What’s a little more post-holiday debt among friends? Grab some plastic and check this out. For your first-quarter-and-then-some, must-read reading pleasure, I offer you  


Top Ten Reads for the Top o' the New Year


1.  “What She Needs  ," by Lacey Alexander – A mouthwatering treat for the erotic love story fan. Shy Jenna looked at sex as a one-on-one event shared w/in a commitment. Once sensual guide/sex psychologist Brent Powers plans her personalized hedonistic discovery – with him leading the exploration – Jenna learns how far she’ll go for sexual fulfillment, and how right she’s been all along.


2.Sex and the Single Earl  ,” by Vanessa Kelly – Sophie Stanton’s loved Simon St. James, 5th Earl of Trask, since she was a child. He knows this, so he figures she won’t mind his marrying her for her land. He doesn’t count on her being ridiculously passionate – or her being more dedicated to her true passions than the love for him Simon thought he’d manipulate. His downfall into HEA’s a joy to behold.


3.Renegade  ,” by Catherine Mann – Dark Ops flyboy Sgt. Mason “Smooth” Randolph parachutes off-course onto government testing ground and possibly is exposed to toxic substances as he’s subdued by covert government agent, Jill Walczak.  Quarantined together, Jill’s got her eye on Randolph; she doesn’t need the hot-shot playing hero in her serial-killer investigation – or working his Smooth moves on her don’t-need-no-heroes life.


4.Secrets of a Scandalous Bride  ,” by Sophia Nash – Rowland Manning is a powerful, self-made man, and a bastard in every sense of the word.  That’s why he’s especially pleased when elegant widow Elizabeth Ashburton comes to him for aid.  And by pleased, he means rues the day she became the only one who could save him, er, his empire. Divine wrap to Nash's splendid Widow’s Club series. 


5.Coming Undone  ,” by Lauren Dane – Big, tatted and built-for-the-long-haul Brody Brown gave up a lot to raise his younger sibs and see to their success.  When former prima ballerina Elise Sorenson moves to Seattle to start a new life with her young daughter, she and Brody explore a no-strings, raw-and-exquisitely erotic affair that leads to more than either knew they deserved.


6.Kismet  ,” by Monica Burns -- Allegra Synnford is revered for her wisdom and power; the most sought-after courtesan chooses her lovers carefully.  Sheikh Shaheen may want her, but he’s not happy about it.  They seal a pleasurable, erotic deal, yet it causes danger to chase them as they race through the desert, and as they move on to England, where perhaps even more peril lies as Shaheen’s past catches up with him.


7.Fugitive,” by Cheryl Brooks – Playful eroticism and paranormal fantasy meet interwoven tales of enduring commitment in the Cat Star Chronicles series. “Fugitive” introduces the enticing story of Manx, the feline gene that gives him the extraordinary sexual skills the human Drusilla can’t resist, and the machinations of a wild/creative cast of good and evil characters who’ll rock their lives in the amazing universes Brooks creates for them.


8.The Earl and the Governess,” by Sarah Elliott – Nothing beats an “impoverished young woman is hired by the dashing peer to be governess to his ward" novel, except an exceptionally fine one written by a talented young author whose husband happens to be a Peer of the Realm. Not that that matters. But it’s cool.  And the book’s marv.


9.  "Hold On Tight  ,” by Stephanie Tyler -- A hi-profile rescue mission goes FUBAR when a negotiator’s killed and Navy SEAL Chris Waldron’s investigated by a sexy ex who could ruin his career as easily as her search for the truth could cause them their lives. #3 in a hot 'n thrilling, back2 back Navy SEALs series.


10. A Touch of Scandal  ,” by Jennifer Haymore – Garrett, the scandalous Duke of Calton, is searching the woods for his sworn enemy when he’s surprised by a beautiful servant girl. Kate makes the war-torn soldier feel alive, yet when he learns she’s his betrayer’s sister, he’s got to decide quickly whom to trust.  The wrong choice could cause him and Kate nothing but pain – or save their lives.

What novels are you looking forward to in the first quarter? In 2010?

Daphne du Maurier said, "Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard." Do you agree? Click here to tell us: "Shut Up and Write," at Unabashedly Bookish!


Michelle Buonfiglio is an advocate for romance authors, readers and the industry.  Catch her daily posts here at BN's H2H and RomanceBuytheBook.com, and Tuesdays at BN's Unabashedly Bookish.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎01-20-2010 04:53 PM

Quite a few I'm looking forward to a few of which have already been read.

Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K Hamilton

Blood Ties - Kay Hooper

Hell Gate Linda Fairstein

Wild Ride - Jenny Crusie/Bob Mayer

The Cinderella Deal - Jenny Crusie

Fantasy in Death JD Robb

Lover Mine JR Ward

The Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick

Eight Days to Live - Iris Johansen

A Tale of Two Demon Slayers - Angie Fox


So as you see I'll be a busy girl. ;-)

by Author VanessaKelly on ‎01-20-2010 06:48 PM

Holy cow!!  I'm stunned to be included on this list!  Thank you so much, Michelle.  All the books look fabulous, and I ordered Monica's book a few days ago.  Looks like I'll be adding some more to the TBR.


