Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Jayne’s Best of 2011 List

Even though I’m using the Top Ten Lists tag, this year in checking over my notes, I see I have a lot of B grade books but not as many B+ or A range books of those I read that were published in 2011. Since I want the books on my list to be ones that stand out, this is going to be a shorter list from me this year. In alphabetical order by author:

  • Swept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne (review)
  • Honey Grove by Genell Dellin (review)
  • Heart Strings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves (review)
  • Sea Change by Darlene Marshall (review)
  • His Valentine Surprise by Tanya Michaels (review)
  • Trail of the Tudor Blue by Gwen Roman (review)
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (review)

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

23 Comments

  1. Jacco
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 15:14:16

    Hey, great list! Not your standard New York Times Best sellers list :)

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  2. Jayne
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 15:46:59

    @Jacco: Oh no, you’d never see one of those from me. ;)

    ReplyReply

  3. Jacco
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 15:52:25

    Hehehe :) I really love the layout of this site btw :) Looks really good!

    ReplyReply

  4. Sarah
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 16:26:27

    You have not steered me wrong this year! I’ve read 4 of your favorites and found them all to be just as wonderful stories as you described in your reviews. I know whose reviews I’ll be watching come 2012!

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  5. Janine
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 16:31:31

    I haven’t read any of these but I have the feeling there are books I really ought to try on this list. The Hester Browne and the Rainbow Rowell look particularly intriguing.

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  6. Liz Mc2
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 16:35:15

    Rainbow Rowell’s book was one of my favorites this year, as well. I’d never have heard of it if not for your review, so thanks!

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  7. Tina
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 16:46:43

    I am always on the look-out for good, straight contemporary (no suspense or vampires etc.). I have had the Hester Browne book in my sights for awhile but hadn’t heard of the Dellin or Graves book. Put them on my tbr. Thanks!

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  8. Patti (Caught in a FAB Romance)
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 18:02:50

    Swept Off Her Feet was on my “2011 Top List” too. It’s on my keeper shelf :)

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  9. Renda
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 19:02:14

    Rainbow Rowell’s was my favorite of the year.

    ReplyReply

  10. library addict
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 19:13:22

    I read Attachments by Rainbow Rowell thanks to Jayne’s review. It’s not a book I would have picked up on my own, so thanks!

    I still wish the digital edition wasn’t so expensive. I got it, but only after I read the print edition from the library. $12.99 is too high for a new-to-me author IMO.

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  11. dri
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 20:11:21

    Ohhhh I so want that Rainbow Rowells book. *moves to the top of the TBR/get list* So annoying that it’s unavailable here in Australia and that I’m going to have to resort to Book Depository. But it sounds so much my type of my book, I gotta have it.

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  12. Jayne
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 20:29:54

    @Sarah: Thanks! I’m glad my reviews worked and got you some books you enjoyed.

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  13. Jayne
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 20:35:12

    @Liz Mc2: @Renda: @library addict: Wow, lotsa love for “Attachments.” And the price still bums me. @dri: Hopefully a cheaper copy will come out this year.

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  14. Jayne
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 20:40:46

    @Patti (Caught in a FAB Romance): @Tina: I had really good luck with new-to-me authors this year – Browne being one of them. In fact out of my list, only Michaels and Marshall are authors I’ve read a lot in recent years. Dellin is one whose historicals I’d tried eons ago but this contemporary was a pleasant surprise.

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  15. Brie
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 21:59:24

    Attachments was one of my favorite books of the year and I can’t wait to read Eleanor&Park. Like library addict, I too read the book thanks to your wonderful review, it was expensive for a Kindle book, but I think it was worth it. Beautiful story with a wonderful portrayal of friendship and the sweetest hero ever (even his stalkish behavior came across as sweet instead of creepy!). Thanks Jayne!

    ETA: you’re bad for my bank account! I just bought Sea Change, Swept Off Her Feet and His Valentine Surprise. Evil Jayne and evil “one click buy”! This is why I have to stay away from these “Best of” lists.

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  16. Darlynne
    Dec 21, 2011 @ 22:41:04

    @Jayne: I’ve had the sample of Attachments on my Nook ever since your review. It also landed on lostbooksales.com at the same time because the digital book costs more than the paperback.

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  17. Renda
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 05:41:19

    I was able to read “Attachments” through Overdrive and Free Library of Philadelphia membership (I so hope that doesn’t go away). There is rarely a waiting list for it. I have gotten it a couple of times. I am waiting for the paperback, hoping it comes down in price. I, too, want it in e just so I can have it always. The last 20 pages or so of that book will just live with me forever. I am not sure why I found it so deeply touching, but I did. Most romantic (and in the deep and abiding love romantic) ending I have ever read. This is where movies like Sleepless in Seattle let me down. Yes, their eyes meet and they “fall in love” and “they just know” but you just really don’t know why they know. This book makes you feel on a visceral level just how that can happen. It can only happen when two people know each other for better AND worse. Continuing the Tom and Meg movie allusions, this is why You’ve Got Mail did work (for me), they knew each other before they “knew” each other.

    And the fact that you watch the “hero” grow, with the attention on that growth for a large amount of the book, unlike most “romances,” really, really makes this book just that much more believable.

    And yes, the stalkerish vibe kind of made you hold your breath for a while, but soon you were holding your breath because it was just that good. Put me in the “if not for DA…” group on this book.

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  18. Jayne
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 06:31:57

    @Renda: Gosh, I wish I’d written the review half this well. Seriously.

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  19. Renda
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 13:36:59

    Thanks, Jayne. The book touched me. Without your review, I wouldn’t have known of its existence.

    On a side note, I have used today’s “quotes” allotment.

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  20. Bev Stephans
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 16:01:32

    I put 3 of your recs on my wishlist.

    ReplyReply

  21. Erin
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 18:00:24

    I bought Swept Off Her Feet because of your review and I loved it. I even smile every time I see the cover in my Kindle library. Such a fun read. I will have to check out the other books on your list.

    Thanks for everything you all do to make Dear Author such a great place to visit.

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  22. Zara
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 19:21:11

    Eek! Attachments is still $13! Though I must confess I read the review, and the comments, and if Courtney Milan says it was worth the $13, I’m all in. I have a little crush on Ms. Milan these days :)

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  23. Brian
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 19:39:16

    @Zara: It might see a price drop in March when the paperback comes out, but the paperback is a trade (no mass market) so the ebook will still probably be like $10-$11.

    ReplyReply

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