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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sanctuary's Finest's Favorite Reads of 2006.


As we count down the number of days that will take us into the new year of 2007, the number of books that booklovers have read throughout the year add up to be many. So the million dollar question of the week is, Of all the books you've read this year, which one is your favorite?

Here at Sanctuary's Finest, where it's book talk all day, everyday...we decided that it would be cool to highlight each of our Top 5 favorite books of 2006.

Dylan's up first....

As I look back on my book log, it really surprises me that it's only been a year since I've read some of the books on there. I mean, it's only been 11 months since I read SK's Unleash the Night? That feels like forever ago and then The Solomon Sisters Wise Up? Surely it's been longer than 10 months since I've read that book, it feels like 2 years.

But I digress, it took me a lot longer than I thought to actually peg down my top 5 favorite reads of the year because there were just too many books that I absolutely adored this year. Now I have to add that for the list that I put together, I didn't count any of the rereads that I did this year, the books on this list are books that I've read for the first time and after careful thinking and juggling books around in my head, here dear readers are Dylan's Top 5 Favorite Reads of 2006.

5.) Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward. This book was one of those books that had me captivated from the very beginning and I had some serious fangirl tendencies after reading this book and even though there was a bunch of drama with this author and her real fan girls, this still remains one of my favorite reads of the year. Rhage was the bomb and Mary, well she was just okay...but the story was fantastic, the characters were fabulous and I just loved me some Rhage.

4.) Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. This is another book that I absolutely loved. I fell in love with these Brothers in this book and was thoroughly thrilled to have read this book. Wrath and Beth's story was so friggin' great and I grin myself silly just thinking of when I read this book for the first time. Right after I read Rhage's book, I thought that I liked Lover Eternal better than Dark Lover but I don't...I love Wrath's book better.

3.) Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts. Man, I loved the ending to this series. It was a fabulous series for me to have read and I just loved Cian's book. This book had me all wrapped up in the world that NR created for these 6 characters and Cian is one of my most favorite heroes that I met in 2006. Loved this book!

There's a two way tie for my top slot but both books are written by Lisa Kleypas.

1.) Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas. Man was this book a winner for me. Derek Craven was friggin' awesome and I really loved his character, his insecurities and most of all, I loved the way he loved Sara, this is definitely one of my most favorite reads of the year.

and...

1.) Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas. This is the only book that was strong enough to have me pissed to high heaven, cry like a baby and laugh like a loon, all by just reading this book. It's the only book that I remember making me cry so much that I couldn't breathe, so yeah...this is most definitely my favorite read of 2006.

Some honorary mentions though go out to: I'm In No Mood for Love by Rachel Gibson, Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts, The Seduction of His Wife by Janet Chapman, Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas and Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie.

Daphne's up next....

This was a tough top five for me, but here they are:
5) Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I was very skeptical when I picked this one up. How could I not be, Vane was a wolf! As it turned out, I absolutely adored him and just loved seeing all the characters from the previous books come together. I think I might have read this twice in 2006.

4) Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward. Now I know some of you are thinking, why this book? Well, it wasn't the best book ever and I did have issues with several aspects of the book, but gosh darnit, this one really makes for good conversation.

3) The Seduction of His Wife by Janet Chapman. I read this one while on vacation in Australia, and I literally could not put it down. In the hotel, on the tour bus, I was hooked. Alex Knight and Sarah had great chemistry, and the character setup was great for future books in the series.

2) The Prize by Julie Garwood. I know this is an old one, but I never read it until this year, and it was awesome. I thought Nicholaa was a great heroine-- smart, brave, and not a brat. Royce is pretty much my favorite JG hero to date. And of course it's got the classic JG humor we all know and love in her historicals.

1) Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward. I cannot recall how many times I've reread this book. There is something about Rhage that is oh so sexy. Mary wasn't my favorite heroine, but I'm letting that slide, because Rhage was all the entertainment I needed.

Now it's Grace's turn...

5) P.S I Love You by Cecila Ahern. This book makes the list because it was a hard read for me. But at the same time, I could not put it down. It wasn't a Happily Ever After story that I typically devour, but it did have some impact on me. It broke my heart and made me cry, but it also made me laugh and feel appreciative of the things in my life. It's not a book I will forget.


