While this has been a hectic year for many, I have to take a moment to appreciate all the time I’ve had to read this year and really get to know the romance genre in a way I never thought I would. I’ve made some amazing friends and built relationships that are going to last a very long time. While there are plenty of negative things to focus on, it’s important to remember all the good stuff that has developed this year as well.
Now into more important matters, shall we!
Let’s take a moment and reflect back on some of MY top favorite romance reads that I’ve read this year and what I loved most about each one. I’ll try and be brief, you can always visit the original review if you want to learn more about each one!
10. Lover Awakened by JR Ward
I honestly never thought Zhadist would be able to reach me the way Ward brought him to life. Seeing him in the shadows of the background of the last two books, you know him only as he wants those to see him. Dark, evil and the scariest dude around.
But inside of him is a broken and reachable scarred man. His history is heartbreaking, the pain he’s suffered immense, but yet one woman seems to break all those barriers. Bella has been fascinated with Zhadist from a distance even before she met him.
9. Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen
Through many breakfasts, lunches and dozens of cups of cozy coffee, I felt a fondness for Violet Abrams that was very much like reading my own story. A quirky woman who struggles to pay attention but is amazingly artistic, has her heart broken by the man she devoted so many years of her life to when she catches him in the act of cheating on her.
8. Boys of Brayshaw High by Meagan Brandy
We’re introduced to the elite ruling class that is the Brayshaw boys, but when the new “group home girl” Raven comes to town, everything changes. She doesn’t care what anything thinks, will throw down and fight whoever and is actually pretty bad ass about it. Her closeness with the boys grows and they’re struggling to come to terms with trusting each other. Solid start to the series.
7. (Wild Minds Duet) Love to Hate Her / Hate to Love Him by J. Saman
I loved it. Plain and simple. The characters were individuals; they were relate-able even if they weren’t relate-able; I could believe they were real people with real issues and character flaws that holds them all back. This is an important trait to me when I read books. Even though novelized characters are clearly un-real, they MUST have real qualities and every single one in this book does. To my biggest relief.
6. The Wedding Date Disaster Avery Flynn
This was a really fun story to read. It reminded me why I love contemporary romantic comedy as much as I do. The main female character, Hadley, was an incredibly relatable character for most modern women. She never quite felt like she fit in anywhere, always considered herself a little over weight and never felt desired by any man. At best, she worried that men would use her just to make fun of her. Following her dreams of being a city girl, she left her ranch home in Nebraska to work in the big city of Harbor City. This is where she met the identical twins Web and Will who are filthy rich men running a family empire in the city.
5. Moth by Lana Sky
Hannah is a reserved, quiet young woman. She’s trying to find some form of freedom from her family ties and the hold her dear brother has over her. Moving out of her family home and into a more dangerous city has given her a small taste of the freedom she was longing for. But she struggles to feel. To feel anything other than numb to everything around her. Everyone. All of her experiences have driven her to this point and the question is… will she succumb?
4. No Mercy by DM Davis
No Mercy is the heated and emotional story of Gabriel “No Mercy” Stone, an affluent MMA fighter, ex-marine and overall bad-ass Alpha Male and the apple of his eye Frankie. However, Frankie is with Gabriel’s best friend, Austin and has been for almost a decade. Until one night changes everything and they all must face their new situation.
3. Love Unexpected by QB Tyler
The premise of this story is we have Stassia who is finishing her senior year of high school, she lives with her mother and her step-father Dominic. Her mother is a staple person in her life and is someone she loves wholly without complications. Our prologue outlines her initial meeting of Dominic when she was 10 and he became the principal at her elementary school, but she had already developed an enormous crush on him. Shortly after that Stassia’s mother met Dominic and they fell in love and got married.
2. Crowne Point Series by Mary C. Gebhard
Heartless Hero #1 | Stolen Soulmate and Forbidden Fate #2 and #3
I already knew the torture I was going to endure with this book. Being familiar with now Gebhard’s writing style and penchant for writing stories that obliterate your heart, I already knew what to expect.
Heartless Hero was no exception to her writing rule and had me damn hear tears several times through this story. This is the first book in her Crowne Point Series that is all about the three siblings of the Crowne family. They are the richest and most admired family around.
Ok, so in Stolen Soulmate we have the blossoming romance / intense heart wrenching experience that is Story and Gray. Grayson Crown (Gray) is the richest play boy known and his family is the most arrogant, power hungry bunch you’ll find. Story is a maid at their estate. A chance encounter brings them locking lips in an off-set room, but Gray was actually looking for his sweet heart, Lottie.
Forbidden Fate picks up right where Stolen Soulmate leaves off and continues to terrorize your heart and your emotions through out the entire story.
In this book Grayson had to marry the family choice of Lottie for his wife. We follow as Grayson and Story continue to struggle to stay apart, even if they’ve both made promises they can’t seem to keep.
Their broken hearts and dangerous passion for one another cannot keep them apart though, and we watch as everyone’s heart is shattered into pieces as the story continues to unfold. I don’t want to give too much away because then it will ruin your experience if you’re starting from the beginning.
1. Color Me Pretty by B. Celeste
Celeste is a masterful writer and one that emphasizes the struggles of people; deep struggles that live within the soul and are difficult to talk about, let alone write entire novels about them. This is not your ordinary romance novel that focuses on pretentious attraction and lewd sex scenes. While I love those stories when I’m in the mood for them, this book has all the aspects of pure literature within it, leaving your heart sated with a romance that means everything to someone.
Hopefully you’ve had an opportunity to enjoy some of these amazing works as well, but if not now you have a little reference of some stories that I highly recommend regularly to other readers! Let me know in the comments what have been some of your favorite reads this year and if you’ve read any of these!