Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Best of 2009, (So Far...)

Can you believe that half of 2009 has already passed? I always like to post summaries of my reading habits and what better time than at the halfway mark. At the beginning of the year I set new reading goals. This year I wanted to be able to read a minimum of 12 books a month and was hoping for 150 total for the year.

Am I on target, so far?

Drumroll please....

YES!! I have read 82 books, which is 7 more than the goal I set forth. Of those 82 books, 25 of them have been published this year. I was hoping to have read a larger percentage of books written this year - about half actually.

Here is a listing of those 25 books in the order of best to worst:

1. Men of the Otherworld, Armstrong (Urban Fantasy) A
2. Hard and Fast, McCarthy (Contemporary) A
3. Bone Crossed, Briggs (Urban Fantasy) A
4. Dark of Night, Brockmann (Romantic Suspense) A
5. To Beguile a Beast, Hoyt (Historical) B+
6. Kiss of a Demon King, Cole (Paranormal) B+
7. Scandal, Jewel (Historical) B+
8. Sunset Bay, Mallory (Contemporary) B+
9. Dark Victory, Joyce (Time-Travel) B+
10. Smooth Talking Stranger, Kleypas (Contemporary) B
11. The Sins of Lord Easterbrook, Hunter (Historical) B
12. Dayhunter, Drake (Urban Fantasy) B
13. Deeper, Hart (Erotic) B-
14. An Offer You Can't Refuse, Mansell (Contemporary) B
15. Stranger, Hart (Erotic) B-
16. True Love and Other Disasters, Gibson (Contemporary) B-
17. Lone Star Surrender, Jones (Contemporary) B-
18. Wicked Game, Jackson and Bush (Romantic Suspense) C+
19. Under Her Skin, Mallery (Contemporary) B-
20. Lover Revenged, Ward (Paranormal) C+
21. Dawnkeepers, Andersen (Paranormal) C+
22. Danger in a Red Dress, Dodd (Romantic Suspense) C-
23. Cry for Passion, Schone (Historical/Erotic) C
24. Red Kiss, Knight (Paranormal) D
25. Witch Heart, Bast (Paranormal) DNF

Top Five Reads for 2009.

1. Men of the Otherworld completely blew me away. I am not a fan of anthologies at all, but this one did not read like a typical one because the stories flowed smoothly from one to the next. Since the stories were about Clay and Jeremy it was even better. Finally, fans of the series get the background on how Jeremy came to adopt Clay into his family. You can learn more about this series here.

2. Hard and Fast is a perfect example of why I love contemporary romance. I read this book in a day and was laughing out loud while reading it. Imogen and Ty just cracked me up. I am a sucker for opposites attract and witty dialogue and this book had it in spades. It was sexy and sweet all at the same time and I loved every minute of it.

3. Bone Crossed is another excellent addition to the Mercy Thompson series, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Mercy along with her diverse crew of supernatural friends are still learning the ropes now that they have been "outed" to the human world. Mercy continues to engage readers with her friendly, down-to-earth manner. Readers can't help but fall in love with her. Get more information about this series here.

4. Dark of Night while not Brockmann's best work, still pulls out all the stops with the 14th book in the Troubleshooter Series. Many fans were sceptical of whether or not Brockmann would be able to pull off a satisfactory ending to the triangle between Sophia, Dave and Decker. My only answer to that is readers just need to trust Suz! She delivers - no doubt about it. Everything a reader could ask for in a romance is in this book. Brockmann will make you laugh, she will make you cry and she will make you feel every emotion in between. More information on this series can be found here.

5. To Beguile a Beast is a clever adaptation of the popular theme of Beauty and the Beast. The story itself is mostly character driven. While not providing a lot of action, Helen and Alistair's romantic journey is more than enough to hold a reader's interest. Hoyt pens a sharp, witty tale that is sure to capture the hearts of many. More information on this series can be found here.

How about you - agree, disagree? What are your top reads for 2009?


Mandi said...

Fun List!!!

I would agree with Bone Crossed and Scandal! Most I haven't read though..will have to increase my wish list now:)

I wasn't super impressed with Kiss of a Demon King..still love that series though.

Jill D. said...

Mandi - I liked Kiss of a Demon King, but the heroine kept it from getting a higher grade from me.

