Has’ Best of Books of 2012 and Giveaway!!!

2012 wasn’t a huge year for me book wise although while I was compiling this list, I was taken by surprise by how many books I really did enjoy. So it wasn’t a totally dud year for me! It was a year where I actually enjoyed a lot more Paranormals and Urban Fantasy.  And in no particular order – here are my best of books of the past year!

firelight

First up for me Kristen Callihan was my breakout author of 2012. I adored her first two paranormal historical series – Firelight (Review) and Moonglow (Review) which has elements of fantasy and gothic tones. They felt so refreshing and different and I loved the dark and atmospheric overtones of the Victorian setting which usually isn’t my cup of tea but this series has fast become one of my all time favourites!

This year I read quite a lot of indie and self pubbed books, although the majority of those were pretty much meh but Cry Baby Hollow by Aimee Love was a little  gem which reminded me of a mix between Ilona Andrews Edge series, Mercedes Thompson and Sookie Stackhouse. The paranormal elements was very subtle and they don’t appear until the end but I love the take on the werewolf mythos and the humour and the romance was charming and cute and it definitely stood out for me.

15784854There are things we all know about werewolves:
-The only way to become a werewolf is to be bitten by one.
-They only come out on the full moon.
-They can only be killed with a silver bullet.
-They are not real.

But when Aubrey Guinn comes to Eastern Tennessee to help Vina, an aging family friend, werewolves are the furthest things from her mind. She is preoccupied with more mundane concerns, like keeping Vina’s ingrate step-children from putting her in a nursing home, avoiding the advances of her handsome but dim witted neighbor, and keeping her mailbox away from the good old boys baseball bats. It isn’t until Aubrey finds the body of a local boy, gruseomely murdered, that she begins to see that life in the country is anything but slow, and werewolves are far from what Hollywood had led her to expect.

 

Beyond Shame cover image

In a year where erotic romance has exploded in popularity – I highly recommend Beyond Shame (Review) by Kit Rocha aka as the team behind Moira Rogers. This book is much more grittier and sexier and was definitely a very sizzling read in a world where Sons of Anarchy meets a post apocalyptic world. And I loved every single word.

 

Ghost Planet2

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher (Review) was another stand out read. It had a similar premise to Solaris, where humans are settling and exploring an alien world but are then attached and linked with dead ghostlike clones from people of their pasts. I love how the themes of grief and love was explored and the tone was beautifully conveyed these emotions and this book has remained with me for a long while because it was so memorable and vivid.

 

I love different and unusual historical settings and when I found out about His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty  (Review) was set during the 2nd World War which features a paramedic hero and a pilot heroine – I fell into a book lust haze (although I also have to admit, the retro book cover had me at hello)  and I was so glad that the premise lived up to its promise because this was a wonderful romance that captures the feel of what a couple went through during that period.

 

Endgame

Sirantha Jax has the J-gene, which permits her to “jump” faster-than-light ships through grimspace. She loves nothing more than that rush, but the star roads have to wait…

Her final mission takes her to La’heng, a planet subjugated during first contact. Since then, the La’hengrin homeworld has been occupied by foreign conquerors.

All that’s about to change.

Now, as part of a grassroots resistance, Jax means to liberate the La’hengrin. But political intrigue and guerrilla warfare are new to her, and this will be the most dangerous game she’s ever played—spies and conspiracies, a war of weapons and hearts, and not everyone is guaranteed to make it out alive…

 

This was also the year where when of my all time favourite series by Ann Aguirre ended - Endgame which closes the chapter in exploits and adventures of Jax and her ragtag of friends who became her family over the course of the series. It is a fitting and fantastic ending to the series and I loved how the themes of war and its aftermath was explored in great depth and with real pathos and emotions. It was also fun to see how much Jax has grown from the person she was at the beginning at the series and how she changed and she affected those around her. But this is not the last we will see from this universe! Ann has been contracted for another trilogy which will feature spin off characters that appeared in this series with the first book scheduled for 2013!

