The Slowburn Romance Lover’s Guide to Mariana Zapata

So, you love slow burn romance or you’ve heard about Mariana Zapata, but you don’t know where to start?

I’m here to help.

I’ve read every single Mariana Zapata book she’s written and I adored them all. MZ is probably my favorite contemporary romance author and it’s even better because she’s an indie author as well.

MZ comes out with around one book per year, which is totally understandable considering all of her books are SUPER long. They all are around 500 pages of slow burning goodness.

If I had to pick one book that I would recommend to anyone who likes slow burn romances or wants to start reading Mariana Zapata, I’d probably choose The Wall of Winnipeg and Me.

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This was my first Mariana Zapata book and it is still my favorite.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is for you if you like:

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Marriage of convenience
  • Sports romance (football)
  • Quiet, misunderstood hero

 

If you think a hero couldn’t get away with sleeping with other girls, I challenge you to read Lingus. It’s a porn star romance done so right.

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Lingus is for you if you like:

  • Friends-to-lovers
  • Hilarious meetcute
  • Dogs!
  • Great cringey moments

 

Next up… one of MZ’s steamier books.

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Under Locke is for you if you like:

  • Motorcycle clubs
  • Tattoo artists
  • Bad boys
  • Enemies-to-lovers
  • Workplace romance
  • Brother’s friend

 

Another super popular MZ book…

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Kulti is for you if you like:

  • Sports romance (soccer)
  • Female professional athletes
  • Fame
  • Heroes with accents (German)

 

This next one was my least favorite, but I still really liked it!

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Rhythm, Chord, & Malykhin is for you if you like:

  • Rockstars
  • Forced togetherness
  • Brother’s friend
  • Travel

 

This book stars the heroine in The Wall of Winnipeg and Me’s best friend.

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Wait for It is for you if you like:

  • Neighbors-to-lovers
  • Kids
  • Baseball

 

The book that I would highly recommend if you loved The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

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From Lukov with Love is for you if you like:

  • Enemies-to-lovers
  • Hilarious banter
  • Animals
  • Misunderstood heroes
  • Sports romance (Figure skating)
  • Forced togetherness
  • Caretaking scenes

 

One of MZ’s most uniquely written books – the entire first half is written completely in correspondence.

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Dear Aaron is for you if you like:

  • Military romance
  • Long-distance relationships
  • Beach reads

 

MZ’s second to last release…

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Luna and the Lie is for you if you like:

  • Workplace romance
  • Grumpy + sunshine couples
  • Brooding heroes

 

And last, but not least, her most recent release (also my Dad’s favorite!)

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The Best Thing is for you if you like:

  • Second chance romance
  • Sports romance (rugby)
  • Strong family dynamics

Romances with Lots of Longing

I recently did a post listing all of the things I love in romance novels and one of those things was longing.

Give me all the heart-aching romance. I am so here for it.

In my recent BookTube video, I gave five recommendations of books that were filled with swoon-worthy longing and I figured I’d do an accompanying blog post as well:

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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

This was the book that inspired this entire list. After finishing it, I sat back and really thought about what made me adore this book so much, and I ultimately came to the conclusion that it was the longing that our hero, Duane, had for our heroine, Jessica.

In this small town romance that follows the Winston Brothers, you meet Jessica when she’s dressed up as a “sexy Gandolf” – a statement she is making about all the sexy Halloween costumes available for females. Jessica has been in love with Duane’s twin brother Beau, who is his complete opposite aside from identical looks.

Duane, however, has been in love with Jessica since they were kids. Even though he is pretty stoic on the outside – to the point where Jessica thinks he’s mean compared to his brother who is super sweet – he’s been carrying a torch for her forever.

It’s that attraction to her that he has kept under wraps for so long that introduces such great longing in this book.

My Review | Goodreads

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Brooklynaire (Brooklyn #1) by Sarina Bowen

This book is actually Book 4 in the Brooklyn Bruisers series, but for some reason on Goodreads it is listed as Book 1 in the Brooklyn series. Either way it can be read as a standalone.

Similar to Truth or Beard, our hero, Nate, has been singularly attracted to his assistant, Rebecca, for years – since before his tech company (similar to Apple) became hugely successful. Because of this and because he doesn’t want to potentially ruin their professional relationship, he moves her to Brooklyn to manage the business of the hockey team he just purchased.

Nate is somewhat socially awkward as a total techy, so he isn’t your typical rich dude in romance novels, which is refreshing. And it’s honestly his adoration of Rebecca and her complete cluelessness about it that is so beautiful in this book.

