Reader Favorites – MichelleS’s Best Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on December 28, 2018 · 21 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Michelle’s turn and she has her Best of 2018 list set in stone! Sorta. Sometimes she makes little comments that she should have added another one… I get it. It’s hard to choose your very favorites out of your favorites. So I helped her out, and added an extra in, at the end. ;)

And oh boy did she leave some excited reactions in the comments for these (along with letting us know why she chose them) and so, I KNOW this list is a winning TBR list!!!! Various genres, but everything we’re into!! And… she learned something about herself, creating it:

MichelleS: Howdy Maryse! I waited until the last minute to submit my list “just in case” there was some great little nugget I missed. So, here it is…

I have come to the very OBVIOUS conclusion that I am a series kind of gal. When I look back at the books I read this year, I have a hard time remembering stand-alones. Not that they weren’t great, but not memorable. Series allows me to really get to know characters so much deeper and they just stick with me because of it. Character development and world building are huge for me.

This was the year of my “rut”. I kept starting and putting down book after book, searching for my “five star read”. In between, I was reading the next in the series I love, and not even realizing that they were my five star reads. And that’s ok. It’s not going to be a single book. I just need to find me some good series. Yay me.

I also realized that I haven’t changed my taste either: epic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, rock stars or motorcycle clubs, m/d, dark romance. The only one I didn’t find my hidden gem in was Historical Romance. That’s my quest for this year, so I can have a well rounded list for 2019.

MichelleS’s Best Books of 2018 List

BEST FANTASYKingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J. Maas  and A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 4) by Sarah J. Maas – these series are just phenomenal for fans of epic fantasy. There are so many plot lines and characters, but I remember them all because the writing is just that good. I’d recommend this one to all fantasy fans.

Kingdom of Ash is the final book in the series. It was a long, long read, but it brought everything together and everyone together, so I am a happy, happy girl.

The Court series continues, so I will get more of Rhys. While Starlight was just a Novella, setting up the next book, it was as long as many books are nowadays. If you haven’t started either of these series, what are you waiting for?

MichelleS: Kingdom of Ash. It’s sooooo long, but soooo good, I’m savoring every line. May do a reread of whole series!

BEST FORBIDDEN ROMANCEThe Ribbon Duet by Pepper Winters – Oh Boy! This one is one of those that just stays with you. The plot line is so crazy, but with all the feels. I do love me some “forbidden” romance. I was thrilled when the second book came out quickly. That’s the way to do it…. hello Madeline Sheehan and The Holy Trinity. This is one that I can “see and feel” in my head when I think about it. certain scenes just pop right up. That’s when I know a book is a five star read for me.

MichelleS: The Ribbon Duet is a deeeeeep love story! …Will stay with me forever. Unforgettable!

BEST RE-READ OF 2018: Silence Fallen (A Mercy Thompson Novel Book 10) by Patricia Briggs – what can I say? Mercedes Thompson is one of my all time favorite urban fantasy heroines. This one was fast paced and exciting and Adam was just in “hummanahummana” alpha mode since his mate was kidnapped. EEK!  My only complaint? 379 pages! I need more more more.

MichelleS: Book that needs more love? Silence Fallen – mercy Thompson series – because I just want more Adam + Mercy and hanky panky

BEST FOLLOW UP TO A SERIES: Red Rooster (Sons of Rome Book 2) by Lauren Gilley – Ya’ll – this girl can write. The first in this series, White Wolf, made by best of last year. This follow up did not disappoint. It’s a crazy ride mixing history and paranormal romance. She can write anything and I’ll read it.

MichelleS: I just finished Red Rooster. I already know it’s going to be on my “best of” list. This series just gets better & better. Myths & magic & history & modern world all colliding in the most spectacular way. …Love her writing & this world.

MOST UNFORGETTABLE: Jack and Jill Series by Jewel E. Ann – so it’s crazy how I found this series. I was fresh off the heels of the Transcend Duet and wanted MORE of this author’s great writing. I immediately purchase book one on the series. Then BAM – read them back-to-back, and liked them even more than the Transcend Duet.

