My Favorite Romance Books of 2018
These are my favorite romance books of the year. Since this is the first year I started reading romance, I went all in on several favorite authors once I discovered them. Obviously this list is Penny Reid-heavy, but for good reason. Those Winston boys are just the best. If you are interested in starting romance, I think any of these would be a great gateway, especially Act Like It and Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. This list is in the order in which I read them this year.
The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory
Jasmine Guillory’s debut got a lot of hype and rightfully so. Alexa and Drew’s adorable meet-cute in an elevator turns into a one-weekend fling at Drew’s ex-girlfriend’s wedding. I adored Alexa and Drew and loved seeing two career-driven people making a relationship work.
Dating-ish - Penny Reid
I loved seeing Matt and Marie get past the friend zone and finally get together. This book was full of fascinating subplots, and Matt is a super sexy nerd, while I want to be best friends with Marie. If you’ve ever had unrequited feelings, this book is for you.
Truth or Beard - Penny Reid
This is the first book in the Winston Brothers series. Duane Winston and Jessica James have long been at each other’s throats, but when Jess confuses Duane for his more charming twin Beau, their whole dynamic changes. Truth or Beard starts off with a bang and just gets better from there.
Grin & Beard It - Penny Reid
When Sienna Diaz, Hollywood’s It Girl, arrives in Green Valley to shoot her next film, she gets lost and is found by Park Ranger Jethro. The two of them flirt up a storm, but Jethro doesn’t know who she is. I adored Sienna and Jethro’s banter and were rooting for them from the very beginning.
Beard Science - Penny Reid
Cletus is the odd, yet conniving, Winston brother, but when the Banana Cake Queen Jennifer Sylvester blackmails him into finding her a husband, Cletus is in for a rude awakening. Jenn and Cletus are precious and deserve all the pies and cakes.
Beard in Mind - Penny Reid
Beau is used to everyone liking him and getting along with pretty much anyone. When Shelly Sullivan starts working at the Winston Brothers Auto Shop and doesn’t seem to like him, Beau is baffled. This is a fantastic love story between a charming mechanic and a renowned artist living with OCD.
Marriage of Inconvenience - Penny Reid
This was the last book in Penny’s Knitting in the City series. I had been waiting all series long for Dan and Kat’s story and was not disappointed. Kat is a billionaire heiress who must marry before her diabolical cousin can have her committed in order to retain control of the family’s pharmaceutical company. It sounds crazy, but I fell in love with both Dan the Security Man and Kit-Kat.
Act Like It - Lucy Parker
A fake dating story between two West End actors? Sign me up. Richard Troy needs a serious image overhaul, and Lainie Graham has no desire to spend any time with Richard. Yet when the two of them start spending time together, they realize they actually like each other. Lucy Parker is a master at witty banter.
Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake - Sarah MacLean
My first foray into historical romance. This has all the best historical tropes: wallflower heroine, grumpy hero who has no idea what’s about to hit him, sexy stolen kisses. Callie and Ralston are my absolute favorite historical romance couple. Sarah MacLean is my go-to historical romance author.
Dr. Strange Beard - Penny Reid
The latest in Penny’s Winston Brothers series. Roscoe and Simone were best friends until one day they weren’t. This jumps five years in the future from Beard in Mind, so Roscoe is now a vet and Simone is an undercover FBI agent. A delightful story that has a couple of twists and turns that I for sure did not see coming.
Hate to Want You - Alisha Rai
The first in Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Heart series, this is the story of Livvy and Nicholas, who were together as teenagers. Then their families tore them apart, yet every year on her birthday for the last decade, they meet and hook up. But when Livvy comes home for good, they have to decide if they’re ready to give their relationship a real shot.
Beginner’s Luck - Kate Clayborn
The first in Kate Clayborn’s Chance of a Lifetime series, this is the story of Kit and Ben. Kit gets approached by Ben, the recruiter, to come and work for his company. Yet Kit has just won the lottery and bought a fixer upper. When Ben turns out to be quite the handyman, their friendship turns into much more. I loved Ben and Kit, and I know you will to.
Luck of the Draw - Kate Clayborn
After Zoe wins the lottery, she quits her job as an attorney and decides to go on an apology tour. When she goes to apologize to the family of Aaron O’Leary, she meets his brother Aiden who wants her to pretend to be his fiancé in order to win a summer camp. This slow-burn romance packs such a punch that I found myself crying and laughing all throughout the book.
Best of Luck - Kate Clayborn
The final book in the series focuses on Greer and Kit’s brother Alex. I absolutely adored Alex and Greer. Both of them are going through a lot on their own and when they get together, it’s lovely. This explores anxiety and chronic illness and does it beautifully.
Dance All Night - Alexis Daria
This was a delightful Christmas novella. Jess and Nik are both dancers who had an amazing kiss last New Year’s Eve, but when Nik decides he wants to settle down, Jess is more skeptical. I adored all the Christmas fun. Definitely give Alexis Daria’s Dance Off series a try. It’s well worth it!
I read so many other fantastic romances this year, but these were my favorites. If you are interested in picking up a romance but don’t know where to start, I suggest Susannah Nix’s Chemistry Lessons series, any of Julie James’ books, Tessa Dare’s historicals, and if you’re okay with some steaminess, give Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient or any of Talia Hibbert’s books a try.
Let me know if you enjoyed any of these this year or what your favorite romances of 2018 were.