The Graduating Class of 2018
(All 2018 releases, with one itty bitty exception…)
MOST UNIQUE: To Where You Are by H.A. Robinson and K.A. Hobbs is a shoo-in for this category, but I can’t tell you why because…spoiler. You’ll just have to take my word for it! While romance is a heavy theme, this story is about healing and friendship, one that will give you all the uplifting, sole soothing feels.
BIGGEST DRAMA QUEEN: Fifty Shades of Greg by Greg Archer. Love him or hate him, Greg tells it like it is—or at least how he thinks it is. I rolled my eyes, I cheered him on, I laughed my butt off, and I cringed—both for him and because of him. And in the end, my heart broke for him because Greg is more than the jerk he presents himself to be; he is a real dude with real hopes and dreams who makes real mistakes…and who should probably stay off Tinder.
UNSUNG HERO: Too Good Girl by Eleanor Lloyd-Jones is not a sweet fairytale romance. It’s dark and gritty, and the fearless, unapologetic writing might even make you uncomfortable—but in the best possible way. More people need to read this book!
BIGGEST HEARTBREAKER: Heartbreak Warfare by Heather M. Orgeron and Kate Stewart. I have so many conflicting emotions about this book, I still haven’t been able to review it. But what I can say for certain is that it made me an emotional wreck. While the previous book had fearless, unapologetic writing, this one has a fearless, unapologetic plot. One that requires a box of tissues and a fifth of vodka. Good luck.
BEST DRESSED: What’s Left of Tomorrow by Jeannine Allison. Jeannine gave me a sneak peak of this cover over a month ago, and I loved it so much I harassed her about revealing it so I could include it on this list. I’ve never been a big fan of black and white covers or couples on covers, but with the dramatic multi-colored font and shadowing, it totally works! The book doesn’t release until spring, and I haven’t read it yet, but I will—based on the cover alone.
BIGGEST FLIRT: Beyond the Truth by Nicky F. Grant is clever, daring, and the sex scenes are off the charts hotttt. It gave me The Unrequited, and to some extent, New Camelot Trilogy feels, and I don’t say that lightly. Gavin and Jolene are deeply flawed but endearing, and so well written, I think Grant could have made them axe murdering, puppy smuggling, bank robbers and I would have found a way to forgive them.
MOST LIKELY TO WIN AN OSCAR: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. Between the setting, the people, and the dreamy Alaskan bush pilot yeti—I had one recurring thought throughout this book, and that was, man, this would make a fantastic movie. Tucker is another new to me author and I’m quickly inhaling her backlist. Until it Fades was fantastic as well.
CLASS CLOWN: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. I was hooked from the very first page, and Hazel kept me in stitches the whole way through. I’ve never been much into romcoms, but I’m starting to think I was reading the wrong ones. Or maybe I’m just obsessed with Christina Lauren. I read three of their books in 2018 (including Love and Other Words and Roomies) and I five-starred them all. Definitely a one-click writing duo for me now.
CUTEST COUPLE: Serena and Kholton from Tell Me You Love Me by S. Ann Cole. Both are driven and focused, though their goals differ drastically. They’re also impossibly stubborn, and their #LOL antics are what makes this book so compulsively readable. But priorities have a way of changing, and when theirs do, you’re left with an #HEA that’s #DreamyPerfection.
BEST SIDEKICK: Angie from In Harmony by Emma Scott. This chick had zero competition. I guessed in February that no one would come close to beating her, and I was right. With her quirky tees and sage advice, Angie is BFF perfection. And…she has a cameo in another book on this list! 😉
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: Beneath Your Beautiful by Emery Rose and Ride by Harper Dallas. I went back and forth and forth and back and finally decided on a tie! Both of these debuts are swoony and angsty with broken, brooding heroes and strong, spunky firecracker heroines. And the covers are stunning!
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Cards of Love: The Devil by Ashley Jade. WTF??? I picked up this book solely because I needed something quick…and wow! What a crazy ride! It’s kinda MF, kinda MM (more MM than MF), with some MFM scenes. Confused yet? Me too. And I suppose I’ll stay that way until Jade releases the follow up, The Devil’s Advocate.
BEST ALL AROUND: The Beautiful Hearts (duet) by Emma Scott could fit in several of these categories, which makes it perfect for this one. It’s unique, it’s heartbreaking, the covers are gorgeous, the sex scenes will fog up your windows, and it would make the best movie or gasp TV series!! And it has one heck of a swoon-worthy couple…I just can’t say which one it is!
2018 TOP TEN
The top ten books I read in 2018, in no particular order.
1) Love and other Words by Christina Lauren. This was my very first book by the duo and I loved every second of it. I promptly went on a Christina Lauren binge and never slowed down. My review.
2) Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. There’s a reason this book won my 2018 Class Clown award! My review.
3) Roomies by Christina Lauren. I absolutely loved this one, but I think a huge part of that was the excellent audio narration. Don’t read it; listen to it! My review.
4) The New Camelot Trilogy by Sierra Simone. Holy balls, I love this series. It’s everything I’d normally hate, and yet, it owned me. I’ll be reading it again very soon. My review.
5) In Harmony by Emma Scott. I wasn’t sure what to think when Emma told me the premise. I’m not usually a fan of high school aged characters because of the drama that tends to coincide, but I know better than to doubt her. This book is brilliant. My review.
6) The Beautiful Hearts (duet) by Emma Scott. These books slayed me! And Wes took the top spot as my new book boyfriend…behind Darian, of course! My reviews for BDTS and LLBH.
7) The Idea of You by Robinne Lee. Lee is an actress and writer and this was her debut. I was skeptical going in, but I promise you, girlfriend can write. This does not read like a debut whatsoever. It’s fantastic. My review.
8) Beyond the Truth by Nicky F. Grant. This book blew me away with its deep, complicated characters that I fell in love with instantly. It too landed a spot in my Graduating Class, and for good reason. My review.
9) Hydraulic Level Five and Skygods by Sarah Latchaw. Technically, this is supposed to be a trilogy, but personal issues have prevented the author from finishing. Don’t let that stop you though. It ends beautifully, and there’s no cliffhanger! My review.
10) The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. Oh, Jonah. Sexy, scruffy, swoony, yeti Jonah. Le sigh. My review.
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