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text 2018-01-04 18:31
2017 Romancies Wrap-up and looking forward to 2018

Happy New Year everyone! With a final close to 2017, a quick recap of my Romancies Awards

*clicking on book cover brings you to the post with all the nominees

 

Best Cover               Favorite Secondary Character         Best Scene

33574179     110296                             25820440

 

 

 

Favorite Quote                      Best Heroine and Best Hero

32798151                  110296    29776219

 

 

 

Best Couple               Best Contemporary and Best Historical      

29422692       29422692    110296      

 

Best Book of 2017

 29422692

 

 

 

2016 Romancies Wrap-Up

 

2015 Romancies Wrap-Up

 

 

On to 2018 and my top ten most anticipated reads (Considering I'm still working on my 2016 New Release list, these seem like a glowing distant light)

*clicking on cover brings you to their Goodreads page

 

35447375   36576080   35297489

 

35723631  31933394  35889106

 

35271238  35695972  

 

35068637

(The thirst is so real for this one)

 

 

What were your favs from the year and what are you most anticipating in 2018?

 

Wishing a happy and 5 star reading New Year for you all :)

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text 2017-12-29 02:59
The Romancies - Part 6: Best Couple

 

*The books eligible could be published in any year, they simply had to be read by me in 2017. 

Clicking on book cover brings you to my review if I wrote one or Goodreads page if I didn't.

 

 

Nominees:


Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London  24934065  25852887

 

662310  420744  25685000

 

29346542  29422692  34523598

 

29776219

 

 

  1. Margot and Arran - Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

She was afraid of him, disgusted by him, attracted to him.

 

These two have a rough start of because of how young the heroine is and culture clash. I liked the fact that Margot wasn't blinded by insta-lust and just because she found Arran attractive she didn’t instantly trust him and it didn’t solve all their problems. Margot's just too young, too scared, and too bitter about not being able to marry someone remotely of her choosing and she ends up leaving Arran after only a couple months of marriage. Even though there is initial chemistry, these two have to work at it and I enjoyed every emotional high and low they provided.

 

  1. Amani and Jin - Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

 Jin grabbed my wrist before my knuckles could get flirting distance from his nose. He pulled me into him, knocking me off balance. “Here’s a tip for you.”He was close to me now, close as he had been when he kissed me, or when I kissed him. “Don’t try to hit a man in the face when he’s looking straight into your eyes. You’ve got traitor eyes, Bandit.”

I drove my other fist into his gut hard enough that my knuckles popped. Jin doubled over, coughing. “Thanks for the tip.”I wished victory didn’t feel so much like I’d sprained my hand.

"Any time.”He clutched his stomach where I’d hit him, but it looked like he was laughing.

 

These two might not quite be considered a couple but I'm shipping looking into the future :) This is young adult, so the relationship developing between Amani and Jin is innocent enough but they still had some good heat and tension between them. 

 

  1. Benedict and Charlotte - Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain

“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald


I was blown away with how emotionally engaging Benedict and Charlotte were. Quite frankly, I could sit and listen to this couple read the phone book to each other. I savored their sexual teasing, humor, friendship, and love that radiated from their conversations. Benedict and Charlotte made the book for me.

 

  1. Dee and Lucas - Angel Creek by Linda Howard

He felt like banging his head against the wall in frustration, and then suddenly he laughed, because he hoped she would be driving him crazy like that for the rest of his life. Maybe he was already crazy, because he could swear he'd seen a glint of amusement in those witch-green eyes. She loved making him lose control.


The way Lucas was attracted to Dee's personality made my face hurt from grinning. These two were such cats on a hot tin roof. They bicker and straight up fight but there was also a thread of exasperation that leaned toward humor, teasing, and affection that saved it from feeling mean or hateful.

 

  1. Joe and Caroline - MacKenzie's Mission by Linda Howard

A mixture of Rhett and Scarlet with the couple from The Notebook, yeah, I couldn't leave this couple off the list.

 

  1. Gerrit and Anna - The Dutch Girl by Donna Thorlund

The romance between Anna and Gerrit is not the full focus of this historical story but when they show up together on the pages, they spark. When we first see them together their conversation and back and forth had my toes curling, not so much because of sexual reasons but from two people attracted to each other whose intelligence, wit, and teasing caused heat.

