Angela’s 2012 Romance and Urban Fantasy Recommendations

 

Angela’s 2012 Recommendations

Is it really the end of 2012? That just seems crazy to me. How did the year go by so fast?

I had an exceptional reading year in 2012. I found several new series to love, was pleasantly surprised by quite a few debut authors and limited my DNF stack to only a few books.

Oh, and I became a Vixen. A Fiction Vixen. Thank you to Sophia for taking me on and to Sophia, Amy, Catherine, Jen and Samantha who constantly give me new books to put on my TBR list and for being a great group of funny, amazing women.

 

Rock Chick Regret (Rock Chick #7) by Kristen Ashley Rock Chick Regret by Kristen Ashley ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
I just discovered Kristen Ashley this year… I know, I know, I had no idea what I was missing! This is good stuff. The weird part is no matter what she writes, it’s always good stuff. Rock Chick was my introduction to Ms. Ashley and since that time I’ve been in love. Rock Chick Regret was my favorite of the series. I loved every single thing about Sadie and Hector’s story. I loved Buddy and Ralphie. I loved their nick names for each of the hot bunch. I loved how patient Hector was with Sadie after the trauma she went through. I loved her coming into her own and getting a drunk tattoo. I just loved everything.

Favorite Quote:

“Good.” He put a knee to the bed but didn’t put me down. “Now, mamita, where the tat is, I can’t be on top so you got two choices, either you ride me or I get creative. Your choice but choose now.”

I swallowed.

“Hector-” I started

He cut me off, “Now.”

Oh my.

He meant business.

And I liked his business.

So, I whispered, “Creative.”

He grinned, slow and sweet.

Then he got creative.

 

Iced Karine Marie MoningIced by Karen Marie Moning ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
I was initially a little apprehensive about continuing this series when I found out that Dani, a fourteen year old girl, would be the main character in the next three books. But I must say, this is not YA at all, it’s the same addicting Fever world just told from a different POV. Karen Marie Moning makes me crazy trying to guess what will happen next. I’m already dying for the next book in the series. See Sophia and Jen’s posts: How the feck we felt and What the feck we think .

Favorite Quote:

“The more excited I get, the more I vibrate.”

“Now there’s a thought,” Lor says.

“If you mean what I think you mean, you want to shut the fuck up and never think it again,” Ryodan says.”

 

Beyond Shame Kit RochaBeyond Shame by Kit Rocha ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
Alpha, tattooed men and strong, sensual women who have no sexual boundaries set in a dirty dystopian world. That’s all you need to know. See Sophia’s review.

Favorite Quote:

“Anything,” she rasped instead, trembling against the slick tiles. “Anything you want. Because I’m dirty.” And you like me that way.

 

On Dublin Street Samantha Young

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
This had everything I want in a love story: drama, humor, smoking hot love scenes and a truly believable couple. Braden was so deliciously possessive and Jocelyn had a hard time letting anyone in, much less her lover, but the journey to their HEA was awesome. Loved. See Amy’s Review.

Favorite Quote:

“I don’t like to share.”

My eyes flew to his and if it was possible, he looked angrier than ever. In this tiny room, Braden was huge and intimidating, and the comparison between our sizes more notable. He could crush me like a bug if he wanted to. “What?”

His eyes narrowed. “I said, I don’t like to share.”

I thought of Vicky. “That’s not what I’ve heard.”

“Let me rephrase.” He took a seething step toward me. “When it comes to you… I don’t like to share.”

 

Stars & Stripes Abigail RouxStars and Stripes by Abigail Roux ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
I found this series this year and quickly fell hard for Ty and Zane. In Stars and Stripes they finally had a little peace in their relationship and realized how much they mean to each other. Even if they have bumpy, hard times to come, after reading Stars and Stripes I know that this couple is made for each other. I cried, I laughed, I sighed, and I cried again. If you haven’t started this series yet you should give yourself a gift and go out, buy the whole set and start today. See mine and Samantha’s joint review.

Favorite Quote:

“It’s funny, you know?” Ty said. “How much things have changed.”

“What do you mean?”

“A couple of years ago, at this point in the night, I’d be back in the bar with someone in the supply closet.”

Zane snorted and shook his head. “And now you just have to go home with me.”

“No,” Ty said, serious as he stopped and turned to look at Zane. “I don’t have to go home with you.”

Zane raised and eyebrow and cocked his head.

“I can’t wait to get home with you. Even if it’s just to crawl in bed and watch that stupid-ass show you like so much, I don’t care. Whatever I do, I’m glad I’m with you.”

 

The Golden Dynasty Kristen AshleyThe Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
Kristen Ashley doing fantasy is a thing of beauty. All three books in this series are so different, but each is special in its own way. The Golden Dynasty has a Game of Thrones feel to it and regardless with the shocking way it started out I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page for a minute. I fell into this story and didn’t come up for air until I finished.

Favorite Quote:

“I gave up my world for you,” I whispered.

 

Moonglow Kristen Callihan

Moonglow by Kristen Callihan ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
This is one of the most interesting new series to come out in years. Part paranormal romance, part historical romance, set in a wonderfully rich, layered world. Ian and Daisy started out separated by old hurts, but found a way to come together that was so lovely to watch. She is witty and brave and he is lost and broken, but together they made a fantastic couple. This is fast becoming one of my favorite series. My review.

Favorite Quote:

“We are all imperfect creatures, love. I don’t want perfect, I only want you.”

 

Days of Blood and StarlightDays of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
I wish I had the words to express how stunning Laini Taylor’s writing is. Beautiful, haunting, shocking, sometimes funny, brutal, and yes, brilliant. I could never do this series justice with a review. The first book in the series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, drew me in and kept me thinking about this fantasy world for days. The follow-up, Days of Blood and Starlight, made my heart break a little. I’m eagerly anticipating the last book in the series, but at the same time I don’t want to say goodbye.

