Penny’s Favorite Reads of 2012

Here is a quick and (mostly) dirty list of all the books I read in 2012 that I gave a grade of A or higher, (or 5 star rating on Goodreads.com). I’ve divided these up by category as best I could, and each category is alphabetical by author. Some of these books are part of series, but it may be that not all of the books in the series merited an A or five star rating. However, if a series book made the lists below, I highly recommend that you read the whole series. Please note: not all of these were published in 2012, it just so happens that I read them in 2012. While I would have loved to write reviews on every single one of these, I just don’t have that kind of time. There were also a ton of books I read and liked that got B and C reviews! To view those, check out my Books Read in 2012 List on Goodreads.com. Without further adieu, these are the books that made me laugh, cry, dream, and yeah, turned me on. Some of them were so good, I read them over and over again. All of the…

Gambling Men

Penny’s Rating: B+ This is classic “Happy” Amy Lane. It is cuteness and light, and sunshine and puppy dogs, and steamy sex and mushy romance. It is a great read for a day when you need a well written happy read. On a side note: if you like m/m romance, and have yet to read any Amy Lane novels, I highly recommend you do so. I really love her Talker Series, and her Johnnies Series, if you are looking for suggestions. Publisher Description: Quent Jackson has followed Jason Spade’s every move in business and in poker since their first day as college freshmen. Eight years later, when Jace finally decides Quent is the one man he can’t live without, he sees no reason for that to change. But as much as Jace believes that poker is life, no one gave Quent the same playbook. After their first passionate night, the real game of love and trust begins, and Jace has been playing alone too long to make teaching the rules easy. Jace only speaks two languages: one of them is sex, and the other one is poker. Between the two, he needs to find a way to convince himself to…

Play it Again Charlie

Penny’s Rating: B+ I don’t know if I ever read a novel before where the two main characters had such a hard time communicating with one another. It was like they were different species from different planets, and even though it was infuriating at times, I loved that. Author R. Cooper beautifully wrote two people who are super attracted to each other, but are seriously so different that they often don’t even “get” what the other is saying. In real life, you see this dynamic all over the place, especially in casual relationships, but I have never seen a story where this dynamic was explored so completely, or written so well. Publisher’s Description: “After an accident left him broken in body and spirit, Charlie Howard retired from the police force to teach at a community college. Life has taught him that he’s unlikely to get what he wants, so he’s stopped asking. Instead, he hides from the world in the apartment complex he manages. After all, no one can leave him if he doesn’t let anyone in. Will, a sexy, classic-film-loving twink, moves into the apartment across from him and—to Charlie’s surprise—makes it clear that he’d like nothing more than…

Special Delivery (Special Delivery, #1)

By Heidi Cullinan Penny’s Rating: A+ Please Be Advised: This review contains Mature Content.  My safe word will forever be Violet, and it is all Heidi Cullinan’s fault. Oh. My. GOD. Oh my freaking GOD! I can honestly say that I have loved everything I have ever read by Heidi Cullinan, but this book, oh my GOD. This is the hottest book I have read so far in 2012. I absolutely LOVED it! I read Special Delivery back in May, immediately followed by: Double Blind (Special Delivery, #2), which is equally awesome and hot, and a perfect companion to the story from SD #1. Anyway, I knew I needed to do a review for Special Delivery so I could rave about how freaking amazing, awesome, and sexy I think this book is. I also apologize for the number of times I am going to say “Oh my God.” in this review. It will probably get old by the end of it, but you can just deal. Here’s the description from Dreamspinner Press: Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa–not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in…

First Impressions

by Christopher Koehler Penny’s Rating: B+ Publisher Description: “The first time Henry Hughes and Cameron Jameson meet, it’s an unmitigated disaster. Cameron reminds Henry of all he left behind when he stopped making adult films, and he cruelly rejects Cameron. When Cameron discovers Henry’s porno-thespian past, he assumes he’s dodged a bullet. But circumstances continue to throw the two together. Though the physical attraction between them grows, they cling to first impressions, even as a slow dance reveals just how good they could be. Henry finally realizes how wrong he was, but Cameron can’t cope with “sleeping with the enemy”. It will take a confrontation for Cameron to realize just how wrong he’s been, but unfortunately, he may have lost his chance.” ebook, 300 pages Published April 16th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press ISBN13 9781613724804 edition language: English If someone had told me before I offered to review this book for Net Galley that First Impressions was a gay contemporary romance novel that follows the plot of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I would have told you that there was no way that would work as a novel. So I am glad I didn’t know that when I started reading. You…

Burn (Elementally Evolved #1)

by T.J. Klune Penny’s Rating: A Publisher Description: “Set in a world that closely resembles our own, Burn is a story of redemption and betrayal, of family and sacrifice, which leads to the greatest question of all: how far would you go to save the ones you love? Fifteen years ago, Felix Paracel killed his mother with fire that shot from his hands. Since then, he has hidden from forces bent on exploiting him and his fire and wind Elemental abilities. But Felix’s world is about to change, because he is Findo Unum—the Split One—and his coming has been foretold for generations. Though Felix’s arrival brings great joy to the Elemental world, it also heralds a coming darkness. No one knows this better than Seven.—Seven, the mysterious man who rescued Felix from that horrible fire years ago and then disappeared; Seven, who has returned to claim what’s rightfully his: Felix’s heart. But even as Felix begins to trust Seven and his feelings about his place in the world, the darkness reveals itself, bringing consequences no one could have predicted.” Ok, I have to admit, even though I am reviewing this book for NetGalley, I actually purchased the e-book of Burn…