Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Robyn's Top Ten!

I've reviewed a couple of these this year, but I've loved all of them.
1. The Ocean Between Us by Susan Wiggs
A mature story not only of the bumps of a long-term marriage and what a woman goes through when she’s ready to grow when her older kids don’t need her so much anymore, it’s a glowing tribute to military families everywhere.

2. Gift of Gold by Jayne Ann Krentz
An absorbing paranormal before they were all the rage- and not a vampire in sight. All Jonas Quarrel has to do is touch an object that has been associated with violence, particularly objects from the Renaissance, to re-live what the original owner went through. Someone knows and wants to turn Jonas into a weapon, but for Verity Ames’ ability to help him control his gift.

3. Fireflood and Other Stories by Vonda N. McIntyre
This wonderful science fiction anthology includes what I consider to be the finest SF/Fantasy short story ever written: Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand. The tale of a woman who uses snakes to heal rather than kill had me entranced. That story grew into the novel Dreamsnake, also well worth it.

4. Seducing the Mercenary by Loreth Anne White
It is incredibly difficult to write compelling political intrigue in a romance, and even harder to do it in category length. Ms. White does it beautifully in this story of a man trying to hold his small country together while fighting the world’s image of him as a tyrant.

5. Affair by Amanda Quick
She turns a bland, scientifically minded nerd, Baxter St. Ives, into one of the most Alpha gotta-love-him heroes ever. Throw in a heroine who has made a career for herself investigating the intentions, honorable or not, of her lady client’s suitors, and I was hooked. When someone Charlotte was investigating winds up dead, she and Baxter must find the killer. Great fun.

6. Starsight by Minnette Meador
A boy prince grows to manhood literally overnight, and must keep his kingdom from being destroyed. The old woman who was his magic teacher must now become his subject, while helping him deal with the strong powers he now possesses. Fabulous fantasy.

7. Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland
A young American inherits a castle in Europe complete with a ghost- who doesn’t want a roommate! But Kendrick grows to love Genevieve, and she him. And when the spirit of an impossibly noble knight asks her, “Shall I slay dragons for you, my lady?” I just about fainted. If you liked The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, you’ll love this book.

8. Naked In Death by J.D. Robb
The first in the series of futuristic mysteries by the alter ego of Nora Roberts, and perhaps one of my favorite couples ever. Tough cop Eve Dallas is completely believable, and I love investigating crimes with her. I also love Roarke, her ethically flexible husband, who owns almost every business there is. Good, good urban fantasy mystery.

9. The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell
Also the first in a series, plus-size Ellie hires gorgeous Bentley to be her escort to a family function; she’s tired of the veiled insults her relatives throw at her. But the old uncle who owns the family estate leaves it to Ellie and Bentley on one condition- Ellie must lose weight, and Bentley, who wants to write a great novel but can only manage trashy pulp, must pen a good work. As they try to meet the demands to gain the prize, they face dangerous opposition. This is a funny, witty series of really good English cozy mysteries.

10. The Mandarin of Mayfair by Patricia Veryan
A spectacular Georgian romance by one of the genre’s masters. Her heroine, Gwendolyn, has a physical disability, and her hero, August Falcon, is part Chinese. That alone was enough to sell me. Veryan is a genius at weaving the political and religious instability of the day with crackling dialogue and exciting plots. A good old fashioned no-nookie romance.
Merry Christmas, everybody!


Kimber An said...

Okay, I want-




Robyn said...

Heads up, Santa!