We are nearly into 2017, so for the first time I am holding my own Top Books of the Year, but with my own twist. I have five Categories Best Hero, Heroine, Plot, Series and Book of the Year. This isn’t an oficial chart it’s just my opinions on what I have read this year, I would love to know what your favorite books have been and equally what you are looking forward to reading in the new year, so let’s begin. . .
Best Hero :
Rhys Winterborne, Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas.
A ruthless tycoon. . .
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . .
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with . . .
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
This is exactly what I have come to expect from the very talented Ms Kleypas, Rhys is the best hero I have come across for a very long time and I love the fact that his isn’t aristocracy, he is a blunt, rough around the edges hard-working man who has pulled hisself out of the gutter and become a successful self-made man. he isn’t afraid of hard work and he appreciates what life is like to be below the bread line and that for me is very refreshing, I do love a good down to earth, ordinary hero who we can all relate to and with Rhys we have just that. and he is just so damn gorgeous to boot. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals
Best Heroine :
Amelia Mansfield, The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide by Virginia Heath.
Choosing a wife is not a task that should be undertaken lightly.
Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, is seeking the perfect bride. He’s narrowed his search to five worthy “Potential”…until the arrival of his aunts companion unravels his carefully laid plan’s.
Having fought for everything she has, Amelia Mansfield is incensed by Bennett’s wife-selection method’s. But as she’s forced to spend time in his company, she begin’s to see another side to Bennett – and that man is infinitely more tantalizing and enticing…
Amelia, is the best heroine that I have come across for, ages, talk about rag’s to riches fairytale, well Cinderella has nothing on this girl. She know’s what’s it like to be not just on the bread line but miles below it, she is a tough cookie and from what she has had to go through in her short life so far it is not surprising, she went to hell and back and yet she still managers to be so sweet and lovely. but she doe’s have her flaws too she is so untrusting of the aristocracy, especially titled men, but that insecurity makes you warm to her the more, I just love the way she bring’s out the real Bennett, she shows him life from another perspective; something that he has never done in his life and because of her he does come in to his own ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Best Plot :
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah McLean
A rogue ruined. . .
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night. Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of. . .absolution.
A Lady returned. . .
Mara planned never to come back, but when her brother falls deep into dept at Temples exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade: she will return to society and reveal the truth. . .that he is no killer.
A scandal revealed. . .
But the lady – and her past – are more than they seem. It will take every bit of Temple’s strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything. . .even for true love.
Twelve years earlier the young William Harrow, heir to the Dukedom met a tantalizing and beautiful girl, a girl with magical odd eyes, he fell in love with her there and then. The next day he woke in his to be step mothers bed, with no memory and in a pool of blood and he was accused of murdering her. After fleeing to London he was rescued by an elusive person named Chase who ran a gambling hell called The Fallen Angel, where he changed from suspected murderer to the towering Temple. Now all those years later Mara Lowe the very women that he was supposed to have murdered turns up, completely and utterly alive and wanting help from the very man who was accused of murdering her all those years ago. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Best Series :
Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt
There was really no other choice for this category, Maiden Lane is by far the best Series out there, Elizabeth Hoyt just keeps spittting out book after book which contain the most amazing plots and charactand. This is one series that I will never tire off.
The Maiden Lane Series is just breathtaking no matter which book or character is your favorite, no matter what a person usually read this series has something for all Historical Romance reader’s and by far the best thing that Elizabeth Hoyt has done, I can’t wait for the next one. . . ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Book of the Year :
The Saxon Outlaws Revenge by Elisabeth Hobbes.
This was by far the most difficult decision I had to make, I have read so many brilliant books this year, but this in particular did stick with me. The entirety of this book is just perfection.
At the mercy of her enemy!
Abducted by Saxon outlaws, Constance Arnaud comes face to face with Aelric, a Saxon boy she once loved. He’s now her enemy, but Constance must reach out to this rebel and persuade him to save her life as she once saved his. . .
Aelric is determined to seek vengeance on the Normans who destroyed his family. Believing Constance deserted him, he can never trust her again. Yet, as they are thrown together and their longing for each other reignites, will Aelric discover that love is stronger than revenge?
My goodness how much do I like this? I haven’t read a Historical Romance from this period before, for some reason I just never thought about trying a Medieval Romance, how wrong I was. This is just so unbelievably good. The story is incredible Constance and Aelric are on opposites sides Constance is a Norman and Aelric a Saxon, both are supposed to hate each other and yet deep down they are soul mates. This reminds me so much of Tristan and Isolde, which is one of the most romantic stories ever, two love bird’s stuck in the centre of two warring clan’s, separated by who and what they are. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Lisa Kleypas ~ Cold Hearted Rake (The Ravenel’s #1)
Back Blurb :
A Twist Of Fate. . .
Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibility’s. . .and more then a few surprises. His estate is saddled with dept, and the late earl’s three innocent sister’s are still occupying the house. . .along with Kathleen Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.
A Clash Of Wills. . .
Kathleen know’s better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny – and from the first moment Devon hold’s her in his arm’s, he vow’s to do whatever it take’s to possess her. As Kathleen find’s herself yielding to his skillful erotic seduction, only one question remain’s:
Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?
It has been a long wait for the new Lisa Kleypas book and as much as I do love her writing to me this one seem’s to lack something, I can’t quite explain it but to me it’s like something wasn’t there what should have been. True it has all the ingredient’s of a classic Kleypas novel; Handsome scoundrel. Complex and beautiful Lady. Mischievous and entertaining Sibling’s. Interesting story. Sensual and evocative atmosphere. I will admit that it is a good read but yet this one seem’s to be missing that special Kleypas magic that you find in all her previous book’s.
I do hate to say it but Devon isn’t one of my favorite of character’s he is manipulative, ruthless and to me he just doesn’t come across as a strong character; whereas his brother West is one of the best thing’s in the book. Weston Revenal is an interesting character and one that I am looking forward to getting to know more about. The transformation in him is great, in the beginning he went from drunken lay about with no care’s for anyone to the hand’s on, intelligent young stand – in Lord of the Manor.
Same can be said about Rhys Winterbourne, he is another character that I can’t wait to get to know a bit more of. True that Rhys, Weston and Devon are basically cut from the same cloth, all three are notorious rake’s and scoundrel’s but there is something else that I see in Rhys and West that I never really saw in Devon and that is a shame.
But there is some really lovely scene’s between Devon and Kathleen, where you get to see below his ruthless exterior and you see that tender side that you expect from all of Kleypas’ lead men but unfortunately for me there isn’t enough of those moment’s. But there are some great part’s; I do particularly like when West bring’s a piglet back to the manor and the Ravenel sister’s adopt him and name him Hamlet, that for me is pure Kleypas and there is more then a hint of The Hathaway’s in that and I love it.
All in all I do feel a bit contradictory; on one hand it is a well written, and really good read and what we have come to expect from Lisa Kleypas but on the other hand there is something missing. . .Something that can’t really be put into word’s but as you read it you come to understand that, that special thing that resonate’s with her other work such as The Bow Street Runner’ s and The Hathaways just isn’t there with this one.
Maybe it’s just because it’s a brand new series and we are having to get to know and love these new character’s. As I said it is a decent book and it is worth reading.