Maryse’s 2011 Top Twenty Five Favorite Books List – Too Good To Archive

by Maryse on December 31, 2011 · 72 comments

in My Favorites

In 2011 I read 117 books. Or actually, I should say, I completed exactly 110 books, and didn’t finish seven of ‘em. Wanna know how I came up with this list? Most of these are the books that I have read, and/or have re-read this year that continue to “live” in my Kindle vs. being “archived” and deleted out of my main virtual library.

You see, even though archiving my e-books doesn’t delete them from my account, and I can retrieve them at any time, I can’t bear to part with these. I need to see them every day, as I scroll though my unread books (just seeing them gives me butterflies). I need to open them up every once in awhile, and re-read my favorite highlighted parts, when I’m reminiscing or when I’m bored but don’t have the time to start a brand new book. And sometimes, I just need to re-read them altogether.

I know… some of these you’ve already seen in some of my past lists (yep – that’s how good they are, so on this main list, they will remain), but I’ve read a bunch more that so need to be listed…

So here they are. These books are “too good to archive”. I tried to order these by favorites, but it’s almost impossible. If they’re on this list, it’s because they affected me tremendously in some way. Either I obsessed about the hero, and/or couldn’t put it down or I dreamt about the book, or it simply had a moment that shocked me and made me gasp. No matter what, the books on this list made me feel. And I connected to them, wholeheartedly.

Update: I sorta cheated. The list started out as my top “twenty” but  there are now 25 books on the list ;) Hey! What can I say? I had a great book year! Many of the ones that aren’t on this list were still really good, and 4 stars for me… Yep. A great book year!

Many of them are tied in the same spot:

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James - Prepare yourselves. This one (and book #2) might just ruin you for all other books. I’m not making this up. It’s the problem most presented to me in the emails I get on a regular basis from other readers. No other book can touch this one now for them. You’ll have no choice but to become obsessed with Christian Grey. It can’t be helped. And the funny thing about it, is that had I not told you this, many of you would have bypassed it altogether due to the “alternative romance” content held within. Even the most vanilla of us can’t resist it (even if some of us try to keep that fact a secret). Don’t pass this one by. But before you get to it, maybe you should read a bunch of my other favorites, and save this one for last. Just sayin’.

Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James. Book #2 in the “Grey” trilogy. This one’s even better than #1. ‘Nuff said. (whoops!! Other than that warning I gave you above: “… maybe you should read a bunch of my other favorites, and save this one for last. Just sayin’.”

Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens. A rock star, and a sordid love triangle. But that’s not all. This author pushes the boundaries. Every moment, every emotion is wonderfully detailed, and every emotion is experienced by the reader. She doesn’t just tell the story. She makes us love it. This one’s not quite politically correct, but boy oh boy does it make the reader react. In a good way. In a bad way. But then there’s Kellan. And that’s all there needs to be. *heart*. Her second book

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire – I know… I know. This one has been on every one of my lists this year, and pretty much always around the top of ‘em. I know. Why should I change now? The book still rocks my world. There’s no other way around it. In fact, I sent a copy to my mom, and she told me she stayed up all night to read it, dreamt about it, and couldn’t stop thinking about it the following day. I wasn’t sure how much she’d connect with them considering the whole “college life” thing, but she did. See? No other way around it… Plus. There’s more to come! You’ll be seeing more of Jamie on my future lists for sure.

On the Island: A Novel by Tracey Garvis-Graves – this was the last book I read in 2011. And WHAT A WAY to end my reading year. I ended it in a whirlwind of danger, frightening events and circumstances, and deep bonding. *sigh* A perfect story. You’ll shiver in fear, you’ll worry, you’ll laugh, you’ll fret, you’ll cheer. You’ll sigh with a heart brimming full of emotion and love. You’ll cry. Oh you will cry. My only complaint. I wish there was more. I miss them terribly. A re-read for sure!

