Wednesday, January 25

Best of 2011 - Part II

And here it is, part II of our recap of 2011 :) In this post, we discuss books of course, but also series and authors :) Through a series of categories, we look back at what marked our reading year!! Don't be shy and share with us what and who marked yours!

Most anticipated book in 2011


Ames: Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh - I don't really need to explain why, right? LOL

Nath: Nath: The list is long, really long LOL. If I had to choose, it'd be Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (Hawke and Sienna's story!!), Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (talk about cliffhanger!!)... and Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen :)

Book that took you by surprise in 2011

Ames: Sea Change by Darlene Marshall- you can read my review here.  OMG I loved this book!  Go read my review if you haven't already.  It had a cross-dressing heroine!!

Nath: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James. She's a hit and miss author for me and to tell the truth, I'm not a fan of fairy tales and their retelling. That's why it took me so much time to pick up this book, despite all the raved reviews. Even then, I didn't expect much and certainly not to enjoy it as much as I did!

Books that met your expectations

Ames: I had super high expectations for this book and it definitely delivered – Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Nath: Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan, Ghost Story by Jim Butcher and Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews

Best new series

Ames: Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne.  This book made me like mysteries.  LOL  And at the core, there's a taboo romance between a woman of the cloth and a married chief of police.  And our heroine?  She's the definition of kick-ass!

Nath: Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. It reminds me a bit of the Stephanie Plum series :) Lots of fun!

Series that are still going strong

Ames: Even though I’m not caught up, the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Nath: Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews definitively. Everything in that series is gold :) My other choices are the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman, the Lucy Valentine books by Heather Webber and Psy-Changelings by Nalini Singh. LOL, yes, I read a lot of series... Who doesn't nowadays? :P

Series that I've given up on

Ames: Since I didn’t even make an effort to read any this past year, I’d have to say Lora Leigh’s Breeds and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters.

Nath: The Dark Hunters series was my choice last year. This year, it's Immortals after Dark by Kresley Cole. I might succumb to temptation, but for now, I really don't have any urge to pick up the new releases.

Best debut novels

Ames: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Nath: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and an honorable mention to Joanna Chambers for The Lady's Secret

Ames: I didn't get a chance to read The Lady's Secret in 2011 but I read it soon after the New Year and yeah, that was one excellent debut!

Nath: To keep in mind for next year's post, Ames :P

Best new-to-me authors

Ames: Julia Spencer-Fleming

Nath: Darynda Jones. Oh and I finally read a Carrie Lofty book. She lived up to the hype :)

Best come-back author

Ames: I don't have anyone to nominate for this category.

Nath: Jacquie D'Alessandro :) Her last few historicals were so-so to me and honestly, I didn't really have high expectations for Summer at Seaside Cove... but I was really pleasantly surprised!! Also, to a certain extent, Rick Riordan because his last releases - the 2 Kane Chronicles books and The Lost Hero - weren't up to the standard he set with Percy Jackson and the Olympians books.

Best Author of 2011

Ames: Richelle Mead.  Richelle had a million book releases this year - the final Succubus book (*sob*), the final Eugenie book and she also started another series with Bloodlines.  On top of that, she had a baby!  It was a very good year for Richelle and that makes her the best author of 2011 for me.  :P

Nath: Ilona Andrews. Ms Andrews was very prolific this year - several novellas, 1 Kate Daniels book and 1 Edge book - and while not everything was to my taste, what I enjoyed, I really enjoyed :) Like I said earlier, everything part of the Kate Daniels series was gold ;)


And that's our recap of 2011!  How did our choices compare to yours?  We're interested, so let us know.  And here's to hoping that 2012 is an even better year than 2011!

Wednesday, January 18

Best of 2011 - Part I

Finally! Nath and I are getting around to posting our top reads of 2011. This is part 1 and part 2 will be coming in a few days. So take a look at some of our favorite reads of 2011 and let us know how our reads compared to yours.  Did you read some of the books we listed? Did you enjoy them as much as we did?  Are we off our rockers and have horrible taste? LOL Let us know!



