You all know by now that I love reading and sharing my happiness with others, so sharing my favourite books of the year is a must for me. Especially this year, when it’s been so difficult to read and finish books with all the terrible things that have happened. This was my sixth year reading Romance with LGBTQ+ characters, so I bring you some pretty good recs, I think. Enjoy!
And here you have 2020, or year six:
- Winterbourne: Another series by Joanna Chambers, whose books I recommended some years ago, when I published the first recommendations. This series is historical as well, and very seasonal, so it’s a good time to read it. The main characters belong to different classes and wouldn’t have to cooperate if it weren’t because the mill owner’s brother is about to marry the aristocrat’s sister. Of course, starting a secret relationship is the easy part: the hardest thing is to keep it secret… when you’re snowed in with your relatives for Christmas.
- Lilywhite Boys: Just assume that I’m going to add all books by KJ Charles to these lists. I have yet to read one I wouldn’t recommend. This series is basically about betrayal and deceit, so prepare to be amazed by the mystery and the plot twists. The Lilywhite Boys are three men who work together to steal jewels, but find themselves in the most unprofitable position of falling in love with the protagonists of these three books.
- Page & Sommers: Only one book has been published, but Cat Sebastian is another of my favourite writers and I know I’m going to love the whole series, so I invite you all to join me and read the first book already. If you love a good Historical Romance or a good Mystery Romance… why not both? Here you have a spy, a country doctor with PTSD, and a murder they have to solve.
- Lucky Charm: Another author I recommended on my last list, but this book is very different from Team Phison: a deaf actor from the silent films era discovers a childhood friend is burgling his home. As a compensation, the burglar accepts to steal a lucky charm from a director who has fired the actor. This is a short story, so it was perfect to read during lockdown, when I couldn’t concentrate enough to read longer books.
- Magic in Manhattan: A new author who has become one of my favourites! I’m really enjoying this series that mixes Fantasy, Romance and Historical. Well, you know that’s my favourite mix, but when it’s done right it’s just… *chef’s kiss*, and Allie Therin does it right. Loved the characters, loved the Manhattan 1925 setting, loved the villains and how the magic worked… and I’m looking forward to the third book of the series!
- The Craft of love: Yet another author that has returned to my rec list. “The Craft of Love” was the sweet novella I needed during lockdown. The main characters are a cis bi woman who is a quilt maker and a trans man who is a silversmith. There’s a lot about craftsmanship and mutual admiration in this Historical Romance that will make your heart feel warm and cozy.
- The Greenhollow Duology: Another superb debut author with a series that mixes Fantasy, Romance and Historical. If you like forests, the Victorian Period, myth, legends and folclore, you will love this series. Also, these are novellas, so they’re easier to read for those of us who are not able to keep our concentration for a whole novel at the moment.
- Something Human: This book is set in a Fantasy world, but I swear it feels like it’s a Historical setting. It’s a true enemies-to-lovers in which two survivors of a battle find and help each other after being enemies on the battlefield. Of course, the two of them are wrong to assume that keeping their own secrets will help them keep their distance as well and, in any case, their friendship and budding romance have an expiry date, and that day is approaching.
- Rath and Rune: Of course I had to add this series by another of my favourite authors. This is a Whyborne & Griffin spin-off, also set in Widdershins, but they’re so different that I just had to add it on this list. Whyborne and Griffin are not even in Widdershins while the series takes place, but it’s been wonderful to go back to a place that feels like home. Plus, we get to see how the Ladysmith Museum works, and the main characters are a librarian and a bookbinder. I could cry! I might have cried! Not because it was a sad book, but because it was so good.
- The Last Kiss: I’d enjoyed Sally Malcom’s New Milton series, so I was looking forward to her first Historical Romance, and it did not disappoint. You might think the aftermath of the First World War is not a very cheerful setting, but this book is full of hope and happiness, even through all the terrible difficulties the three main characters have to face in order to achieve their happy endings.
- Proper English: This is a spin-off novel that focuses on the lesbian couple from “Think of England”, but again it is so different that it deserves its own mention. First, because it’s not part of the same series, and second and most importantly, because it’s the first F/F novel we get from KJ Charles (there was a short novella before this one), so it deserves proper recognition… because Pat and Fen are back to solve another murder! Well, this book actually takes place before the events in “Think of England”, so it should be the other way round, but you know what I mean.
- Feminine Pursuits: I’m sure you all knew about Olivia Waite, but she has been a discovery for me thanks to this wonderful F/F Historical Romance series that focuses on the jobs that were or weren’t available to single or widowed women in the Regency Period, and the general difficulties of living in such a repressive era, especially as a woman. The level of historical detail in this series is astonishing.
Are my lists becoming more personal as the years go by? Maybe, but with everything that has been going on this year, I didn’t feel like making a post that was too formal, so I hope you enjoyed the fangirling.
Just a reminder that these are 12 books I’ve read and enjoyed during this last year, but they might have been released before 2020. As you know, I had reader’s block for a few months, and I managed to overcome it temporarily by reading (and rereading) more books by some of my favourite authors.
As always, let me know if you need any particular CWs, or if you want more personal recommendations.