I confess, I read a lot. I’ve only recently started keeping track of the books I read (anyone else adore Goodreads?! It’s such a fantastic place. And I love that you can assign stars to books but you don’t have to leave a review. Sometimes there’s nothing to say and I hate leaving the reviews that summarize the plot and then say “I liked this book.” I mean, don’t get me wrong, as an author, I’ll happily take any review someone wants to leave. But as a reader? I know I should be better about leaving reviews for people but I hope they’ll understand that giving it stars on Goodreads is sometimes all I’ve got in me. And I also love that Goodreads has their own little rubric, making it easy to decide how many stars to give so that, theoretically, there’s some consistency between people on there. That one I’m not so sure about. But…I’ll have to consider doing a whole other post about Goodreads cause that’s not what I was trying to do here!)
Back to what I was trying to blog about – books and the scads of them I read every year. Now that I’m actually keeping track of the 110-125 books I’m reading, it’s nice to be able to look back over the year and tell people what I loved most. Since we’re a contemporary romance blog ’round these parts, I’m going to limit my list to that genre (though I read just about any genre.) And please understand that while I’m listing them here, they’re not in any particular order.
- Submerged by Dani Petrey. This is romantic suspense and so incredibly well written it’s one where the kids and the house got ignored until I finished it. If you haven’t started this series and you’re a fan of romantic suspense, then this is one to definitely consider.
- She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie. I’m not 100% certain this is romance (vs. women’s fiction) but there’s a very, very strong romantic thread so I’m lumping it in. Readers who love romance won’t be disappointed by this one, even if it’s not *technically* romance. And book two just came out- super excited to get my mitts on that one at some point, hopefully soon!
- Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer. You have been keeping up with our very own Valerie’s books, haven’t you? If not, you need to jump on the bandwagon quickly,because each one is a delight. And, as a bonus, they make you think. I love books that challenge me in some way in addition to providing a great fictional escape.
- Wild Mint Tea by Valerie Comer. Valerie’s been busy. I mentioned it’s a good series, right?
- Sweetened With Honey by Valerie Comer. Ahem. I’ll stop now.
- One Choice by Ginger Solomon. I promise I’m not simply spotlighting the gals here at InspyRomance, but we do have a talented bunch! This is such a fun take on the arranged marriage set-up that I’ve actually read it twice this year.
- Entrusted by Julie Arduini. What I love most about Entrusted is the subtle humor that permeates the novel. You’ll at least smile on every page, if not outright chuckle.
- Firewall: FBI Houston Book 1 by DiAnn Mills. Romantic suspense at its finest, really. I’m a big fan of DiAnn Mills, and even better? I met her at a writer’s conference once and she’s the sweetest person. In my fantasy world, we’re friends who hang out often.
- Daydreams by JoAnn Durgin. Have I mentioned that we have some talented ladies around here? This is book four of the Lewis Legacy books and all are quite fun reads.
- One Among Men by Connie Almony. This is romantic suspense and such a neat premise – a female resident director of an all male dorm. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book since I first met Connie two (three?) years ago and I’m so excited that she finally published it.
- Nowhere for Christmas by Heather Gray. I should probably stop harping on the fact that we have some incredibly talented ladies here. But I wont. This is a delightful novel – another one that made me ignore my kids and housework for entirely too long as I devoured it. I especially loved that it was a road trip through New Mexico and Texas – having grown up in Northern New Mexico, I’m always thrilled to see NM featured in any way.
- A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell. Another of our talented ladies. I was nervous about this one, I’ll admit. I don’t usually read Amish. (By which I mean I pretty much don’t read it at all.) But I was so intrigued by the idea of the Amish on vacation and it melding somehow with the circus…I had to. And it’s a fantastic read. Even if you’re not normally an Amish fan, this is one to pick up.
So there you have twelve of my top picks from this year. And since the year’s not over and I’m always looking for something new to read…what were your favorite romances this year?