Favorite Quote:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.

And it’s snap split the world in two.

 

Thief of Shadows Elizabeth HoytThief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
Winter Makepeace is probably one of my favorite historical heroes.. So devoted, so strong, so sexy. Yes, there was a heroine too, but Winter is who made this book special for me.

Favorite Quote:

“I’m privileged to see you like this,” he said, his eyes fierce. “Wear your social mask at your balls and parties and when you visit your friends out there, but when we are alone, just the two of us in here, promise me this: that you’ll show me only your real face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That’s our true intimacy , not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together.”

 

Chasing Magic Stacia KaneChasing Magic by Stacia Kane ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
Oh, Terrible, how I love you.

Chess makes me sad and frustrated. I keep thinking she’s bound to gradually start to get better and get a handle on her drug habit sometime. How she’s still alive I have no idea. She pushes Terrible to the edge in Chasing Magic, makes bad choices that had me wanting to choke her, but somehow he sticks with her. He is the most unlikely of heroes, but that may be why he’s one of my favorites. This series has me hooked. It’s so messed up, with deeply flawed main characters, but Stacia Kane writes it so well that I want these people to succeed and start to heal their hurts. I have to keep reading to find out what happens next.

He calls her his Chessiebomb.

Favorite Quote:

“Shit. You so fuckin’ pretty Chessie.  True Thing. So.. ain’t even can breathe sometimes.”

Insurgent by Veronica RothInsurgent by Veronica Roth ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
I’m actually a little shocked that two YA’s made my best of list for 2012.

This is how the blurb starts:

One choice can transform you–or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves–and herself–while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

After reading Divergent I couldn’t wait to get my hot, little hands on the second book Insurgent. I was frustrated and sad, but also hopeful. I got some answers, but then had even more questions. Four stole the show for me, the sacrifices he was willing to make for Tris thrilled me, even if they didn’t seem to finally come together until the very end. This is YA dystopian at it’s finest.

 

Leave Me Breathless Cherrie LynnLeave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
Seth is a dirty, tatted up, bald, pierced bad boy and Macy is the country girl who can’t get enough of him. These two set the pages on fire. I needed a cold shower after reading. Seriously. There was just enough tenderness, humor and angst make this one of the best erotic, contemporaries I’ve read this year. See Catherine’s Review.

Favorite Quote:

“How big is it?”

“Uh, don’t you know?”

“I’m talking precise measurements.”

This laugh was less evil-villian and more jovial. “Why, Macy. A nice young lady like yourself, asking such a thing. I’m appalled.”

“Oh, come on. Guys always know how big they are.”

“Big enough that I should tie a bow around it and attach a little card that says ‘To: Macy. You’re welcome. Love, Seth.’”

 

Motorcycle Man Kristen AshleyMotorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley  ** [AMZ - BN - S - K]
This was the perfect ending to the Dream Man series! Biker, badass Tack and his Red will forever be one of my favorite KA couples. I cannot wait until Tabby and Shy’s book comes out!

Favorite Quote:

“We done with this talk about everything?”

“Yes,” I answered.

“You good?” he asked.

Oh yes. I was good. I nodded but added another soft, “Yes.”

His hands slid down over my ass and he ordered, “Then hop up baby, time to fuck.”

 

Killing Time by Cindy Gerard

Romantic Suspense is usually iffy for me. I either absolutely love it or find it incredibly ridiculous. Cindy Gerard is one of my few auto-buy RS authors. I absolutely love her. In Killing Time Mike “Primetime” Brown meets his match in Eva Salinas. Primetime has made appearances in the BOI series and now kicks off the new One-Eyed Jacks series. All I can say is… I completely fell for this bad boy hero. This book is scheduled for release in January. Joint review with Jen to come.

Favorite Quote:

He braked suddenly. Jammed the Jeep into park, turned off the ignition, and stared at the dark glasses he’d whipped off and held in his hand.
“What?” She asked after several seconds ticked by.
He turned his head slowly, “I need a moment.”
She looked puzzled, then amused. “A moment? You need a … moment?”
“Okay, fine. I want a moment.”
Then he reached for her.
She knew what he was going to do. The question was, would she let him? Before she could decide, he dragged her against him and kissed her. Kissed her as if yesterday was nonexistent, tomorrow would never come, and this moment was all that mattered.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Enslaved by Elisabeth Naughton

The Dark Soul Collection by Aleksandr Voinov

Riveted by Meljean Brook

Shadows Before the Sun by Kelly Gay

 

Comments

    • says

      I keep hoping there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for Chess, like maybe she will wise up and realize what Terrible gives her is better than the drugs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the next book.

      I seriously love the Laini Taylor series. Some of the most beautiful writing I’ve read in years.

    • says

      As you noticed, what with my three Kristen Ashley recs, I have a lot of love for her. Rock Chick Regret was my favorite of the Rock Chick series.

      And Leave Me Breathless was so good I might just have to read it again.

    • says

      Go for it. I keep recommending this to anyone who enjoys fantasy. It’s YA, but the story is so beautifully told and the world building is amazing.

  1. Lauren Smith says

    Great list of books. I have read many of them. Kristen Ashley is always wonderful. What are your book recommendations for 2013? I have one that I am dying to read. It’s on the YA list, but looks amazing. The book is called, “Stelladaur: Finding Tir Na Nog” by author S. L. Whyte. The story is a young adult fantasy novel with romance. The main character, a sixteen year-old boy, discovers he has unusual powers, which takes him on a journey of discovery. The video clip on the website looks really good. I can’t wait to read it! http://www.stelladaur.com/

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