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Best of 2008 List: Reviewer Jane

Yes, it’s Christmas Day and we could take a holiday today but not everyone celebrates Christmas. And even amongst those that do, two thirds will spend over an hour online today so we might as well put up content, right? The year end lists are kind of fun to do because they allow some reflection on one’s reading tastes. I would love to see you readers comment on the books of the year. (It will provide good inspiration for the DA BWAHA)

I confess that I think some of my A reviews were given out in some post reading euphoria. I’m going to be more stingy with A’s in this upcoming year. But this was a year of discovery of new to me authors and re-engagement with some old favorites.

I read a bunch of category books in 2008 and found that there are some who really hit me just right. I’ve a renewed appreciation for the Harlequin categories. It isn’t easy to fit in a well crafted tale with three dimensional characters within such a constrained framework and word length. One author I really enjoyed who didn’t quite make it on the list because her A books weren’t published in 2008 is Sarah Mayberry, a Blaze author. It’s our constant search for the really fabulous that keeps us buying new books even though we could probably read a new book every day and not find the bottom of the to be read pile.

The following are the books I gave As to that were published in 2008. I listed them in order according to which book I would re-read first, if I had the chance. But no matter the order, these were greats books and ones I wouldn’t hestitate to give away as recommended reads. In other words, I would buy these books for other people which is the greatest compliment I think I can give to a book.

  • THE SPYMASTER’S LADY by Joanna Bourne
  • YOUR SCANDALOUS WAYS by Loretta Chase
  • IRON KISSED by Patricia Briggs
  • PRICE OF DESIRE by Jo Goodman
  • DELICIOUS by Sherry Thomas
  • JUST ONE OF THE GUYS by Kristan Higgins
  • SHAKEN AND STIRRED by Kathleen O’Reilly
  • SCREAM FOR ME by Karen Rose
  • AFTER THE KISS by Suzanne Enoch
  • GRIMSPACE by Ann Aguirre

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Joy
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 12:32:59

    look at me – looking for new content!! A couple of those books are still in my TBR. Grimspace was one of my faves this year.

  2. Tabitha C
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 15:31:34

    I would definitely recommend Scream For Me by Karen Rose. In fact, I’ve just re-read 75% of her backlist recently to refresh my memory for the upcoming release of Kill For Me.

  3. Wendy
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 17:16:12

    Where is The Italian Gourmet – Baby – Food Baron’s Ironically Pregnant Virgin Mistress? Seriously, I didn’t want that book to end.

  4. orannia
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 17:38:42

    Thank you Jane! I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve only read one book in your list – Iron Kissed. Grimspace is on my TBR list, as is one of Sherry Thomas’ books – Private Arrangements.

    Hmmm..sometimes I feel like no matter how many books I read I’m barely scratching the surface of good books….and my TBR pile still doesn’t seem to have gone down (versus January). Obviously I need to read more (versus being more ruthless with my TBR list :)

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays (it’s Boxing Day here :)

  5. Anita C.
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 22:58:05

    Thanks for your 2008 list. I’ll print it out and take it to McDonald’s in Redmond, Wash (yes, the home of Microsoft). This used bookstore specializes in romance; it probably has the first Harlequin ever published! I like Chase and Enoch but have not read the others.

    If you like Jane Austen imitators/sequels (or especially if you don’t, because I try them all and they’re usually groaners), you might want to look for one called “Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride” (Ulysses Press, 2007). Sara Halstead self-published it in Australia in 2004, and I’m glad it’s getting a wider distribution. Not only does she get the manners and costumes and food right, but her tone is beautifully integrated between Austen’s and her 21 Century readers.

    Happy New Year

  6. Anita C.
    Dec 25, 2008 @ 23:01:56

    Please allow me two corrections to my post (above). The author’s name is Helen Halstead, not Sara Halstead. Also, she published in 2004 under the title “A Private Performance” and it was later changed to “Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride.”

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