Goodreads

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Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis

Forbidden romance is one of the best sources of longing in novels. And what is more heartwrenching than two young adults with Cystic Fibrosis who are not allowed within 6 feet of each other? Imagine being in love with someone you can never touch without risking your life or theirs?

Keep in mind that this story, though a work of fiction, is factual (I’ve seen reviews from people with CF), so this might not be your go-to if you are looking for a traditional happy ending.

My Review | Goodreads

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Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover

This book flips the longing switch a little bit here. Typically I prefer the hero to be the one who has been pining, but in this one it is our heroine, Shaw, who has been in love with her deceased best friend’s twin brother, Rule.

As is fairly consistent with this type of novel with pining/longing, Rule has no idea that Shaw has feelings for him. Mostly because he thinks that she and his brother were together (they weren’t) and because they are so different. Or at least he thinks they are.

Shaw is in college and comes from a very wealthy family who dictates everything she does down to what she wears whereas Rule is a tattoo artist with tons of piercings, tattoos, and ever-changing crazy hair. What he doesn’t realize is that she admires him for that – and many other things.

It’s so satisfying when he finally becomes attracted to her and notices her.

Goodreads

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White Knight by CD Reiss

Ughhhhh… just thinking about this book gives me butterflies.

This is another forbidden romance, but the twist is that it follows two separate timelines: when the hero and heroine are young adults and fall in love… and where they end up after they are torn apart.

Most of the longing takes place when they are young adults – she is rich and her parents forbid her to see the hero (who does not meet their high standards). When they are torn apart, he takes it upon himself to become worthy of her.

When they are older, their roles are reversed, but the chemistry is still there.

If you love longing and forbidden, second chance romance, you will love this one.

My Review | Goodreads

6 Irreverent Heroes I Love

If you are looking for heroes who will somehow make you smile and roll your eyes at the same time, this is the list for you.

 

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Adrian – Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

I feel like Adrian is the OG irreverent hero that I fell in love with – considering I read this over a decade ago, I’ve been comparing so many heroes that fall into this category to Adrian.

Beneath Adrian’s rakish, careless behavior, there is someone who is suffering mentally. And that vulnerability along with his devotion is what made me love him so much … and what broke my heart.

Goodreads

 

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Theo – Leo Loves Ares (Signs of Love #1) by Anyta Sunday

Moving from the original irreverent hero that I love to one of the newer ones here.

It’s Theo’s self-deprecating sense of humor and his utter cluelessness that make him so adorable. Pair that with the swoon level in this book and you have the perfect combination.

Goodreads | Review

 

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue By: Mackenzi Lee

Monty – Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings #1)  by Mackenzi Lee

Monty made this novel for me. Yes, it was entertaining, but to completely honest, a book like this isn’t something I normally gravitate toward. They hype drew me in, but Monty kept me there. (Along with all of the other great side characters.) 

Monty is unapologetically who he is. He’s surprisingly self-aware. Pair all of that with the crazy situations he finds himself in, and you have such a fun, entertaining read that will keep you smiling.

Review | Goodreads

 

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Howl – Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones

I have a soft place in my heart for Howl and his over-dramatics.

This is a classic that so many authors have referred to that I had to read it. Much like the previous book, this isn’t one I would normally gravitate toward, but I was so entertained throughout this book and it was all because of Howl and his ridiculousness. 

Review | Goodreads

 

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Keane – Ball Peen Hammer (Morgan Brothers #1) by Lauren Rowe

I actually hesitated, at first, to put Keane on this list. I wasn’t quite sure he fit the bill for the type of hero I’m listing in this rec post mostly because Keane is such an introvert – but not in the traditional sense.

He comes off far more irreverent and clueless than he actually is. And that’s what so interesting about his character. It also helps that he’s a male stripper, so there’s that.

Review | Goodreads

 

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Drew – Tangled (Tangled #1) by Emma Chase

This list was only going to have 5 heroes on it, but as I was browsing my 5 star reads to curate this list, I came across this book and just smiled.

I hated Drew when I started the book. He’s a straight up, unlikable asshole – but he’s so funny and ridiculous that I coudn’t help but fall in love with him as he reluctantly gives his heart away. Even after it is broken he is still in denial. 

Review | Goodreads

 

Historical Romance Recommendations for #HRREADATHON20 From My Sister

I’m so excited to participate in the Historical Romance Readathon beginning tomorrow. I’m not a huge historical reader, but my sister is, so I sent her the bingo board and asked to borrow some books.

