2019 was a great reading year for me! I created my bookstagram and ended up adding so many books to my TBR and a lot of those were excellent reads. I ended up reading 119 books and out of those 36 were five star reads for me. I’m listing my top 15 because let’s be honest – it’s way too hard to narrow it down to 10. Here’s mini reviews for the books that I keep going back to 💕
Wicked and the Wallflower and Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean I read Wicked and the Wallflower first and it was my first Sarah MacLean book. I loved the setup to the Barknuckle Bastards and the love story between Devil and Felicity was EVERYTHING. Just the same, I also loved Hattie and Whit in Brazen and the Beast! I can’t wait for the third book in the series which is Grace’s story Daring the Duke
Fix Her UP by Tessa Bailey When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t expecting such a hot and sizzling book! The cover definitely fooled me! Georgie and Travis had so much chemistry and this book combined my favorite tropes: fake dating and childhood friends. Also – who here loves a grumpy hero? Travis was the perfect broody alpha male to Georgie’s sweet sunshiny self
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams I’ll be honest, I was a bet hesitant to pick up this book because there was so much hype surrounding it. I am so glad I ended up reading this book because it was so refreshing. A group of men who form a book club and read romance novels to help them manage their relationships? Yes please!! Loved Gavin and Thea and their complicated, married relationship.
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn Kate Clayborn has such a unique writing style. Her writing is almost poetic and there were parts of this book that had me so emotional. Love Lettering is a romance novel, but also a book that delves deeper into our insecurities with love, of being loved for who we are and how sacred the bonds of friendship are at various stages in our lives. I received a complimentary physical copy of this book from the publisher.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy I literally re-read this book two more times after initially reading it as part of a buddy read on bookstagram. Garret + Hannah were so perfectly matched for each other and I loved their slow realization that they were perfect for each other. Garret being the “bad boy” and Hannah having to help him with his grades in exchange for him teaching her how to rope in a football player was the perfect set up. I love this book so much and if you haven’t read it yet – what are you waiting for!
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez What can I say except that whatever Abby Jimenez writes, I will always be the first one to auto-buy her books. The Friend Zone had so much angst and I read it well into the night and simply could not put it down. This book discuses some heavier issues like infertility and the loss of a loved one, but it was done so well. It had the perfect amount of humor from Kristen and Josh is seriously book boyfriend material. The follow up to The Friend Zone, The Happily Ever After Playlist releases later this year and is Sloan’s story.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren This is probably the only book that I literally read in one sitting. I started one morning and did not stop reading until I was finished with it. I was laughing so hard and yet the chemistry between Ethan and Olive was sizzling. Although this is a closed door romance, I didn’t necessarily miss the heat and loved the witty banter and the fake relationship trope between Ethan and Olive.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne I read this book from the library and then re-read it by way of audiobook a few months later and I still loved this book just as much the second time. I will admit, enemies to lover is a favorite trope of mine and Josh and Lucy have SO MUCH hate for one another. And yet the sexual chemistry was sizzling off the page. The Hating Game had the perfect amount of angst, steam and sweetness.
Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren A few friends had recommended me The Wild Season Series by Christina Lauren and when I found the books at half price books I snatched them up and couldn’t wait to read them.
Compared to a lot of the newer CLo books which are mainly closed door, this one was had a lot of steam but it tied in so well with the book. I loved the intimate side of Mia and Ansel’s relationship, as well as how they awkwardly navigate their new relationship. I felt so much for these characters and I loved Mia so much! Ansel was such a sweet and caring boyfriend, but I admired Mia’s backbone and independence while navigating her life. Great set up to this sizzling series.
Pucked Off by Helena Hunting Pucked Off surprised me in the best way. I was figuring Lance’s story was going to be about reforming him and his bad boy image, but it was so much more than that. It had a lot of heavier content and yet the love story between Poppy and Lance was so freakin sweet. Poppy was the ray of sunshine through Lance’s darkness and she was such a warm and extremely likable character. I honestly cannot put into words how much I absolutely loved loved loved this book.
The Simple Wild by KA Tucker Where do I even start with this book? I put off reading this book for so long and then once I read it I completely fell in love with Calla, Jonah, Wren, Agnes and all of Alaska. I love a great book that has not only character development, but stories that seem so real that they can’t help but tug on your heartstrings. Calla’s journey to Alaska to meet her father does all of those things.
The chemistry between Jonah and Calla was so amazing. As soon as these two have their first scene together, you are rooting for them to end up together. I loved the witty banter between these two. I hated Jonah and yet I also loved his personality and the way he would needle Calla. I can’t wait for the next book in the series Wild at Heart which releases in March!
Hooking Up by Helena Hunting After reading the first book in the series, I didn’t really know what to expect with Lexington. But the chemistry between Lexington and Amalie was scorching hot and I LOVED it. Although Amalie was vulnerable after her she found out her smarmy husband was cheating on her, I loved how she busted out of her shell after ditching him. Lexington is the perfect book boyfriend and he shows so much tenderness with Amalie. I could not get enough of these two. The book had so much heat (lots of sexy times), but also just as much heart.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown This book was so refreshingly beautiful and I absolutely loved it. The story follows Chloe Brown, who is ready to make a change and start living a bit dangerously. You see, Chloe is chronically ill and she’s had it with being careful all the time. Number one on her list is moving out of her parents house and in to her own place and that’s where her path crosses with Red Morgan, the superintendent of the building she is renting.
I loved the banter between Red and Chloe! Chloe is so buttoned up (see what I did there) and Red is the opposite of her. He’s sexy, rides a motorcycle and has multiple tattoos. These two had such a lovely friendship that slowly morphed into something more. Both of these characters have their own complex issues, but I love the way they communicated. They didn’t let a miscommunication or misunderstanding get in their way (for too long at least). I quite simply loved everything about this book!
Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren After reading Sweet Filthy Boy I immediately dived into Dirty Rowdy Thing and I was definitely NOT disappointed.
The love(or is it lust)/hate relationship between these Harlow and Finn was so much fun to read! There was always this intense sexual undercurrent when the two of them were on the same page together. What starts out as a fling between two people who don’t even really like each other turns in to so much more. I love it that Christina Lauren is able to do that – weave these emotional connections to family and friends in an otherwise sizzling romance. Perhaps that’s why I always look forward to reading their books. Perhaps my favorite Christina Lauren book