We made it to the end of another year! I didn't write a Best of 2021 piece last year because I wasn't up for it, so the fact that I've pulled this 2022 list together is something of an achievement.
This year was really something, huh?
These posts are so subjective that I decided not to call mine a Best Of 2019 list this time. Did I read every romance that came out this year? Does every person bring their own preferences and baggage to each book? Yeah, exactly.
I’ve read so many wonderful books this year it actually hurts to pare down the list to a Top 5, so I had to cheat a little bit and create sub-genre specific Top 5 (and occasionally Top 10) lists to figure out what should be in my Top 5 list of the year so I am going to sneak in mentions of all the others books I loved in here too.
I was equal parts excited and daunted to put together a “Best of 2018” list for my scifi romance reads. I’m a voracious reader, so there are many titles on my kindle to choose from, not to mention that I write a “Best Bets” column here every month with at least three titles each time. How could I ever winnow the huge number of possibilities down into one snappy list of ten and not leave out too many of my favorite 2018 reads? Because to me “best of” translates into the stories which stayed with me the most vividly, despite how many books I read over the year.
I don't mention it in every description, but all of these are queer. There is literally one hetero romance in here and I am not sorry. So if you're like me and you're like "Oh that book sounds great, you know what would make it greater? If it was queer!" --now you already know that it is. :)
Despite my feelings and worries about current events that have so often bled into my reading this year, making me crave a certain kind of book or hyper-aware of problematic conventions and tropes in old faves, this was a fabulous reading year. I read lots of books by new-to-me authors that I can’t wait to read more from including Austin Chant, Holley Trent, Talia Hibbert, EE Ottoman, and Ada Harper. As always, there are even more books and authors whose books I didn’t get time to read, which makes writing a Best Of list so fraught.
These are the books that came out this year, that I would press into the hands of another reader without hesitation because I loved them so much.
March was a rough month in Romancelandia, with a big author scandal, a publisher shutdown, and ongoing issues of racism within RWA coming to a head with the RITA finalist announcement. It's no surprise that our Top Reads feature is a little light this month, which is more a reflection of our end of month energy than our reading over the last few weeks.
We talk a lot about the books we're excited for, new releases, and so on. But what books did we actually read and love? Our team whittled down their lists to one (or not) top picks for the month.