MinnChica’s 2012 Favorite Reads and a Giveaway!

We are coming to the close of another year and as I look back at the hundreds of books I’ve read, I’m amazed at just how books I’ve not only read, but loved. I’m either really good at picking books I know will work for me, or I’m just really easy to please, because narrowing down my top books of 2012 is going to be REALLY, REALLY hard!

packard_loveaft_final.inddI’m going to start with my favorite debut novel and author of 2012, a book that I picked up just a few weeks ago from Carina Press: Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard. I adore all things contemporary romance, so when I read this blurb and saw this cover, I knew I had to give it a shot and see where the journey would take me. Holy crap am I am glad I picked up this book. It was full of amazing characters, a wonderful setting, and lots of sexual tension. Fans of Carly Phillips, Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery should DEFINITELY check this book out!

Beyond Shame cover imageNext is a book that was written by two of my favorite authors under a brand new pen name. When I heard my paranormal romance favorites Bree and Donna were branching out to write smutty post-apocalyptic romance, I begged for a copy of Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha. Not only was this book totally off-the-charts sexy, but it also opened a world that is dark and twisted and full of everything I’ve come to love in my post-apocalyptic books. This is one that erotic romance fans do NOT want to miss out on.

The Edge of CourageI’ve been burned before with self-published books, and hate to admit that I’m hesitant to try them out. Despite the fact that I love the crackiness that comes from a Kristen Ashley book, I get equally frustrated by the lack of editing, grammar and general skill level in the books. Because of that, I’m usually the kind of girl that will pass on self-published book. But when Elaine Levine contacted me about reading the first book in her new romance suspense series Red Team - The Edge of Courage – I was intrigued by not only the overall plot, but also the PTSD issues the hero had to deal with. I am SO glad that I took on chance on this book, because Levine does such a beautiful job of not only putting out the best possible book she can, she also writes incredible stories with twisted suspense plots that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This series is one not to be missed. Fans of Cindy Gerard will like the Red Team!

hIn 2012 I also went on a bit of a m/m reading binge. Between reviewers and Goodreads friends, I scoured the virtual bookshelves for new m/m authors and books. However, no one else could surpass my favorite author and series, so of course Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux made the list. Although Armed & Dangerous was released this year as well, and gave us a glimpse back into the mind of Julian Cross, Stars & Stripes was by far the better read IMO. I loved that we got to see more of Zane’s family life and got the chance to see Ty and Zane really come together and out as a couple. This book was more romance centric than the others in the series, and I for one thought it rocked my world!

fatal deceptionThis year I also discovered a new-to-me author via a free Carina Press giveaway. I love when publishers offer the first book in a series free, and I’ll be the first to admit that I usually get each and every book offered free, and more often than not end up buying more books in that series or by that author. In November, I went through the entire Fatal Series by Marie Force in one weekend. I gobbled up Nick and Sam like you wouldn’t believe. When the fifth book in the series, Fatal Deception, was released, I pre-ordered it and read it and fell even more in love. Following one couple through their relationship while solving high-profile and twisted murders might be my new favorite thing to do! Nick and Sam pulled me into their lives after the first book, and I can’t stop reading them anytime soon. I am so anxious for more in the series, and have picked up other books by Force as well.

warprizeFinally, I’d like to do an honorable mention of a book I read this year that wasn’t published this year. I’ve always been a HUGE fan of paranormal romance and Urban Fantasy, but had never really found straight fantasy romance to be my thing. However, when Has and Lou pushed me to pick up Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughn, I was swooning by the end. I loved the story, the characters, the old world feel, everything about it. I can’t believe I held out so long on reading this book. For anyone else who has Warprize on their TBR list, I’m telling you now: move it to the top, you won’t be disappointed. For everyone else, yes, you told me so! :)

So there it is… Now that I’ve finished writing this up, I’m actually surprised to see that almost all these books are from digital first publishers. Two books from Carina Press, two books self-published, and one from the new m/m publisher Riptide. I don’t know if this means I just happened to read more ebooks this year, or just wasn’t as impressed with the big name publishers or what. Either way, for me, 2012 seemed to be the year of the ebook, and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of books.

So there you have it. Have you read any of these books? Did any of these make YOUR favorite list? To share my love of my 2012 books, I’m going to giveaway one book to a lucky commenter. Just let me know which of my top 5 books intrigues you most, and why. The giveaway is open internationally and ends December 31st. Good luck!

Comments

  1. Lisa B says

    I have not read any of these. That being said there are so many books out there it’s easy for two people to not read any of the same books. I like to say i wish i could read in my sleep but i doubt i would still get to read everything i want to. All 5 of your picks intrigue me but The first one Love in the Afternoon and the 3rd The Edge of courage interest me the most because you said fans of Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery, Caly Phillips and Cindy Gerard would like them. If these books are similar is style i would probably love them as well. I have to admit book 2 makes me curious. Not read a lot of post-apocalyptic romance myself and nothing really smutty so yeah i’m interested in what that’s all about. lol

    Thanks for sharing your list. My head hurts trying to think of top 5 of mine.

