My top 10 for 2010 reflect how idiosyncratic my reading has been this year. I read a lot of categories that were enjoyable but didn't stay with me, some of the most highly praised books of the year (cough Meljean Brook cough) are still in my TBR, and I spent much valuable reading time catching up on pre-2010 books in the m/m genre. The books that made the cut all share two characteristics. First, they create compelling and well-realized worlds which are almost characters in themselves, and second, they are keepers in the sense that even if I don't plan to reread them, I can't forget them.
Two category novels (reviews coming soon, I promise) rose above the rest. Dating the Dreamy Doc doesn't break any new ground, but it brings a good series to a satisfying close and it incorporates classic category elements extremely well. Dating the Millionaire Doctor takes big risk by setting the story in the recent wildfires in Australia and putting animals in jeopardy. But Lennox, who is a master at combining warmth, humor, and angst, pulls it off.
There are two previously published books (one reissue and one US issue) which I would hate for readers to miss, even though they've been discussed before. The Winter Sea is two stories in one (historical and contemporary) and it makes connections between the past and present in an ingenious way. It also does what I thought was impossible: it gets me to enjoy and finish a book with Scottish dialect! Emily and the Dark Angel is one of Jo Beverley's Regency series, and it combines classic elements (rake, aging spinster, Melton hunting country) in a fully realized world. It's a very intelligent take on the genre, and it reminds me how good traditional Regencies can be.
- Emily and the Dark Angel by Jo Beverley
- Double Blind By Heidi Cullinan (review by Sarah F and Sunita)
- Driftwood By Harper Fox (review by Sarah F and Sunita)
- The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
- Marrying the Royal Marine by Carla Kelly (review by Jayne)
- Fair Game by Josh Lanyon (review by Sunita)
- Dating the Millionaire Doctor by Marion Lennox
- Dare She Date the Dreamy Doc by Sarah Morgan
- Ruthless by Anne Stuart (review by lazaraspaste)
- His at Night by Sherry Thomas (review by Sunita and Jennie)