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Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year Wrap Up/Most Anticipated Releases for 2013

It's that time of the year... To put it bluntly, it's the last day of 2012 and there was no apocalypse. Zombie or otherwise, and the Mayans were wrong (I still maintain they lost interest in making the calendar and just stopped altogether). I  joined the blogger world this past spring and though it has been  difficult to build Breath of Life Reviews from the ground to ankle level, it has been rewarding. I've met some amazing people that I can  now call my friends and I've found the courage to interact with authors,  including some of my favorites.

This year also saw the release of some really great romances, some from my favorites, but most from new-to-me authors. I've had a blast with all of them, and I can't let 2012 end without mentioning those books that really stood out. Nor can I let the 2013 begin without mentioning the books that I am anticipating more than my next Starbucks trip. So let's begin with my 2012 wrap up. These are the books that made my year (In order of release date).

Darker After Midnight (Midnight Breed #10) - Lara Adrian
- After building up the mystery, suspense and raising the stakes, Darker After Midnight brings two huge changes for the characters created by Lara Adrian and finally gave fan favorite, Sterling "Harvard" Chase his chance in the spotlight. He definitely did not disappoint this long time fan. Chase definitely went through some serious changes from when he was first introduced in Kiss of Crimson (Book #2). Leave it to Chase to find a female that not only challenged him, but provided a brand new mystery for the entire Breed species. Most series' have either ended or lost their steam before book 10, but Lara Adrian keeps it fresh, sexy and interesting.

Eternal Captive (Mark of the Vampire #3) - Laura Wright (Feb 2)
- It wasn't until promotion started for book 4 in this series started that I found the MOV series. Needless to say I quickly devoured the first three books in time for book 4 (Eternal Beast). However, it was the reckless Lucian that stayed in my mind long after I finished the fourth book in the series. He was my favorite kind of vampire. Dangerous, seductive, vulnerable and an outsider in the paranormal realm. His heroine was not what I anticipated either. Bronwyn was intelligent and beautiful but she wasn't obvious in her strength until she felt her back was up against the wall, then she fought with all she had. 

A Week to be Wicked (Spindle Cove #2) - Tessa Dare (March 27)
- I've been a fan of Tessa's for quite some time but it was A Week to be Wicked, the second book in her Spindle Cove series that made me laugh and fall madly in love with both the hero Colin Sandhurst and the heroine Minerva Highwood. I just knew that if a stubborn bluestocking like Minerva was forced to spend time with a selfish, pampered "Gentleman" like Colin, the fur (and clothes) would start to fly. Minerva, although often overlooked because of her keen mind and spectacles, wasn't immune to a little fun and games, often at instigated by Colin. 

Tiger (New Species #7) - Laurann Dohner (April 10)
- Laurann Dohner marked my return to reading erotic romances. While all her New Species books have been a joy to read, Tiger is one of my favorites. Since the moment he appeared, Tiger not only provided some of the funniest moments of the series, but was extremely vocal about never wanting to limit himself to just one female. One by one as his fellow New Species brethren fell in love his protests only got louder and louder which only meant one thing: His female was going to have to be very special to catch his attention and steal his heart. Zandy met that challenge head on and gave the very popular Tiger a run for his money.
Purchase: Kindle l Nook 

Taste - Kate Evangelista (April 30)
- The only YA novel on my list. This story was a delight! An intelligent, stubborn and brave human teen heroine? Gads, I didn't know they existed! This was my first (and probably only) zombie related book. Phoenix is a tough girl, an outsider in some ways, who finds herself attracted to two very handsome, mysterious guys. The characters are well written and at times funny. Taste may be in the YA section at the book store but don't let that stop you adults from reading it! I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did and I look forward to Luca's turn in the spotlight!

More Than a Kiss - Stacey Joy Netzel (May 1)
- My first indie author. I love how Stacey creates a balance of romance and humor in each of her books as well as sexy heroes and stubborn heroines. More Than a Kiss starts off with humor as well as an instant attraction between Sadie and Zach and it continues throughout the entire book. I have had the pleasure of reading more of Stacey's books and I have to say that they too contain laugh out loud moments and sexy moments between her characters. I have to thank Danielle from Book Whore for introducing me to Stacey's books. 
Purchase: Amazon l Kindle l Nook

Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane #4) - Elizabeth Hoyt (June 26)
- A superhero in 1737? Yes please! The way too serious Winter Makepeace needed a heroine to shake up his ordered life. Lady Isabel Beckinhall needs to see that there's more to life than balls, gowns, riches and disappointment. I thought these two were mismatched in every way and wasn't sure if the pairing would work... It did, in an explosive, sexy and romantic way. Easily the best book in the entire Maiden Lane series, this book not only had a virgin hero who moonlighted as a masked savior in the most dangerous part of London, but a gorgeous cover and stepback to match. 

