Samantha’s Top 10 of 2010
Thanks to FV for letting us do this. It was fun to to come up with my favorites of 2010. But I should mention how evil FV can be – she originally told us to pick our Top 5. I immediately came up with my Top 6 and refused budge on #6 so then she said we could do more! I then immediately came up with my Top 9 and then my OCD kicked in and my eye and head started to twitch because I couldn’t deal with having an odd number, so here goes my Top 10 of 2010.
Please note these are in order of release date.
1. Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Two words: Brody Brown. Really – that’s all that needs to be said about this book. Not since a certain male character that goes by the letter V has a fictional man grabbed hold of me and refused to let me go. Tall, goatee, dark hair, tattoos, artistic, motorcycle, talented, soft spoken, quiet confidence, gigantic heart, takes care of his family and friends…..I could go on and on. It’s like Lauren Dane knew my every fetish and wrote this book for me. Coming Undone is the second book in the Brown Sibling series and I recommend all three that have come out so far. Each book is different in its own unique way. One of my favorite things about Dane’s writing is the way she creates characters that I just want to hang out with. If you haven’t read anything by Lauren Dane I highly recommend this series as an introduction. And every woman should introduce themselves to Brody Brown. (If you ever want to know the story of how I went from a blonde to a dark brunette while a vision of Brody/Samantha/V floated through my head in the middle of shopping at Target, I would be happy to share.)
“No, not that way. Sit on my face.”
2. Sticks and Stones by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
This is the follow up to Cut and Run. FBI agents Ty and Zane still haven’t recovered from their last assignment and the two are forced to take a vacation. Ty asks Zane to join him at his family’s home for some good old-fashioned time in the mountains. But Ty and Zane are put into a situation that makes them really start to confront their true feelings for one another and also puts each other’s trust on the line. First of all I should say that I LOVED Cut and Run. It was gut wrenching and heart breaking at times all while a great plot is thrown the reader’s way. I appreciate a good plot in a M/M book and I like that in this series sex doesn’t take center stage. But don’t get me wrong, when Ty and Zane get down to it – they GET DOWN TO IT. Sticks and Stones gives us another good storyline but we also see Ty and Zane trying to work out all the emotion between the two of them and it is really beautiful at times. To watch these men start to communicate with each other and be more open with their feelings and navigate their way through what they mean to each other made for a great read. This is a series I read over and over again.
He met Zane’s eyes determinedly, “I want you.”
3. Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione
The Demonica series is one of my all-time favorites, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was definitely my favorite book in the series. I really loved Idess, the heroine of the book. I loved that she was an ass kicking angel. Lore of course is smoking hot. It also set up Sin and Con for book 5 and that was enjoyable. I felt this was the best paced book of the series – the story moved quickly and I read the whole thing in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. I’d give you a quote, but I read this book so fast I didn’t mark any pages.
4. Duty and Devotion by Tere Michaels
This is the third book in Tere Michaels’ series that I think is now being called Faith, Love, and Devotion. We are treated to a follow up on the story of Matt and Evan from Faith and Fidelity. Faith and Fidelity is probably in my Top 3 of all time favorite M/M books, so I was dying to get more of these two fantastic characters. In Duty and Devotion, Matt and Evan are now living with each other and Matt is helping to raise Evan’s children. I can’t really put into words what I love about this series so much, aside from just that it is plain ooey gooey goodness if you ask me. I enjoy how you can really feel the love between Matt and Evan even as they struggle through understanding their relationship and what their love for each other really means. It’s just all so beautiful. Duty and Devotion may be the final book in the series and I was happy that it left me satisfied enough and feeling good about Matt and Evan’s relationship. If you think you might be interested in the M/M genre and haven’t given it a try, I recommend you start with this series. Just don’t come crying to me if after reading it you spend your entire month’s book budget on M/M goodies.
