I think my biggest problem with favorites posts is that I have no idea how to compare PNR romance to historical or contemporary. So I’m going to give you my top favorite PNRs and then my top favorite historicals and together they will number 10. But they’re not being compared to each other. Okay? Okay. Also, I don’t remember if I already disclaimed that this is my opinion based on the 264 books I read this year and that they didn’t all come out in 2018, but uh, there’s the disclaimer if not.
Top Five Paranormal Romances
1. Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews
Hello, I’m cheating! This encompasses all four books/novella out in the Hidden Legacy world so far and I’m not the least bit repentant. This series is incredible. Burn for Me introduces us to Nevada Baylor, a person whose magical ability is that she can always tell if someone is lying to her, and her family, who are absolutely wonderful and amazingly richly drawn characters. We’re also introduced to the love of my life, Conor “Mad” Rogan, who is unbelievably powerful and did I mention the love of my life? If you haven’t read this series yet, I would say give it a shot. The romance is a slow burn through the first two books, but watching Nevada stretch into her potential and Conor’s character be revealed and his growth as a human is just… utterly delightful. Someone somewhere has probably talked coherently about why you should read this series, but I still can’t manage it. Just… give it a shot?
2. Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
Speaking of books I can’t talk coherently about, Kiss of Snow is my absolute favorite of the Psy-Changeling series, which is a richly drawn world I’m impatiently waiting for someone to start a Fated Mates style podcast about. Kiss of Snow is book 10 and it follows Sienna Lauren as she kind of fully steps into her skin. Her power is terrifying, to others and to her, and no X has survived into real adulthood. Sienna is 19 and trying to manage her power while fighting her pull to Hawke, the Snow Dancer Alpha. Hawke meanwhile is a fantastic alpha, but a little bit broken, and I love him so much? But Sienna is absolutely the star of the show. She’s one of my favorite heroines of all time and I just… Oh man. I love her. You definitely need to read this series in order, but wow, do I recommend.
3. Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
If you don’t want to start the Psy-Changeling series from the beginning, you could also start with Silver Silence, which is the first of “Season Two” essentially. Following Silver Mercant as she takes refuge with Valentin Nikolaev’s Stone Water bears after an attempt on her life, Silver Silence is one of the most powerful examinations of the dangers of power, risking it all for one’s health, and the mate bond. I just really, really adore this one and need to re-read it soon.
4. Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh
At some point, I did mention that 2018 was the year of Nalini Singh, right? Archangel’s Shadows is the seventh book in the Guild Hunters series and it follows Ashwini and Janvier and let me just tell you, Ash and Janvier are everything. I really loved their team work, their relationship with Nassir and just… All of it? Ashwini has a weird gift of foresight somehow even though she’s a human and Janvier is the vampire she’s been tracking down on and off for YEARS. So watching them fall in love with their past history was just utterly delightful. Also, I cried reading this one, so CW for grief/loss.
5. Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh
Nassir’s book is just absolutely delightful because Nassir is such a fun, unique character. And Andromeda is such a great heroine. She’s funny and guarded and can’t help but being charmed by Nassir’s playfulness. Also, there’s a scene in this book that caused me to scream out loud in the car (I listened to this whole series) and realize how attached I am to all of these characters. So this book has such a special place in my heart. But you absolutely have to read all of the books in this series before you get to this one (the 8th).
Top Five Historical Romance of 2018
1. The Lady Hellion by Joanna Shupe
My first Joanna Shupe, this book has a special place in my heart for that alone, but also I absolutely loved this one. Sophie dresses up like a man to slip out of her home undetected and essentially solve crimes for the people usually ignored by people in power. She also takes up the habit of sneaking over to see Viscount Quint, who following an accident has PTSD that essentially prevents him from leaving his home. Watching the two of them fall for one another while solving this mystery is absolutely brilliant and I would read twelve more books following Sophie and Damien. I love them so much.
2. The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
Honestly, this one might be the one in my number one spot, but who knows? Tessa Dare brings her trademark humor to The Governess Game and have you ever loved children in a romance novel this much? I haven’t. Essentially Alex thinks she’s going to fix Chase’s clocks (Chase is a Duke, obvs), but Chase thinks she’s there to interview for the governess position and hires her for that. There’s unconventional learning with the kids, excellent banter, and fun sex scenes. What more can you ask for?
3. Wicked and the Wallflowerby Sarah MacLean
Felicity is one of my favorite heroines of Sarah’s and I love Sarah’s heroines. When Felicity accidentally declares herself engaged to the new Duke in town because her ex-friends are jerks and she’s trying to save face, she’s just desperate enough for Devil to convince her to make a deal: continue pretending to be engaged to the new Duke and then Devil will ruin it. She doesn’t know that last bit, actually. Anyway, because Felicity is great, she obviously winds up super interested in Devil and my girl is a lock picker!!! I love her. (And I bet Felicity could have broken into her apartment after locking herself out with the earrings I had in my pocket. I just know she could have.)
4. After the Weddingby Courtney Milan
Being forced into a marriage at gunpoint, going on an adventure while trying to figure out how to annul one’s marriage, and finding your family again… After the Wedding really has it all. I loved this historical romance so much. Courtney Milan is so talented and she’s so good at giving us characters who feel so real. Also, this book is just about hope. It’s so important and such a message for 2018 and, well, frankly always. I’m so looking forward to reading more in this series.
5. I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm by Kelly Bowen
Kelly Bowen is one of my favorite historical romance authors and I really enjoyed this one in particular. Essentially this book follows our heroine trying to prevent her abusive ex-husband from marrying a new woman that he will also abuse. To do so, she enlists our hero, who really is just a hot mess of guilt. He blames himself for the death of his brothers and I honestly just loved him so much. Definitely a CW for past history of abuse.
And there you have it! Officially all of my favorite romances are up, though I will give a special shout out here to Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha, which doesn’t neatly fit into any of these categories. It’s great though, but you have to be comfortable with erotic post-apocalyptic books, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. Tbh, I wasn’t expecting it to be mine, but ya know. Here we are. Anyway, what were your favorite paranormal and historical romances? Does your opinion differ about any of these? Let me know!