The (Shameful) Tally 2014

February 2015: Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful which includes all of the books I have read to date.

This is the yearly reading list I maintain.

Recommended books are in bold, but here is a ruthlessly streamlined recommendations list:
So You Want to Read a (Historical) Romance, this is an
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ROMANCES BY AUTHOR, and these are
Things That Occur to Me While Reading Historical Romance Novels.

The Autobuy List
Tessa Dare
Lisa Kleypas (except Crystal Cove)
Julie Anne Long
Sarah MacLean
Courtney MilanThe. Very. Best.

The Auto-Library/Cheap on Kindle List
Jennifer Ashley –  I love/hate her. I don’t recommend her.
Mary Balogh – predictable, but safe, well-written
Loretta Chase –  reliable, sometimes great
Meredith Duran – great character studies
Suzanne Enoch – B+ list
Elizabeth Essex – potential
Laura Florand – steamy and romantic contemporaries
Juliana Gray – B+ list, really strong, almost an autobuy
Cecilia Grant – interesting, massive potential
Lorraine Heath – B- list, so if there’s absolutely nothing else, maybe
Carla Kelly – sweet Regency romances, large back catalogue, newer work has Mormon themes
Caroline Linden – off to a good start, great potential
Julia Quinn – An excellent place to launch your reading. Start with The Bridgertons

Malin has excellent reviews on her site, and a broader range of books.

Name Tally August 31, 2014: Simon (8); Michael (7); Sebastian (7); William (7); Robert, Alec/Alex (5); Colin, Jack, Harry, James(4); Benedict, Charles, Edward, Gabriel, Gareth, Jackson, Julian, Lucien, Marcus, Tristan (3); and only one David.

My Favourite Characters

Other Authors and My Reading List for 2014 Are After the Jump

Victoria Alexander – Popular, funny, perfectly serviceable, but not quite.
Elizabeth Boyle – Clever, but I prefer a little more maturity in my protagonists.
Grace Burrowes – Popular, plot moppety, likes into precious bodily fluids.
Gayle Callen – Too serious for my taste, nicely enough written, reasonably romantic.
Kresley Cole – Failed paranormal romance experiment
Lila DiPasqua – Undone (Fiery Tales) – Some words should NEVER be seen in a romance novel.
Gaelen Foley – She used the word “orifice” in a love scene.
Shana Galen – Perfectly pleasant, occasionally quite good, but nothing special
Karen Hawkins – Too slow getting going.
Cheryl Holt – Fantastic banter but wildly, distractingly uneven tone, also sexist.
Elizabeth Hoyt – very popular, not my taste, a little rough for my delicate sensibilities
Lorelei James – God, no! Contemporary. Cowboys.
Sophie Jordan – consummation on the floor of a rat infested cellar and they were not locked in
Kieran Kramer – Bland. If You Give a Girl a Viscount.
Stephanie Laurens – Tried in 2012. 30 page love scenes. Don’t do it.
Jade LeeWedded in Scandal Muddled story, uneven tone, vacillating and inconsistent leads.
Julianne MacLean – Nothing special.
Dorothy McFalls – The Nude – Abused widow gets obsessive new husband, how unhealthy!
Suzanna Medeiros – Pedestrian, and I hate it when they’re both insanely beautiful.
Kate Noble – Very good, just not my style: Regency spies, mostly chaste.
Amelia Nolan – Although I applauded the feminist sexuality of the heroine.

The (Shamefree) Tally 2014

Longbourn – Jo Baker
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon – Outlander Book 8
Wonderstruck – Brian Selznick

The (Shameful) Tally 2014 – Almost Exclusively Historical Romances – After the Jump

