The Top Romances of 2016 You Should Not Miss

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Image via Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

A Queer Trade/Rag and Bone by KJ Charles

A novella and novel, respectively, in Charles’s magical Victorian London set Charm of Magpies series, and, like the protagonists, both are utterly charming.

Charming might be an odd descriptor for books about witches and warlocks, blood magic, and reanimation among other things, but the romance between an apprentice magician led astray (Crispin Tredarloe) and a waste paper man who is pulled into the world of magic (Ned Hall) is delightful. Watching Ned come to terms with the world he knew being flipped on his head, and Crispin dealing with the same, despite his knowledge of magic, and how they forge ahead together, gave me all the happy feels. On top of this, Charles is a fantastic writer and researcher, and both her historical and magical worlds are richly drawn.

Over the course of the duology, Ned and Crispin are forced to navigate a new, and secret, relationship; Crispin’s possibly evil magical power (graphomancy), which makes him inherently untrustworthy to much of the magical world; and an ancient evil set on destruction. Highly recommended for fans of inventive magical worlds and sweet/hot romance.