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    Top Romance Books 2008
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  • Published: Dec 29th, 2008

By Kati Dancy

As I said before, 2008 was an amazing year for reading. I know, speaking for myself that reading Joanna Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady in January of this year kicked off a three week reading slump where I couldn’t even bring myself to read the back of a cereal box. But it picked up after that and I read SO many terrific books. Our reviewers chose our favorite books, and you all narrowed the list to help us award the First Annual RNTV Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

Our first category was Contemporary Romance. Six of our reviewers chose Lisa Kleypas’s Blue Eyed Devil for its poignant treatment of domestic abuse and its tender love story. You all agreed overwhelmingly. Orannia, one of our readers chose Blue Eyed Devil because the book “made such a difference in the way I see myself.”

Next up was Historical Romance. Our readers chose Master of Surrender by Karin Tabke. Buffie said of the book in her nomination that the novel did a great job of encapsulating the gritty feel of the medieval times.  RNTV reader Gina agreed saying, “Karin Tabke’s characters, her writing, takes you to another place and time, and you want to stay there. Master of Surrender made it to my small keeper shelf.”

Our winner for the Paranormal Romance category was Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione. Lea, one of our readers said that Pleasure Unbound is her favorite read of the year. In her nomination for Pleasure Unbound Marisa noted that the book featured “one surprise after another with a unique mythology that made me sit up and take notice.”

The Urban Fantasy category was one that was quite close, with lots of votes for both Jeaniene Frost and Patricia Briggs. But the readers of One Foot in the Grave edged out other books. Readers really like Cat, the heroine and the fact that she’s a smart and kickass woman. Our reviewer Kate is very partial to Bones, the hero in the series.

The voting for our Romantic Suspense category was pretty lean, but readers chose Linda Howard’s Death Angel as Romantic Suspense of the year. Readers felt that it was a return to “vintage” Howard, with a story that features strong sexual tension and a mysterious, dynamic hero, with just a touch of paranormal thrown into the mix.

We were fortunate to have a ton of terrific erotic romance books come out this year. Our reviewers took particular note of two books, Wicked Burn by Beth Kery and Flat Our Sexy by Erin McCarthy. Flat Out Sexy won the day with readers really loving the “older woman – younger man” storyline and the fun, flirty nature of the hero.

For Debut Novel of the year, readers chose Broken Wing by Judith James. This is a novel that drew many superlatives, including from our review staff. We called it a “sumptuous feast” and our readers called it “an amazing read.”

Book of the Year will come as a surprise to no one who knows her writing; it is Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood is compulsively readable and her fans are legion. We’ve been lucky enough to have J.R. Ward visit with us many times, and are looking forward to her next Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Lover Avenged and her new series.

Congratulations to all of our nominees! Thank you for making 2008 such a wonderful one for romance readers. We’ve had such fun reading your books and are looking forward to the journeys you’ll be taking us on in 2009. And thank you to all of Romance Novel TV’s readers, without your strong voices letting us know your thoughts on books, the site would just be ten reviewers chatting with each other.

Until next year’s RNTV Reviewers Choice Awards, may every day feature a really good romance novel!

18 Responses to “Top Romance Books 2008”

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  1. katiebabs
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 11:49 am

    Yes! Anyone who tries to take Bones from me is going down! All great books. Can’t wait to see what these authors will give us for 2009.

  2. Kati
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 12:51 pm

    I have to say, with all of the support from the review staff, I was surprised (and OK, a little disappointed) to not see Jo Davis listed in the winners. Not taking anything away from any of our other winners, but Trial by Fire seems to be so universally loved. It surprised me.

    I’m thrilled to see Broken Wing win, it’s a well deserved honor for a truly spectacular book. And I was really pleased to see so many readers loving Lisa Kleypas’ Blue Eyed Devil, which was not just my favorite contemporary, or romance, but my favorite book of the year. Yay Lisa!

  3. Karin
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 1:03 pm

    Congratulations to all the nominees and an extra special Congraulations to all the winners! All of those mentioned sound like great books and have definitely added a few to my list of those I want to read.

