Helyce’s Favorite Books of 2012

About a week ago, I sat down to make a list of the books I considered stand out reads in 2012. I reviewed my posts on Smexy Books, then I looked on my Goodreads shelves, and then I flipped through my Kindle and my Nook to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. When I finally sat back and looked at what I had written down, I was a bit stumped as I looked at my very sad, very short list. Here I’d been worried I’d have to edit and delete from my “to long” list and well, yea…not so much.

I then had to decide how to present this list and because I could not pick just one stand out book or number them in any kind of order relative to my enjoyment, I decided to break them up by genre. So here you go-my favorite reads of 2012!

Contemporary Romance

RockyMountainAngel300Rocky Mountain Angel by Vivian Arend (review)

Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton (review)

Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn (review)

A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster (review)

I’m a huge fan of contemporary romance but realized upon compiling my list that some of the books I read, while enjoyable, felt a bit same old or been there done that. The list above represents, for me anyway, books that definitely had something extra or simply “more”-be it the characters or the premise of the story.

Paranormal Romance


Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian (review)

Born To Darkness by Suzanne Brockman (review)

Shadow Rising by Kendra Leigh Castle (review)

Phantom Shadows by Dianne Duvall (review)

Devil Without a Cause & A Devil Named Desire by Terri Garey (review)

Enraptured & Enslaved by Elisabeth Naughton (review)

Paranormal Romance has always been my “go to” genre. Give me vampires any day of the week. But again, I’m starting to feel the vampire trope has run its course and some of my favorite long running series have fallen into a rut of sorts. With the exception of Darker After Midnight, the books listed above are part of newer series that in my opinion are taking a unique and fresh approach to this genre.

Erotic Romance

This is a genre I have a lot of trouble defining. What pushes a contemporary romance into the realm of erotica? BDSM? Over the top sex scenes? Multiple partners? I read a few books this year that I assume would be considered erotic, several with a ménage theme, and I’ve come to the realization that this may not necessarily be the genre for me. I have too many hang ups when it comes to a D/s relationship-especially if there is any pain involved. When I thought about the books I’d read this year, I came to realize, though, that like anything in life there are exceptions and while my choices will totally contradict my above statements I can only state that in the books listed below I was so totally pulled out of my comfort zone that the impression they made stayed with me days after reading them. I warred with myself as I read, telling myself I shouldn’t be reading this or enjoying it. The subject matter in both of these books crossed so many lines for me and made me so very uncomfortable in so many ways, but it is precisely because of that, that I include them here.


The Siren & The Angel by Tiffany Reisz (review)

50 Shades Trilogy by E.L. James (review)

M/M Romance


A Matter of Time (series) by Mary Calmes

Frog by Mary Calmes

Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan (review)

Chase In Shadow & Dex In Blue by Amy Lane (review)

Sidecar by Amy Lane

Armed & Dangerous; Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux (review)

Dark Soul-Vol. 1-5 by Aleksandr Voinov (review)

By far my new favorite genre, this was a list that could have been much longer! Since I discovered this genre last year, I’ve begun to explore it in earnest and I’ve enjoyed almost everything I have chosen to read. Amy Lane is my go-to for deep emotional angst with a very realistic feel. I’ve devoured several books in Mary Calmes’ backlist, but the books listed above were stand out for me. Heidi Cullinan was a new author for me and Dance With Me was so beautifully done. I was thrilled that we got two new books in the Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux. My favorite series in this genre, Ms. Roux just gets it right, Every. Single. Time.

So, what don’t you see here? No historical romances. I burned out on them in my teens, which was so very long ago, but I will admit that some of Mandi, Tori and May’s reviews have made me want to pick one up, maybe. No urban fantasy, yet. This is a genre I’m dying to try, seriously, but the lack of romance or smexy-time until book 3,4, or 5 just makes me cringe. I’m an instant gratification reader!

A huge thanks to Mandi, along with Tori and May for another fabulous year here at Smexybooks! My TBR runneth over with your recommended reads! I look forward to another wild ride in 2013!


  1. Lege Artis says

    Your MM list just make me smile… It’s all winners. Have you tried Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander? It’s awesome, I believe it was only MM book nominated in Best Romance category on Goodreads Choice Awards. I think you would love it…
    It was a good year, you girls are amazing and I’m looking forward to great Smexy reviews in 2013.!

  2. Mandi says

    I started the Mary Calmes series because of you. Thanks for that rec!! I really need to start reading Amy Lane more…

  3. says

    Great list Helyce!

    Amy Lane is my go-to for deep emotional angst with a very realistic feel.

    Me too! Keeping Promise Rock is still my favourite book by her.

    So, will you be reading more m/m next year? I should introduce you to my m/m challenge *grin*

    • Helyce says

      Orannia, thank you! Yes, I expect to read more m/m and I continue to explore the genre. Have you read Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford-OMG I loved it! LOVED! Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *