Best of 2018 and Special Author Shoutout

Hello my lovely readers! We are nearing the end of the year, which is actually my first Christmas/New Year’s in the queer romance community! Thanks to a few people, I was encouraged to do this post, and I am really grateful to the person who took time to vote for ‘no/don’t care’ option on Twitter poll. You made me laugh, unknown Twitter user 🙂

I’ve had a bit of trouble composing this post. I’ve read over hundred books, and it was so hard to choose just 15 best titles. I put a lot of time and thinking into this and honestly, these 15 books are those that I remember most. They are in no specific order, I’m not rating them 1 to 15 because it was hard enough to choose just so few of them, and rating them would be pretty much impossible.

There’s also a special part after these 15 books, so bear with me and don’t miss that part! 😉

But enough of my talking in general. Here are the books!


a love song for the sad man in the white coat

Where to start with this book? It’s one of those books that will stay in my memory for a long time. I’ve said that ‘it breaks your heart, jumps on it, but then in the end, it makes you happy and willing to go through it all again (and possibly again)’ in my review and I stand by it. I’ve read the book and listened to its audio version, which is just as awesome.

I love Roe’s writing. Honestly, I’m not sure how to describe it, but it works with the stories, and I love that his stories are based in Europe, and non-UK at that. It’s nice to read a story set in Prague, for example, instead of somewhere in the US.

(My review can be found here)


1f51e-lucky-generic

My first thought at this book was ‘OMG it actually calls ‘football’ ‘football’. The second was ‘I’ll just read a bit of this book as a reward to myself’ which resulted in me checking the time at 1am, and 50% into the book, without even realising.

It’s a typical Garrett Leigh’s book, with loads of angst, real characters, serious themes, but it’s also the hottest I remember. I really enjoyed it, and got it in paperback form as well! 🙂

(My review can be found here)


ittb

This was an amazing book. I gave it mostly the try because I have heard good things about depression rep in it. But after I read Small Change, I *needed* to know more about Jude.

Jude was an amazing character, and Faron…they just got each other. And even though I didn’t really see myself that much in the depression rep that was in the book, it was still good and as far as I know, accurate. Every person’s experience of it is different, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Parrish also has an amazing writing style and after reading Small Change and Invitation to the Blues, I started reading more of her books, and enjoyed pretty much all of them I’ve read by now.

(review to come)


tiny (1)

This was the first book I have ever pre-ordered. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy, and … Sierra has a specific way of writing, slightly poetic and just lovely.

My favourite part of this book was how Sierra handles the topic of mental illness. In the book, it’s always there. Reid needs to remember to take his meds, his moods fluctuate, and I saw my problems reflected there.

But he also meets an amazing person who accepts him as he is, and I think we’d all need a Joaquim in our lives.

There isn’t a HEA as much as a HFN, but the boys are young, and the ending fits.

(review can be found here)


darkling

This book would not be here if I didn’t have an awesome friend Mikku-chan flailing about it (and okay, maybe the fact that the main character is trans helped too). And I have read it a few times since then. It is not what I usually read but… Well, I can’t say enough good things about it.

My favourite part is the fact that the main character is trans is just…accepted. No one really cares that much about it. It’s just…not a big deal. And there’s also a side non-binary character, Vassa, that goes by ‘they/them’.

(review still to come)


peter darling

I think this book was recommended to me in the early days of my blogging and I did put it on TBR, but then… I was more for contemporary novels and I didn’t get to it.

But then, a few weeks ago, I got to it and IT WAS AMAZING. It was such a perfect take on Peter Pan story and I cannot recommend it more. The main character is trans and well, altogether, the story is so good.

I’d say this is the story for everyone, even if some might think the genre is not for them.

(review to come)


vc

Aaaah the sugary goodness. I was very excited to read this book, especially because I was promised sweetness and not much angst. Which, after A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat, is a welcome thing 🙂

Sometimes, angst is good, but sometimes, you just need something sweet and sugary. It did make me crave chocolate a lot and I totally want to visit the chocolaterie.

And the audio came out recently, which made the book even better. Vance Bastien made an awesome job with narration and I just loved the book so much in any form.

(My review can be found here, the added audio part still to come)


cp

This was one of the books I anticipated so much. I loved Syncopation with Zavier and Ray, and I was really looking forward to learn more about Dominic/Domino.

A thing I always want to stress – there was bondage but there was SO MUCH CONSENT. It was one of the best things ever.

I loved the hell out of this book, the conflict, the characters, and the band as a family. Zavier and Ray were so amazing to see as a couple.

