Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Posted December 21, 2018 by Angela in Best Of, Front Page, Under the Covers / 31 Comments

It’s that time of year where you look back and reflect on what you’ve read. What have you loved? Which characters have stuck with you? What authors have you discovered? This year has been full of some fantastic books but we couldn’t squeeze all of our recommendations in! But we have picked our creme de la creme of what we’ve read this year to share with you.

The last two months of this year have been full of five-star reads and all are on my top ten of the year and picking one was really tough.  My pick for Best New Release is Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of The One #2) by Nora Roberts. Funny thing is the first release of this series, Year One came close to being my Best New Release for 2017.   This was an anticipated read for me after loving since the first book of the series. This Post Apocalyptic fantasy world she had created had a bit of Young Adult vibe to it which the last installment did not.  I don’t know how she did it, but I fell deeper in love with all the characters and I love where she took the story. I could not put the book down and when I did, I listened to the audiobook. If her other books are this good, then I need to do some binging.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
Of Blood and Bone
by Nora Roberts

BOOK INFO


Released: December 4th 2018
Series: Chronicles of the One #2
Published by St. Martin's Press
Pages: 400
 

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the epic Year One returns with a new tale of terror and magic in a brand new world.

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

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Since my time for reading has dwindled to half last year, I promised myself to keep up by picking up more.  So, to start, I indulged myself to Penny Reid Knitting in the City and Winston Brothers series. Thankful for audible and the library for having the books, coz I can’t imagine purchasing all of them is such a short period of time.  I devoured and loved them all. For my Best New To Me in 2017 are all of Penny Reid books. I am nothing but hooked.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
Neanderthal Seeks Human
by Penny Reid

BOOK INFO


Released: March 14th 2013
Series: Knitting in the City #1
Published by Self Published
Pages: 403
 

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

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Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorite authors and with her recent book release, Shades of Wicked, she reminded me of the first times that I read Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Romance.  I’m happy to say, that this author has not lost her touch like so many others. Shades of Wicked has it all. From the smart kick-ass heroine, sexy bad boy hero, funny banters, and a steamy romance to boot.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
Shades of Wicked
by Jeaniene Frost

BOOK INFO


Released: October 30, 2018
Series: Night Rebel #1
Published by Avon
Pages: 384
 

In this thrilling new Night Rebel series set in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress world, sexy and ruthless vampire Ian finally meets his match!

The Rule Breaker

Master vampire Ian is unrepentant, shameless…and every shade of wicked. He’s made one too many enemies in his two centuries of existence, including Dagon, a demon who now lays claim to his soul. Ian’s only chance to escape Dagon is to join forces with a Law Guardian, but he’s never been able to abide by the rules for long.

The Law Maker

Veritas’ normal role is police, judge and jury to reprobates like Ian. But she has her own ax to grind with Dagon, so if she can use Ian as bait…well, all’s fair in law and war. As they scour supernatural hotspots to perfect their trap, Veritas soon realizes Ian’s devil-may-care, roguish image hides something much more powerful. And Ian discovers that Veritas has shocking secrets of her own. As they’re drawn to each other with a passion as intense as their peril, either love or justice will prevail. But each will have devastating consequences…

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Typically, when I think of Favourite Heroine, I think of a warrior who can both kick ass with her wit, physical strength, and skills.  This year, as I look back at my books, My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie is the one that stands out the most. This lady did not wield a sword but fought her battles with her mind, patience, and her standing in society.  Though as a woman, she did not have many rights, she used what she can to get what she wanted with dignity. This lady help shape what we all call United States of America, and no, she is not one of the founding fathers.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
My Dear Hamilton
by Laura Kamoie, Stephanie Dray

BOOK INFO


Released: 4/3/18
Pages: 652
 

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union
From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general’s daughter…
Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.
A founding father’s wife...
But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
The last surviving light of the Revolution…
When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

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My favorite hero this year is Graham from Colleen Hoover’s All Your Perfects.  Hoover set a very realistic situation between married couple that I’m sure we all can relate to.  From the very start, you feel everything as if it was your own story one way or the other. And Graham, though not perfect, handled everything like a champ.  This guy took his wedding vows to heart. Fran and I agreed that the best way to describe him is that he really is the perfect guy! If you’re looking for an ugly cry and feel good book,  you have to give All Your Perfects a try.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
All Your Perfects
by Colleen Hoover

