As far as I'm concerned, 2009 was the Year of Uniform Fabulousness (YOUF) in romance.  Perhaps better stated, it was the year in which so many great romances were released, it was miserably difficult to separate front runners.  

So when faced with the task of offering up a list of my fave romances for BN's Best of 2009, I reengineered, if you will, my compulsively methodical approach to "year's best" list making, and went gut first, first.

Rather than begin by looking at columns, features and notes I wrote about books from '09, I thought like the romance reader I am; I mused on and daydreamed about the books and elements that simply popped into my mind, like quirky or extraordinary heroes/heroines, memorable riffs and storylines, and scenes that nudged at my psyche.

After I tossed the related titles in a file, I researched the usual suspects from the year in review and books I'd written about or simply read.  Then, I came up with a short list of categories we most discussed here at H2H in the past five months - and at Unabashedly Bookish since May -- as well as a couple "just for funs." And it also seemed cool to choose a duo in each category, giving a nod to the fact that I happily could have chosen about ten.

So check out this BN Best of 2009: Romance list. Which of your 2009 faves would you add? PLUS: Add romance categories to the list - and winners in those cats - you'd like to see.

Click here to see what winning authors have to say about the list, and for BN Best of 2009 in books, film, TV and music!



Knight of Desire  -- Margaret Mallory

Seduced by Shadows   -- Jessa Slade











A Mermaid's Ransom   -- Joey W. Hill
Kiss of a Demon King (Immortals After Dark Series #6)   -- Kresley Cole












One Reckless Summer -- Toni Blake
Hot Pursuit (Troubleshooters Series #15)   -- Suzanne Brockmann











Sexiest Non-Erotic Romance Love Scene


Start Me Up  Start Me Up -- Victoria Dahl
Hunt Her Down     -- Roxanne St. Claire













A Hint of Wicked   -- Jennifer Haymore
Highland Rebel      -- Judith James
The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie    -- Jennifer Ashley










Historical -- Erotic


Addicted -- Charlotte Featherstone
Gorgeous as Sin    -- Susan Johnson











Erotic Romance


Pleasure and Purpose  -- Megan Hart
The Things That Make Me Give In   -- Charlotte Stein












Gallant Officer, Forbidden Lady -- Diane Gaston
The Desert King's Pregnant Bride  -- Annie West













The Bridegroom   -- Linda Lael Miller
The Lone Texan  -- Jodi Thomas











High-Seas Romance

Captured   -- Beverly Jenkins
Surrender of a Siren    -- Tessa Dare


by PrincessBumblebee on ‎12-02-2009 02:08 PM

Way to go, QB! I couldn't have done better. Although I think Nalini Singh could have been mentioned. Her 'Angel's Blood' if there was an urban fantasy section, would have definatley been on the list. Glad to see Kresley Cole! Love her! Am obssessed with her IAD series!

by 1lovealways on ‎12-02-2009 05:01 PM

Hi Michelle!


I see several favorite authors on this list.  Oh, my goodness I'll have to add some of these to my long list. Believe me it is long!  I've made my December book list and cannot add anymore.  Oh, I forgot I've begged for Gift Cards!  That would be nice. 


Hi Princess!  I've never read Nalini Singh.  I see her name often and will have to check her books out.  Oh, well her book will just go on that list that I'm working my way through!  :smileyhappy:

by MalePerspectiveGuy on ‎12-02-2009 05:34 PM

I recognize most of these covers!



by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎12-02-2009 08:52 PM

Yes, MPG, reading between the words, o long-suffering one, and I translate your comment to mean: All of these covers and hundreds more have covered nearly every surface in our home at one time or another this year.


Singh is pretty tremendous, 1la, and was tops on one of my first RBTB Year's Best lists. And she's just a lovely person, too. Very accessible, like so many romance authors.


Great idea, principessa, a blended genre area, fantasy/romance.  And I knew you'd go for the Cole, too.  Those books are tremendous fun.

by Joan_P on ‎12-02-2009 11:18 PM

This just isn't fair. I've been bit by the reading bug. Now all those titles (and hot covers!). I just finished "Mine Till Midnight" by Lisa Kleypas and I have "Seduce Me At Sunrise" ready to go, but look at all those positively tantalizing books!!! I shouldn't even start the next book because my family and home have been neglected since just before Thanksgiving when I was bit by that dang reading bug!! lol! Well they all have to go on my wish list for now. I have a few books coming that I ordered online to read first. Wouldn't ya know, I do have a very bad case of OCD so I want to read that perfect book next cuz I'm afraid I'll miss something :smileyhappy: Now that's all messed up cuz of this new list!! lol Not to worry though... it's all good!!


Since I've only read 2 Romance books in my whole life (and that was in the last week or so) I can't really give a fave up but my New Years resolution will be to keep reading veraciously so I can more qualified next year to give my input!! hehe! That will be a grand adventure (blush). For now I'm loving Historical Romance but when I'm done with that I want to try Paranormal.


