Tina’s Top Reads of 2013

It has been so very difficult to select my fave reads from the fantastic books that I have read during the last year. However here they are after much deliberation! I have listed my top picks by genre and as I read across the sub genres of romance there are a fair few of them. If you click on the book title you will be taken to my review. Please note that some reads contain adult material as in erotic romances and some may deal with difficult or sensitive issues. Where this is the case I have indicated this below or in the full review.

If you have read any of the books listed I would love to hear from you.  Tina  🙂

Historical Romance

Borderland%20Beauty300dpi.jpg.opt166x249o0,0s166x249[1]-001Borderland Beauty #2 in The Borderland Legacy Series, by Samantha Holt – a sensual Medieval romance set in Northumbria. Besotted Lord versus Lady Scorned: Lord Dominic learns of a marriage contract, pledging him to a neighbour’s daughter, an agreement that he and the lady concerned are unaware of. Sparks fly when Dominic invites her and his family to visit his keep at Christmas, under the ever present threat of the violent activities of the border reivers.

Bella’s Betrothal, by Anne Stenhouse – Engaging Sweet RegencyBellas%20Betrothal%20200x300[1] Romance: Contains murder, attempted kidnap and evil intent, family secrets, gossip and mayhem and much wit and humour between the hero and heroine. Also one of the best opening lines that I have ever read!

17401185[1]-002tainted_msr-001The Forbidden Series by Christina Phillips – Erotic Paranormal Historical Romance, Betrayed #3 and Tainted, #4: Containing Lush Eroticism and Riveting Romance, which pair ememies and transform them into lovers against all the odds. Betrayed tells of a beautiful and passionate love between  Tacitus, a Roman Tribune and Nimue, a priestess from the Druid nobility, whom the Romans are pledged to eradicate. In Tainted, Druid warrior Gawain and Roman aristocrat Antonia enter into what they both believe is a brief liaison based on lust. However, Cupid has other ideas, but their love endangers the life of Gawain and others and treachery is afoot.

Racing with the Wind and Against the Wind, Agents of the Crown Series,ReganWalker_AgainstTheWind_logo-001RacingWithTheWind_800px-001 #1 and #2, by Regan Walker. These novels show the reader the ballrooms and great houses of Regency England and the danger and excitement of a post Napoleonic Paris, during the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. Also witness the introduction of repressive laws in England, as the government believe that  revolution will spread amongst a populace who are unhappy with poor harvests and the loss of their livelihood.  Against this backdrop are tales of passion , danger and intrigue, involving agents working for the Prince Regent and the women who fall for them.

15741229[1]Gem of Gravane, by Amber Dane, #1 in The Northern Knights Series – medieval romance: Love and Passion Amidst Treachery and Betrayal: Knight Aric Clayton comes to claim the conquered Saxon demesne of Gravane and its lady Danielle a year after having been gifted it by King William. Danielle has a slight affliction and is wary of men and Aric has no wish to marry, which bodes ill for a happy union. Violence and treachery wait in the wings.

Her Savage Scot, #1 in The Highland Warrior Chronicles, by Christinahersavagescott_msr Phillips – erotic historical romance with a hint of the paranormal: Political Intrique, Innocent Deception and Blinding Passion collide, when Scots warrior Connor Mackenzie travels to the land of the Picts on a mission for his king and falls for Aila, a Pictish widow. He spends a passionate night in her arms, only to discover that she is the Pictish princess that is destined to marry his half-brother, the Prince of Dal Riada.

SamanthaHolt_ToStealAHighlandersHeart_200px.jpg.opt166x249o0,0s166x249[1]To Steal a Highlander’s Heart, by Samantha Holt – Sensual Medieval Paranormal Romance: Faerie Magic Reunites Friends as Lovers: Captive/captor romance with a spirited heroine and a gorgeous Scot with a meddling faerie on a mission of her own.

Wolfkeeper’s Woman, by Lisa Day –Western historical9196442[1] romance: Passionate and Heart rending romance between homesteader Cassie and Wolfkeeper, a native American warrior, whose raiding party kills her husband and who gifts her baby son to another. Fantastic captor/captive romance, where the heroine must adapt to another culture and rely on her enemy to survive.

oneknightcollection.jpg.opt264x398o0,0s264x398[1]The One Knight Collection, by Samantha Holt – sensual Historical Romance: Four novellas created around the theme of if you had one night to prove your love could you?

