2018 has been a dumpster fire of a year that went on waaaaay too long. (Seriously, doesn’t January 2018 feel like eons ago?) But for romance, 2018 was a banner year. Here are my favourite romances of the year!
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This one lived up to allllll the hype about it. An autistic heroine, a Pretty Woman-style plot line, and the best book boyfriend I’ve read all year. There is a reason why this is at the top of everyone's 2018 favourites. It's THAT good.
Pas de Deux by Lynn Turner
I've been calling this a mashup between Hamilton and Center Stage when I recommend it (which is often), but it's more than that. A story full of lush descriptions of dance and deep emotions and sensuality. It's sexy and angsty and really beautifully done, and I can't wait to see what Lynn comes up with next.
The Ravenswood series by Talia Hibbert
2018 was definitely the year of Talia Hibbert. I fell in love with Talia's writing early this year, and she is now an auto-buy. She could write the phone book and I would buy it because I would be certain it would have her signature heat, heart, and humour. I'm constantly in awe of how Talia puts out book after book—practically one every two months or so—and makes them so. damn. good. EVERY TIME. How?? (Talia, are you a romance-writing cyborg?) Choosing which one to include here was basically impossible, so I cheated and went with her entire Ravenswood series: A Girl Like Her, Untouchable, and “Damaged Goods,” all featuring so-called "unlikeable" heroines (I personally LOVE an unlikeable heroine, but I like being contrary) and the soft boys who love them.
Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series by Jenny Holiday
Yes, I'm cheating again by naming FOUR books instead of one—”Once Upon a Bride” (which I got to work on!), One and Only, It Takes Two, and “Merrily Ever After”—and there's still one more releasing in 2019! Set mostly in Toronto, these stories centre around four friends as each of them finds their person in one book and subjects the rest of them group to wedding planning in the next. Everything about these books is just wonderful: female friendships that are never pushed aside for a man, two independent people figuring out how their lives will work together, great humour, and absolutely sizzling chemistry. Jenny has one of the best contemporary voices in the game right now.
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
I LOVE THIS BOOK. It's a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling set in Toronto (home for me!) with Muslim protagonists. It totally captures the spirit of P&P and makes it make sense in a new time, place, and context while playing with the reader's knowledge of the original. It's genuine, smart, funny, and low-key sexy. This is one of the rare instances where we Canadians get the jump on the rest of the world, because the book has only been released here and will be available in the U.S. and UK in June 2019—but you should get your hands on it the second you're able to!
Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series, A Princess in Theory and A Duke by Default
Alisha Rai’s Hurts to Love You
Cat Sebastian’s Unmasked by the Marquess
K.J. Charles’s A Seditious Affair (not a 2018 book, but one I read in 2018 and too good not to mention!)
Alexa Martin’s Intercepted
Maya Rodale’s Duchess by Design