January Reads

I’m a little late with my January reads – whoops! Only fitting, since I’ve been in a reading slump and haven’t really been reading much in February. BUT – I had a great reading month in January and read so many great books! Highlights included Under One Roof & Love on the Brain from Ali Hazelwood!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare (re-read)

Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood (ARC)

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood (ARC)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Barbarian Lover by Ruby Dixon

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon (ARC)

Barbarian Mine by Ruby Dixon

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly (ARC)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Outmatched by Kristen Callihan & Samantha Young

Love on the Lake by Helena Hunting

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Top 10 Romances of 2021

2021 reading was a wild ride! I didn’t read quite as many books as I have in previous years, but I’m okay with that. Life was hectic, busy, chaotic and full of ups and downs this past year. The books I did read were pretty amazing for the most part.

The books listed below are my favorite 10 books that I read this year. Narrowing down the choices was so hard! There is a mix of books that were published from previous years, this year and even a few ARCs that are releasing in 2022. These were all five star reads for me and I highly recommend each and every single one!

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

  • The Love Hypothesis had everything I love in a rom-com –
  • Funny scenes that had the perfect banter⁣
  • Fake dating/forced proximity/only one bed…need I say more?? ⁣
  • The tension and build up of a slow burn between the MC’s⁣
  • Strong willed and confident women in STEM ⁣
  • Consider this book to be a true rom-com with so much awkwardness that I had to constantly shut the book because I was laughing out loud so much!

Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan

  • Second chance romance and so much shared history and angst between the two.
  • Forced proximity situations that had me laughing out loud, yet swooning at the same time.
  • Slow burn and so much sexual tension
  • While Dear Enemy is a standalone, I definitely recommend the other book in this duology – Make it Sweet which technically takes place after Dear Enemy.
  • Highly recommend the audiobook to Dear Enemy -it was fantastic!

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

  • Friends to lovers
  • So much angst it had me swooning and tugging on my heart strings.
  • Timeline jumps that had me laughing and crying in equal measures and biting my nails at the anticipation of what was going to happen next.

Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

  • A romance featuring dueling bakers and a royal wedding⁣
  • Great British Bake Off or other baking shows vibes woven throughout thebook⁣
  • A grumpy/grumbly hero (who makes contestants cry), but might have a soft heart underneath
  • A spunky sunshiney heroine who loves glitter and all things sweet⁣

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

  • A slow burn with that steam we can expect from a Tessa Bailey book
  • Friends-to-lovers romance⁣
  • Hero and heroine who are both so vulnerable but are each others greatest support⁣
  • Angst, swooning and a book that will make you laugh and grin while reading it ⁣
  • Doesn’t release until 2022 – but I HIGHLY recommend it. Definitely read It Happened One Summer to get you ready for Hook, Line, and Sinker

The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

  • Enemies to lovers/bodyguard romance
  • Slow burn⁣
  • Grumpy/grunty hero that is a cinnamon roll (and can make cinnamon rolls)⁣
  • Fiercely loyal and funny heroine who unapologetically loves romance ⁣
  • A romance that has wonderful mental health representation⁣

Lease on Love by Fallon Ballard

  • Forced Proximity
  • Great friendships throughout the book⁣
  • Humor mixed in with plenty of angst
  • This book was just…sigh so great. It was such a sweet and soft romance.
  • And although there was a lot of humor throughout the book, there was also a lot of discussion on grief and starting over that was written so beautifully.⁣

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan

  • A second chance romance told over the span of years
  • Two very head strong characters who will not settle for anything less, but want only the best for each other
  • Political intrigue and issues being discussed that are still affecting us including: how indigenous people are being treated, clean energy, race, gender
  • The sweetest, swooniest and steamiest romance!

Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday

  • Friends to lovers⁣
  • Slow burn romance⁣
  • Grumpy/sunshine (she’s the grumpy one)⁣
  • The cutest puppy⁣
  • Christmas-y vibes (but never felt over the top)
  • If contemporary romance met historical romance I feel like it would be Duke, Actually. Which sounds so strange – but works so well

The Wedding Ringer by Kerry Rea

  • Wonderful book about the loss of friendships, new friendships and the vulnerability that comes with both.
  • Sweetest romance with great banter. I had a grin on my face every time Willa & Liam were on the same page. I was constantly laughing out loud and rooting for the two to get together!
  • A book so profound and touching that I can’t possibly do it justice with my words – highly recommend!

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize the purchase.

November Reads

I can’t believe that the year is almost over – where did it go?? I feel like at times this year was moving at a snails pace and then bam – it’s already December! I need to start thinking about my top list of books in 2021 already! I’ve read so many amazing books this year. While I didn’t read a lot this month, the books that I did read were spectacular. Standouts include The Wedding Ringer, Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships and Duke, Actually!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday

The Wedding Ringer by Kerry Rea

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (re-read)

Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills (ARC)

Beach Read by Emily Henry (re-read)

Love, Lists and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder-Ruiz (ARC)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams (ARC)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

First Love, Take Two by Sajni Patel

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize the purchase.

