2016 was a big year for my romance reading hobby. I signed up for Kindle Unlimited, downloaded Overdrive for library books, and of course, started this blog which led to even more books. So, without further ado, here are my favorite books that I read in 2016. (Not all books were released in 2016, but all were read by me in 2016.)
Best Closed-Door Romance
Although I usually read romance that is very open-door, sometimes I enjoy a sweet story that doesn’t need to give me salacious details in order to be a very good romance. My favorite romance in this category this year was “Her Unexpected Engagement” by Kyra Jacobs. It’s a very uplifting come-back story that left me feeling like no matter how bad things can get, there is still hope.
I also don’t tend to read erotica, and although I’m not sure this is technically classified as such, it should be. Friends, this is everything they said that 50 Shades was, but with much, much better writing. Why, oh why was this book not made into an international sensation and movie? I would watch that movie. This book is crazy-pants, that’s for sure, with the Russian mafia, sweat lodge bdsm, and some other insanity that I don’t want to ruin. A roller-coaster ride of a book that is totally worth it and impossible to put down.
Best New-Fave Genre Book
Before this year, I had never read steampunk, and oh boy, did Bec McMaster provide an amazing introduction to this romance sub-genre for me with “Kiss of Steel”. McMaster is the “master” of the anti-hero, and this one is a doozy. For literally like the first quarter of the book or so, I was like, “who is going to be the hero because, surely it can’t be this guy?” But it was. And it was so, so good. I loved this book and its sequel, and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and start the next series and so on and so forth. McMaster has a fan for life. If you like paranormal or historical, try the steampunk genre. I think you may just love it as much as I do.
Best Medieval Romance
It’s no secret that I love historical romance. In fact, I love it so much and read so much of it, that I had to create some sub-categories to include more of my historic faves. Sarah Hegger’s “Conquering William” was definitely my favorite medieval romance of the year. Her world-building is so solid, which is not normal for medievals, and her characters are compelling- flaws and all. This was such a fast read with a plot that never let up and kept me engaged to the very end.
Best Regency/Victorian Romance
Oh my goodness, I had so much trouble selecting my favorite for this category. I was between this one and Tessa Dare’s “Any Duchess Will Do”, but gave the tie to this book because it was actually released in 2016. I love a good house party story, and this one with an identity swap and chocolate and bosoms accidentally spilling out at dinner had me in stitches, while still providing the heat. Bell’s focus on character and comedy made me an immediate fan, and just writing this snippet has me wanting to revisit this one.
Best Fantasy Romance
Juliette Cross is one of my favorite authors, and her Vessel series would be my best paranormal if I had read it this year, but I also love this fantasy series with hot half-dragons called Morgons. Her first book with a Morgon heroine was wonderfully fresh and is a great continuation to this captivating series. Her world-building is second to none, and her continual reveal and tease of secrets and deeper plots is addicting. I recommend reading “Waking the Dragon” first, and you are in luck because I have decided to give away 5 copies of this book. Enter the giveaway by clicking on this link.
Best Paranormal Romance
Rhenna Morgon who, by the way is also my favorite new author of the year, hits it out of the park with the finale to her Eden series. Morgon writes alpha males like no other, but just when you think she’s gonna zig and have this alpha save our broken heroine, she zags and totally surprises the reader in delicious ways. Yes, it is the 4th in a series, so if you want to catch up on all her amazing world-building, you need to read “Unexpected Eden” first, but I think this one can also stand on its own. Hot, hot, hot sex and such wonderful characters will keep you coming back for more with Ms. Morgon. Speaking of…
Most Anticipated of 2017
Ok, I’ve already read this one, but you should be anticipating it. Hard. This book is everything, and I can’t wait for you all to read it so we can fangirl together. Jace is one of the most drool-worthy alphas I’ve ever read, and Vivienne is so relatable that you will just want to let your hair down right along with her and cozy up to the Haven Brotherhood for as long as possible. More books are coming in this series in 2017, and I cannot wait!
So that’s my list of 2016’s best. How many have you read? I am super-excited for 2017 and all the romance I’ll read along the way. I’d love to hear all of your suggestions in the comments below. Happy Reading!
Here’s another link for the Waking the Dragon Giveaway in case you missed it above!