This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click, I might make a few pennies…at no cost to you. This post originally appeared as part of Damselfly Inn’s AudioBookWorm tour.
I challenged myself to read 48 books this year, which, when I think about how much I read when I was a young, single woman with a job and no real responsibility, is nothing…but, writing, parenting, practicing with my bow…it all takes time, time I don’t have to read.
And it is a truth universally accepted that a writer must read.
I completed my challenge this week, which means I could draw this top ten list from those books alone, or…I could go back a calendar year and choose from all of them. So, in no particular order, here are my ten favorite books from the last year of reading:
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn: I love when the setting of a novel becomes a character, and Clayborn excels at this. New York City came alive in a beautiful and unexpected way in this book, and the relationships around the central romance were very relatable to me.
A Wicked Kind of Husband by Mia Vincy: Confession: I love Regencies, especially saucy ones with anachronistically fierce heroines and cinnamon roll heroes. There will be more than a couple in this list. This one I loved for the marriage on the rocks trope.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: I felt like Morgenstern walked into my dreams and wrote them out as a fairy tale. Keys and bees and honey and extravagant architecture and secrets…oh, my stars. I also loved The Night Circus, but I connected more with this book.
One Good Earl Deserves A Lover by Sarah Maclean: Another Regency, this one definitely fits the saucy and fierce description above. From the tortured but lovable hero to the prickly bespectacled heroine and the Fallen Angel itself. I mean who doesn’t love an exclusive gaming hell run by rogue members of the nobility?
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: I loved the interaction between the siblings and their friends as much as the love story. I love found family and it’s one of McQuiston’s strong suits, and I love the idea of a prince and a first son as a couple.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab: I tumbled into the richness of the prose in this book and the dance between Addie and death. The intertwined destinies and complicated nature of loving and living, and the way Addie survives and self-realizes, were beautifully done.
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade: I found the heroine in this book crazy relatable (that she’s okay with her body, but not okay with how people want her to feel about her body, in particular) and the way the hero loved her dreamy, even if the premise of the book had some flaws. I’m a big believer in suspension of disbelief, which helps.
Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron: The. Food. I mean, the writing and the storytelling and the romance, too (I kept picturing Sendhil Ramamurthy as Nadim. Yum), but the cooking in this book…and cooking is one of my catnips, right alongside rich settings and cinnamon roll heroes.
Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert: Found family and a road trip, neurodiverse, LGBTQIA characters, fandoms, gaming, and geekery…really good stuff. There’s also something about awkward young adult longing that just gets me, though I suspect it’s the mom in me hoping those kids will get their HFN.
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon: This is a fourth, maybe fifth re-read for the flagship book, but I reread the whole series in anticipation of Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Since I read seven of them as one Kindle bundle, I guess that means my total books read count to 54!