Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Donna Alward's Top 10 Reads of 2013

by Donna Alward

I keep track of my reading on Goodreads and am currently *slightly* behind my goal of 52 books for 2013. I’m hoping a surge of holiday reading over the next few weeks gets me to 52… I’m very close! And I may read something utterly fantastic before January 31, but for now I’m going to share my top 10 reads of 2013 as of this week. And they are in no particular order. These books all stood out for me in one way or another.

10. His Country Girl by Jillian Hart. This was a TBR backlist book and I wish I’d read it sooner because it was very well-crafted from a structure perspective. If you’re a writer targeting series romance, this is a good book to read for structure and pace. And if you’re a reader: enjoy.  

9. Inferno by Dan Brown. You either love him or you hate him. I always enjoy his books and I think this one was my favorite of his because there were twists I seriously didn’t see coming, making it different from his other books.  

8. My Kind of Christmas by Robyn Carr. I’ve read most of the Virgin River series but this one is definitely up there with my favorites. It’s all down to the heroine, who is brave and gutsy and generous.  

7. Deliverance by Jennie Marsland. The follow up to Shattered, this is the story of the “villain”, Carl, and takes place partly in Saskatchewan and partly in Halifax.  

6. McShannon’s Heart by Jennie Marsland. Jennie hits my list twice because I just love her writing. She has great characters, lovely settings, and a wonderful writing voice. They are my comfort reads.  

5.  The Billionaire’s Fair Lady by Barbara Wallace. Great chemistry, and the "smoothing out the rough edges" really did make this a "Fair Lady" type story. It has a lovely fairy-tale quality and a cast of great characters that you love - and also a few you love to hate.

 4. The Girl on Legare Street and The Strangers on Montagu Street by Karen White. I love this series. I put these books together on my top 10 list because otherwise it would have been a top 11 and since they are in the same series… I’m so glad there is a fourth book to put on my TBB list.  

3. Rocky Mountain Haven by Vivian Arend. I don’t read a lot of “hot” romance, but here’s the thing about Vivian and why her books are so great: you get the hot stuff but you also get great characters and depth of emotion. The stories are rooted in emotional motivations which make them satisfying reads.  

2. The Sweetheart Bargain by Shirley Jump. The first in Shirley’s new series from Berkeley. I love the hero and heroine (and the hero’s disability makes him even more yummy IMO), but the old ladies are nearly show stealers. LOVE them! How I know a book is great? It makes me laugh – but also makes me cry. This one did both. And so did my last pick…    

1. Make My Wish Come True by Fiona Harper. This is Fiona’s brand new single title from Harlequin UK and it was fantastic! Warm, realistic, with enough humor to qualify it as Chick Lit and more Women’s Fiction with a touch of romance. To be honest? I could see this one as a movie.   So there you have it! My favourite reads of the year!

Donna Alward
Website |  Twitter |  Amazon | Harlequin


  1. Some great suggestions Donna!! Definitely going to check out some of these ... and I'm a chick lit kind of person so Fiona's book definitely sounds like my cup of tea!

  2. Love this list. I've heard so many good things about the Virgin River series, I've been meaning to get into it forever. This will have to be the year.

  3. Great list - my reading has really taken peaks and valleys this year. I've not read the new Dan Brown, but I generally like him. One of the reads that has stuck with me through this is is the Hollow City, by Dan Wells - great, unusual story. I also gobbled up Julie Ann Long and Sabrina Jefferies this year, and Paula Altenburg's Demon Hunter was awesome. Also loved this little number called a Cowboy to Come Home to by Donna Alward :)

  4. I can't believe you've had time to read 52 books with all the writing you've done! When do you sleep?

  5. Great suggestions. Thanks, Donna!