the [email protected]: What is your favorite romance written this year? View Larger Image Here at AAR, the staff is beginning to make our favorite Best of 2019 lists. Earlier this week, we asked what your favorite non-romances of the year are. Now we’d like to know: What’s your favorite romance published in 2019? By Dabney Grinnan|2019-11-08T08:15:51-05:00November 8th, 2019|Categories: Dabney AAR, the ask @AAR|Tags: the [email protected]|57 Comments Share This Story ! FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail 57 Comments DiscoDollyDeb November 8, 2019 at 8:43 am - Reply As of right now (who knows what I might read before December 31?), my absolute favorite book of the year is Rachel Reid’s HEATED RIVALRY, an m/m romance which covers ten years in the relationship of two closeted professional hockey players. Beautifully-written, emotionally-nuanced, and very sexy. A wonderful book. 6 Caz Owens November 9, 2019 at 5:47 am - Reply Gah, I loved that book – it’ll be on my Best of 2019 list for sure. 1 Em Wittmann November 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm - Reply It’s on mine! 1 KesterGayle November 8, 2019 at 11:23 am - Reply There have been a few that have stuck out for me, but I think it’s a tie between Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (what a writer!) and another contemporary called Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. I did the audio in both cases and was blown away in both cases. The H in Dirty Letters is just so sweet and loving, which is what the h really needs, I simply can’t stop thinking about the book. 3 Lisa Fernandes November 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm - Reply Huh, I reviewed Dirty Letters for the site and it wasn’t for me at all. Different strokes! 2 KesterGayle November 8, 2019 at 6:58 pm - Reply I was so moved by the H and the stellar narration books in this book that I was just gobsmacked by the story. But I love that we can have and express opinions here! Robin November 8, 2019 at 12:33 pm - Reply I’m really surprised that it’s a contemporary, since I’m generally not a contemporary romance reader, but I just read Adriana Herrera’s American Love Story this week and am slightly obsessed with it. Angst that feels real and not like angst for angst’s sake, crisp, evocative writing, a heart-throbbing romance, real-life, relevant conflicts, steamy, steamy sexiness…..lovely! 1 Eggletina November 8, 2019 at 1:43 pm - Reply Forever Wolf by Maria Vale 5 Dabney Grinnan November 9, 2019 at 9:34 am - Reply I need to put that on my list. I loved our review of it! Eggletina November 9, 2019 at 9:53 am - Reply I do recommend reading the books in this trilogy in order. I really like the author’s writing voice. It stands out from the crowd. Maria Rose November 10, 2019 at 11:15 am - Reply I agree, she definitely writes PNR with a very different take than most shapeshifter stories. seantheaussie November 8, 2019 at 3:39 pm - Reply 1. The hilarious The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare. 2. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang— who thought she would top The Kiss Quotient. 3. The Hilarious The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker. Yes, I am a romcom fan. 4. Devil’s Daughter by Kleypas until the end of the shaving scene. Afterwards the book catastrophically deteriorates into erotica and then an absurd climax. 6 Blackjack November 8, 2019 at 5:59 pm - Reply It’s been a bit of a strange reading year for me in that most of my go-to favorite authors have put out books that haven’t excited me. On the other hand, debut authors have turned out wonderful first books. My favorite books to date: 1. The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary 2. The Widow of Rose House, Diana Biller 3. Bringing Down the Duke, Evie Dunmore 4. The Austen Playbook, Lucy Parker 5. The Bride Test, Helen Hoang *I still have a couple of months left of reading and so things could change. I still need to read Julie Anne Long’s new book, as well as Mia Vincy’s and Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown — all are getting great reviews. 7 CarolineAAR November 8, 2019 at 7:56 pm - Reply I have our forthcoming Chloe Brown review and I am the only person on planet Earth who not only didn’t enjoy this book but actively disliked it. 2 Blackjack November 8, 2019 at 8:23 pm - Reply Oh, interesting! I have not read Hibbert before but the raving over this book has caught my eye. I look forward to your review. 1 Dabney Grinnan November 9, 2019 at 9:36 am - Reply Nope. I didn’t like it either. The heroine is just too mean and self-absorbed for me. 1 Sandlynn November 8, 2019 at 9:34 pm - Reply I have all of those books and have only read one. I’m looking forward to some great reads! 1 Kay November 9, 2019 at 4:16 pm - Reply I was just thinking about The Flatshare as I looked at the Goodreads Choice Awards page and am trying to choose a book to write in or vote for and this one was so good. I also really liked Bringing Down the Duke but it lost the lead due to something the h did towards the end. Maybe I can vote for it under best debut author. I think Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Ann Long is my favorite historical romance with When a Duchess says I Do by Grace Burrowes running a close second and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren is my favorite contemporary because of the humor. I love this topic because it always helps me find new books to read. 2 nblibgirl November 10, 2019 at 4:43 pm - Reply Just finished The Flatshare yesterday (based on review/comments here at AAR) and it is fabulous! 2 Mark November 8, 2019 at 7:26 pm - Reply Picking most humorous as best or favorite: In a Badger Way by Laurenston, Shelly 4.5 Flirting with the Frenemy by Grant, Pippa 4 America’s Geekheart by Grant, Pippa 4 Puppy Christmas by Gilmore, Lucy 4 Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Long, Julie Anne 3.5 My Solace by Alder, Alanea 3.5 Hitched by Grant, Pippa & Valente, Lili 3.5 4 Lil November 8, 2019 at 9:11 pm - Reply Most of my romance reading is historical romance, and I seem to have encountered an excessive number of DNFs this year, so most of the books I’ve enjoyed are rereads. (I try to read something that won’t infuriate me before going to sleep.) But one book I definitely enjoyed was Madeline Hunter’s Never Deny a Duke. I loved that both the H and the h were rational human beings. He was appropriately arrogant as a duke, but not a bully. She didn’t expect the world to magically change to suit her ambitions but was willing to push at the boundaries and asserted herself without throwing a temper tantrum. I really admire the way Hunter uses real history in her books and creates interesting characters who are of that time and place. 4 seantheaussie November 9, 2019 at 6:22 am - Reply Sounds good. You’ve sold me. lovetea November 9, 2019 at 7:02 am - Reply I couldn’t agree with you more. Loved that book. Hunter is such a great writer. Dabney Grinnan November 9, 2019 at 9:39 am - Reply I like that book as well. It is about grownups! Eggletina November 9, 2019 at 9:48 am - Reply Hunter is an author I’ve been meaning to try. Is there a particular book or series that works best as an introduction? CarolineAAR November 9, 2019 at 10:07 am - Reply I really love her medievals – start with By Possession. Her regencies are more uneven to me but I likes The Seducers series best (book 1 The Seducer) 4 Dabney Grinnan November 9, 2019 at 10:14 am - Reply I also like the The Rarest Blooms and The Rothwell series. 1 Nan De Plume November 8, 2019 at 9:39 pm - Reply I hardly *ever* pay attention to publication dates when I read a book. Much of what I read was published ages ago. I seem to have a talent for finding obscure books and movies from days of yore. Since a lot of what I find is out of print, that means lots of trips to the library and holds via interlibrary loan. However, I did really enjoy “A Duke in Disguise” by Cat Sebastian, which *was* published this year. Sorry that I’ve mentioned her a lot, but she writes Regencies I actually want to read. Sorry, Regency fans! It’s just not my favorite era. So if Cat Sebastian can make me breeze through a book set in that time period, that’s significant for me. 1 Sandlynn November 8, 2019 at 9:50 pm - Reply I’ve enjoyed a number of books — all graded “A” — and it’s very hard for me to pick one that was the best for me. Most of the books are a few years old, that I just got around to reading, and one debuted this year. (Also, some people may argue that a few of these are not romances, rather women’s fiction. I’d be happy to argue otherwise.) In order of the year they were published, from the most recent to the least: Things You Save in a Fire (2019) – Katherine Center My Oxford Year (2018) – Julia Whelan It Ends With Us (2016) – Colleen Hoover One Plus One (2014) – Jojo Moyes River’s Edge (2006) – Marie Bostwick I also read a number of A- reads that were pretty terrific too. 1 Dabney Grinnan November 9, 2019 at 9:40 am - Reply I loved The Things You Save in A Fire. 1 Lisa Fernandes November 8, 2019 at 9:51 pm - Reply This was The Year I Fell In Love With Talia Hibbert’s Prose. I could name three books of hers that I adored from this year and picking between them is going to be hard as heck. Appetites and Vices The Ladies’ Guide to Celestial Mechanics moved me to tears. 