Historical Romance Readathon Info

Dates: March 16-22
Hosts: @peacelovebooks, @remarkablylisa, @laceylovesbooks
Bingo Board:
EQ6c0EiU0AANYCl

Historical Romance Recommendations

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Never Trust a Rogue (Heiress in London #2) by Olivia Drake
Published after 2000

  • War Hero/Scoundrel and guardian of young ward
  • Sneaky “fake detective” heroine
  • Murderer on the loose

Goodreads

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Seduce me at Sunrise (The Hathaways #2) by Lisa Kleypas
POC MC

  • Hero of mysterious origins who doesn’t think he’s good enough for the heroine
  • Hero and heroine separated for a long period of time
  • Secrets and high stakes

Goodreads

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The Last Debutante by Julia London
Highlander

  • Sexy laird w/ supposed amnesia
  • Spirited English lady
  • Adventure, romance, kidnapping

Goodreads

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A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers #4.5) by Lisa Kleypas
Wallflower

  • Hero w/ shocking American ways
  • Proper lady-in-waiting
  • Matchmaking

Goodreads

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The Proposal (The Survivors’ Club #1) by Mary Balogh
Titled hero

  • Solitary widowed heroine
  • Daring war hero
  • Rescue meetcute

Goodreads

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Highland Scandal (The Scandalous Series #2) by Julia London
Highlander

  • Hero on the run
  • Marriage of convenience
  • Niece of a highland laird

Goodreads

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Silent Melody (Georgian #2) by Mary Balogh
Series, Published before 2000

  • Beautiful, wild, unspoiled, deaf, and mute heroine betrothed to the wrong man
  • Dark and reckless lord hero
  • Second chance romance

Goodreads

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First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh
Marriage of convenience

  • Fiery sensual family
  • Proud, daring, widowed heroine
  • Eligible bachelor hero

Goodreads

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Again the Magic (Wallflowers #0.5) by Lisa Kleypas
Set outside of London

  • Forbidden romance
  • High class heroine
  • Hero who becomes powerful

Goodreads

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Only a Kiss (The Survivors’ Club #6) by Mary Balogh
Set outside of London

  • Secluded heroine who witnessed her husband’s murder
  • Hero who inherits heroine’s residence unknowingly
  • Can be read as standalone

Goodreads

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Dancing at Midnight (The Splendid Trilogy #2) by Julia Quinn
Titled hero, Scarred hero, set outside of London

  • Smart and beautiful heroine taking a break from Marriage Mart
  • Wounded war hero
  • Hate to love

Goodreads

Goodreads

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A Rogue of my Own (Reid Family #3) by Johanna Lindsey
By Johanna Lindsey

    • Unknowing rivalry
    • Courtly spies
    • Spies and double lives

 

Goodreads

A Few Favorite Backlist Romance Novels for #Backlistreadathon20

I read more backlist titles than recent releases, to be completely honest. Unless it is by an author a love or a book that has gotten to me with the hype – I rarely read new releases. So, it was pretty easy to pick 10 backlist books that I loved.

I purposely chose a few that are what I would consider “classic” adult romance novels – books that, as a romance reader, you’ve probably had on your TBR forever or have at least heard of them – and I’m here to tell you that now is the perfect time to finally getting around to reading them! Some of these books are my favorites that I feel don’t get enough love.

I also focused on choosing books published BEFORE 2014.

These are all adult romance novels that vary from paranormal to contemporary.

Anyway, today is the first day of the Backlist Readathon, so if you’re looking for a backlist title to read, I highly recommend these:

Backlist Adult Romance Novel Recommendations

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (2005)
Although this is a beast of a book, this is a must-read for romance lovers. The romance in this one is as epic as the story and the TV show is one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen.
Goodreads | How I Met My Book

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Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by JR Ward (2005)
If you somehow haven’t heard of this series, I’d be very surprised. Granted, I did not finish the series as there are about 8 million books in it, and I could only handle the way these characters speak for the first 10 or so books, I absolutely ADORED the first three books. If nothing else, read those!
Goodreads | How I Met My Book

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Shifters series by Rachel Vincent (2007)
This entire series does not get enough love! My sisters and I were so obsessed with these books and we’ve all re-read them about 100 times. If you love Rose from Vampire Academy, you will love Faythe. Her character is very similar, but this is a New Adult paranormal romance, so there are steamier scenes. Faythe goes through a similiar, satisfying character growth as Rose and the love triangle is on point.
Goodreads | Review

