Reader Favorites – Tessa’s Best Books of 2018 List

by Maryse on January 4, 2019 · 16 comments

in Book Recommendations

It’s Tessa’s turn!!! She’s a reading machine and can devour a series in NO time, and I just LOVE her book-enthusiasm when she’s found one that rocks her world. ‘Cause then she comes back and tells us just how awesome it was, and we can lose ourselves in those worlds too. :D

AND!! I just love how she organized this “Best of 2018″ list, It makes choosing one even easier, if we’re looking for a certain… “feel”. And by her reactions, boy do these have FEELS!!!!

Take a look:

“My book year was filled with a lot of endings to wonderful series, pure angst, or just bad heroes. (No, not bad boys. These guys are mostly evil). I loved every second of those books! I am like MichelleS. I love a good series more than a standalone, specifically when it comes to PNR or fantasy. So, of course, Most of mine are series based.”


Binding 13 and Keeping 13 by Chloe Walsh – At the end of December last year, I discovered Chloe Walsh with her Carter Kids series. (It is a bully book. Of course, I wanted to read it!) However, recently people were talking about Binding 13 and how great it was. I read the blurb and thought BLAH. Then it was on sale for 99 cents. Then I still avoided it, until Jan130 picked it for my Pick for Me book. THANK YOU JAN!

This book has younger characters, but it didn’t read like a young adult. The situations were heavy and emotional. The abuse that she takes is insane but believable. Her home life is realistic. He felt real. He wasn’t perfect either, but I loved his protective nature. I’m not going to lie. This duet really was the best of the best this year.


Whether killers in a mob or bullies, these are the definition of “Only in Books”.

The Peer and the Puppet (When Rivals Play Book 1) by BB Reid – BB Reid knows how to blow my mind. This book is so full of angst and unknown, and Ever is so manipulative, it kept me enthralled.

Tessa: BB Reid’s Peer and the Puppet, OMG, it was awesome. If you liked Fear Me, you’ll love this. It’s not as violent as Fear Me. The, err, issue that Maryse had with Fear Me wasn’t there at all.  :) Still ANGST!  :) Tons of it.

Resisting Mateo (Morelli Family, #5) by Sam Mariano – This year (or maybe the beginning of last year), I discovered Sam Mariano. This book is book 5 of the Morelli series and is such a twist that changed the whole series, not to mention showing the truly devious side of Mateo.

Tessa: So, if anyone has read the Morelli Family series, I’m on Resisting Mateo. I’m almost done and it’s INSANE. *nods* That is all. Yes, I’ll be jumping into the next book right away.

k. So, Resisting Mateo was a five star. Tears, insanity (it is Mateo after all), happiness, fear. Lots of fear. And my heart HURT like an SOB. So, of course, I am onto book 6.

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air Book 1) by Holly Black – Why didn’t I read this right away? Honestly, I got it from the library, but Wicked Prince will be an own just because I loved the first book so much. The prince is just as the title said. Cruel. He mocks the human heroine and encourages his entourage to humiliate and harm her. Then… that end. Not CH so much as, OH CRAP…

Tessa: Best YA fantasy was Cruel Prince. *swoons* EVERYTHING I love in a book, including a huge bully.  :)

Untouchable: A Bully Romance by Sam Mariano – What can I say? She writes good bad guy stories. This one is darker than the usual high school bully. Think more Fear Me than Bully and this is what you get. Very high angst, a lot controversial, and seriously hot. I loved how the story interweaved and got a giggle when she called him a sociopath. (He might be)

Tessa: GAH! This book! GAH! THIS is why the best of 2018 is waiting until the end. It’s so good and evil and OMG, I want to punch him and adore him and GAH! He reminds me of Mateo in all the bad and good ways.


The Morning Star (Imp Series Book 10) by Debra Dunbar – I love this little imp. I love her angel. All the questions were answered and it was done with such skill, plus the ultimate question was answered, and it was only in this book that I figured it out.

Tessa: The Morning Star by Debra Dunbar was the end of The Imp series, but it ended so perfectly, and I actually cried because the series is over. Yes, I loved it that much. It probably had the most heart of the whole series and there were some truly touching moments in the midst of all the drama and action. The end was probably the best of the series. ….All PNR lovers, go read this series!

The Prophecy (A Titan Novel Book 4) by Jennifer L Armentrout – I cried. This was the ending of the Titan Series, and I sobbed when the end of the series finally hit me. A little bit was put in to really hit hard once you stop and think. Wonderful, but the end of the series was bittersweet.

