Last night, while channel surfing, I came across the Miss Universe competition (Congratulations to Leila Lopes — Miss Angola — for being crowned the 2011 Miss Universe!). Since there was nothing else interesting on TV, I figured, eh, why not. I’ve never watched a beauty pageant before (five minutes of “Toddlers and Tiaras” does not count), so I decided to watch a bit to see what the all the hooplah was about. Of course I don’t need to tell you that all the ladies were beautiful, educated and, uh… talented. But what really got my attention was a new feature where viewers got a chance to rate the contestants, right along with the judges. That said, I thought it would be fun to adapt a couple of the superlatives (plus a few others) to the romance genre. So, let’s begin!
Miss Congeniality: Sweet Kiss of Summer by Sophie Gunn. Nina, the heroine in this book, is so sweet and personable, and definitely the type of person I’d love to be girlfriends with and hang out and gossip with over a bottle of wine — which, coincidentally, happens with secondary characters in the book. Lucky them!
Best Dressed: Random Acts of Fashion by Nikki Rivers. The title of this book says it all — As the owner of Glad Rags, Gillian Caine is as fashionable as they come. And, if being a clothing store owner isn’t proof enough, any woman who isn’t afraid to sport bright pink crocodile boots in a town filled with nothing but plaid is considered a fashionista to the max in my eyes.
Best Up and Coming: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC and participate in the blog tour for this book (check out Ms. James’ guest post HERE) and I was blown away by the story. If I’m not mistaken, Fifty Shades of Grey is Ms. James’ first book, and it was a grand slam! Word of just how great this book is quickly spread, and when the release date of the sequel was announced, people (myself included) jumped at a chance to obtain an ARC. If the success of Ms. James’ first two books are any indication of her career, a bright future is definitely in store.
Most Likely to Get Kicked Out of a Bar: Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl. Yes, this book is deliciously raunchy, but I chose this book mainly because of the author. I follow Ms. Dahl on Twitter and she is a riot! Not only is she inappropriate (in the best way possible), but her recounts of her personal life exploits always has me snorting in the most unladylike way (as if there’s a ladylike way). Based on what I’ve learned about her through social media, I know that if we were ever to go out to a bar, not only would we get sloshed, but I’m pretty sure our rambunctiousness would get us kicked out… or put on stage to perform an impromptu strip tease!
Best Couple (series): The Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I’m not a football fanatic at all, but SEP’s Chicago Stars series is an intricate, brilliantly written set of books. The cast of characters are sexy, flawed, gruff, innocent, and all-around loveable. As a reader, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up with characters who are strung along from book to book, but SEP weaves a comprehensive web — one that I am eager to be entangled in. Whenever I pick up a Chicago Stars book and see mentions of past characters, I squee and get warm fuzzies from thinking about the couples from previous books, which makes me love the present book that much more.
So there you have it — my version of “The Best Of” in the romance genre today. Pretty sure I’ll be adding to the list as time goes on, so don’t be surprised if you see a part II on the blog some time in the future!
ROAMING QUESTION: Do you have any romance (or any genre) superlatives of your own? What about the list above — do you agree? I wanna know your thoughts!