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Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid series) by Richelle Mead (2007)
Speaking of Vampire Academy, aside from that series, this is my favorite series by Richelle Mead. It’s a super steamy, super hilarious paranormal adult romance that follows a Succubus that hates her job. And it’s definitely a job, all of the paranormal creatures are like characters in a workplace comedy. It’s amazing.
Goodreads

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Sunday’s at Tiffany’s by James Patterson (2008)
This is an oldie, but goodie and such a unique love story between a woman and her imaginary friend when she was a child. Oh, and it was also made into a Hallmark movie that is cheesy AF, but I love it.
Goodreads

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Kiss of Fire (Dragonfire series) by Deborah Cooke (2008)
For those of us who had Black Dagger Brotherhood hangovers, but couldn’t stand to read on in that series because if they heard, “What’s doin'” one more time, they’d break… I present you with dragon shapeshifters.
Goodreads

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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011)
I highly recommend the audiobook for this one, I’ve heard it can be daunting to read (and I had a similar experience), but the audiobook is SO good. It is read by my favorite audiobook narrator, Jennifer Ikeda. Her accents are on point. This is another one that was made into a really good TV show!
Goodreads

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Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover (2012)
Jay Crownover has been writing a lot of cowboy romances lately and it seems weird to me, because this is my favorite series by her. It’s a contemporary new adult romance series that follows characters that work in a tattoo parlor. I adore this series and all of the characters, but this first book is my favorite in the series.
Goodreads

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Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren (2014)
This author duo is very popular, but although this is my favorite book that they’ve ever written, it’s not one of their more popular titles – and I’m not sure why! It’s definitely much more steamy than most of their books, but the romance is SO swoony!
Goodreads | Review

Favorite Audible Escape Novels {Part Two: YA}

Check out Part One: Adult Romance Novels here.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han’s beloved novels are now available together for the first time in this delightful hardcover boxed set!

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This enchanting collection includes hardcover editions of To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeP.S. I Still Love You; and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.

 


Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Last year, Annabel was “the girl who has everything” — at least that’s the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store.

This year, she’s the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen’s help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

 


The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

That’s what Macy has to look forward to while her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp. Days will be spent at a boring job in the library, evenings will be filled with vocabulary drills for the SATs, and spare time will be passed with her mother, the two of them sharing a silent grief at the traumatic loss of Macy’s father.

But sometimes, unexpected things can happen—things such as the catering job at Wish, with its fun-loving, chaotic crew. Or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, awakening long-buried memories. Things such as meeting Wes, a boy with a past, a taste for Truth-telling, and an amazing artistic talent, the kind of boy who could turn any girl’s world upside down. As Macy ventures out of her shell, she begins to question her sheltered life.

 


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Maybe This Time by Kasie West

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.


Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.


First and Then by Emma Mills

Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.

Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.


I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.


Never Never Series by Colleen Hoover

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Hopeless joins forces with the New York Times bestselling author of Mud Vein. Together, they have created a gripping, romantic tale unlike any other. “How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”
Charlize Wynwood and Silas Nash have been best friends since they could walk. They’ve been in love since the age of fourteen. But as of this morning…they are complete strangers. Their first kiss, their first fight, the moment they fell in love…every memory has vanished. “I don’t care what our real first kiss was,” he says. “That’s the one I want to remember.”
Charlize and Silas must work together to uncover the truth about what happened to them and why. But the more they learn about the couple they used to be…the more they question why they were ever together to begin with.
“I want to remember what it feels like to love someone like that. And not just anyone. I want to know what it feels like to love Charlie.”

10 Favorite Audible Escape Audiobooks (Part One: Adult Romance)

I am such a huge fan of Audible Escape and have been a part of the program since Day One. Since then, I’ve come across many favorites, so I decided to share them with you here:

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All In Duet – Emma Scott

“I would love you forever, if I only had the chance…”

Kacey Dawson has always lived life on the edge–impulsively, sometimes recklessly. And now, as lead guitarist for a hot up-and-coming band, she is poised at the brink of fame and fortune. But she is torn between wanting to be a serious musician, and the demons that lure her down the glittering, but alcohol-soaked path of rock stardom. A wrecked concert in Las Vegas threatens to ruin her career entirely. She wakes up with the hangover from hell and no memory of the night before, or how she ended up on her limo driver’s couch…

Jonah Fletcher is running out of time. He knows his situation is hopeless, and he’s vowed to make the most of the handful of months he has left to him. His plans include seeing the opening of his glass installation at a prestigious art gallery…they do not include falling in love with a wild, tempestuous rock musician who wound up passed out on his couch.