1. Defiant by Kris Kennedy
2. Sea Change by Darlene Marshall
3. Follow My Lead by Kate Noble
* Honorable mention to The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway

1. Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
2. When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
3. Scandal of the Year by Laura Lee Guhrke
*Honorable mention goes to Mary Balogh whose books I've devoured in 2011, most noticeably The Ideal Wife and More than a Mistress :)

Nath: LOL, in comparison to you Ames, my Top 3 is not very surprising. Many well-known authors in there... and all Avon releases :) For some reasons, I really like Avon historicals, even if I complain they're a bit bland at times... Going to have to try to read more from other publishers. I I have Follow My Lead in my TBR pile, going to have to get to it soon :)

Ames: I enjoy historicals too - but I was for sure tired of the same old same old Regency so I looked to other time periods.  And with Sea Change, I LOVE cross-dressing heroines.  That book worked for me on so many levels.  And even Follow My Lead, that one was very different from the ballroom setting, and like Defiant, it had a road trip feel to it.


1. A Lot Like Love by Julie James
2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
3. And One Last Thing... by Molly Harper

1. The Comforts of Home by Jodi Thomas
2. Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr
3. Playing Dirty by Susan Andersen
*Honorable mention goes to Summer at Seaside Cove by Jacquie D'Alessandro and A Lot like Love by Julie James.

Nath: And One Last Thing... made it into my Top 3 last year... under fiction LOL. But yeah, definitively a good choice there :) It was a tough choice for the third position and it was a debate between A Lot Like Love and Playing Dirty. I really enjoyed A Lot Like Love and actually graded it better... but I think given the choice, I'm more likely to pick up Playing Dirty to re-read and so that's why I went with it :)

Ames: I didn't read that much contemporary romance in 2011.  Or I did, but it was mostly M/M.  LOL  I struggled with putting Attachments under this category, but at the heart of it, it is a love story.  And a damn good one.

Category romance

1. The Admiral’s Penniless Bride by Carla Kelly
2. Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly
3. -

1. The Man She Loves to Hate by Kelly Hunter
2. Juggling Briefcase & Baby by Jessica Hart
3. Stand-In Wife by Karina Bliss/Always a Bridesmaid by Nina Harrington.

Nath: All right, this is really a case of "don't judge by the cover" for The Man She Loves to Hate... It was a great read! Hopefully, I'll be able to review it soon. As for third place,  I couldn't make up my mind between Stand-In Wife and Always a Bridesmaid. I liked Stand-In Wife because of the family relationships - the kids were really cute :) As for Always a Bridesmaid, it was the H/H characters that I enjoyed... but the romance in both was so-so.

Ames: I only had 2 entries because I didn't read a lot of great categories.  The majority fell in the B or C gradient but the two I listed above definitely stuck out for me.

Romantic Suspense/Mystery

1.  In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
2.  Don’t Look Back by Josh Lanyon
3.  Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

1. You Belong to Me by Karen Rose
2. Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
3. Absolutely, Positively by Heather Webber

Nath: Second Grave on the Left and Absolutely, Positively were really fun reads and a mix of genres, but at the core, they're both mysteries :) Good for me, because my initial Top 3 - when I didn't include mystery - was really sad ^_^;

Ames: I read four romantic suspenses in 2011 and DNF'd two of them.  All my top picks were mysteries.  Mind you, I didn't read any Karen Rose in 2011...something I need to remedy in 2012.

Nath: Tsk, tsk. Definitively something you'll have to remedy... Especially since if I'm correct, you have quite a few of hers in your TBR pile!


1. Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
2. Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
3. Change of Heart by Mary Calmes

1. Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
2. Demon Marked by Meljean Brook
3. Demon Kissed by Patti O'Shea

Nath: I was really burned out on paranormal romance in 2011. I've only read 7 and you can imagine how much they didn't work for me if Demon Kissed is in my Top 3. I love Ms O'Shea, that's no secret... but Demon Kissed is a novella for god's sake! That's just tell you how burned out I am on the genre ^_^;

Ames: I'm burnt out on paranormals as well.  I stayed away except when I was forced (Dragon Bound, and Holly forced me lol).  Kiss of Snow, Monroe made me read when I was visiting her in July.  Change of Heart was my own pick and that was from a handful of paranormal M/Ms I bought.  The majority of which I haven't read really.