Effortless (Thoughtless) (book #2) is a half step down from Thoughtless for me, in intensity. But it is SO needed for the reader’s need for resolution. Kellan, and crew are back, and Kellan is now officially on his way to becoming a huge rock star. Considering his past issues with Keira, how will his future bode? Mmmm hmmm. I’m not saying a word. ;)

Shadowfever: A MacKayla Lane Novel by Karen Marie Moning – an amazing ending to a saga that had us gaga (ew! I hate that word, but it worked too perfectly here) over Barrons… and some of us, V’Lane ;) —> Me. I’m a V’lane girl! *shrug* Can’t help it. But I adored Barrons too, I promise!! And guess what. We found out that in fact, this isn’t the end! Karen announced that after her spin-off trilogy, there will be more in the MacKayla Lane world to follow, featuring Mac and Barrons. Whaaaaat? Some of you didn’t know? Bet you’re freakin’ now!

Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley – I cheered when I found this book. Right off the bat. I knew. I found another one. Another Alpha male that was going to make us swoooooon and our hearts palpate, and our dreams full of Tate. Tate. Tate. Tate. Gorgeous tattooed, bad-boy alpha with tons of rude ‘tude. On a Harley. In leather. He says some pretty mean things at first which immediately put me in growl-mode, and it just kept getting better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) but in an “I-hate-him-but can’t resist-him” kind of way. And that’s the most fun way to be, when reading, isn’t it? Make us work for it. And this author sure did. BTW, I’m gonna only put up a few from this author on this list, but honestly, almost every book I’ve read from her, so far, is right about at the same level as this one. (and she’s written many!)

Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn –> I just re-read this one over the Christmas weekend. Just as amazing the second time around. And Brian is still one of my #1′s without a doubt. I was wondering if maybe I was just “extra” romance-y feeling when I first read it and fell for him so hard, but nope. Brian just brings it. Maybe Ghost’ll bring it, too? *fingers crossed*

How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo – okay so officially this book is older, but I found and read it in 2011 and it totally counts. This is one of my favorite books of all-time, and I will NEVER forget it. Well, I’ll never forget any of the books on this list, but this one, in particular traumatized me and scarred me for life. In a bad way. And in a good way too. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Mystery Man (Daydream Series) by Kristen Ashley – Another infuriating Alpha-male love affair where the the relationship with the hero is simply, mind-boggling. He loves me, he loves me not… and that whole thing. But things sure spur him into action when two other super-hot alphas (a bad boy biker and a detective) take an interest in the heroine. HIS woman. Oh yeah? Since when? Hawk took me on quite an emotional ride, with his game-playing turned serious, turned “I-dunno-what-I-want” heartbreak. Grrrrrrrr!! As in the world of Wilma Flinstone “ooooooooh THAT MAN!!!!!” Did I just date myself? Y’all still know who the Flintstones are (were), right? ;)

Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain Series) by Kristen Ashley - Ty will make you swoon, and then break your heart.  A few times. For both. The premise is absolutely crazy, and yet, it works. The author let’s us live their crazy story, and you absolutely forget you’re not in it with them. It is fast-paced, fun and absolutely furious. And then… there’s a beach scene. Do you like to cry, when reading? *grin* I adored this book.

Where She Went (If I Stay) by Gayle Forman – Ohhhh the plight of yet another tortured rock star. And this character had every right to his desperate angry tormented ways. EVERY reason. And as we live out a few days during the pinnacle of his huge rock-stardom, we re-live his agony over his loss of the only thing that mattered to him. Rock stardom was his dream, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, living it with a broken heart. Sure, the reason for his destruction is also what helped catapult him to rock stardom, but he just can’t get past it. And this is the book that brings us (and him) face to face with his heartbreaker. (to get the whole sad story, check out book #1 first: If I Stay)

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park – The first book that I tried and LOVED that really didn’t have anything in it that I normally “searched” for when looking for a new book to read. No bite-y creatures, no tattooed bad-boys, no rock stars. But it was amazing. A little mystery, a little romance, family issues and bonding, a Christmas moment that stole my heart. Yearning… and then a twist that took my breath away! An unforgettable 2011 read for sure! Oh Jesssssicaaaaa… perhaps there is a part 2, to this story? Hrmmm *hint hint*

Love Unscripted by Tina Reber – a fairytale that could totally happen. It could. It’s what every girl who’s ever had a crush on a famous actor has wished for at one time in her life, I’m sure. And Taryn get’s it. Unfortunately, she get’s all the insecurities that go along with dating such an A-lister and the fun is not just in the romance, but in the potential heartache and drama that follow. I didn’t see it coming…

At Peace (The ‘Burg Series) by Kristen Ashley. Another AMAZING read that had me clutching my heart at times, and completely connecting to the heroine. I understood her from start to finish. I felt her crush on Joe, her hesitation because of his bad-boy history, her acceptance of him into her life because he was so obviously into her. And then I felt it when he ripped her heart out. Kristen’s Alphas are always equal mix of hot, irresistible and infuriating, but as the story plays out, you always *get him* too. LOVED this one!

