Thursday, December 29, 2011

My absolute favorites of 2011...Giveaway!

This is going to be a huge post, but stick around because it will also include a
GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the post!

2011 was a HUGE reading year for me.
I read 425+ books...most of them reviewed on here.
There were a LOT of VERY GOOD books.
Higher than A+ rating: 6 books
A+ rating: 53 books
A rating: 107 books
That's a total of 166 books that rated A or higher!?!

To say that it was a good reading year is putting it mildly. As I write my reviews, I tag the posts that I think may make my end of the Best of the Best list. There were 59 books on that list. To make the final cut here though, there were several things these books had to do... Mainly, they have to linger. I read a a result, I don't remember details. All of these books below... I remember them vividly...even the ones that I read in January.

These are in order of how much I love them!

1. Turn It Up by Inez Kelley
Contemporary Romance
To me, this was just the perfect book. A contemporary romance, it was fun and funny, it was incredibly sexy, but it also had an amazingly emotional twist in the story line that touched me deeply. My favorite trope is friends to lovers and this book did that story line AMAZINGLY well. My number 1 read for the year. I loved it!!! Read 2-3 times.

2. Shades of Gray by Brooke McKinley
Romantic Suspense
With all my reading this year, I expanded my reading genres. Before this year, I had never read any M/m romances, but I am hooked now. This book was so good, but so much of what made it so incredibly good was the impossible romance between the FBI agent and the lifelong criminal who works for the mob. There was so much depth in this book... not only the romance, but the things in life that hit those gray areas between right and wrong. The book is AMAZING. It's gorgeous. It's emotional. It just has an incredible romance and I fell in love with the book. Read 2 times.

3. Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Contemporary Romance
Oh, what to say about this book besides the fact that I LOVE IT! Two people who meet in a darkened elevator and make a soul-deep connection without ever having that initial visual impression. It was beautifully and hauntingly written. The book is fun to read and features an emotionally scarred all know that I love those right? Hehe. LOVED this book. If you get nothing else from this list, go buy this e-book. You won't regret it. Read 2 times.

4. Wild Card by Lora Leigh
Romantic Suspense
The book that so many love to hate. LOL! Personally I ADORED this book, but be forewarned...a lot of people find the story line in this one to be just too much. But I love that about this book. This was a book that I was bawling by page 10...yes, it is one of those, but I love it because it is so emotional. To me, this is a gorgeous book and I will reread it over and over again. I am okay with suspending believability for this highly entertaining read. Read 4 times.

5. Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
Erotic Contemporary Romance
This is the book that helped me learn to love music again...real rock music. I love the Sinners and this is the first book in that series. This is an erotic romance and I just loved everything about this story line. I like the relationships within the band. I like the unlikely romance between the H/h. I liked the peek into band life. I like the smexy sex! It's just a fun book to read. Read 3 times.

6. Destiny Calls by Samantha Wayland
Erotic Contemporary Romance
This is another book that falls into the category of new genres that I read this year. This book features a triad relationship F/M/M, but the beginnings of this relationship is a strong friendship between the three. Yes, it is another friends to lovers trope. Samantha Wayland is a brilliant writer. Everything about this book is written so well and so deeply and my goodness...this is one smexy book! Read 1 time.

7. Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
Romantic Suspense

This was one of those series that I devoured this year, but this book stood out....way out... above the others in this series. The reason for that...the hero, Marc! Wow! Pamela Clare wrote a brilliant hero with this one. Definitely an alpha, but one with such an incredible vulnerable side. Just thinking about this book makes me feel mushy. I think that it's time for a re-read! Read 1 time.

8. Supernaturally Kissed by Stacey Kennedy
Paranormal Romance

I read this book earlier in the year when Stacey had self-published it (as Stolen Dreams) and fell in love with the story. Ellora's Cave picked the book up and Stacey revised it and I love it even more now especially with the new epilogue added to the book. There is a special magic to this book that features a ghost as the hero. This is just the first book and I cannot wait to see where this series goes from here. Read 3 times.

9. Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey
Contemporary Romance
This is the book that I love to gift, mainly because this is the way that my family loves to camp. I loved the romance and the fun family dynamic. This is just a fun read that I recommend for EVERYONE! The good news is that as of last week, this book is also available in print edition! Read 5 times.

10. Something about You by Julie James
Contemporary Romance
One of my new favoritest authors. Everything Julie writes is amazing in the Contemporary romance genre, but this book tops them all for me. I love this H/h combination and the chemistry of this book. I laughed out loud all the way through the book...and shed a few tears too. Just an incredible read! Read 2 times.

11. Blood Law by Karin Tabke
Paranormal Romance

12. Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
Urban Fantasy

13. Under Fire by Jo Davis
Romantic Suspense

14. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis
Contemporary Romance

15. How to Worship a Goddess by Stephanie Julian
Paranormal Romance

16. Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann
Contemporary Romance with slight paranormal twist

17. Space in His Heart by Roxanne St. Claire
Romantic Suspense

18. Hot Zone by Catherine Mann
Romantic Suspense

19. Storm's Heart by Thea Harrison
Paranormal Romance

20. Sweet Reward by Christy Reece
Romantic Suspense

Now for the Giveaway!

