Saturday, December 31, 2011

Joy and Serena's Best Inspy Romances of 2011!

I love the reading wrap ups bloggers post at the end of the year. I keep those posts bookmarked and refer back to them when I'm looking for something good to read next.

If you're looking for some inspirational romance recommendations, you've come to the right place. Of the 59 books I read in 2011, 30 were inspy romance. Instead of choosing a third of them and doing a top 10 list, I decided to whittle the pile down to five (Serena read way more romance than me, so her list is longer).

In no particular order, the top five inspirational romances I read this year are:

1. Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones.

Snarky humor and a hot hero, wish all my books came this way.

2. Waterfall by Lisa Bergren.

Props for originality! And I'm a sucker for teen-aged angst.

3. Lilly's Wedding Quilt by Kelly Long

An edgy Amish. Who knew?

4. Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West

Completely unlike anything I've seen in Christian romance before. Gritty, powerful, and oh-so-romantic. It's easy to see why this one took the 2011 INSPY award for romance.

5. The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz

Really good kissing (and the story's well done too).

Serena's Top 10 List: Fave Inspy Romances of 2011
okay, I cheated a little. I had a "tie" -- but, hey, I read a lot.
(click on the book title to link to my review!)

10. Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie -- I thought I was done with sexy vampires. I was wrong.

9. TIE! Protection for Hire by Camy Tang AND The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson -- PFH is a new romantic suspense series with the flavor of chick lit that I love so much. Looking forward to the next books in the series! And TMD is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast that is fresh and lovely.
8. A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck -- a killer soundtrack and a "my book boyfriend" who wears a fedora on a regular basis? I'm in.

7. A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander -- "Belmont, hail my alma mater..." It was so much fun to see the history of Belmont Mansion & its lady come to life!

6. To Die For by Sandra Byrd -- The writing in this book was just. so. GOOD. Sandra drew my heart into the story of Meg and her friend, Anne Boleyn. Can't wait for the next book in the series (June 2012!)

5. Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones -- still snorting. Ex-football hero turned politician needs a fiancee to up his rating in the polls? Pick me! Pick me!

4. Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren -- ahhhhhhhh. The sequel to Waterfall. The prequel to Torrent. I cannot believe how much I adore this series. I ahhh-dore it. BTW: Marcello, Luca: call me. I miss you.

3. There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones --- It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to go to Ireland with a vampire (actor)

2. Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren -- I've got two words for you, ladies: LORD GRECO.

1. Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren -- This is the book that started me on a mild (some could argue the "mild" part) obsession with Italian knights. I could gush about this book for hours. Hours. Or I could just stare off into space and imagine my hand fitting the impression inside an Etruscan tomb and then traveling through time where I -- ahhhh -- land in Marcello's arms....

Oh, you're still here? Seriously? When you could be downloading these books?

I hope your reading adventures were as wonderful as mine were in 2011 -- and Joy and I wish you the very best in 2012!!!!


  1. Good call on Waterfall. I need to get back to that series.

  2. Fun post, girls :) I see some similarities to my top 10 - go Lisa, Laura and JBJ!

    Have a great start to 2012 - it's already here in Oz!

  3. Great picks! I've read several and am going to have to add several to my "TBR" pile! Happy New Year!

  4. Great list, I see some to add to my to read list for 2012!

  5. Happy New Year friends! I'm going to spend New Year's Eve curled up in bed reading an inspy. :)

  6. I loved There You'll Find Me so much so I know that I really need to read Save the Date (and her other books) soon!

  7. Happy New Year to you both. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing (and often hysterical) reviews with us. God Bless!

  8. Oh, man. You overwhelm me with the love, The LOVE! Thank you so much, friends. I love you!

  9. Serena you crack me up!! Im sorry you miss the guys, they are chilling at my house until Lisa needs them back for book four...


    Save the Date and Kiss of Night were on my top 10 this year too, but I had to narrow my picks to five, my 2011 lists were getting crazy!!

  10. LOVE the lists, ladies. Soooo many great books this year. And yep, Joy with you on those kisses from Laura Frantz. ;-)

  11. @Bookworm- I'm the opposite, I haven't gotten my grubby little hands on There You'll Find Me yet, but it I'm making it a New Year's resolution.

    @Lisa- Love you back!

    @Lydia, Tina and Casey- I'm going to check out your blogs for a best of list tonight! :)

  12. OH, you INSPIRE me as I'm just getting ready to write ANOTHER kissing scene in my current WIP slated to release Sept. 2013:) Joy, you're the best for taking time for TCL, liking it, and sharing it here! Love, love, love! Happy New Year to you all!!

  13. These all look good! I've read Lilly's Wedding Quilt and The Colonel's Lady recently, and loved them both. Yesterday's Tomorrow is one I haven't heard of, but would love to get my hands on a copy. Happy New Year! :)

  14. Thanks for including Kiss of Night! Happy New Year!

  15. So much love to (and from!) our fave Inspy authors! -- and Happy 2012! Now get your behinds to those desk chairs so we can brag some more on ya'all this time next year! (Just kidding. Have a relaxing holiday first. Then write. And write. And write!)

    Tina -- does Lisa know the boys are at your house? Because she needs them back so I can get my Tributary fix soon!!! LOL.

    Make sure ya'll check out our mainstream picks, too! And keep coming back -- lots of fun stuff to come here at EIR in 2012!


  16. See this is why I love your gals all of the books you mentioned I loved except for Protection for Hire and that's only because I haven't read it yet! Great, great picks!!!

    Happy New Year!

    XOXO~ Renee

  17. @Laura- You know my motto, you can't go wrong with more kissing. :)

    @Christina- Happy New Year! I think Yesterday's Tomorrow is one that has flown under the radar a little bit, but it is a really good book. I've seen it on several people's best of lists this year.

  18. I had this crazy dream last night that I WON the HGTV Dream Home and invited Joy and all the authors from this list to come hang out at my new dream digs in Utah. Weird, eh? But sad to wake up. It would have been totally fun. sigh.

  19. Thanks so much! I'm so honored I made your top 10 list AND to be in such illustrious company! Woot!

  20. @Serena- LOLOLOLOL...

    @Camy- Go Camy, Go Camy, woot woot! (insert image of Joy raising the roof here).

  21. Haha, Tina, love it. So do you have any British knights chilling over there because I'm going to need a few in a couple of weeks. : )

    Thanks for including To Die For, Serena. Always an honor!!

  22. Hey guys!! I'm a little late - way late - to this party, but thanks SO much for including Yesterday's Tomorrow on this list! What a thrill!


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