Thanks again Michelle, for the hot tips!



by Author LeeRhuday on ‎12-03-2009 08:17 AM

Love, love, love Roxanne St. Claire and Kresley Cole, Diane Gaston and Toni Blake.  If I were to add to the list, it'd be C. L. Wilson's Queen of Song and Souls in a Fantasy Romance category. Some absolutely fabulous books on your list, Michelle, and a few I haven't read yet.  I'm heading out to the bookstore this morning and will take your list with if I needed to add to my TBR pile. 

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎12-03-2009 09:30 AM

Thanks Michelle for your picks I've read some but it looks like my pile will be increasing. I always love checking in on the various clubs to see authors I haven't yet read and more times than not will become favs in the future.


by Joan_P on ‎12-03-2009 01:18 PM

I was wondering... is their a sub genre like "Comedy Romance"? That might be a nice break if you've been reading a lot of tear jerkers! :smileyhappy:



by Lisa_Kroener on ‎12-03-2009 01:32 PM

Oh, oh, oh, no <i>Romantic Suspense</i> category? I'd nominate <i>Kill For Me</i> by Karen Rose and <i>Under Fire</i> by Jo Davis. There are so many more but atm, I can only remember reading these two when it comes to books being released in 2009.


Hmmmm ... <i>Hard And Fast</i> by Erin McCarthy for Contemporary and <i>Master Of Surrender</i> by Karin Tabke for Medieval.


Paranormal ... <i>The Darkest Whisper</i> by Gena Showalter. I'd add anything by Kresley Cole but KOADK is not my favourite in the IAD-series ('though I reeeeally liked it) and the others came out before 2009, I think...


In the Historical category, I'd definitely choose the first two books in Tracy Anne Warren's <i>Byrons of Braebourne</i>-series. Ga-reat books!


That would be it for the moment. I'll pipe up again if something comes to mind! Have to read a book by Brecht now for my German lessons tomorrow - not exactly romance (well, not at all, actually), but entertaining none the less!



by Lisa_Kroener on ‎12-03-2009 01:34 PM

Aaaargh, I'm such a moron! I used the HTML-symbols instead of simply clicking the "I"-button! I'm so used to doing that that I always use it, no matter if there's another way to make italics. Why isn't there a "Modify"-button, anyway?

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-03-2009 02:28 PM

Joan_P, have you read Vicki Lewis Thompson's Hex series? Those are pretty light-hearted. And Christie Craig's Divorce series, too. And Jenny Crusie: Tell Me Lies, Fast Women, Welcome to Temptation, etc.

by Joan_P on ‎12-03-2009 02:36 PM


Thanks for the recommendations! I haven't read those... guess they will go on my wish list to check out!!



by njoireading on ‎12-04-2009 04:31 PM

I would have to add Sherry Thomas; her "Not Quite a Husband" was unbelievably good and I have re-read it at least 3 times since it came out.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-04-2009 04:35 PM

I LOVED that book! I'll second that recommendation.

by Author Kate4queen on ‎12-04-2009 06:22 PM

What a great list! I bet that was hard for you, Michelle, having to read all those great books, just for us :smileyhappy:

by Author LisaMarieWilkinson on ‎12-04-2009 11:40 PM

Don't forget the wonderful novels by new star Meredith Duran!  And Tessa Dare, who is fast becoming queen of the charming Regency.


I wish you'd also consider having a list of romance novels issued by smaller presses.  I am a Medallion Press author, and my debut, "Fire at Midnight," received excellent reviews this year, plus won the Romance category of USA Book News Best Books of 2009.  My publisher doesn't have the distribution channels of the larger publishers, so its authors remain largely under the radar. 

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-05-2009 12:24 AM

I read FIRE AT MIDNIGHT and I was impressed -- good luck with your new book, too, Lisa!

by international2 on ‎09-13-2011 04:45 PM

This is my first time submitting hope I did everything right

A Good Novel to Read in the Witching hours between Nightfall to Daybreak!


Every once in a decade there is a rare historical romance novel of dreamer’s a recurring dream hits the market. Broken Vows Part I is a historical romance novel filled with betrayal, deceit, and resilient love.


Your name was selected to receive this invitation: To one who appreciates reading good romance novels. Have The Time Of Your Life Reading This New Historical Romance Novel!


Part I presents a story of friendship between three sisters,

the decisions they make that tore them apart through

bitterness, conflict, family secrets, romance and treachery.

Abigail reveals her shocking life story to her friends.


Broken Vows is now on sale at by clicking the link below.


Be Prepared to Learn the Truth!

Sylvia Lynn Mines

                        Broken Vows Part I & II released in September 18, 2011 on

Broken Vows I

Authored by Sylvia Lynn Mines


5.5" x 8.5" (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Full Color on White paper
350 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1463755904 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1463755902
BISAC: Fiction / Romance / Adult

Broken Vows is a historical romance novel that is filled with betrayal, deceit, resilient love and other steamy characteristics that changed a woman's life dramatically. Book clubs the world over will love this book. Broken Vows is a story of friendship between sisters and the decisions they make that tore them apart through family secrets...conflicts...bitterness...and treachery. Abigail believes an evil curse was placed on the women of her family and she embarks on a journey to break the curse, but disaster strikes and only the man she loves can rescue her.


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