I read over 100 books in 2018 and surpassed my Goodreads Reading Challenge by a few books. I read some duds and some fantastic books. I'm going to ignore the duds entirely because nobody cares about those, and focus on the best of 2018. Note that these are books that I read in 2018, but were not necessarily published in 2018. So here they are, in no particular order. Click the book cover to be taken to that book's Amazon page!
I loved this first book in Avery Cockburn's Glasgow Lads on Ice series. Luca and Oliver were very sweet together, the book was very funny, and I loved the demisexual representation.
If you haven't read the Tales From Verania series by TJ Klune, you're seriously missing out. I swear, only TJ has the ability to make me laugh and cry within the same paragraph. This fantasy series is hilarious, but also sweet and heartwarming.
The wording is poetic, the character arcs are fresh and minutely detailed, the romance is heartbreakingly beautiful. I laughed, I wanted to throw my Kindle at the wall, I gritted my teeth, I cried, my hands shook. Tal Bauer really has a way of making the reader feel and question. Read my full review here.
There's pain and anger, loss and fear, suffering and assault and missed opportunities. Death, both accidental and through suicide. It's not an easy read. I highly, highly, recommend this book. It's one of the most unique reads I've ever read and will stay with me for a long time. Read my full review here.
Nic and Cam from Layla Reyne's Trouble Brewing series win the award for my favourite couple of 2018. I love the maturity they bring to their relationship, and the fact that they actually talk to each other. It probably has to do with them being mature heroes. Their relationship is everything I ever want in a series featuring the same characters—one based on friendship and trust, and one that grows as the series continues and Nic and Cam begin to rely on each other more and more. Read my full review of Imperial Stout here, and Craft Brew here.
The only YA book on my best of 2018 list (and I spent the last quarter of 2018 reading primarily YA fantasy, so that's saying something). This particular young adult is different than other YAs I've read. I loved the cast of secondary characters, the humour, the relationships between everyone. Kai is one of my favourite characters from any book, ever.
The second book in TJ Klune's Green Creek series is just as angsty and heartbreaking and amazing as the first, Wolfsong. The next book in the series is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019.
An incredibly beautiful story. I wouldn't call it a romance, but the sweetest of love stories with a bittersweet ending that broke my heart, and yet left me smiling at the same time. Great writing, intriguing characters. Highly recommend if you're looking for something short that hits with a punch.
Runner up for favourite couple of 2018 are Ray and Zavier from Syncopation, who I adored. The connection between them was my very favourite aspect of this story. It's so incredibly well done, that I just wanted more. And that they actually talk to each other? Be still my heart. Read my full review here.
I loved Dom and Adrian, from Counterpoint, as individual characters—they were quite compelling. I loved seeing Dom interact with his bandmates, and I loved seeing Adrian with his friend Jackson or at work. But my favourite parts were the scenes where they were together and getting to know each other. They were perfect together, and a great balance for each other, that it felt like they became my friends and I didn't want the book to end. Read my full review here.
I loved the concept, the characters, the writing. I loved that it kept going in directions I didn't anticipate. Everything I thought would happen didn't, and the story kept twisting and turning until I found myself so engrossed I never wanted to put it down. Fantastic story-crafting, three-dimensional characters, and a plot line that keeps you guessing.
Great little short story from Samantha Wayland. Olle and Jamie are very sweet together, and I loved revisiting the cast from Home & Away, one of my favourite m/m romances. I think this book would be most enjoyable with a knowledge of the secondary characters, so I'd recommend reading Home & Away before tackling this one.
Beautiful. Just beautiful. Well-written, solid characters, a slow-burn romance. Simply put, this is a story of two men getting to know each due to their forced close quarters and falling in love. Their journey to each other was so sweet and romantic.