Angela: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Annie: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Francesca: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Suzanne: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
– All 2018 –
Down with Love by Kate Meader
I recently finished Kate Meaders new book, Down with Love. It’s the first book in her new series, Love Wars. It looks like this will be a trilogy about divorce lawyers who doesn’t believe in love, much less a happily ever after. In this first installment, the first lawyer falls for the wedding planner. Yep. It’s an enemies to lover trope and I totally loved it. As your typical Meader novel, Down with Love has good humor, loveable characters and a story that will win your heart. If you haven’t read any of this author’s work, this a good book to start with.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Chloe Neill completed her Chicagoland Vampires series, saddening quite a few fans. However, she has returned with a spin-off series called the Heirs of Chicagoland. The first book is called WILD HUNGER and I had the pleasure of reading it early. I’m glad to say that the series does feel refreshed and unique and the characters in this new series aren’t carbon copies of their parents. I think if you’re a fan of the world Neill created, then you will certainly enjoy this book too. I’m glad there’s something more to look forward to in this world because I wasn’t quite ready to let go of it yet,
Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby
I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I enjoyed the first one and then the second one a little less. We’ve seen Sadie’s marriage fall apart throughout this series and I was really rooting for her to get an HEA. I don’t know why I didn’t connect with the title that this would be a case where the hero was younger than the heroine but I couldn’t have been more pleased how it was setup and developed. Sadie used to babysit Liam and his siblings when she was in college and he was a teenager. While there isn’t a huge age difference, they are definitely at different points in their lives. But one thing has always been constant for Liam. He’s been in love with Sadie since he was sixteen and has measured up all women he’s with against his fantasy of her. And now he actually gets his dream girl. I thought this was fun, adorable, sexy, endearing. I couldn’t have asked for more.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | YOUNGER HERO | SINGLE PARENT
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
I love K.A. Tucker’s writing style and I think it just gets better with every book. This one is a contemporary romance that has some hint of womens’ fiction. While yeah, the focus is the romantic relationship, I really enjoyed the heroine’s journey of reconnecting with her now dying father. Rediscovering her roots in Alaska, and finding out things about herself she didn’t know. The setting of remote town Alaska was endearing and I really enjoyed that glimpse into that life. The romantic lead is a sexy, bearded, grumpy hero and this starts out as an enemies to lovers in the best way. Couldn’t put this one down so be sure to mark this one down on your calendars.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | SMALL TOWN | GRUMPY HERO
Tossed Into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Sometimes you read the right book at the right time and that’s exactly what happened when I picked up Tossed into Love. I was feeling ill, I needed some comfort and along came Antonio and Libby it was the bibliographic version of chocolate. Like chocolate it was sweet, satisfying and didn’t take long to get through the whole thing. If you are already a fan of Aurora Rose Reynolds then you will love this as much as I did. It doesn’t differ much in tone from her previous books, we have the sexy alpha hero and the feisty smart heroine. Loved it.
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
I haven’t found many 5 star books this year (really, there’s been one so far and a few close 4.5s). And then this book came around. I’m always highly anticipating reading a Colleen Hoover book because I’ve really enjoyed her writing in the past. But at the same time I dread it because I’ve also had some misses from her. ALL YOUR PERFECTS is one of the winners. I haven’t found a ton of stories about troubled marriages but when I do and they’re done well I gobble them up. This one was especially well done and it dealt with not only with a marriage that’s having issues, but also a personal struggle that our heroine is going through. I don’t want to give anything more than that away. Suffice it to say it was so easy to identify with Quinn, to feel her pain, to not know how you would react in her shoes. Maybe it would be the same. And then there’s Graham, really the perfect hero even through his mistakes. I fell in love with him in the flashbacks and then fell more in love with him through the pain of their current situation. This isn’t a book of flowers and happiness, although there is a happy ending. Reading most of this book felt like an open wound but I wouldn’t trade a second of it. It was beautifully written and a captivating story. And yes, one of those elusive 5 star reads for me. A must read for this summer.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | TROUBLED MARRIAGE
The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst
Jennifer Probst’ Start of Something Good is the first book in her new series called Stay. I was very excited about this book as Ive always loved Ms. Probst Small Town/Contemporary novels since her last series had recently ended. I’m glad I have a new series to follow. SOSG is a city girl meets farm boy story and it totally captured my heart. It’s a great weekend read for anyone who likes light romance books with a broody and sexy hero.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | SMALL TOWN
Buried in Books by Kate Carlisle
As a big fan of this series, I was really looking forward to the newest instalment to the series. I’m so happy to say that this author once again delivers a fun read filled with twists and turns. I really love falling back in love with these characters and getting to see how they work hard to solve a crime. If you haven’t read this series yet, you’re really missing out!
