Another year, another list of books that I think others simply must buy and read to live happy, fulfilling lives. Or at least, to feel like they’ve read the best of the best of the year that was. This year I had a really hard time picking as the first ten months or so saw me perusing some truly amazing books. Here is my (whittled down) list of my favorite romances/romantic reads.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik  A retelling of Rumpelstiltskin that captures all that is best about fantasy, fairy tales and romance this is easily my top read of the year. Heroine Miryem is the perfect match for the powerful, ruthless Staryk king and the fact that it takes them a whole novel to figure that out is a treat and treasure for the reader.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer   This charming Inspirational romance has it all – heart, faith, family and fun. The tale of a young orphan girl who grows into a beautiful, charming woman and the man who falls for her despite himself, this is sure to delight any fan of the genre.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory This sensational, charming, warm, sexy romance gave me all the feels. I loved Carlos and Nikole and found this to be one of the best contemporary romances I had read in years.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole I love a good meet cute/meet crazy and this book contains one of the very best I’ve read in a long time.  A tale of finding your place in the world, I loved how the author was able to combine poignant, meaningful moments with laugh out loud humor.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden – Fabulous historical tales can be hard to come by which is why I treasure the work of this author. Able to combine real history with sweet romance, she is a master of her craft. In this Inspirational romance thriller, she continues the story of the history of clean water in New York begun in A Dangerous Legacy. Plucky Dr. Rosalind Werner is the perfect match for bold as brass Nicholas Drake and their love story is a charming combination of thrills, chills, and romance.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The English Wife by Lauren Willig A fable of wealth and power set during the 1890s swan song of the Gilded Age this is a mystery, a romance, a coming of age story and easily one of the best books of 2018.  I adored the heroines of this book and think others will love them as well.

Buy Now: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Resurrection by Karina Bliss The fourth installment in the Rock Solid series, this charming tale works well as a stand-alone novel, but the experience is definitely enriched by having read the previous books in the saga. The story of Lily Stuart (formerly known as professional girlfriend to the stars Stormy Hagen) and rock guitarist Moss McFadden, this book is heartwarming and lovely.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews This is technically a cheat since this story is more fantasy than romance, but it finishes off the love story of Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan, so I’m counting it. While this short novella focuses on Catalina, Nevada’s sister, the first three books in the Hidden Legacy series tell Nevada and Rogan’s epic, amazing romance and I will use any chance I get to tell you to buy those books. Nevada and Rogan’s wedding serves as the back drop for this short story, and the shenanigans around it is just so them that it serves as perfect closure to that portion of the saga.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

I know whenever I pick up a novel about World War Two that I will most likely be reading a story that has a lot of heartache and sorrow in it. I hadn’t, however, expected Hidden Among the Stars to affect me quite as powerfully as it did. A haunting, atmospheric tale of love and loss, this book will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.While the historical aspect wasn’t an easy read, the modern day love story between a single father and a charming young woman who loves to read stories to kids adds a wonderful romantic element to the tale.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Belleweather by Susanna Kearsley This novel contains two slow burn romances; the first between French-Canadian lieutenant Jean-Philippe de Sabran and the lovely Lydia Wilde in the 1700s and the second, set in modern day New England, between a young curator and the charming contractor working at the Wilde House Museum.  The romance portion could have used a bit more oomph but as always, Kearsley’s moving, passionate take on history makes for fascinating reading.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble//Kobo

All of the books above have one aspect in common: Adventure. Whether it was the adventure of meeting a stranger at the worst moment of your life (The Proposal) or the adventure of moving countries to take on a challenge (A Duke by Default) or crossing worlds to find the person who is the perfect fit (Spinning Silver), each of these stories is chock full of exciting, thrilling, fly by the seat of your pants moments. Do you like adventure in your stories or would you just as soon give that a pass? If you do like adventure stories, what was the most adventurous, romantic tale you’ve read this year?

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I've been an avid reader since 2nd grade and discovered romance when my cousin lent me Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe in 7th grade. I currently read approximately 150 books a year, comprised of a mix of Young Adult, romance, mystery, women's fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.