This is it ? the last of my lists of favorite books from 2011. This time around, it's those romance novels that I loved but, for whatever reason, didn't previously write about. And, yes, there is a bit of cheating going on with this list, because there were a few authors who published multiple titles in 2011, and I wasn't able to pick just one.
I'll start with Jill Shalvis, mostly because I've never made any secret of how much I enjoy her books. She had quite a year this year, with the first two books in her Animal Magnetism series (Animal Magnetism and Animal Attraction) published by Berkley, and the second two books in her Lucky Harbor series (The Sweetest Thing and Head Over Heels) from Grand Central. Plus, there were a couple of shorter pieces and a bind-up of the first two Lucky Harbor novels. I'm really enjoying the Animal Magnetism books. Wecause what's not to love about hot guys with cuddly animals? But if this were a contest, the edge would go to the Lucky Harbor novels because Head Over Heels was everything I love about Shalvis ? sweet and smart and funny and touching and just kinda melty.
At the tail end of 2010, Grace Burrowes's released The Heir, her debut novel. In 2011, she released three absolutely outstanding novels about the same family: The Soldier, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish, and The Virtuoso. And there are still several more sisters whose stories need to be told, which makes me extraordinarily happy. In a series, it's inevitable that at least one of the books will be less of a favorite than the others, but Grace Burrowes hasn't written that book yet. I honestly cannot recommend these books highly enough to anyone who enjoys historical romance. Go. Now. Read them all.
Elizabeth Hoyt published two new installments in her Maiden Lane series this year: Notorious Pleasures and Scandalous Desires. (Wicked Intentions from August, 2010, was the first.) Both were excellent, but Scandalous Desires showed up at just the right time. I was craving a pirate novel (don't judge), and here one was. But it was about a Thames River pirate, which made it unique. And, oh, the love story was just... wow. I'd recommend the entire series, but Scandalous Desires is a must-read.
And, um... uh... well. Hmmm. I know I read a lot of romance last year, and I know I enjoyed quite a bit of it. But, sadly, the ones that are popping into my head as favorites weren't published in 2011. (Some are still forthcoming, so I expect you may read about them here at a later date.) Or, I've already waxed rhapsodical about them (Silk is for Seduction, Follow My Lead, etc.) in previous posts. And, hey, if I suddenly recall one I missed, I can blather on about it next time.