 

  1. John and Grace - To Win a Lady's Heart by Ingrid Hahn

The hero and heroine were both so beautifully awkward and I loved how different from the usual Regency couples they were.

 

  1. Livvy and Nicholas - Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Their encounters were usually a haze of sweet and pleasure and filthy words and filthier actions.


The first look at the couple is so filled with emotion and sexual tension, you'll be hooked. This couple has some pretty gritty, raw, and emotional sex scenes but I would argue what made them feel so raw was the deep emotional aspect between the twoNicholas and Livvy's desire and love for one another is the stuff of Shakespearean plays.

 

  1. Julian and Elizabeth - No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

This was how it was supposed to be between a man and a woman, both comfortable and daring, a private adventure. 


Through their discussions we see Elizabeth testing Julian and Julian slowly coming alive as if Elizabeth is a shock to his system. As Elizabeth notes, Julian listens to her and their gentle teasing and probing one another made me sigh along in happiness.

 

  1. Adam and Sarah - Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

He broke their kiss and laid his forehead against hers. "Make me stop."
"I can't," she whispered.
"Then we're doomed," he said, his voice husky and low. "For I'm unable to stop myself. I want you. Day and night and all the time in between. I want you."


Our hero is able to keep himself rather emotionally contained, except when he gets around our heroine and then we get to see cracks form in the façade; I live for the cracks. Sarah was the perfect combination of stiff and melting when she was around d'Arque; I loved how she stepped up to d'Arque's challenging but also how she softened to his touch. They are the couple who give you shivers up and down your spine. They snap, spark, crash, and melt together in a way that make you want to reread their story as soon as you finish.

 

 

Winner:


Livvy and Nicholas

29422692

 

"You're not my secret anymore. My love for you is bigger than anyone who might try to tear us apart." He paused. "I won't leave you, Livvy. You don't have to trust me completely right now, but watch me. Watch me fight for you this time." 


Gah, this couple! The love, hurt, pain, laughter, emotion, and sex. The Sex, y'all. But also the Emotion, y'all. They made me live their ups and downs with them. 

 

2016 Winner

17207193

 

2015 Best Couples

 

2014 Best Couples

 

What couple was your favorite from the year?

 

Next time, Best Contemporary, Best Historical, and Best Book of 2017

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text 2017-12-28 03:46
The Romancies - Part 5: Best Heroine and Hero

 

Sometimes characters standout on their own, separate from the story or romantic relationship. Other times a character doesn't fully shine until they are paired with their partner who brings out their best. And on rare occasions, a character becomes lost when they are paired up. Thus, you'll find, maybe I really liked a heroine/hero but not when they are part of a couple and maybe I really like a couple but not separately.

 

*The books eligible could be published in any year, they simply had to be read by me in 2016.

Clicking on book cover brings you to my review if I wrote one or Goodreads page if I didn't.

 

 

Best Heroine Nominees:


30171492  25685000  843540

 

29422692  110296  28439648

 

813099  30753719  34318337

 

530337

 

 

1.  Riley Kincaid - Nobody's Hero by Bec McMaster

Besides, she needed someone to argue with. Someone who challenged her to stand at his side, not just step in front of her to protect her. Someone who pushed her to be the woman she knew she could be, not just the type of woman he wanted. 

 

If you've been looking for a self-sufficient, level-headed, and action star in her own right heroine, look no further. Riley was my favorite part of this story and I could read about her all day; she kicked butt.


2.  Anna Winters - The Dutch Girl by Donna Thorlund

"You mean you will let us have novels?" asked the taller one, who must be Jannetje. 
"As long as you do your other reading and advance in all of your subjects, I see no reason that you should not read novels."
"Reverend Blauvelt says they give women ideas."
"Well, someone has to," said Anna.
 

 

There is some great feminist thinking from Anna, which could still be discussed today. Because of the fraught period and woman's issues of the time, Anna is put into some harsh and difficult situations. Her courage, will to survive, and ability to fight to maintain her sense of self was a story to behold.

 

3.  Vivian Swift - Heart of Deception by Taylor Chase

Anger rose to the fore, and he pulled away from her. "Nothing has changed. You still want to rule me."

