Top Ten

Looking for something great to read? 
These are my picks for the best of the best in 2012. 

Read on for the following three categories:

Top 10 Adult Books I Read in 2012
Top 10 YA Books I Read in 2012
Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2012

Best Adult Books I Read in 2012

Gunmetal Magic
(Kate Daniels World #1)
Illona Andrews
I love the Kate Daniels books and this trip into Andrea's side of things is no exception. Andrea has all the same characteristics that make Kate awesome plus some unique ones that make her stand out on her own. The book was smart, fast-paced, action-packed, heart wrenching, and hilarious. This was a big win for Illona Andrews and I hope to get more Andrea and Raphael books in the future.

Blood on the Bayou
(Annabelle Lee #2)
Stacey Jay
I loved the first book in this series but this second one blew it out of the water. Annabelle is a completely dysfunctional heroine with flaws left and right but in the end she's heart felt and sympathetic. I also love all the men in this book, from Annabelle's impossible long lost love Hitch, to mysterious but caring Cane, to playful and sexy Tucker. A unique take on dark urban fantasy - and killer fairies - that manages to also be clever and funny. 

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
(Charley Davidson #4)
Darynda Jones
This unique series focuses on a hilarious and snarky private investigator who solves mysteries, doubles as the grim reaper on the side, and falls in love with the incredibly sexy Son of Satan. Got it? There is no other character like Charley out these, she is certainly one of a kind. I also adore all of the series' other characters, including Cookie, Amber, Ubie, Artemis, Swopes, and that bad boy - aka 'chocolate covered heroine' - Reyes. 

Kiss of Steel
(London Steampunk #1)
Bec McMaster
Where the hell did this book come from? As the biggest sleeper hit of 2012, in my opinion, Kiss of Steel rocked my world with its distinctive take on vampires, characters you could connect with, intriguing mystery, and scorching sex. This one will please lovers of paranormal romance,  historical romance, steampunk, and urban fantasy. Blade and Honoria's relationship is an incredible mix of romantic and hot and I can't wait to venture into this world again. 

Shadow Bound
(Unbound #2)
Rachel Vincent
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Shadow Bound was darker and more more emotional than the first in the Unbound series and I gobbled that up. Kori is a damaged heroine who has a lot of emotional scars and she and Ian had a lot to conquer before they could get together. I loved the intricate world building of this series and this book just added more layers to a world where crime bosses rule, extraordinary 'abilities' exist, and a simple word, tattoo, or signature can bind you in unimaginable ways. 

 Chasing Magic
(Downside  Ghosts #5)
Stacia Kane
Downside is one of my favorite fictional places to disappear into, which is ironic since its not really a very happy place to live, and Chess and Terrible are one of my all time favorite couples. Chess is beyond screwed up, with an addiction to pills, very little self-esteem to speak of, and a traumatic past. The wonderful thing about this series is that Kane shows us how amazing and strong and talented Chess really is, even if she doesn't know it herself. In Chasing Magic we finally get to see some hope blossom for Chess and we also get deeper into her relationship with Terrible. There is nothing out there like this unique series and I cannot wait for whatever comes next!

The Shattered Dark
(McKenzie Lewis #2)
Sandy Williams
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This book has a smart heroine you can rally behind and one of the best, not-at-all annoying love triangles ever written. Aren and Kyol and very different men who both love McKenzie deeply, but its Aren who constantly utters the most romantic and ballsy statements to McKenzie and has therefore stolen my heart. This sequel is just as quickly paced as its predecessor and we learn even more about Aren's Fae world. 

Summoning the Night
(Arcadia Bell #2)
Jenn Bennett
This one far surpassed the first in the series with a lot more action and more development of Lon and Cady's relationship. Cady is a bar owner and magic user who also possesses the unique ability to kindle power from the moon on occasion. I am totally in love with her demon boyfriend, er, man-friend, Lon's stoic sexiness - and of, course, his mustache. I also love his hyperactive and heartwarming teenage son, Jupe. The combination of dark urban fantasy elements with an uncommon setting for this genre - California - adds to the uniqueness of this series and gives this urban fantasy an interesting balance between dark and light.

 Two Weeks' Notice
(Revivalist #2)
Rachel Caine
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I loved Working Stiff but Caine totally turned things up a notch with Two Weeks' Notice. A corporation-created drug called Returne reanimates the recently dead but then those 'reanimated' look and act like normal people. Previously dead and recently revived Bryn is a savvy military veteran who kicks ass. In this book she grows as a character and her relationship with Patrick develops in very satisfying ways. This one is very exciting and fast moving, and there were several moments that made me hold my breath. Looking forward to book three!

The First Days
(As the World Dies #1)
Rhiannon Frater
I don't really read much horror, but as a lover of dark urban fantasy it seemed like a natural progression for me, and Frater's As the World Dies series was garnering a ton of praise so I tried it out. I was beyond pleasantly surprised - talk about awesomesauce with a side of holy shit! The pace of the plot never slowed down and I was on high alert the entire time like I was the one being chased down by zombies. Frater also manages to make the characters outshine the horror and that's the real strength of The First Days.

