It’s been a rocky year, and as such, I found myself diving between the covers of a good book (or two…or many). And it’s the romance genre where I have devoted my time. From paranormal to erotica to historical romance, you’ll find a little bit of each in my list.
Without further ado, these are this librarian’s best romance releases of 2016.
10. The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath. This story was INTENSE. I wobbled back on forth about Edward’s actions in pretending to be his elder, deceased, titled, AND married brother (whoosh!). The when-will-Lady Julia-find-out and what’s-gonna-happen-when-she-does kept me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait for the next installment in this impeccable series.
9. Ruled by Elle Kennedy. This particular author wins two spots on my countdown because, honestly, I haven’t read a book by Elle that hasn’t landed on my keeper shelf. Ruled is no different. It’s the third in her post-apocalyptic erotica series with not one but two male leads and the alpha female who brings them all together. Reese is a tough heroine, and it’s fun watching these two men try to keep up with her. Jam-packed with action, hold on to your eyebrows for this one!
8. Megan Erickson and her counterpart in the Cyberlove Series, Santino Hassell, claim spot number 8. Fast Connection stars Dominic, aka Nicky from book 1, who finds his match in a silver fox, Luke. They meet on Grindr, and from the get-go, it’s a series of shenanigans. Nicky is a handful, and we’ll leave it up to Luke to handle him. 😉
7. I don’t read many mafia books, the exception being Kele Moon’s Untamed Hearts series. The Enforcer is the much anticipated book that will tell Tino’s story. He’s the younger brother to the leader of the Sicilian Mafia. A man with a dark past and a crush on his sister’s sweet childhood friend, Brianna, this is an emotional and dark journey. Be sure to keep your Kleenex handy. I can’t wait for volume 2 of their story. Release date TBD.
6. Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy. Annnnd number 6 brings us back to the wonderful Elle Kennedy! If you’re looking for a romantic suspense – high action, drama, and pure alpha sexiness (in both the males and females) – give the Killer Instincts series a try. This book follows the alpha hero I’ve been waiting for, Derek “D” Pratt, and the doctor, Sophia Amaro, who may look sweet, but has a core of steel. It’s another dark tale (apparently I have an affinity for them), but the payoff – and the buildup to the long awaited Sully and Liam story line – makes it well worth the wait.
5. Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt. My first love has always been Regency historical, and Elizabeth Hoyt always gives a heart-wrenching story. The heroine, Alf, takes this story to a whole new level. Masquerading as a boy her entire life, she gets entangled in a lordling’s mission against a group of evildoers. This installment of the Maiden Lane series stayed with me long after reading the last page. Alf is a heroine to admire.
4. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare. This historical was laugh-out-loud funny! From the first page, I was giggling like a loon, and the book has one of the sweetest “Oh, my god, but I do love him” moments that ripped my heart out of my chest. It is a refreshingly light-hearted
romance which will never let you look at an aubergine the same way again. (You’ll have to trust me on this. Or, you know, read this one :))
3. Blood Vow by J.R. Ward. Black Dagger Brotherhood: if you aren’t familiar with what this is, allow me to rectify that immediately! A group of vampires living amongst humans, kicking ass and taking names. This book is a spin-off to that BDB series called the Black Dagger Legacy. It features all of the characters from her original series, and gives us a newer cast to continue J.R. Ward’s masterful storytelling and exquisite plot. Seriously, how does this woman keep all of these story lines in her head at once?!? She’s amazing, and Blood Vow delivers all the feels and laughs that I have come to expect.
Plus – side note! – there are Deadpool references. (I LIVE for Deadpool, you guys. Ask my husband.)
2. Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas. I don’t know about you, but I remember the author that truly captured me into my favorite genre (Historical Fiction) – Lisa Kleypas. The woman can do no wrong in my humble opinion, and I have a whole stack of books on my bookshelf with additional ebook copies to prove it. Marrying Winterborne takes us on a wild ride with a business tycoon and the gentle beauty who steals his heart. The surprise reveal in this one floored me, and oh, how I love Winterborne.
Side Note: I CANNOT wait for the next in the Ravenels series, Devil in Spring. I might have already preordered it. Let’s just keep it between us, okay?
1.Drum roll, please!!!! Because, quite honestly, my number 1 pick this year is a no-brainer. There are some stories that capture you – body and soul – and leave you reeling for days afterwards where you are reliving each moment and wondering what possibly comes next. Sarah J. Maas delivers us The Holy Grail of Young Adult in A Court of Mist and Fury. The sudden turnaround in the characters’ fates laid me out flat. Like, what?!? I’ll admit, I’m a total traitor, and I love this book far more than the first one.
I need a piece of Rhys, asap.
I never knew what “shipping” a couple meant until this book. I think this might be – quite possibly – my favorite read of ALL-TIME. And as a librarian, that’s saying something.
Hooked on Love by Jeannie Marts
Baron by Joanna Shupe
A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas