A Year in Books: 2019

books-1617327_960_720I want to start by wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year! 2019 was a wild ride for me: I had two new books come out, spent time exploring my new city, taught writing classes, and did a lot of writing! 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 2019.

How the Dukes Stole Christmas, Dare, MacLean, Jordan, Shupe

Seduce Me at Sunrise, Lisa Kleypas

The Tattooed Duke, Maya Rodale

Tempt Me at Twilight, Lisa Kleypas

Three Schemes and a Scandal, Maya Rodale

A Late Summer Night’s Dream, Curzon and Harkstead

American Dreamer, Adriana Herrera

Secrets of a Summer Night, Lisa Kleypas

Seducing Mr. Knightly, Maya Rodale

Claiming the Highlander’s Heart, Lily Maxton

An Earl Like You, Caroline Linden

Married By Morning, Lisa Kleypas

The Earl Takes All, Lorraine Heath

Love in the Afternoon, Lisa Kleypas

books-1841116_1920When a Duke Loves a Woman, Lorraine Heath

A Duke Changes Everything, Christy Carlyle

The Viscount and the Vixen, Lorrain Health

Jillie and Sam, Lina Rehal

Christmas With Her Secret Prince, Nina Singh

Devil’s Daughter, Lisa Kleypas

Rough Terrain, Annabeth Albert

Lost and Found Sisters, Jill Shalvis

It Happened One Autumn, Lisa Kleypas

Someone to Watch Over Me, Lisa Kleypas

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy, Alyssa Cole

The Ghost Garden, Curzon and Harkstead

Cherish Hard, Nalini Singh

American Fairytale, Adriana Herrera

Rebel Hard, Nalini Singh

Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh

All Out: The No Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages, Saundra Mitchell

Rafe: A Buff Male Nanny, Rebekah Weatherspoon

Can’t Escape Love, Alyssa Cole

Rock Hard, Nalini Singh

Hate to Want You, Alisha Rai

Devil in Winter, Lisa Kleypas

The Ruin of a Rake, Cat Sebastian

Rock Redemption, Nalini Singh

camera-4597415_1920It Takes Two to Tumble, Cat Sebastian

Scandal in Spring, Lisa Kleypas

Again the Magic, Lisa Kleypas

Rock Wedding, Nalini Singh

The Rogue of Fifth Avenue, Joanna Shupe

A Wallflower Christmas, Lisa Kleypas

A Prince on Paper, Alyssa Cole

Royally Screwed, Emma Chase

A Gentleman Never Keeps Score, Cat Sebastian

Unmasked by the Marquess, Cat Sebastian

Forbidden, Beverly Jenkins

When Katie Met Cassidy, Camille Perri

Arctic Sun, Annabeth Albert

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics, Oliva Waite

Red, White, and Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston

Dominate Me, Stacey Lynn

Say No to the Duke, Eloisa James

Some Like it Scandalous, Maya Rodale

A Little Light Mischief, Cat Sebastian

Arctic Wild, Annabeth Albert

The Matchmaker’s List, Sonya Lalli

American Love Story, Adriana Herrera

My So-Called Bollywood Life, Nisha Sharma

Sir Loin of Beef, Vanessa Vale

Tri-Tip, Vanessa Vale

Porterhouse, Vanessa Vale

The Captain and the Theatrical, Curzon and Harkstead

T-Bone, Vanessa Vale

Skirt Steak, Vanessa Vale

Breathless, Beverly Jenkins

Tempest, Beverly Jenkins

Arctic Heat, Annabeth Albert

The Low Road, Curzon and Harkstead

Practically Persuaded in Pittsburgh, J.B. Schroeder

arranged-1842261_1920The Captain’s Flirty Fireworks, Curzon and Harkstead

The Rogue Not Taken, Sarah MacLean

Overture, Skye Warren

Being Hospitable, Meka James

A Scot in the Dark, Sarah MacLean

Fighting for What’s His, Laura Kaye

Worth Fighting For, Laura Kaye

That Night in Nashville, Savannah Kade

The Day of the Duchess, Sarah MacLean

The Captain and the Best Man, Curzon and Harkstead

Small Change, Roan Parrish

A Duke in Disguise, Cat Sebastian

Mangos and Mistletoe, Adriana Herrera

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

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.

books-2463779_1920

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.

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 2020 goals for 200 books, though I know there’s little chance of meeting that goal. 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 2020!

Happy New Year and very happy reading!

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