Her eyes went black when he thwarted her, a darkness that could devour him. Then a small flame flickered in their depths. Silent laughter. "Maybe I want you so much because I can't rule you."
"That won't stop you from trying."
"Or you from resisting." Her lips curved, the small taunting smile mocking herself as well as him. "Are you afraid of losing?"
"No." A lie to add to all the other lies. Already too much had changed because of her.
"Then savor the struggle, my rebel." Viv laughed openly now. Her gleaming eyes invited him to join in the mockery.
 

 

The story initially starts off following the hero but oh boy, does the heroine waltz in and steal the show.  It almost felt like the heroine's part was first written for a male character and the author decided to switch it up and create one bad-ass woman; one of the most real in her honesty, sexual desires, and sense of self. This was published 20yrs ago and it makes me want to weep with how many written heroines today fall very short of her. 

 

4.  Livvy Kane - Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

While I thought Nicholas started off with a stronger spotlight, Livvy grows brighter and brighter with each new insight to her character. Livvy was such an amazing look at strengths and weaknesses that were laid bare with inner struggles that were a painful beauty to behold. Her struggle to try and manage her feelings to what she thinks is acceptable and still respect her herself had so much depth. We also learn of a very real struggle she deals with, I loved how the author didn't use to define her but showed how she is in some ways fashioned from it. Our heroines don't always get to be everything; Livvy was a fantastic multi-faceted woman.

 

5.  Marged Evans - Truly by Mary Balogh

She was still angry. Perhaps angrier with him than she might have been because she was angry with herself. 

 

Oh, Marged. I can see some great discussions happening about this heroine. The quickest and easiest assessment to make of her is bitter and hateful. Our heroines have to be kind, softhearted, and forgiving at all times, don’t they? Marged burns that thought to the ground. Marged is angry, she's angry that Geraint left her when she loved him as a child, she's angry at the system that killed her husband, and instead of crying on the inside, she flings her anger at Geraint. For every review I see that says they hated the heroine, I want thesis after thesis discussing the complexity of burdens of womanhood, their rights and privileges during this time period, how women are “allowed” to behave, and how individuals deal with convoluted emotions. 

 

6.  Jess Koirala - A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev

Maybe she was shouting, but she couldn’t tell. “What could she have done differently, Nikhil? What? Stayed home? Stayed in places where you could have taken care of her, where you could have done with her as you pleased?” Sold her, starved her, told her who could and could not touch her.

She spun around, shaking so hard she could barely manage it. She couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him. Her skin felt too tight around her. Her scar felt like it would split at the seams, unable to contain the rage inside her. In all they’d done to her, she’d never questioned the colossal injustice of it. Of walking down the streets of her town and needing to wrap herself in her own arms, behind books, under layers and layers of clothes. She had done every single thing she could. Always.

And she had never, not for one moment, thought it was her fault.

She’d never for one moment not known it was them. The bastards who had taken everything. Her uncle who had taken her home by never giving her one. The man who’d bought her and taken her childhood. Those monsters who had taken her body. She’d never blamed herself. She’d felt only anger. ANGER. Such intense anger it had seared the wounds shut. Cauterized them.

But to hear Nikhil blame Jen for what those bastards did to her, to watch him be what she told herself every day all men couldn’t possibly be, someone who shoved all responsibility on women because he could, someone who stood apart and took comfort in not bothering to understand—it made the anger unbearable. Because there was Joy. And he would never be this. Because how could she stand it if he were?

“You okay?”Nikhil said behind her.

She was standing at the kitchen counter. The hard concrete clutched in her fingers. She hadn’t noticed herself move. That level of anger was unacceptable. It took away her awareness, her control. She tried to loosen her grip but couldn’t.

“I didn’t mean it was her fault,”he said behind her.

Actually, that’s exactly what he had meant.

It was easy to blame Jen. So he did. It wasn’t just him. The rest of the world did it too. All the time. Blame those who had been hurt. So they could live in the world that didn’t know how to stop those who did heinous things. In a world that let them get away with it.

 

The second half of the story is where our heroine really shines, we get such an incredible look and delve into the heroine's pain and how it has changed her and her actions. She's struggling but there is beauty in her struggle and amazing strength. Jess was a complex heroine who told a lot of women's stories.

 

7.  Lady Joanna Hawkforte - Dream Island by Josie Litton

I was a big fan of this heroine, she was a fighter. The time period and her circumstances dictate a more sedate personality but she circumvents such ideals awesomely. Joanna more than meets the hero in courage and strength and challenges him to be a better man.