Tessa: The Prophecy – Seth… *sighs* How I love thee. It was the perfect ending for the series and I absolutely loved every moment. I also adore Josie. She doesn’t take crap. Add to that the emotional upheaval, gah! I was in tears so many times, and that ending… *sniffles* It was perfect. …All of those who have been waiting for the series to finish, this is the last book in the series, so go ahead and start reading. Remember, though. SETH IS MINE.  :)

High Voltage (Fever Book 10) by Karen Marie Moning - Alright, technically not the end of the Fever series, but this is the end of Dani’s story. It was sooo good. It broke my heart, made me smile, and a lot of the questions left over from the last book were answered.

Tessa: High Voltage – Seriously, if you liked Iced, which okay, some didn’t, this is the book you’ve been craving. It was everything I wanted after Iced, but it got sidetracked. (I liked the sidetrack, but this book was NEEDED). …Oh, and the first line makes me smile like this  :D

Strength (Curse of the Gods Book 4) by Jane Washington and Jaymin Eve – Okay, this series ended, but this is second to last.

I love a good series that twists things unexpectedly before ending, and this book was the twist.

Seriously the best reverse harem series I ever read.


Night and Silence (October Daye Book 12) by Seanan McGuire – One of the best of the series. You get to know her human family more, and there is just so much darkness and repercussions coming out to play in this one.

Tessa: They were seriously good and I loved how real being in the fae world was. I want more. …The second one is done, I go and grab the next one and start reading it. I’ll be so sad when all ten books are read and I have to actually wait for the next book.

Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock Book 12) by Faith Hunter – This was originally supposed to be the end of the series, but she had to write one more. I’m not sure if it got so big or she just had more to say, but after this, THANK GOD she had to write one more. Everything that has been spoken of and worried about came to a head in this book. I’m not going to lie. I ugly cried so hard! Just big, soaking mess tears ugly. Then that end… WTF… It’s the first CH and it was HUGE. I can’t wait for the next one, but doubt it will hit me as this did.

Tessa: Dark Queen by Faith Hunter. Seriously, that book was THE BEST of the series to date. It wasn’t just the culmination of all the storylines ending, but seriously, THE EMOTIONS. I ugly cried. Just out and out ugly cried. I get teary-eyed, but ugly cry, not normal for me. This one did it. *grins* One last book and the series is done. I’ll miss it.

…she just flipped everything on end! That book will stay with me for a VERY long while. Two more books, though! Thank GOD! If not, it wouldn’t have ended on a CH, but would have destroyed me instead.

Secondborn and Traitor Born by Amy Bartol – The beginning of an astoundingly great fantasy dystopia. It’s dark and gritty, and it keeps playing in my mind. Only downside? The next book is taking until 2019 to get! *whines* Kidding. I just want to read the book now.

Tessa: Secondborn and Traitor Born by Amy Bartol just blew me away. It was so high in angst, GAH. I loved it. …Those two were INTENSE.

Sleeping with Monsters (Playing with Monsters Book 2) by Amelia Hutchins – So much about this story makes me happy. It’s dark. The hero is the bad guy. Add in how the last book ended? GAH. Then that ending. It made me think and had quite a few on here asking questions. I love books like that! And, side happy note. The next book is coming at the beginning of January! YAY!

Tessa:  I was up really late last night reading Sleeping with Monsters. I finally had to give up and just sleep. lol Can we say HOT…

Tessa: …Sleeping with monsters is done and ooooooh! I said stuffs on GR.

Psychic’s Spell (Legion of Angels Book 6) by Ella Summers – Ella Summers writes some good books, but like last year, this series ended up on my best of list. The whole world mixed with someone so relatable just makes the series better with each book. Add on the questions still lingering from the beginning, some little answers, nothing concrete, and I have a feeling until the series is done, it’ll be on my best of list each year.

Tessa: …she’s one of my favorite authors. This series is so good…

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – This book is kinda different than my normal fantasy book. First off, the main character is a male. Second, the story itself is so different. The questions and how everything comes together just blew me away. Where it starts is NOT where it ends, yet it wasn’t slow or confusing but kept me believing everything that was going on, even when it went wrong. (On that note, I really gotta read the next book!)

Tessa: I finished Strange the Dreamer and oh… I don’t want to leave the world. I don’t want to abandon Weep or Lazlo. I want to stay there forever and just live. Warning… CH, but wow, the writing was well done, and the story stole my heart. Honestly, it will probably be in the best of the year category.

…just mind-blowing. The writing and the intelligence of this book had me hooked. I honestly didn’t want to stop reading it. The characters were fully fleshed and very human, and the questions that kept going through my mind while reading it… some were answered, some weren’t. It was just a really well made book.