4) The Seduction of His Wife by Janet Chapman. This was such a feel good book. I think I spent most of my time either grinning like a fool or feeling pretty content. I loved how the Knight family were so involved in the story and how they embraced Sarah into their lives, and cheered Alex and Sarah on. I did too, and managed to ditch my studies in favour of reading about their Happily Ever After.

3) After the Night by Linda Howard. Daphne bought this book for me while she visiting and I'm ever so thankful because this book had all the good stuff and more. Daph convinced me to look past Gray's long hair, and boy oh boy, after reading a few chapters..I was a straight goner for him. He was one sexy son of a gun. I remember I couldn't stop snickering and laughing over the banter between Faith and Gray, and the chemistry? Whoa..it just oozed off the pages.

2) Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. Cian MacKeltar. Even his name just exudes this hotness that makes me blush. No joke. If this book was poorly written, it would probably make my 2006 list anyway just because of Cian..but it wasn't poorly written and I LOVED reading this book! Having Cian as the hero is merely icing on the cake. ;o)

1) Welcome To Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. I remember reading this one clearly. I decided to take it to work with me to read during my break. Big mistake. I could not tear myself away from it and I spent the rest of the day trying to sneak in some reading while trying not to laugh as loudly as I wanted to. Definitely one of my favourites of 2006.

Isabel's Turn

1) Something Wonderful. Before reading this book, I hated Judith Mcnaught. Why? A Kingdom of Dreams. It sucked. I was afraid to read this one. But Something Wonderful redeemed JM in my eyes. I loved this book.

2)Whirlwind Wedding. I really love how Austin and Elizabeth met: Her falling from a bush to save a kitten. Her just sprawled there. I thought it was cute. I also love the scene when she falls from the horse (she was riding side saddle and was slipping off the horse. She in the mud and slid down the incline) and lands in front of Austin. She throws a dirt clod at him just to make a point and the mud hits him. I would totally do this. Accidentally hit a guy with mud.

3) The Boy Next Door. I didn't think a book written like a bunch of emails would work. But Meg Cabot pulled it off. I started reading it and could not put it down. I felt like I was really reading their personal emails.

4) As Always Jack. A wartime Love Story- I love, LOVE this book you guys. It's just tender and sweet. I can't say enough good things about it. It's a fast read. Once you get into the letters, you'll find yourself wanting to know more. The only thing I would change: that Beebe would've saved the letters she wrote to Jack.

5) The Duke and I. Another reread. I love this book. The fact Simon is so strong but so vulnerable when it comes to his stammer. How he tried to hide it from Daphne. "B-But what-"His face-his strong, handsome face, which was always so firm, always so in control- crumpled. "What if... if we have a child, a-a-and it comes out like me?" Don't you just want to hug him?

Jazz's turn...

Only 5? OMG this is to hard. lol. Okay okay here they are...

5) To Sir Phillip With Love by Julia Quinn~ Funny cause as far as I can tell this book doesn't get that much love from everyone. But I this was one of my favorites of the entire series. I loved the children and how they played in and I though the back story with the hero and heroine was awsome.

4) Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas~ I absolutely fell in love with this book. I found absolutely no faults with either the hero or heroine. No secrets between them, just a true love story of two people finding each other and falling in love.

3) The Seduction of His Wife by Janet Chapman~ I love this author more and more with each book I read. And there isn't any one particular thing that I can say this book had so much of that made me love it. It was just such a well rounded book. Great characters.

2) Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward~ I know there has been so much drama surrounding this book. But for me personally? I wasn't let down, I absolutely loved Z and Bella and thought I was given all I hoped for in this book.

1) His Every Kiss by Laura Lee Guhrke~ Love love loved this book! It had my crying and laughing, I couldn't put it down. One of my all time favorite historicals. LLG didn't hold back with character flaws at all in this book and I think it added so much to it.

If I could have a sixth it'd be Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. LOVED IT!!!