Jonah sees that Kacey is on a path to self-destruction. He lets her crash with him for a few days to dry out and get her head on straight. But neither of them expected the deep connection they felt, or how that connection could grow so fast from friendship into something more. Something deep and pure and life-changing…something as fragile as glass, that they both know will shatter in the end no matter how hard they try to hold on to it.

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Blurred Lines – Lauren Layne

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

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Shifters series – Rachel Vincent

There are only eight breeding female werecats left…

And I’m one of them.

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back… for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them…

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The Gravity of Us (Elements #4) – Brittany C Cherry

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

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Let’s Get Textual (Texting #1) – Teagan Hunter

A wrong number is supposed to be just that—a wrong number.

Delete. Done.

Do not continue to text. Do not flirt.

A wrong number shouldn’t be the first person on your mind in the morning, or the last at night…and you’re definitely not supposed to talk them into buying a baby goat.

Because that would be weird.

When Zach Hastings and I get into a wrong-number mix-up, we don’t follow the rules. We keep texting and flirting, because he’s wicked funny and perfectly nerdy and a wonderful distraction.

I’m not looking for love, and Zach definitely had the wrong number.

But maybe…

Maybe he’s the right guy.

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A Little Night Magic (Nodaway Falls #1) – Lucy March

In New York Times bestselling author Lucy March’s new novel, Olivia Kiskey needs a change. She’s been working at the same Nodaway Falls, New York, waffle house since she was a teenager; not a lot of upward mobility there. She’s been in love with Tobias, the cook, for the last four years; he’s never made a move. Every Saturday night, she gathers with her three best friends—Peach, Millie, and Stacy—and drinks the same margaritas while listening to the same old stories.

Intent on shaking things up, she puts her house on the market, buys a one-way ticket to Europe, and announces her plans to her friends… but then she meets Davina Granville, a strange and mystical Southern woman who shows Olivia that there is more to her life than she ever dreamed.

As Liv’s latent magical powers come to the surface, she discovers that having an interesting life is maybe not all it’s cracked up to be. The dark side of someone else’s magic is taking over good people in town, and changing them into vessels of malevolence. Unwilling to cede her home to darkness, she battles the demons of her familial past and her magical present, with those she loves at her side… and in the cross fire.

Can the most important things in life—friendship, love, magic, and waffles—get her through the worst that the universe can throw at her?

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Trade Me (Cyclone #1) – Courtney Milan

Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Technology. But when he makes an off-hand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

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American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy #1) – Sierra Simone

It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen.

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Attachments – Rainbow Rowell

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now—reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers—not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained—and captivated—by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

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The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) – Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

50 Short Kindle Unlimited Romance Novels/Novellas Under 300 Pages {Kindle Unlimited Readathon Recs}

I’m so excited to be participating in the Kindle Unlimited Readathon. I was invited to participate by my sweet friend Shelby over at Shelby Taggart Reads on Booktube.

The Readathon takes place over a weekend 12/27-12/29 and the goal is to read as many Kindle Unlimited books as you can during that period.

Reading more Kindle Unlimited books is something I’d like to start doing more of… I need to get the most out of my membership after all – so this readathon is perfect.

I’ve also discovered so many great books that are available on this service thanks to all the recommendation videos associated with this readathon.

Unfortunately, I have an incredibly busy weekend during this readathon, so I started going through all the books I want to read that are available on Kindle Unlimited and pulled all the books that are under 300 pages.

I also did some research and found a bunch of super short novellas.

I compiled the list and thought I’d share it with you in case you are participating in the readathon – or if you just have KU and want to check these out!

You can find the complete list on Amazon here.

I’ve listed these in order from shortest page count to highest page count. I’ve also linked the covers to Goodreads so that you can check out the ratings and read the synopsis for each one.

Continue reading “50 Short Kindle Unlimited Romance Novels/Novellas Under 300 Pages {Kindle Unlimited Readathon Recs}”

Buzzword Readathon TBR & Recs! + {New Video}

The Buzzword Readathon starts on Monday and I’m SO ready.

OK, maybe not SO ready, but kind of ready and also nervous because I have a lot of physical books on my list and only one audio. Finding time to sit down and read a physical book is always a challenge for me, but that’s the whole point right?

If you’d rather watch this TBR and rec, check out my video here:

Otherwise, keep reading!

Continue reading “Buzzword Readathon TBR & Recs! + {New Video}”