♡ Marriage of convenience
♡ Scottish hero
♡ Can be read as standalone
♡ Interracial Romance
♡ Bisexual main characters
♡ Black author
This was on my list of books that I wanted to read by the end of the year. I read Rafe a few months ago and only thought it was ok, but this? This book was SO good. It’s my favorite by Rebekah Weatherspoon so far.
In order for Xeni to claim her inheritance, she has to marry Mason, who she has just met at the funeral. This book was all things marriage of convenience to friends to lovers deliciousness with a big teddy bear of a Scottish hero. The chemistry between these two was on fire. I loved Xeni and Mason and most importantly, I loved them together.
Characters: Black heroine
Author: Black Author
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. Death of a loved one, family drama
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Otherwise, keep reading!Bergman Brothers Series by Chloe Liese
Filthy Rich Americans Series by Nikki Sloane
This is quite possibly the most bingeable series that I’ve ever read! It’s definitely not for everyone (extremely taboo), but I adored it!
Beautiful Hearts Duet by Emma Scott
This is an emotional new adult romance with a great love triangle. It has one of my favorite grumpy heroes in it!
Daughter of the Pirate King Duology by Tricia Levenseller
I read all of Tricia Levenseller’s books and I adored this duology! It continued with the tradition of ruthless badass heroines that I love and heroes that actually deserve them.
Grip series by Kennedy Ryan
This is MY FAVORITE series by Kennedy Ryan and Flow is my favorite book by her. I’m so invested in Bristol and Grip’s romance – they FIGHT so hard for their HEA and it’s heartbreaking and educational and gorgeous.
The Edge Series by CD Reiss
I still need to finish this series, but I’ve loved everything I read so far. This was such an intense military romance with a suspense element.
Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne
I ADORE Kerrigan Byrne’s style of dark historical romances, she goes places that most Historicals don’t and I loved every second of it! Also, these are THE BEST dark heroes!
The Reed Rivers Trilogy by Lauren Rowe
I waited SO LONG for this series and it lived up to my high expectations. If you love a-hole heroes with a heart with lots of great groveling, you need to read this!
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
I adored every single book in this series, the second one the most. They’re such delightful feminist romcoms!
The Elements Series by Brittainy C Cherry
No one writes grumpy heroes like Brittainy C Cherry – especially with a heavy dose of emotion. This is one of my favorites by BCC. Just FYI this series can be read as standalones because there isn’t any real connection between them all.
This book had the makings for everything I love in a romance: a wild, broken hero and… ok, well, that’s it. So, I probably should have loved it and though I really did like it, there was something lacking for me and I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly it was.
It wasn’t really the fact that there was a pretty brutal attack scene in it (trigger warnings for that!), but maybe it had something to do with the chemistry between Brynn and Cassidy or lack thereof. It wasn’t BAD at all, it just wasn’t as earth-shattering as I expected it to be.
Also I’m not usually a huge fan of survival stories because they give me anxiety, but that’s 100% a me thing.
Anyway, the premise is SO good. A hero who has locked himself away in the wilderness because he’s afraid of becoming like his serial killer father and a girl who stumbles into his path needing him to take care of her.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ending and the whole nature vs. nurture discussion, but overall I liked this book, I just didn’t love it.
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. abuse, blood, death, trauma, loss of a loved one, assault, mass shooting, serious injury
♡ Historical romance
♡ Blind hero
♡ Different classes
♡ Beauty and the Beast Retelling
♡ I hate everyone but you hero
♡ Enemies to lovers
This was such a great historical romance beauty and the beast retelling by an author who is quickly becoming one of my HR favorites!
Izzy is the daughter of a famous author who is left with nothing when he passes, except for an already-occupied castle. A creepy castle that is occupied by a mean, scarred and blind hero at that.
This is the perfect set up, in my opinion. And, of course, in true Tessa Dare fashion it was wonderfully executed as well. I loved this romance so much, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I would love Izzy’s entire storyline revolving around the books her father wrote and the whole fandom aspect. It was unexpected and adorable.
Characters: Deaf hero
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. death of a loved one, poverty
♡ Age Gap Romance
♡ Forbidden Romance “Lite”
♡ Father’s Coworker/Friend
♡ Sunshine hero
I’ve absolutely loved some books by Karina Halle (The Forbidden Man and Love in English), I’ve felt indifferent about some (The Pact), and I DNF’d one (Darkhouse), so I wasn’t sure where I would land with this one.
To be completely honest, I don’t remember much about this book, but from the notes I took while reading it, I really liked it LOL!