The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred – this one is simply a HUGE story. From childhood to adulthood, the two main characters will capture your heart and never let it go. Regardless of whether you are reading about them as children or older, the beauty in their friendship is so pure that you’ll love every moment of it. Until, that is, something terrible happens to separate these two soul-mates. And yet, you won’t be able to put it down. Which is the whole reason we read these epic stories, isn’t it? It can’t always be pretty and perfect. In fact, I prefer when it gets messy. Prepare to be devastated.

Finding Home by Bonnie Dee and Lauren Baker – this one had me in a sort of reading “tailspin”. I loved it, and yet, I seriously struggled with the age issues of the two main characters. Regardless. The story is amazing, and if you read it, you won’t be able to forget it. Impossible. It could have been a five star for me, if only… *shrug*

I’m going to definitely “tie” the next three:

Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts) by Kele Moon – this one scratched almost every one of my UFC famous guy needs. I LOVE ‘em hulking, brooding and easily winning in the strong-guy department. What? Please! We all love that! Don’t we? LOL! Well I do, and this one had it. Plus he was the ULTIMATE of the ultimate. Plus!! This ultimate fighting champion/hero did NOT play games. I love some game plain’ in books like the next guy, but sometimes its refreshing to get plain ol’ hard-core intensity, and this guy had it in spades.

Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour) by Olivia Cunning. Brian. Another wonderful Brian. And a HUGELY famous rock star, to boot! And he LOVES to fall in love. As I told me friend Tina: “… it was Brian that we all fell for. For such :”sexy” book she really nailed him nicely in the “swooning” department (at least for me).

Sweet as Sin by Inez Kelley - more bad boy/famous guy stuff. Resisting getting serious with the one that he can’t stop thinking about, because, you guessed it. He’s got a past that torments him, and he needs to deal. Still though, this one played me perfectly, and I’d love to find more like it.

Falling Star (Earth Scents) by Olivia Brynn - another book that satisfied my “regular-girl-meets-famous-rock-star” needs. This one too, played out beautifully as the clueless girl (she doesn’t recognize him) falls in deep. And the closer they get, the more nervous he is when he realizes she needs to know the truth about him. It’s getting serious, but will she accept a relationship with him, and all that comes with him? His “reveal” had me gasping. LOVED this book!!

Hearts In Darkness by Laura Kaye – this was a short story but packed quite an intense punch in such a small package. An original storyline, something that could totally happen, too (yes it could!!)… and a gorgeous tattooed and pierced bad boy as the hero. Who could ask for anything more? Steamy. SUPER steamy!! But there’s so much more to the potential romance then just the physical attraction. The emotional connection is there in full force. I wish there was more.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper – Simply… adorable. Steamy, and the romance was intense. I couldn’t put it down, and I felt their passion every step of the way). The feeling was just *right* in this. Similar “paranormal” issues as in other paranormal books, but the writing in this one had me connecting full-on.

Please Don’t Stop The Music - A rock star book that took my breath away at one point. A book with so much angst, but this one has a reason for it. Oh sure, they all do, but really. This one DOES!! Ex-Rock star (who was hugely famous just a couple of years ago) running his quiet little guitar shop in England. Avoiding the masses, living almost reclusively, yet still being recognized, still visited by fans. He struggles with who he was and who he is now. BIG time. But in walks someone that he connects to on a level that he hasn’t connected on in ages. Considering both are running away from their pasts, the book takes a few dark turns as their friendship develops. There’s a reason for why he left his rock-stardom behind, and the fun is in discovering the secret. But she has a secret, too.

Well,  there are my top twenty but I’d love to get yours!! Tell me what your absolute favorites of the year were (top 5, 10, 20…). Comment, Facebook or email me your lists! I’m all ears (or eyes… since, you know… they’re books.) Tee hee!

P.S. I have re-ordered these 3 or 4 times now, and it’s still not right. I’m still second guessing my placement. *shakes head* The whole first half can practically be considered (in my opinion) tied at 1st place. So there. ;)

I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!!

