I can’t believe the year is coming to a close! 2018 was an awesome year for reading and I want to share some of my favorites with you. Those of you who visit my reviewing blog will see this list there too, but you guys are getting the first look.
The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran. Tortured heroes are my jam and Lockwood fits the bill in spades. The man was kidnapped right after his wedding and sent to a penal colony under a false name. The wife he left behind is heartbroken, but instead of seeking the answers she wants, she asks only for an heir. Lots of feels in this one.
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs. As much as I love the Mercy Thompson books, I adore the Alpha and Omega spinoff books even more. Here, Charles has been put in charge of the pack in Bran’s absence. We get to spend some time with the Wildlings in this one and get a peek behind the curtain of Leah’s character. Anna and Charles are so great together. I can’t get enough of them.
Dark Queen by Faith Hunter. I was completely and utterly blown away by this book. This is where we finally get the big face-off between Leo’s people and the European vamps in their long awaited Blood Duel. But it’s so much more than that. Huge changes for Jane here… which could turn the series on its ear. The Jane Yellowrock series shows no sign of slowing down.
Exile of the Seas by Jeffe Kennedy. This second book in the Chronicles of Dasnaria uplifted me every bit as much as its predecessor disturbed me. Though she definitely has help, Jenna changes her life with her own determination and grit. It’s a hard path, but she puts her faith in the possibilities and that is just lovely. Worth the trials of book one to get the good feels here.
Duchess By Design by Maya Rodale. I love the female camaraderie here and the message that feminism and female empowerment are far from new notions. I love how Adeline sees the power of dresses and the freedom and vehicles of expression they provide for women who have no other voice. I love that she makes dresses with pockets! But perhaps, best of all, I love how Brandon listens to what she says… that he is willing and able to learn that there is more than just the way of the world he has always known. He adapts and evolves because he is able to see through a new lens.
Archangel’s Prophecy by Nalini Singh. This book takes the Guild Hunter series in a bold new direction. Everything up until this point has been about building up Elena, Raphael, and their band of allies. Building their relationships… their power. But in this book, Elena is no longer becoming stronger. She is growing weaker, and it’s threatening to upend everything she’s worked for. Still, a great romance between Elena and Raphael. Plus, one heck of a cliffhanger that has me panting for the next installment.
Wicked at the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean. I adore the whole trope where the hero feels himself beneath the heroine. Especially when the heroine, herself, refuses to see him that way. What I especially love here is that through his eyes she grows to see herself as beautiful, powerful, and strong. And through her eyes, at long last, he sees some worth in himself. And that is the kind of emotional journey I am down for every single time.
Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews. Even if you hated Hugh in the Kate books, it’s hard not to see him in a different light here. This book has all of the snark and action I love in the parent series. And I cheered aloud when they brought the cows. (Just go with me on this one. It’s great.)
Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews. This conclusion to the Kate Daniels series gave me everything I wanted and satisfied me in every way. I loved Conlan and I believed in this HEA. I am ready and waiting for Julie and Derek books.
Bone Driven by Hailey Edwards. I enjoyed this one even more than Bayou Born. The relationship with Luce and Cole is just so angsty and delicious. I love the dynamic with whole coterie. Great world building. It inhaled the whole book in one sitting.
How to Dance an Undead Waltz/ How to Live an Undead Lie by Hailey Edwards. And since we are already talking about this author… This series really put her over the top as one of my new favorites. Though Ilona may always be my main squeeze, Hailey is coming up hard alongside her. These books rocked my world. Mostly because of Linus. I am a total sucker for a hero who has an unrequited love for the heroine…which finally becomes, um, requited. The romance in these two installment completely captured my heart and the world-building, plot, and secondary characters are nothing to shake a stick at either. Would highly recommend this series to fans of urban fantasy.