 

8.  Jane Mason - A Lady's Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

Where had this woman come from? Her voice was made of steel and her dignity, unbreakable. 

 

I gave Jane's  character 5 stars in my review. From the way she had to survive under her uncle, to deciding she couldn't do it anymore, and how she owned her decisions. She is a bleeding heart liberal who gets knocked sideways by realities a bit but instead of shunning knowledge or being too embarrassed to acknowledge when she is wrong, she takes her licks and keeps on. Her courage was magnificent.

 

9.  Wren Heyden - Someone to Wed by Mary Balogh

Her instinct was to hide behind veils within veils, and she had done it for so long that she did not know how to cast those veils aside. 


Born with a large birthmark covering half of her face and a mother who put vanity above all else, when Wren turns ten, her aunt takes her from her home and eventually she and her husband adopt Wren. Unfortunately, those important formative years with her cruel mother keep Wren from having any self-worth. Wren always wears a veil to cover her face unless around her aunt and uncle. When they die she becomes incredibly lonely and decides to buy a husband. You'll feel awful for Wren as she uses an ice queen persona to keep her pain and self shielded. Her yearning to protect herself but also connect with the hero was a moving emotional journey.

 

10.  Lisa Johansen - Fever by Elizabeth Lowell

I want to claim Lisa as my buddy if there is ever an apocalypse, girl can get it done. Her background makes her sweet innocence believable and not icky and we do get glimpses of her backbone when she stands up to and challenges the hero. Lisa is a great heroine to remind us that not all brave and strong heroines need to come in brash, cocky, or predominant personas; there is strength in quietness too. 

 


Winner:


110296

 

This was such a tight four-way race between Marged, Livvy, Jane, and Vivian; all four were such amazing heroines. What put Marged over the top for me was her anger, which is something our heroines don't always get to be. They get to be kind and so very forgiving but Marged is anger and even though it sometimes makes her wrong, she feels it. She grows and learns in her journey but never lost her fire.

 

 

2016 Winner

137594


2015 Best Heroines

 

2014 Best Heroines



Best Hero Nominees:


29422692  420744  34836264

 

25820440  110296  26699963

 

311182  34523598  222806

 

29776219

 

 

1.  Nicholas Chandler - Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

"You're not my secret anymore. My love for you is bigger than anyone who might try to tear us apart." He paused. "I won't leave you, Livvy. You don't have to trust me completely right now, but watch me. Watch me fight for you this time." 

 

We are started off with Nicholas' point of view and what a deep emotional start it was. We learn that on Livvy's birthday she texts him her coordinates, he travels to her, and they have sex for that one night a year. Nicholas starts off as the brighter focus of the two with his barely contained torment, weight of struggling to take care of the business and his family, and inability to stop craving Livvy. There is a tiny little bit of martyr syndrome to him, but ultimately, his character and heart was wonderful to read.


2.  Colonel Joe "Breed" MacKenzie - MacKenzie's Mission by Linda Howard

Joe was a mixture between Rhett Butler and Ryan Gosling's character from the Notebook; you could say he was a sassy, strong, and hot hero. I think we all deserve to meet a Joe at some point in our lives.

 

3.  Sebastian Audley - The Wicked Cousin by Stella Riley

Sebastian is a hero that you can't help but fall in love with. The pain and sense of loss (both brother and sense of self) when his twin brother dies is heartbreaking. The way that Riley took this instance and constructed how it affected Sebastian, his family, and therefore their relationships added immense depth, you'll feel this story. Before we are introduced to Sebastian we learn of his persona but just like the heroine learns, the true man is much more. His character make-up was so rich, confident, and teasing but yet vulnerable and shy at times. He was no one-trick pony or cardboard cutout, if you're a hero-centric reader, you don't want to miss Sebastian and his gorgeous garnet hair.

 

4.  Tacitus Everard, Marquess of Dare - Again, My Lord by Katharine Ashe

Hero was so patient and caring and I couldn't help but fall in love with him.

 

5.  Geraint Penderyn, Earl Wyvern - Truly by Mary Balogh

But Geraint had always felt disliked. Not that he had ever been self-pitying about it. But he had built defenses, of which Aled, as his one close friend apart from Marged Llwyd, had been aware. The defense of not caring a fig for anyone as a child. The added defense of aloofness as an eighteen-year-old and the firm hiding behind his newly acquired Englishness and his gentleman's manners. 

