Mid-Year Favorites 2011


The year’s half over and I thought it would be a good idea to list my favorite books so far this year.  I’ve been on a reading roll these past few months, and that means I haven’t felt like making time for writing about what I’ve read. Doing a mid-year list will give me a chance to say a few things about books I liked without having to do a review. I may still do the reviews, of course, but I have no idea when that will be!

The list isn’t in any particular ranking order. I’ve tried to keep it in the order I read the books. A few even have reviews.


I started the year out with a new author and series to follow. . .

Black Wings (Christina Henry)

Black Wings (Christina Henry) (Madeline Black #1) – A quote from my review: “The story is nearly non-stop action. I found it hard to put down at times because I was caught up in what was going on and I wanted to know what would happen next. I will definitely be reading the next book.”

And the next book in a favorite series.

Buffalo West Wing (Julie Hyzy)

Buffalo West Wing (Julie Hyzy) (White House Chef #4) – A quote from my review:  “This book is my favorite one, so far, in this series. The mystery and the secondary story lines really worked for me. Ollie has matured in her role as the executive chef.”


The love of power. . .

Dynasty of Evil (Drew Karpyshyn)Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil (Drew Karpyshyn) (Darth Bane #3) – A quote from my review: “I loved this book. It was so much better than Rule of Two. I’ve enjoyed reading the Darth Bane trilogy, having a Sith as the main character and rooting for someone who would ordinarily be considered the villain.”

and the power of love.

Unchained (Sharon Ashwood)

Unchained (Sharon Ashwood) (The Dark Forgotten #3) – A quote from my review:  “I fell in love with Reynard. His dilemma, even knowing how it ends, still got to me. I really do like Ashe, now that she isn’t butting heads with Holly, thinking she knows better than her little sis.”


The official start of  my reading roll.  It was also the month the bookshelf bingo game began.

From Austin, Texas. . .

Queen of Shadows (Dianne Sylvan)Queen of Shadows (Dianne Sylvan) (Shadow World #1) – A quote from the game:  “The characters really made this book for me. Miranda was a strong character and I liked her a lot.”

To outer-space.

Song of Scarabaeus (Sara Creasy)

Song of Scarabaeus (Sara Creasy) (Scarabaeus #1) – A quote from the game:  “I loved it.”  Science Fiction, with romantic elements.  Edie’s valuable because of her abilities and Finn is considered expandable because he’s a slave.  Both want to be free.


April was the month I finally got around to starting The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) (The Hunger Games #1) – A quote from the game:  “I liked Katniss right away.  Her having to shoulder so much responsibility at such a young age, not one to trust others easily, or get too close to them emotionally.  I saw and understood how all that colored her thinking.”

A book with a different take on vampires. . .

Darkness Dawns (Dianne Duvall)

Darkness Dawns (Dianne Duvall) (Immortal Guardians #1) – A quote from my review:  “Though [Sarah] wouldn’t last long going up against a vampire alone, she’s no helpless damsel-in-distress either. She save Roland’s life. She strong enough not to fall to pieces at the first sign of danger. She’s pretty good with a gun, having learned to use one while she was living in Texas, and she can definitely fight back — she stabs someone in the butt.”


In May, I read three books in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series:

Visions of HeatCaressed by IceMine to Possess

Visions of Heat (Bk #2), Caressed by Ice (Bk #3), Mine to Possess (Bk #4) – Though I had a lukewarm opinion of the first book in this series, I had intended to give the series another chance. I finally got around to reading the second book and was hooked! I literally scarfed up the next two as well. I plan to get caught up with this series, so when Hawke’s book comes out in paperback, I can just jump right in.

Also — a fantasy that read almost like an urban fantasy:

Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Lisa Shearin) (Raine Benares #1) – A quote from the game: “Raine reminded me of Kate Daniels in many was.  She’s protective of those she cares about and she won’t sit idly by while others put themselves in danger because of her.  Plus, she’s sarcastic.”


June was all about love!

Magic Slays (Ilona Andrews)Renegade Angel (Kendra Leigh Castle)Frostbound (Sharon Ashwood)Red Heat (Nina Bruhns)Touched by an Alien (Gini Koch)

Magic Slays (Ilona Andrews) (Kate Daniels #5) – From my comment on Goodreads: “Love it. I liked that we got to see how Kate and Curran are coping with their relationship.  I thought the dinner scene, the first few moments of it, had a “first date” vibe to it — shy and awkward.  Very sweet.  And who knew the Beast Lord was such a romantic.”

Renegade Angel (Kendra Leigh Castle) – From my comment on Goodreads:  “I loved it. I felt it could have been a feature length book and I wonder if the author plans to write more set in this world. There were plenty of secondary characters that I would have liked to know more about.”

Frostbound (Sharon Ashwood) (The Dark Forgotten #4) – I’ve loved this series from the first.  Like the others, there is a strong family theme.  Lore and Talia are perfect for each other.

Red Heat (Nina Bruhns) (Men in Uniform #1) – As I stated in the June update, this was an unexpected read for me.  I got hooked from the first page.

Touched by an Alien (Gini Koch) (Katherine “Kitty” Katt #1) – I loved this book!  I loved Kitty!  And Jeff!  And Kitty’s parents! I wish I’d stated this series sooner.  Thankfully, I have the next two on hand.

And that’s it!

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