    Lisa B

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  2. Readsalot81 says

    I bought Love in the Afternoon based solely on MinnChica’s rec and I’m ***SOOO**** glad I did :) Such a sweet, sexy, romance. It takes a little while to develop and that makes it so much better, at least, in my opinion. Loved that one. Also really dug Kit Rocha’s Beyond Shame. Very hot :) Won that one from GR and I’m totally hooked now. It came as a complete surprise as I haven’t been very happy with the erotic romances I’ve read previously. I read the Marie Force book and really liked it, which was rather surprising since I’m not a romantic suspense fan. :) I’m intrigued by The Edge of Courage and Warprize (I’m very much a fantasy romance person ;)) Nice List!!

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  3. Michelle K says

    I LOVE Elizabeth Vaughan’s books. I discovered her last year. Also discovered Elaine Levine last year and really like her books. I’m glad Shattered Valor is finally released- there was no word on her website for month about why it was delayed.

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  4. MinnChica says

    @Lisa B: You are in for a treat if you win! :)

    @Readsalot81: Thanks!! :) I had a pretty good reading year, at least with digital publishers!

    @Michelle K: I’ve already got and read Ty’s book too. Not as good as the first, but I can’t wait for more in the series!!

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  5. Rebe says

    I read and loved Warprize – it was great! I really want to check out the Kit Rocha books. I love Moira Rogers!

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  6. Stephanie says

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I’ve heard really great things about Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux. And I love M/M books.

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  7. June M. says

    I haven’t read any of these books yet but have seen some great reviews for STARS & STRIPES by Abigail Roux. I do have the first book of the series but not this one and I do love a good m/m story :)

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  8. Martha Lawson says

    The book that intriques me most is The Edge of Courage! I love Cindy Gerard’s books and romantic suspense is my absolute favorite. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  9. Martha Lawson says

    The book that intriques me most is The Edge of Courage! I love Cindy Gerard’s books and romantic suspense is my absolute favorite. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  10. Kai W. says

    Like you, I was wary of e-books. I didn’t think the quality of any stories in e-books were that great until Marie Force. I bought the Fatal Affairs in print. When I finished the book, I could wait for more except all of her books are in e-book format. I went and bought the next book in e-book format and love it. Yes, I will be buying the rest of them later on.

    Stars and Stripes and Edge of Courage also intrigues me. I have seen very good reviews on both these books. Eventually, I will get around to purchasing them.

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  11. erinf1 says

    Thanks for the fun post! This was a great reading year for me too! All of my favorite authors had new releases and I discovered quite a few new/debut authors that were awesome! Of your List, Edge of Courage and Fatal Deception sparked my interest :)

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  12. Barbara Elness says

    Warprize intrigues me the most because I love fantasy and it sounds like a fantastic book.

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  13. says

    Merry Christmas to you all! I have not read any of the books on your list, but I am torn between Love in the Afternoon and Warprize. I do love fantasy romance (CL Wilson anyone?).
    The erotic ones are really not for me.

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  14. Mary Preston says

    These books are all new to me, but they do look amazing. THE EDGE OF COURAGE caught my attention in particular. I’ve not read a story dealing with PTSD.

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  15. Mary Preston says

    These books are all new to me, but they do look amazing. THE EDGE OF COURAGE caught my attention in particular. I’ve not read a story dealing with PTSD.

    My post got eaten up!!

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  16. bn100 says

    Haven’t read any of these books. I’d like to read Warprize because of your post and I’d like to read a fantasy book.

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  17. JenM says

    I’m reading Fatal Deception right now and loving it. I’ve been following this series since it started. Such a great cast of characters. The two books that intrigue me are Warprize (which I’ve seen lots of recommendations for) and Stars and Stripes (I have the first book in the series but haven’t read it yet).

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  18. Pam P says

    I think I have a Marie Force ebook still to read in my ebook folder. Absolutely loved Warprize and the rest of the series, fantasy set in an alternate futuristic world, it had a medieval feel to it, which is a favorite genre for me also – highly recommend her series.

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  19. Chelsea B. says

    You’ve *really* made me want to read Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughn!! I added it to my list ASAP!!

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  20. elena says

    I read Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughn and the first two books in the Fatal series and they were good books. Marie Force was a new author this year for me, but I read Chronicles of the Warlands series last year and I really liked this series.

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  21. Nancy says

    Everybody keeps talking about Beyond Shame. I’m a fan of dystopian settings so I’m intrigued enough to try it.

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