Favorite Anti-Alpha Heroes

I’m going to be honest. I got a little burned out on the alpha hero a few years ago when it started to get really popular.

I found, especially within the last year or so, that I’ve been more drawn to heroes who are not at all alpha. Not necessarily weak, but certainly not dominating or demanding or high-handed.

Here are some of my favorite anti-alpha heroes

 

Mack – Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

47934705._sy475_Mack is charming, charismatic, funny, successful, and an all-around good guy. But beyond that, he’s a feminist and he loves romance novels. So much that he started The Bromance Book Club – a book club that consists of some high-powered men (professional athletes, successful businessmen) who read romance novels to learn how to treat women.

Though Mack has a touch of irreverence about him, he isn’t without heartache. He has a troubling past and found himself escaping into romance novels as he grew up. This shaped who he is to this day.

And though he has helped countless friends with their relationships, he struggles a bit with his romantic life. He knows all the do’s and don’ts of relationships… at least he think he does… but what he doesn’t know is when it’s real.

That is… until he finally does fall. And when someone like Mack falls in love, it’s bound to be epic.

 

Archer – Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

20639274Archer was a perfect mixture of that innocence and masculinity that had me absolutely swooning. When he’s finally given the chance to love someone, he does it with all of his might.

 

Jonah – The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

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Though Jonah is incredibly imposing physically, he is shy and thoughtful and loyal and sweet.

 

Seth – Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
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Seth is an artistic, soft-spoken, but witty and smart author who is the perfect balance to the heroine’s charismatic and charming outgoing personality.

 

Eli – Behind the Bars by Brittainy C Cherry
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Eli isn’t just uber-sweet, caring, thoughtful, and respectful, he’s also full of passion for his music. I’ve met a handful of people in my life who have that extra something when it comes to talent. They don’t just play an instrument, they bring it to life. That’s Eli.

 

Theo – Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday
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I fell in love with Theo pretty much immediately. He is one of those irreverent, hilarious heroes that warm my soul and make me laugh all at once. Paired with a love interest who is a bit more uptight, yet appreciates his charm – it’s the formula for the perfect romance for me.

I freaking adored Theo’s relationship with his mom and sister. Despite how he comes off as somewhat careless, he actually cares very deeply for the people he loves. He loves fiercely and I adored him for it.

Keane – Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe
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I think one of the most impressive things about this book is how well developed Keane’s character is despite his somewhat flighty personality. I believe Maddy calls him, “Daffy Duck trapped inside Prince Charming’s body,” yet he is so much more than that.

I think Keane’s character could easily have been completely shallow given he’s both ridiculously goofy and good-looking, but instead of leaving his character at that, LR throws in a bit of unexpected depth.

I’ve known several people like Keane who are what I like to call extroverted introverts — those who can be extremely captivating and outgoing and social, yet need a lot of time to recuperate and recharge after social interactions. And oftentimes those people end up dropping off the face of the earth for a little while before resurfacing again, just like Keane does. I love how that all ties into the initial miscommunication between Keane and Maddy – his tendency to ignore his phone because that’s his way of tapping out and recharging.

 

Jonah – Full Tilt by Emma Scott
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Jonah is a sweet, heartwarming, reluctant love interest with a heart condition that loves fiercely. Even though he is the one with the medical issues, he is very much a caretaker and a quiet fighter.

 

Zachariah – Keepsake by Sarina Bowen
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Zachariah is so, so sweet and innocent. He’s hardworking and talented but lacks confidence and a little ashamed of his lack of education. He’s still a rebel in his own way. He’s thoughtful and kind and full of wonder.

 

John Ambrose – PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han
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The. Perfect. Book. Boyfriend.
He’s self-aware and has a confidence that he worked hard for. He’s the underdog we are all rooting for. He’s incredibly thoughtful and pays attention to the little things.

 

Ben – Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne
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Ben, in particular, was such an attractive character… and I don’t just mean physically. He was such a refreshing character. He was confident and slept around, but he wasn’t a conceited jerk. At all. (To be honest, I’ve been so sick of the cocky manwhore character in contemporary romance novels, lately.)

 

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 Bookish Blog Posts From February

Happy Leap Year, book lovers!

As always, when I do these posts, I may have missed some really great posts simply because I didn’t check my feed every day.

If you have a blog post of yours that you are particularly proud of from February, and it isn’t linked here, please feel free to link it in the comments!

Here are my favorite posts from February

Novels and Notions shared their favorite enemies to lovers romances – I LOVE blog posts like this!

Bookmark Your Thoughts shared 6 books to read for Black History Month.

Can I request that everyone write a blog post like Pages Unbound’s 5 Things my Favorite Book Bloggers Do?

I so appreciated Lili’s Blissful Pages’ post listing 5 unforgettable mental illness reps in books.

I loved this Valentine’s Day-themed post from Novels and Notions: 20 Pink and Red Books You Need to Read.

I loved this post from Confessions of a YA Reader, sharing theirmost anticipated Middle Grade books.

Can we get a big AMEN to Chelle’s Book Ramblings post that takes down misconceptions about romance?!

My dear, lovely friend over at Romance Book Binge has joined the BookTube family!

What an awesome idea this post from Drizzle and Hurricane Books pairing favorite tropes with YA books is!

Yay for Romance Week over at CJR The Brit.

I added so many books from Jill’s Book Blog’s Top Ten Tuesday post to my wishlist!

I love love love favorite couples lists like this one from My World of Books.

Bookiverse shared some perfect Wintry reads.

Give me allll the swoon-worthy Romances lists, particularly those from The Book Dutchesses!

Another great list of Black History Month book recs from Nine Tail Vixen.

Pages Unbound talks about whether book bloggers influence book sales.

I was LIVING for Whit Reads Lit’s adventure in reading the A Court of Thorns and Roses series for the first time!

I did a slow clap for Bound to Writing’s post on how not to ask for reviews.

My heart went out to Forever and Everly’s post recommending books to read when you’re sad.

After all the controversy around American Dirt, I appreciated Inkish Kingdom’s recs for similar books that aren’t problematic.

 

What were some of your favorite posts this month?

 

 

 

Some of My Favorite Adult Romance Authors (& My Favorite Books By Them)

If you’re interested in watching my BookTube video instead, you can check that out here:

In choosing my favorite romance authors, I decided to stick to those whose books I read MOST of and who write PRIMARILY romance.

Also, I included some honorable mentions because I’m extra. I’ve accepted this.

Mariana Zapata

I mean… obviously. These authors are not ranked, but let’s be real. Mariana Zapata is my favorite romance author. I’ve read every single book she’s ever written, I immediately purchase and read every book she comes out with the second they are released, I own almost all of her books in every single available format.

Also – she’s my dad’s favorite author of all time. Everyone in my family loves her books, except my brother, but he doesn’t count. My dad, my mom, my two sisters and I all adore her.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
| Dear Aaron
| From Lukov with Love

 

Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover very rarely lets me down. Even when I don’t adore her books, I still really love them. She always has some element in her books that sets them apart from other romance novels.

Also, she writes some of the most lovable characters. (I’m looking at you, Atlas and Ridge.)

FAVORITE BOOKS
| It Ends with Us
| Maybe Someday
| November 9
| Ugly Love

 

Sierra Simone

Sierra writes some of the most steamy, taboo book, but damn, she’s an amazing writer. There is something to be said about an author who can take a super taboo topic and make it beautiful – Sierra does this amazingly.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| Priest
| New Camelot series
| A Lesson in Thorns

 

Lauren Rowe

Reading Lauren Rowe books is so comforting. I think because I know what I’m going to get: amazing banter, charming humor, and epic chemistry.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| Misadventures of a College Girl
| Ball Peen Hammer

 

Mia Sheridan

I’m slowly, but surely making my way through Mia Sheridan’s backlist, but I feel I’ve read enough of her books to determine that she’s a favorite. Though none of her other books have quite lived up to Archer’s Voice, they’ve all come pretty damn close.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| Archer’s Voice
| Savaged
| The Wish Collector

 

Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren writes such diverse books. Anything from YA to Women’s Fiction to Contemporary Romance – and they’ve done all genres justice.