I am sure I will not be forgetting these characters and the crazy story that weaves humor and drama and romance so beautifully. I laughed, I cried, and then repeated that throughout. No shrinking violet here. The heroine is one of the most badass ever. Just read it. You’ll get it then.

MichelleS: I ADORED the Jack and Jill Series. It turned to be far more complex than you might start out believing. Just really amazing writing.

…the Jack and Jill series – with spot on writing, amazing characters, ups and downs, lefts and rights, steamy and funny at the same time. She can write about Jill checking her mailbox and makes it interesting.

BEST DARK & INTENSE: Beautiful Monsters Series by Jex Lane – This was just the ticket when I was in the mood for something dark and intense. Paranormal? check. Two gorgeous men? check. Brutal and passionate? check. Not for everyone, but definitely for fans of this genre.

MichelleS: “Beautiful Monsters” – oh yes they are! Demons & Vampires & Oracles, oh my! Gritty. Not pretty. Still have no clue who the good guys are. Everyone is so freaking wicked.

MichelleS: …It’s dark, has paranormal world that’s super cool, and the characters… sigh. This guy… I swear, no one has gone through what he goes through to “survive” – it’s brutal! But beautiful. Go for it.

MichelleS: …Oh yes I did – I went from book one to book two to book three IN A ROW. When was the last time I did that? This series is killing me. ARGH. I hate everybody, godd@mmit…. It’s like Sarah J Maas – if it was written for adults – if you know what I mean. GAH! Going to go read and torture myself some more.

BEST ROCK STAR ROMANCE: Ashes & Embers Series by Carian Cole – one of my new favorite authors – each book is a stand alone about a hot rock star and the woman he falls for. Yup. It’s THAT formula, but I need that every now and then and these were top notch.


No Tomorrow by Carian Cole – like I said, one of my new favorite authors. This one had that broken hero that I am drawn to. When you are in the mood for an emotional roller coaster this is the one you should pick up.

Waiting for the Sun: Waiting for the Sun, Part One by Robin Hill – you know why this one os one the list? Because the author is one of our very own? Nope – because it is a stand alone that I ACTUALLY REMEMBER. Some scenes are burned into my brain. And that’s a good thing, especially since I am such a fan of series.

I have a few honorable mentions too…

MichelleS: Ooh. I see Cruel Prince up there. I loved that one. Almost put it on my best of list, but was determined to try to stick to just ten.

Tessa: MichelleS, stick to just 10? Pfft! :P  It was such a good book.

Maryse: MichelleS you know I’m now going to add that one to your “Best of 2018″ list right? After that comment. ;)
Sorry… I couldn’t help myself but to add it in for her. ;)

There you have it. The best of 2018, the year of the “rut” turns out to be a pretty darn good list. Who’d-a-thunk-it? Thank you, Maryse, for finding almost all of these for me. Hopefully one will catch your eye.


Thank you MichelleS!!! This list ROCKS!!!!

Like her book-style? Check out her other “Favorites Lists” (and get to know her better). She is SOOOO FUN!!! :D !!!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

bev December 28, 2018 at 6:17 PM

I was so curious about your list. I feel like you haven’t been on here as much sharing your reads.
I still can’t believe I haven’t got on the Sarah J. Maas train yet. Maybe this year if my slump lets up.
Any mention of Mercy makes me smile. That was such a good book, especially for so late in the series.

MichelleS December 28, 2018 at 6:23 PM

Bev – Sarah J Maas does NOT disappoint. Great fantasy read. Romance, but not dirty. Just fantastic stuff.

Teri December 28, 2018 at 7:25 PM

A few I need to check out. Woo hoo!

Tasha J December 28, 2018 at 8:07 PM

Everyone should read Sarah J Maas, she is perfection.
And now I wanna jump into Jack and Jill #2 right now.
So many of these look so good, I’ve been in the mood for paranormal lately. I’ve not been able to read, so I’m watching Lucifer currently, but oh these have me itching!