3 Nan De Plume November 8, 2019 at 10:01 pm - Reply “Appetites and Vices” and “The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics” are on my never-ending TBR list. “Appetites and Vices,” unfortunately, isn’t available in the library. I’m one of those readers every writer must hate- the kind who almost never buys books and just says “forget it” if the library doesn’t have it. On that note, Carina Press seriously needs to publish more paperbacks for increased access. But they only seem to make print versions for contemporaries. It’s *so* frustrating because they have some great titles that aren’t afraid to blur genre lines and conventions. On the bright side, “The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics” is in more than 250 public libraries. Woo hoo! 1 KesterGayle November 9, 2019 at 12:53 am - Reply I fell in love with her writing this year, too! I love her Ravenswood series, it’s just so so good… 1 TerryS November 9, 2019 at 12:30 am - Reply I would be hard pressed to come up with one favorite, so I am listing five favorites – the last two are Women’s Fiction. 1. Forever Wolf by Maria Vale 2. The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker 3. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary 4. A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards 5. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center 4 IASHM November 9, 2019 at 12:54 pm - Reply Much like Nan De Plume, the majority of my reading was published earlier than 2019. But of the 2019 books I have read, these are the ones I liked best: Kelly Hunter: Emma Sarina Bowen: Superfan Lucy Gilmore: Puppy Christmas Carla Kelly: Regency Royal Navy Christmas Julie Anne Long: Lady Derring Takes a Lover 3 DiscoDollyDeb November 9, 2019 at 2:35 pm - Reply @IASHM: Kelly Hunter (along with Kate Canterbary) has been one of my favorite “discoveries” this year—and I’m a backlist glom of her books. If you haven’t read Hunter’s MAGGIE’S RUN (Maggie is related to Emma and appears in Emma’s book) or THE MAN SHE LOVES TO HATE, I strongly recommend them. Like Canterbary, Hunter has a way with complicated characters, especially women. So good! 2 IASHM November 10, 2019 at 6:48 am - Reply Thanks for the recs! I have read The Man She Loves to Hate and Casey (which I recommend), but not yet Maggie’s Run. Added it to my bookmarks. 1 Lieselotte November 10, 2019 at 9:27 am - Reply oh yes, I love Kelly Hunter – what she can do with a Harlequin Presents is a miracle – any sheik or lost queen is good when she writes them. A guilty pleasure – she easily transcends the genre while giving me the whole over the top billionaire sheik ride. Beyond that: Read her siblings series in order, the Bennets (wife for a week is the first) and the Wests, both are utterly wonderful. Her Jackson Brothers, too. I I love all she writes, but these are truly exceptional series, I was so pleased with the final West book with the older woman & boss heroine and how that went. The Man she loves to Hate is very very good, as well. Both Maggie and Emma are lovely, as well. 1 Bona November 9, 2019 at 3:18 pm - Reply I think my favourite novel published this year is Devil’s daughter by Lisa Kleypas. But I also gave 4 stars to these other novels: Roni Loren: The One You Fight for Julie Anne Long: Angel in a Devil’s arms Lucy Parker: The Austen Playbook But none of them was a 5-star book for me. I’m still waiting for the great 2019 novel And no, I did not like The bride test. It found it very boring and I gave it 2-stars. 1 CarolineAAR November 9, 2019 at 3:29 pm - Reply This matches my taste a lot and I loved The Flatshare and The Ultimate Pi Day Party – maybe those could be your best? 1 Hayley November 9, 2019 at 5:32 pm - Reply Not been the best year for romance fiction for me but I loved Bringing Down the Duke and Trust – Kylie Scott. A book with a central love story but historical friction is The Binding – Bridget Collins. Absolutely wonderful. 3 TerryS November 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm - Reply Yes, Yes, Yes! I really liked Kylie Scott’s, TRUST. It made my Top 100 when I revised it at the beginning of the year. (I have enjoyed all of her books, but TRUST is by far, my favorite.) BettyB November 10, 2019 at 6:00 am - Reply My favourite novels published this year: Tamera Alexander – With this Pledge Karen Witemeyer – More Than Words Can Say Pepper Basham – My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Lauren Misty M. Beller – Hope’s Highest Mountain Olivia Dade – Teach me Jill Lynn – The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby Tina Radcliffe – Her Last Chance Cowboy 1 Maria Rose November 10, 2019 at 11:17 am - Reply I loved Teach Me too! 1 Dabney Grinnan November 10, 2019 at 9:05 am - Reply I’m only a third of the way through A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane (who is also Meljean Brooks). Oddly, the book it is reminding me the most of is The Land of the Beautiful Dead–the world building has the same sense of impending doom (in an excellent way.) It’s riveting and unlike anything else I’ve read in ages. It’s out in February so it won’t make my 2019 list but keep an eye out for it! 1 CarolineAAR November 10, 2019 at 9:15 am - Reply Oh boo that was supposed to be December! I’m super excited for it! Rosie November 10, 2019 at 11:30 am - Reply Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan Laws of Physics trilogy by Penny Reid Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole 2 June November 11, 2019 at 6:35 am - Reply The Flatshare and Austen Playbook are my favorite reads. Funny thing I am usually more into historials. The contemporary novels are fresher, no dukes with angst. 