Granted, I haven’t loved absolutely everything they’ve written, but quite a few of their books make it to many of my favorites lists.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| Sweet Filthy Boy
| The Unhoneymooners
| Autoboyography

 

Helena Hunting

Helena is an autobuy author for good reason. She wrote one of my favorite series (Pucked) and also many of her other books are favorites as well.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| Pucked series
| Hooking Up

 

Helen Hoang

Granted, she’s only written two books, but I’ve adored both SO much and I have a feeling I will love all the books she will write in the future.

FAVORITE BOOKS
| The Bride Test
| The Kiss Quotient

 

Jana Aston

Jana Aston has written a few of my favorite RomComs of all time and she is the queen of CRINGY moments!

FAVORITE BOOKS
| The Wrong Series
| Sure Thing

 

Honorable Mentions
| Katherine Center – she technically write Women’s Fiction and I haven’t read enough of her books to determine.

| Trisha Wolfe – I LOVE her dark romance novels, but she writes a lot of thrillers, too. Also, I need to read more of her books.

| Talia Hibbert – I’ve only read a couple of her books so far, but I’ve loved what I’ve read! Once I read more I’m sure she’ll make this list.

| Lauren Blakely – I love reading Lauren’s books, but none of them have been all-time favorites. I’ve always just liked them.

| Sally Thorne – She’s only written two books: one is an all time favorite, the other was just ok.

| Kandi Steiner – I’ve loved what I’ve read so far, but I have only read two of her books. I need to read more!

| Laura Kaye – I adore her Hearts in Darkness Duet, but that’s all I’ve read so far.

| Penny Reid – I really, really like her Neanderthal Seeks Human series, but it’s the only series I’ve read of hers.

| Sarina Bowen – She is slowly but surely becoming a favorite author, I just need to read more of her books

| Brittainy C. Cherry – There is no doubt in my mind that she will make this list very soon. I’ve loved all the books I’ve read of hers so far, but I’ve not read enough just yet!

Favorite Book Girlfriends

A while ago, I wrote a post all about my favorite book boyfriends and I recently revamped that post for my booktube channel.

I decided that it only made sense to do a Favorite Book Girlfriends post as well, because goodness knows there are plenty of amazing female characters that I have fallen in love with over the years.

If you’d like to watch me chat about them, check out my booktube video:

Otherwise, stick around!

Zuzanna – Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

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WHY I LOVE HER: Zuzanna is fiercely loyal to Karou – the main character in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, despite not having the same supernatural gifts that Karou has, Zuzanna stands by her side and helps her in any way that she can – while also being the comic relief and solid reality when Karou needs it most. I fell more in love with Zuzanna after reading her romance spin-off Night of Cake and Puppets.

 

Tella – Caraval – Stephanie Garber

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WHY I LOVE HER: Tella is perhaps the one main character I related to most out of all the books that I’ve read. I agreed with all of her decisions, good and bad. I liked how, though she was mistaken for as reckless, most of what she did and the choices she made was out of love for her sister. I love that she is unabashedly feminine while still being badass. She’s strong and fierce, without being prickly.

 

Sadie – With Visions of Red – Trisha Wolfe

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WHY I LOVE HER: Sadie is perhaps the most mysterious of all the female characters on this list – and in that mystery there is a magnetism. I’m just as obsessed with her as Colton is. She’s extremely dark, extremely smart, and scary as hell. She’s beautiful, but doesn’t feel compelled to draw attention to herself, though she can’t really help it.

 

Harper – A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

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WHY I LOVE HER: Harper is one of the strongest characters on this list. Her ability to draw loyal followers and take hit after hit, but still stand tall is unmatched. She isn’t defined by her disability and she doesn’t see it as a problem that needs to be solved. Her kindness and loyalty to those she feels are in the right, and particularly to those she loves, is such a draw.