Blaze (Phoenix Rising #2) - Joan Swan (Sept 25)
- New author Joan Swan released her debut (Fever) earlier this year, followed by a turn as an indie author with Intimate Enemies. However it was the second book in her Phoenix Rising series with Luke Ransom that made me one very happy fan. From the moment Luke appeared in Fever, I had it bad for the sexy, tortured hero. It was definitely a love at first sight situation for me. To make things even better, his heroine Keira was a kick ass woman with gifts of her own and a stubborn streak to match Luke's. Blaze will be hard to beat (due in part to the hotness that is Luke). Thank you to my friend Rachel for bringing Joan's books to my attention!

Paradise Hops - Liz Crowe (Oct 15)
- Now this book is a definite tear jerker. Liz Crowe was an author I had never heard of until she participated in a blog hop and I noticed that she wrote "Romance for Real Life." My curious nature lead me to a whole new world of raw, real and emotionally engaging books with unforgettable characters and true to life scenarios. Paradise Hops left me at a loss for words for a few minutes after I finished and then I couldn't get my thoughts out fast enough. Lori, Garret and Eli were all tortured, all flawed and all fighting the extraordinary pull that keeps them in each other's lives. 

Wolfishly Yours (Westfield Spin-Off #2) - Lydia Dare (Nov 6)
- One of the only paranormal regency romance series out there, the two woman team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson write beautifully interwoven romantic and hilarious stories involving wolves, witches and vampires. Now that his twin Wesley has found his mate, it's Grayson Hadley's turn, only he didn't know it. I have found the Hadley brothers (starting with half brother Dashiel Thorpe from The Taming of the Wolf) to be so entertaining. They're wild, unrefined, rogues who just happen to turn into wolves during the full moon. This time, the heroine wasn't an unsuspecting english gentlewoman, she was the sister of two American wolves. Liviana wasn't easily impressed, all she wanted was to go home to New Orleans and she wasn't going to let a handsome English wolf stand in her way.Wolfishly Yours has so far been one of the best of all the series.

Rogue Rider (Lords of Deliverance #4) - Larissa Ione (Nov 20)
- Who knew pure evil could turn out to be so damn good? My favorite book by Larissa Ione so far, Rogue Rider proved that even the Horseman who almost ended the world deserves a chance at love. Reseph definitely had an uphill battle ahead of him and Jillian was the perfect heroine to help him get past the horror he inflicted on the world and his family as Pestilance. Reseph was a vulnerable hero, he doubted himself and truly hated himself for what he had done. There was humor in this book, even when things were looking grim and the chemistry with Reseph and Jillian was scorching. Reseph was my favorite Horseman and one of my top tortured heroes ever and he really deserved a happy ending. Though with Larissa, there is never such thing as a complete happy ending...

It's been a pretty interesting year, book wise but I anticipate that 2013 will be just as good if not better. There are quite a few books that are already ranking high on my "Most Anticipated" list and I suspect as 2013 progresses, that list will grow. For now though, here is my current list of "Most Anticipated Releases" in order of their presumed release date.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (Rule of Scoundrels #2) - Sarah MacLean (January 29)
- A new to me author, I adored her Love by Numbers trilogy (My Favorite was Eleven Scandals to Star to Win a Duke's Heart, oh the passion and angst!). This is the second book in a new series, and I liked the first one but I love the sound of this one. An "odd" heroine is a great way to get my attention.
Pre-Order: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble l Nook
The Dark Lady (Mad Passions #1) - Máire Claremont (February 5)
- The Dark Lady will be Máire Claremont's official debut. So why did I include her on the list? Because her short story, The Twelve Days of Seduction was part of an anthology with Delilah Marvelle and I loved how great her characters were and the passion between them. The premise of The Dark Lady is something very unique as well. A heroine who is locked in an asylum? Yes please.
Pre-Order: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble l Nook
Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane #5) - Elizabeth Hoyt (February 26)
-  Her last book, Thief of Shadows earned a spot in my "Never Going to Get Over" list (which is very small and pretty exclusive) so my  expectations for Lord of Darkness is very high. However, since Elizabeth  Hoyt has NEVER disappointed  me, I am confident I'll love this book just as much as I loved the  previous books. This is one book that I am dying to get my hands on  ASAP.
Pre-Order: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble l Nook
Edge of Dawn (Midnight Breed #11) - Lara Adrian (February 26)
- Edge of Dawn takes place 20 years after the last book (Darker After Midnight) and deals with the aftermath of the Red Dawn, the bloody day in which mankind learned of the existence of vampires and two childhood sweethearts, Kellan and Mira (who appeared as children in previous books) find themselves on opposite sides of a new war that is taking shape in an already unstable world.
Dusk with a Dangerous Duke (Lords of Vice #6) - Alexandra Hawkins (February 26)
- The thing about these men created by Alexandra Hawkins is that they often walk the line between hero and villain. They are beautifully flawed, they know it and they revel in it. I've enjoyed the previous books in the series ("Dare" has replaced "Sin" as my favorite LoV but it's After Dark with a Scoundrel that's my favorite book) and anticipate that "Hunter" will deliver and live up to his reputation as a Lord of Vice. 