 

We don't get heroes like Geraint very often; he was the epitome of still a hurt, lonely child inside mixed with strength, compassion, and courage. The author did an amazing job showing how people create defense mechanisms to help them survive and how this can help and hinder them in their personal relationships. Geraint had such strength and kindness in his heart and I loved him for it.

 

6.  Arran McKenzie - Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

She was suddenly reminded of a young dog here at Balhaire who'd been badly injured by a trap that had been set illegaly. When the gamekeeper determined the poor dog could not be saved and, futhermore, would suffer in his last hours, she had watched Arran scoop the dog up in his arms and carry him from this very hall with tears on his face. He'd taken the dog into the woods and mercifully put it out of its misery. She shivered at the painful recollection of how he'd grieved for the dog.


I knew Arran was going to make it on this list when I read this book back in February, my crazy dog lady heart would have it no other way. He's also extremely caring to the heroine in the bedroom and has a moment where a couple of his lines had me making sounds that probably only happen at the Cheesecake Factory when they bring me my red velvet cheesecake. They're crosses between gasps, sobs, happiness, and heart palpitations. 

 

7.  Justin Alastair, Duke of Avon - These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

If you liked Val from Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, you're going to love our hero Justin, definitely an inspiration for him. I knocked Val off this list because I thought Justin was a slightly better version and the original! of the suave, wily, wicked, and sexual rake. I was a big fan of Justin and his wit, he was constantly miles and moves ahead of everyone else.

 

8.  Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford - No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes

What a lovely smile he had. A little off center, a bit conspiratorial, and---who would have thought?---a touch dashing. 

 

A recluse Duke with a treasure of books, how could he not be on this list? :) Burrowes gave us a deep portrayal of what being short of funds did to Julian; his quiet desperation as he tried to keep all his responsibilities afloat. The tenets livelihood, his sister, his brother, and the Haverford legacy were all dependent on him and gave the reader a deeper sense of what being a duke entailed; not all balls and gaming clubs. Julian was a quiet, deep, and weighty character. 

 

9.  James Trevenen - Beau Crusoe by Carla Kelly

As she stood watching, he turned and blew her a kiss. You're a rascal, she thought.

 

James has PTSD from what he had to do to survive alone on an island for 5 years and thinks he is haunted by another survivor of the original shipwreck. James' story of survival is spread out throughout the book until we get the ultimate grizzly details of how he became the lone survivor. It's rough, disturbing, and courageous stuff to read and I enjoyed how the author didn't shy away from James' emotions.  He was a hero who was witty, courageous, strong, utterly capable, and kind; he's a sexy one.

 

10.  Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque - Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Look, any hero that visually resembles this ^^^, yeah, going to make it on my best heroes list and to my delight, d'Arque had the personality to back up the looks. The absolute caring way he treats his grandmother was shown brilliantly and provided some depth of character. His sheer sexiness though, steals the show. He's able to keep himself rather emotionally contained, except when he gets around the heroine and then we get to see cracks form in the façade; I live for the cracks. He's sexy, smooth, sparking, and a bit unraveling when he's with her and I loved every second of it. 

 

 

 

Winner:

 

29776219

 

This may be a little bit of recently read-itis but it can't be ignored that I will spend more time of my life than is healthy wishing the author had chosen to write a full length novel for d'Arque and his heroine. There's a point where d'Arque says:

"I want you." He fought to keep his voice level. Civilized. "In every way."

The way this is dragged out of him had me thinking of Sebastian St. Vincent. In a full novel, I think d'Arque would have seriously challenged St. Vincent in the eyes of many romance readers for favorite rake. As it stands though, Hoyt gave us just enough for him to be my favorite hero of the year.

 

 

Heated Pursuit by April Hunt

 

 

 

What heroine and hero captured your heart this year?

 

Next time, Best Couple...

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text 2017-12-26 21:06
The Romancies - Part 4: Favorite Quote

 

*The books eligible could be published in any year, they simply had to be read by me in 2017.

Clicking on book cover brings you to my review if I wrote one or GoodReads page if I didn't.

 

 

Nominees:

 

36430140  25657772  32798151

 

20359781  22061742  6759699

 

7668141  34217565  30753719

 

27173440

 

 

1.  Know Me Well by Kait Nolan

"Remember, I'm the librarian. I know your reading preferences. He pretty much fits your hero type to a T." She gave Riley a knowing smirk.

