16 Best Books of the Year So Far

Posted August 10, 2018 by Under the Covers Book Blog in Best Of, Front Page, Under the Covers / 9 Comments

Can you believe we are coming to the end of Summer 2018 already? New Year didn’t seem that long ago. Time flies; especially when you have something fun to read pass it. And, so far 2018 has been good to us! There have been some fantastic new releases out, some as part of a series we know and love and some that are brand new for 2018. So, we have sifted through our 2018 read pile and agonized over our favorite books of this year…so far.  Which ones have you read?  What are your favorites?

Saving Askara by J.M. Link

Give me an alien hero and I am a happy girl. Give me an alien hero who is distinctly not human and I am ecstatic. I was ecstatic reading Saving Askara.  It wasn’t just that they looked completely alien, the culture was alien as well. They weren’t just human on a bigger scale as you will often find with alien sci-fi romances. The romance was a slow burn, the culture of the hero and heroine was so insanely different that it couldn’t be anything but, and I enjoyed watching them get to know one another. This is actually part of a duology with the next book coming out soon. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and see how this all ends.

The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

I’m always complaining about Paranormal Romance, normally something a long the lines of “There’s never anything good coming out,”. I worry that the golden age of PNR is behind us, where are the next generation of Kresley Coles, Gena Showalters, J.R. Ward, Nalini Singhs? Well, Maria Vale answered that for me with the release of The Last Wolf the first in The Legend of All Wolves series. It’s a PNR with a gritty UF feel and I loved it. Vale refashioned her shifters to be wolves first and human second and I love the twist that added to the book. If you are after a PNR with an edge or just something completely different, you need to give it a go.

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews

I love Ilona Andrews. There has literally never been a book she has brought out that I haven’t adored. Not. A. Single. One. Iron and Magic proved no exception. This is either book 9.5 in the Kate Daniels series or book 1 in the Iron Covenant series, an off spin of the Kate Daniels series. It all revolves around Hugh D’Ambray. Hugh started off as the bad guy in the Kate Daniels series and is still that ruthless but charismatic Warlord. Only now his whole world has been turned upside down – I won’t go on as I don’t want to give spoilers for the Kate Daniels series if you haven’t read it. Needless to say, I loved it and if you are a fan of Ilona Andrews or you need a good UF then, what are you waiting for? Go read it!

The Devil’s Revolver by V.S. McGrath

What first attracted me to this book was the cover. It’s so striking, I loved it. So, despite not really having much luck finding YA books I like, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did. This YA western with a magical twist blew me away. McGrath has built an interesting new world on top of something familiar and populated it with a slew of fascinating characters. It’s very light to non-existent on the romance front, however, it delivers a gritty, action packed adventure with a fantastic heroine and a compelling story line.

High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning

Not surprising that this one is at the top of my list, right? I try not to be predictable, however, I really and truly enjoy the world that KMM has created here. There’s so much to love about this book. Not only does it return to the dark and gritty world but it also answers some questions while also raising other suspicions and intrigue on other aspects of the series. Despite the fact that first person narration is not my favorite, I find the way KMM writes to be engaging and unique, making me reconsider my thoughts because it’s just so good! This series will always be one of my favorites and HIGH VOLTAGE definitely tops the list of my favorite book in the series.

Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle

I’ve come to really adore the Coffeehouse Mystery series and as a result, Cleo Coyle is now one of my auto-buy authors. It takes a lot for me to add a new author to list exclusive list but I really enjoy the intense  suspense and mystery that this series has. It’s far more fast-paced than your usual Cozy Mystery and the characters are truly ones that I care about. This book in particular is so well executed that I have no doubt that you’ll be impressed by the way this husband and wife writing team pull it off!

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Sadly, this year I haven’t read that many Historical Romances however, this one has shine brighter than a lot of the other books I have read this year so far. There’s just something about Kleypas’ writing that always takes me back and makes me want to slow life down. The romance in this one is just so sweet and entertaining that it makes me want to reread it right away. It’s no wonder why Lisa Kleypas is one of my favorite authors. She writes unlike anyone else I know!

The Thief by J.R. Ward

Some may argue that this isn’t their favorite book in the series and maybe I would agree with that too. However, each time I pick up a J.R. Ward book, I go in without any expectations. I just let the words come to me and every time I am always impressed by the way Ward weaves her stories together. Even if this book doesn’t feature your favorite characters, there’s no denying that Ward has a way with words. Each page is expertly written and I think the real fans can appreciate the quality that her books have. I always look forward to the next Ward book and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for her readers next!