The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren
I fell in love with the first book in this series and I was dying to get my hands on this next one. There’s something captivating about Roni Loren’s writing. It gets me every time. From the moment I cracked this book open I couldn’t stop reading it. I connected with both characters immediately individually and I couldn’t get enough of them together. The heroine is the survivor from the school shooting and one that has a lot of old demons to deal with. Maybe more so than the first book. But she’s shut herself off from the world and from life and it was nice to see those walls slowly coming down thanks to the help of a man that is completely out of her type. She’s buttoned up and proper, fancy even. And he’s ruggedly badass. I couldn’t have loved them more! Plus he’s a chef and I’m a sucker for a hero that can cook. Put this one on your TBRs, it’ll sweep you off your feet.
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE | CHEF | ENEMIES TO LOVERS
Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
It’s always exciting to have a new Nalini Singh book out, but I was particularly looking forward to Ocean Light. Firstly, because I adored Silver Silence it is one of my all time Singh favourites, there’s just something about dem bears! So having the second book out in the Psy-Changeling Trinity was a treat. Secondly, this is the first book in the series with a water changeling! We’ve had mammals galore, but now we get a chance to look at the mysterious under water world of the BlackSea changelings. Thirdly, Bowen Knight. The ruthless human security chief for the Human Alliance, I was excited to finally be getting his story. It didn’t disappoint. This was a great read, we got a glimpse into BlackSea and water changelings, a sensual romance and some intriguing story development.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
This was my second Ruth Ware book and every time there’s something captivating about her stories. The writing draws you in and gives you just enough to hook you and get your mind turning. I love how she’s able to keep me guessing until the very end, not a feat a lot of authors can do these days. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is no different and I loved every bit of its twisty ride. There is no impending sense of danger from a mysterious killer throughout the whole book, although the time comes for that, it’s more of a build up on a heavy veil of mystery and family secrets that you just need to unfold. Layers of deception. Years of hiding. In the end, nothing really was what it seemed and I was so pleasantly surprised. Not many authors can surprise me with the twists of their stories nowadays, but this one did. I had only one element figured out and the rest took me by surprise. And not only that, but I just couldn’t put this down because I needed to know the outcome. Superb job by an author that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine in the genre.
All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller
I’m normally not a big reader of fairy tale retellings, however, I was lured in by the beautiful cover and interesting premise of Cinderella told from the perspective of the wicked step mother. It was such a compelling story! It had all the familiar elements of Cinderella, only you see things from a slightly different angle. Agnes, the “wicked” step mother is instead a practical woman who has had a difficult life, the ugly stepsisters are friendly and clever and Cinderella is a fragile and spoiled child. There are no pumpkins turning into carriages and the handsome prince isn’t entirely charming, instead we have an interesting and moving tale that reads more like historical fiction and shows the Cinderella story in a new light.
My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
I just finished My Dear Hamilton by Laura Kamoie and Stephanie Dray, and I was nothing but enthralled. Kamoie and Dray did an amazing job portraying Eliza Hamilton’s story. It’s even a better read than their last Historical Fiction, America’s First daughter. I just hope these duo keep writing more untold stories of the women in our history.
Wedding Cake Crumble by Jenn McKinlay
This month we lucky readers get a new instalment in the Cupcake Barkery series by Jenn McKinlay. Since this is book ten in the series, it’s probably best to read the series in order. The main reason why is say this is because one of the main characters of the series is getting married in it so it won’t have the same impact if you aren’t familiar with the characters. This book contains a lot of fun mystery but also a lot of heartwarming moments as well. I think if you’re a fan of Romance and want to try a Cozy Mystery out, this series might be just the thing for you. It has plenty of upbeat personality to charm your pants off.
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
I was probably one of the few people that hadn’t jumped on the Christina Lauren bandwagon, but something about this book kept calling to me to read it so I picked it up. Honestly, having mixed feelings about reading it because I had sort of thought their style of writing wasn’t so much for me. But that goes to show to never say never! I actually really found this story to be sweet and charming. It’s being marketed as a women’s fiction novel but I think it’s got a big dose of romance to it, so don’t fear about that. It is a second chance romance and the story of two childhood best friends who got each other through some of the tough teenage years and were supposed to be together forever, but then life happened and things didn’t go as planned. It’s a simple story at its core, but it’s told in a way that was very engaging. I can’t really give you a comparison to their other works but it’s not so much a funny story, it’s got a lot of heart and some emotional situations as well. Some angst but not over the top. I think it was just the right amount and blend of everything that kept me riveted to find out what would happen, and what HAD happened in their past. Overall, it was a great read and an enjoyable first experience for me with this author.
