From the grey days of January into the grey days of February, (in my part of the world at least!) it’s the ideal season to curl up with a good book, your favourite snacks and tipple and settle down for a really good read! AAR staffers have picked the titles they’re most anticipating next month – among them a number of new historical romances from some of the biggest names in the genre, Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath, Theresa Romain, and a very welcome return from Julie Anne Long. As usual, though, we’ve got a fairly good mix of genres for your consideration including paranormals, mysteries, contemporaries, and inspirationals, so there should be something for everyone! Have a look through our suggestions and then join in the discussion in the comments and tell us which books YOU’RE most looking forward to reading over the next few weeks.
And, here it is, the AAR staff’s picks for the very best books of 2018. We ask each reviewer to pick her favorite book of the year and then we share the compiled list with you. This list isn’t one we all agree on nor is it one that we’d argue is definitive. Our Best Lists is idiosyncratic. Each pick is a reflection of a reviewer’s druthers, experiences and expectations, and is limited by what she personally read in the past year. These are, quite simply, books we individually loved.
We’d like to know what you loved too and hope you’ll share your picks with us in the comments.
Here’s to us all reading well in 2019!
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
As I’m sure other people have said, pretty much any book on my Best Of list could qualify […]
It’s that time again – TBR Challenge is on! Wendy the Superlibrarian is hosting again, and Lynn and Caz are joining the group to challenge one another (and you!) to go through your stack of books and shop your bookcase at least once each month. This month we’re looking for something short – a category romance, a novella or short story, something in that vein. One pick was a little more successful than the other, but hey, we each knocked down something from the TBR mountains.
Smoke and Ashes by Danica Winters
2018 was not my favorite year. The world, including Romancelandia, was full of anger and sadness, and most of the time I felt as if I had no idea how to do my job well. I’d pick up a romance, try to read it, and, again and again, be resistant to its draw. By midyear, I despaired of finding books I loved enough to want readers to experience their magic. But I underestimated the strength of our world, and by the end of December, I found myself with a list of books I genuinely loved, all of which brought me joy. Here, in no particular order, is my list of the best of 2018.
A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vincy.
Caz and others on staff who read primarily historical romance are on record as saying that 2018 was a […]
I’ve read some terrific books and some dire books this year – which is par for the course when you review as many of them as I do – but my genre of choice, historical romance, was, in the main, fairly disappointing in 2018. Even some of the authors I can usually rely on to deliver absorbing stories with emotional depth featuring appealing, multi-faceted characters haven’t delivered to their usual standard, and I’ve found myself looking to other sub-genres more than ever before to supply the steady diet of strong and compelling reads I need in my life! […]
Jayne Ann Krentz, under a series of names, has written 183 books, 14 of which have been DIKs at AAR. Her latest Krentz book is the third and final book in a series featuring three foster brothers whose childhoods were destroyed by a very evil guy named Quentin Zane. I hadn’t read the first two book, but had no trouble following Untouched. After reading it, I had some questions which Krentz was happy to answer. […]
I think I’ll be just shy of my reading goal for 2018, but maybe that’s a good thing because it was a really tough job to narrow down my favorites for the year from the ones I did manage to read! In my preferred category of contemporary romance there are many that exceeded my expectations and I’m taking this as a promising sign for the genre in 2019. Here’s a glimpse at the books that caught my eye and heart this year.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Is there a ‘best of’ list that doesn’t have this contemporary romance on it? For all the reasons you’ve probably heard, it’s made my list too. An #OwnVoices novel with a personal look at autism and Vietnamese family dynamics, it’s a delight from start to finish (and super […]
Since I’ve been discovering series I missed the first time around, a lot of my happy 2018 reading experiences have been of the backlist variety. However, this was a good book year for me in current releases as well. One book I had long been anticipating turned out to be a DNF bust, but I found plenty of other treasures. I’ve listed my favorite first, but otherwise my picks are in no particular order.
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
I’d been looking forward to this book for over a year, and it was probably my favorite 2018 read. It’s romantic, and there is so much meat to the story that I find myself thinking about it months after having read it. This tale of a French prisoner of war assigned to board with a family in New York can […]
I read a lot of romance in 2018. My list of favorites is shorter than in years past, but I liked my favorites so much, I read most of them more than once – and I thoroughly enjoyed each of them all over again!
Salt Magic Skin Magic by Lee Welch
Friends, I hate that cover too. But look beyond it! Salt Magic Skin Magic is magical. Romantic. Suspenseful. Mysterious. Sexy. It’s all those things and a tremendously engaging story. Featuring a pair of opposites – Soren, Lord Thornby, magically entrapped on his family’s rural estate, and John Blake, a magician who specializes in inanimate magic – this enemies to lovers romance is compelling and engrossing from start to finish. The principal characters are terrific, the story is wildly imaginative and clever, the writing is excellent… and […]
Another month – another YEAR – and it’s time for another of our regular looks at the upcoming books we’re most excited about. It’ll come as no surprise that Sally Thorne’s 99 Percent Mine is at the top of many of AAR staffers’ lists of their most anticipated books; The Hating Game was such a huge success and we’re hungry for more! We’re saying goodbye to Annabeth Albert’s Out of Uniform series this month, with the release of the seventh and final book in the series, Rough Terrain, and welcoming a new series of historical westerns by Anna Schmidt with Trailblazer, book one in her Cowboys and Harvey Girls series AND a new sci-fi romance series with Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet. […]