Honorable mentions go to: I'm In No Mood For Love by Rachel Gibson, Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare, Stealing Heaven by Madaline Hunter, Take Me by Lucy Monroe, My Pleasure by Connie Brockway, My Surrender by Connie Brockway, and Dark Desire by Eve Silver.

Holly's Reads...

This is especially hard for me, because though I've read hundreds of books this year (yes, I literally read HUNDREDS of books) I only reviewed SOME of them. So when I was going through my log, I kept seeing these titles and thinking, "OMG! I LOVED THAT BOOK". But for you, Dear Readers, I'll try.

5) Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb(review to come). I love this entire series. Nora Roberts really captures me as JDR. But I picked this particular book because I loved seeing Eve and Roarke fumble their way through dealing with a child. And because seeing how much Eve had grown really touched me. Fabulous read.

4) A Rose at Midnight by Anne Stuart(review to come). It's not very often that I read a book and it's so well written, and the characters are so believable, that it puts me in a melancholy mood. But that's what this one did. I was so angry and twisted up inside, and yes so in love and wrapped up in the story, that it definitely makes my top 5 of the year. A shout out to Mailyn for pimping it.

3) Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. I started reading Kleypas years ago, but hadn't been very impressed with her more recent works. DIW reminded me why I love her writing so much. I wasn't sure she could make me love Sebastion after the way he acted in Autumn, but she did, and Evie was an amazing heroine. I loved it. I've re-read it so many times my copy is about to fall apart.

2) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer(review to come). Her first person take on a vampire-in-love story was wonderfully written and had me drawn in immediately. Edward Cullen has got to be one of the freshest vamps I've ever read about, and watching Bella fall in love with him was great.

1) Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder. Another first person account, I was totally wrapped up in PS. I loved watching Yelena grow, and seeing her job as a food taster was just fabulous. Magic Study, the second book in this trilogy, was good, but not as good as PS, so I'm just going to give in an honorable mention.

Honorable Mentions for me include: Thicker Than Water by Maggie Shayne, Summer Breeze by Catherine Anderson, Take Me by Lucy Monroe, Depth Perception by Linda Castillo, Take A Chance on Me by Susan Donovan and Nothing to Fear by Karen Rose(review to come)

So there you have it. SF's top picks of 2006! Now dear readers what are yours??? We're dying to know....

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7 Comments:

Blogger Devonna said...

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Montana Sky by Nora Roberts
Take Me by Bella Andre
Kiss of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Between Friends by Debbie Macomber
London's Perfect Scoundrel by Suzanne Enoch
Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Sorry, couldnt pick just 5 :-)

December 31, 2006 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Dylan (aka Rowena) said...

Ooh I love some of the books on your list, Kisss of the Night and Seize the Night, Devil in Winter, Mr. Perfect, yeah those were GREAT reads!

January 1, 2007 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Stacy~ said...

Great choices! I'm going to have to check out Janet Chapman since she was on a lot of the lists. And Dylan, "Where Dreams Begin" is my favorite LK book.

Yeah, I know there's drama with Wardens, but I stay away from it and just love the series. Z and Rhage are fabulous, and I can't wait for Butch's story. He's not everyone's favorite, but I like him.

"Lord of Scoundrels" is one of my picks for the year, too.

January 1, 2007 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Holly Mercer said...

LoS was number 6 on my list. I really debated between that one and A Rose At Midnight, but I chose A Rose because it was much darker than LOS and stayed with me longer. Still, they were both awesome and had we done our top 10 instead of 5, LOS would have been on my list for sure. :)

January 1, 2007 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Chantal said...

What a good list. I wrote some of those down for when I hit the book store next week.

January 1, 2007 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Rene Lyons said...

Wow, you bitches. I didn't even get an honorary mention. Sheesh! lol

Actaully, I wish I had the time this past year to have read enough books to make a list. :(

January 2, 2007 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Interesting lists. And I'm glad you did it, because I've been wracking my brain for weeks trying to remember the title of As Always Jack. So Now I've put it on my TBR list. Thanks! My top reads for 2006 are over at Don't Talk, Just Read.

January 2, 2007 at 9:00 PM  

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