The following are the Top 10 Romance books I can’t wait to read in 2016. The order is very variable and subjective. I change my mind depending on what I have most recently read about the book.
10. The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath — I always seem to need Kleenex when I read Heath’s books. This year’s book seems like one for which I might have to have a box. Edward, a twin takes his brother’s place to protect his brother’s widow who is pregnant. The only problem is that two begin to fall in love while Edward is masquerading as his brother. The angst that will arise makes this book be one that I am definitely want to read.
9. Guardian’s Mate by Jennifer Ashley — Ashley’s Shifter series not only are great romances but also have a lot to say about discrimination and acceptance. This book is the story of a the first female Guardian, which is a powerful position in the Shifter hierarchy. This romance between a sassy,barrier breaking wolf shifter and a polar bear sifter who follows his own rules appears to be ready to continue this fun and thoughtful series by moving in new directions.
8. First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips — Phillips returns to her highly popular Chicago Stars series with this book about a woman who wants to be an accomplished detective and a former quarterback. Phillips Chicago Stars series books are always filled with humor and sexy situations. Phillips has also promised appearances by characters from the previous Chicago Stars books. I love the humor and unexpected twists of Phillips novels and this one looks like it will continue that tradition.
7. The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter — The final book in the Wicked Trilogy is one I have been anticipating. Lancelot, Duke of Aylebury is suspected of his brother’s murder and has been forced to retire to the country. To clear his name, he agrees to marry his neighbor’s niece. He’s not thrilled and neither is she. In fact, she intends on discovering his secrets and exposing them. I have been intrigued by the duke in the prior books in the series All the brothers suffered various forms of abuse by their father and older brother and I, too, want to know the duke’s secrets.
6. Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh — This latest entry in the paranormal Psy-Changling series has been promised to be an ensemble book which covers characters from the entire series so far and having a story which pushes the series forward. This promises to be exactly the type of book I love. I prefer books in a series where the situations and characters are interconnected. For many business reasons, books in a series are billed as being standalones in order to not discourage new readers. I, however, prefer to read books in order and if I am intrigued by a new book will most often seek out the prior books in the series to read in order. Because of this, I want to feel like the books exist in the same world and time with lots of cross book appearances by characters. This book seems perfect for me because I love the Psy-Changling series and can’t wait to see my favorites again.
5. Only Beloved by Mary Balogh — The final book in the Survivors’ Club series promises to be as intensely emotional as the others in the series. This book follows the healing of the Duke of Stanbrook who didn’t go to war but ended up losing both his son and wife because of the war. This series deeply examines various ways that people are damaged and how they go about dealing with life. The six men and one woman who make up the Survivors’ Club deal with physical injuries, pain, grief, emotional injuries and Balogh goes deep into the mind and soul of these characters. Balogh has a track record of creating fantastic conclusions to series and I expect this one will meet that standard.`
4. The Angel’s Share by J.R. Ward — The first book in this series, THE BOURBON KINGS surprised me. Many of the characters initially appeared unlikable, but I couldn’t put the book down. It reminded me of the television series Dynasty or Dallas from the 1980s with rich, often immoral characters. This family is really messed up but I look forward to finding out if yet another member of this wicked family can find some redemption.
3. Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas — This book was teased in the first book in the series COLD-HEARTED RAKE. Rhys Winterborne is a commoner who has made himself into a successful businessman. A semi-arranged engagement to the aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel who is shy and innocent initially seems doomed. Rhys passionate approach to Helen initially frightens her, but she reconsiders and is determined to marry Rhys. And thus, this story begins. I am a big fan of these cross-class romances — especially with commoner heroes and aristocratic heroines. Although I enjoyed Kleypas’s contemporary books, her historical novels are sometimes just magical. I think this one has incredible potential.
2. A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean — MacLean is always on my must buy list. Her prior series were just amazing. Her latest has a twist being inspired by modern celebrity scandals but the story is grounded in the Regency period. This one features a Scotsman (who doesn’t love those) who comes to take control of his “inherited” ward who has posed for a naughty portrait. MacLean doesn’t disappoint and that is why this book is high on my anticipation list.
1. Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt — This book wins merely because of the first quote I read from it: “Never mistake me for the hero of this tale.” Oh, I love me a hero who skates on the edge of being the villain. Val is complicated and I can’t wait to dive into his psyche and for him to find a woman to bring him to heel. Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series has been amazing. Deeply emotional, with lush sexy characters, this series has never disappointed me. This book has the potential to be an instant classic.