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Jennie’s Best of 2011 List

2011 does not stand out as one of my more memorable reading years; many books fell in the okay/mediocre range, with a whole lot of B range books and a handful of C range books. Only one D, and no Fs! – which I guess is a good thing, though I feel oddly nostalgic about the notion of reading a Really Bad Book. Following are the best 2011-published romances (or romance-y books) I read this year.

has been an avid if often frustrated romance reader for the past 15 years. In that time she's read a lot of good romances, a few great ones, and, unfortunately, a whole lot of dreck. Many of her favorite authors (Ivory, Kinsale, Gaffney, Williamson, Ibbotson) have moved onto other genres or produce new books only rarely, so she's had to expand her horizons a bit. Newer authors she enjoys include Julie Ann Long, Megan Hart and J.R. Ward, and she eagerly anticipates each new Sookie Stackhouse novel. Strong prose and characterization go a long way with her, though if they are combined with an unusual plot or setting, all the better. When she's not reading romance she can usually be found reading historical non-fiction.


  1. cbackson
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 13:01:59

    Of these, I’ve only read Silk is for Seduction, but I really enjoyed it. It was such a great change of pace to have a businesswoman as the heroine of a historical. Frankly, it’s not that common to have a serious, ambitious businesswoman as the heroine of a contemporary*, and as a business chick myself, I’d love to see more of it.

    *Unless, of course, said businesswoman realizes at the end that she’s too driven and cold and mean and moves to an idyllic small town to run a bakery while the hero does manly things. Ugh.

  2. Kim
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 14:17:46

    I agree that What I Did For a Duke was terrific. I purchased Meredith Duran’s, A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal and hope to read it soon.

  3. Janine
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 17:11:36

    Glad you enjoyed my CPs works this year, Jennie. Besides those, I’ve read the Chase, the Long and the Reeves and enjoyed the first two. The Reeves had a lot going for it but was just too violent and disturbing for me. I couldn’t connect that much to the main characters, though I loved her first book, Bleeding Violet. I think it was my favorite book of the year last year.

    Of the other five, I have all but the Lawrenson TBR. Still need to read the Loupas, the Sheene, the James and the Mullany! But I look forward to them all the more now.

  4. Janet Mullany
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 21:44:05

    Thanks so much for including Mr. Bishop and the Actress tho if this means it’s jinxed in the Ritas, you and I will have to have a little chat.

  5. Jennie
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 00:15:02

    @Janet Mullany: Duly noted. :-)

  6. Jennie
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 00:18:53

    @Janine: I’d be curious to know what you think about the Lawrenson if you ever felt inclined to read it. Particularly how you feel about the prose.

  7. Janine
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 11:57:28

    @Jennie: Will let you know if I get around to it.

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