  1. The Importance of Being Wicked – Victoria Alexander (Winfield/Miranda)
  2. Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements – Victoria Alexander novella (Winfield/Felicia and Lucy and Caroline)
  3. Scandal and the Duchess – Jennifer Ashley novella (Steven/Rose)
  4. Rules for a Proper Governess – Jennifer Ashley (Sinclair/Roberta “Bertie”)
  5. The Arrangement – Mary Balogh (Vincent/Sophia)
  6. The Escape – Mary Balogh (Benedict/Samantha)
  7. Nothing to Commend Her – Jo Barrett (Magnus/Agatha)
  8. Jacob’s Return – Annette Blair (Jacob/Rachel)
  9. Ridiculous – DL Carter (Timothy/Millicent)
  10. Vixen in Velvet – Loretta Chase (Simon, Lord Lisburne/Leonie)
  11. Wallbanger – Alice Clayton (Simon/Caroline)
  12. How to Catch a Wild Viscount – Tessa Dare novella (Luke/Cecily)
  13. Romancing the Duke – Tessa Dare (Ransom/Izzy)
  14. Say Yes to the Marquess – Tessa Dare (Rafe/Clio)
  15. Into the Wilderness – Sara Donati (Nathaniel/Elizabeth)
  16. Bound by Your Touch Meredith Duran (James/Lydia)
  17. Written on Your Skin – Meredith Duran (Phin/Mina)
  18. Your Wicked Heart – Meredith Duran novella (Ripton/Amanda)
  19. Fool Me Twice – Meredith Duran (Alaistair/Olivia)
  20. The Devil Wears Kilts – Suzanne Enoch (Ranulf/Charlotte)
  21. A Breath of Scandal – Elizabeth Essex (Will/Antigone)
  22. The Chocolate Heart – Laura Florand (Luc/Summer)
  23. The Chocolate Temptation – Laura Florand (Patrick/Sarah)
  24. The Shadowed Heart – Laura Florand (Luc/Summer again, plus everyone else)
  25. Sisters in Love – Melissa Foster (Blake/Danica)
  26. When a Duke Says I Do – Jane Goodger (Alexander/Elsie)
  27. A Lady Never Lies – Juliana Gray (Finn/Alexandra)
  28. A Gentleman Never Tells – Juliana Gray (Roland/Lilibet)
  29. A Duke Never Yields – Juliana Gray (Wallingford/Abigail)
  30. How to Tame Your Duke – Juliana Gray (Ashland/Emilie)
  31. How to Master Your Marquis – Juliana Gray (Hatherfield/Stefanie)
  32. How to School Your Scoundrel – Juliana Gray (Somerton/Luisa)
  33. When the Marquess Met His Match – Laura Lee Guhrke (Nicholas/Belinda)
  34. How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days – Laura Lee Guhrke (Stuart/Edie)
  35. As an Earl Desires – Lorraine Heath (Archie/Camilla)
  36. In Bed with the Devil – Lorraine Heath (Luke/Catherine)
  37. Between the Devil and Desire – Lorraine Heath (Jack/Olivia)
  38. Surrender to the Devil – Lorraine Heath (Sterling/Frannie)
  39. Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel – Lorraine Heath (James/Eleanor)
  40. The Last Wicked Scoundrel – Lorraine Heath novella (William and Winnie)
  41. Passions of a Wicked Earl – Lorraine Heath (Westcliffe/Claire)
  42. Pleasures with a Notorious Gentleman – Lorraine Heath (Stephen/Mercy)
  43. Waking Up with the Duke – Lorraine Heath (Ainsley/Jayne)
  44. Deck the Halls with Love – Lorraine Heath novella (Chetwyn/Meredith)
  45. When the Duke was Wicked – Lorraine Heath (Lovingdon/Grace)
  46. Once More, My Darling Rogue – Lorraine Heath (Drake/Ophelia “Phee”)
  47. Compromising Miss Tisdale – Jessica Jefferson (Duncan/Ambrosia[!])
  48. Beautiful Bastard – Christina Lauren (Bennett/Chloe)
  49. Beautiful Bitch – Christina Lauren novella (Bennett/Chloe)
  50. Beautiful Stranger – Christina Lauren (Max/Sara)
  51. Beautiful Bombshell – Christina Lauren novella (Bennett/Chloe and Max/Sara)
  52. Beautiful Player – Christina Lauren (Will/Hanna)
  53. Beautiful Beginning – Christina Lauren novella (Bennett/Chloe)
  54. It Takes a Scandal – Caroline Linden (Sebastian/Abigail)
  55. Beauty and the Spy – Julie Anne Long (Kit/Susannah)
  56. Ways to Be Wicked – Julie Anne Long (Tom/Sylvie)
  57. The Secret to Seduction – Julie Anne Long (Rhys/Sabrina)
  58. Between the Devil and Ian Eversea – Julie Anne Long (Ian/Tansy)
  59. Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover – Sarah MacLean (Duncan/Georgiana)
  60. The Suffragette Scandal – Courtney Milan (Edward/Free) IF YOU READ ONLY ONE…
  61. Talk Sweetly to Me – Courtney Milan (Stephen/Rose)
  62. It Had to Be You – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Dan/Phoebe)
  63. Nobody’s Baby but Mine – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Cal/Jane)
  64. This Heart of Mine – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Kevin/Molly) – WORST HEROINE OF THE YEAR
  65. Match Me If You Can – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Heath/Annabelle)
  66. Natural Born Charmer – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Dean/Blue)
  67. The Sum of All Kisses – Julia Quinn (Hugh/Sarah)
  68. Neanderthal Seeks Human – Penny Reid (Quinn/Janie)
  69. Neanderthal Marries Human – Penny Reid (Quinn/Janie)
  70. Love Hacked – Penny Reid (Alex/Sandra)
  71. The Wicked Wallflower – Maya Rodale (Blake/Emma)
  72. Season for Temptation – Theresa Romain (James/Julia)
  73. Season for Surrender – Theresa Romain (Alex/Louisa)
  74. Season for Scandal – Theresa Romain (Jane/Edmund)
  75. Season for Desire – Theresa Romain (Giles/Audrina)
  76. The Dressmaker’s Duke – Jess Russell (Rhys/Olivia)
  77. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation – Lauren Willig (Richard/Amy)
  78. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose – Lauren Willig (Vaughn/Mary)

