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Booktopia Romance Buzz
January 2011 | Edition Twenty-One
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KATE'S MONTH AHEAD
Happy New Year, Gentle Readers!

I hope you passed your holiday season happily and safely, and are still holding firm to your New Year's resolutions.

January's newsletter is both the hardest and my favourite newsletter to write. Why? Because it includes my favourite books for the previous year. Every year I sit down and agonise over the choices. Narrowing them down to a mere 10 is the work of days, with much angsting, second-guessing, and hair-pulling. This year was particularly difficult, as I've explained below. So have a look, check them out, and if you disagree, let me know!

We start 2011 off with some fantastic novels - what a way to start a new year!

What I Just Finished: The Lady Most Likely comes from three of my favourite historical romance writers, Julia Quinn, Connie Brockway, and Eloisa James. All the charm you've come to expect in one combined novel!

What I'm in the Middle of: Courtney Milan made both my 2009 and 2010 best-of list. I'm halfway through her January release, Unveiled. Will it make my 2011 list? I have to finish it to find out!

What I Can't Wait For: Aussie (and fellow Canberran) author Tracey O'Hara kept me up at night with her debut Night's Cold Kiss. I can't wait to see what happens in her sophomore novel Death's Sweet Embrace!
2010 IN REVIEW

As many of you will be aware, 2010 was a big year for me, and my reading habits changed to reflect that. No longer content to finish every book I picked up, I became ruthless. TSTL? Horrible info-dump? Just plain boring? Not finished. I had more books come up DNF this year than in all the years since I started keeping track combined. I was looking for more in my 2010 reads. I wanted to be surprised. I wanted to be entertained. But most of all, I wanted to be delighted. So when I sat down to put together my top 10 for 2010, I had fewer books to choose from, but harder choices to make. Every book I finished this year was worth reading. Picking my favourites was a chore of blood, sweat, and tears. Congratulations to everyone who made it on (and my honourable mentions!). Looking forward to another great reading year in 2011!


  1. Better Part of Darkness - Kelly Gay, urban fantasy 9781439109656

Clever, twisty, well-written, well-developed. An all-round excellent debut. Just when I'd sworn off new urban fantasy series...


9.The Golden Season - Connie Brockway, historical

A golden example of what a plot-driven novel should be, with two lovely characters and one hopeless situation.


  1. 9780061684319My Reckless Surrender - Anna Campbell, historical

How wonderful when a best of 2010 is also a best of the author. All the lushness you've come to expect from AC, with a hero who is impossible not to love.


  1. The Iron Duke - Meljean Brook, steampunk

A wonderful, tantalising blend of old school historicals and new age technology by one of the best paranormal writers in the business. Thick, meaty, sexy, adventurous - this novel has it all.


  1. His at Night, Sherri Thomas, historical (late 1800s)

Consistently surprising, consistently original - is it any wonder her novels are always on my top lists? Spies, seduction, a desperate bid for freedom and an emotional rollercoaster ride that will leave you reaching for your tissues.


  1. Proof by Seduction, Courtney Milan, historical

The latest voice in historical fiction brings a love story about the other side and the balance between honour, friendship, and survival.

9780373210039

  1. Something About You, Julie James, contemporary

This novel is witty, smart, well-rounded, funny, and went immediately into my conversion pack. A new era for contemporary romance? Let's hope so!


  1. The Forbidden Rose, Joanna Bourne, historical (French Revolution)

The very antithesis of wallpaper historicals, Bourne novels have plot, characters, and setting to spare, all wrapped up in breathless adventure and unforgettable stories - and just enough Adrian to make sure you're desperate for the next instalment!


  1. Soul Screamers, Rachel K Vincent, YA paranormal

9780316056632 Technically cheating, but in a world gone series-mad, how to judge a book on its own? This YA series leaves Twilight in its well-written, well-plotted, well-rounded, well-imagined, well-grounded dust. 

  1. The Parasol Protectorate, Gail Carriger, steampunk

Did I say series were cheating? If it's wrong, then I don't want to be right. This series blew me away, stole an entire weekend of my life, and led to my only 2010 re-read (and then re-read). Beautifully composed, wonderfully peopled, and time-suckingly addictive, The Parasol Protectorate will completely change your view of parasols and pesto. Books in the series so far include Soulless, Changeless and Blameless. Look out for Heartless due out in July 2011.


CAPTIVATING CONTEMPORARIES
Susan Elizabeth Phillips. That's right. New Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Can I get a hell yeah?!
CALL ME IRRESISTIBLE

9780061351525Call Susan Elizabeth Phillips Irresistible - we readers have been clamouring for this title for years (no really - the hero, Ted, is Little Teddy from Fancy Pants and Young Teddy from Lady Be Good. He's all grown up now, and about to lock horns with Meg from What I Did For Love. It's a veritable smorgasboard of best-loved SEP characters, in the kind of novel she does best - Texas-set, Texas-sized, and sure to be a wild ride. I for one can't wait.

Click here for more info or to buy Call Me Irresistible.
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WILD MAN CREEK

MARRYING DAISY BELLAMY

THEN HE KISSED ME
9780778329312The latest in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. That's number 12 for those of you keeping count! Two damaged souls looking to simplify their lives retreat to Virgin River and the solace that can be found there. Instead, they find each other.

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Wild Man Creek



9780778329251 Another long-running series has a new instalment this month: Susan Wiggs' Lakeshore Chronicles. She chose between two men and has learned to live with her decision. But the man she turned away is about to return, along with her chance at love.

