The Best of 2023 – Jessica’s List

Happily, more titles have made their way onto my Best Books list this year than last year (I only had four in total). I nearly doubled that number this year with some great reads.

A Kiss in the Moonlight by Cathy Maxwell

I gave this title five stars on Goodreads because I absolutely loved it. I am a complete sucker for the hero falling first, and though Dara was for sure attracted to Michael from the beginning, he’s the first to realizes he’s catching feelngs for her. I couldn’t put it down!

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The Prospector’s Only Prospect by Dani Collins

I loved this so much that I actually contacted the author to find out if it is the start of a series. Good news: it is! I adore grumpy heroes, and Collins definitely gave me one in Virgil. She does it right, too, because he stays a grump for a big chunk of the novel before finally beginning to soften towards Marigold.

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How to Tame a Wild Rogue by Julie Anne Long

Julie Anne Long is honestly a hit-or-miss author for me, but I gave this one five stars on Goodreads because when she’s good, she’s GOOD.  I absolutely adore beastly heroes and Lorcan is certainly that with his facial scar and initial reluctance to rescue Daphne. He eventually realizes he cannot resist her, and I certainly wasn’t surprised, as she is a fantastic heroine. Add in the fake marriage plot and I was hooked!

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An Unlikely Match for the Governess by Lauri Robinson

This one is a delightful servant/lord romance. Luke really made this for me even though he is so different from the brooding heroes I usually love. He is just such a happy, good-natured man that it’s impossible not to love him.

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The Viscount Who Vexed Me by Julia London

Back to my favorite brooding heroes with this title from Julia London. I absolutely adored Mateo and loved that he tries so very hard to ignore his feelings for Hattie for so long. There are few things more disappointing to me in a book than being promised a hero who is quiet and brooding who becomes a fun chatterbox within a few chapters.

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The Viking She Loves to Hate by Lucy Morris

I’ve really come to love Viking romances, and this is the third time  Lucy Morris has appeared on one of my Best of lists. This particular title features a boat building competition that can at times overrun the romance, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from giving this title a B+ here. I really liked Ulrik and Astrid and they deserved their HEA.

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It Had to be a Duke by Vivienne Lorret

Last but not least, Vivienne Lorret’s It Had to be a Duke is a fun enemies-to-lovers tale featuring Verity and Magnus and a fake betrothal. I found myself giggling through several scenes as they found their HEA. Their chemistry is hot from beginning to end, and it’s fun to watch Magnus go from serious and straight-laced to a slightly more laid-back hero while Verity learns to stop being so logical and practical all the time.

Buy it at Amazon

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