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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane December 31, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Ooohh…. What about Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning? Bad boy rockers and soooooo hot :-)

Maryse December 31, 2011 at 8:41 PM

You know… I was debating big time on that. Okay.. I’m gonna tie it with the last two in tied place. Lemme put it in. I wholeheartedly agree!

Deanna December 31, 2011 at 9:05 PM

At the top of my list: Beautiful Disaster. Flat-Out Love, both 50 Shades, Where She Went, Moreno Series, Love Unscripted…oh my. I have a lot of favorites. Do I dare admit I have an excel spreadsheet that is color coded?!?!?!?!?!!?

Penny December 31, 2011 at 9:08 PM

That”s a great list! some are on my TBR list and I’m looking forward to reading them if they’re on your tops list :)
Happy New Year!!

angie December 31, 2011 at 10:23 PM

U should just post the names of the 117 group them in the order the should be read and bazinga youve just given us or me an xmas gift. Lololololololololol

Kara December 31, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Not gonna lie Maryse…you have me terrified to read FSoG. I am just not ready to have everything else just not measure up yet. So alas I have put off reading it for now (it just sits on my Kindle teasing the crap outta me) EEks!! Until then I must say Kristen Ashley and all of her series I have read thus far are my favorites for 2011. Her alphas are right up there for me with Z and Wrath and Eric and…I better stop there you get the point ;) . Happy New Year Everyone and Happy Reading!

Michele January 1, 2012 at 12:33 AM

My top 20 of 2011:
Thoughtless & Effortless
Fifty Shades of Grey & Darker
Beautiful Disaster
Rock Me & Unleashed
Captive in the Dark
Deep in the Woods
Masters of the Shadowlands Series
Providence, Requeim
Rock Hard & Backstage Pass
The Reluctant Dom
Love Unscripted
Ra’s Chosen Series
The Sweet Gum Tree
Hush, Hush Series
Fallen Series
Flat Out Love
Wide Awake
It’s all relative

Gitte January 1, 2012 at 4:57 AM

My favorite book discoveries 2011, most of them down to you Maryse so thanks :0):

BDB series (I’m guessing I was late discovering these ;0)
Demonica Series (..again late on this one ;0)
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Sweet Dreams
Beautiful Disaster
At Peace
Lady Luck
Rock Me
The Gamble
Deep in the Woods
Falling Star
Mystery Man
The Rock Chick Books
Master of the Shadowlands series
Love Unscripted
Lords of the Underworld series (caught that one late too I think ;0)
Hearts in Darkness

Maryse January 1, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Thanks to some of these lists, I’ve just purchased a few more for 2012!

patricia January 1, 2012 at 9:21 AM

FYI : Author Jessica Park has a free n9k on amazon called relatively famous. Sounds good

patricia January 1, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Book ……..I swear technology sucks….sometimes

Yanira January 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Fave books 2011
Happy New Year guys, may it bring us lots and lost of good reads.

Without a doubt Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker are my # 1. No other book had me in a state frenzy reading like this. But close enough are Succubus Revealed, my fave book series so far Georgina Kincaid last book and Shasowfever, this book and this series had me going crazy off the wall with it’s ups and dows. I can say they are my absolute top faves of the year. 

The other ones are:
Rock Me, it has my fave fictional character ever Brian Ross *swoon*
Thoughtless, Effortless, Kellan Kyle , noff said.

Anything and everything by SC Stephens, I read a bunch of her books on Feedbooks and loved them all instensely. She has a way to make u love her characters. Collision Course, this one I highly recommend, I cried a lot with this one, 2 kids with very tragic pasts find each other and  make each other better. The Conversion series is a great paranormal read and Teren Adams is one of my fave leading men ever, he’s the sweetest guy ever, no alpha there. And It’s all relative, it has a tabooish thing about it, since the couple think they are cousins, but its also very good.

All the others: Boycotts and Barflies fun chick lit, smart girls swear off guys, barternder guys want smart girls swearing off barflies. Fun fun fun.
My Blood Approves series; Unleashed (Evan, Brian’s brother);
Chicagoland series: awesome series with enfuriating alpha, kinda hated book #4, but loved #5, so it’s all good now.
Nightshade series, love Michelle Rowen
Hearts in Darkness;
Beautiful Disaster;
Moreno Brothers series;
Perfect Chemistry;
The Darkest Surrender, of Lords of the Underworld ;
Skin Deep, one of the latest I read this year, but oh so steamy good.
**New Years resolution** Start listing the books read, all I know is that I read a lot.

patricia January 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Thoughtless &Effortless
Fifty Shades of Grey & Fifty Shades Darker
Beautiful Disaster
All of Kristen Ashley’s books ( can ‘t pick just one)
Love Unscripted
Sweet Gum Tree
How to Kill a Rockstar
Rock Me
Chicagoland Vampire series
Forbidden…(warning taboo subject, will never read again due to the emotional duress this bookkeeper put me through, however she managed to have me wishing,yearning for these two’s HEA,)

Brown Siblings
Chase Brothers


Reason to Breathe (warning horrible cliff hanger
Chicagoland Vampire series………….

Maryse January 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Yanira – I’m off to get Skin Deep as we speak!!

Patricia… oh YES… Forbidden. I have heard alllllllll about that one. So highly rated, and yet the story scares me to death, so I have yet to get it. I probably won’t. ‘Cause I’m chicken like that. ;)

Maryse January 1, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Haha Kara! Too funny! It’s true, I just had to warn y’all.

Gitte January 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Which ones are Skin Deep and Forbidden? They sound scary but I need to know LOL!!!

Christina January 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM

maryse, my list is exactly like yours. I am pretty sure FSoG and FSD ruled my 2011 year. I finished at 219 whoops between July and the end of the year. I have no clue how many were before I got an ereader. this year, I’m making a list!

Christina January 1, 2012 at 2:41 PM

books* not whoops! ugh

Maryse January 1, 2012 at 3:06 PM

LOL! Blasted auto-correct!! Grrrrrrrrr!

Yanira January 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Skin Deep by Anna J. Evans

I read it because of goodreads reviews and it’s Cherrie Lyn approved!!!

KarenH January 1, 2012 at 10:45 PM

My top 20 for the year:
1. Thoughtless/Effortless- sc stephens
2. Fallen From Grace- laura leone
3. Fifties- el james
4. Finding Home-bonnie dee
5. Take This Regret-amy lichtenhan
6. Unlawful Contact-pamela clare
7. Love Unscripted-tina reber
8. The Wreck-marie force
9. Where She Went-gayle forman
10. Everyone Loves a Hero-marie force
11. Beautiful Disaster-jamie mcguire
12. One Summer-karen robards
13. Rock Hard-olivia cunning
14. Flat-Out Sexy-erin mccarthy
15. Bone Deep-bonnie dee
16. Pulled-amy lichtenhan
17. My One & Only-kristan higgins
18. Summer of Two Wishes-julia london
19. Rock and a Hard Place-angie stanton
20. Unclaimed-courtney milan

angie January 1, 2012 at 10:58 PM

ok heres the cat getting killed. Who is the author of Forbidden, i am curious to know what the story is about. Can someone fill me in please.

Mary jo January 2, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Is it Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. If so, I just read the summary and your right Maryse I’m too chicken for that!

Maryse January 2, 2012 at 12:35 AM

Yep I believe that’s the one… And I hear its not necessarily a HEA… Nope. Not for me.

patricia January 2, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Yes it is…………if only I would have known beforehand, however I will never ever read it again. The words and story will forever be ingrained onto my mind and heart ( even with the tabooness of it….,yeah I know) no HEA……..just a lot of kleenex

Aestas January 3, 2012 at 1:15 AM

oh wow! I have a lot to add to my reading list – I love that you posted this!!

Thanks to your blog, I have many fav books now and about a million and one more to read :)

My fav contemporaries for this year were:
Fifty + Darker
Beautiful Distaster
Finding Home

My fav paranormals were:
Dark Hunter series
BDB series
Night Huntress series
Fever series
Demonica series

I know I’m a little late on some of them but I discovered them in 2011 so thats the year I associate them with.

Can’t wait for 2012… though I’m pretty sure my to-read list is gonna keep me occupied for the next century or two :P

Aestas January 3, 2012 at 1:17 AM

oh and also the Sinners… can’t forget them :P

Carla January 3, 2012 at 2:41 AM

You read all of it? Gee! this is a LOT of books, U got to read 40.