Paranormal Romance

The Bad Death, by Naima Haviland, part of her vampire trilogy and prequel/sequel to Bloodroom: Gothic TheBadDeath-KindleCoverMasterpiece of Dark Romance, Horror and Suspense. Set in South Carolina in 1788, an African beauty emerges from the family crypt of plantation owner Julian Mouret. She enthrals him with her tale of peril and flight and he, fearing for her sanity, determines to keep her safe as a series of horrifying mutilation murders ensues, indicating to the slaves the presence of shape-shifting blood-sucking supernatural creatures. Anika becomes empowered to end the rampage, but at stake is not only her own life but the soul of the man she is coming to love.

16042863[1]-002Lover At Last, by JR Ward, #11 in The Black Dagger Brotherhoood Series: Here Blay and Quinn finally get together. I have found that this series keeps getting better, incorporating elements of dark fantasy as well as paranormal romance and introducing ever more fascinating characters and complex plotlines.

The Zubis Chronicles, by Kellyann Zuzulo – paranormal18214817[1]genieignites_full-17942442_std[1]-001 romance and romantic suspense: The Genie Ignites #1:and The Genie Smolders, #2 tell of  a young American woman, Bethany, who is recruited by a secret society to help it eradicate all genies. In doing so she is reunited with a three thousand year old genie who was her lover in a past incarnation she is unaware of. Once again an age old conflict between human and the Jinn is reignited.

101nights_tiny[1]101nights_no2_reluctant-rapture[1]101 Nights Series, by Kellyann Zuzulo, #1 To Have and To Hold and #2, Reluctant Rapture – paranormal romance and romantic suspense: Sassy and Sexy Marriage of Convenience: The hero is a human and the heroine a genie. Set in the New Jersey Suburbs and full of sensuality, treachery and suspense as the future of the world and Jinnistan, home of the genies, is at stake.

Minutes Before Sunset, by Shannon Thompson, #1 in The Timely Death Trilogy – New Adult Paranormal Romance: Elementalshan-003 Power Stuggle between Dark and Light.  It is an amazingly well crafted and multifaceted novel with a fantastic hero and heroine and memorable supporting characters.

bloodlaw_150[1]isbn9780755395101-detail[1]-003Bloodlaw and Bloodright, #1 and #2 in the Blood Moon Rising Trilogy, by Karin Tabke: Erotic Paranormal Romance. This tells the tale of a human Falon and two alpha wolves destined to love her against a background of war looming with the slayer. I found it a fast paced, sexy and addictive read.

Futuristic/Sci Fi Romance

Heart of Obsidian, by Nalini Singh, # 12 in the Psy- Changeling Series: Dark, Dangerous and Oh uk%20heart%20of%20obsidian%20small%20with%20shadow[1]So Seductive! A dark and deadly tortured hero, Kaleb, with the potential to be the saviour or the destroyer of the Psy race and the world of humans and Changelings. The outcome rests on his relationship with Sahara, a powerful Psy in her own right, held captive for 7 years and rescued by Kaleb. They share a dark and horrific past. Yet how will she react when she remembers Kaleb’s role in it?

Joshua___s_Tree_51b20984e6dc6[1]Joshua’s Tree, by N.W Harris: A Wild Ride through a Future Earth – Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy: An unlikely hero who inadvertently travels to the future and meets a kick-ass heroine who accompanies him on a quest that he knows nothing about. Contains descriptions of a strange landscape and cannibalistic creatures and includes non-stop action as the hero comes closer to fulfilling his destiny.


Hunter on a Moonless Night, by Elena Han – Dark and Erotic Fantasy Romance: Lord Duinel returns to hishunter ancestral home, with a terrible secret, a curse which manifests on the night of the first black moon. He meets the young woman Nimae and is drawn to her, yet it is Nimae who becomes his prey in a deadly game.

LightningStrike_MEDLightning Strike, by Beverly Ovalle – erotic fantasy romance: A Hot Little Number:  Covers the pleasures of lovemaking al fresco between Levi, a 21st century hottie and Daphnaie, a tree sprite sent by Gaia to persuade him to continue to give his family’s protection of her sacred glen.