This week is my One-Year blog anniversary, 
so I am giving away 5 of these books 
(your choice!)

*Simply leave a comment here*
***AND be a follower of my blog. ***

I will choose a random winner on January 7th.
This giveaway is open to EVERYONE, anywhere!


Kim said...

OH how I love books! And now that I don't work at the library anymore, I feel like I'm out of the literary loop!! But you help keep me up to date! Thanks so much!!!

BookaholicCat said...

425+ books? OMG!! How many hours do you sleep, 2, 3? WOW
I have read some of your favorites and I can say I also loved them but there are many from that list I haven't read, yet. I'm adding them to my TBR.
Happy New year and thank you for the giveaway :)

Dani said...

I thought I was doing good with reading324 books this year (I am currently reading #325 Lawe's Justice by Lora Leigh).

I have only read about two of the books you have here so i will be adding the others to my to read pile. Thanks so much for all the reviews!

Foxygirl said...

Great some great books on the list....haven't read any of the books on your list but a few of them are on my goodreads to-read list... shannon S. calitigerlilly@yahoo.COM

Unknown said...

WOW! Thanks so much for the AWESOME giveaway opportunity!!
That is an incredible amount of books to read in a year! I can't even come close *bows down to you*. I see a lot of authors and books I've never heard of, which is why I LOVE finding following bloggers! Thank you, Laura Kaye, for telling me about this blog!
GFC follower robertsongena

Gena Robertson

Julie said...

Yes, I will start with this too: 425+ books in ONE year! Holy f*ck girl! (and yes, I believe a curse is in order here...)
Okay, let's see... Turn it Up - AMAZING! Backstage Pass made my list last year. It's an incredible book. Destiny Calls, I'll have to check that one out. Exclusively Yours and Supernaturally Kissed, well, we just talked about those this morning. lol Julie James is made of awesome. And Succubus Blues almost made my list. Oh, and you put Blood Law on your list even though it's an UF title and has a cliffhanger?! I think I have to read that one now. lol
No need to enter me in your giveaway. I don't think my tbr list could handle it. lol Happy Blogoversary Christi! Awesome list! XOXO

alainala said...

those are some awesome choices of books!! and WOW 425+!! i thought 300+ was impressive for me.. lol..

GFC - alainala
alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

Amy said...

So loved seeing a list of your "Faves" of the year Christi! Thanks for sharing because there are several I need to get to! :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like I have more books I have to read. Great giveaway! And I love the blog. Definitely a follower.


Felicia Sparks said...

Can I blame you for my rather large TBR list? LOL :)

Island Reader said...

Happy Blogoversary, Christi! A lot of your favorites are on my wishlist (that I discovered here). Thanks for the chance to win a few of them!


bluesun1218 said...

I'm a new follower thanks to Laura Kaye's facebook post, excited to be here! So many books on that list I haven't read, thanks for the opportunity to win :)
GFC~ Brandy Swain

MichelleK Canada said...

Excellent choices and some of those are on my TBR list.
Congrats on your Blogoversary!

MichelleKCanada @anotherlookbook
another_look_book_reviews at hotmail dot ca

MsChris1161 said...

Love reading your blog!

Jackie P said...

I can say I am with you on the rereading of some of those books. Sometimes you just can't help yourself!

Linda said...

425 books!?! That's so amazing. That's like 8 books a week. Talk about speed reader! I'm lucky if I manage a book in 2-3 days.

Happy blogoversary!

CYP @ A Bookalicious Story said...

Those are great picks! Thanks for this amazing giveaway!

GFC: CYP @ A Bookalicious Story (And I just so happen to be follower number 111! hehe)


Wilma said...

I LOVE this blog and the reviews. This giveaway is great, the paranormal and contemporaries are my favorites. Your reading speed is remarkable.

Aurian said...

Unbelievable, over 425 books in one year? Read and reviewed as well! Wow. And I have read only Storm's Heart from the ones you list here. So yes please, I want to win those awesome books if they have made your list.

auriansbooks at gmail dot com

Natalie said...

Have been following for some time now and when i am looking for a new book your blog is the first place I head to see if you reviewed and rated it well. Thanks for the chance to win some of your faves!!!

Kathy said...

Christi, how do you find the time? With a little one, a teenage drive, your writing, blog, stamping and a husband, I don't know how you do it. My kids are grown (though 2 are still home) I can't even come close to that. I have set a big goal of 100 books this year. With my new kindle fire, I have been reading alot but you have me topped. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! You really have good tastes . Love all the books you pick! Thank you for this wonderful blog! So happy to see a lot of my face authors also yours! Happy new year! Aretha zhen ,

Natalija said...

What a great list of book you have! Shame on me, but I haven't read any of them, although "Wild Card" by Lora Leigh is on the top of my wishlist. Wishing you a wonderful year of reading & blogging!

Thank you for making this giveaway international.

natalija (dot) shkomare (at) gmail (dot) com