Reader Favorites – Jen C’s Top Ten Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on January 8, 2019 · 14 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Jen C’s turn and scrolling through her comments this year, I just realized she’s one of our resident “Reader Question” answerers. Is that even a word? Autocorrect didn’t give me a hassle so YAY!!! P.S. Thank you so much for all your help Jen!!

Yep! I just love JenC’s book enthusiasm, her frequent recommendations and that she’s great at “guess-the book”.

And now… these are her absolute favorites of the year!!

Hi Maryse!

I had a bit of a slow reading year this year. Had hoped to finish strong but ended up adopting a puppy who has kept me super busy!

My goal for 2018 was to be brave and read more of the “angsty” books I’d been avoiding in favour of a whole heap of romantic comedies. I still read a whole bunch of romcoms (and LOVE them) but I also tackled some books I’d been too bawk bawk to start (Atheists Who Kneel and Pray, I’m looking at you).

So my top 10 for 2018 is as follows!

1. Verity by Colleen Hoover <— I have no words for this one and only JUST finished it. This book came as a total surprise for me – I devoured it and absolutely LOVED it. I love CoHo branching out into something new!

2. Atheists Who Kneel and Pray: a romance novel by Tarryn Fisher <— Since finishing this one, I’ve been asking myself why I waited so long to start it. I’ve been a diehard Fisher fan since the very beginning. Absolutely fell in love with this one – the characters, the setting(s) and how it helped me reassess parts of my life.

3. Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas <— Ms Douglas could rewrite the phonebook and I’d not only read it but it would likely make my top 10 list haha.

JenC: Loved the book as well – just enough of everything – angst, drama, light moments, taboo etc! I’m really looking forward to Motel after that introduction to Danni!

4. The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre <— Another one I was too scared to read in 2017! Such beautiful writing and such an incredibly clever, creative plot. I was absolutely in awe after finishing this book.

5. Act Like It: A Slow-Burn Romance (London Celebrities Book 1) by Lucy Parker <— An oldie but (turned out to be such) a goodie. I remember when I finished I thought it was such a refreshing read with witty banter, dynamic characters and a thoroughly engaging plot.

JenC: Oh gosh, Act Like It was just what I needed! I did finish it last night and I’m still all caught up in it. Not what I was expecting at all. Such a refreshing read. …So good. The banter!

6. The Beau & the Belle by R.S. Grey <— I’ve enjoyed all of Rachels books in 2018 (Hotshot Doc is an honourable mention – TB&TB came out on top because of my lawyer obsession!) but this one stood out for me because of the perfect combination of sweet, humour, and slow burn mixed with a little angst/forbidden-y beginning.

JenC: I absolutely ADORED The Beau & the Belle. Such a lovely, well paced novel. Had me reminiscing about my teenage years, laughing at the pop culture references and swooning over the male lead. I love how Rachel can write romcoms without a single cringeworthy moment.

JenC: Hotshot Doc – it was just what I needed. Sweet, swoony, witty, a bit of angst and kind of like reading Grey’s Anatomy in book form! Loved it and highly recommend when you need something easy to read.

7. I’ll Be the One by Hazel James <— This one stayed with me for weeks after I finished. I was a blubbering mess when I was reading it and it had me tearing up for weeks later when I thought about it. My unexpected find for 2018 (even though the book was published in 2016).

8. When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann <— Another one I waited a while to read and adored once I finally did. One word. Bittersweet.

JenC: Jewel E Ann! I have been reading a few of her older books recently like Scarlet Stone (need. to. read. them. all.) and they are also really good!

9. Jock Rule (Jock Hard Book 2) by Sara Ney <— Sara Ney is totally my new go-to for college sports romance. I adored Kip and Teddy and all the swoony, sweet feels of this book.

10. That Guy by Kim Jones <— I was in fits of laughter reading this one. Such a good romcom and so quirky!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and happy new year! We’ve only got about 2 hours of 2018 left in New Zealand now and, thanks to my pup who I’m hoping won’t be terrified of the fireworks which will start soon, I’m tucked up in bed about to start a new book. I can’t think of a better way to start 2019!