    Here’s to a great 2009 to come! 🙂

  4. One Foot in the Grave wins Reviewer’s Choice Award |
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 2:37 pm

    […] HERE for the full […]

  5. Karin Tabke
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 2:40 pm

    Buffie, thank you for nominating MASTER OF SURRENDER! a true book of my heart, and thank you to everyone who voted for Rohan and Isabel. They are very happy.

    Here’s to a fabulous 2009!

  6. Stacy ~
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 3:22 pm

    It was a great year, and I loved a lot of the top picks, and also found more books I need to read. I’m curious about Karin’s “Master of Surrender” – to beat out “Seduce Me @ Sunrise” is a pretty huge accomplishment. And my friend LaurieD is a huge fan of Karin’s work, so I must read this one.

  7. Buffie
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 3:24 pm

    Boy, there were some really great books out there this year!!! Congrats to all the winners and all those nominated! There are still some books which were nominated that I haven’t read, so my TBB list just got bigger :0

    2009 should be another wonderful year for romance readers and writers alike. I know the couple January releases I have already read have been fabulous!

  8. Buffie
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 3:24 pm

    Stacy — hope you enjoy Master of Surrender. If you love “true” medieval romances, I think you will really enjoy it.

  9. Jeaniene Frost
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 3:27 pm

    Wow, so thrilled and flattered! Thanks so much. Congrats to all the other winners and nominees!

  10. Kati
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 3:59 pm

    Buffie – You said it! I just did my “list” of January books and there are 12 on it! Wow!

  11. pambook
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 4:37 pm

    Congrats to all the winners and nominees, it sure was hard to choose just one.

  12. Judith James
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 4:59 pm

    Wow! So many great books and so many wonderful authors it was a thrill just to get a mention. Thank you all so much for voting for your favorite books this year, and thanks to all those who supported Broken Wing. I’m walking on air. Congratulations to all those nominated on writing such wonderful books, to all you wonderful readers for continuing to support reading and romance, and to all the reviewers and staff at RTV who put so much of their heart and soul into this amazing blog. And Happy New Year everyone!

    Judith James

  13. Lea
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 5:30 pm

    Congratulations to all the winners! It’s nice to see authors of all romance genres receive recognition. A special congratulations to Larissa Ione, what can I say except I loved “Pleasure Unbound”!!!

  14. orannia
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 5:31 pm

    Thank you so much for the summation Kati! So many books I haven’t read yet (and so will be adding to the TBR list) 🙂 Congratulation to all the winners and the nominees!

  15. Larissa Ione
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 5:50 pm

    Squee!!!! Thank you SO much, ladies! I’m SO excited (even my husband and sister-in-law got excited about the nomination! *g*) Thank you to everyone who voted — Pleasure Unbound was my first single-title sale under my own name, so it has a special place in my heart, and this means SO much to me!

    Congrats to all the winners, and to all the nominees. Everyone mentioned deserved to win.

  16. Marisa
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 6:31 pm

    This was a special year for me, with so many great books that transported me to worlds filled with demons, pirates, troubled souls, vampires, majestic mountains, heroines that were all that and more, and heroes who were troubled yet unwavering in their determination and honor.

    I visited places like Regency England, France, Texas, Caldwell NY, Manhattan, outer space and the high seas. My world was enriched, my soul was enlightened and my heart was full. I have so many great memories of sitting in my favorite chair, riding on the bus, standing on the subway or waiting in line with a cherished book in my hand and the reality of the world receding just a bit as I took time for myself to read some of these wonderful books.

    So I want to say a huge thank you to all the authors who gave me so many moments where I laughed, cried, sighed, snorted, and chuckled – you made me think, you made me wonder, you made me happy.

  17. Laura
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 6:51 pm

    I am so excited, I have been saving Lover Enshrined. It’s kinda weird, but I just didn’t want to have a J.R. Ward book not on my to read pile. So knowing the next is coming out in the Spring makes me happy. Congrats! Ms. Ward. You truly deserve it. Your writing transports me to a world I could never imagine on my own.

  18. KristieJ
    on Dec 29th, 2008
    @ 10:54 pm

    Squeal! I’m so delighted to see Broken Wing won for debut novel. I knew as I was reading it that it was something rare and special. I’m glad that others saw that too.
    And I’ve read a number of the other winners and nominations and can say I enjoyed every one that I read.

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