A Year in Books: 2018

reading-925589_960_720I want to start by wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year! 2018 was a wild ride for me: I moved from New Jersey to Nashville, I had a press shut down, I had a book come out and a whole lot of crazy things in between. I was also lucky enough to enjoy some wonderful books, and while I didn’t hit my Goodreads goal of 150 stories for the year, I’m still excited to look over all the great books I did read and see what I learned from them. Here’s my list for 2018.

 

stack-of-books-1176150_960_720Off Base, Annabeth Albert

Dark of Night, Suzanne Brockmann

King’s Cage, Victoria Aveyard

At Attention, Annabeth Albert

On Point, Annabeth Albert

Belgium Heat, Rebecca Fairfax

Wheels Up, Annabeth Albert

Deep, Kylie Scott

At the Corner of Rock Bottom and Nowhere, L.A. Witt

Christmas Bride for the Boss, Kate Hardy

Shelter the Sea, Heidi Cullinan

The Bride Who Got Lucky, Janna McGregor

The Glamour Thieves, Don Allmon

Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo

The Way You Bite, Zoe Forward

On His Knees, Laura Kaye

The Pawn, Sky Warren

Willing Victim, Cara McKenna

Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo

Difficult Women, Roxane Gay

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Can’t Stand the Heat, Peggy Jaeger

Fresh Baked, Annabeth Albert

Once Upon a Tower, Eloisa James

Murder at the 42nd Street Library, Con Lehane

The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper, Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Spellbound, Sylvia Day

Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo

Rule, Jay Crownover

Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo

Jet, Jay Crownover

Rome, Jay Crownover

Magnate, Joanna Shupe

Ruin and Rising, Leigh Bardugo

Nash, Jay Crownover

A Daring Arrangement, Joanna Shupe

A Scandalous Deal, Joanna Shupe

Rowdy, Jay Crownover

Beginnings and Ends, Suzanne Brockmann

Tycoon, Joanna Shupe

Future Perfect, Suzanne Brockmann

Do or Die, Suzanne Brockmann

The McCullagh Inn in Maine, Jen McLaughlin

Embraced By Love, Suzanne Brockmann

1001 Dark Nights, Laura Kaye

Fighting for Everything, Laura Kaye

Asa, Jay Crownover

Leveled, Jay Crownover

Hot Head, Damon Suede

Cold-Hearted Rake, Lisa Kleypas

Back to You, Lauren Dane

The Duke and the Lady in Red, Lorraine Heath

Built, Jay Crownover

Kiss and Tell, Suzanne Brockmann

Marrying Winterbourne, Lisa Kleypas

The Kissing Game, Suzanne Brockmann

The Light of the Fireflies, Paul Pen

Squared Away, Annabeth Albert

Otherwise Engaged, Suzanne Brockmann

The Captain and the Cricketer, Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Simply Irresistible, Jill Shalvis

Devil in Spring, Lisa Kleypas

Greenwich Heat, Rebecca Fairfax

Tight Quarters, Annabeth Albert

Served Hot, Annabeth Albert

Delivered Fast, Annabeth Albert

Hello Stranger, Lisa Kleypas

A Princess in Theory, Alyssa Cole

Traded Out, Samantha Wayland

Hungary, Silvia Violet

Flirt, Lucy Lennox

Too Wilde to Wed, Eloisa James

Outside the Lines, A. R. Barley

Her Forbidden Hero, Laura Kaye

Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Leigh Bardugo

One Night With a Hero, Laura Kaye

Baiting the Maid of the Honor, Tessa Bailey

Dare to Resist, Laura Kaye

Seducing the Bridesmaid, Katee Robert

Wilde in Love, Eloisa James

Best Man With Benefits, Samantha Beck

Batman: Nightwalker, Marie Lu

Falling for the Groomsman, Jen McLaughlin

The Captain’s Ghostly Gamble, Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Born to be Wilde, Eloisa James

Wallflower Gone Wilde, Maya Rodale

The Soldier’s Scoundrel, Cat Sebastian

Damage Control, Kate McMurray

Duke By Default, Alyssa Cole

In Tune, J.N. Welsh

What a Wallflower Wants, Maya Rodale

Baron, Joanna Shupe

Lady Bridget’s Diary, Maya Rodale

Mogul, Joanna Shupe

book-3387071_960_720Chasing Lady Amelia, Maya Rodale

A Notorious Vow, Joanna Shupe

Better Not Pout, Annabeth Albert

Lady Claire is All That, Maya Rodale

Miracle on Ladies Mile, Joanna Shupe

A Groom of One’s Own, Maya Rodale

It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke, Maya Rodale

A Tale of Two Lovers, Maya Rodale

The Captain’s Cornish Christmas, Catherine Curzon, and Eleanor Harkstead

Duchess by Design, Maya Rodale

The Lawrence Browne Affair, Cat Sebastian

Mine Till Midnight, Lisa Kleypas

Falling into Bed With a Duke, Lorraine Heath

 

It’s exciting to go back over all the great, good and not-quite books of the last year. The vast majority of these titles are romance novels and I’m perfectly happy with that. The reason I went into writing romance was because I absolutely love it. Reading romance novels now both allows me to enjoy my favorite stories and allows me to learn from the best authors writing today and then.

That said, there’s a decent amount of variation between the stories, genres, and pairings! I’m pleased, looking back, to see more diversity in authors of color and queer authors and storylines, though I know that it’s important to keep adding more and more to the list. I’ve fallen totally in love with some new authors this year (and some greats I’d never read before) and I’ve learned a ton from some books that didn’t hit the mark for me. Many of the books on this list were audiobooks, which made it possible to enjoy so many more stories than I would otherwise be able to do in a year with so many other things going on.

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 7.26.20 PM

It’s also interesting to look at the kind of books I gravitate toward when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. Maya Rodale, Lisa Kleypas, Joanna Shupe, Eloisa James, and Lorraine Heath are all historical romance novelists with stories set between the Regency era and the Gilded Age. Eloisa James’s Desperate Duchess series was the series that first inspired me to start writing romance novels and I find that when things around me are a little too much all at once, historical romance is a great escape from the big bad world outside.

I’ve gone ahead and set my 2019 goals for 150 books again. I go a little into why I love book challenges here. It stands to be reiterated, however, that reading books, trying new authors, exploring new storylines and everything in between, is what helps us to be better writers and more discerning people living our lives in the world. I can’t wait to see what great new stories are waiting in 2019!

Happy New Year and very happy reading!

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