Of the 200 books I read in 2018, I shelved 116 of them as romance, although some of these the romance may not have been the main aspect that is still a whole lotta romance so narrowing it down to just 10 was a tricky decision. First of all I will just mention a couple of honourable mentions, which are books that I did love but didn’t quite cut it to the top ten. That list includes ‘A Week to be Wicked’ by Tessa Dare, ‘Call the Coroner’ by Avril Ashton, and ‘And the Next Thing You Know’ by Chase Taylor Hackett. Now on to the top ten though:
First off there’s ‘Pisces Hooks Taurus‘ , the fourth book in the ‘Signs of Love’ series by Anyta Sunday. This series is one of my favourites, every book has been a 5 star for me, so it’s no surprise that I loved this one. This book starts with New Zealander Zane desperate to find love, and find it quickly so he can stay in the U.S. When he needs a place to stay he ends up at Beckett’s house. While Zane is a big believer in love and happily ever after, Beckett is still reeling from his divorce, adamant that love is a lie. These two together were perfect. They’re the exact opposites of each other, and watching their friendship blossom into a romance was such a beautiful journey. Whilst this book can be read as a standalone I would recommend the entire series as they’re all perfect if you ever find yourself in need of a fun, low angst, super slow burn romance.
One of the best rom-com authors out there is R.S Grey, I always enjoy her books but this one is one of my favourites of hers. ‘Arrogant Devil‘ follows Meredith, a woman who has finally left her abusive husband and run away to Ceder Creek to start her life over. She finds herself working as a housekeeper at Blue Stone Ranch under the employment of the arrogant devil himself, Jack McNight. Jack is adamant he has this spoiled rich girl all figured out and he’s sure she’ll be taking off again in no time to run back to her cushy life, so why is everyone else mad about her? I loved Meredith instantly, she is such a brilliant heroine who wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. Jack did take me slightly longer to warm to, but once I did I really liked him and I absolutely loved the two together. R.S Grey did not disappoint with this one!
Another of my all time favourite authors, T.J Klune just had to be on this list. I’m yet to rate one of his books less than 5 stars! ‘Wolfsong’ is a beautiful story that is a romance, but is also so much more. Wolfsong is a book that spans more than a decade, taking us from when Ox Matheson is 12 to when he’s in his mid 20’s. Ox’s life is relatively lonely, he does what’s expected of him and pretty much keeps to himself until he meets Joe. Joe is a force of nature. He pulls Ox into his family, while forging a connection between them that will last forever. Joe is just a child when they first meet so there is nothing romantic between the two, it’s not something that’s ever crossed Ox’s mind, then one day Ox starts to notice just how much Joe’s grown up. This book is heartbreaking and beautiful featuring one of the most epic love stories i’ve had the fortune of reading, I can’t wait to dive into the second book this year.
‘Lover Awakened‘ is the third book in J.R Ward’s bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. If you’re a fan of anything romance you’ve probably already read these books but I only just started them last year when I read the first four books. I’ve loved the whole of the series so far but this one has definitely been my favourite. This book focuses on the relationship between Zsadist and Bella. I have been so intrigued by Zsadist since I read the first book, his back story was so heartbreaking to read about but it was lovely to see how he grew as a character throughout. I won’t say too much on the plot as it is the third in a series but if you, like me, are late on the bandwagon and haven’t picked this series up yet go and do it!
‘Rocky Mountain Refuge‘ is definitely one of the more serious, angsty books on this list but it was such a beautiful romance between two unexpected people. Huxley suffers from paranoid personality disorder which has led to him living in the wilderness as a recluse for the last five years since the murder of his husband. One time Huxley catches Aspen staring at him whilst in the store and becomes convinced that Aspen is out to get him. Aspen is a wildlife biologist working on a research project about grizzly bears when he spots Huxley at the store, he find himself attracted to him and when they keep bumping into each other he becomes determined to show him that he can be trusted. The journey to a relationship between the two is a long, fraught journey but I found myself completely immersed in them. This is such a unique romance that really shows that sometimes love isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.
‘Mud Vein‘ begins when Senna wakes up on her thirty-third birthday to discover that she’s been locked in a house in the middle of the snow. She has no idea where she is or why she’s there so she has to try and use the clues around her to figure out, but sometimes the truth is the only thing that can set you free. It’s hard to say any more about the plot of this one without giving anything away as this is a book that is best read blind. I should say though that the premise makes this book sound like a thriller, which it is definitely not, it is a romance through and through. It’s a very slow-burning, emotionally intense novel that I just loved so much. Tarryn Fisher is one of my favourite authors and this is my favourite i’ve read of hers so far, it really is a truly beautiful novel.
‘Devour’ is the 4th book in the Unbreakable Bonds series. This is a series that should be read in order but each of the books are well worth a read. Devour is the book that I was waiting for, it tells Ian and Hollis’ story, which I have been waiting ever since I read book 1. I won’t say too much plot-wise here, as like I said, this is the 4th in a series but I will say the romance between these two was well worth the wait. This was definitely a hurt/comfort read, Ian has a lot to work through in this one but Hollis is there for him, supporting and helping him, every single step of the way. I’d seriously recommend this entire series, it’s got some of the best friendships i’ve ever read, there’s lots of action, hurt/comfort and it tells the tale of four brilliant romantic relationships.
‘A Girl like Her‘ is a contemporary romance that’s the first book in Talia Hibbert’s Ravenswood series. This is only book by Talia Hibbert that i’ve read so far but I know it won’t be the last. Ruth, our heroine, is a fierce, awkward, slightly nerdy woman. She knows what she wants and she’s uncaring about other people’s opinions. Due to a relationship gone bad and small-minded people’s gossiping Ruth is pushed away by pretty much everyone in her town. Then Evan moves in next door, and he’s not swayed by other peoples gossip, Evan wants the chance to get to know Ruth for himself. These two are one of my absolute favourite couples, they’re both just such fantastic, well fleshed out characters. I just enjoyed the hell out of this one, it really is the perfect contemporary romance!
This book is probably the one that took me most by surprise. ‘Nowhere Ranch‘ is a book that will not be for everyone, the first 50% is very sex heavy but it grows into one of the most beautiful romances. Roe is a ranch hand at Travis’ ranch. He’s never really payed much attention to his boss until he runs into him at a gay bar one night. Roe’s wary about mixing business and pleasure but the way his and Travis’ kinks line up, he finds it hard to resist. The relationship between them begins as purely sexual, very hot and kinky sex, until it begins to blossom into something more. Roe struggles to come to terms with this change, he’s always struggled with the rejection of his family, and it makes it hard for him to deal with his growing feelings. The part of this book that made me love it so much is Roe. This book is told through Roe’s POV and seeing him grow and learn to love himself, aswell as Travis, was so beautiful and wonderfully written that I couldn’t get enough.
The last book on my list is yet another Tarryn Fisher, this one is ‘The Opportunist’ the first book in the Love Me with Lies series. In this book we follow Olivia, a liar and a manipulator, as she bumps into her ex Caleb aka the one that got away. Caleb is suffering from amnesia after a car accident so he doesn’t remember Olivia or the way that she broke his heart and she intends to use this to her advantage. There’s not much I can say about this one without giving away aspects of the plot but if you like an unreliable narrator you’ll enjoy this one. Olivia isn’t a typical heroine but she never pretends to be either, she owns her crazy actions and stands by her decisions to use any means necessary to get her hands on Caleb. I completely devoured this story, I have no idea why I haven’t got round to the second one yet but I know I definitely will soon.