1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin
2. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
3. Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
*Honorable mention to Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale

1. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
2. Blackout by Rob Thurman
3. Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan
4. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
*Actually, everything  I've read from Ms Andrews and related to the Kate Daniels series have been gold to me this year. Magic Dreams, Magic Gifts and the Curran POV volumes. All excellent! Ms Andrews definitively deserves the top position this year :)

Nath: I debated for the Patricia Briggs. River Marked was good, but in the end, it didn't make the cut... although if I added a fifth position...

Ames: I was supposed to buddy review The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms but that didn't quite work out.  Read it though people!  And I haven't read River Marked yet.  As much as I clamor for the latest release in my favorite series, I really take my time reading them.  Because I LOVE the Georgina Kincaid Succubus series by Richelle Mead but I didn't read the last book in that series yet.  I'm contrary that way.

Nath: LOL, you don't really take your time reading them Ames. They languish in your TBR pile for a long time, but once you pick them up, you zip through it! LOL

Young Adult

1. Pegasus by Robin McKinley
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
*Honorable Mention to Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally and Paradise by Jill S. Alexander

1. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
2. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
3. Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski
*Honorable Mention to Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt and Forgotten by Cat Patrick.

Nath: LOL, seems like we both enjoyed Catching Jordan :) I guess it's because it's refreshing. I'm determined to read Pegasus this year as it's in my TBR pile... and I've been eyeing Paradise for a long time. I think I'm going to wait till it's released in paperback :)

Ames: I love that Jordan is a real tomboy in Catching Jordan.  Definitely different.  I need to read Rick Riordan in 2012.

Nath: Yes, you do!!


1. The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
2. Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
3. The Countess and the King  by Susan Holloway Scott
*Honorable mention to Junction X by Erastes.

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
2. -
3. -

Nath: LOL, see I put Attachments here :) While I agree with you that there's a romance at the core of the story... the book isn't shelved in the romance section, so fiction it is with me :) Plus, I couldn't leave this category empty :) I just don't read enough fiction... Hmmm, could I put Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts?

Ames: My top fiction reads were historicals.  Not bad.  I need to read more of that as well in 2012.  I gotta shake things up a bit!  LOL  I also had Kate Quinn's sophomore effort in my tbr pile, the prequel to Mistress of Rome (which I listed as a top read in 2010) that I was really looking forward to but didn't read it.  I need to work on that weird habit of mine!


1. Out of Focus by LA Witt
2. One Real Thing by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
3. Paris A to Z by Marie Sexton
*Honorable mentions to Prove It by Chris Owen

1. Collision Course by K.A. Mitchell
2. Gobsmacked by L.B. Gregg
3. A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan

Ames: You know I really loved a book if I didn't review it.  LOL  Out of Focus I read close to the end of December and it just squeaked in under the wire.  But yeah, I really get a writing block for those books I just want to gush about.  Just take my word for it, they're listed here, I loved them, so go read them.  :P

Nath: I told you, just tell us why you liked it so much :) Characters, the plot, the hot sex? LOL. You know what? I kept complaining in 2011 that I didn't review a lot and true, my numbers are down... However, putting this post together, I'm really surprised that the books I really enjoyed this year, most of them I have reviewed :) Yay!


And there you have it, our top reads for 2011 :) What do think? Ames and I were discussing while making these lists and the consensus was that 2011 was a mediocre year ^_^; I don't mean to take anything away from any of the books listed in this post. They were definitively great reads! However, looking back at 2011 as a whole, Ames and I both read a lot of books - 200 and over. You'd think there'd be a lot more books that would have stood out... but not really. Especially for historical and contemporary romances and romantic suspense. Ah well, to a better 2012! :)

Sunday, January 1

New Releases - January 2012

Happy New Year everyone!! We're starting 2012 on the right foot, here at Breezing Through, by sharing the new releases we're looking forward to and as usual, adding to your To Buy list LOL.

