The #readRchat team is hugely grateful to all who voted and boosted the #readRchatawards this month. Thank you for the fantastic nominations and for selecting such fabulously diverse group of books to honor.
The 2018#readRchat Award Winners:
- A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood Book #1) by Talia Hibbert (13.3 % - 81/610 votes
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (10.7% -- 65/610 votes)
- A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) by Alyssa Cole (10.2% -- 62/610 votes)
Talia Hibbert is a young black British author who burst unto the scene in 2017 and has put out an outstanding number of books in the last two years. She mostly writes contemporary romance but has ventured out to the fantasy and paranormal genres in the past year. Her PNR novella, Mating the Huntress, also won the PNR category, so it is fair to say that she is very popular with #readRchatawards voters.
Helen Hoang's The Kiss Quotient, the 1st runner up in contemporary, won the Debut category. The Kiss Quotient made a huge splash, and has consistently appeared in best of lists is many mainstream publications. I just bought the audiobook and I am very much looking forward to listening to it before, Hoang's follow up, The Bride Test, comes out in 2019.
Alyssa Cole had the first two books in her Reluctant Royals series nominated and recently announced that the series had been optioned for by the Frolic team for development. I loved the heroines and the complicated friendships in this series, and I hope more people keep discovering how fabulous Cole's writing is whether she is writing, contemporary, historical or science-fiction.
Best Short Story or Novella:
- Unfit to Print by KJ Charles (23.7% -- 137/578 votes)
- Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder (16.1% -- 93/578 votes)
- Diamond Fire: A Hidden Legacy Novella by Ilona Andrews (11.2% -- 65/578 votes)
KJ Charles is another favorite of #readRchat participants, with two of her books winning categories. Her Queer historical romances are known for their rich historical detail, diverse casts and delicious conflicts.
Unfit to Print, about old friends unexpectedly reunited, one a proper lawyer and the other pornography-selling bookstore owner, captured nearly a quarter of all the votes
Suleikha Snyder's Tikka Chance on Me was perfection in 74 pages! Sexy and sweet and full of contrasts and complications, #readRchat voters recommend you take a chance on Tikka Chance on Me.
Ilona Andrews series are notoriously hard to categorize and they received multiple nominations in multiple categories. Diamond Fire is a bridge novella, introducing Catalina as the new lead in their Hidden Legacy series. There is no romance in this paranormal mystery short but it was fantastic.
- Band Sinister by KJ Charles (14.7 -- 87/590 votes)
- The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke #2) by Tessa Dare (14.1 -- 83/590 votes)
- Tempest (Old West #3) by Beverly Jenkins (12.4 -- 73/590 votes)
The top three books in this category were on my personal best of list and I am thrilled that the #readRchataward voters agreed with me. The category's lead kept flipping between Charles and Dare throughout the voting, and in the end only 4 votes separated them!
Band Sinister is an unusually fluffy romance for KJ Charles. This Heyer inspired m/m romance had a fantastic ensemble cast and a wonderfully sweet romance that celebrates affirmative consent.
In Tessa Dare's Governess Game, she blend heavy topics like grief, abandonment and PTSD with at times farcical humor, that celebrate found families and the restorative power of undeserved love.
Tempest in the final book in Beverly Jenkins's fabulous Old West series. Jenkins's blend of historical detail, complex heroines and emotional romances are always winners for me and if you haven't started reading her, what are you waiting for?
Best Romantic Suspense:
- The Hollow of Fear (The Lady Sherlock Series #3) by Sherry Thomas (37.2 % -- 155/417 votes).
- The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf #2) by Charlie Adhara (19.4% -- 81/417 votes)
- Criminal Intentions: The Cardigans by Cole McCade (15.8 % -- 66/417 votes).
Sherry Thomas's 3rd book in her fabulous Historical Mystery series with romantic elements dominated this category. I was surprised by the nomination but voters loved it! This series is full of intense action and repressed emotional angst and I am certainly eager to see how Thomas will continue to surprise readers with Charlotte Holmes's twisty adventures.
The first two books in Adhara's Paranormal RS series were nominated and along with the enthusiastic recommendations for friends made this jump to the top of my TBR. I finished the first book last night and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Cole McCade's Criminal Intentions is also the start of a new series with 6 volumes already published this year and one more scheduled for 2019. It is gritty contemporary crime romance the #readrchat voters find addictive.
Best Paranormal Romance:
- Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert (21.9% -- 111/507 votes)
- Salt Magic, Skin Magic by Lee Welch (13.8 % -- 70/507 votes)
- Balefire (Whyborne & Griffin #10) by Jordan Hawk (10.1 %-- 51/507 votes)
These magical finalists showcase the wide variety of stories within the Paranormal Romance umbrella, whether you love modern-day shifters with a fiercely feminist viewpoint, want to explore dark fairytales or dive deep into a long-running series set in a magical Victorian-era America.
Although I read lots of books in this genre, I haven't read all of these and will have to check them out.
Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance:
- Ivan (Gideon’s Riders #3) by Kit Rocha (32.7 -- 129/395 votes)
- Something Human by AJ Demas (15.9 -- 63/395 votes)
- A Treason of Truths by Ada Harper (15.2 -- 60/395 votes
- Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven (15.2 -- 60/395 votes)
The vividly imaginative world-building in these novel are more than simply fantastic backdrops, but deepen the stakes in romances whose conflicts at points seem impossible to resolve.
Ivan is royal romance/house-party murder mystery masquerading as a post-apocalyptic romance that explores consent, power dynamics and devotion deeply.
Demas's Something Human is set in mythic past when enemy survivors from warring groups, work together to stay alive and must overcome seemingly insurmountable cultural and emotional conflicts to be together.
In A Treason of Truths, a spy's long past comes back to haunt her and she has to step out of the shadows to prove her love and loyalty for the only person that has ever mattered to her.
An oppressive empire burns when the MCs of Grace Draven's fantasy novel start fighting back.
Best Erotic Romance:
- Counterpoint (Twisted Wishes #2) by Anna Zabo (36 -- 132/367 votes)
- My Lord, Lady and Gentleman (Surry SFS #3) by Nicola Davidson (36 -- 132 -- 367 votes)
- Captivated by Tessa Bailey & Eve Dangerfield (28.1 -- 103/367 votes)
This category had a large number of submissions but only three had mutliple nominations, and voters seemed to love them almost equally, with Anna Zabo's Counterpoint and Davidson's My Lord, Lady & Gentleman edging Captivated by Bailey and Dangerfield for a shared 1st place.
Best Debut Romance:
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (32.5 -- 181/557 votes)
- Behind These Doors (Radical Proposals #1 by Jude Lucens (14.9 -- 83/557 votes)
- The Duke I Tempted (Secrets of Charlotte Street #1) by Scarlett Peckham (11.3 % -- 63/557 votes)
- The Wolf at the Door (Big Bad Wolf #1) by Charlie Adhara (11.3 -- 63/557 votes)
#readRchatawards can't wait to read a lot more from these fantastic new authors.
I love that the finalists in this category all come from different sub-genres, so no matter what kind of romance you read you are likely to find some fresh and new voices to try.