 

Georgina – Georgina Kincaid Series – Richelle Mead

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WHY I LOVE HER: If I could be most like one character on this list, it would be Georgina. She is the brightest ray of sunshine and pure magnetism that absolutely draws people in and warms anyone within her radius. Yes, her supernatural abilities as a succubus does give her an advantage, but a lot of it is inherent. She’s also hilarious and the fact that she is reluctant about her “job.”

 

London – Darkly Madly Duet – Trisha Wolfe

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WHY I LOVE HER: London is another extremely dark, manipulative, brilliant character. She’s a criminal psychologist who falls in love with her serial killer patient. She’s extremely poised and professional on the outside, and very dark on the inside.

 

Flora – Her Royal Highness (Royals #2) – Rachel Hawkins

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WHY I LOVE HER: Flora might be the most swoony character on this list. I didn’t think I would like her in the beginning of this hate-to-love story. She came off as the spoiled, mean-for-no-reason literal princess, but it isn’t long before you realize there is so much more to her than that. And she’s actually so thoughtful, loyal, and sweet.

 

Greer – American Queen – Sierra Simone

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WHY I LOVE HER: Greer is extremely submissive, but within that submission is power. She can work a room full of the most powerful men and women and stand her own ground with grace and poise. She can navigate intricate political relationships with ease because she’s done it her entire life.

 

Freyja – Slightly Scandalous – Mary Balough

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WHY I LOVE HER: Freyja stuck with me the most out of all the characters on this list. She is not beautiful in the traditional sense – and with that knowledge and acceptance there is a certain power and freedom that Freyja has that most beautiful people don’t. She is not concerned with how she looks. She doesn’t envy others for how they look, she puts no value in it. She also is not bogged down with the worry of looking perfect all the time or the expectation to be beautiful forever. She is comfortable in her own skin – and strong in her body and mind.

 

Favorite Bookish Blog Posts of January 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but one of my book blog resolutions was to bring this back, because I love giving shout outs to my favorite bloggers and my favorite content from them.

To be fair, I haven’t been able to read absolutely everything all of my favorite bloggers have posted, so there may be some I’ve missed.

Hopefully you find some great content here and great bloggers to follow:

Confessions of a YA Reader introduced me to the 2020 Series to Finish Challenge that I hadn’t heard of before her post.

I love favorites wrap up lists, and I really enjoyed how Nut Free Nerd listed their favorites of the last decade by release year.

Pages Unbound shared tips on how to read classics which is something I really would like to do more of.

Metaphors and Miscellanea defended the Goodreads Challenge (and I totally agree!)

Chelle’s Book Ramblings discussed reading for pleasure vs. reading for escape (and the difference between the two).

I love seeing bullet journal spreads from fellow book bloggers, and I really enjoyed seeing this one from Bookmark Your Thoughts.

Pages Unbound asked “Should Libraries Boycott MacMillan? I didn’t even know about this, so I really appreciated this post!

I always adore reading posts with reading goals, and Lili’s Blissful Pages had many that inspired me!

I adored this post from Bookiverse with tips on how to decide what to read next and ways to find it.

This was such a great little book blogger pep talk from Chelle’s Book Ramblings.

These were such great bookish hacks from Nut Free Nerd.

I so loved reading Kristin Kraves Books’ bookish discoveries in 2019.

Again, I love these wrap up posts, so I adored Another Book in the Wall’s Best Reads of 2019.

I love Birdie and her best books of the twenty-teens post!

I really liked seeing how A World of Books’ is tackling their TBR.

I’m so obsessed with this new challenge from The Cozy Pages: Kindle Klean-up!

Nine Tale Vixen asked, “How do you customize book recs?

I’d like to get more into mysteries and thrillers, so I really appreciated this post from Kristen Kraves Books: Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers.

I love these Asian Reading Challenge recs from Drizzle and Hurricane Books.

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…

Favorite Books of 2019

Whew, this post was hard to write!

I read so many amazing books in 2019, so choosing my Top 19 books and putting them in order from least favorite to favorite was really difficult.