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

I think Colleen’ books are best read without reading spoilers, but I will say this.  This book tackles an important issue that a lot of women face today.  I was really impressed at how this book brought that to light in all the heartbreak and havoc it can cause even in the strongest of marriages.  Stories about struggling marriages, especially when there’s an HEA, are like crack for me and this was completely addictive.  It’s mostly hard to read and sad, but the fact that there’s bits of the past and how these two fell in love in the dual timelines brings some much needed lightness and happiness to the story.  Another great book by Ms. Hoover and one that will make you think.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

If you’ve never thought you needed to read about the Cuban Revolution, think again.  Ms. Cleeton delivered a poignant story about two women.  Their love of family, country and their one true love.  Another story with dual timelines, in this case Marisol is the current day protagonist and she’s visiting Cuba for the first time to relive her grandmother’s stories.  And the second is her grandmother when she was nothing but a young girl, falling in love with a dangerous man in very dangerous times right before having to flee her country never to return.  I can’t say enough about how much this book moved me.

Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

What do I look for in thrillers?  I want them to surprise me in some way.  I’m pretty good at picking up clues and generally have things all figured out when I’m reading one, and frankly that detracts from my enjoyment a lot of times.  In this book, there’s more than one thing going on and I think that was key for me because while I had one thing figured out, I was still surprised in the end by something.  This has a mix of small town charm with a slow mystery and a small dash of romance.  I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to Ms. Tucker’s next thriller release.

Consumed by J.R. Ward

I know I’m totally cheating here because this book hasn’t been released yet but I read a few months ago so I’m just gonna put it here.  Longtime fans of J.R. Ward know that she doesn’t hold back and she writes fearlessly.  That’s basically how this series is starting out, with a bang!  CONSUMED was so intense I literally had to put it down for some of it just to catch my breath.  It’s incredible that, years later, Ms. Ward can still take my breath away and shock me but she did it.  I also seem to have an affinity for Ward’s less feminine characters.  Anne is a total badass and Danny is sexy as hell, but more than that, neither of them are perfect.  They are both perfectly imperfect and I couldn’t see them working out with anyone but each other.  Plus, I can’t wait for more firefighters in this series!

The Dark Calling by Kresley Cole

I love, love this post-apocalyptic series. It’s YA at it its best. Filled with unknown adventures, danger and survivals, and love to withstand one lifetime to the next. There’s a love triangle I’d come to love, but of course, cheering in for my favourite hero. In this instalment, just like the rest of the books, Cole will pull out string emotions out of you. This is a must try series.

Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Drey and Laura Kamoie

Who would’ve thought I would start to love Historical Fiction novels. Well, Drey and Kamoie did that. I love what they did with this Hamiltonian novel. Focusing not on Alexander Hamilton himself but the woman behind the patriotic man. I love that the emphasis is on Eliza Hamilton’s contribution to the history of US and to helping her husband. despite women not having any rights, it’s clear as day how much Eliza took part in making the history of our country. Dear Hamilton is an AMAZING book!

Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger

This one of the best contemporary/chick lit I’ve read this year. Describe as a “love story in the tradition of The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife”. I suppose it can be compared to those books. Just like the books mentioned, Midnight Valentine captured my attention, pulled at my heartstrings, and utterly fell in love with the story. I didn’t ugly cry, but there was no need. This second chance story was heartfelt to the core. I love this author’s work.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

Read this book purely by chance. I don’t even recall reading the blurb or liking the cover, but I sure did ending up loving the book. It’s an action-packed fantasy read. A story of two powerful women told in different POV in two different time frames, yet very much connected. I’ve seen polar opposites ratings on GR and I agree. You will either love this or hate it. While I rated this book only at a four, I’m still considering this one of the best fantasy reads of this year.

What’s the best books you’ve read so far this year?
Let us know in the comment box below!

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Amy R
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Amy R

My top favorite 2018 releases that I’ve read this year so far are:
The Necromancer’s Reckoning (The Beacon Hill Sorcerer Book 3) by SJ Himes
Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
In Bed With the Beast by Tara Sivec
Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley
Dark Queen by Faith Hunter
Back in the Game by Meghan Quinn

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

some of them so far: the kiss quotient helen hang, holly danger 4 and 5 amanda carlson, lake silence anne bishop, bones don’t lie melinda leigh, missing and aftermath kelley armstrong, vow of deception c j archer

Timitra
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Timitra

High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning
Savage Prince by Meghan March
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
All The Ugly And Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
White Hot by Ilona Andrews

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Mess
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Mess

I like your list, Suzanne.
For me, Ilona is a no brainer, but I still need to read that one!
I’m sticking the rest on my TBR list.
Thank you!

Kathy Valentine
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Kathy Valentine

My list so at 2018
1.High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning
2.The Dark Calling by Kresley Cole
3.The Thief by J.R. Ward
4.A court of frost and starlight Sarah Maas
5.Claimed by shadows by Lara Adrian
6.Born of darkness by Lara adrian

Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

Always exciting to see a favorites list. Thanks, ladies! I loved Keep Her Safe and Next Year in Havana and The Thief. Still need to read Iron and Magic and Consumed.

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
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Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

All Your Perfects was a great read. Not sure I can actually say I enjoyed it… but it was excellent.
I still need to read Keep Her Safe. I can’t believe I haven’t already because Tucker is one of my favorites.
And I’ve been meaning to read the Arcana Chronicles series for so long! I need to make that happen.

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