This year I read ~60 romances and a handful of other fiction. Plus a memoir. I could’ve read more. But I didn’t – instead, I discovered Archive of Our Own, and fell. Hard. That’s where all my reading has gone, so, this year, the list is short.
My TBR is massive. I’m not kidding. I have a fuckload of books to read. Yeah, there’s a vague plan of working through it before buying anything new, but that plan never seems to work for some strange reason (could everyone stop publishing awesome books? Just hold up for a few months or something? Goddammit, people). Or, hey, maybe I could just quit AO3 for a while! HAHAHAHA SURE.
As this isn’t a review blog, I’ll keep it short. Consider this a recap of what I really enjoyed, what I remembered, and why. These are only books I read during 2017; some of them were published earlier. I’m not including all the fanfic I read, which were many and delightful.
- Peter Darling, Austin Chant. Honestly? Incredible. I recommend it to everyone inside and outside of the romance community. Part of me regrets reading it because I can never again have the experience of reading it for the first time. *sulks*
- Where We Left Off, Roan Parrish. Um. This book gave me things I didn’t realise I needed – namely, Will. The entire series is fantastic, but this one has a special place in my heart.
- A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson. This appears to have been marketed as a romance, so I’m sticking it in this part of the list, but I do think it’s more fantasy than romance. Whatever the balance of genre, it’s excellent. Really beautifully written and structured. Twisted my heart tighter and tighter as the story went on, then released it in a rush of glorious relief.
- Rock N Soul, Lauren Sattersby. So fun. So fun. I have a thing for ghost romances, and this one is a brilliant take on the trope.
- Heels Over Head, Elyse Springer. Read this book. Read it and enjoy every slow aching word of it.
- Into The Blue, Pene Henson. This made me want to move to a beach and take up surfing. Wonderful writing.
- Counterpoint and Crescendo, Rachel Haimowitz. Crazy enjoyable.
- Controlled Burn, Erin McLellan. I keep rereading this. The build-up is incredible, and the tension between the MCs is tuned just right.
- Idlewild, Jude Sierra. Just stunning work.
- Luchador, Erin Finnegan. Quietly gorgeous.
- Enlightenment series, Joanna Chambers. Scottish historical m/m, be still my rapidly beating heart.
- Uprooted, Naomi Novik. READ IT READ IT READ IT.
- 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, Xiaolu Guo. Just amazing. Her first Chinese novel, translated into English, then rewritten in English by her because she “found [she] didn’t agree with the young woman who had written it.” I wish I had the ability to read and appreciate the original.
- The Outrun, Amy Liptrot. Staggeringly beautiful, and ultimately so uplifting.
- i hate the internet, Jarett Kobek. JG Ballard for millennials. I fucking loved this book.
- Stealing Innocents, Cari Waites. This is incredibly dark. I originally put it in the romance section of this post, but honestly . . . the sex, the relationships, the total mindfucks, every story in this is so incredibly dark and genre-breaking that I can’t really consider the collection as romance. The HEAs are there if you tilt your head, squint, turn anti-clockwise three times, and do some mental shifting. Do not read if your thing is fluff and sweetness and nice stuff, because this collection freaking hits deep and stays with you. Dang.
- More Fool Me, Stephen Fry. His latest memoir, and the first I’ve read. Rollicking good fun, and a wonderful insight into the man.