Recommended Reads And Our Valentine's Week Giveaway

Today is the final day to win our Valentine’s Week giveaway. For the last week we’ve updated our recommended reads section with one year per day, starting with 2005. Now, we’re up to 2010! We’ve highlighting the greatest books and authors across all the genres to help you make sure that you got a chance to read all the highlights. And we also grew our giant Valentine’s Giveaway, a special prize-pack of books by selected authors from our Recommended Reads lists.

For the last day of our giveaway, we look back on 2010 which was a year of big changes. Several authors made big deals including million plus projects from Janet Evanovich, Debbie Macomber and James Patterson. Meanwhile other fan-favorite authors such as Allison Brennan, Anne Stuart and Meljean Brook started new series. And readers met several new talents who would quickly become beloved voices, including Sarah MacLean, Courtney Milan and Mary Robinette Kowal.

And in the world of romance, there was much to give thanks for. Historical fans got new novels from Liz Carlyle, Elizabeth Boyle and Laura Kinsale. Contemporary readers fell in love with Meg Benjamin’s series and the latest from Jodi Thomas. Paranormal romance saw the release of not one but two fantastic futuristics Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard and Close Contact by Katherine Allred, both had us dreaming of distant galaxies.

See All Of RT's Recommended Reads of 2010 >>

In honor of celebrating our favorite reads, we will be adding six more titles to our giveaway including:

 Sarah MacLean -
A Rogue By Any Other Name (ARC)
Cassandra Clare -
A Clockwork Prince
Mary Robinette Kowal -
Shades of Milk and Honey

Plus these great titles:

Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale
Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas
Unraveled by Courtney Milan


Today we take a look back at 2009, which saw many great first time authors enter publishing including historical romance writers Tessa Dare and Jennifer Haymore, YA author Aprilynne Pike and mystery authors Sophie Littlefield and Emily Arsenault. And there was no shortage of new romance series in 2009. Some of our favorites were Gaelen Foley’s historical Inferno Club, Shannon K. Butcher’s paranormal Sentinel Wars and Jaime Rush’s supernatural series, the Offspring.

See All Of RT's Recommended Reads Of 2009 >>


On Thursday we looked back at 2008, the year of the first person Urban Fantasy series. Heavyweight author Marjorie M. Liu entered the genre with her Hunters Kiss series featuring protagonist Maxine Kiss. Richelle Mead started her Dark Swan series, introducing readers to Eugenie Markham. And Kim Harrison wowed us with Rachel Morgan in the Hallows series book one, Dead Witch Walking. On the romance front, after a nine-year hiatus to focus on her romantic suspense writing, fan favorite Julie Garwood returned to her historical roots with the RT Reviewers' Choice nominated Shadow Music.

2008 also saw books turning into pop culture hits with the publication of the translated Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a mystery by Stieg Larsson, which quickly climbed the bestseller lists. And on the big and small screens, vampires ruled. The first movie in the Stephenie Meyer Twilight series came to theaters. And on the small screen, True Blood, the adaptation of Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series (better known as the Sookie Stackhouse books), became an instant pop phenomenon. 

See All Of RT's Recommended Reads Of 2008 >>


On Wednesday we focused on 2007, which was a big year for romance readers. Sadly, beloved author Kathleen E. Woodiwiss passed away. However, several new faces joined the genre including Anna Campbell, Victoria Dahl and Monica McCarty. Lisa Kleypas wrote her first contemporary romance and Robyn Carr started her Virgin River series. And on the small screen, Lifetime adapted not one, but four Nora Roberts novels!

On the bookshelves, romance readers found love in short format with Marie Ferrarella’s series romance Doctor in the House. We were treated to a full-throttle adventure in Cherry Adair’s romantic suspense White Heatenjoyed a genre-defying historical romance in The Hourglass by Barbara Metzger and got to read a story about how a girl in a beaver costume found love in Natural Born Charmer by the unparalleled Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

See All of RT’s Recommended Reads for 2007 >>


On Tuesday we took a look at 2006, a landmark year in romance. Not only did fan-favorite author Sophie Jordan debut with Once Upon A Wedding Night, which earned her a RT Reviewers' Choice nomination. A few other historical romance debuts of the year include Zoe Archer, Elizabeth Hoyt and Tracy Anne Warren. 2006 also marked a great year for series starters, Amanda Quick began her Arcane Society books with historical romances (a series that would eventually unite the author's books written under her other two pseudonyms, her contemporary Jayne Ann Krentz books and her futuristic Jayne Castle stories). And debuting her Psy/Changeling series with Slave to Sensation, was uber-talented author Nalini Singh.

On the shelves in the romance section, it was a veritable “who’s who” of authors. Readers got new novels from Bertrice Small, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Johanna Lindsey, Sue Civil-Brown, Lynn Kurland and more!

See All of RT’s Recommended Reads for 2006 >>


On Monday, we traveled back to 2005, an auspicious year which saw the first in several phenomenal series including Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation novels, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books and the first in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. 2005 also marked the beginning of Samhain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave launched Cerridwen Press.

It was a very good year for romance with must-read titles Much Ado About You by Eloisa James, The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe, Out of Control by Shannon McKennaThe Fixer Upper by Judith Arnold and many more.

See All of RT’s Recommended Reads for 2005 >>


Other books in the prize pack:

No Longer A Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney
Angel's Flight by Nalini Singh
Rescue Me by Rachel Gibson
Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy 
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
My Ruthless Prince by Gaelen Foley
Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore
Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke
The Proposal by Mary Balogh
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
Lawe's Justice by Lora Leigh
The Duke Is Mine by Eloisa James
Kitty’s Greatest Hits by Carrie Vaughn
How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long
Treasure Me by Robyn DeHart
Wicked In Your Arms by Sophie Jordan
Shaded Vision by Yasmine Galenorn
Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Devious by Lisa Jackson
Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione
Blood Law by Karin Tabke
It’s Always Been You by Victoria Dahl
Riptide by Cherry Adair
My Wicked Little Lies by Victoria Alexander
Seven Years To Sin by Sylvia Day 
Adam by Jacquelyn Frank 
The Hollows Insider by Kim Harrison
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy 
A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
My Ruthless Prince by Gaelen Foley
Aftertime by Sophie Littlefield
Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore
Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke

Which book or author you would like to see on our list of Recommended Reads? Let us know in the comments below and automatically be entered to win our Valentine’s Giveaway. The entire list of books in the giant romance giveaway can be yours, or you may win a Samhain gift card! Just leave us a comment or email your comment here with the subject line “Valentine’s Giveaway!” The winner will be announced on February 21st.

BLOG UPDATE 2/14/2012:

And the first round of $10 Samhain gift card winners are: Sania, lanny83, Wehaf and Gayle Jackson.

BLOG UPDATE 2/15/2012:

Winners for Tuesday's Samhain gift card giveaway are: Shan McKinney, Macardle, ChrisS and Angela Conder

BLOG UPDATE 2/16/2012:

Winners for Wednesday's Samhain gift card giveaway are: ann klausing, Trudy Spraker, Sheila Eyre and Susie Branum

BLOG UPDATE 2/17/2012:

Winners for Thursday's Samhain gift card giveaway are: Amanda Hendrick, AnnabelleH, Heather A, Valia

BLOG UPDATE 2/20/2012:

Winners for Friday's Samhain gift card giveaway are: Tina Christopher, Hilary W., Jennifer Wilson, Kelly Mann

BLOG UPDATE 2/21/2012:

And the winner of our giant bin of fabulous books is Sharon Stogner! Congrats Sharon, please check your e-mail.