As other people post their top reads, I'll be taking notes to see what I have missed out on!

Leontine said...

I see this list pop up everywhere and love to lurk what others have among their favorites. If I have time, I'll make mine too!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I really need to start reading Briggs!

Hard and Fast is one sexy book.

VampFanGirl said...

I know, I can't believe that half the year is gone already. Sheesh, it'll be Christmas before you know it.

Great list. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read any books in your top five, although I own two of them.

;) VFG

Priyanka said...

I need your help. I'm doing a thesis for my Master's program and the topic is the last 50 years of romantic novels. I've to do a content analysis of Mills and Boon, Silhouette and Avon publications. Is there any way you could help me with this? Any information you can give me on this will be really appreciated.
If you can, then please do email me at:

I shall be able to give you further parameters for my analysis then.
Thanks a ton,

SarahT said...

Great list, Jill!

I have 'Dark of Night' on my TBR shelf but I need to catch up with the series before reading it. I also have 'To Beguile a Beast', which I really must read soon. While I didn't love 'Hard & Fast' as much as you did, it was a fun read and I'm so looking forward to Suzanne and Ryder's story.

@Katiebabs I'm a recent convert to the wonders of Patricia Briggs. I'm currently reading 'Blood Bound', the second in the Mercy Thompson series. It's even better than the first one, which is saying something. If Patricia Briggs can convince me to like books featuring werewolves, she's got to be good.

Laurie said...

I am new to your blog (thank google!) and I just discovered Karen Marie Moning...hence I found you! I would like to tell you that I love your blog. It's witty and well-written, not cheesy or preachy, yet it is still opinionated. thanks! I appreciate the info on all of your new discoveries and some oldies but goodies (Outlander). Hope you don't mind, but I'll be on your blog often!

Jill D. said...

Katie - you haven't started Briggs?!! Oh yes, you need to get on that. I just started One Foot in the Grave, based on your recommendation and thank you very much, I am loving it!

VFG - I am guessing that the two books you have are the Armstrong and the Briggs. Have you read any from those series? They are really good (IMHO).

Sarah T. - I did notice that you had Dark of Night on your wish list for this months releases. I usually get hardbacks from my library. Sometimes there is a wait, but not to many people from my town read! Better for me, I guess.

LOL, not many people loved Hard and Fast as much as I did, but like I said, it hit all the right buttons for me.

Laurie - I love to see a new face! Thank you for stopping by and I would absolutely love it if you came back to visit. Thank you so much for you kind words. I am very flattered!

Moning is easily one of my most favorite authors and I think what she has done with the Fever series is nothing short of genius. I am on pins and needles waiting for the release of Dreamfever.

Lori said...

OK, I loved Hard and Fast. Most of it wasn't as LOL funny as her usual, but I did LOL within the first couple chapters. And Ty is very yummy indeed.

Agree wholeheartedly w/the Brockmann. Although I haven't been a huge fan of Sophia since the first book she was in, I loved the outcome for Tracy & Deck. And I really liked Dave. A lot.

Loved To Beguile a Beast. And absolutely Cannot Wait for November, when To Desire a Devil comes out.

It took me a long time to get into Scandal, but once I did, I loved it.

Jill D. said...

Lori - I can see where Scandal could take a while to get into the story. It is much more internal than external as far as conflict goes. Plus, the way the story unfolded in bits and pieces only added to that.

To Beguile a Beast is the only book in that series I have read so far and I have To Taste Temptation sitting in my TBR pile. I plan to read it within the next week or two. I am really enjoying Hoyt's writing.

nath said...

Ohhh, very nice list :D You,re so patient to list it all up!!!

I like your Top 5... I'm going to see at the end of the year how many books I loved LOL :) Men of the Otherworld might not make it, just because Savage and Ascension, I've read in the past when it was online.

Bone Crossed was great, so I see why it makes your list.

Still need to read Scandal, argh.

I just did a quick count and I'm at 103 books so far this year :P

Jill D. said...

Nath - 103 books!!! That is absolutely amazing. Good for you. Man I was just blown away by Armstrong. The last 3 books by her have been incredible. I feel her writing is better now than at the beginning of the series.

Scandal is pretty good. If you have time, give it a try.

Tracy said...

Wonderful list Jill. You've read some great books so far!