One book I'm really looking forward to is Debbie Mazzuca's LORD OF THE ISLES, which comes out in April.  Also WILD RIDE by Crusie and Mayer.  I loved AGNES AND THE HITMAN.




by Author ToniBlake11 on ‎01-20-2010 07:03 PM

Michelle - color me honored to see WHAT SHE NEEDS (written by my alter ego, Lacey) on your list of New Year's reads!

by Moderator Melanie_Murray on ‎01-20-2010 07:03 PM

I'm looking forward to a little book called Married by Morning by this author named Lisa Kleypas who I really like.

by keristevens on ‎01-20-2010 07:09 PM

'Kay, I'm 10% into the new year (I NEEDED What She Needs--boy howdy).  So now . . . Vanessa Kelly, I'm coming for you!

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-20-2010 07:28 PM

Deb, I didn't even know you liked romance!  kidding.  I'm all about Lover Mine, too, having crushed on JM since he was pre-trans and,no, i don't feel creepy about it (anymore).


hi, vanessa!  I liked the first crusie/mayer, w/the mercenary who had the crush on Wonderwoman. : )


you're welcome, Toni/Lacey. Looking forward to the follow-up to One Reckless Summer. I think y ou mentioned you needed me to keep an eye on the manuscript for yu, didn't y ou?


em, melanie, who eez thees Kleypas of wheech you speek? 

Keri, once you get what she needs, you won't even believe that you didn't know you needed it, too. boy howdy, indeed.

by LadyDehsire on ‎01-20-2010 08:58 PM

Kismet was awesome!  I couldn't put it down...told the kids to get their own dinner...LOL...the story was smooth and strong and pulled me into their world.


I loved the Brown family in Lauren Dane's Laid Bare and was so happy to see Brody in Coming Undone....he can tattoo me anytime!



by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-20-2010 10:10 PM

Welcome, LadyDehsire! Another BDB fan, perhaps? mmm, yes.  Brody makes me wanna get tatted, too, except there's just nobody I dislike enough to make look at something like that on my body. But in my fantasies... : )   And I recommend suggesting the kids get their own breakfasts, lunches, school snacks, and do their own grocery shopping. But there's only so much I can get 10 and 12 year olds to do so I can read on the couch. ah, well.

by AngelaJohnson23 on ‎01-20-2010 10:20 PM

I'm an historical gal.  All these titles sound great.  I was already excited about Kismet.

Sex and the Single Earl has me intrigued, too.

by jill33177 on ‎01-20-2010 11:42 PM

Hi, everyone! I'm fairly new to the book clubs, so I could be in the wrong place! However, I'm a reader and I read romance mostly, so.... here I am!


I'll read Wild Ride because I do enjoy the authors! I'm not into historicals. Isn't the Seals book you mentioned one in a series? I thought I saw them on the book list when I was browsing, If so, I'll be reading that, too, although it means I have to get the whole series so far! :smileyhappy:  Next month..... they're on my wish list!


I'm trying to decide whether or not to buy the newest Stephanie Plum book in paperback (when it's out ) or for my Nook... decisions, decisions. I have the whole series so far in paperback, so... we'll see.


I tend to stick to favorite authors whenever possible, but I do branch out when necessary!


I'll also have to try to find Delinsky's Heat Wave... haven't read that one. Her more recent ones aren't what I'd call "steamy" so it should be interesting to compare that one with the newer ones. Thanks for mentioning it.


Enjoy your books, ladies.......... hope to be back here soon!

by JoanneRock on ‎01-21-2010 09:07 AM

Great list, Michelle.  I haven't been paying attention to what's coming up, so it's great to have a shopping guide!

by Author MonicaBurns on ‎01-21-2010 09:42 AM

I'm with Vanessa on being honored to be included on the list. I've been hard at work on the current book, so just now had a moment (at day job) to pop on and say thanks to Michelle for putting Kismet in such esteemed company.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-21-2010 10:22 AM

You're definitely on my team, then, Angela!  I could read on every day for the rest of my life and not get tired. But these darned contemporary and paranormal writers keep writing good books and getting in the way of my plans.  So I have this retirement fantasy of all the historicals I'll be reading in my dotage...


Jill, you're ABSOLUTELY in the right place and welcomewelcomewelcome!!!  Glad you headed here from Romantic Reads! The 'book clubs' moniker can be a little confusing, cause it can give the impression we're only discussing one book intensely. But here we can start on one book or topic and have it end up any old place. And we love to start w/a book and riff on a concept w/in it, especially if it has something to do w/hot guys, sex and fantasies.  OK, so I like to do that, anyway. 


The SEALs book def is a series.  Do  you mean JAci Burton's Wild riders series?  And you guys really got me thinking Delinsky over at RR now. Especially that older, hot one BN mod Becke's been talking about.


It looks like you may be a 'have to read a series in a row reader." is that the case?



by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-21-2010 10:24 AM

Hi, joanne!  If I don't make these lists, I end up missing out, too!  folks will say, 'hey, did you read the new xyz?' and i'll be, 'huh? did that come out?' and I'll be all mad that I missed it. grumble. : )

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-21-2010 10:25 AM

You're welcome, Monica.  It's a real treat to have a stand-alone sheikh read!