BOOK INFO


Released: July 17th 2018
Pages: 320
 

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

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I’ve only read ninety plus books this year and honestly, there isn’t much to choose from.  Some books are prettier than others but nothing particular stood out except for My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.  This book has a velvety feel to it and the deep red color of the models dress stands out. The lady in the cover reminds of the heroine. Silently assessing her situation and biding her time before she strikes.  I love the emotions this cover portrays.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
My Dear Hamilton
by Laura Kamoie, Stephanie Dray

BOOK INFO


Released: 4/3/18
Pages: 652
 

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union
From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general’s daughter…
Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.
A founding father’s wife...
But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
The last surviving light of the Revolution…
When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

Add series to GoodReads   Read our reviews of this series  Get on Amazon

Because Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunters series have always been at the top of my best reads, my expectations are at its highest.  So obviously, Stygian is an anticipated read and because of the long-awaited story of Urian and the love of his life, Phoebe. They are characters DH fans have followed and come to know.  Unfortunately, it was a big disappointment. When, a story takes a turn away from the book description or what you expect, well, you can imagine the disappointment one may have. Another reason Stygian is my Biggest Let Down for the year is that Kenyon’s DH world is so big that at times stories tend to overlap.  While typically this is okay with me, in this installment the overlap was a bit much for my liking. Almost half of the story felt like a re-read. So You can say my enjoyment was cut to half. Will, I read Kenyon again? Yes, I still want to read more of the DH but I hope the next books won’t feel so much like a cut and paste story or I may start to pass upon them.

Angela’s Best of 2018 + 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway
Stygian
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

BOOK INFO


Released: August 28th 2018
Published by Tor Books
Pages: 670
 

Born before man recorded time, I lived for thousands of years believing myself to be something I’m not.

Someone I’m not.

Lied to and betrayed by gods, Daimons and Dark-Hunters, I’ve struggled to find my way in a world where I’ve been cursed since the moment I was prematurely ripped from my mother and planted into the womb of an innocent woman who thought me her son.

Trained as a slayer and predator, I learned to fit in and stay low. To become a tool for evil. Until I was sent to kill the one woman I couldn’t. My hesitation cost her her life.

Or so I thought. In an act of betrayal that makes all the others pale in comparison, I’ve learned that this world is an illusion and that my Phoebe still lives.

Now I will have to travel into the very pits of Hades to try and save her, even as everyone around me attempts to steal what little soul I have left. There’s only one person at my back and I’m not sure I can trust her either, for she was born of an enemy race. Yet sometimes the road to redemption is one that singes us to our very core. And if I fail to find the answers I need to save Phoebe, more than just my wife will die.

We will lose the world. Both human and Daimon.

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My Author of the year came easy this year.  I pick her for two simple reasons. First, because of her book release of Of Blood and Bone.  As you read above, this is also my Best Book Release of the year. I just loved it so much. The second reason is for the recent debacle between Roberts and another author who accused her of stealing her book title.  With all the drama in this world specifically in the book world, Roberts managed to handle it with class. Her response was simple and outright and crushed the accusation to a stop. Though the apology from the other author was half-assed, it clearly shows that Roberts is well seasoned and classy to default.  

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”

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 What are your favorites?

Day 8 Prize Pack

SIGNED copy of BEAUTY IN THE ASHES by Micalea Smeltzer
THE BURIAL SOCIETY by Nina Sadowsky
DRAGONSWORN by Sherrilyn Kenyon
LIKE A FLY ON THE WALL by Simone Kelly
THE CAFE BY THE SEA by Jenny Colgan
HEART SIGHT by Robin D. Owens
LOVE IN THE TIME OF SCANDAL by Caroline Linden

 

One winner will receive the bundle of books above
Open internationally, sponsored by Under the Covers
Winners for all 12 Days of Christmas prizes
will be selected December 26, 2018

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Angela

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I am young at heart and a die hard romantic living in California.I am happily married to a man who understands my love for reading, blogging and my book boyfriends. I have two beautiful girls who are also avid readers but forbidden to any of my books.I like running, CrossFit and eat healthy but not necessarily good at it.My motto is “I have the right to choose my calories” and often, my choice of poison is a bag of Flammin’ Hot Cheetos.

