Favorite Standalone Adult Contemporary Romance Novels for ContemporaryAThon + New Video

If you are participating in ContemporaryAThon or if you are just looking for some great contemporary romance novels for adults, I’ve put together this list of all my favorites.

If you’d rather watch the video (and find out why I love each book), you can check it out here:

Continue reading “Favorite Standalone Adult Contemporary Romance Novels for ContemporaryAThon + New Video”

Authors Who I Wish Were My Best Friends

Here’s something you should know about me: I fall into platonic love very easily and very quickly and for very random reasons.


It may be entirely superficial and 100% built upon these imaginary scenarios in my head, but still.

There have been many times I’ve had one conversation with someone and decided that I needed to be best friends with them.

Also, I’m, apparently, very dramatic.

All this to say I’ve found that sometimes an author’s personality so clearly shines through their characters and I’ve found myself thinking about how awesome they must be to have brought such interesting/charismatic/charming characters to life so (seemingly) effortlessly.

To be fair, not every book that contains an interesting character makes me feel like the author would be just as interesting, there are just a handful that have given me that vibe… and at the same token, there are authors who I have met or watched interviews with are amazing, but I didn’t necessarily get that feeling from their books.

I have no idea if what I’m saying makes sense, but just in case it does and you haven’t given up on reading this blog post yet, here is my list of authors who I want to be BFFs with because their personalities seem to shine through their characters and story-telling:

I’ve limited myself to two recs per author because otherwise this could get excessive.

Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely 100% inspired this post. I’ve read one of her books a long time ago, but I just recently went on a Lauren Blakely binge and I’m absolutely living for her books, now. It wasn’t until I read my 3rd or 4th book by Lauren that I realized just how much I loved the author based entirely on her characters.

Lauren has such a way with writing incredibly charismatic, self-deprecatingly hilarious heroes who are magnetic without taking themselves too seriously. They’re such a refreshing reprieve from the cocky jerks (soft side or not) that got so popular in the romance world recently.

Her characters also seem to have this inherent goodness that is incredibly attractive – and not necessarily in a romantic way. They’re the kind of characters you’d happily have as a friend or a lover and I feel like only someone who has that type of personality themselves could create characters like that so convincingly.

Clearly, Lauren Blakely’s characters have convinced me that she is an amazing human being and I want to be her best friend.

Also, when I gushed about the first couple of books I read by her and asked for more recs in my favorite audiobook FB group, Lauren Blakely HERSELF responded with her recs for me! It was really hard not to immediately be like, “OMGPLEASEBEMYBESTFRIENDILOVEYOU!”

Book Recs:

Wanderlust
♥ Most Valuable Playboy

Lauren Rowe

Between writing delightfully outrageous characters and such convincing instalove stories, it is no wonder that this Lauren made it on my list. I mean, read Ball Peen Hammer and then tell me you don’t want to just sit down and have a conversation over drinks with Lauren.

Many of her characters have that same draw-you-into-their-unusual-hyper-world-and-nickname-you vibe, it’s hard to imagine she wouldn’t also have at least a touch of those traits.

I have, in fact, met Lauren in person albeit very briefly at signings, and her warmth could be felt even at the back of her table’s line.


I met her twice… can we just go ahead and buy BFF necklaces yet?

Book Recs:

♥ Misadventures of a College Girl
♥ Ball Peen Hammer

Mariana Zapata

Mariana writes such low-key hilarious characters with fantastic inner monologues, I’m guessing that her thoughts mimic those of her characters as well and, girl, I’m right there with her. I feel like my inner monologues would speak her hers on a spiritual level.

I met Mariana for the first time at Shameless Book Con in Orlando a few months ago and OMG SHE BROUGHT HER MOM WITH HER AND I FELL A LITTLE BIT MORE IN LOVE WITH HER.

She’s so freaking sweet and absolutely adorable  in person. She has this super subtle awkwardness that makes me want to squeeze her because, I mean, how can someone who has a cult following be so humble?    

Book Recs:    

♥ The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
♥ Lingus

Sierra Simone

Ok. Sierra Simone fans. Don’t even tell me you wouldn’t want to hang out with Sierra at your house with a glass of wine and talk about all the dirty things you wouldn’t even talk to your best girlfriends about.

Honestly, I just want to pick that brain of hers and learn allllll her tips and tricks.

Sierra was also at Shameless and she seems like such a beautiful, cool person.

Book Recs:

♥ American Queen
♥ Priest

Jana Aston

It’s not often that I am absolutely dying with laughter and all sorts of other feelings while reading a book, but Jana Aston manages to bring that out of me.

