Sophia’s Best of 2018 Reads

Posted December 28, 2018 by Shari in Year End / 24 Comments


So, here we are again.  Another wonderful year of reading and I’m happy to share my favorites in several romance categories.  This by no means takes away from other books, authors, or narrators. I chose to make this a more expansive list by only allowing for an author or narrator to be named once though they might have appeared in my top three of another category.  In fact, there are several others who should be on this list, but I had to narrow it down to no more than because of the sheer volume of what I had to choose from.

Note:  I chose from 2018 reads and not necessarily 2018 releases (though most are that).

AUDIO (combo of best book and narration):

  1. How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper, narrated by Jonathan Davis and Amanda Ranconi
  2. Dane’s Storm by Mia Sheridan, narrated by Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon
  3. The Summer of New Beginnings by Bette Lee Crosby, narrated by Shannon McManus


  1. The Cottage on Rose Lane by Hope Ramsay
  2. Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas by Katie Ruggle
  3. Cowboy Honor by Carolyn Brown

COVER (in combo with book content):

  1. Wild on My Mind by Laurel Kerr
  2. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin
  3. The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren


  1. Year One by Nora Roberts, narrated by Julia Whelan
  2. Winter Igniting by Rebecca Zanetti


  1. Matchstick Men by Adira August
  2. Deep Diving by Cate Elink


  1. Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
  2. Crescendo by Rachel Haimowitz, narrated by Giles Barron


  1. Promises to Keep by Genevieve Graham
  2. Next Year in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
  3. Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh


  1. PS I Spook You by S.E. Harmon, narrated by Noah Michael Levine
  2. Chief’s Mess by LA Witt, narrated by Nick J Russo
  3. Too Hot by Avery Giles


  1. Relief Valve by J.L. Merrow
  2. Death and the Viking’s Daughter by Loretta Ross
  3. Contraband Hearts by Alex Beecroft


  1. Dorian Bane in Running Blind by .S.E Jakes
  2. Davina Porter in Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Roger Wayne in Born of Darkness by Lara Adrian


  1. Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker
  2. Junkyard Druid by MD Massey, narrated by Steven Barnett


  1. Christina Hovland, Down on One Knee
  2. Alexis Lynne, Newness and Wonder
  3. Kianna Alexander, Couldn’t Ask for More


  1. Dearest Ivie by JR Ward
  2. Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
  3. Wolf Rising by Paige Tyler


  1. Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb
  2. Out of Mind by Kendall Talbot
  3. Edge of Darkness by Karen Rose


  1. Alien Intention by Cara Bristol
  2. Hothar’s Folly by Gail Koger
  3. Camouflage by Ivy Keating


  1. Central Galactic Command series by Carol Van Natta, narrated by Nicole Poole
  2. Banshee Creek/Main Street Witches/Ghost Hunters After Dark/Hexes & Curses by Ani Gonzalez
  3. Scarlett Falls/Morgan Dane by Melinda Leigh, narrated by Cris Dukehart


  1. Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook
  2. Mission Improper by Bec McMaster


  1. Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
  2. Veiled Enchantment by Deborah Blake
  3. White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland


  1. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, narrated by Graham Halstead and Julia Whelan
  2. Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
  3. Across the Star-swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund
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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Angie Elle
2 years ago

Oooh. I see several on my TBR on here, so that makes me happy! I’m also happy to see White Trash Zombie on here. I think that series is so underrated, and the audio is spectacuarl!

Glad you had such a great reading year! Here’s to an amazing 2019! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

You are definitely in for a treat, Angie. I read some really good ones this year. Oh yes, White Trash Zombie on audio is a must. 🙂

Wishing you a great reading year in 2019, too.

Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

Great list lady, how did I miss Dearest Ivie? I’m getting that right now! Happy New Year

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Oh man! Tissues. Don’t forget the tissues. 🙂

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

Across the Star-swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund is a fantastic book. I loved her dystopian take on a classic!

There are some other books here that are on my TBR, most notably White Trash Zombie, which I’ve heard great things about.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I enjoyed that Peterfreund series and wish there were more, Crystal. 🙂

Oh yes, the White Trash Zombie was a fun one. I need to get busy and keep reading the series. 🙂

2 years ago

I’ve read a few of these or listened. I was pleased to see narrator Nicole Poole on one of the books listed. She’s a favorite of mine( all of Dannika Dark’s books). You read so many and from so many different genres! Glad you had a good reading year.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

Yes, I had a great reading year with a good variety in the romance sub-genres and it was a blast trying Nicole Poole’s narration work. I have the first of Dark’s second series in audio, but the rest all in ebook. I’ll be looking forward to that.

Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)

Great picks. Some I’ve read others are still on my TBR ^_^

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Thanks, Angela! It is agony to narrow it down for the list. 🙂 I’ve got so many that I’ve got still to read. Ugh!

2 years ago

Wow! You got in quite a bit of interesting reading, and I’m always thrilled to see JR Ward on the list. Hugs…RO

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  ROP

Thanks, Ro! Yes, it was a great reading year and a good variety. I hope to keep up the variety next year. 🙂

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

oh my goodness….I LOVE the list that you have here. Its simply fabulous. I just started listening to Dane’s Storm and really enjoying it so much!! I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I am. I had such a fun time with Phoenix Unbound. I am hoping to read the rest of Draven’s books (the one’s I haven’t gotten to already) in 2019 because I just love epic fantasy and Draven does it so well.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yay, glad you are loving on Dane’s Storm. It’s not an easy story at first. I hope to read/listen to more Mia Sheridan. I need to get my paws on Draven’s backlist, too.

Melanie Simmons
2 years ago

So many great books. I’m glad you had some great reads/listens this year. I hope you find even more in 2019. Happy New Year

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Appreciate the well wishes. I definitely got to read/listen to some good ones. Wishing you the same, Melanie. 🙂

2 years ago

So many wonderful reads. I’ve enjoyed Wild on My Mind which I think I saw from you as well as the Melinda Leigh audios I’ve just started. Of course I read and loved Burn Bright, Phoenix Unbound, Rocky Mountain Christmas Cowboy, Edge of Darkness and Vengeance in Death. There are many others there yet on my TBR. Here’s to the 2018 reads! Anne – Books of My Heart

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Anne

I swear we have fairly similar reading tastes the way we tend to reach for the same books. Here, here to fabulous 2019 reading for all of us. 🙂

2 years ago

I am so excited to see Wild on Your Mind on your list. That book was so heartwarming and adorable and I just fell in love with it. I am a fan of the Roni Loren series too. All three books were great, but I am really looking forward to Kincaid’s book.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Sam@WLABB

Yes, those are both wonderful books. I am excited to see what will follow Wild on Your Mind. I wasn’t sure if Loren would do a fourth book since so many are trilogies, but ya.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

It is so hard to pick favorites and I don’t read nearly as much as you do. I am happy that several books from my tbr list made your favorites list and I also noted that we shared a few favorites. I hope all of your 2019 reads are great!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

You said it. I agonized over some of the categories where I’d read so many good ones. Yes, I’ve been enjoying comparing lists with everyone and adding a few to my wish list from other lists.

Thanks! We definitely have some good ones to look forward, too.

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

One thing I dread about this time of year is condensing a whole year of reading into just a few short Best Of Lists! It’s so tough to make choices so I like how you’ve put nominations across various genres

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Ugh, it really is tough. I had so many to choose from, but at least this was restricted to romance. I have tons of non-fic, mystery, history, fic, and others that would have really complicated the list. 🙂