R. Renee December 28, 2018 at 8:42 PM

Thank you MichelleS! ♥♥♥

bev December 28, 2018 at 8:49 PM

That’s good to know MichelleS, lol.

Robyn December 28, 2018 at 8:56 PM

You cracked me up when you mentioned Madeline Sheehan’s unfinished
Holy Trinity series. I’m still waiting for that last book myself! Maybe MS will read this and start writing it. Also, I’m waiting for A Boy and His Hope to come out next year. It’s part of the Ribbon Duet. Della and Ren’s son.

Beautiful Monsters intrigued me. It sounds good but I don’t read much m/m.

Cruel Prince! YES! One of my best reads of the year. Sequel comes out in January.

Leslie M December 28, 2018 at 9:29 PM

Although I am not into fantasy or dark, I have read some of these (Storm, Jack & Jill) and Waiting for the Sun will be on my faves list too!

Tessa December 28, 2018 at 11:12 PM

So many goodies here! I still have to read the last book of the Throne of Glass but you know I’ve no doubt you’re telling the truth. :) White Wolf is history and paranormal? (Hey, your historical!) Fine. Twist my arm. *puts it on her TBR.

So many books I’ve loved are on here. You usually point me in the right direction. :) I STILL can’t believe you almost left off Cruel Prince! :P

Michele G December 29, 2018 at 12:54 AM

What a great list! There are some up there that I loved too…but also some new ones for me to check out. Yay me! Oh and this makes me want to get back to the Jack and Jill series as I’ve only read the first one so far.

Cynthia December 29, 2018 at 11:47 AM

I’m so excited to find MichelleS’ list again this year. I found Sarah Maas based on her list a few years ago and have totally the same taste in fantasy books! I also loved the cruel prince. Just reread it in preparation for the wicked king releasing Jan 8- it’s taking forever to get here!! Thanks to this list- I’ll find some books to fill the void till then. Thanks again!

Jennifer December 29, 2018 at 2:57 PM

Great list MichelleS. I love forbidden and Pepper Winters so need to pick up the Ribbon Duet…and the newer Lauren Gilley series. Love pn and historical. Thanks again!

Jan December 29, 2018 at 5:32 PM

Love the list Michelle. Silence Fallen made my top 10 this year as well. I might have a look at Carian Cole.

Jenny December 30, 2018 at 7:07 AM

Jack and Jill Series…..Wow I won’t forget those books either.Just finished the last book. Had everything I love.
Fantastic writing.

Steph N December 30, 2018 at 9:18 AM

Nice list! I love Carian Cole and devoured her books when I first found her. But her last one fell a little short for me. :(

Jewel E Ann has so many books I need to read. I feel a need to hold on to them for when I am desperate for a good read or something?!?

I submitted a list but it has more than 10, was that a rule I missed? :)

MichelleS December 30, 2018 at 12:56 PM

No – self imposed rule! Ha! See how that turned out? Don’t wait. Read Jewel E Ann STAT.

Nay December 30, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Love your list, Michele! Makes me want to get to some of these ASAP!

Nay December 30, 2018 at 1:01 PM

Sorry, I meant MichelleS. I saw it as I hit ‘submit’ and couldn’t UNdo it!

Jenn December 31, 2018 at 2:31 PM

You have three series on here I need to get on! Awesome List!

Jack and Jill, Ashes and Embers and The Ribbon Duet! I’m going to make my 2019 reading TBR just from these awesome lists! I really need to print these lists out. I printed out Maryse’s from 2017 recently and there are 20 books that I have not read…..Can’t wait to read some of these!

Cheryl January 5, 2019 at 10:29 PM

MichelleS, I haven’t read Jack and Jill, but did One which talks about what happened in those books and has characters from it. ;)

Amy January 15, 2019 at 12:07 AM

MichelleS…my daring friend who gets the booty-baring pics in return, LOL!!!! You KNOW I’ll never let you live that down. :P

“That’s the way to do it…. hello Madeline Sheehan and The Holy Trinity.” <—— Love it.

Love your list! You make me want to go on another PNR/UF binge.

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