I’m not usually into the slapstick funny romcoms, sometimes they can be too over-the-top for me, however, Jana is just enough without being too much.

I also had the chance to meet Jana at Shameless a couple months ago and I swear I only talked to her for a couple minutes and she already had me laughing. At one point, I was in Sierra’s line and Sierra said something about being really interested in the Catholic faith and Jana (who was at the table next to her)  just leans over and was like, “Wait… What? I would’ve never thought that about you.” It was obviously 100% sarcastic. If you’ve read Sierra’s Priest series, you’ll understand the hilarity of that comment.

Book Recs:

♥ The Wrong series

I am 100% positive that I will have left someone off of this list and immediately regret it once this posts, so don’t be surprised if you see a volume 2 of this post soon.

Instalove/lust Stories That Actually Worked

As I mentioned in my Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels post, Instalove/Instalust romance novels can be a bit hard to swallow.

Most of the time.

But every so often, an author comes along who can convince me that two complete strangers can fall in love (or lust) after just one look, conversation, or interaction.

Below is a list of romance novels that were able to pull this off for me.

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Reading Recs: Favorite Damaged Heroes

Although I tend to have more of an appreciation for charming, charismatic, somewhat irreverent heroes, every so often a beautifully damaged hero comes along in a novel that absolutely sweeps me off my feet.

Maybe it’s that innate romantic in me that loves the idea of epic love being the one thing that can heal a tortured soul.

Anyway, here is a short list of my very favorite damaged heroes and the novels in which they exist:

Lance Romero

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Pucked Off (Pucked #5) by Helena Hunting
Oh, my sweet, sweet Lance! Lance’s book is second-to-last in the Pucked series and it came out of nowhere for me. His story was heartbreaking and intense and he loved so fiercely despite having such a hard time in life. Of all the guys in this list, Lance is the one whose story surprised me the most because my perception of him from the other books were nowhere near how he ended up.

 

Caden Grayson

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Hearts in Darkness Duet by Laura Kaye
It’s not until the second book in these novellas do you realize just how broken Caden is, but because of the epic love that develops between the two characters in the first book, you are just as willing to fight for him as Makenna.

 

Grayson Pierce Sullivan

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Darkly, Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe
I mean… Grayson is a serial killer, so… You don’t get much more damaged than that. His book is by far the darkest out of all of these books and it certainly is not for the faint of heart. Grayson is also, in his darkness, alluring and intensely compelling.

 

Rhysand

Rhys

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
I hesitate to say much about Rhys’ story because it would be riddled with spoilers for those who haven’t read the first two books in this series, but just know that he 100% deserves to be on this list.

 

Zsadist

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Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by JR Ward
Zsadist’s story was actually the first true broken hero story I’ve ever read and it completely slayed me. I was not prepared. I’ve re-read this story over and over and though nothing will compare to how it made me feel the first time I read it, the story still hits me where it counts every time. Of all the damaged heroes on this list, no one is as broken as Zsadist. But it just makes his story that much better.

Who are some of your favorite damaged heroes?

 

 

 

 

Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances

Forbidden Romances are one of my all-time favorite tropes. I don’t know what the “official” definition of a Forbidden Romance is (or if there even is one – I’m too lazy to look it up), but I consider any book in which the main character’s love interest is someone that he or she should not be involved with for any given reason.

The books I’m listing below are a few of my favorites in this category. They’re filled with the longing, intensity, and excitement you’d expect from forbidden love stories.

The genres run the gamut: contemporary romance, fantasy, dark romance, paranormal romance… everything from age gaps to body guards to dueling mystical creatures to supernatural interspecies to teachers and students to religion … it’s quite the mix!

So, without further ado…

My All Time Favorite Forbidden Romance Stories

Continue reading “Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances”

Favorite YA Series {Part One}

This week has been the perfect week to curl up with a book by the window and read all day. It’s been raining nonstop and it doesn’t look like it’ll subside any time soon.

Unfortunately, I have to work all week, but luckily I have a gorgeous view of the lake in my office, so at least I can enjoy that much.

Today I’m recommending my favorite young adult series. These recommendations are those that I’ve read at least two of the books in the series. There are several series in which I’ve only read one book that I love so far, but I’ll wait to recommend those series once I’ve read at least one more book.

I’m more of a new adult/contemporary romance reader, so my YA favorites aren’t vast, however, I do love a great YA series every now and then.

My reason for this post is two-fold: First, I’m recommending every series listed here and second, I’d love it if you could recommend YA series that you’d think I’d like based on these.

 
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