Oh thank you so much Maryse. I kind of was looking for a list like that, because of your recomendation that i had the pleasure to read 2 of my favorite books of the year (Fifty shades of grey and Thoughtless), and now I’m looking for a good book and i don’t know where to find a REALLY good one. And now i am on the case of “what to read after fifty shades) hahahahaha

Well here goes my list… my top 10. The books I couldn’t stop to read, even for sleep. I had to stop my life to finish these books.

Thoughtless &Effortless – S.C. Stephens
Fifty Shades of Grey & Fifty Shades Darker – EL. James
Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
Divergent – Veronica Roth
Delirium – Lauren Oliver
Shadowfever – Karen Marie Moning
Anna and the french kiss – Stephanie Perkins
We’ll always have summer – Jenny Han
Bloodlines – Richelle Mead
Leaving Paradise – Simone Elkeles

Sara January 3, 2012 at 6:21 AM

Read On the Island last week and CANNOT get Anna and TJ out of my brain! Such a good book!!

Maryse January 3, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Aestas! Your list rocks, too!! I read all of those paranormal series during the first year of my reading obsession. LOVED them all and still have fond memories.

Maryse January 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Thank you for the list Carla. You have some in there that I haven’t read and am very interested in…

Maryse January 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Sara. I know. I’m on the lookout for another like it (feeling-wise, at least). It ran us through a whole gamut of emotions.

Yvette January 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Maryse, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m so GLAD that I’ve found your blog. I have gotten a ton of great books from your recommendations. Kristen Ashley is now one of my very favorite authors, thanks to you. I’m still working my way through her series’. I will be adding some of these to my TBR 2012 pile for sure. Keep up the good work.

Maryse January 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Thanks Yvette!! Me too, I can’t get enough of Kristen Ashley. I’m trying to intersperse other books between my Kristen Ashley obsession, but I’m craving more. It’s been a couple of weeks now…

Jen January 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Maryse- This is my first comment. I just wanted to say thank you so much for your blog! I finally feel like I found a group that enjoys a great sexy heart wrenching romance as much as I do. Thanks for introducing Travis and Fifty to me. Those two men will forever be on my iPad! Happy New Year to you and your family!

E L James January 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Thank you so much for the honour.
I am so glad you enjoyed the books – I so hope you like the next one.
All the best.

Cheryl January 4, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I highly recommend “Gabriel’s Inferno” by Sylvain Reynard. The book is is along the lines of FSoG with a little Effortless sprinkled in. However, I liked it better than Effortless. Gabriel the lead character is a college professor with a tourtured soul and dark past. He is gorgeous and rich and goes for the virgin graduate student. I thought the writing was fantastic.

Mary January 5, 2012 at 1:45 AM

I posted my ‘list’ on your fbook but have a feeling 2012 will be a record breaker. 5 books in 4 days with a full time job and being a single parent. Who needs sleep? And apparently I can live off of popcorn (it’s much easier to eat that while reading than going through the nonsense of managing a plate of food). I just completed The Sweet Gum Tree and KNOW that book is going to be on the top of 2012′s list. Thanks so much for your dedication to the cause! Without your help I’d still be wanting aimlessly through my town’s much to be desired library.

Mary January 5, 2012 at 1:46 AM

^ wandering, not wanting!

Carla January 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Which ones you’re interested? Oh I finished one yesterday that I really loved. Made me forget fifty shades for while. “Trust in advertisiment” have you read it? Great great great characters. Beautiful love story. Made me cry, laught…. everything. Very good.

Carla January 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM

***Trust in advertising

sorry I wrote it wrong.

Maryse January 5, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Reeeealllly?? Trust in Advertising made your forget Fifty? Okay, well now that cinched it for me. MINE!!