(review can be found here)


ch

This was one of my first f/f reads and it stayed with me. I have to admit that in the beginning I had some problems because I wasn’t used to f/f. I’m also not the biggest fan of soulmate trope, but Taylor Brooke used it perfectly and I loved the books.

I really wish the book would get more love in general, but also because Daisy and Chelsea are extremely amazing. The guys from Fortitude Smashed also appear in, but what I liked most was also a demisexual rep! 🙂

(review still to come)


sff

I’ve read a book by Aidan Wayne before and this one sounded interesting from the one-line tweets. But I had no idea how the author will manage to put all the different things in one book.

We have a main character that is half-fae, half-human, and happens to be trans. The other main character is a vampire named Vlad. Yep 🙂

I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve reread it since I got it. It’s … perfect in so many ways. Friendship, love, faes, vampires, evil vampire…there’s all

(review still to come)


b8e11-cfyebookcover

Change for You is the second book by Crystal Lacy I’ve read and I liked it even more than the first one. It’s happening on Hawaii and it was interesting to read more of it, but I also liked the characters a bit more.

It has a May/December relationship, and it’s just…really hot! Stephen Webb was a bit annoying in the first book, or at least Nate thought so.

I loved the characters so much, really, but the true winner was Max’s grandma, Keiko. I can’t wait to get an audiobook of it for myself soon 🙂

 


uc

Urgent Care took the top spot of Hearts and Health series as soon as I started reading it. Xavier was an amazing and complicated character, and Trent was…interesting.

The whole plot was interesting. Trent and Xavier had a bad break-up, but they each had their reasons, not knowing the reasons of the other one.

The themes weren’t easy either, but it wasn’t too angsty. My favourite part is that Trent took Xavier’s reluctance and respected it. They each had to learn to trust each other again, and the road was not supposed to be easy.


wr

This was an amazing story. It has an amnesia trope, if I could say so, but it was handled amazingly. This was my first book by Garrett Leigh and honestly, it was probably the most brutal introduction to her works.

To be quite honest, this was the most angsty book by Leigh I’ve read up to now, and all the others seem…well they are angsty, but not even close.

And the amnesia trope? The recovery is not a miracle. The memories don’t come back suddenly, the characters learn about each other all over again, and they live their own reality. It is a happy ending,  don’t worry, but still. It’s Garrett Leigh at its finest.

(review can be found here)


lla

This was one of the books that introduced me to m/m romance, and the community.

I adored the characters, especially Theo and Leone because…Leos. Of course this is my favourite book from the series as it has two awesome characters that share my sign. That’s not to say that the other character, Jamie, is not just as awesome.
My favourite parts are the quotes before each chapter, but also the obliviousness of Theo. It makes sense though, since if he weren’t this oblivious, the book couldn’t be as slow burn as it is 🙂

(review can be found here)

 


amy lane

It was hard to choose one book from the Candy Man series, but then I decided on Lollipop because it deals with Ezra. He ended up as a kind of ‘bad guy’ in the previous story. I say kind of, because he didn’t really do anything bad per se, he just didn’t do…anything.

I had bad opinions about Ezra in the previous book because he let Rico go so easily, but in this book, I fell in love with his character.

The best thing, though, was when Ezra stood up to his family and got his happy ending as well.


 

AAAND NOW *drumroll* 

A SPECIAL AUTHOR SHOUTOUT 

Honestly, this took some thinking. And that was that there’s an author whose books would have pretty much taken over most of the ‘best of’ list, so I  decided to make a special category. Now, you may already know which author I’m talking about 🙂 But in case you don’t, it’s

Jay Northcote

 

 

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I have flailed over Jay Northcote’s books a lot, and probably will do so in future too. Actually, I am behind with reviews of lots of his books so, yeah, there definitely is more flailing in the future 😉

But now, that’s not really the point. The point here is to mark the author that marked my (a bit less than a) year of reading queer romance. I have later discovered that I have already read one of the books before but have never really realised. He had a lot of releases this year, and some of my favourites are Second ChanceRainbow PlaceSafe Place, and more. 

But I have also had a chance to read backlist titles and I have to say I enjoyed them all a lot. But the one that stood out, maybe because I was warned about needing tissues so often, was Passing Through. I might have just reread it today and it made me tear up again.

He is one of the authors I recommend most, and one of those whose books I’m really looking forward to reading, trusting that no matter what the book will bring, I’ll like it.

And in case you are interested, he was kind enough to agree to an interview even by a newbie blogger in July 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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