I coblog and review here at Under the Covers and occasionally review for Hot Listens.I love to read PNR, UF, Contemporary, New Adult, and Romantic Suspense. Occasionally, I will venture to Erotica, BDSM reads and rarely Historical Romance. There are some sub-genres that I don’t always enjoy, but I’m open to stepping out of my comfort zone.For the most part, as long as there’s a hint of romance, I’m pretty much in.
Angela
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John Smith
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John Smith

“Leave a comment on our post and tell us your favorite cover of 2018.” Hmm. “Empress Of All Seasons” has a great cover!

Nina T
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Nina T

Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward 🙂

Nina T
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Nina T

and also Cruel Prince by Holly Black 🙂

Kathleen Bylsma
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Kathleen Bylsma

Jenny Colgan’s book: Cafe By The Sea….love this series…

Betul
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Betul

The Ribbon Duet Series by Pepper Winters

Carissa
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Carissa

The kiss theif by lj shen. It’s such a pretty cover.

Timitra
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Timitra

High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning is one of mine

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Kingdom of ash was a nice cover

Diane Sallans
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Diane Sallans

I read Nora Roberts Of Blood and Bone – very interesting series, I love Nora’s writing. I also enjoyed Mary Balogh’s Someone to Trust

Amy R
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Amy R

I need to start the Nora Roberts series as I have book 1 (ebook and audio) on my TBR pile. Penny Reid is awesome, lover her books. All Your Perfect was my least favorite of Colleen Hoover’s books I’ve read so far. Not sure what my favorite cover for 2018 was as I’ve been reading a lot of older books/series.

BookLady
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BookLady

My favorite cover this year was Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness.

Melissa
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Melissa

Thanks for the chance to win!

Kathy Valentine
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Kathy Valentine

Some really great recommendations angela!!! Shared on all my socials!💖😉

Kim
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Kim

The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas had a great cover.

Sophia Rose
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Sophia Rose

The new Nora Roberts and the new Jeanine Frost are both on my wish list. Loved seeing your picks, Angela!

Dawn Dalrymple
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Dawn Dalrymple

Verity by colleen Hoover was my fave of the year

bn100
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bn100

no fav

Trix
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Trix

Can’t think of any right now!

Tina R
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Tina R

There are a lot of great covers for books in 2018. One of my favorites is Prince Charming Undercover by Debra Salonen.

Jolanda
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Jolanda

The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen its sooo beautiful!

Dawn M. Roberto
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Dawn M. Roberto

Of Blood and Bone was amazing and totally agree with you on that choice as well as having Nora as author of year as well.

That said, favorite cover might have been Navigating the Stars by Marie V. Snyder. So gorgeous and I loved the vividness of it.

Jennifer Beyer
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Jennifer Beyer

I was also deeply disappointed by Stygian. It’s a shame because it had so much potential. I love the cover of Bane by LJ Shen because it fits the series so well. I think the cover of Patricia Briggs’ Burn Bright. Her cover art is always top notch!

joanne pezzuti
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joanne pezzuti

My favorite cover is Cosumed by JR Ward

Edye
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Edye

My dear hamilton! So gorgeous!

Irma
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Irma

Pestilence (new cover) by Laura Thalassa.

Susan T.
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Susan T.

Neanderthal Seeks Human By Penny Reid

Artemis Giote
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Artemis Giote

Tattered by Devney Perry!!!

Janie McGaugh
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Janie McGaugh

Because I mostly read e-books and audio books, I don’t tend to pay enough attention to covers beyond the purchase. I’ve seen Burn Bright on your site recently, though, and agree it’s a great cover!

lea
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lea

Tinsel by Devney Perry

Maria Theresa Santos
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Maria Theresa Santos

I like the cover of Damage like us by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Nancy
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Nancy

A Smart Romance