 

Fair Game
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs is the 3rd full book in the Alpha and Omega series, and this was a bit of a departure from the previous books as it took a more of an official investigative feel as it has serial killers and Government authorities involved in a chain of grisly murders. It is also has a game changing ending which affected the whole Mercyverse. I adored  the development of Charles and Anna’s relationship and the repercussions from this book is going to be a delight to see how it affects the Mercy Thompson series and its wider universe because it promises to be epic!

 

 

Gunmetal MagicIncludes a free bonus: a Kate Daniels novella, “Magic Gifts”
The “New York Times “bestselling Kate Daniels novels have been hailed as “top-notch urban fantasy” (“Monsters and Critics”). Now, Ilona Andrews delves deeper into Kate’s world, and reveals its untold stories…
After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano–the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea’s former lover–die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world… 

And finally Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews which is the first full spin off book from the Kate Daniels series. Andrea really carried the book for me and I loved her snarky and no nonsense approach and her rocky relationship Raphael was a joy to read especially with ‘courting’ he does to help win her back which was bloody hysterical – but I have to say, I think in this book there was one character who captured my heart and I really really hope we get a story or even better a book that features Roman, the dark Volhv. And you got to admit, how CAN you not fall in love with a dark mage who likes to wear Eeyore pyjamas whilst  fighting against the bad guys!!!!

 

 

My other notable mentions of the year is:

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – YA Post Apocalyptic dystopian which has an interesting world and I really enjoyed the romance as well. (Review)

Easy by Tammara Webber – New Adult books seem to be the next big thing and I read a few this year but for me this was a standout debut and the best of the bunch from this new sub-genre. (Review)

Reflected in You – the second book in the steamy and angst filled erotic romance series by Sylvia Day. This had a bit of a twist in the end that I didn’t see coming and I can say for sure that Gideon Cross goes hard core in this book (pun so intended) in so many ways. Out of all the angsty sexy bazillionaire erotic romance series that are out right now, I think this is the best one! (Review)

White Horse by Alex Adams  – an unusual and surreal post apocalyptic which I really enjoyed although it has some harrowing scenes, although I loved the heroines’ determination to be reunited with her lover and I loved the themes of death and rebirth. The prose was also rich and poetic and if you’d like something different with your post apoc books, then I highly rec this one! (Review)

Ooops I forgot to add  these two books -

 

Riveted by Meljean Brook – Which was one of the best books I read in 2012 and I adored how Meljean Brook explored the themes of being an outsider in an imaginative, seductive and vivid steampunk world. I think she gets better and better with each book. (Review)

And Rogue’s Pawn by Jeffe Kennedy – One of the most unusual and memorable fantasy romance books I read. It was surreal, sexy and fun and I loved how BDSM elements was much more psychological and emotional and I loved the Alice in Wonderland feel. I am definitely looking forward to its sequel. (Review)

 

I will also be giving away a copy to a winner of a choice of any of the books I have highlighted (although a couple of these are only in ebook format at the moment. But the giveway is open to worldwide to anywhere the Book Depository ships to) – all you have to do is comment what was your favourite book of the the past year and what book are you looking forward in 2013 as well as the choice of the book you would like to win! Giveaway midnight on the 8th of January! 

 

Good luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR from everyone at The Book Pushers!!! :D 


Comments

  1. says

    I liked..hm, well the Secret Mcqueen books were just awesome! And in 2013 I wanna read A memory of light by Robert Jordan :D

    I think I have to go with White horse

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  2. says

    I have many favourites in 2012 but the one that floats to the top in my mind is Cold Days by Jim Butcher and Readper by John Connolly. I am looking forward to reading Slashback by Rob Thurman and Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs to come out in 2013. I would therefore love to win Slashback and Frost Burned! :)

    Happy New Year!!

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-spamme [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  3. CrystalGB says

    I loved the Hunger Games trilogy. I am looking forward to JR Ward’s next book. I would love to have Reflected in You. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  4. elaing8 says

    One of my favorites was Cat Scratch Fever by Jodi Redford.And I am looking forward to ever After by Kim Harrison.