Darkest Drae series by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare – Yay, a book so good, it made me discover two new to me authors. Terror, a dark, unknown hero, and an evil dictator! With dragons! The world invented here was intelligent and unusual, and I couldn’t wait for each book to come out.

Tessa: The Drae series is insanely good!


Ryan’s Bed by Tijan – I felt this one too my bones. Ryan reminded me a bit of Mason with his protective nature and bit of jerk moments. However, it’s the heart of the story that made me love it so much. It was hard to handle and touching, but I really enjoyed it. And the end… GUT WRENCHING.

Tessa: Ryan’s Bed by Tijan – Very emotional and those last lines really hit you and makes you understand what you read in a whole new light.

The Darkest Sunrise and The Brightest Sunrise by Aly Martinez – I’m glad I got to read these without waiting for book two. :) So sweet and so emotional. I felt like hugging the heroine more than anything. I loved how she handled her tragedy, but more, I loved how the story evolved.

I know. WAY more than 10, but all of these hit me harder than others in some deep way. Thank you, Maryse! *hugs*

Tessa, this was AMAZING, and I loved backtracking and finding your reactions in the comments to so many of ‘em. You make me want to read them badly, my friend!! ;)

Like Tessa’s book-taste? Check out more of  her favorites ;) :

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn January 4, 2019 at 12:57 PM

gah Tessa “Ryan’s Bed” If i would have finished this in 2018 it definitely would have been on my list….now I will get to add it to my 2019 :-) Great List-thanks for sharing.

bev January 4, 2019 at 1:25 PM

Tessa I will never not be in awe of how many books you are able to read.
Look at all that PNR and UF love.
The Cruel Prince and Strange the Dreamer have been languishing in the old TBR and I need to get to them this year.

Tessa January 4, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Jenn, there was a reason it was in my ATF. I’m so glad you liked it!

Bev, I love Cruel Prince, which I think you’d definitely like, but I think you’d LOVE Strange the Dreamer. Very different and intelligent.

Robyn January 4, 2019 at 4:44 PM

Thanks Tessa! I have read many of the books you loved and adored this year. I can’t wait to read a few more on your list.

Michele G January 4, 2019 at 6:06 PM

Tessa, that’s an awesome list! I’ve had Strange the Dreamer hanging on my TBR for a while…I’ll have to nudge it up. You have some other very yummy fantasy books I need to check out as well! Then there’s Ryan’s Bed…I’m definitely reading that this year after all the love I’ve seen for it from you and Jenn!!

Leslie M January 4, 2019 at 9:43 PM

Tessa, you had a great reading year! :)

I still have to try Binding 13.

D.G. January 4, 2019 at 9:46 PM

Great list Tessa -I have The Cruel Prince in my sights! Moving this one up on my TBR list!

MichelleS January 4, 2019 at 11:10 PM

Great list. So much Fantasy to love! I devoured The Darkest Drae books. How did I miss KMM & Dani! I know! Library book! I always forget to put those on my list. Argh.

MichelleS January 4, 2019 at 11:11 PM

BTW – i loved it too… not as much as I loved Iced, but glad the story went where it went.

Jennifer January 5, 2019 at 1:18 PM

Great list Tessa! I love your taste in books. I also put off reading the last books in series. Usually by the time the books come out I’ve lost the excitement of the series and it seems like too much work to reacquaint myself with the important details of the characters and the series to pick up the last book and really “get” the end of a series.. but I will need to move up High Voltage.

Jan January 5, 2019 at 6:17 PM

Binding 13 was unexpectedly good. I haven’t read the sequel yet, though.

Cheryl January 5, 2019 at 10:08 PM

Tessa, great list. You make me want to read more PNR.

Steph N January 6, 2019 at 9:39 AM

I have not read a single book (until I got to Aly Martinez at the end) on your list! I’m intrigued by the Sam Mariano reads though!
Thanks for sharing! I love these end of the year book lists!

Tessa January 8, 2019 at 4:43 PM

Steph N, Sam Mariano is dark, which is why I love her books. Aly’s book, so gut wrenching, but far from dark. :) Just pure good.

Cheryl, lol I can’t help it. I love my PNR books.

Jan, DG, and MichelleG, read them! lol

Jennifer, I actually learned to read the end even if I don’t want it to end. I waited with Cats and Bones and accidentally read a spoiler before that ruined the ending for me. :(

Same MichelleS… same. :)

Teri January 18, 2019 at 4:27 PM

I am so excited over this list! So many new to me. Click, click, click!

Maryse January 18, 2019 at 7:26 PM

Okay so I’m halfway through When Ashes Fall (started it today)!!!! I already think I know what I know… but I’m hoping to be surprised. ;)

Anyway, YAY!!!! :P I’m liking it!!

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