We've dropped the ball a little in 2011 ^_^; However, we're determined to come back strong in 2012 :) Or at least, more consistent! The first order of business will be to recap our year in reading! So look forward to some posts in the near future!

January 2nd

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Series: N/A

Ames: This one just sounds so cute and definitely an interesting setting, an airport/airplane.

Nath: This was not on my radar, but thanks to Ames, it is now! It sounds really cute :) Sounds like road-trip book, but in an airport/plane.

January 3

It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake
published by New American Library
Darcy Merriweather has just discovered she hails from a long line of Wishcrafters-witches with the power to cast spells by making a wish. She's come to Enchanted Village to learn her trade but finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation...
Genre: Mystery
Series: A Witchcraft Mystery, Book #1

Nath: One series I've really been enjoying is the Lucy Valentine series, because they're really fluffy books. I have heard that there would be another installment, but for now, I'll have to be happy picking up Heather Webber's new series under a new pseudonym - Heather Blake :) And guess what? It has a witch in it!! LOL, you know me, I'm so in!

Twice Fallen by Emma Wildes
published by New American Library
Lady Lillian Bourne is re-entering society after her disastrous elopement four years ago, and has to be the very picture of propriety. But when she finds herself locked in a library with an enigmatic stranger during a party, she risks falling from grace a second time...

After years working as a spy, Lord Damien Northfield finds London tedious-until his encounter with the lovely but notorious Lily. When he's enlisted to investigate a scheme of blackmail and murder, he's thrilled to discover that Lily may be the key to catching a ruthless killer...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Ladies in Waiting, Book #2

Nath: I love Ms Wildes' writing and really am looking forward to this book. I thought Lillian was a really interesting character in A Whisper Away... and Damien Northfield returns!! For those who don't remember, he's the third Northfield brother in Lessons from a Scarlet Lady!

Ames: Ok, I do not remember these characters at all. I'm getting old! LOL I really enjoy Ms. Wildes' writing as well can this sounds good. Can't wait to read it.

Mad about the Earl by Christina Brooke
published by St. Martin's Press
Designed to arrange matches of rank and affluence, the powerful Ministry of Marriage has no interest in love. But when does the heart ever play by the rules?

Lady Rosamund Westruther has no objection to the match arranged for her by the Ministry—until she meets her intended. Gruff, stubborn Griffin, Earl of Tregarth, is hardly the charming nobleman the classic beauty has dreamed of for so long. While a proper lady can’t cry off, she can demand a proper courtship …

Griffin is aware of his duty to wed—and more convinced than ever that the lovely Rosamund has no place with a man like him. Built for fields and stables rather than drawing rooms, Griffin doubts he can win her in the polite manner society requires. But with every passing day, the attraction between them flares higher and hotter. Maybe there is more to love than meets the eye...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Ministry of Marriage, Book #2

Nath: I got Ms Brooke's debut novel, Heiress in Love, at RWA last summer and thought she showed a lot of potential :) Hopefully, I'll enjoy Mad about the Earl as much and Ms Brooke will become my newest addition to my auto-buy author list :)

Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie
published by Berkley
Eight years ago, Lieutenant Luke Ripton made a hasty wartime marriage to protect a young girl from a forced union. Now, unable to obtain an annulment, Luke has no choice but to collect Isabella, the fiercely independent wife he never wanted.

And while they remain bound to their vows, they never expected that the passionate fury they share could become passion of a different kind...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Devil Riders, Book #5

Nath: Lots of historical romances this month!! One that I'm sure to pick up though is Ms Gracie's newest :) I really, really enjoyed The Accidental Wedding, which made me go look for her backlist :) I think her Devil Riders series is really interesting. I'm a bit disappointed that this is not Marcus' book, but it's okay, because it's coming! :) Also, the blurb of Bride by Mistake sounds really like my type of story :)

Destiny by Carly Phillips
published by Berkley
Nash Barron may be cynical about love, yet even he likes a good wedding. But the only good thing about his brother's wedding is Kelly Moss. Nash can't help but admire her confidence and beauty, but he's forced to keep his distance because getting involved with Kelly could destroy his relationship with his newly discovered half sister, Tess...

