This year, my choice of favorites falls on...
the Black Dagger Brotherhood and When by Victoria Laurie!
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a series of paranormal romance books for readers 18+ by author J. R. Ward. The series focuses on a society (the "Black Dagger Brotherhood") of vampire warriors who live together and defend their race against de-souled humans called lessers.
While originally a loose band of lonely souls, in the first book they come together in a new sense of unity and loyalty, and they each find and lose love in this ever-lasting battle starting with Wrath, the Blind King of the vampires and leader of the Brotherhood.
Why? Because the books are suspenseful, action-loaded, dramatic, romantic, and there's even a little hotness here and there. It was highly recommended, and I am glad I took the leap last year although there are already so many books in this series. Totally worth it, because it gives the author enough time to build a world and characters of extraordinarily high quality.
I want the whole world hooked on those warriors, thus I'm getting you started with paperbacks No. 1 & 2, Dark Lover and Lover Eternal! For those of you who are already fans of this series, you can tell me which two volumes are next on your list, and I'll get you those. =)
When by Victoria Laurie
Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees death dates, hovering over people's heads. Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation as more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation and a target for the murderer, will Maddie be finally able to use her gift to save someone without getting killed or thrown in prison along the way?
Why? Well, it you definitively be easiest to read my review to know how this book rocked me. But let me get you the two sentence version: I'm not reading that many mysteries or suspense stuff, they don't seem to have alot of an effect on me, but this really had me reading through the night. It was also a paranormal without any supernatural creatures, and without a drooly romance holding up all the action.
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Note that you can either win 2 paperbacks of the Brotherhood or 1 hardcover of When, so both prizes are about equal in worth.