Reviews of Pre-2014 Reads
A Week to Be Wicked – Tessa Dare (Colin/Minerva)
The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright – Tessa Dare (Harry/Eliza)
Dreaming of You – Lisa Kleypas (Derek/Sara) CLASSIC
The Governess Affair – Courtney Milan (Hugo/Serena)
The Duchess War – Courtney Milan (Robert/Minnie)
The Countess Conspiracy – Courtney Milan (Sebastian/Violet)
Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels Explained – Maya Rodale

The Bow Street Runners Series – Lisa Kleypas
Someone to Watch Over Me (Grant and Vivien)
Lady Sophia’s Lover (Ross and Sophia)
Worthy Any Price (Nick and Charlotte)

The Hathaways Series – Lisa Kleypas
Mine till Midnight (Cam and Amelia)
Seduce Me at Sunrise (Merripen and Win)
Tempt Me at Twilight (Harry and Poppy)
Married by Morning (Leo and Catherine)
Love in the Afternoon (Christopher and Beatrix)

Abandoned Novels
Of Moths and Butterflies – V.R. Christensen (Archer/Imogen)
Maybe This Time – Jennifer Crusie (North/Andie)

The (Shameful) Tally for 2012/2013 are here.

Final name tally December 13, 2013: Simon (7); Michael (7); Sebastian (6); Robert/William (5) Alec/Alex, Colin, Gabriel, Harry, James (4); Benedict, Charles, Edward, Gareth, Henry, Jackson, Julian, Lucien, Marcus, Tristan (3); and only one David.

My Favourite Characters

Reject Pile

Gayle Callen – Too serious for my taste, nicely enough written, reasonably romantic.
Kresley Cole – Failed paranormal romance experiment
Lila DiPasqua – Undone (Fiery Tales) – Some words should NEVER be seen in a romance novel.
Gaelen Foley – She used the word “orifice” in a love scene.
Shana Galen – Perfectly pleasant, occasionally quite good, but nothing special
Karen Hawkins – Too slow getting going.
Cheryl Holt – Fantastic banter but wildly, distractingly uneven tone, also sexist.
Lorelei James – God, no! Contemporary. Cowboys.
Sophie Jordan – consummation on the floor of a rat infested cellar and they were not locked in
Kieran Kramer – Bland. If You Give a Girl a Viscount.
Stephanie Laurens – Read in 2012. 30 page love scenes. Don’t do it.
Jade Lee – Wedded in Scandal Muddled story, uneven tone, vacillating and inconsistent leads.
Julianne MacLean – Nothing special.
Dorothy McFalls – The Nude – Abused widow gets obsessive new husband. How wonderfully unhealthy!
Suzanna Medeiros – Pedestrian, and I hate it when they’re both insanely beautiful.
Kate Noble – Very good, just not my style: Regency spies, mostly chaste.
Amelia Nolan – Although I absolutely APPLAUD the feminist sexuality of the heroine.
Anya Wylde – Oh, honey, no.

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