Reader Favorites – Jan’s Best Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on December 19, 2018 · 12 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Jan’s turn!! She’s our resident Historical Romance enthusiast, but she sure loves a wide range of romance too. Let’s see what she picked P.S. I added in quotes from her past comments on these favorites, too. ;)

“My top reads for 2018. Some came out this year; some were a bit older but I just read them for the first time this year.”

In no particular order:

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE:

Look the Part by Jewel E. Ann <— First book I’ve read by this author and I really liked it. A lovely, touching story about very real people. Flint feels like deep down he doesn’t deserve to ever be happy again. But Ellen brings the sunshine back to his life. And there’s a really great kid in this book too. (Flint’s young teenaged son).

Jan: Look The Part by Jewel E. Ann. Lovely CR about a music therapist who falls in love with a widower who has a mildly autistic son. To the widower’s surprise, he falls in love too! It’s a lovely, funny and sensitively told story. Really well-written.

Binding 13: Boys of Tommen #1 by Chloe Walsh <— Another new author for me, and like most who’ve read it, I got totally sucked in to the crazy lives of these Irish teenagers/new adults. A long book, with angst, bullying and a cliffhanger, but I loved it!

Jan: … It’s first in a new series. NA, bullies, rugby players, set in Ireland. (I know). I like the last two, but NA and bullies aren’t usually my fav. But there was just something mesmerising about this book. I got drawn right in and I just had to keep on reading.

…doesn’t Binding 13 draw you in? I felt the same – you were there with them and everything that happened.

Pretty Face (London Celebrities Book 2) by Lucy Parker <— I looked back at my GR review, and this is what I wrote: ‘set in London in the dynamic world of the theatre/ West End. Moody, jerky actors with massive but fragile egos. Backstabbing/ drinking/ drugs/ inappropriate sex. Cruel media who are out to over-sensationalise any little thing they can get their grabby hands on.’ Haha. It turned out to be a very nice love story.

The Difference Between Us (The Opposites Attract Series Book 2) by Rachel Higginson <— Older H, a gruff, grumpy businessman in the restaurant world, falls for a younger woman, and the book takes its time to build a real relationship between them. Lovely.

Jan: …It’s bk 2 after The Opposite of You. Anyone remember the beard controversy, and the beard apron etc etc? Well, Ezra, the hot H in this one DOESN”T have a beard. And he is hot. Older, dour, grumpy, taciturn, but he has a tender spot for the h. Sweet and low-angst…

Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap: A Hellcat Canyon Novel by Julie Anne Long <— Great second chance romance. I really liked this one. Some great, funny one-liners, and a beautiful and deeply-felt romance. It’s a solid series, actually, but this one was my fav.

Jan:  I didn’t like the cover or title, but read it on a rec. And it was lovely! A small town romance, but really well-written and involving. Very enjoyable.

Before Girl by Kate Canterbary <— Another new author to me and I really liked this one. Cal is an ex-Army Ranger and now a successful (but lonely) surgeon. Stella doesn’t believe in long-term relationships after being burnt in the past. But they fall in love and it’s a great story.

I’ve since found out this is a kind of spin-off of the Walshes series, which I’ve now started reading :D

PARANORMAL ROMANCE:

Silence Fallen (A Mercy Thompson Novel Book 10) by Patricia Briggs. This year I finally caught up on this series. This one is a particularly good one. Fast-moving and gripping.

Jan: Best new-to-me book I read in June was the most recent Mercy Thompson PNR/Urban fantasy book, Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs. One of the best in that series so far. I just caught up on that series, even though Silence Fallen has been around since March 2017. WTG, Jan. LOL. The next one, called Storm Cursed, isn’t out till MARCH 2019 :(

Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega Book 5) by Patricia Briggs. I love this series too, about the fabulous Charles and Anna. And this is another excellent addition to the series.

Jan: …Quite gripping….

Jan: Rediscovering the joys of Patricia Briggs. …You’ve just gotta read Burn Bright for yourself. :D …It’s really good! One of the best in the series IMO.

HISTORICAL ROMANCE:

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies Series Book 1) by Jennifer Ashley. This is a really popular HR that I’d never gotten around to reading. When I finally did, I can see why people love it so much. It’s unusual because Ian, the H, has Aspergers or mild autism or something similar. (He’s also HOT!!) And I loved the h Beth too, with her honesty and self-knowledge. They made a beautiful couple.

