I began 2013 with Nalini Singh's Psy/Changling series. I had read the first five books previously but knew that in order to get caught up with the series, a re-read of the early titles was probably in order. I love Slave to Sensation and can remember sitting with my mouth hanging open when I finished reading it for the first time. This book was a game-changer in my reading life and I re-visit it often...I am utterly incapable of caring if there are any flaws in this book--to me it is the ultimate in comfort reads. In addition to Slave to Sensation, I re-read Visions of Heat, Mine to Possess, and Hostage to Pleasure. (I did not re-read Caress of Ice because while I enjoy it, I had re-read it more recently than the other titles.) I also re-read the short stories "Stroke of Enticement" from The Magical Christmas Cat and "Whisper of Sin" from the Burning Up anthology. This concluded the titles that I had read before.
I continued the Psy/Changling series with the new-to-me titles Branded by Fire, Blaze of Memory, Bonds of Justice, Play of Passion, and Kiss of Snow. I loved all of these titles, especially Branded by Fire and Bonds of Justice. I really worried when I began Kiss of Snow. I am not a fan of angst due to "the other woman" or "the other man" and I really worried that Hawke was going to do something that I would have a hard time forgiving him for. I still have Tangle of Need to read and hope to get to it this weekend; I am having a hard time beginning it because it is about two characters who have a lot of emotional baggage (with good reason) and the whole "Riaz has a mate and it's not Adria" just screams emotional angst of "the other woman" type. However, I saw somewhere (although, I cannot remember where) that the next book in the series will be about/reveal the identity of the Ghost. In fact, the cover was blacked out and the title wasn't revealed so as to not give anything away. I want to catch up on the series before then, and while I have time, if I put of Tangle of Need, I may not get back to it until very last minute. So, better to read it now and be ready for number 12.
Rescue My Heart was up next by Jill Shalvis, the third in the Animal Magnetism series. I really enjoyed it, although I wasn't sure I was going to for the first third of the book. I really liked Adam and Holly although I didn't really connect to either of them early on but even more than that, I wasn't sure that I believed in their ability to connect to each other. There were so many tentative steps forward in their relationship followed by very definite steps back which got frustrating. However, I should have trusted because by the end of the book I believed that they could and would compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses. A small niggle I had was with the ex-husband. He was off-page for so much of the book and when he did appear, I wasn't sure that his presence (and by default, his storyline) was necessary.
After catching up with the Animal Magnetism series, I ventured into my TBR "pile" (which is not a pile, but a five shelf bookshelf in my master bedroom's closet which overflows into piles on the floor) and found several more Jill Shalvis books, all from the Lucky Harbor series. I had read the first book in the series, Simply Irresistible, before but wanted to re-read it as it had been awhile. I loved it...I laughed out loud multiple times and fell in love with Jax. He is a favorite of mine and I felt that Maddie was a perfect fit for him. She grew into her potential in a way that it was believable that Jax would be attracted to her and want to spend the rest of his life being her "knight in shining armor" knowing that she was letting him do so, not needing him to.
I followed up with the next two titles in the Lucky Harbor series: The Sweetest Thing and Head Over Heels. I enjoyed both quite a bit. The Sweetest Thing was all set to have a love triangle (of which I am rarely a fan) but the way it was dealt with was a pleasant surprise. Jill Shalvis's writing reminds me of Nora Robert's in the way that she fleshes out even the most minor of characters and the way she writes men and their thinking and actions with and among each other. Head Over Heels also caused me to laugh out loud at several points (the paint handprints!!) and I really appreciated the growth that Chloe experienced between her appearance in Simply Irresistible and her taking the starring role in Head Over Heels.
Mandi at Smexy Books mentioned that she was reading Desire Untamed by Pamela Palmer. I remembered reading this book a while back and thought, "what the heck" and pulled it out for a quick re-read. It was just as over-the-top as I remembered it being the first time. I might read more in the series. I think I have read the second book before, but it would definitely need to be read again as I can't remember much from it.
Lastly, I read Bearing All (which I had downloaded for free from Amazon on my Kindle) and Moosed Up, which I purchased after reading the free sample. I had seen several reviews for Bearing All floating around Romancelandia so I decided to see for myself. I had the same issue for both books--there were parts of the story that I felt were really strong and could have been expanded upon and there were parts that I felt could have been tightened up considering the shorter page counts being worked within. However, I am thinking about downloading the other two books available in the Wild Men of Alaska series based on my overall enjoyment of my first two forays into the series.
Note: All books mentioned are either owned by me or were checked out from my public library.