This Duchess of Mine (Historical romance, Avon, 26 May 09) and…10d. A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James (Historical romance, Avon, 30 Jun 09). I, being the lowly peon I am, do not know what these books are about (other than This Duchess of Mine is Jemma’s book). I have been waiting for Villier’s book, so hopefully he’s healed at some point in the near future. And you know, I love Ms. James’s books. I read Duchess in Love and fell in love. There’s been no turning back since.

11. The book I don’t know about by the new author (whoknows, someone, date TBD). I know a lot of people will say that’s a cop out, so that’s why I listed 10 books, then have this one. I mean, I’m sure there are books I don’t know about – and/or what about that one newbie author that writes an amazing book?

The End. Seriously.

Out of all the books coming out in 09 (that I know about – and I found some lists of hundred of books.) These – *these* I want. I will do much to get my hands on these books. What did Scarlet O’Hara say? “Lie, cheat, kill or steal” right? Well… take out the third… and you’ve pretty much got me 😉