Jen C

Thank you so much for this, Jen C!!! :D It was a fantastic Holiday season this year, and I’m curious how your puppy handled the fireworks? I have one that is not a fan AT ALL.

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

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph N January 8, 2019 at 11:17 AM

I avoided Atheists that Kneel and Pray for awhile because of the title and was I mad at myself once I read it. Such a great book. You have some other favorites on mine on that list so I’ll have to check out the others that intrigue me.
Congrats on the new puppy! Thanks for sharing your list!

R. Renee January 8, 2019 at 11:20 AM

I keep seeing The Ghostwriter pop up! Definitely adding! Thanks <3

Jenn January 8, 2019 at 11:40 AM

Tarryn Fisher she is my “crack” and there are still two of her books I have not read yet, the one up there and Bad Mommy. Not sure what I am waiting for. Also I agree with R. I need to get on The Ghostwriter, this has been on my TBR since Maryse’s 2017 best books list and still have not read it.
Thanks for sharing :-)

Leslie M January 8, 2019 at 12:55 PM

Nice mix of books Jen! I have read a few, am afraid to read a few and need to read The Beau and the Belle and The Jock Hard books. :)

Jan January 8, 2019 at 5:06 PM

Thanks Jen. I’ve read and liked a few of these. Act Like It took me a couple of tries to ‘get’ the book, but once I got in the zone I really liked it. Enjoyed the second book in that series, too (can’t remember its title!). I think there’s a new one due out some time this year, too.

I’ve joined kindle unlimited recently and have been powering through RS Grey’s backlist, but I haven’t read Beau and Belle. *runs to ku to download Beau and Belle* :D

Cheryl January 8, 2019 at 6:28 PM

I’ve read most of the books on your list!! I’ve been putting of reading Atheists and The Ghostwriter too. *guess* I need to move them up my tbr list. Are you on Goodreads?

Jen C January 9, 2019 at 1:24 AM

Thanks everyone! Can’t wait to hear what you all think of the ones you haven’t read yet! (Go, read, quick!!)

Yep, on goodreads –
Would love more friends!!

My puppy handled the fireworks SO well, I was so impressed. She barked a few times (I marked the bangs and gave her a treat for a minute or so) and then was absolutely fine with them! I even played firework sounds the next few nights just to make sure and yep, didn’t bother her at all!

R. Renee January 9, 2019 at 1:49 AM

Just sent a request Jen!

Ashley January 9, 2019 at 8:06 AM

How did I miss “I’ll be the one”??!! I started it last night and it’s sooo good! Exactly what I look for in ya/na romance! I can’t believe I missed it from 2016!

Maryse January 9, 2019 at 8:49 AM

YAY Ashley!! I totally missed it too. That’s why I love these lists. Lots of repeats (because we all loved them) but some undiscovered treasures too!! :D

Cheryl January 9, 2019 at 6:33 PM

Just sent a friend request Jen. Nothing personal but I mistakenly hit follow instead of friend. So I then hit unfollow. ;)

Jenn January 9, 2019 at 6:56 PM

I sent request Jen and so glad your puppy handled the fireworks

bev January 9, 2019 at 8:44 PM

I’ve read one and I loved it. It was Act Like It. Did the hero make you think of Richard Armitage?

I was curious how my dog would do with the New Year’s fireworks and she did great….in my bed. She slept through them, but when I wanted her to go out one more time she just looked at me like I was nuts. Also discovered she doesn’t like the recycling truck.

Michele G January 10, 2019 at 12:33 PM

Jen, what a great list. Somehow I’m just seeing it. I guess I might now have been on here much yesterday. When Life Happened is one of my all-time faves by Jewel Ann…have you read Look the Part? It’s another goodie! I also really liked Birthday Girl. I’m excited to read several from your list ….especially I’ll Be the One…that looks right down my alley….

I have two cocker spaniels babies…they are 14 and now deaf…the plus is things like thunder and fireworks no longer scare them because they don’t hear it. There’s an upside to everything I guess.

I just sent you a friend request on GR too!

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