May old friends be forgot? We don't think so! We're celebrating our favorite reads with four days of the Best of 2013. We asked our bloggers for their favorite books of 2013, with one stipulation, they had to be new to them and not necessarily new to 2013. We know we got a few recommendations to add to our to be read piles and it's a great way to feed those readers you hopefully get for Christmas!
Anne Bishop's Written in Red
Cranky wolf shifter meets fun and adorable magically gifted heroine, what's not to love?
Nalini Singh's Heart of Obsidian
The heroine has an amazing name and the hero isn't too shabby either.
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl
For every time you squeed or sighed over something and nobody understood you, finally there's a book for it.
Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha
I've loved this post-apocalyptic romance series from the start, but this third installment is my absolute favorite. The relationship between Bren and Six is intense and protective and beautiful. Both grow together and have to learn to let go of a few instincts. Also, for those who were bothered by the 'sharing' aspects of previous books, the only person touching Six is Bren. A heroine I want to be best friends with and a hero who will make you melt? What more do you want?
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
The second book in Kagawa's Blood of Eden series gets darker, dirtier and offers poignant character arcs and growth for more than just the protagonist. Excellent fight scenes, the kind of romance twists that cut deep and kisses that will make you swoon.
After Hours by Cara McKenna
Those who loved McKenna's novella Willing Victim know she understands the dynamic needed to make a power balance work in the bedroom and fall away outside of it. After Hours takes this to the next level, not only because it's a longer exploration, but because her characters are so well-defined. The blue-collar setting is refreshing among the explosion of billionaire Lothario novels out right now. Also, she's a master at the dirty stuff. Keep a fan handy.
Gold and Glass by E. Catherine Tobler
Part steampunk, part fantasy, part romance and all adventure, this debut novel is the whole package - from Victorian Paris and Ireland to ancient Egypt, join Virgil and Eleanor in solving a mystery that spans worlds, centuries and the deepest recesses of the heart. Also, werewolves.
The King's General by Daphne DuMaurier
Get an up close and personal view of the English Civil War through heroine Honor, whose life is forever changed by the trials of war and a life spent so close but oh so far from her one true love. Not a romance, but a love story well worth the read.
Dragonsong by Mia Marlowe
The wait for the final installment of Mia Marlowe's Viking trilogy is over, and Marlowe more than delivers with this epic tale of a queen betrayed and a man who believes his only chance at love has been and gone as, together, they find a new land and a new love.
I picked three novels that haunted me afterwards (and made finding something new to read a bit of a chore, because nothing else quite measured up). None of them were actually published in 2013, but they’re all well worth checking out.
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
I loved this novel’s predecessor, Wolf Hall, but Bring up the Bodies ratcheted everything up another notch. Who would have thought the fall of Anne Boleyn, told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, could be so riveting that I stayed up until 4 a.m. to read it?
The Price of Spring by David Abraham
This is a bit of a cheat, because this novel is actually the fourth in a series called The Long Price Quartet, a fantasy series that is set in a world that is, quite unusually for fantasy, not set in medieval Europe, but in a kind of East Asian world where abstract concepts become concrete entities. The writing of the series is gorgeous, and because it focuses on “the long price”, it spans the entirety of one man’s life, which is also different, new and compelling in fantasy (though the novels were published a while ago.)
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
I have mad love for this YA fantasy series, set in a sort of alterna-Ancient Greece, where gods speak directly to those unlucky enough to hear them, but where they also have cannons and guns. The hero of the series, Eugenideds, called Gen by some, reminds me in many awesome ways of Dorothy Dunnett’s great creation, Francis Crawford of Lymond.
Sheltered by Edie Harris
Two people trying desperately not to fall in love and failing miserably. Plus, former ballerina heroine!
White Balance by Ainslie Paton
This book is long, very long in all the right ways. It’s a story of romance and friendship and missed connections. By the end of the novel, I wanted every single character to be my best friend.
His Uptown Girl by Liz Talley
There has been a lot of talk about the need for more diversity in books from big NY houses and this is the kind of book I’d like to see more of. While race isn’t a nonissue, the story is still focused on the romance between two people I want to see happy.
Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.
While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.
Anna C. Bowling considers writing historical romance the best way to travel through time and make the voices in her head pay rent. She welcomes visitors to her blog, Typing with Wet Nails and to follow her at Twitter.
Regina Thorne is an avid reader of just about everything, an aspiring writer, a lover of old movies and current tv shows, and a hopeless romantic.
Julia Broadbooks writes contemporary romance. She lives in the wilds of suburban Florida with her ever patient husband and bakes ridiculous amounts of sugary treats for her teens' friends. Find her on Twitter @juliabroadbooks.