PONDERING: SANDY M’s BEST OF 2012

Monday, January 21, 2013 13:00
Posted in category Ponderings, The Pond

sandym-iconThe last couple of years when I’ve chosen my top books of the year, I’ve had a difficult time naming my number one book. Well, this year it’s been much easier. Where I have difficulty is choosing one book over another in the same series by an author. So I made up my own rules!

The first seven spots on my list are actually series, not individual books. I enjoyed the stories, the characters, the emotions, the romance, the sex, the action – everything about them. I do have a few individual books on the list, of course. Too bad those authors didn’t have a series of books that I read!

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No. 14 – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

What a lovely but heartbreaking story. Jojo Moyes is now an autobuy for me, no question. As much as you can’t help but love her characters and the story and  issues and circumstances she gives them, it’s the emotion behind it all that makes her books so very special. Your heart is engaged from the first page and not once does that poor organ get a break. See my review here.

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No. 13 – The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

If there’s one Moyes on the list, there has to be two. This is actually my first book by Ms. Moyes, and I have a feeling it’s going to be hard to be beat in my heart and mind when I read any future books of hers. This story gives you twists and turns along the way, the identities kept  secret, and other intriguing elements to add to the beautiful but tragic romance in this book. Don’t miss this one! Check out my review.

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No. 12 – Somebody Like You by Candis Terry

This is an absolutely fun series. The first two books were released in 2011, and the surprises, including Tom Jones, continued last year with the third story in the trilogy. The Silverthorne children made tracks out of Deer Lick, Montana years earlier, but with the death of their mother, they’ve returned home – in more ways than one. Kelly hooks up – again – with Deputy James Harley in this story, and I can still see those chocolate hand prints on the wall of the Sugar Shack. Oh my! My Somebody Like You review is here.Book Cover

No. 11 - On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

This book was a huge surprise. From the plan crash in the beginning to the harrowing but adventurous time on a deserted island to the growing love this unlikely couple share to the aftermath of everything they’ve experienced, this book never stops throwing eye-popping surprises and tender moments at you. I’m very curious at what Ms. Garvis-Graves has coming next. My review is here.

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No. 10 – Defiant by Pamela Clare

Finally having this book in hand this past year was just wonderful. There was a time when fans of the MacKinnon Rangers didn’t know whether or not we’d get Morgan’s or Connor’s stories. Thank heavens Ms. Clare didn’t give up and a new publisher was willing to finally give readers closure on these brothers’ plight in finding love. Defiant, for me, was the most emotional of the trilogy. This book also leaves us with questions, so could we get so lucky there’s another book coming in the near future? Take a peek at my review.

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No. 9 – The Witness by Nora Roberts

I had the best time with this book. The hero and heroine are such opposites, from completely different worlds with completely different experiences. And they make the perfect couple. Laid back & street smart versus uptight and techie smart, and the fireworks never stop. I was almost afraid to read another Roberts book after this one, but who am I kidding? I’ll love every darned one she writes and that I read. My The Witness review is here.

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No. 8 – Under the Same Sky and Sound of the Heart by Genevieve Graham

If you’ve not read these books by Genevieve Graham, you’ve been missing some wonderful stories. Two brothers’ fate after surviving Culloden. Each thinking the other died on that bloody battlefield. Each finding love, only to have it torn from them and then having to fight to keep their hearts and souls in their lives forever. Very moving stories that you shouldn’t miss. My UtSS review is here and my SofH review is here.

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No. 7 – Colorado Dawn and Bride of the High Country by Kaki Warner

Kaki Warner has solidly been on my autobuy list since I read her Blood Rose series in 2011. Then last year she gave readers her Runaway Brides series, and she’s definitely cemented a place on my keeper shelf for all of her books, past and future. My favorite in 2012 was, and still is, Colorado Dawn. Ashby and Tricks livened up the western frontier, but Ash himself made Maddie’s heart, and mine, beat a little faster. Beautifully written and so very heart warming. Check out my CD review here and my BotHC here.

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No. 6 – Angel’s End and Colorado Heart by Cindy Holby

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If you’re an historical western fan – and even if you aren’t – Cindy Holby’s Angel’s End series is turning out to be one of the best. In a small town at the foot of the mountain pass where settlers would go farther west stands the statue of an angel, as though its owners couldn’t take her another step in their journey. There is a cast of characters who will warm your heart, along with stories that show us exactly what our forebears go had to through. Ms. Holby has a deft hand when it comes to all things on the American frontier. Be sure to see my Angel’s End review here and Colorado Heart review here.

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No. 5 – The Last Boyfriend and The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

I have thoroughly enjoyed these Montgomery brothers. Doesn’t surprise me, since Nora Roberts has always been a favorite when I want to read brothers. My first books by her were the Quinn brothers, so it’s only fitting I still have the best time with her families. She’s also one of the best when adding those paranormal twists. I’m sorry to read the last of the Montgomerys, but hopefully Nora has more fun and sexy siblings on the way. My TLB review is here and my TPH review here.

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No. 4 – Whispers in the Dark and Echoes at Dawn by Maya Banks

More brothers! These Kelly boys have put me through the wringer since the first book in the series back in 2010. Maya is another author who writes family so well while adding all that romantic suspense, keeping the action pounding and the loving fierce and sensual. I really loved when she added a touch of the paranormal too. Each book is better and better, and I already know that the latest in the series will be on my Top 2013 list, it’s that good. Check out my WitD review here and my EaD reviewhere.

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No. 3 – Kissin’ Tell and Gone Country by Lorelei James

Yeah, I know, y’all are probably tired of me saying how sexy Lorelei James’ cowboys are. But, dang, I can’t help myself! And the fact there’s a coupla sets of brothers? Well, hell, I never had a chance. These Rough Riders just get my heart agallopin’ and I don’t come up for air until the last word is read. My KT review can be viewed here and my GC review here.

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I also have to include One Night Rodeo in this spot.

The Blacktop Cowboys are just as hot and sexy as the Rough Rider boys. And I love that Lorelei’s cowboys walk the walk and talk the talk. She knows what she’s doing when putting those cowboys on the page. Add in the humor that she has a knack for, along with all that smokin’ hot, playful, and dominant sex, how can anyone resist picking these books up again and again and again? I sure as heck can’t! Read my One Night Rodeo review here.

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No. 2 – Ash, KY Trilogy by Shiloh Walker

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I was so glad this trilogy came out within months of each other. I was so on edge after finishing each one that I needed to know what happened next right then. I love Shiloh Walker’s work anyway, but these books are her very best, in my opinion. I liked being in the dark as to the villain over the arc of the storyline. I loved the characters, and getting to know each of them in their book was a treat. Read this trilogy if you haven’t! My review of IYHR is here; IYSH is here; and IYKH is here.

And my top read(s) of 2012? A hero and heroine who stole our hearts with a love that can’at be denied. They need each other so desperately, and now we’re waiting to see how it’s going to work out for them after everything they’ve been through from the beginning.

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No. 1 – Bared to You and Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

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I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you. Gideon and Eva are more than likely at the top on a lot of lists. Sylvia Day has taken her writing to another level with this trilogy. I can’t wait to get my hands on the last book. I love everything about these characters, their issues, their families, everything. It’s characters like these that you won’t forget for a very long time. I can’t imagine anyone not having read this trilogy so far. If you’re one, don’t delay any longer. Everyone in Romanceland needs to experience Gideon and Eva. Here‘s my review of Bared to You and here is Reflected in You.

So I have to say it was a terrifically diverse year for me. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. And here’s to 2013 being exactly the same!

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