Kelly came to Serendipity to give Tess--her half sibling as well, thanks to an illicit affair--a second chance at life. She learned long ago not to rely on anyone but herself. Besides, she doesn't want to upset Tess's life by pushing for a fling with Nash. Except the more she gets to know him, the more vulnerable she becomes to the kindness beneath his gruff exterior, and the less she's able to stay away. But she has other reasons for keeping her distance. Like the secret from her past she knows Nash will never forgive...
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Serendipity, Book #2

Nath: This is the 2nd book in the series. I have not read the first one, Serendipity... and wasn't planning to pick this either... Till I saw Holly's comment in Goodreads. Yes, I'm easy to sway LOL. Plus, it's been a while since I haven't read a really good contemporary romance... Hoping this will be it :)

Whispers in the Dark by Maya Banks
published by Berkley
She came to him when he needed her the most

She came to him at his lowest point. The voice of an angel, a whisper in the dark. She's the only thing that gets Nathan Kelly through his captivity, the endless days of torture and the fear that he'll never return to his family. With her help, he's able to escape. But he isn't truly free, because now she's disappeared and he's left with an all-consuming emptiness as he struggles to pick up the pieces of his life. Did he imagine his angel? Or is she out there, needing his help as he'd once needed hers?

Now he rushes to save her before it's too late

Shea has been on the run from people who will stop at nothing to exploit her unique abilities. She never wanted to drag Nathan, who'd already suffered so much, into danger, but she doesn't have a choice so she reaches out to him for help. Finally face-to-face after having already formed a soul-deep bond in hell, their emotional connection is even more powerful than their telepathic one. Nathan refuses to consider ever letting her go again, but she worries they can never have a life free of the dangers that dog her every step. He'll protect her with his every breath, but can he convince her that they are meant to face these threats together?
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: KGI, Book #4

Nath: Okay, so I have not read any of the book in this series yet ^_^; But! I have heard a lot of good buzz about them!! And this blurb sounds quite good... I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do, but I'll be keeping this one in mind :)

Ames: You know me, I read the first book in the series and here I am, buying up the rest of them. LOL I am interested in this one but I'll catch up on the series before I buy this one.

Monroe: I havent read this series, but its Maya Banks so Im sure I day ;)

The Given and the Taken by L.A. Witt
published by Samhain Publishing
Their bond could be the death of them all.

After pleading his case to his wolf clan’s Elders, Levi is granted the right to bond with Ian, his male human lover, on one condition: they must spend one year apart. Then Ian must use only their spiritual connection to find Levi, or the deal is off.

Tracking down his lover is easy for Ian, but Levi isn’t prepared for the changed man who finds him.

The agony of separation was too much for Ian. In a moment of weakness, he reached out—to a vampire. Now he’s a vampire himself, and Levi’s devastation—and rejection—is like a stake to his heart. But it’s nothing compared to the fury of the clan that wants Ian brought to justice for desecrating their most sacred ritual.

Afraid for Ian’s safety, Levi puts the pain aside and races to get to Ian first, but he faces unexpected competition: Darius, Ian’s maker. When they come together, all hell breaks loose, Ian is on the run…and the only way Levi and Darius can save the man they love is to work together.

If they don’t kill each other first.
Genre: M/M, Paranormal
Series: Tooth & Claw, Book #1

Ames: I love love love LA Witt's writing and I also love m/m/m. So yes, definitely looking forward to this one.

January 7

Blind Space by Marie Sexton
published by Silver Publishing
Captain Tristan Kelley enjoys the luxuries of Regency service, as well as the pleasure of his Prince's bed. It's an easy life, if not a happy one. When the Prince decides to take a trip through the perilous Blind Space, Tristan must go with him, but somebody in the Prince's guard is a traitor.

Blind and held prisoner, Tristan finds himself at the mercy of Valero, a pirate who bears no love for the Regency. Valero is determined to seduce Tristan, and Tristan fears his resolve won't last. His duty is clear, but so is his desire. As the days tick by with no word or ransom from the Regency, Tristan begins to question what loyalty means to his Prince, the Regency he's sworn to, and to the man who holds him captive.