Riley pointed a finger at her. "You know perfectly well that's confidential. You're supposed to be like a priest."

 

2.  Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

He looked at her in wonderment. She was so much more than he'd ever allowed himself to see.

 

3.  Too Scot To Handle by Grace Burrowes

"You are a bonfire in disguise," he said, smoothing a hand over her hair."An ambush of a woman, and you have polite society thinking you're the quiet one."

 

*Honorable Mention

"Now you know what the ladies put up with year after year," Miss Anwen said. "We're seen as nothing more than half of an attractive couple, good breeding stock, decent settlements. Nobody refers to us as gorgeous settlements, even if a lady is an heiress. The higher praise she'll garner is 'decent settlements'. Be patient with the ladies, Lord Colin, for they are very patient with the gentlemen."

 

4.  Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

"Poetry isn't for civilized society." Drew said this suddenly, breaking the moment, but then saying no more.

I decided to prompt him when I sensed he would not continue without a push. "How so? I've read plenty of safe-for-work poetry."

"I'm not talking about greeting cards and sentimentality, not the stuff that gently warms your heart or makes you feel nostalgic." He lifted his eyes to mine, his expression stark and sober. "I'm talking about the kind that burns you, leaves scars, the kind that you regret reading because you can't forget it. It's a wild, feral thing. It has claws and it bites."

 

5.  Barefoot in White by Roxanne St. Clair

"Listen carefully, okay?" 

Another nod.

"Every single time you doubt your beauty or worth or value or sex appeal?"

She didn't answer, but only because the lump in her throat was growing to fast. How did he know she doubted that stuff? How did he know she fought demons daily that told her she had none of that? She hadn't told him.

"You remember that just looking at your goddamned ear gives me a hard-on."

 

6.  Bound by Temptation by Lavinia Kent

That did not make his words less painful now. Clara did flirt. She did smile and flaunt and use every bit of her feminine wiles to control a situation. It was the only way to survive. She wished it were not so. Women who managed to survive without using those tarnished resources earned her greatest admiration. There were so few of them. Men criticized a woman for using her femininity and punished her for not. It was the way of the world.

 

7.  The Unexpected Husband by Lindsay Armstrong

'Go to hell, Joe Jordan,' she whispered. 'And don't expect me to do the dishes!'

 

8.  Cajun Crazy by Sandra Hill

There was something about a man removing his glasses while he stared at a woman that was beyond sexy, sort of a signal that he was about to get down to serious business.

Naughty business.

 

9.  A Lady's Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

It would be difficult, after working alongside the poor, to forget them in the halls of power. Impossible, too, to think of politics as a game, rather than the machinery through which real lives could be saved or squandered.

 

10.  Shooter by Dahlia West

"Maybe he doesn't want to move on. I mean, people say that all the time. Move on. And what they really mean is they want you to forget. So they can forget. But there's no forgetting, Chris. You cover it up with your shirt, but he can't do that. He can't go one single minute without remembering what happened. When everyone around you wants to forget, you can get...isolated. You feel like you're the only one holding on to something important. Maybe it hurts him that you pretend it didn't happen. Maybe all he wants is for you to tell him that you won't forget."

 

 

Winner:

 

32798151

 

I can't tell you how close the "go to hell and I'm not doing the dishes" quote came to winning the honors; it just felt so very 2017 to me. 

Alas, the sheer romance, knock your freaking socks off charm/hotness, and make me melt into a puddle emotion from this compliment the hero pays the heroine took the crown.

 

 

2016 Winner

29429938

 

 

2015 Favorite Quotes

 

2014 Favorite Quotes

 

 

Have a favorite line that has stuck with you from this year?

 

Next time, Favorite Heroine and Favorite Hero...

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text 2017-12-18 00:43
The Romancies - Part 3: Best Scene

*Technical difficulties, a.k.a my laptop gave up the ghost and I now am using my 6yr old Toshiba laptop (HORRORS), I'm way behind on posting Romancies. I should have known if I tried to set a schedule this would happen. I'm going to try and get caught up in coming days but holiday season, y'all.