WOMEN’S FICTION | SECOND CHANCE
The Elizas by Sara Shepard
I’m going for something completely non-romance this month! I went into The Elizas thinking it was some kind of thriller, with a stalker/killer that only the heroine knew about. In some ways it was the exact opposite of that! But I am not going to say anymore as it will spoil it. This was an intense psychological mystery where nothing was quite as it seemed and the deeper you get into it the more strange it seems. If you are in the mood for something a little different this month you need to give it a try.
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks
This series just keeps delivering amazing stories. I’ve been talking about it for a while but if you are looking for a refreshing take on fantasy romance, then look no further! While you could read these as standalone, I think they’re best read in order. This installment is so adorable! There are certain things I expect when reading a dragon book and Ms. Sparks managed to hit those while making this such a unique, engaging and truly unputdownable book! I adored the characters and the storyline kept me turning the pages. While this is a much slower burn type romance than the two previous ones, and the smexy factor is way down (be warned!) this was still a solid addition that stayed true to character and opened up the world even more. This is one of those few fantasy series where I think the author has such a clear idea of what the world they’ve created looks like and how it works that you, as the reader, are completely transported to it.
PARANORMAL ROMANCE | DRAGONS | FANTASY
Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid
I need a few moments to collect myself…I just can’t believe it…the final book…I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad. I think I’ll settle for a little of both. The Knitting in the City series has been one of my favourites since I picked up Neanderthal Seeks Human, the first in the series a few weeks after its release…on a whim. Which, just proved to me that acting on a whim isn’t necessarily a bad thing as this has turned into one of my favourite ever contemporary romance series. Reid throws in some unforgettable heroines, some unusual heroes and then infuses it with warmth and intelligence, leaving you with a quirky, hilarious and thoughtful romance book. I love it. And now, I must bid it adieu and just be thankful for the memories and all the rereads that will inevitably follow.
CONTEMPORARY ROM. | FAVE AUTHOR | FAVE SERIES | MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
Shot on Gold by Jaci Burton
With the Winter Olympics upon us, I really thought that this book was a great installment to the series. Featuring two athletes in different sports, they find love in an unexpected place. But what I found the most impressive about this book is the fact that there’s a real focus on the sports. I don’t enjoy the sports romances that claim to be about the sport but don’t actually explore anything about it. This one has a good balance of the sport and the romance.
CONTEMPORARY ROM. | SPORTS | SWEET
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Tearjerker Alert! Guys, this book was seriously beautiful. There is romance, there’s historical fiction, there’s family, and heartbreak. Gahhhh. It’s just a captivating story that I highly recommend you experience. I’ve always had a fascination with stories about pre-Fidel Cuba and the aftermath of the revolution. How it’s impacted the lives of the Cuban’s left behind. Having known people that left and hearing their experiences, when I seek out stories that revolve around this I have a sense of familiarity. This book was a perfect representation of both things that always capture my attention as it’s told from two POVs in two different time periods. Our heroine, Marisol, is traveling to Cuba in 2017 to spread her grandmothers ashes. Her grandmother that fled Cuba in 1959 with the hope of one day returning, but that never happened. We get to see Marisol as she discovers the homeland of her ancestors and finds what feels like home for her as well there. And we experience the pre-Fidel Cuba through her grandmothers eyes. There’s love for both of them. Heartbreaking and difficult, because those are the times and the circumstances. But the star of the show here is Chanel Cleeton because she created a story that grabs your heart and the way she tells it you can’t help but feel as if the story comes alive. From the very first page I was right there with our heroines. MY NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA has so much heart, and at the same time it broke mine time and time again. I wasn’t prepared for an ugly cry, but I loved every second of it nonetheless.