Tristan begins to realize that being a prisoner may actually set him free.
Genre: M/M, Sci-fi
Series: N/A

Ames: I love Marie's writing and I can't wait to try this sci-fi m/m romance of hers. It sounds interesting and right up my alley.

January 10

Lothaire by Kresley Cole
published by Simon & Schuster

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.


Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.


Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past... or risk everything for a future with her?
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Immortals after Dark, Book #12

Nath: I'm behind on this series. I kind of lost interest along the way ^_^; And the writing style doesn't really suit me. So I don't think I'll be picking up this... Unless I start seeing A-grade for this book from all my blogger pals LOL. You know that swaying comment earlier? It's true LOL.

Ames: I'm way behind on this series too - although I really did enjoy Cole's writing. Another one to hold off on until I catch up on the series. But it's on my list!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
published by Dutton
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Series: N/A

Nath: I don't know where Ames finds all these interesting YA books! I mean, seriously, each new releases post, she comes up with these YA books that I had no idea were coming out! LOL. So another book that sounds quite interesting... However, I'm not sure I'll be picking this one up because it seems the ending might be sad and heart-breaking :(

Ames: Nath, those are the best books! Those are the ones that touch me and make me cry. And a good cry is needed once in a while, it makes us appreciate things more. That's what I think anyway. And also, thanks for making me sound like a book ninja. LOL

Nath: Ohhhh, Book Ninja. That'd be an awesome blog name LOL.

January 17 by KE Payne
published by Bold Strokes Books
Is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never met? Imogen Summers thinks so – because it’s happened to her.

Immy is a normal 18 year old, with a normal life, a normal family and a normal boyfriend. But when she finds herself falling for a girl on an internet message board, a girl she knows only as the mysterious Fickle, her so-called normal life is suddenly turned on its head.

As her relationship with Fickle develops into more than just friendship, Immy finds another message board friend, the sweet and lovely Joey, the perfect person to confide in. But can Joey stay out of it when she starts to fall for Immy herself? Things are about to get complicated...
Genre: YA, LGBT
Series: N/A

Ames: I am all about love in all it's different facets and this one sounds interesting.

January 24

A Lady Never Surrenders by Sabrina Jeffries
published by Simon & Schuster
When the youngest Sharpe sister hatches a plan to gain marriage offers, the straight-laced Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter knows he'll do whatever it takes to ruin her scheme...

Lady Celia Sharpe hopes that if she can garner offers of marriage from several eligible gentlemen and show her grandmother she is capable of gaining a husband, she can convince Gran to rescind the marriage ultimatum for her. And if that plan doesn’t work, at least she’ll have a husband lined up. But Bow Street Runner Jackson Pinter seems determined to ruin her plans by disapproving of every suitor she asks him to investigate. It’s only when she and Jackson work together to solve her parents’ murders, plunging them both into danger, that she realizes why—because the only man he wants her to marry is himself!
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Hellions at Halstead Hall, Book #5

Nath: Wow, we're at the end of this series already!! Ms Jeffries sure has been hard at work, releasing 5 books in 24 months!! And all of them have been consistently solid and I'm sure this one will be no exception :)

Ames: I want this even though I haven't read the first one. LOL I'll read it this month. I swear!

Daughters of the Centaurs by Kate Klimo
published by Random House
Malora knows what she was born to be: a horse wrangler and a hunter, just like her father. But when her people are massacred by batlike monsters called Leatherwings, Malora will need her horse skills just to survive. The last living human, Malora roams the wilderness at the head of a band of magnificent horses, relying only on her own wits, strength, and courage. When she is captured by a group of centaurs and taken to their city, Malora must decide whether the comforts of her new home and family are worth the parts of herself she must sacrifice to keep them.
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Series: Centauriad, Book #1

Nath: See, another interesting YA!! Where? Where, Ames? LOL.

Ames: I lurk! EVERYWHERE. haha

Yeah, I want this one because of the centaurs. I know PC Cast did a book with centaurs but I haven't seen them anywhere else.