Contemporary Romance

Gringa: In the Clutches of a Ruthless Drug Lord,#1-#4, by Eve Rabi – American Payton agrees to be a drug lord’s woman to save the life of villagers in Mexico. Her life will be and so will the lives of those around her. The first book that I read by Eve Rabi and it blew me away with its combination of larger than life, truly unforgettable characters, humour, violence, and a plot line that took me on an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. 519cKO9yuIL[1]-001


9d21ea6598dc1a6fb595349e08843b8dc88e340a-thumb[1]You Will Pay – She Left her Abusive Husband, He Took Revenge, by Eve Rabi,#1 and #2: A Dark and Intense Journey: Deals with the impact of domestic abuse on a woman and her children and how she seeks to escape that life. However, she did not bargain on the reaction of her abusive husband, who apart from being an abuser, has sociopathic tendencies, with deadly and horrific consequences.

My Brother My Rival, ~1, All out of Love and #2 How Can I not Love You? Torn Between Two 18323152[1]Brothers: I laughed one minute and cried the next. A young woman is torn between two brothers as the author explores the pull of romantic versus familial love in her trademark indomitable style. Prepare for an emotional ride.

The Silk Romance 333x500-001The Silk Romance, by Helena Fairfax – Sweet Contemporary Romance: Gallic Charm in the City of Silk: A romance between a rich sophisticated Frenchman and an impoverished Englishwoman. What future do they have together when their different worlds collide?

The Antique Love, by Helena Fairfax – Sweet Contemporary Romance. A financial high-flyer,  Kurt, from Wyoming,18342845[1] believes that he can select a wife based on rationality and logic, having no time for romance. However, his beliefs are put to the test when he asks Penny, who works in antiques and who values feelings and emotions and is anything but rational, to furnish his home.


lusciouslethal200x300[1]-001Luscious and Lethal, The Gilded River Chronicles, by Mary Raimes Curtis. A great book to curl up with, containing a lively romance between two complex individuals, set against the ever present threat of sinister events on the shores of the Atlantic.

The Fall of the Misanthrope: I Bitch therefore I am. by Louise Wise – Romancing the Dark Side of Chick-Lit. A retellingThe Fall of the Misanthrope_Cover_KINDLE[1] of the fairy tale Cinderella in a modern day setting. It is a deeply romantic and insightful tale, which deals with the difficult issues of loss and grief and the healing power of love, whilst containing a fair degree of humour and well drawn characters.




About Tina Williams

Book reviewer and blogger and co-organiser of Tamworth (UK) Literary Festival

12 thoughts on “Tina’s Top Reads of 2013

  1. Hi Tina. thank you so much for including Bella’s Betrothal in your list of top 10 favourite historical romances. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. Anne Stenhouse.

    • I also have Mariah’s Marriage to read Anne, which I downloaded after reading Bella’s betrothal as the role a marauding pig plays in drawing the hero and heroine together sounds truly inspired. Also I’m looking forward to finding out about the role of women in teaching.

  2. I am truly honoured to be on this list, Tina! And Christina’s books are definitely in my top reads of the year too.

  3. Thanks for adding me to your fabulous selection for 2013, Tina. I’ve read quite a few of these novels, and am honoured to be included. The rest of Eve Rabi is definitely on my TBR, plus Samantha Holt’s novels. I read Anne Stenhouse’s historicals too, and much enjoyed them.
    Happy reading in 2014!

    • It was so difficult to choose from all of the books that I read last year Helena, as I was fortunate to have had so many great reads across the sub genres of romance. I enjoyed The Antique Love and The Silk Romance as although the hero and the heroine in each of them are very different they are just what each of them need and are so right for each other. 🙂

  4. christinaph says:

    I’m over the moon that three of my books are on your list, Tina! I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed them 🙂

    • I just loved everything about them Christina, not only the time periods that they are set in but also the heroes and heroines and the plots, not to mention the love making scenes. 🙂

  5. Amber Dane says:

    I’m truly honored to be included on your list, Tina! Thank you so very much and so glad you enjoyed Gem of Gravane. Will have to check out some of these other reads you have on here. Thanks again 🙂

  6. Amber Dane says:

    Reblogged this on Amber Dane's Blog and commented:
    Wow, I feel like I’ve been missing so much and I guess I have. So nice to see this wonderful post from AReadersreviewblog . Thanks so much for taking the time to include Gem of Gravane on your list! Some other awesome looking reads here that I need to check out. Beautiful covers

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