This blog post is part of a series that the RT Editors will be taking part in during the month of December. Please check back all month long for each editor's installment!

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With 2013 winding down, the RT editors thought December would be a good time to reflect on what each of us read this year and which books stuck with us long after we finished them. While this year's RT Awards winners won't be announced until our convention in May, we've decided to share our personal favorites of 2013, in no particular order. Today RT Features Editor Mala Bhattacharjee shares her favorites of this past year:

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"The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway"
by Karina Cooper

Tarnished took our office by storm last year, and I remain swept away by the St. Croix Chronicles thanks to this prequel, which shows readers how opium addict and society lady Cherry St. Croix became a collector. Strangeway introduces us to a younger, but no less broken, Cherry, and Cooper is at the top of her game with a fast-paced story, great characters and ... and, yes, that damnable ubermysterious man, Micajah Hawke.

 

 

 

     
 

Any Duchess Will Do
by Tessa Dare

 Can I make a "favorite books" list without Tessa Dare on it? Nope. Any Duchess Will Do is the last of Dare's beloved Spindle Cove books, and it's as hilarious and charming as its predecessors. Notorious duke Griffin York gets more than he bargains for when he picks barmaid Pauline Simms as a would-be duchess to get one over on his matchmaking mother — and readers get one heck of a good story! I loved that Pauline took no guff from Griff, and that he actually grew as a person through their connection. And I still want to move to Spindle Cove.

 

     
 

The Mistress
by Tiffany Reisz

Everything you want from a series ender, The Mistress brings the Red Years of Reisz's masterful Original Sinners to a perfect conclusion. I cannot say enough about what this book delivers. It's like the electric season finale of a great TV show, where all your favorite characters play key roles and hearts hang in the balance. Plus, I actually cried over Nora Sutherlin and Søren, her literally sadistic partner, with whom I've had a hate-hate relationship throughout the series. If that doesn't sell you on picking up The Mistress, I don't know what will!

 

     
 

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover and No Good Duke Goes Unpunished
by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean was on fi-yah this year with two of her Rules for Scoundrels books releasing to much critical acclaim, and you can definitely count me on the list of fans. Cross and Temple's stories are on opposite sides of the spectrum — the former is a hilarious, geeky, laughfest and the latter a gutwrenching exploration of emotional darkness — and both showcase MacLean's deft hand at building a strong community of friends and crafting fascinating women who match equally fascinating men. Give me all your Scoundrels, Sarah MacLean. All of them.

 

     
 

Heart of Iron
by Bec McMaster

I have been waiting for Will and Lena's story since we first spied them in McMaster's debut, Kiss of Steel, and the author delivered and then some! These two burn the pages, and I honestly adored watching a literal beast like Will fall prey to Lena's spirit and her...er, will. It just goes to show: a little thing like being a werewolf doesn't get in the way of true love!  

 

 

     
 

"Silent Warrior"
by Lindsey Piper

The novella-length introduction to Piper's Dragon Kings world is immersive, dark, bloody—and delightful! I'm serious, a tale about a superpowered race of people locked in territorial underground cage fights is actually fun. Wisecracking hero Hark is a snarky laugh riot of the Spider-Man variety, and badass heroine Silence more than lives up to her name. After I read this, I had to have Caged Warrior and Blood Warrior, both of which are also excellent!

 

 

     
 

Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

To paraphrase Carly Simon, I'm so vain, I probably think this book is about me. No, seriously. This is like looking in a mirror. If you loved the Harry Potter books, are familiar with the workings of online fandom and just generally feel like your "real" life exists on the Internet while you're going through the motions in "RL," Rowell's Fangirl is for you. A loving, laughing look at what happens to Simon Snow superfan Cath when she and her twin sister go away to college, this is a story about friends, family, and finding your place in the world. Absolutely one of the best books I read in 2013.

 

     

Do you and Mala share some favorite books of the year? Which reads did you love in 2013? Let us know in the comments, and check back all month long for more editors' picks!

Tags: RT Daily Blog, Romance
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