January 30

The Mask of the Gladiator by Georgie Lee
published by Carina Press
Rome, 41 AD

Livia Duronius is driven to seek out a gladiator after watching him triumph in the Colosseum. His touch arouses a sense of hope she hasn't felt since Rome fell under the tyrannical rule of Caligula—and her late husband betrayed her. Though in danger of losing more than her heart, she vows to see him again, even after she learns her uncle has arranged her marriage to a senator.

Senator Titus Marius cannot resist indulging in a passionate encounter with the veiled woman who waits for him after the games, though he faces execution if his true identity is discovered. Bound by honor to wed another, and embroiled in a plot to free Rome from madness, he never expects to see the mystery woman again.

When the fates reunite them in the marriage bed, Titus vows to protect Livia at all costs—even from the lecherous eyes of the emperor...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: N/A

Ames: *sigh* I loooove gladiator romances.

January 31

She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath
published by Harpercollins Publisher (Avon)
Three young heirs, imprisoned by an unscrupulous uncle, escaped—to the sea, to the streets, to faraway battle—awaiting the day when they would return to reclaim their birthright.

Sebastian Easton always vowed he would avenge his stolen youth and title. Now back in London, the rightful Duke of Keswick—returning from battle a wounded, hardened, changed man—cannot forget the brave girl who once rescued him and his brothers from certain death.

Lady Mary Wynne-Jones paid dearly for helping the imprisoned young Lords of Pembrook, and she remembers well the promise she made to Sebastian all those years ago: to meet him once more in the abbey ruins where they shared a bold, forbidden kiss. While Mary is betrothed now to another, a friendship forged with dark secrets cannot be ignored. Unexpected passion soon burns dangerously between them, tempting Sebastian to abandon his quest for retribution to fight for a love that could once again set him free.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: The Lost Lords of Pembrook, Book #1

Nath: Wooohooo, Ms Heath has a new trilogy!! This book sounds really interesting! I like the premises, because it is a little bit different as what we're used to - this time, it's 3 brothers that have a bad guardian. You know, it's usually girls that are stuck in that situation... and well, these men will not look at marriage to save them :) Anyway, looking forward to this book!

Ames: I agree Nath. It's usually girls who get stuck in bad situations. This sounds interesting.

How to Dance with a Duke by Manda Collins
published by St. Martin's Press
What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants...

Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.

Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened... or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Ugly Ducklings, Book #1

Nath: I think this is Ms Collins' debut novel. What caught my attention about this one was the cover. I think it's a really nice cover LOL. Then, the blurb sounds good. Also, who doesn't have a weakness for wallflowers? :)

Ames: I have a weakness for wallflowers as well. Wallflowers and bluestockings.

Third Grave Ahead by Darynda Jones
published by St. Martin's Press
Charley Davidson—grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator... meh—is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he’s a tad peeved. She did bind for all eternity, so it’s hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So, when a man hires her to find his wife, Charley accepts the job with one goal in mind: Put the man behind bars, and not the wet kind. She can sense the guilt waft off him and vows to find the woman’s body and prove he’s a murderer.

In the meantime, Reyes is back in prison and none too happy about it... so Charley thinks, until she is carjacked by the dark-haired rake, who swears the very man he went to prison for killing is not only alive, but close by. And he wants Charley to find him.

While a visit to her old friend Rocket sheds no light on Reyes’s situation, Charley finds out the man’s wife is still alive and time is running out. Finding her before she dies would be a miracle, but she has to try. Together with the help of a fashion-impaired receptionist named Cookie, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice. She just hopes Reyes is not one of them. And that she’s not hallucinating from her self-induced bout with insomnia.
Genre: Mystery, paranormal
Series: Charley Davidson, Book #3

Nath: Ms Jones will definitively be part of my new favorite authors in 2011. Her books are crazy and fun and I can't wait to read more of Charley's adventures!! I really, really hope there's a good ending for Charley and Reyes' relationship in sight...

A Little Night Magic by Lucy March
published by St. Martin's Press
Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he’s never made a move.

