Posted December 30, 2011 by davincikittie in All Series

5 books from 2011 you absolutely MUST READ!

Even better, these are 5 books you absolutely must read WITHOUT having to read any prior series books.  The best kind, right?!  *wink*

#1 & #2: North of Need by Laura Kaye & The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Choosing between these two celebrated, Book of the Month, fantastical behemoths is way too much work, so we declare a tie!  They both also have really awesome covers.  We <3 gorgeous wrappers (erm, take that howEVER you want! =D)!  Here’s why you should read these two incredible works from 2011…

North of Need by Laura Kaye

North of Need is the first book in Laura Kaye’s new Hearts of the Anemoi series and when it comes to paranormal romance, this is just about as perfect as it gets.  What do you look for in a book?  Love, tragedy, conflict, pushing boundaries, overcoming fears, sacrifice, selflessness, adventure… you name it, North of Need has it.  Plus, it’s the perfect book for this rapidly-departing holiday season (you will never again look the same way at a snowman!), so don’t delay.  Go get it RIGHT NOW!!  And have a box of tissues ready.  You’re gonna need ’em.  *grin*


The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that The Iron Knight is in fact the 4th and final installment in the Iron Fey series.  “But I thought you said I didn’t need to read the rest of the series first!”  You’re right – I did, and you don’t.  In fact, when I read this, it was as an advanced reader copy through NetGalley and I’d never even heard of the Iron Fey series before.  Shame on me.  I had no idea what I was missing!  And honestly, I’m glad I hadn’t read the first three books in the series so I can tell you without a doubt that everything you need to enjoy this novel will be cleverly provided by Ms. Kagawa, via well-penned coversations (that don’t feel like rehashing), flashbacks, and revealing thought sequences (it is written in first person perspective from Ash’s viewpoint, the male lead).  Not knowing the history between these characters made everything so much more vibrant and bittersweet.  Reading along, you can’t imagine things could possibly get any stranger or more fantastical, and then they do… time and again.  I could go on forever about why this book is so awesome, but that’s why there’s a review to read.  So go read it already!  And when you fall head-over-heels in love with Ash?  You’re welcome.


#3: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

  • Genre: Urban Fantasy with romantic elements
  • Reviewed by GraveTells in: May 2011 (read the review here!)

What IS the deal with Ashmole 782?! That’s what everybody wants to know… and is willing to kill to find out… in this smart, classy, adventure about witches, history, and the pursuit of power.  Never before has a scholarly mystery about a vampire and a witch been so compelling.  This story makes Twilight look downright promiscuous, yet still makes you fall in love with Diana, Matthew, Oxford University, and the witchs’ kooky house.


#4: Blood of the Demon by Rosalie Lario

  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Reviewed by GraveTells in: January 2012 (that’s right, the review won’t go live until next month!)

Why would I recommend a book I haven’t yet reviewed?  First, I have read it, and second, it’s the starter book for the best new series of the year.  The Demons of Infernum are witty, sensual, and engaging half-demon brothers sent to Earth to capture their wayward, evil, trying-to-take-over-the-world demon father and return him to the Council for judgement (meet them in a recent interview here).  The best part?  All but one of the books are already released (or will be by the end of January), so if you’re the type of reader who likes mid-length series available from start to finish, this is for you. Fans of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series will not want to miss this one!  If you want to see what we had to say about books #2 and #3 in the series, read their reviews here: Mark of the Sylph (GT Book of the Month in September 2011) and Touch of the Angel (GT Book of the Month in November 2011)


#5: Lost Prince by Ainsley

Woah, science fiction romance, you say?  Really?  Yes.  I know – it caught me by surprise too.  This book is the epitome of “don’t judge it by it’s cover” (no offense intended to the cover artist for Lost Prince!).  Even readers who aren’t fans of the SciFi or space fantasy genres will enjoy this haunting story.  I read it a month ago, and I still think about it sometimes.  What’s so great about it?  Well, I could rehash the review for you, but it’s just a click away and you really just need to check it out.  If you like books that make you feel… really feel… then Lost Prince is for you.


I hope you enjoyed our recommendations!

If these books look familiar, it’s because they’re also in our 2011 Readers Choice Voting Polls, which finishes up tomorrow.  If you haven’t had a chance to vote yet, head on over and let us know what YOU liked in 2011!  See you on the flip side!



Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.