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.