Maryse January 5, 2012 at 1:44 PM

So happy to help Mary!! You guys have recommended quite a few awesome ones, to me too, so we’ve got an amazing 2012 ahead of us, I believe ;)

Kim January 7, 2012 at 8:18 PM


After I had recommended Thoughtless and Effortless to you I didn’t think there were books out there that could beat them, I swooned over Kellan the whole time I read them and I compared all other bad boys to him but OH MY I was wrong I finally read Fifty Shades & Fifty Shades Darker as I have heard so much about them from your site and it completely ruined me. I finished both books in two days I couldn’t put them down. And I haven’t been able to read in days which is huge for me. Thanks for all the amazing reads this year it has been great and looking forward to more in 2012

Carla January 8, 2012 at 1:25 AM

Yeah it did. Well it just made forget for 2 days( it was the time i took to read the book) mut still in these two days i can say that i forgot about fifty. hahahaha I mean, it’s not good as fifty, not at all. Its not as intense, but… And the story is predictible. But the author wrote it so well that in the end it didn’t really matter, and the characters are so good… I loved the girl. And it’s unusual for me. I mean between Abby, Keira, Ana and Candace for example I just truly truly liked Ana, and it was because of her that I decided to read the second book. For the first time in my life, I read a book not because of the guy, but because of the girl. And in trust in advertising i loved the girl too and the guy is also amazing.

Lucia January 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM

I haven’t read all of your top books yet, but I look forward to it. To add my two cents, I really like Stacia Kanes books. I loved Terrible, and I can’t wait for the next book in the Chess Putnam series. However, that said, I have been a huge fan of pretty much anything written by Kristen Ashley of late. Thank you for brining her to my attention, and for the other books on your list. I can’t wait to dig in! Happy New Year!

Maryse January 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Hi Lucia!

Yep! Terrible is one of my favorite hero’s but I read him in 2010. However, he does make it in my top ten paranormals list! :) *heart him*

Brandie January 14, 2012 at 9:56 PM

I just found your blog this last week but had to come back and comment. I read both 50 Shades books about 2 weeks ago and although they were a bit more graphic than what I normally read I loved them. So much so that after I finished the 2nd I started immediately reading them again;) I was so wrapped up in them that I was desperate to find out more about them and what to read next. Cue Google and your blog. After reading your 2011 list I grabbed my Kindle and bought Beatuful Disaster. LOVED it! It was another one of those that made me read it again when I was finished(50 Shades was the first time I needed to read a book again immediately). I just loved Travis so much. I then moved on to Love Unscripted. Another great one! Especially the first half. Their interaction and journey was so beautiful. I didn’t care for their actions near the end though. After her *spoiler* I wanted him to be there for her more than he was. Last but not least Thoughtless and Effortless. Sigh. I can not believe how much I loved/hated Thoughtless. I was calling Kiera ALL kinds of names at one point. I just couldn’t believe her *spoiler* like that. I was furious!!!! I don’t think, other than 50 Shades/Darker, I have ever been more wrapped up in a book than I was in Thoughtless. It was on my mind constantly. I’m ashamed to say that during my 9 years old basketball game last night I kept looking at the clock to see how close I was to being able to go home and keep reading it! I am in all kinds of love with Kellan, I mean really? Swoon! I downloaded Effortless at 2am this morning and finished an hour ago. I am waiting with baited breath for the next. I can’t wait for the next 50 this coming week too.

Anyway, that small novel I wrote up there was just to say, thank you so much for your great book reccommendations. I am a new follower of your blog and will definitely be trying more of your reccommendations. I have Sweet Dreams waiting for me on my Kindle now once I come down from my Kellan high;)

Maryse January 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Brandi!! I loved reading your comment and agree with you wholeheartedly about all of the books you mentioned. And I too, pouted at Ryan for a bit….

Just you wanit until you read Sweet Dreams. Get back to me, i’m anxious for your reaction!

Brandie January 20, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Okay, read sweet dreams and WOW!!! I was hesitant because of the ages of the lead characters but I am so glad that I listened to you and read it anyway. Loved the story and their connection. It was so fun to see her come into her own and find her “special”. This book was so freaking HOT! I kept looking around to see if anyone was seeing what I was seeing;)

Jen January 20, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Maryse- Have you read the KGI series by Maya Banks? It centers around the six Kelly Brothers. All have a military background and now run an elite ops “family business”. The Kelly men are ALPHA males with a capital A! Maya has written the first 3 (The Darkest Hour, No Place to Run, and Hidden Away). The second No Place To Run was my fav! Would love for Sam Kelly to pull me out of the lake!