2 Blackjack November 11, 2019 at 5:47 pm - Reply These two are among my personal favorites this year too. I did really like one duke with angst, which is Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke, but otherwise I agree that contemporary novels are outperforming historicals for me too. Katja November 11, 2019 at 9:18 am - Reply I’m not really sure, that most of these even count as romance, but they do all have romantic elements: – Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews – Murder at Kensington Palace by Andrea Penrose – Magic Outside the Box (The Case Files of Henri Davenforth Book 3) by Honor Raconteur – The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas – Daughter of Wolves by Lia Patterson (which may actually be a 2018 release anyway) – The Bride Test by Helen Hoang There were some more romance novels I did read, but they were usually somewhere in the B or C territory. All in all not a good romance reading year for me somehow. Lots of rereads here as well, plus many thrillers / crime novels and some catching up on shapeshifter series and other fantasy. I didn’t even like the Austen Playbook, despite having adored all of the other books in the London celebrity series 🙁 1 Sandlynn November 11, 2019 at 10:54 am - Reply Although I didn’t dislike the Austen Playbook, it definitely wasn’t my favorite of the series. Maybe Parker needs to shake things up a bit and pick a fresh setting. (And this is from someone who loves the theater setting.) 2 Hana November 11, 2019 at 11:04 am - Reply I have read and enjoyed many of the books mentioned above, and I look forward to reading the ones I haven’t! Here are a few books I have enjoyed that are published in 2019 that have not been mentioned yet: 1) What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon 2) A Rogue By Night by Kelly Bowen 3) The Friend Zone by Amy Jimenez 4) The Prenup by Lauren Layne I am also looking forward to the following being published later this month: 1) A Beastly Kind of Earl by Mia Vincy (which Caz has already read and gave 4.5 stars!) 2) Night of the Scoundrel by Kelly Bowen Finally, on my TBR list that are 2019 publications are Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev and The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Both are favorite authors and I look forward to reading their latest! 1 nblibgirl November 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm - Reply This is interesting because I spend so much of the first couple of months each year reading things that show up on your Top 10 lists. So many of my favorites in 2019 (Gregory Ashe, Via Vincy) were published in 2018. But of the 2019 published that I’ve read and rated highly (in no particular order) are The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke Lady Derring Takes A Lover by Julie Anne Long How To Belong to A Billionaire by Alexis Hall (although I read all three in the series together this year) And I have yet to read the rest of the Not Dead Yet series, Forever Wolf, Bringing Down the Duke, Never Deny A Duke, Austen Playbook . . . . all on my TBR! 2 nblibgirl November 12, 2019 at 11:27 pm - Reply Ok, read Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore today. Read it in one sitting. Wow! Just excellent. And I thought The Flatshare was my favorite for the year. . . . I need to let this one sit for a bit. But this might be at the top of my list for this year. 1 Blackjack November 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm - Reply Same for me! Both were excellent and really stand out this year! Kris November 16, 2019 at 5:32 pm - Reply The widow of rose house by diana biller is my current favourite of 2019. It’s followed by the Lizzie Hardwicke series by Georgina Clarke. Both authors are new to me . Unfortunately my go to authors latest offerings haven’t appealed to me whatsoever. I think my reading tastes have changed. 3 willaful November 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm - Reply My only 5 star romance from 2019 is _Red, White_ and Royal Blue_, which I thought was wonderfully written. So sharp and evocative. 4 star reads were _Any Old Diamonds_ and _Proper English_ by KJ Charles, _Devil’s Daughter_ by Kleypas,, _An Unconditional Freedom_ by Alyssa Cole, _The Girl He Used to Know_, _The Austen Playbook_, _Crazy for Your Love_ by Lexi Ryan, _The Flatshare_, _The Unhoneymooners_,_Illegally Yours by Kate Meader_ and _Hither, Page_ by Cat Sebastian which may not properly count as a romance, but close enough. I also really enjoyed the audio of _Outfoxed_ by Sandra Brown but I think Victor Slezak makes anything sounds good! 3 Leave A Comment Cancel replyComment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.