First, before I list these books, here is my Goodreads year in books:

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And now… my favorite books of 2019:

#19 The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Month Read: November

#18 Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Month Read: November

#17 The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata
Month Read: October

#16 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed
Month Read: January

#15 Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Month Read: February | Review

#14 Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Month Read: November

#13 Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuisten
Month Read: May

#12 The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Month Read: August | Review

#11 Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Month Read: July

#10 Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor
Month Read: November | Review

#9 The Simple Wild by KA Tucker
Month Read: September

#8 Maybe Now by Colleen Hoover
Month Read: November | Review

 

#7 Marriage for One by Ella Maise
Month Read: December

#6 The Bride Test (Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang
Month Read: November | Review

#5 Infini (Aerial Etherial #2) by Krista and Becca Ritchie
Month Read: August

#4 Keepsake (True North #3) by Sarina Bowen
Month Read: May

 


#3 Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan
Month Read: May | Review

#2 A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Month Read: April | Review

#1 Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber
Month Read: August | Review

Favorite Enemies to Lovers Romance Novels

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

I’ve not found an enemies to lovers romance that I love more than The Hating Game. Hands down. I loved the unique writing style and, of course, the banter. I think the main reason I gravitate toward this trope is because of the hilarious back-and-forth between the characters. I loved it so much, in fact, that I created an entire blog post of my favorite quotes from this book.

Goodreads
Review

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

If anyone can write hilarious banter, it’s Mariana Zapata. And she nails it in this one. I think the most unique thing about this book that attracted me to it was the fact that it was a sports romance with ice skaters. Along with the fantastic hate-to-love trope, I really adored how hard Jasmine works. There are also a lot of parallels between this book and The Hating Game, so if you loved The Hating Game, you should definitely pick up this one.

Goodreads
Review

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

This was the first Mariana Zapata book I ever read, and it may still be my favorite. This isn’t exactly a traditional enemies to lovers. These two begin in an employer/employee relationship and end up having a fall out. I think my favorite thing about this novel is Aiden. I love his fierce dedication to his passion. I like that he is quiet and severe without necessarily being broody.

Goodreads
Review

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Again this one doesn’t begin with the couple starting out as enemies, but very quickly into the story they do not get along. It’s actually an interesting premise since the main character has actually idolized the hero in this book growing up. He is a retired professional soccer player and she is a current soccer player. He gets recruited as her assistant coach and things go down from there. Again, I love how badass Sal is and I so appreciate how this book addresses the significant lifestyles and pay difference between women in sports and men.

Goodreads
Review

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

This is my most recent enemies-to-lovers read and I was so pleasantly surprised by it. I really like Christina Lauren and will read almost anything they write, but it’s only once in a while that they hit it out of the park for me. This book had me laughing out loud with the banter and one-liners. It was such a fun reading experience.

Goodreads

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This book has been extremely popular this year and not just because it’s such a sweet enemies-to-lovers romance. I think everyone appreciates the political escapism this book provides… and the humor is on point. The writing style took a little while for me to get into, but once I did, I really loved this book. This was my vote for the Goodreads Choice Romance category!

Goodreads

Captain (Morgan Brothers #2) by Lauren Rowe

This book actually begins with an instalove, but don’t run away just yet. No one pulls off instalove better than Lauren Rowe. She has the ability to created palpable chemistry between two characters. These characters soon have a falling out and the tension is high. If you’ve never read a Lauren Rowe book, I highly recommend her!

Goodreads
Review

Amour, Amour (Aerial Ethereal #1) by Krista and Becca Ricci

This book took me completely by surprise. I loved the setting of a cirque de soleil type troop. The super-talented, somewhat arrogant hero who seems unbreakable is always fun to read about – particularly when you throw in a character who is absolutely going to break through the prickly exterior.

Goodreads
Review

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

I think my favorite part of this book had to be the fact that it takes place during a renaissance fair. In this book you have the hero who takes his job very seriously and the heroine who would just assume not be involved at all. It creates a very tension-filled dynamic with lots of potential.

Goodreads