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-21-2010 04:28 PM

So many books, so little time!!

by jill33177 on ‎01-21-2010 05:17 PM

Hey, Michelle. You got me.... I would rather read a series in order if possible. Not that it can always be done, but I do try.


I know there's a series about the Navy SEALS.... I saw it while browsing. I've put all the ones I found on my ewish list Hopefully in a couple of weeks I can get them, but we'll see. I'm still catching up from Christmas here! :smileyhappy:  It will happen, though!! I have quite a few books on my Nook now, but I do seem to be going through them fairly quickly. I don't know what it is about the Nook, but it seems I can and do read more, faster with that! I'm not sure if that's good or not! :smileyhappy: :smileyhappy:


I'm off to start Mr. & Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels now... I was up until 5 am, finishing my last book so I could start this one!!




I read, therefore I am.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎01-21-2010 05:22 PM

jill, we got our son a nook for christmas and, well, maybe i'll just intercept it when it comes and tell him it's been delayed for a few months...   Are you thinking the Suz Brockmann Navy SEALs? Oh, My. Goodness. We could talk about those for days around here...

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎01-22-2010 02:43 AM

There are several Navy SEALS series, and all are good. Suzanne Brockmann's are the grail, though.


Others include a hot SEALS series by Lora Leigh, another by Marliss Melton, and of course Stephanie Tyler.

by Pam4290 on ‎01-22-2010 04:56 PM

Thanks for the recommendations.  I have printed them out so they are handy when I go to the bookstore.  I really want an e-book baaaaaaaaaaaaaad.  I am torn between the Nook & the Kindle.  I sure wish I could see them si/si to compare in person.  Oh well!

Love & Hugs,


by PrincessBumblebee on ‎01-22-2010 06:49 PM

Squee! I'm so excited! February is going to be a great month. First, Kresley Cole comes out with her latest in her IAD series, 'Pleasure of a Dark Prince' and if the cover isn't enough to make you drool, I'm sure the rest of the  book will! Then, Nalini Singh comes out with her new Guild Hunter novel 'ArchAngel's Kiss'. Someone pinch me! Preferably Chester from Linkin Park. Or Matt. Either one, hehe.

by Author SophiaNash1 on ‎01-22-2010 10:51 PM

Just returned from a trip to find this lovely news! Beyond honored to see SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS BRIDE included in your Top Ten list. I knew it was going to be tough going--trying to make a hero out of the anti-hero of the previous book--but I had no idea Rowland Manning would steal my heart in the process. I am so glad you liked him too!

by jill33177 on ‎01-23-2010 11:53 PM

Pam, if you check out the comparisons between Nook and Kindle, Nook is the better buy. I know Kindle has a new one  out... a bit bigger, etc., but it costs the earth! I'll stick with my Nook. I know a few people who have Kindles and have replaced them with Nooks. I can't speak from experience because I never had a Kindle. B & N should have a Nook you can check out at the store, though.


I just love my Nook... wasn't sure I would, but I do!! I can't wait to be able to curl up with my Nook and my daughter is the same way. She used to read, then got away from it for a few years because she just never found time to read. Now she's reading a LOT!!! :smileyhappy:


I finished Mr & Miss Anonymous by Fern Michaels last night.... surprising twists, good story... not her best writing, though. Still, I did enjoy it!!


Off to read now....

by 1lovealways on ‎01-25-2010 01:48 AM

Hi Michelle! :smileyhappy:


The number one book on my long list is Lover Mine by J.R. Ward.  I and everyone else has been waiting on this book ever since we were left hanging at the end of Lover Avenged.  Here are a few others I want to read.


Everlasting Kiss - Amanda Ashley

Smooth Talking Stranger - Lisa Kleypas

Coming Undone - Lauren Dane

The Vampire and the Virgin - Kerrelyn Sparks

Pleasure of a Dark Prince - Kresley Cole

Lessons In French - Laura Kinsale

Ecstasy Unveiled - Larissa Ione

What She Needs - Lacey Alexander

Irrestible - Susan Mallery

Kismet - Monica Burns

A Rush of Wings - Adrian Phoenix :smileyhappy:


by Random_Reader on ‎01-28-2010 08:30 PM

Renegade by Cathy Mann - I can totally vouch for this one.  I like her Wingman Warrior series over her non-military series, so I was delighted with the recent trio, of which Renegade is the 3rd. What a way to wrap it up!  Solid stories, enjoyable people, suspense - even when I thought I had things figured out, there were still suspenseful elements and I wasn't *sure* of my guesses.  I think this might be one of my favorite Cathy Mann books.  Can't recommend it enough.  (Stayed up to 3am to finish last night.  Paying for it now, but worth it).


Also I hope other people can see this because between just getting the blog to view, or showing comments, let alone the two separate log ins it required to post this (B&N general, then for the blog), it took a good 15 minutes to get to this point.  If the loading can go faster, it would help me read this more often.


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