Favorite romantic novels of 2013

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Image credit: bloomua / 123RF Stock Photo

Now that we’re getting close to the end of 2013, I thought I’d share some of my favorite romantic novels and novellas of the year. Not necessarily published 2013, but read by me this year. 🙂 So without further ado, here’s the list, in no particular order:

A Counterfeit Betrothal/The Notorious Rake by Mary Balogh

Let’s start out with a historical romance by the inimitable Mary Balogh. This is a 2-in-1 reissue, so if you’re one of those who clued into romance novels long ago, you may have read these back in the 90ies. (Unlike me, who happened on the genre a mere ten years ago or so.) I especially liked The Notorious Rake, with the fascinating character of Edmund Waite, who I would have to say qualifies as a tortured character and a rake at the same time–and I do love tortured characters.


Black Knight, White Queen, by Jackie Ashenden

I already mentioned this novella in my post on tortured characters, but it bears repeating. If you want realism mixed with angst and sexiness, this is the novella for you. Also, the hero is a chess master, which I thought was really interesting. And I loved that it took place in Bangkok.


The Last Hour of Gann, by R. Lee Smith

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know how much I enjoyed this novel, which I’d have to describe as an epic science-fiction novel with a really captivating romance. Yes, the hero is a lizard-man, but that in no way detracts from his sexiness, or the interesting culture clash and burgeoning romance with Amber, one of the few survivors from a human colonist ship that crash lands on his planet.


Captive Prince, by S.U. Pacat

I had a hard time figuring this novel out early on, but once it really gets started in the second volume, it becomes a fascinating fantasy romance about two princes, one the captive slave of the other. Especially interesting if you (like me) enjoy when there’s a difference in how the point-of-view character and the reader interprets events. In this case you understand more, and see more nuance, in what’s going on than the main character does.

This book is essentially in three parts, and the last isn’t out yet, so be forewarned if you prefer to read completed series. That said, I thought the ending of volume two was satisfying in itself.


Revenge: A West Coast Novella by Jasmine Haynes

This contemporary erotic romance novella features a really unique setup in that the hero is turned on by having his girlfriend have sex with other men and then come home and tell him about it. I was, I must admit, a bit skeptical about this setup, but ended up liking the story a lot, especially the characterizations of the main characters. The novella is actually free right now, so here’s your chance to try it out, no strings attached!


Anyone else read these books, or have your own recommendations to share?

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