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!
S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared by L. Marie Adeline
I loved this continuation of her trilogy about women fulfilling their sexual fantasies. It was a perfect sequel and contained one of the hottest sex scenes—on a plane!—I’ve read. After I wrote the First Look, I found out that many of the New Orleans settings, including the protagonist’s clothing store, are real.
When The Marquess Met His Match by Laura Lee Guhrke
I loved the entire premise about this smart and proud professional matchmaker who doesn’t want to lust after a bad boy, but does, and a man who’s in search of a rich wife but doesn’t know the perfect one is right under his nose. Their avoidance tactics, jealousy, stolen kisses, and verbal sparring add up to a perfect historical romance.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Brilliantly funny and a most unlikely romance between a professor with Aspergers and a woman who most assuredly does not meet the criterion to even participate in his Wife Project.
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe
Monroe straddles the line between Women's Fiction and Romance better than any other author I know. I love that she crafts stories of the heart which include wild animals, and the dolphin at the center of this story captivated me, as did the Low Country setting and the character she created. I can't wait for book two!
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
When I pick up a book by Hosseini, I know I'll need to surrender myself...and my emotions...to his storytelling. This magnificent book is beautifully written, filled with pathos, and features unforgettable characters.
Normally my Best of Pick tend to be concentrated in one or two categories, but this year, my picks are surprisingly from different genres.
In general fiction I have to recommend The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, especially the audio book. It is a unconventional book full of humor, laughter, a tinge of sadness, but surprisingly for general fiction, and most important of all to me, it has the prerequisite happy every after.
Carolina Girl by Virginia Kantra is my favorite romance book of 2013. It just taps into all my favorite tropes — Friends to Lovers, Lovers Reunited. The heroine is strong, capable, and finds her life’s direction dramatically changing, but a charming rogue of a hero shows her what is truly important.
Both, Somewhere Between Luck and Trust by Emilie Richards is the favorite in the women’s fiction category. It is the perfect blend of poignancy and character growth.
2013 had me all over the map in terms of favorite books but they had something in common, the magic of being seen and loved for who we are, through the eyes of our lover, albeit not necessarily society. I met a brain injured twenty-something, a glittery and forthright Essex lad, and a heads-down wounded Cinderella (masquerading as a paralegal) in these three wonderful stories. Unsurprisingly, they all found love and happiness although their journeys all took angsty detours.
New Life (New Life, #1) by Bonnie Dee
Glitterland (Glitterland, #1) by Alexis Hall
The Cost of Happiness (The Blackjack Quartet, #2) by Magdalen Braden
Sweet by Erin McCarthy
My favorite read of the year, Erin McCarthy's New Adult is a fresh, real take on the love-hate, enemies-to-lovers relationship. Jessica and Riley's story is a sweet but powerful look at two people who have to grow up fast and find lasting love along the way.
Beyond Control by Kit Rocha
The O'Kane story we were looking for, gang leader Dallas and his match in every way Lex are one of those couples who were meant to be, but they don't make it easy along the way. This fantastic entry in an epic dystopian series is a must-read, wringing plenty of emotion along the way.
Sins and Needles by Karina Halle
Halle's series about a con artist heroine and the sensitive tattoo artist who are reunited after years apart is a non-stop ride. Sins and Needles best features Ellie and Cam's highly romantic re-connection and maintains that perfect balance of suspense and romance.
Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) is a freelance and erotica writer, and editor of over 50 anthologies, including The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories; Only You: Erotic Romance for Women; Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission and others. She tweets @raquelita and blogs at Lusty Lady.
Laurie Gold cannot stop reading and writing about romance—she’s been blabbing online for years. She remains a work in progress. Keep up with her on her My Obsessions tumblr blog, Goodreads (where she spends much of her time as late), follow her on Pinterest, or on @laurie_gold, where she mostly tweets about publishing news and [probably too often] politics.
Leigh Davis, Blogger
Janet Webb, Blogger
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.