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Marrying Daisy
Bellamy


9780425239179Not as established as the other two series I've featured here, but that doesn't mean Christie Ridgway doesn't deserve a look-in. This is the second in her series about the Baci sisters, determined to save their family winery. This one even has a prince!

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And Then He Kissed Me

SPINE-TINGLING SUSPENSE
9780440246107It's all about the long-running series this January! In suspense, Tara Janzen is back with the 11th book in her Steele Street Series, Loose Ends.

He was dead, but now he's back - but with holes in his memory and a burning desire to bring down the unit he used to work for. She was a thief, but now she's not - and she seems oddly familiar. On the run together in a 1967 Pontiac, neither is what they seem...so how can they trust each other?

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ENTICING EROTIC ROMANCE
My three favourite erotic romance authors have books out this month - can't talk, reading!

MASTER OF SMOKE

ANGEL AT DAWN

PRIDE AND PLEASURE
9780425239162Angela Knight takes us back to the Mageverse with her latest erotic fantasy tale.

Beth was attacked by a werewolf, and now she's infected. Saving another from the same fate is an act of instinct, but the rescued is no ordinary human. He is sidhe, and she's just got herself into a whole mess of trouble.

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Master of Smoke



9780425239650Emma Holly explores erotic paranormal romance with her Vampire Queen series.

Grace and Christian have a past - one that is burned into Christian's memory, but one of Grace seems to be completely ignorant. The only thing that hasn't changed, however, is the heat the burns between the two of them.

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Angel at Dawn


9780758231727Sylvia Day mixes the  intricate manners of historicals with the heat of erotica.

She has a fortune - and that makes her vulnerable to fortune hunters. But she refuses to bow to their manipulation, so she hires him to seek out the man who would force her to marry. But she might not escape the altar after all.

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Pride and Pleasure

HEART-WARMING HISTORICALS
The historical authors are bringing it this January! From one of the biggest names, to some of the hottest up-and-comers, this month is all about you, history lovers!
WHEN BEAUTY TAMED THE BEAST

SCANDAL OF THE YEAR
9780062021274Eloisa James and my favourite fairy tale re-told...this is a historical treat I can't wait to get my hands on!

Piers storms around his castle, his temper rumoured to be as out of control as the gossip that surrounds him. Linnet is beautiful, charming, witty, and determined to tame her beastly fiance. And, by her reckoning, it should only take 2 weeks. No one's been able to resist her before. Why should anything change?

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When Beauty Tamed the Beast




9780061963162Do you have an author you just can't understand why everyone isn't absolutely crazy about? That's Laura Lee Guhrke for me. Her new series is set at the turn of the 20th Century, and has the heroines driving motor cars!

She used him horribly to get what she wanted - a divorce and freedom from a bad marriage. So why can't he hate her? Or worse - why can't he just go ahead and forget her?

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Scandal of the Year

UNVEILED/NOTORIOUS PLEASURES
9780373775439Courtney Milan hasn't been on the historical romance scene for long, but she punches well above her weight. Her latest novel, Unveiled, only strengthens her reputation as a surprising, risk-taking author-to-watch.

Ash Turner is bent on revenge - not just for himself but for the brothers he had to watch suffer, and the sister he couldn't save. His fight to claim a dukedom will finally settle old scores and justice will be served. Margaret watched her mother die and her brothers lose everything when an interloper challenges their legitimacy. The last thing she expects is to find him likeable and worse, that he makes her like herself.

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9780446558952Elizabeth Hoyt's second novel in her Maiden Lane series continues to push boundaries and explore the darker side of historical romance. Don't pick up a Hoyt expecting a gentle comedy of manners - her writing is raw, immediate, and very sensual!

She is leading the perfect life, right down the perfect, acceptable fiance. Until he shows up with his many imperfections to mess up her perfectly ordered world.

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PULSE-POUNDING PARANORMALS
Everyone's talking about the final Shadow- book from Karen Marie Moning. Have you picked up your copy?
SHADOWFEVER
ARCHANGEL'S CONSORT

DEATH'S SWEET EMBRACE
The 9780385341677very last in the MacKayla Lane series, the final instalment in the epic battle between humans and fae. Karen Marie Moning has kept us breathelss through this whole series, and our patience is about to pay off. MacKayla continues to hunt the Sinsar Dubh, but what happens when it begins to hunt her back?

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Shadowfever



9780425240137The title of this latest in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series was announced at the 2010 ARRA awards in Sydney. Are you going to the conference? Nalini will be there as well!

Elena and Raphael return to New York to face a growing threat - and that's not just Elena's potential mother-in-law!

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Archangel's Consort


9780061783142Last year, Aussie Tracey O'Hara introduced us to her Dark Brethren world. This year the adventure continues in Death's Sweet
Embrace.


Antoinette and Christian are back, but the story revolves around Kitt and Raven, star-crossed lovers whose passion may doom them both - if the evil they hunt doesn't destroy them first.

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Death's Sweet
Embrace

   
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In This Issue

Kate's Month Ahead

2010 in Review

Contemporaries

Suspense

Erotic Romance

Historicals

Paranormals


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NEW YEAR, NEW HABITS

Pre-ordering gets your books to you faster. It's as simple as that.

Here are the titles you're going to want for February.

ON THE HUNT
Gena Showalter & others
ICEBREAKER
Deidre Martin
HARVEST MOON
Robyn Carr
PRIMAL
Lora Leigh & others
KISS ME, KILL ME
Allison Brennan
BLOOD WYNE
Yasmine Galenorn
ANIMAL MAGNETISM
Jill Shalvis
THE PERFECT PLAY
Jaci Burton

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