Best YA Books I Read in 2012

(Fever World #1)
Karen Marie Moning
Even with our love of the Fever series and devotion to all these KMM, many readers feared a new trilogy from the POV of hyperactive fourteen year old Dani would grate on our nerves. We were wrong. I adored Dani in ICED and loved seeing some of Fever's side characters come to the forefront, including Ryodan, Christian, and new character Dancer.

(Covenant #3)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
This series quickly became one of my favorites in YA due to the heart wrenching love triangle, the fun mythology, and the politics of half-bloods and full bloods. These books are breezy reads that will leave you gasping for the next installment. 

(The Lotus War #1)
Jay Kristoff
This was a unique young adult book and I've never read anything quite like it. Combining historical Japan with steampunk and mythological creatures, Kristoff blew me away with Stormdancer. The biggest strength of the book is the amazing teen heroine, Yukiko, and her bond with Buruu, a thunder tiger. This is an epic read if I've ever read one.

The Lost Girl
Sangu Mandanna
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This book from brand new author Mandanna, was haunting, poignant, and beautiful. The story is told from the POV of Eva, a girl created as a copy of another person so that in the event of a tragedy she could step in and take the other girl's place. I felt every emotion poor Eva felt and I also adored her relationship with one of her guardians, Sean.

This Is Not A Test
Courtney Summers
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This Is Not A Test kept me up until the wee hours of the morning reading the plight of Sloane and a handful of other teens locked in their high school gym. While the scenes actually involving the zombies were few, the terror they caused was felt the entire time, as were the emotions of Sloane, who actually wants to be taken by the zombies to end all her pain.

 Girl of Nightmares
(Anna #2)
Kendare Blake
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This one was just as good as the first in the series and I absolutely loved being back in Cas' world again. Cas' dark sense of humor, along with Carmel's feisty nature and Thomas' brave front, make these some of my favorite YA characters. Cas' trip into hell is especially scary but his and Anna's love for each other is both sweet and serious. 

(Lux #2)
Jennifer L. Armentrou
Yes, this is Armentrout's second appearance on this list, which just proves how strongly I love her books! I could have put any of the Lux books on this list, but Onyx is my favorite because it marks the transition between Katy and Daemon's love/hate relationship to full on coupledom. 

Masque of the Red Death
(Masque of the Red Death #1)
Bethany Griffin
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Griffin creates a haunting and scary alternate Paris where disease has taken over. Araby is a sad main character who is torn between the fancy dresses of Paris nightlife and her constrictive home life. The two men in the book, loyal-to-his-family Will and mysterious and cynical Elliot, are oddly hard to choose between. 

 The Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)
Julie Kagawa
This debut of a new series by Kagawa totally surprised me. I absolutely loved tough Allie and I loved the dystopian, vampire and disease riddled world Kagawa created. This series is one to watch for sure, as this first book was epic in many ways. I'm highly anticipating the sequel!

(The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Marissa Meyer
This was a fantastic and fresh read that I highly enjoyed. I loved the futuristic, sci-fi world combined with elements of the original Cinderella. All of the characters here are noteworthy, especially Cinder herself, Kai, Peony, and Cinder'd android best friend Iko.  

Best Book Boyfriends of 2012

Once Burned
(Night Prince #1)
Jeaniene Frost
* Dark sense of humor
* Will fight to the death for you
* SO knows what he's doing in the bedroom


The Shattered Dark
(McKenzie Lewis #2)
Sandy Williams
  Add to Goodreads
* Unbelievably loyal to his people
* Won't give you up to 'the other guy'
*Says ridiculously romantic things in his Fae language 

(Lux #3)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
* Infuriatingly cocky
* Will drive you crazy with both love and hate
* Won't hesitate to kill anyone who comes after you

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet
(Charley Davidson #4)
Darynda Jones
* Has been described as 'chocolate covered heroine'
* Will slice people in half from the inside, just for you
* His kisses can make your teeth chatter and your knee muscles disappear

Kiss of Steel
(London Steampunk #1)
Bec McMaster
* Unbelievably sexy in a rough and tumble sort of way
* Has more honor in his little finger than...well, everyone else
* Vampire Alpha male hotness

Shadows Before the Sun
(Charlie Madigan)
Kelly Gay
* Arrogant as all hell
* Deep, sexy, siren voice
* Doesn't mind if you wear Spongebob underwear

The Golden Lily
(Bloodlines #2)
Richelle Mead
* Somehow makes alcohol and cigarettes seem beyond sexy
* Suave and sexy on another level
* Will bring you a slushie when times are tough

Chasing Magic
(Downside #5)
Stacia Kane
* Loves you even at your dirtiest, grossest moments
* Will take you for a drive in his sleek Chevelle
* Can beat the living daylights out of anyone who crosses you

(Covenant #3)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
* Pretty much always 'in the mood'
* Might become obsessed with stealing your powers
* Full of sexy one liners and smirks

Summoning the Night
(Arcadia Bell #2)
Jenn Bennett
Add to Goodreads
* Older and more mature = better moves in bed
* Pretty good natured about mustache jokes
* Best dad ever

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