2018 is drawing to a close. It has been a very good year for me - even though not everything went according to plan. I'm grateful for my lovely family and for finally having the courage to pursue my dream career. I'm also grateful for all the wonderful books I read this year - as you'll see, there are MANY! I read nearly a hundred in 2018, some good, some bad (as always).
I don't necessarily rate books according to their "literary merit" - as in, adherence to the rules I learned as an English major at University. There are a lot of books that follow those rules but do absolutely nothing for me. Instead, the books I rate highly are the ones that made me laugh or cry, the ones that left that clenching feeling in my gut, the ones I still think about even after months have passed. These are all titles I would recommend if you're looking for a gripping read! I sorted them by genre because I know I have readers who read various genres. Links go to Goodreads! (a) means I listened to it in audiobook form.
Paranormal / Urban Fantasy Romance
- HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF by Molly Harper - a reread of a favorite series was a must this year.
- WILDFIRE by Ilona Andrews - the third book in the Hidden Legacy series; I love Ilona Andrews so much! I need to read the Kate Daniels series next.
- DIAMOND FIRE by Ilona Andrews - this novella bridges the gap in the Hidden Legacy series and it's wonderful!
- SHADOW WALKER by Anya J Cosgrove - a debut about witches and demons; I loved it! (coming in January 2019)
- CLEAN SWEEP by Ilona Andrews - and the other two books in the Inkeeper Chronicles also. This was my best binge-read series of the year and I'm absolutely in love!
- THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne - omg, so much tension! A perfect office romance with an enemies-to-lovers plot.
- HOTSHOT DOC by R. S. Grey - a cute contemporary romance based in a hospital! If you're into hot doctors, this is for you.
- THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE by Lauren Layne - my favorite Stiletto book! I don't usually like second chance romance that much but this was so good!
- WALK OF SHAME by Lauren Layne - I reread this book probably five times now. I love it so much!
- THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang - a great romance debut! It got the Goodreads Choice award this year.
- THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE by Julie James - she always delivers a fast-paced, hot romance, and I can never resist!
- MAKING UP by Lucy Parker - book #3 in her series - and so, so good.
- RIVEN by Roan Parrish - m/m rockstar romance at its best! I'm a big fan of Roan Parrish.
- SMALL CHANGE by Roan Parrish - I did say I'm her fan, right? I loved her "unlikeable" heroine and the sex scenes are super hot.
- INVITATION TO THE BLUES by Roan Parrish - yep, another! A m/m romance that's the best, most thoughtful exploration of depression that I've ever read.
- ONLY THE TRUTH by Elle Thorpe - a free novella that's both hot and funny!
- THE GOVERNESS GAME by Tessa Dare - ohh, this was good. A historical romance with a POC heroine who's a commoner - done beautifully.
- THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND by Jojo Moyes - this one is a bit of a hybrid, really, and not your typical romance (and not fluffy), but gut-wrenching and really, really good!
- STARRY EYES by Jenn Bennett - this one made my top 5; a great adventure with some really cute romance thrown in.
- TOWER OF DAWN by Sarah J Maas - the 6th book in a super long series - I can't wait to read the final one!
- TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han (a) - well, I had to read the book before I read the movie! Loved it!
- ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz - a very powerful m/m story that I devoured entirely too fast.
- THIS FALLEN PREY by Kelley Armstrong (a) - this is part #3 of a really good, atmospheric thriller series. If you're into the genre, I can't recommend it enough!
- ROMANCING THE BEAT by Gwen Hayes - this is the best romance writing book I've read so far. I love how simple the basic structure is, and I've been plotting according to it ever since.
- NEWSLETTER NINJA by Tammi Labrecque - hands down the best newsletter resource I've read!
- 2K TO 10K by Rachel Aaron - probably my favorite writing book ever; this is the third time I've read it. She made me hate editing a little less.
I hope you give some of these a try - let me know if you do!
Happy holidays to you and yours!