 

 

 

*The books eligible could be published in any year, they simply had to be read by me in 2017

Clicking on book cover brings you to my review if I wrote one or Goodreads page if I didn't

 

Nominees:


3268417  26699963  23303664

 

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1.  All About Love by Stephanie Laurens

A sword scene along these lines:

 

 

If you've never seen Zorro, just imagine a playful, sexual tension filled sword fight. I'll show up every time for stuff like this!

 

2.  Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London

She was suddenly reminded of a young dog here at Balhaire who'd been badly injured by a trap that had been set illegaly. When the gamekeeper determined the poor dog could not be saved and, futhermore, would suffer in his last hours, she had watched Arran scoop the dog up in his arms and carry him from this very hall with tears on his face. He'd taken the dog into the woods and mercifully put it out of its misery. She shivered at the painful recollection of how he'd grieved for the dog.


A dog loving hero (he cries over a doggie!), too much for this crazy dog lady to handle.

 

3.  Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

The heroine is a romance writer and there's a scene where she and the hero try to "myth bust" one her written romance scenes. It was hot and funny and a bit meta.

 

4.  Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

What I personally loved about this couple's sex scenes were the powerful dynamics happening but in particular, there's a blowjob scene where Nicholas is the more vulnerable participant, even while physically we know he's the more powerful, he's shown to be incredibly emotionally vulnerable. There's been a little bit of a trend to portray "Me Tarzan, you Jane" sex, the power and emotion dynamics sex scenes here blow those depictions out of the water for me. I was a huge fan of what felt more like consensual and emotionally balanced sex. What I'm trying to say, is spanking and hair pulling sex scenes can be amazing when you add depth of emotion. 

I hope the trend starts to shift to more sex scenes like this one.


*honorable mention:  Nicholas wrapping his tie around his hand ;)

 

5.  My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

“I’m not a half-wit, nor am I naïve. I know exactly what men like Stratton are after. I’m quite familiar with the type.”

That silenced him for half a block. “I’m sorry you even have to worry about that,” he finally said.

 

A great scene where the hero gets a little look-in to what it is like to exist as woman in the world and being able to cognitively, emotionally, and analytically understand what the heroine is telling him. These scenes might seem small but this right here is where the heart of romance lives, women sharing truths.

 

6.  Again, My Lord by Katharine Ashe

Tacitus thought of his father's adoration of a woman with rotted teeth who could barely walk. 


The hero thinks back to how much his father loved his mother even though someone looking from the outside would have some doubts why. It's a wonderful line stating about how love is love and how imperfect people can be perfect. Beautiful. Lines/scenes like this get my eyes watering out of nowhere because of how deep, heartfelt, and meaningful they are.

 

7.  The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

Into the blood-splattered snow, the lone warrior fell to one knee and shuddered with weakness. Still, an arm shot out to raise a sword against the oncoming legion. Her dented breastplate swallowed her small form. Though the winds howled, whipping her hair, she heard the twang of the bowstring unleashed. She screamed in fury when the arrow punctured the center of her armor, the blow sending her flying back.

The arrowhead had pierced through metal, then barely through her breastbone, just enough that her heart met the point with each beat. The beating of her own brave heart was killing her. But her scream had woken two nearby gods sleeping together through a brutal, wintry decade. 

They stirred and looked down upon the maiden, seeing in her eyes courage burning bright. Bravery and will had marked her entire life, but the light ebbed with death and they mourned it.

Freya, the female god, whispered that they should take her courage and preserve it for eternity because it was so precious.

 

Talk about a grab your attention scene! Action, strong woman, goddesses, and engaging, I was instantly into the story, world, and characters.

 