Jan: One of those everyone’s-read-it-except-me. It’s really good so far. The H is a hot Scot who seems to be somewhere on the Aspergers scale, and in the past was committed to an asylum for his supposed ‘madness’. Sounds like an unlikely premise for a HR, but it’s very well written and has been hugely popular.

The Viscount Who Loved Me With 2nd Epilogue (Bridgertons) by Julia Quinn. This year I finally started reading the famous and popular Bridgertons series. I particularly liked this one about Anthony and Kate. Very sweet. I haven’t read them all yet. Looking forward to it. They’re a lighter, fluffier type of read, but sometimes you’re just in the mood for that. And apparently Netflix is now making a series based on these books. Yay!

Hello Stranger: The Ravenels, Book 4 by Lisa Kleypas. A beautiful HR about a character who was inspired by England’s first female doctor (1870s), and her deep and wonderful (fictional) romance with a spy working for the British government. Two lonely people who find their soulmates in each other. *happy sigh* Lisa Kleypas is currently my favourite HR author. I love this whole series. And #5, Devil’s Daughter, is due out in February 2019. CAN’T WAIT!!!!

Jan: Yaayy for the Ravenels series!! I love all of them (in case no-one knew LOL). Half way through the new one, Hello Stranger, and it’s great. Has a spy twist/ mystery too. Highly recommend!!

YAY IS RIGHT!!! Thank you so much for letting us know your favorites, Jan!!! :D

Like Jan’s book-taste? Check out more of her favorites:

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

bev December 19, 2018 at 9:25 PM

Love the mix of genres and styles. Also, I’ve read some of these, lol.
Lord Ian was a great book. Always meant to read his brothers’ books but never got around to it.

Julie Rasco December 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM

I haven’t read any of these but have several on my list. Thanks for the recs!

Leslie M December 20, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Jan, how awesome are you with your broad taste? I love it. :)

Tabathia B December 20, 2018 at 7:46 PM

I love your list. Binding 13 was so good. I am ashamed to admit that I have Brigg’s books but have yet to read the first 1 in each series yet. I grew up on historical romance and have always been a Kleypas fan and love your picks for this genre.

Tasha J December 20, 2018 at 8:43 PM

I’ve read a few of these. I only read 1 of Lisa Kleypas, Devil in Spring, really enjoyed it. Mystery is my favorite, I think, and adding a spy adds so much intrigue, perhaps a touch of danger, I’m definitely adding Hello Stranger to my list.

Tasha J December 20, 2018 at 9:54 PM

Also, can you guys believe Christmas is in just 5 days?!! I mean, I’ve been preparing so long now, but all the sudden it feels off. Like, it’s not really almost Christmas. I think I lost my holiday mojo. The weather isn’t right, there hasn’t been any Christmas movie watching, I’ve eaten nearly all the cookies, I don’t know. There’s not enough lights on the houses? Something.

Tasha J December 20, 2018 at 10:42 PM

Crap, sorry about that last comment. *smacks forehead* Wrong post!!

Jan December 21, 2018 at 5:20 PM

Thanks ladies.

Ha ha ha Tasha. This Christmas thing is really happening! You’ve gotta get in the mood stat! BTW, hope you enjoy Hello Stranger. It’s a lovely read.

Hi Tabathia. Nice to hear from a fellow HR lover. Why don’t you ease into Patricia Briggs with the terrific prequel novella to the alpha and omega series. It’s called Alpha and Omega (LOL) and if that doesn’t get you hooked into Charles and Anna…..

bev, I want to read the other Mackenzie books too. They’re on my tbr :)

Nay December 27, 2018 at 6:04 AM

I love your variety, Jan. I haven’t read a single one of your books, but I’m looking so forward to Silence Fallen. I’m still two books behind, and that awesome cover is calling to me!

Jenn December 31, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Love the mix Jan and although some of these are on my TBR I have not read a single book from your list! I need to change that

Cheryl January 5, 2019 at 10:15 PM

Jan, I forgot about Before Girl. I loved that book too!! Loved Look the Part too. Have to add Binding 13 to my tbr.

Amy January 13, 2019 at 9:19 PM

Love the diversity in your reading, Jan. ;)

And ANOTHER one for B13/K13…BOOM! YES!!!

But what really caught my eye was the whole no beard in a Rachel Higginson book…now I don’t have to try and ignore the beard descriptions while reading it, LOL!

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