    Happy New Year!

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  5. says

    @Cherry Mischievous:

    It was caught in the spam filter sorry – Cherry sorry but the giveaway is a choice of books I highlighted and listed in this post. I am sorry if there was any confusion about the giveaway.

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  6. Stephanie says

    My favorite book last year was A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison and I’m looking forward to her next book Ever After.

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  7. Nicole says

    Crap that’s hard. That means I have to remember stuff. I barely remember what I read two days ago even if it was fabulous. Off to check Goodreads for my thoughts.

    I really don’t have a favorite read. I loved the first two Kristen Callihans, too. And the DISARM series by June Gray was a surprising hit for me, at least the first three that I’ve read. And OF COURSE the Patricia Briggs.

    So looking forward to the next Briggs this year. I get all squeal-y fangirlish around her.

    Cry Baby Hollow looks fun. It’s a new one to me and I’d love to read it.

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  8. Readsalot81 says

    Oo.. Cold Days by Jim Butcher was in my top favorites as well. SUCH a good book. For 2013, I’m looking forward to Magic Rises by the fabulous Ilona Andrews and Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead.

    Your selections are fabulous Has and I think I would choose Fair Game by Patty Briggs. Haven’t read that one yet :)

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  9. Michelle K says

    My Favorite for the year was Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King
    I would like to win Beyond Shame

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  10. says

    My favorite book of the year was Code Name Verity. I also became quite entranced by Tana French, reading her first three books in December, although am saving the recent one for a bit. I too like the cover of His Very Own Girl – will have to hunt that one down if I don’t win it!

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  11. says

    Thanks for the giveaway! I would pick Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews if I won. My favorite 2012 book was Cold Days by Jim Butcher, and in 2013 I’m looking forward to Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire.

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  12. Debbie S says

    I liked the League Books by Sherrilyn Kenyon I have been reading her work for a while. Her early books she is now publishing in the League series, and I can’t wait for Cloak and Silence her next one coming out this month.
    The book I would most like to read would be Beyond Shame.
    Thanks Debbie

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  13. Rue says

    I really loved the urban fantasy Discount Armageddon by Seanan Mcguire, it was hilarious and the mythology was really neat. So I’m looking forward to the sequel coming in 2013.
    I’d be thrilled to win Moonglow, I loved the first book but haven’t had the funds to pick up the second book yet.

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  14. Lisa B says

    I enjoyed so many but i’ll go with authors. All the Jill Shalvis (Animal series) books that came out this year and the Sierra Dean books. Secret McQueen series. There so much good stuff out there to read all the time.

    I would love to read Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

    Lisa B

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  15. erinf1 says

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! This was an awesome reading year! There was so many fabulous books, it’s hard to narrow down a true list of “favorites”. But… I’d have to say top of the list was Endgame by Ann Aguirre. One of the books that I’m really looking forward to in 2013 is Frost Burn by Patricia Briggs :)

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  16. Pam P says

    Good list, loved the Briggs and Ilona Andrews, and Aguirre, the Sylvia Day I have in the TBR. Ghost Planet sounds interesting, will check it out, the one I’d love to win Callihan’s Firelight, have had my eyes on her series.
    My favorite book of the year – Riveted by Meljean Brook, love all her books, and especially her steampunk series.

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  17. Linda says

    I loved Firelight too but I hvnt read Moonglow yet. Am definitely looking forward to reading that & also the 3rd book, Winterblaze. Another awesome book I read this year was Duality by Renee Wildes. It’s free on the Sanhaim website.

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  18. says

    FAIR GAME was on my best of the year list as well and that is the one I would choose. Wow, did I love it!

    In 2013, I am really looking forward to Deanna Raybourn’s A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS. And the new Merrcy, of course!

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  19. Sullivan McPig says

    My favorite read was The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle and I’m looking forward to the sequel The Outside.

