Reader Favorites – JR’s Best Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on December 5, 2018 · 11 comments

in Book Recommendations

YAY!!!! We’ve officially started the “Best Books of 2018” posts and we’re kicking it off with JR!! This is actually her very first “favorites list” with us, so I find it fitting that her post gets to be the first, too! :D

And since this is JR’s first public appearance here (she’s often with us in the comments – since 2013 in fact!!), let’s get to know her, shall we? Here are some fun details that I found out while stalking her comments. ;)

“I’ve always been a reader, but my reading had dwindled to People magazine after the kids were born. But, then there was Twilight. I was late the band wagon because vampires just weren’t my thing. However, all my friends – even the non-readers – were crazy about it so I started reading and then couldn’t stop. It kicked off my love of reading again. I even started reading fan fiction and loved every minute of it.”

“I’m a sucker for a British accent.”

“I love your organizing Maryse! My fav is fake relationships – you can start on that one first :)

“I got Starz yesterday just so I can watch Outlander. I started reading Drums of Autumn over a year ago and I need to get back into it so I can stay ahead of this season.”

And now… her Best Books of 2018 List:

Hi Maryse! I’ve been reading your blog for years and love it! I didn’t have my act together to send in a list last year, but enjoyed looking through everyone else’s lists. So, when I saw you were looking for lists for this year, I wanted to make sure I paid it forward with sending in my favorites.

Below are my top 10 books of the year (plus one bonus). When looking over my list, I realized it could be summarized as the 3 Rs: Royals, Rockstars and the Rest of the Best! I generally like lighter romantic stories – not super angsty or dark. And, I’m big on giving 4★ ratings – so for me to give a book a 4 ½ or 5 ★ review is a big deal!

It’s been quite the royal year with babies and weddings. I even had a bucket list moment seeing The Queen, Megan and Harry, and the rest during Trooping the Colour this summer. I was on the hunt for good royal books and found several – these were the best:

I read the rest of the Royalty series last year and LOVED it, but wasn’t sure I wanted to read this story about the Queen, but it turned out to perhaps be my favorite of the bunch. If you haven’t read this series, you must! I gave the first two books 5 ★ last year.

These can be read as standalones but are #2 and #3 in the series. The Wild Heir had a fake relationship story which is one of my favorite tropes. (…Royal bad boy that needs to change his image. I loved this story and how both characters grew as individuals and together). These other two books in this series were good as well (they don’t have to be read in order) but this was my fav.

  • His True Queen (Smoke & Mirrors Duology Book 2) (4½★) by Jodi Ellen Malpas.

This was the conclusion to The Smoke & Mirrors Duology series. If you ever watched The Royals TV show on E!, I kept picturing Princess Eleanor from TV as Princess Adeline in this story. The first book took me a bit to get into and some of the dominance scenes were unneeded, but I really enjoyed the series overall.

A hot musician – yes, please!

Who doesn’t love a good hot Rockstar series? I loved all the stories in the VIP series, but this was my favorite so far. I will say this one did have a few proofreading mistakes you’ll need to overlook.

…I’ve loved every book in this series and this one didn’t disappoint. The couple was so cute together and just what the other needed.

This came out in 2017, but I just read it this year. I wasn’t sure how to even write the review for it, but it was one of those books that stays with you for a long time.

Another fake relationship story (which I’m always a sucker for) and he’s a famous musician. There is a book one, but I haven’t read it yet (they can be read as standalones).

Rest of the Best

There are some authors that are automatic one-clicks. The top of the list for me is Lauren Layne, who I discovered through Maryse’s blog – I think from her sister’s recommendation. I want to live in her book worlds.

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward are both strong writers, but I also love when they team up together.

While we are talking one-click authors, I would also recommend Colleen Hoover and Melanie Harlow.

I LOVE Lauren Layne, but this is the first time I’ve given one of her books 5★. I think this stand alone was perfectly what I was in the mood for at the time – cute, sweet and a quick read. … It made my elusive 5* list!

This is the end of the Oxford series, which was a spin-off of the Stiletto series. Sigh. I loved these friends and will miss them.

  • Hate Notes (4½★) by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward.

She was quirky and he was uptight and they worked together (literally and figuratively).

The first book I read in 2018. Always nice to start the year on a high note.

  • Rick Steves Guidebooks (5★). We took our first European vacation this year and I wouldn’t have had nearly as great a time if I hadn’t discovered Rick Steves. His guidebooks are now my travel bibles!

YAY!!! Thank you JR!!! This was awesome and I love that you threw one in there that’s not our genre but totally something we’d love!!

Okay, who’s next? ;) You can send me your list here.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy Pryor December 5, 2018 at 3:52 PM

I love JR’s list and the format that she used! She had quite a few books that I have not read and will do so in the future. I own them all (thankfully), but haven’t gotten to them. I didn’t do a list last year either because I have a hard time narrowing down my faves. This year, I plan to submit a list because I’ve read so many great books. Thanks for the list JR!

Leslie M December 5, 2018 at 7:46 PM

Great list JR! I’ve read a few but there are a lot I want to try. :)

bev December 5, 2018 at 9:29 PM

Nice list. :)

I haven’t read any of these yet. I had an old Rick Steve’s tour book and used to read sections of it at a time and day dream.

Annette December 5, 2018 at 9:31 PM

Love this list. I’ve read (and agree with) almost everything on your list with the exception of Lauren Layne (new author for me). Off…to 1-click. haha
Thanks for sharing.

JR December 6, 2018 at 8:04 AM

Yay! Thanks Maryse! I’m so glad to share my list with the group and can’t wait to see everyone else’s.

Jean December 6, 2018 at 10:07 AM

Great list JR! I haven’t read any on your list although some I own already just haven’t gotten to them yet! Thank you!!

Tessa December 12, 2018 at 11:22 PM

So much irony. There are a ton of books on here in my TBR that I really want to read, (Especially Fall and Royally Yours). *moves a bunch up the TBR* I am really eyeing Walk of Shame. It might be sooner than the others. :)

Nay December 27, 2018 at 6:47 AM

Love your list, JR! I’ve only read The Idea of You, which I also loved, so I need to add some of these to my tbr.

Steph N December 30, 2018 at 7:59 AM

Some nice ones on there I have not read but added to the TBR! Thanks for sharing!

Hate Notes was great and The Idea of You was in my top three of books this year. Something about it stuck with me.

Jenn December 31, 2018 at 4:48 PM

JR- I’ve only read Hate Notes from your fave list so I have many to add-thanks for sharing!

Amy January 13, 2019 at 2:05 PM

I love the “three R’s” theme of this list!

I haven’t read any of the books from your list, but I do have the first book of the Smoke and Mirrors duology in my library. In fact, it’s actually pretty high up on my TBR list for 2018 clicks.

Thanks for sharing your favorites! :D

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