HISTORICAL FICTION | TEARJERKER
This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong
Stuck in the wilderness, in a primitive town with a suspected serial killer? Sign up me! To read the book of course, I don’t want to experience that in real life. However, for Casey Duncan, a detective in Rockton a hidden town where the desperate go to stay off the grid, that’s exactly what’s happening. THIS FALLEN PREY is the third in this series and the tension is high as Casey and Eric find themselves with a suspected serial killer, who even though he protests his innocence bodies seem to drop around him. It’s a tense read, you don’t know who to believe or who you can trust…or who will survive. Armstrong delivers a strong installment into the series with a book that is not only action packed but which reveals more secrets about Rockton only it just seems to lead to more questions. A really enjoyable thriller and I can’t wait to read the next book to see what gets thrown at Casey and Eric next!
Collision Course by Marie Harte
COLLISON COURSE by Marie Harte is one of my most anticipated reads. I always look forward to these fun and sexy books but I was especially excited for Lou Cortez’s book. Uber sexy and charming, this book totally captures his personality to a tee. Harte delivers a fantastic romance with some really nice sizzling sex scenes too. I loved the combination of sweet and sexy in this book, showing that Harte can write it all! This book will definitely warm you up for the upcoming winter months!
CONTEMPORARY ROM. | SEXY | SWEET
Blood Fury by J.R. Ward
I was both excited and hesitant to read this book. The last Black Dagger Brotherhood book left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth and I was a little worried that we would have to address all the issues that were brought up there since that’s what we did in the previous book in the Legacy series. First, rest assured that this book is not picking up where THE CHOSEN left off. It simply follows Peyton and Novo with a side story of Ruhn and Saxton. It was deliciously simple. I actually thought those two stories where the perfect fit to pair together into one book because, while they are such different characters and on completely different paths, at the core their romance felt a lot alike. Tentative, intense, healing and new. I’ve been all for Peyton and Novo since the beginning and I cannot be happier right now with what we got. I adored both characters and their romance was just perfection. I don’t want to say much, although I do have a small complaint that some things felt like they’ve happened before in another book and I got some sense of deja vu. Maybe that’s what stopped me from giving this a full 5 stars. The big surprise in this book for me was how much I liked Ruhn and all his different layers. He’s a contradiction in many ways. So innocent and tentative, soft and careful. But there’s a whole other side of him that he struggles with. That broken side of him that makes him a little less refined and a bit more dangerous. I think J.R. Ward delivered on my expectations of this book and I may go as far as saying that so far in the Legacy series, Novo and Peyton may be my faves. And I hope you all enjoy them too.
PARANORMAL | FAVE COUPLE | INTENSE
The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
The premise of this series is unique and heartbreaking. It follows a group of survivors from a mass shooting at a high school prom, hence the title. In this first book we have the goth rebel girl, daughter of a landscaper from the wrong side of the tracks, who was then secretly dating the star athlete from a well to do family and all around popular guy. Finn brought a different girl to prom and is getting a few minutes away from everyone to spend with Liv in the supply closet when the shooting starts and he leaves Liv there to go protect the other girl. Now twelve years later, a documentary brings all the survivors back into town and they have to face each other and some of the promises they made to themselves all those years ago. Also, all that unfinished business between Liv and Finn resurfaces. THIS BOOK! It’s my last 5 star read of the year, so by the time you’ll be reading it in January it should be your first. It’s so intense and emotional. Roni Loren digs deep and makes you feel right along with her characters. And I was pleasantly surprised to still see quite a bit of that signature smexyness I’ve come to expect from Ms. Loren, even if a little toned down to fit outside of the erotic romance genre. Basically, just get this book. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s unique, it’ll make you feel and swoon. One of my favorite reads by this author and that’s saying something since I just love all of her stuff.
CONTEMPORARY ROM. | HOT | ALPHA MALE | TORTURED HERO | EMOTIONAL | INTENSE
Through a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee
I’ve started 2018 off with a bang! I really loved Hendee’s YA Fantasy Through a Dark Glass. It was such an interesting idea, 17 year old Megan has a choice of three brothers to marry and just before she has to pick, a magical mirror appears which shows her the consequences of her choice. Her choice of brother has dramatically different consequences for not only her own happiness, but the brothers themselves and the kingdom as a whole. Once Megan has been shown her future with each brother she then has to decide. As soon as she has made her decision the memories from the mirror disappear. Although this is part of series, each story is a standalone and I loved seeing how drastically each decision affected not only Megan, but everything around her. I loved it, and although it was fairly easy to decipher who she would choose, I loved watching each choice as it unfolded. If you want a YA fantasy that’s interesting but not heavy, with a dash of romance and intrigue you have to give Through a Dark Glass a try.
YOUNG ADULT | FANTASY
Other places where you can find books we loved?
2018: Best of the Year (thru August)
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