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! 😀
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:
- Royally Yours: A Standalone Romance (Royally Series Book 4) (5★) by Emma Chase.
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.
- The Wild Heir: A Royal Standalone Romance (5★) and A Nordic King: A Standalone Romance (4½★) by Karina Halle.
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!
- Fall (VIP Book 3) (5★) by Kristen Callihan.
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.
- The Idea of You: A Novel (4½★) by Robinne Lee.
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.
- Encore (Rock Star Duet Book 2)(4½★) by Rachel Lacey.
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.
- Walk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly) (5★) by Lauren Layne.
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!
- I Think I Love You: An Oxford Novel (4½★) by Lauren Layne.
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).
- Sex, Not Love (4½★) by Vi Keeland.
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!