If You Give a Rake a Ruby (Jewels of the Ton #2) - Shana Galen (March 5)
- Taking three Courtesans and making them the heroines is a risky move in a historical romance, but Shana Galen pulled it off with the first book in this new series (When You Give a Duke a Diamond). The little glimpses provided about the other two "Jewels" has me excited to read about Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery. She ought to be very interesting.
Pre-Order: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble l Nook

Eternal Demon (Mark of the Vampire #5) - Laura Wright (May 7)
- I loved the direction this series is going, and Laura Wright keeps things sexy, steamy and interesting in every book. She writes such strong but vulnerable characters and with the way book 4 left off, I'm desperate to read Erion's story. I have a feeling that Erion just might give Lucien a run for his money.
Pre-Order: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble l Nook

Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove #4) - Tessa Dare (May 28)
- One by one the unconventional ladies of Spindle Cove have found love in the most unlikely places. This time it's barmaid Pauline's turn. Tessa Dare has made each of the Spindle Cove ladies unique, funny and endearingly odd for their time in some way or another. I'll have to go back and see if Pauline has any telling scenes in the previous books as I confess I don't remember her at all. If Any Duchess Will Do is anything like its predecessors, I suspect I will laugh and fall in love with this book too.

Styxx (Dark Hunter #23) - Sherrilyn Kenyon (August 27)
- I am a die hard Sherrilyn Kenyon fan, and recently, a friend of mine did a very dear thing for me. She was going to DragonCon and offered to get me a personalized, signed copy of Acheron from Sherrilyn herself! I have loved the Dark Hunter series since 2007 when I picked up the first book in the series. Now it's Styxx's turn and on the one hand I am giddy and excited but on the other... The wait is KILLING ME!!
Pre-Order: Amazon l
Reaver (Working Title, Demonica #6) - Larissa Ione (Late 2013 *faints*)
- Dare I say that this next book by Larissa Ione just might be better than Rogue Rider? Larissa has spent years building they mystery of Reaver's fall from Heaven and now the waiting has an end date (sort of). Reaver has been around from the beginning of the Demonica series and even crossed into the Lords of Deliverance series but there's still a ton of things fans don't know about him!

Rush (Phoenix Rising #3) - Joan Swan (Unknown release date *wails*)
- With each book in the series, more questions than answers are being revealed. I'm becoming very attached to the characters created by Joan Swan. They're the type of people I'd love to have as family but at the same time I'd want to strangle them for their nosiness and inability to stay serious for longer than 5 minutes, actually, that's probably why they're such entertaining characters to me.

Savor & Fervor - Kate Evangelista
- Basically? They're two totally separate stories featuring Luka from Taste. They're going to be released at the same time with Savor being a contemporary romance with paranormal elements and Fervor being urban fantasy paranormal romance. That's literally all there is right now (aside from the cover reveal of Savor) but I am constantly skulking around Kate's blog waiting for the latest news. 

One of the best things about a "Most Anticipated" list is that it always has room to grow, so I'll probably tack on about 15 more books by the end of January. One of my other goals for 2013 is to get signed books from more of my favorite authors. I already have in what my mom calls my "Book Rock Star Shrine" signed and personalized books from Joan Swan, Laura Wright, Alexandra Hawkins, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Tessa Dare. I hope by the end of 2013 that list will have grown.

Hey, you have your goals, I have mine. Happy New Year book lovers!


  1. Loved Rogue Rider!! I haven't read any of the others, I'll have to check them out. Next year's books look really good, I need to read L.Ione's Demonica series and catch up.

  2. So many awesome books are coming out in 2013! I'm excited about almost all of these especially Reaver's story, Lord of Darkness, Styxx, and The Dark Lady.

  3. I know right? I just KNOW I'm going to go broke!

  4. Wickedly DeliciousJanuary 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Loved Taste


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