Here are the books readers picked as the ten best books of 2020. Ms. Ryan’s Queen Move came in at the top–the rest of the list is in no particular order. All but one of the nominated romances received a DIK at AAR and the one that didn’t got a B+.
Thank you to all who voted. And a big congratulations to these authors!
Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan
A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
The Ippos King by Grace Draven
The Will Darling Adventures by K. J. Charles
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
Headliners by Lucy Parker
Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Ten Things I Hate About the Duke by Loretta Chase
Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
You can purchase these and all the original nominees at our Amazon storefront.
Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.
I’ve read 6/10, and gave all of them except HoBoA, which didn’t work for me, high marks. Like Carrie, I was bummed that Mia Vincy’s A Dangerous Kind of Lady didn’t make the cut; I would say that was my favorite book last year.
I’ve read 4, the Hibbert, Charles, Hall, and Chase books. Of those, The Hall and the Chase books were A’s and the Charles was a B. Take a Hint, Chloe Brown was a miss for me, I gave it a C.
Headliners and Emerald Blaze are on my TBR list, and I’m very curious about A Heart of Blood and Ash. The other three didn’t spark my interest.
I’ve read six of these, and tried to read one other that was a DNF for me (narrator was a character type I have trouble enjoying). The other three, including the winner, aren’t even in my tbb lists.
BTW, as I keep track of my book, Emerald Blaze is in my F&SF list, not my romance list.
I reviewed six of the eleven finalists but one obviously didn’t make it (Parker, Hall, Dunmore, Chase, Charles and…? Can’t remember!) Tbh, the others don’t really appeal to me, so I’m happy with my quota. I reviewed 105 books for AAR last year (according to the Power Search) and about the same number for AudioGals, so I doubt I could have fitted in many more anyway!
ETA: Ah, the Mia Vincy! (A Dangerous Kind of Lady) – that was the missing one!
I was sorry and surprised not to see A Dangerous Kind of Lady on the list, but you can’t have everything. It was my favorite historical romance published this year, just nosing out Ten Things I Hate About the duke. But, then again, they are very different. The Vincy book is so incredibly emotional and story seemed to vibrate with the tension of Arabella trying to survive her heartbreaks with dignity. Vincy does such a wonderful job weaving humor and tenderness into the story while maintaining the tension.
Caz, that is an impressive number of books to read, let alone review! Thank you for sharing your insights with us. I am sure I speak for others when I say, most selfishly, that I really appreciate your vetting all those books so we don’t have to.
Thank you – you’re most welcome. And actually, that’s a smaller number of reviews than in the past – some years back I was doing over 130, but that was before I took on the behind the scenes work I do now. Still, yes, it’s not a bad number ;) I – as I think we all do here – take seriously the idea of helping our readers to separate the wheat from the chaff. Book budgets aren’t infinite and with prices creeping up it’s even more important to be able to make informed decisions about where to spend your hard earned cash. I’m pleased to know we’re helping with that :)
How many have you read?
I’ve read five…. #dobetterDabney
3! I feel like I missed some of these & just lost heart trying to keep up. February is a light reading month for me though! Think I will pick up most of these contemporaries & Draven is still calling my name.
One (the Chase); “Headliners” was a DNF (although I liked Parker’s “Act Like It” a lot). I got the Vane from the library and it’s next up, after I finish Anne Youngson’s “Meet Me at the Museum” (a reread and not a romance although it contains a rather sweet late-in-life love story). The Ryan sounds interesting, and when I reduce my existing TBR pile somewhat I will add it.
Just looked at my list of books on hold at the library, and the Hibbert is on there. So eventually I’ll have read more of these. Once again, thanks to AAR for the suggestions.
Chase, Parker, Andrews and Hall – liked them in that order.
Did not (yet) finish the Vane – maybe my mood was wrong, or I need my barbaric worlds sugarcoated ?? I did not really like the characters and their motivations much, they were ok to me but not great. I get that in their situation (world at cruelest war with close relatives just dead in horrible ways) they were not at their kindest to each other, but I was just not invested enough in them and in knowing they might end up happy for 15 seconds (a romance so HEA) since this super brutal world is just gonna eat them after those 15 seconds. Obviously I am an outlier, since it ended up in the list, so do not mind me.
Will definitely push beyond the free sample for Ryan, it was lovely and I will get back to it, and read the Charles when I get in the mood for her, again.
And Draven maybe, I have good vague memories of the first book. Will reread that first.