Hey lovers ❤ I wanted to take some time to talk about my favorite reads so far this year. There’s been so many, and I’ve been gushing about them to basically everyone I know, so I figured – why not blog about it, too?
My challenge to myself this year was to read 50 books. So far, I’ve read 14, which means I’m on pace to meet my goal. I’ve been focusing primarily on romance (duh!) but I’ve thrown in some thriller, YA, and other general fiction into the mix. For the sake of this post, I’m going to discuss my favorite romance reads so far, in the order in which I read them.
- A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner – 4/5 stars. Kandi Steiner is one of my favorite NA Romance authors, and I loved this book about a pair of lovers who met in high school but the timing was never right for them (until of course the very end! Le sigh). It was angsty, steamy, sweet, and fulfilling. Star-crossed lovers, indeed.
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – 5/5 stars. Ok, this is probably not 100% a romance book, (it’s actually a YA book) but it had a lot of romantic elements in it, and I just have to include it because it was legit amazeballs. I haven’t been driven to tears because of a book since Harry Potter and I’ll Give You the Sun managed to do that for me. It follows two separate timelines between two siblings – twins, actually, each extremely gifted artistically and coping with very different, yet similar issues, and of course, they each fall in love within their own timelines. It’s quirky, fun, romantic, and beautiful. Jandy Nelson plays with the English language in a way that is so refreshing and unbelievable that I was glued to this book for three days, and it’s stuck with me since. Definitely recommend.
- Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow – 4/5 stars. This was my first ever Melanie Harlow book, and I’m forever a fan. She writes NA Romance like it’s nobody’s business, and she’s got a huge following of readers to prove it. Some Sort of Happy focuses on two twenty-somethings named Skylar and Sebastian. Sebastian is a brooding small-town guy who had a nervous breakdown in NYC because of a bad breakup and a crappy job, and Skylar is a beauty-queen turned sour after a bad stint with a reality TV show. Both find themselves back in their home town, and they stumble across each other, and let me tell you, sparks fly. Melanie has an obvious talent for story telling, and this sweet and steamy read was impossible to put down.
- Man Candy by Melanie Harlow – 4/5 stars. Yes, another Melanie Harlow book. I read this one immediately after Some Sort of Happy and was not disappointed. Man Candy managed to put a new twist on “second chance” love. Jamie, our heroine, is not a typical female lead. She is not waiting for her prince in shining armor, and she absolutely does not believe in love. She works in marketing and lives in her brother’s house in the flat upstairs, with a vacancy below her. Quinn, her old high school crush, is coming back to town because of reasons and Jamie’s brother, his best friend (see where this is going?) offers him the flat underneath of Jamie’s. Of course, sparks fly despite Jamie’s insistence that she doesn’t like Quinn anymore (er, there was an awkward profession of love on Jamie’s part once upon a time), they end up falling for each other after Quinn makes it his mission to prove that love exists. Commence le swoon.
- If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow – 5/5 stars. I know exactly what you’re thinking. Another Melanie Harlow book???? The answer is yes, and this is the last one on this list, I promise! This is her newest book and it’s definitely the most polished one to date, and the story takes place in the same universe as Man Candy but is not a sequel, nor do I believe they are necessarily part of a series. The story starts with Claire, a thirty-something elementary school art teacher who finds herself in desperate need for a date to a wedding of a colleague due to her big mouth. She finds herself drunkenly looking up escort services and finds someone she believes to be suitable – who happens to be our hero, Theo. Theo is an incredibly closed off man, but after their “date”, he finds himself opening up and falling for Claire. This book was beautifully done – I read it so quickly because it was just that good. I couldn’t put my Kindle down!
- Make Me Yours by Charity Ferrell – 4/5 stars. This was my first Charity Ferrell book, and I enjoyed it immensely. It follows a Marine vet named Hudson, who came back from his last deployment to find his world in shambles, and Stella, a child TV star all grown up who is looking to dive into the cut-throat world of the movie industry. Hudson begrudgingly agrees to take his brother’s place as Stella’s bodyguard due to a family emergency. The two of them find themselves attracted to each other, but fight it off because of publicity, but eventually, they cave in and consequences follow. Charity Ferrell will be on my radar from now on – she’s got an obvious talent for storytelling, and the story was full of drama and a tug-of-war game between the two leads without feeling overbearing, which is hard to do. Highly recommend!
Well, there’s my list, that turned out to be much longer than I had anticipated. I hope you can find something you like on it – and feel free to comment on ones you’ve read, or want to read! 🙂