Counterpoint by Ruth Sims ~ Best M/M 2011
Blurb: At eighteen Dylan Rutledge has one obsession: music. He believes his destiny is to be the greatest composer of the rapidly approaching twentieth century. Only Laurence Northcliff, a young history master at The Venerable Bede School for Young Gentlemen, believes in Dylan's talent and encourages his dream, not realizing Dylan is in love with him. But Dylan's passion and belief in his future come at a high price. They will alienate him from his family and lead him on a rocky path fraught with disappointment, rejection, and devastating loss that kills his dream. A forbidden love could bring the dream back to life and rescue Dylan from despair and bitterness, but does he have the courage to reach out and take it? Will he deny the music that rules his soul?
Quincy’s Woman by Gem Sivad ~ Best Western 2011
Blurb: Fresh from the post-Civil War salons and drawing rooms of Boston, Lucy McKenna considers herself a sophisticated young woman. But when she meets Texas rancher Ambrose Quince, she turns into a flustered girl. He’s too old, war roughened and unrefined—and she has no idea how to deal with the sensual hunger he inspires.
Ambrose falls fast and hard for the innocent debutante visiting Eclipse, Texas. Persuading Lucy to accept his pursuit becomes a duel of wits and passion as he awakens her desire.
Lucy leaves Boston and childhood behind when she becomes Mrs. Ambrose Quince. Her lonely days on the Double-Q ranch are filled with work and frustration. But the nights are spent in her husband’s arms, learning carnal awareness…one molten caress at a time.
Wicked Lord by Eliza Lloyd ~ Best M/F Historical 2011
Blurb: Book Three in the Wicked Affairs series.
Helene Cosgrove’s only passion is her art, until she is betrothed to a respectable baron. Believing he will be the love of her life, she’s crushed when her father ends the engagement. Helene is approached by a second suitor, the wicked Lord Redding, Edward Chase. She is duty-bound to marry the scoundrel even though she despises him.
Redding happily snatches his rival’s betrothed and finds himself married to a woman of outstanding talents, utter radiance and innocent sexuality. Her haughty and summary rejection of him only spurs his desire to have her, and prove he’s as worthy of her love as her former swain. And what better way than to tutor her in his bed?
Helene is tempted by Redding in all the wrong ways. When he delivers her secret desires, she must reconcile her heart to the matter—deciding whether she loves Redding for who he is or for what he can do for her, in and out of the marriage bed.
Muffled Drum by Erastes ~ Best M/M Historical 2011
Blurb: Bohemia, 1866
They met in a port-side tavern, their lust-filled moments stolen from days of marching and madness. After eighteen months, Captain Rudolph von Ratzlaff and First Lieutenant Mathias Hofmann have decided to run away from everything they hold dear. Resigning their commissions is social suicide, but there's no other choice. Someone will eventually see Rudolph's partiality toward Mathias.
Now their plans have gone horribly awry... When Mathias goes to Rudolph's tent after their last battle, his lover looks at him without a hint of recognition. Mathias can hardly believe the man he knew is gone. He wants to fill in so many of Rudolph's missing memories, but the doctor says a shock could result in permanent damage. The pain of seeing Rudolph on a daily basis, when Rudolph doesn't remember their love, is excruciating. Now Mathias must decide whether he wants to fight for the man he loves or forget him completely...
Blue Paradise by Anny Cook ~ Best Fantasy 2011
Blurb: Book 5 in the Mystic Valley series.
When ex-soldier Poussé receives an unexpected job offer from the mysterious Waterloo Group, she doesn’t question the providential timing. Twelve hours later she wishes she had, when she’s captured by two sexy blue-skinned warriors—Jonson and Mali of Mystic Valley.
Mali and Jonson make her an offer she can’t refuse—become their bond mate. Positive she can use the new relationship to escape, Poussé accepts, but she doesn’t count on the physical changes the bonding creates or her constant desire for Jonson and Mali. Their tender touches, hot kisses and even hotter sex get under her skin—which is turning blue! As they pursue other escaped team members, she learns real love and desire have no color barriers…and carnal games are best indulged with two hot bond mates.
Richard & Rose by Lynne Connolly ~ Best Series 2011
Blurb for Hareton Hall (Book 6): Secrets can destroy you—and the one you love most.
As Richard returns with Rose to her childhood home of Darkwater for two weddings, romance is in the air—but so is trouble. It begins with Rose’s stolen watch. Tensions rise when they learn their old adversaries, the Drurys, have taken a house nearby. A series of attacks on those they love, plus a rise in smuggling activity, only add to the threat of violence.
Then illness strikes at the worst possible time, threatening everyone in the district—especially the children. Questions abound: Was the infection deliberate? Is someone striking at Richard through Rose, or are their enemies targeting Rose for information she possesses?
Richard calls on his resources, public and private, to counter an enemy that threatens to destroy his beloved Rose. Rose is no helpless victim, however, and refuses to let anyone—even Richard—take away her independence. She finds ways to fight that aren’t in his armoury. Whether he likes it or not…
When Richard uses a topaz necklace to give Rose hot shivers, it might give you ideas, so keep a man handy to experiment on. But you can’t have Richard.
Blood Moons by Alianne Donnelly ~ Best Sci-Fi 2011
Blurb: They say no good deed ever goes unpunished, a sentiment Dara understands fully now that she is paying for a crime she didn't commit. It was stupid to call in a murder she didn't really see. But how could Dara have kept silent? Now a stunning -- scratch that, a dangerous -- man with a frightening secret of his own is telling her he can help. Yeah, right. A telepath knows better than to trust mere words.
The last decade of Tristan's life has been penance. All that time spent among the worst dregs of society might have made him begin to question his humanity, but he’s never felt so much like an animal as he does around this timid, delicate female. Her very presence stirs the beast within him; Tristan can feel it growing stronger every day. Any more time with Dara, and it might overpower him completely. But without her, he stands no chance at all...
Steam & Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape ~ Best Steampunk 2011
Blurb: Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.
Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.
When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...
Hearts & Diamonds by Nichelle Gregory ~ Best Contemporary 2011
Blurb: Passion sparks the moment Nia unknowingly meets federal agent Rios.
Nia Sanders knows diamonds. She appreciates the heart-felt emotions of her customers buying them. When federal agent, Quin Rios saves her life in the middle of a violent jewel heist, she finds herself attracted to the sensual possibilities beneath his uber professional, self-contained persona.
Determined to keep her safe as he solves the case, Quin can't let his attraction to Nia distract him. The heat of their fiery passion consumes them as they both struggle to control their emotions...neither are prepared to lose their heart.
Reader Advisory: This book contains light bdsm...spanking!
The Business of Pleasure by Justine Elyot ~ Best Erotica 2011
Blurb: If one call could set you on a trail to the heart of your darkest fantasy, would you make it?
Charlotte does, and her bold decision propels her into a world where no desire is too outrageous, decadent or extravagant to be satisfied – for a price. Her own fantasy life merges with reality when she is hired to work for the shadowy organisation she first encountered as a client. She organises an array of wild set pieces involving banquets, film productions, mansions full of pleasure slaves, as well as thoroughly researching those requests that chime with her own kinky tastes. Two men, one woman, and every sexual fantasy imaginable – these are the ingredients that make up the business of pleasure.