    I’d love to win White Horse

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  20. Lacey T says

    My favorites of 2012 are Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, Lover Reborn by JR Ward, and Gunmetal Magic! I’m so looking forward to Lover at Last and the next Mercy Thompson book :) I’d choose Fair Game.
    laceyblossom1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Mariska says

    my favorite was the sweetest thing by jill shalvis and department 19 by will hill.

    and i’d love to read Easy by Tammara Webber

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  22. SandyH says

    Kristen Callihan was recommended to me and I haven’t read her. My favorite authors this year were Tasha Alexander, C. S. Harris and Deanna Raybourn. I love the character development over their books. I like my romance with a touch of mystery.

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  23. Carl says

    I totally fell into The Fault in Our Stars last year and I’m looking forward to Splintered. The book from the list that most intrigues me is Fair Game by Patricia Briggs. Thanks for the giveaway, have a great 2013!!

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  24. says

    One of my favouirte books was Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein and I also liked the Darkest London series. So obviously I am looking forward to Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan.
    And I would like to read White Horse thank you:)

    ReplyReply
  25. Lozza says

    I’ve never heard of Cry Baby Hollow, but now I totally want to read it.
    This was really my year of discovering historical romance, and I pretty much immersed myself in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove Series, Mary Balogh, Eloisa James, Courtney Milan, and the like.

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  26. KatieF says

    I loved Code Name Verity. I stayed up late in the night reading it and sobbed through the last part of it.

    ReplyReply
  27. Nancy says

    My favorite romance I read this year was The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne, which wasn’t published in 2012. My favorite 2012 book was Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I would love to win Riveted – I really want to read it!

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  28. Booksie says

    Great giveaway!

    I loved reading the Deadly Trilogy by Alexa Grace in 2012. I look forward to her new trilogy in 2013. I’m interested in Beyond Shame. Thank you for sharing your reviews and creating more on my TBR list! LOL!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

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  29. elena says

    For me this year the best book was Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. Next year I cannot wait to read Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs and Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews.
    Thank you for this giveaway, I would love to win Cry Baby Hollow by Aimee Love, because you said this book was “a little gem which reminded me of a mix between Ilona Andrews Edge series, Mercedes Thompson and Sookie Stackhouse”, so for me it is a winner.

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  30. Kai W. says

    My favorite was the Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa.

    I would love to win Reflected In You.

    ReplyReply
  31. Mary Preston says

    A favorite for 2012 was BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood.

    I’m looking forward to THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER.

    I’d love to read FIRELIGHT thank you.

    ReplyReply
  32. JenM says

    Lots of great books in 2012. I can’t pick just one! My favorites were Easy, About Last Night, Gunmetal Magic, and Fair Game. In 2013, I’m looking forward to Magic Rises and Frost Burned, and from your list, I would love to win His Very Own Girl.

    ReplyReply
  33. Texas Book Lover says

    I have read so many fabulous books this past year that I have a really hard time narrowing it down to one….Born of Silence, the Crossfire Series, Fever are just a few. Lover at Last tops my list of books I am looking forward to in 2013.

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  34. Chelsea B. says

    It wasn’t written in 2012, but I read it in 2012– Confessions of a Shopaholic. It. Was. A. Mazing.

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  35. SarahM says

    I loved The Archer by Abigail Roux – it was so funny and action-packed! Now I’m looking forward to Rob Thurman’s Slashback :-) Would love to win Endgame by Ann Aguirre. Thanks for the giveaway!

    smaccall AT comcast.net

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  36. JessS says

    Thanks for the giveaway! My fave books of 2012 were Iced by Karen Marie Moning, The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, Unclaimed by Courtney Milan, most of Stracia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series and Naked In Death by JD Robb.
    For 2013 I’m mostly looking forward to The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, and (hopefully!) more KMM and Kelley Armstrong books.
    Your picks are awesome, and I think I’d love Firelight!

    jessicamariesutton(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyReply
  37. Maureen says

    One of my favorites of last year was Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry and I am looking forward to How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox. Please enter me to Riveted by Meljean Brook.

    ReplyReply

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