8.  Truly by Mary Balogh

"I am glad you were so stubborn," she said. "I am glad we never married, Aled." 
He swallowed awkwardly. "I love you, cariad," he said. 
"No," she said. "It is something other than love that rules your life, Aled. It is hatred and the desire for revenge. It is the desire for destruction and violence." 
"It is the desire for a better life," he said, "and the conviction that we have a right to it. It is the belief that I owe it to myself and to my neighbors and to my unborn children---if I ever have any---to do something I cannot allow others to do for me, cariad."
"Neither could Eurwyn," she said bitterly. "But he died and left Marged and his mam and gran to manage without him. And no one has a better life as a result of what he did."
He lifted one hand to cup the back of her head. "It is what you are afraid of?" he asked softly. "That I will die and leave you alone? It is better, you think, not to marry me and not to have my little ones if I recklessly court death?" 
She was crying then and trying to pull away from him. But his arms closed about he like iron bands. And he kissed the top of her head, the wet cheek that was exposed to him, and finally the wet face she lifted to him. He kissed her mouth with hunger, parting his lips with his own. 
"Tell me you love me," he whispered against her lips. "It has been so long since I heard you say the words. Tell me I am your cariad."
But she struggled then and freed herself and turned back to face the gate, his coat held about her shoulders with both her hands. "No," she said. "You are not my love, Aled. And I do not believe Marged is my friend any longer. I am sorry for it. Marged is causing mischief and you are talking of breaking down tollgates with perhaps hundreds of men to make a mob. Someone will get hurt. It may be you or it may be Marged. But worse, it may be someone else, hurt because of you or Marged. I cannot love you any longer. No, let me put it differently. I will not love you any longer. But you knew that. We have argued it out before. Let there be an end now. No more scenes like this. It is over."
"And yet," he said, "you still love me." 
"You were not listening." She released her hold on his coat and let it slide to the ground. 
"Ah, yes," he said sadly, "I was, cariad."
She said nothing more. And he could think of nothing more to say either. She would not give up her conviction that protest and violence were never justified, and he would not give up his conviction that they were and that if he wanted to see change and thought someone should do something about effecting it, then he must be willing to do his part. He could no longer stand back and let the Eurwyns of this world do his fighting for him. He must fight for himself. Even if it meant giving up the one good thing in his life that had given it meaning and direction for the past six years. For four of those years he had worked long , hard hours in his forge, making himself worthy of her, making for her a secure future and preparing a comfortable home. And now for two he had taken the course best calculated to drive her away forever. But there was nothing he could do to change that. For if he could not offer her his integrity, then he had nothing worth offering at all.
 

 

This scene is between the secondary romance couple but ugh, their quiet love for each other just about killed me. They're both right and both wrong and I just wanted them to be together but the world isn't always perfect and sometimes things have to fall apart to come together. I loved how they wouldn't compromise their inner beliefs but through their love were able to still come together.

 

9.  Watchers  by Dean Koontz

When the telephone rang, it startled her. She put down her pencil and reached for the receiver. "Hello?"

"Funny," a man said.

"Excuse me?"

"They never heard of him."

 

I know this story has monsters, psycho killer, semi-curses, awful bitter aunt, and government agents, but this was the scene that sent a chill down my spine. 

 

Nora's aunt, that kept her just about child protective services needed isolated, dies and leaves Nora alone and fearful of the world. When a tv repairman comes and seems to be hitting on her, she can't believe it and thinks she misinterpreted things. Of course she was right because no matter our upbringing, us women seem to have an innate sense of dude's up to no good. TV repairman turns out be a sexual harasser and stalker to the nth degree. Hence, the phone call where he lets her know he checked up on her and when she said she has a husband and he is a police officer, it is a lie. It's such a cold heart stopping moment because you know Nora is alone in the house and you know this guy is coming for her. Shivers.

 

10.  Shooter by Dahlia West

“So,” Chris said, leaning on his cart. “If I’m not a pirate king or a highlander, what kind of romance novel character am I?”

The checkout girl looked him up and down. “Definitely contemporary. Maybe a fireman or-”

“Army Ranger?” Chris asked teasingly.

The girl picked up a sales flier and fanned herself. “Lord, girl you snagged yourself an Army man?”

“Landlord,” Slick repeated. “Land. Lord. No snagging.”

“We’re having lunch today,” Chris told the checkout girl. “She’s making roast beef sandwiches.”

“There was a sale,” Slick whined. “I like roast beef.”

The checkout girl shook her head. “Girl, you like some kind of beef, I’ll give you that. You take that man home and get some beef, okay?”

 

A little meta-ness with discussing the heroine's love of romance books and their heroes and some cuteness with Chris our hero actually being a former Army Ranger. 

 

 

 

  1. Winner:

 

 

This scene, I keep thinking about it. To me, it is pure romance, which is love to me. The hero begins to realize how his father loved a woman who might not have been conventionally attractive and was ill most of the time; imperfect people being loved perfectly. 

 

 

2016 Winner

 

2015 Best Scene

 

2014 Best Scene

 

 

Have a favorite scene from 2016 that still sticks with you?

 

Next time, Favorite Quote....

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