Kaetrin’s Best of 2018
I took a look at my 5 star reads for the year and created my top 10 from that. I’ve decided not to rank them; it’s too hard to do and they were all fabulous books.
Iron & Magic by Ilona Andrews. Magic Triumphs could easily have made this list but when I thought about it, it was Iron & Magic which made the bigger impression, perhaps because I didn’t think I’d buy Hugh D’Ambray as a hero and I totally did.
This new life, it was just his. Hugh didn’t owe it to anyone. He was building it himself, brick by brick, one shovel of cement at a time, the same way he had built that damn moat. He was building his own castle, and for better or worse, the harpy wormed her way into his world and became its tower.
Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs. Every release by Patricia Briggs is a cause for celebration but this one was particularly noteworthy for me. Charles is one of my very favourite heroes and here is exactly why.
He knew it was not his job to make her smaller, safer. It was his job to lift her up as high as she wanted to soar—and to kill anything that tried to interfere.
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven. I’m hungry for fantasy romance at present and this book hit all my buttons and trod the right line for me on some important issues. A delightful slow burn.
“Why have you never used me? Without my magic to defend myself, I couldn’t stop you.”
“Because I know what it is to be used. By one. By many. The empress likes an audience when she plays with her toys, and sometimes she likes the audience to participate.” When had his voice become so hoarse? His throat so tight? “The worst injuries I ever suffered—those that almost killed me—weren’t earned in the Pit but in Dalvila’s bedchamber. I might not have been able to help a Flower of Spring escape the fire when I was a gladiator, but I never made them, or any woman, suffer rape. I never have. I never will.”
Band Sinister by KJ Charles. Charming and delightful.
“…Manda, he could sue us!”
“Oh, nonsense,” Amanda said, far too airily. “He won’t read it, and if you go around belonging to a hellfire club called ‘the Murder’ and having orgies, you can’t complain if people wonder about you. And my publisher assured me they would protect my anonymity. And it’s not even meant to be him anyway.”
“When you say all that in court, put the last part first.”
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian. Angsty, sweet and sexy.
“I care about you more than I know how to manage,” Hartley finally said, looking up at Sam with wet eyes. “More than our circumstances will allow.”
Sam’s voice rumbled. “I think you care about me just the right amount.”
The Love Coupon by Ainslie Paton. Substantive and complicated and delicious. And the hero pays attention.
“The pearls on the silver chain. The earrings like silver buttons. You have a pearl thing you sometimes put in your hair. You should put your hair up that way you do with it all neat in front and messy at the back. I like the perfume that smells of oranges and when you do whatever it is that makes your eyelashes look a thousand feet long and your eyes hold all the answers.”
“You think I have all the answers when my eyes are made up?”
“I think you have most of them when they’re not.”
It Takes Two by Jenny Holiday. I so related to Wendy plus, female empowerment FTW.
He gestured to a seat and waited until she was settled before lowering himself next to her. Their thighs touched. She pulled away slightly. Then regretted it. Then scolded herself for regretting it. Then went back to regretting it.
Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. I laughed so much reading this book. I was a feel-good read from start to finish.
I am now alone with Josh Im. He studies me like he’s looking at something infectious through a microscope.
“I always thought I caught you in . . . a phase.” His left eyebrow makes a fancy arch. “Apparently you’re just like this.”
“I feel like I have a lot to apologize for,” I admit, “but I can’t be sure I won’t be constantly exasperating you, so maybe I’ll just wait until we’re elderly.”
Half of his mouth turns up. “I can say without question I’ve honestly never known anyone else like you.”
“So completely undatable?”
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. A fabulous debut (even if it does have maths in it).
“I like you better than calculus, and math is the only thing that unites the universe.”
A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert. This was one of my early successes from 2018 and one I know I’ll go back to. Ruth was all the things.
He stepped back, opening the door completely, and said, “Come in.”
Oh. Oh. She hadn’t expected that.
Ruth couldn’t back down, and she couldn’t show weakness. Especially not her weakness, the sort that other people didn’t understand. If she said, Oh, I thought you were suggesting that we talk in the future, and I planned to prepare for that interaction in advance because I have to plan most conversations very carefully so that I don’t freak other people out… Well, he’d probably be freaked out.
So she walked into his flat and tried not to jump as he shut the door behind them.
~ Kaetrin ~