I love doing “Best of” recaps, and going back through all the fab books I’ve enjoyed in the past year. This year I completed a really awesome fantasy-romance series by EJ Russell which started off with CUTIE AND THE BEAST, followed by THE DRUID NEXT DOOR and BAD BOY’S BARD. This was a rather low-steam set, but it was high on imagination, with all sorts of fantasy persons intermingling with three Fae brothers who made up the Guard for the Seelie Queen. Each of them was cursed, to some degree, and had to find love to undo that curse. I think I liked DRUID best of the series, but the whole trilogy worked together well to create a world I wanted to dance in.
Starting with Fantasy, I loved the THE RULES AND REGULATING TO MEDIATING MYTHS AND MAGIC by F.T. Lukens. It’s a sweet and funny YA romance with just the right amount of conflict, and age-appropriate steam. The whole story, with all the zany myths, the angst, and the sweet coming-out, sealed the deal for me.
I adored TRUST WITH A CHASER by Annabeth Albert, because it was a hard-won love. The local sheriff is hiding behind his badge, and a closet, and that makes it hard for him to love the out-and-proud new restauranteur in town. Add to that, this shiny younger man’s family is a complete mess, and often in trouble with the law. It’s a sweet victory when the sheriff makes it possible for his down-low beau to do right by his family, and love out loud.
And, speaking of yummy lawmen, I can’t finish off the year without mention Kate Sherwood’s four-part Common Law series including LONG SHADOWS, EMBERS, DARKNESS and HOME FIRES. This law man loves the criminal saga hit all the right notes of believability, small-town drama, and finding the right path even if it’s not the straight and narrow. There’s a bit of steam here and there between the new under-sheriff and his childhood love, the local criminal mastermind. One never knows if the con will win, or the cop will triumph. Super happy ending for these guys and I’m anxious for a new series with them.