“Just stand there and show me your arm so I can see your tat…”
5. Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
BDB is my #1 favorite series. And it felt like an eternity between Lover Avenged and Lover Mine, especially when we were left with a cliff hanger at the end of LA. The story of John Matthew and Xhex goes all the way back to page 224 of Lover Unbound (that was year 2007!) when JM visits ZeroSum for the first time and senses Xhex’s presence in the room before ever seeing her. We knew then, didn’t we? There had to be some big story, some huge connection. I just didn’t know it was going to be this! John Matthew has been with us BDB fans for so long…so many years…we’ve seen him go through so much. We’ve seen the BDB world through his own eyes for so long while he often was like us, the outsiders looking in on this fantastical and crazy world. I have always loved the character of Xhex from the moment we met her. The scene in Lover Mine when JM is in the bedroom where Xhex is being held captive but he can’t see her? OH MY. I loved the scenes between Darius and Tohr. I loved the glimpses into Payne’s personality. But what really got to me in Lover Mine? What really had me? Blay and Qhuinn. Can I get a holla for Team Qhuay! That scene on the terrace? Too much! Almost too much for me to even put into words what it was doing to my heart. I felt like my heart was beating out of control while at the same time somebody was stomping all over it and breaking it into a million little pieces. What is it with J.R. Ward and balcony/terrace scenes? I could go on and on, but I’ll spare all of you.
All that came to him was … I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don’t know how to find you even though you’re right in front of me.
6. Money, Honey by Susan Sey
What a good contemporary romance should be. Great characters. Great plot. Fun. Sexy. My review is HERE.
7. City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane
Dark. Gritty. Drugs. Violence. Mix in a guy named Terrible with muttonchops and bowling shirts and it doesn’t get any better than this. I agree with everything FV said in her review, so I won’t repeat. All I can say is I am in love and I can’t get enough. This is a fairly new genre to me and I loved all the books in this series but especially City of Ghosts.
“You know I do, aye? I love you right, Chessiebomb.”
8. Venom by Jennifer Estep
Venom is the third book in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. I credit this series for showing me that I could love Urban Fantasy. All 3 books are fantastic. I adore Gin, the lead heroine. Who cares that she kills people? She friggin’ rocks. And just when I was one of the few readers out there holding out hope for Gin and Donovan, Owen Grayson steps up to the plate, and I was like, “Donovan who?” And let’s not forget about Finnegan Lane. Can’t get enough of him! Can he get his own book please? While Venom was my favorite in the series so far, all three books are excellent and a definite must read. Once again I am on the same page as FV with her review of Venom.
Owen Grayson didn’t say a word as he reached into the shower and turned on the water. I started to take off my blood-crusted vest, but he stepped in front of me. “Let me,” he said.
9. Backstage Pass: Sinners on Tour by Olivia Cunning
Pure unadulterated hot dirty sexy fun. Seriously – they should put that on the book jacket, because I am pretty sure that sums up every glorious page and tells the reader everything they need to know. I am changing my name to Samantha Suxsed and joining the band whether they like it or not. I am going to find a way to wiggle myself into each of the remaining band member’s fantasies. Oh wait … these aren’t real people? Don’t spoil my fun! Backstage Pass is the first out of 5 books in what I can only imagine is going to be a hot and hard rocking ride over the next few years. I can’t wait to see how Olivia Cunning delivers on the 4 remaining men and how dare she make me wait until book 5 for my boyfriend Trey. Everybody go grab yourself a copy of this and enjoy. I would give you a favorite quote but I loaned this to a friend and looks like I need to go get another copy because I don’t think I am getting it back.
10. Fish and Chips by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
The third installment in their Cut and Run series and the follow up to Sticks and Stones (my#2 above) and it was the best one to date. These two men just knock my panties…er socks…off. I learned the other day there is a plan for 7 total books in this series, and that was the best Christmas gift I could get this season! Watching Ty and Zane continue to navigate their relationship and their feelings for each other while the reader is always treated to a great plot makes this series one of the best in the M/M genre. Always wondering if Zane is going to give up control on one of his addictions, what happens when he had to remove his wedding ring as part of his undercover assignment, are Ty and Zane are going to give up on each other and instead just beat the crap out of each other….it’s all just soooo gooooood. In Fish and Chips there is more sex this time around as the two are stuck on a cruise ship with not much else to do but each other for two weeks and even though this is third book in the series, the sex is better than ever. Yowser! I was left feeling the same way I always feel when I finish a book in this series, I want more more more!
Finally, Ty swallowed hard and looked back up. “Zane,” he said hoarsely. Then he stopped and looked down again quickly before meeting Zane’s eyes again with determination. “You’re everything I need you to be,” he whispered.