For Heroines, we got:
- 1 Shy Artist
- 1 Shy Homemaker
- 2 Shy Ruined Spinsters
- 1 Clumsy History Teacher
- 1 Disgraced Journalist
- 1 Scorned Wife
- 2 Obnoxious Baby Sisters
- 1 Formerly Adulterous Fortune Hunter
- 1 Sly Bastard
- 1 Hot Irish Ex-Con
- 1 Jaded Cartoonist
- 1 Angsty Editor
- 1 Angsty Lord
- 1 Angsty Warrior
- 1 Underestimated Prettyboy
- 1 Abandoned Mama's Boy
- "I just can't win - my baby brother's been stolen by an evil magic king - and not the hot David Bowie kind, either!"
- "I can't love her - I need to sell scandalous cartoons of her for money!"
- "I can't love him - he cheated on me! Not once, but like a BILLION TIMES!"
- "I can't love him - he's an ex-con!"
- "I can't love him - I'm too scarred and sexywrong!"
- "I can't love her - her dad stole my mum away!"
- "I can't love him - emotional connections give me hives!"
- "I can't love her - because I've decided to become serious. Just - because."
- "I can't love him - he's actually smart enough to put up with my crazy!"
- 1 Evil Russian Brothel
- 3 Annoyingly Under-trained Lapdogs
- 3 Unorthodox Children
- 1 Pair of Velvet Manacles
- Several Re-Enacted Civil War Battles
- 1 Unintentionally (?) Pink Drawing-Room
- 1 Lost Diamond Necklace
*May Pick* Tempted All Night, by Liz Carlyle. A+
Winner of the Baggage-Handler Hero Award
Pros: Great characters. Complicated and well-drawn relationships. Heartbreaking backstories. Beautiful writing.
Cons: Pacing is a bit dense. That's it.
The Marriage Bed, by Laura Lee Guhrke. B+
Winner of the Devil's Advocate Medal in Lovably Flawed Characters
Pros: Character complexity. Tensely plotted drama. Sympathetic yet flawed characters.
Cons: Repetitive writing style. Awkward flashbacks. Heroine's development a little too sudden.
Too Good To Be True, by Kristan Higgins. B
Winner of the Lamest Payoff Award
Pros: Endearing heroine. Complex emotional obstacles. Lickable hero.
Cons: Annoying dog. No lickable hero POV. Cop-out ending.
Heir to Sevenwaters, by Juliet Marillier. B-
Winner of the Gold Medal in the Field of Insomnia Treatment and Research
Pros: Good worldbuilding. Unorthodox heroine.
Cons: Snail-slow boring-ass pacing. Overangsty sad-sack characters. Vague and confusing hints to previous books in the series.
Rewriting Monday, by Jodi Thomas. B-
Winner of the "Cry Me A River" Angsty Hero Award
Pros: Evocative setting. Good secondary characters. Nicely-integrated suspense plot.
Cons: Pathetic sad-sack hero. Underdeveloped heroine. Plot contrivances galore.
The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, by Diane Gaston, Deb Marlowe, Amanda McCabe. C
Winner of the Gold Medal in Anachronistic Quirkiness
Pros: Interesting backstory. Passable writing.
Cons: Meatloaf said, "Two out of three ain't bad" - but what if those two of the three really, really suck?
*May Dud* It's In His Kiss, by Julia Quinn. C-
Winner of the Silver Medal in Anachronistic Quirkiness
Pros: Nice enough hero.
Cons: Hair-pullingly obnoxious heroine. Obviously eeeeeevil villain. Annoying secondary characters. Little to no plot.