Now I caution… Maya has also writes erotica….very steamy sexy stuff! (That my husband has benefited from me reading!) The KGI series is not like that, but if you are like me and read everything by the authors your love… I just want to prepare you.

stephanie January 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Have you read the Carpathian series by Christine Feehan?That series is my favorite, but she also has the Drake Sisters,Ghost Walker,and her Leopard Series.All of which are really good. She has some steamy sex scenes as well, but nothing that will make you blush ;)

Lee January 30, 2012 at 9:29 PM

ok if you haven’t read any of the dark hunters series by sherriyln kenyon, you need to check them out! they have it all fun,sad, sexy. lots of sexy:) also j.r.ward’s black dagger brotherhood series, and since shadow fever is on your list i hope you already read her highlander series by karen marie moning.

Kathy February 9, 2012 at 8:13 AM

I just finished the sweet gum tree and yes I cried thru many pages. Before that I read the fifty shades freed book that just released and I’ve read my way thru about 10 of the other books on this list. I just wanted to thank you for all the info on your website, it’s like my bible. Between what u have listed as best books and the comments from other readers and their best read lists I think I’m set for the next year. I’m so excited! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Karen G February 16, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I just published a “Fifty Shades” Playlist on iTunes for anyone who is as obsessed with the series as I am!!!! Look for it and ENJOY!!!

Maryse February 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Karen! I’m gonna find it and put the link up on the Grey reading order guide, too.

Nicole March 23, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I definitely recommend Maya Banks KGI series too.. just check out the cover of each book it’ll be enough to suck you right into reading them. :)

Rashmi May 16, 2012 at 12:58 AM

oh WOW, a whole list readymade for me!! I was a little iffy about Fifty Shades earlier, but now….oboy, I have a BIG grin on my face!! :D :D:D

Brittani May 17, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Feral Sins is also a great read. Seriously you make me smile just reading your blogs and list of great reads. To know that someone out their is feeling the same way as me AND is writing about it just makes me sooo happy. I tell people all the time that “i have been a happy owner of a kindle for year now” and they still look at me like im crazy for saying that. :) LOL…They just dont know what their missing!!

Bewaji May 31, 2012 at 7:35 PM

You need to read Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill, also Eileen Wilks Lupi series and DB Reynolds’ America Vampires series…oh boy!!! Hot, hot hot.

Amelie June 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

The Hunger Games are better than all these!!! I read them after twilight!!!

April June 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

OMG! I love you website. I read books so fast that I often can’t find them quick enough. There have been several books in your lists that I have picked up and put down, just wasn’t too sure about them. After seeing some of my favortie series’ in your lists as well, I knew I could trust your judgment, LOL. Anyway you are now booked marked into my favs.

S June 21, 2012 at 1:21 AM

I just have to say I LOVE every book on this list that I’ve read so far. Thank you so much for making this list and giving me several new addictive books with HOT, captivating leading men.

cara June 29, 2012 at 3:29 AM

My two all time favorite series are the black dagger brotherhood and the hollows series by Kim harrison. Definite must reads in my opinion. Your list has definitely have me some titles to check out. :-*

Billiejo July 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I am so glad that I found you..nice to see someone enjoys reading as much as I do. Although I didnt read near as many as you did, I did read 34 books in 2011 and thought it was quite an accomplishment.
Here is my list:
The wings in the night series by Maggie Shayne
Mad River Road by Joy Fielding
Grand Avenue by Joy Fielding
The Secret Heiress by Judith Gould
Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer
The Blackdagger Brotherhood by JR Ward (Im on book 8)
Bloodties series (book 1-4) by Jennifer Armintrout

Maryse July 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

How are you liking the BDB, Billiejo?

Kimberley July 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Ive been looking for some new book recommendations, now im spoiled for choice. I dont know where to start. :-)

Biate July 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I love your list!! There’s a few books I haven’t read yet so I better get to it. Beautiful Disasters, Sempre, Finding home and Bared to you will definitely be on my list of favorite books.

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Oh it was so hard to “order them” by favorites. So many I love equally. What one are you reading now?

Kallista May 13, 2013 at 1:04 PM

I thought i had read a lot of books…. now just looking at your list and all the lists of the commenters… I feel I must read more LOL I am currently making a list :P

shastine November 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM


chyneyface March 15, 2014 at 10:34 PM

thanks Maryse for the lists of books, i really enjoy your site. never use to read before, hate reading but after finding your site i cant stop. There is no book to me like fifty shades. i read the series 4 times and lost 8 pounds lol. crossfire series is very close along with “this man series – jodi Malpas

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