I don't read a lot of romantic suspense anymore but when I do, it is by HelenKay Dimon. The genre as whole has gone very dark but I can count on Dimon to build tension and menace without more gore or gruesomeness than I can handle.
I loved Guarding Mr. Fine one of the runners up in this year's #readRchatawards, when I read it almost a year ago and it has one of the best awkward morning after run-ins ever. But my favorite of Dimon's current series is her "Games People play" series about a close-knit group of guys, who are as awkward as they are dangerous. My favorites in the series were The Fixer, which came out the last week of last year and The Enforcer, which came out in the spring. The heroines are fabulous, hostile, suspicious and not willing to give these guys an inch.
These books hit my sweet spot of fun, sexy and suspenseful and I had a hard time putting it down to get other stuff done this week.
This was a really tough category for me this year. I used to read so many that fell under this heading but I have instead been reading a lot more hot contemporary. However when I do read Erotic Romance it is written by Rebekah Weatherspoon. I loved her Beards and Bondage series, particularly the second book, Haven. Weatherspoon's heroines are the best but she writes wonderfully superficially grumpy and gruff heroes who are truly sweet and creates communities around the protagonists that dynamic, realistic and believable.
Rebekah Weatherspoon continues to succeed in crafting stories that are emotionally layered and full of humor. I loved the whole cast, even when they don't love each other.
The #readRchatawards debut romance nominee list read like the top of my TBR. I was particularly thrilled to see nominations for two great up and coming Latina writers, Priscilla Oliveras and Alexis Daria.
I really enjoyed reading Daria's "Take the Lead" and there is just something so special about seeing someone with a name and background like your own (my mom shares a last name with Daria's heroine, Gina Morales) getting their HEA. Gina is strong, principled and determined to succeed in a difficult soul-eating industry. I loved her intensity. Although I have never watched a minute of Dancing with the Stars or any other celebrity Dancing competition I found the whole story highly enjoyable, with great behind the scene details (OMG, the spray-tan scene!).
In the debut category I also loved reading Adriana Anders, "Under Her Skin".
"" a story about finding a safe harbor, working toward self-acceptance, and starting over. There really great depictions of female friendships, a richly drawn small town community and little femdom kink to spice things up.
--From my review in April
She has had a stellar year, with two additional releases and a great short story anchoring in the Rogue Desire Anthology, that you need pick up if you love heroes and heroines who are part of the #resistance and fight for trust, justice, freedom and equality.
I needed great books to read this year more than I usually do. They provided precious hours of entertainment, uplift and inspiration. I hope you had a great year of reading, and I hope the coming new year is filled with fantastic books for all of us to enjoy!