The book opens with the hero in a crappy marriage. His wife has just told him that she’s pregnant – something that was entirely unexpected because he had a vasectomy, however, he’s still excited. He’d gotten the procedure for her, even though he wasn’t sure about it. It turns out, though, that it isn’t his baby. (This isn’t a spoiler, it happens in the very beginning of the book.)
Fast forward several years, he’s divorced and doing fine. You’d expect him to be this grumpy hero, but he’s actually the opposite. The heroine, who is several years younger than him has left a terrible relationship and is now a single mom. She moves in with her parents and gets a job at her father’s work as his partner’s assistant. The hero is her father’s partner.
I love, love, loved how protective of her she was without being overbearing and the fact that his nickname for her was “Dream Girl” is SO swoony.
Aside from being slightly forgettable, though, I didn’t understand her father’s character AT ALL. Her relationship with him and how he handles their relationship was just weird and inconsistent. Also, there is a trope that I was absolutely expecting in this and was SO disappointed when it happened. Ugh.
Anyway, overall, I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I had to take away an extra star because of the ending. If you’re going to read Karina Halle, I’d still recommend The Forbidden Man or Love in English.
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. Surprise baby, talk of past abuse/toxic relationship, pregnancy
♡ YA Contemporary
♡ Written in verse
♡ Beautiful, highlight-able writing
♡ Amazing audiobook narration
♡ Strong family elements
Ughhhhhh the WRITING in this book. So. Good.
I’m such a huge fan of contemporary poetry, so this book was everything I wanted.
It’s the story of these two sisters, one living in New York, the other living in the Dominican Republic, who only find out about each other when their father is killed in a plane crash.
There isn’t really a romance in this book at all, but there is a super sweet sapphic romance with one of the sisters.
Much like her other books, I need to read this both as an audiobook and physically. Elizabeth Acevedo narrates her own audiobooks and does such a great job. She’s duet narrating in this one with another narrator who also was really good. I need to read the physical book because there were so many beautiful lines that I need to highlight!
Also, at the end of the book, she includes an authors note talking about the actual plane crash that she based this novel on and how so many of the victims had such interesting stories, including those who were leading double lives with secret families.
Characters: Dominican, LGBTQIA+
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. Death of a loved one, attempted sexual assault, plane crash
♡ YA fantasy romance
♡ fairytale retelling
♡ irreverent hero
♡ badass heroine (& female side characters)
♡ female friendship
OMG THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING I WANTED! I’ll never forget hearing about this book from the author at a book convention – an Aladdin reimagining, except it is a romance between Aladdin and the female genie that he discovers in the lamp.
I’m so surprised that this book isn’t more popular! I love, love, love the genie’s backstory and the entire lore behind the genies. They are feared among Aladdin’s people and the genie is cursed because of her relationship with her first “master” that turned into an extremely close friendship. Her first master ended up dying for her and the entire story is from the genie’s point of view in second person because she is telling the story to her friend/first master.
The struggle that the genie goes through with loving humans was heartbreaking, because she’s only ever been burned by doing so, and then here comes Aladdin. I also liked that while she had magic and was pretty powerful, she wasn’t all-powerful and not your typical badass heroine.
Aladdin was also such a great hero. He was exactly like the Disney version, irreverent and charming.
I like how the Jafar and Jasmine characters were incorporated into the story as well. I really, really liked the princess, even though she’s not always on the same side as the antagonists.
If you like fairytale retellings, definitely give this one a try.
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. death of a friend, slavery, kidnapping
I’ve read two other books by Jenn Bennett previously and while I liked the others a lot more, I still enjoyed this one.
The heroine in this story is obsessed with true crime and Sherlock Holmes, so I appreciated how she assessed nearly every character she came across by giving them a suspect profile. I thought that was a really cool way to expand on characters without being info-dumpy. The heroine randomly hooks up with this guy that she meets at a cafe, but freaks out and ends up leaving him before they can talk afterward. She thinks she’s never going to see him again, until she gets a job during the late night shift at this sketchy hotel and he happens to work there, too. Meanwhile, he’s been searching for her and even put an ad in the missed-connections personals looking for her.
I had fun reading about their reluctant relationship and I learned a bit about narcolepsy that I didn’t know before, but ultimately I found a good portion of this book a little boring. My mind kept wandering and when I tuned back in, I didn’t really miss too much. I can’t really put my finger on why because the characters were interesting and had great chemistry, but I just wasn’t that invested in the story.
Overall, this is my least favorite Jenn Bennett, but I still plan on reading the rest of her backlist because I really liked her other two novels that I’ve read (Alex, Approximately and Starry Eyes)
Characters: BIPOC hero
Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings. Medical issues, death of a loved one