Every Saturday night, she gathers with her three best friends—Peach, Millie, and Stacy—and drinks the same margaritas while listening to the same old stories. Intent on shaking things up, she puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends... but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman who shows Olivia that there is more to her life than she ever dreamed.

As Liv’s latent magical powers come to the surface, she discovers that having an interesting life is maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. The dark side of someone else’s magic is taking over good people in town, and changing them into vessels of malevolence. Unwilling to cede her home to darkness, she battles the demons of her familial past and her magical present, with those she loves at her side... and in the cross fire.

Can the most important things in life—friendship, love, magic, and waffles—get her through the worst that the universe can throw at her?
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: N/A

Nath: I first heard of this book when I was at the RT convention in Columbus in 2010 and even then, I wanted to get my hand on it, because yes you've guessed it, the heroine is a witch :) And now, it's finally being released, woohoo!! Also, having met Lucy March aka Lani Diane Rich, if this book is as funny as she is, I'm definitively in for a treat :)

By a Thread by Jennifer Estep
published by Simon & Schuster
When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.
Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book #6

Nath: I'm really happy this series was extended. I love the characters of this series and hey, more of Gin and Owen together? Oh yeah, I'm in! :) The major story arc of this series was wrapped in Spider's Revenge and so, this was Ms Estep's opportunity to have something a little bit different and I hope she took it ;)

My Wicked Little Lies by Victoria Alexander
published by Kensington Zebra
Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all—a genteel Victorian life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve,” a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting...

Adrian Hadley-Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as a veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love...
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Sinful Family Secrets, Book #2

Nath: When I stumbled across this book while browsing online for the new release, I was really surprised that Ms Alexander had another new release! Surprised, but oh so happy! Love the cover, love the blurb and love that instead of continuing the Mistress series, she's moved on to a new one :) I think it's interesting that the H/H are already married and I'm curious at the twists and turns they are going to encounter :)

Next of Kin by Sharon Sala
published by Harlequin (Mira)
Beth Venable has seen too much. Witness to a major mob hit, she's placed in protective custody until the trial. But after her third safe house is riddled with bullets, she goes off-grid to save herself. What the FBI can't do, her kinfolk will.

The beautiful but forbidding Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky welcome Beth back, dirt roads and rustic shacks a world apart from L.A. But her homecoming—even her blissful reunion with strong, silent Ryal Walker—is made bittersweet by the fight she's brought to the clan's doorstep. Hidden in a remote cabin with the man she's always wanted, Beth begins to dream of a new life: her old one. But after so long, with such dangers stalking her... impossible.

But love can distill life down to its essence: an elixir of pure hope, nerve—and the will to survive.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Rebel Ridge, Book #1

Nath: I'm a big fan of Ms Sala and Out of the Darkness will always remain a keeper. However, her latest books have all been the same and I doubt Next of Kin with its heroine is in protective custody will be different ^_^; Anyway, I'm most probably going to pick up Next of Kin, but it might not be right away.

Secrets of the Lost Summer by Carla Neggers
published by Harlequin (Mira)
A wave of hope carries Olivia Frost back to her small New England hometown nestled in the beautiful Swift River Valley. She's transforming a historic home into an idyllic getaway. Picturesque and perfect, if only the absentee owner will fix up the eyesore next door...

Dylan McCaffrey's ramshackle house is an inheritance he never counted on. It also holds the key to a generations-old lost treasure he can't resist… any more than he can resist his new neighbor. Against this breathtaking landscape, Dylan and Olivia pursue long-buried secrets and discover a mystery wrapped in a love story... past and present.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: N/A

Nath: It's been a while since I've read a RS by Ms Neggers, but for some reasons, the cover of this one caught my attention. This one sounds different from her last couple of releases, so perhaps I will get it :)

Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore
published by Grand Central Publishing
With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn’t resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he’d fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Donovan Sisters, Book #2

Ames: I like seemingly physical fragile heroines. They indeed have plucky spirits and surprise everyone. This one sounds good. :P

Monroe: I just have to say DANG THIS IS A SLOW MONTH FOR ME! lol Which I'm totally fine with b/c Ive been SO behind on my reading. I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year!