October Reads

October came and went in the blink of an eye, it feels! I started off the month strong, but didn’t end up reading a lot this month. Work, Halloween, activities with my kiddos during the day kept me pretty busy! I did a lot of re-reads this month because that’s what I felt most like reading. Favorites books included The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan and a re-read of The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan (moved my rating up from 4🌟 to 5🌟).

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan

The Devil of Downtown by Joanna Shupe (re-read)

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan (re-read)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Well Matched by Jen Deluca (ARC)

A Perfect Equation by Elizabeth Everett (ARC)

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer (ARC)

Series Spotlight – The Kingmaker & The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan

I have had this duet sitting on my bookshelf for so long and I am totally beating myself over not picking it up sooner! Do you do that too? Well, if you have this duet – The Kingmaker & The Rebel King – sitting on your kindle, bookshelf or book cart – I highly recommend them!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this duet. And to be honest – the synopsis tells you enough about what the book is about, but at the same time nothing about what the book is about (I know that makes NO SENSE ha!). I will highlight what parts about this series that I loved –

  • A second chance romance told over the span of years
  • Two very head strong characters who will not settle for anything less, but want only the best for each other
  • Political intrigue and issues being discussed that are still affecting us including: how indigenous people are being treated, clean energy, race, gender
  • The sweetest, swooniest and 🔥🔥🔥 romance…sigh

I honestly LOVED these books so much and couldn’t stop reading once I started. Maxim and Lennix had that pull, that amazing chemistry whenever they were on the same page together. And I adored them together, but also came to love the people around them. Everyone from Lennix’s business partner Kimba to Maxim’s parents. Once you start reading The Kingmaker (book 1), be sure that The Rebel King (book 2) is ready!!

Have you read this duet or other books by Kennedy Ryan? I can’t wait to pick up more books from her backlist.

You can read my GoodReads review for The Kingmaker here and The Rebel King here!

CW: kidnapping, PTSD, death of a loved one (on page)

September Reads

September was such a busy busy month. While I read the most books in quite some time in August, it seems like I slowed way down and read maybe my fewest books in a month in September. My month started strong, but then I fell into a book slump. And I just felt like re-reading a lot – so that’s exactly what I did ☺ Favorites of this month include The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan (why did I wait so long to pick up this book?!) and Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore (ARC)

Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan (re-read via audiobook)

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood (re-read via audiobook – ALC)

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy (ARC)

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren (re-read)

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka (ARC)

Series Spotlight – Make it Sweet & Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan

Have you discovered any new to you authors this year? I have discovered a few of them including – Karina Halle, Lucy Parker and Kristen Callihan. In February so many friends were posting about Make it Sweet by Kristen Callihan and I had to buy the book and check it out for myself.

To say that I loved Make it Sweet would be an understatement. I loved the broody, pastry making, ex hockey player Lucian as well as sweet and sunshine-y movie star Emma. Their fun banter, slow burn and vulnerabilities got to me and I LOVED this book so much. I realized soon after reading Make it Sweet that there was a second book in the same universe – Dear Enemy. I immediately started reading it and maybe loved it even more than Make it Sweet.

I love an angsty, second chance romance, enemies-to-lovers slow burn romance and Macon and Delilah were a couple I was rooting for from the first page! Dear Enemy had me crying not soon after starting it and I loved everything about this book.

If you haven’t read either of these books yet, I highly recommend them! I have the audiobook, e-book and physical books of both of these books – that only happens if I really LOVE a book 😍

You can read my full review of Make it Sweet here and Dear Enemy here!

August Reads

August was a really good reading month! Somehow I managed to read 11 books – which is the most I have read in a month this year. I think it was a combination of reading really good books, audiobooks and my kids being back in school that allowed me to read so much. Standouts from this month included Hook, Line, and Sinker from Tessa Bailey (which doesn’t release until next spring), Electric Idol by Katee Robert, Lease on Love by Falon Ballard (another spring release) and The Lady Gets Lucky by Joanna Shupe which releases next month!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey (ARC)

The Lady Gets Lucky by Joanna Shupe (ARC)

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (reread via audiobook)

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas (reread via audiobook)

Electric Idol by Katee Robert (ARC)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Witches Get Stitches by Juliette Cross (ARC)

Lease on Love by Falon Ballard (ARC)

A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria (ARC)

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling (ARC)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory (ARC)

Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas (ARC)

July Reads

July was a great ARC heavy reading month for me. I ended up reading 9 books – which is a lot, considering it was a busy busy month! Favorites of the month included Isn’t it Bromantic? and Bombshell! I’m excited to see what great books August has in store!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Isn’t it Bromantic? by Lyssa Kay Adams

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Out of the Blue by Kathryn Nolan

Love Next Door by Helena Hunting

The Devil and the Heiress by Harper St. George

The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon

Rating: 3 out of 5.

When Stars Collide by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The Viscount Made Me Do It by Diana Quincy

June Reads

I can’t believe it’s already July – the best month (okay maybe only because it’s my Birthday month 😂). How is half of the year already over?! I wrapped up my favorite books of the year so far and you can read my blog post here if you’d like. There have been some amazing books that have released this year and I am looking forward to what’s in store for the rest of the year. I ended up reading more than my usual in June. The Royals Next Door was easily my favorite book of the month!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

Pucked Off by Helena Hunting (re-read)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

Rating: 3 out of 5.

To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne

When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting