Favorite Romance Novels of 2021

Favorite Romance Reads of 2021

  

It was a great reading year for me! I had a goal to read 150 books and I surpassed that goal in October.

Here’s quick reviews for all of my five-star reads for the year.

Heat scale:

0 = nothing more than a kiss  πŸ”₯ = closed door   πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ = on-page but light   πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ = steamy, on-page    πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ = kinky

 

January Favorite Romance Reads


Wanderlust by lauren blakely

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

British hunky hero and a French-American heroine. Excellent steamy scenes and the hero is so flirty!

Parental Guidance by avery flynn

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: hero with learning disability

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hockey hero with dyslexia and a artist heroine. Excellent consent scenes!

 

 

February Favorite Romance Reads


waiting for tom hanks by kerry winfrey

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

British hunky hero and a French-American heroine. Excellent steamy scenes and the hero is so flirty!

master of crows by grace draven

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: hero with learning disability

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hockey hero with dyslexia and a artist heroine. Excellent consent scenes!

master of crows by grace draven

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: hero with learning disability

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hockey hero with dyslexia and a artist heroine. Excellent consent scenes!


February Favorite Romance Reads

 

waiting for tom hanks by kerry winfrey

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Movie star hero and meet-cute obsessed heroine. Excellent bookstore setting and first kiss scene.

 

sub-genre: fantasy romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Magical world with master/student relationship. Heroine is indentured and hero is outcast.

 

sub-genre: historical romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Spunky social outcast gets love lessons from the king of London’s underworld. 

 

march Favorite Romance Reads

touching wood by claire wilder

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Prequel short story! Hero works construction and heroine is his VA. They flirt over the phone until her feisty grandmother meddles.

shipped by angie hockman

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯

Two rival marketing coordinators working for a cruise ship company take a trip to the Galapagos for work. Closed-door with workaholic heroine and excellent non-romantic plot.

trade me by courtney milan

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Asian-American heroine, BIPOC author 

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Two college students – a broke daughter of immigrants and a billionaire tech heir – trade lives.

hold me by courtney milan

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Asian-American hero, Latina heroine, transgender heroine BIPOC author 

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Two wicked smart people butt heads. Excellent redemption arc for the hero!

maybe yours by claire raye

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Age gap romance where hero and heroine work for a winery and flirt online.

April Favorite Romance Reads

flow by kennedy ryan

sub-genre: contemporary romance

prequel

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Black hero, BIPOC author 

steam: 0

Prequel story of a rapper and college student meeting. Cliffhanger ending!

the house by the cerulean sea by tj klune

sub-genre: low fantasy romance

standalone

pairing: mm

diversity notes: queer author

steam: 0

A warm hug of a book. Linus gets sent to the far reaches of the coast to investigate an orphanage for magical children.

too good to be true by lauren blakely

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

 

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Falling in love in one day after being connected via a matchmaker.

May Favorite Romance Reads

love scammed by rilzy adams

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Black characters, BIPOC author

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hero and heroine are set up on a blind date weekend vacation to the Turks & Caicos by their best friends.

 

the dream guy next door by lauren blakely

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Single-mom heroine with a construction business tries to avoid falling on love with the hot, British, single dad next door. 

man cuffed by sarina bowen

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Black heroine

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Actress heroine gets a little too involved in the life of the police officer next door. Fake dating!

heated rivalry by rachel reid

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mm

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hockey rivals hide their long-term relationship. Enemies to lovers and why did I wait so long to read this???

tempting heat by sara whitney

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Enemies get snowed in in Chicago.

love at first by kate clayborn

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

She moves into her late grandmother’s apartment and tries to save it from development while he’s trying to sell his inherited apartment.

June Favorite Romance Reads

enemies with benefits

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

They’ve been rivals all their lives. Now, they have to work together.

beginner’s luck by kate clayborn

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A scientist and a recruiter get a rocky start to their relationship.

July Favorite Romance Reads

break the rules by roxie noir

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hero starts to get feelings for his best friend’s sister. One of the funniest scenes I read this year. 

one last time by roxie noir

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A true hate bang, these two have been on and off again their whole lives.

luck of the draw by kate clayborn

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A lawyer who fought for big corporations tries to make amends with a fake fiancΓ© set-up.

kings rising by cs pacat

sub-genre: low fantasy romance

standalone

pairing: mm

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Hero and heroine are set up on a blind date weekend vacation to the Turks & Caicos by their best friends.

polaris rising by jessie mihalik

sub-genre: sci fi romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Society heroine gets trapped in a cell with the most dangerous man in the galaxy.

August Favorite Romance Reads

love and gelato by jenna evans welch

sub-genre: young adult romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: 0

Teenager goes to live with her dad in Italy after her mom passes away and meets the boy next door as they go on quests to reveal her mother’s secrets..

a brit on the side by brenda st john brown

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A one night stand with her best friend’s brother turns complicated when they spend the summer together at Calder Castle.

reign by roxie noir

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Ambassador’s daughter and uptight prince of fictional country flirt while grappling with diplomatic relations.

playing offside by jax calder

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mm

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Young upstart rugby player antagonizes the veteran on the NZ national team.

September Favorite Romance Reads

him by sarina bowen and elle kennedy

sub-genre: contemporary romance

first in duet (with HEA)

pairing: mm

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A favorite re-read! Two hockey players reconnect at summer camp.

us by sarina bowen and elle kennedy

sub-genre: contemporary romance

second in duet (with HEA)

pairing: mm

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A favorite re-read! The continuation of Him, two hockey player who live together while still closeted.

tough guy by rachel reid

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mm

diversity notes: hero with anxiety

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

A pacifist hockey enforcer runs into his high school crush – an out and proud artist.

the iron duke by meljean brook

sub-genre: fantasy romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Asian-descent heroine

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

The heroine in steampunk London investigates a murder, and the suspect is the national hero.

the price of scandal by lucy score

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Billionaire chemist CEO needs a media band-aid in the form of a corporate image fixer. Nude-cute alert!

October Favorite Romance Reads

the mogul and the muscle by claire kingsley

sub-genre: contemporary romance

standalone

pairing: mf

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Billionaire CEO of aerospace company is in mortal danger. Obviously she needs a hot bodyguard!

mating the huntress by talia hibbert

sub-genre: paranormal romance

standalone

pairing: mf

diversity notes: Black heroine, BIPOC author

steam: πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

Our hero tries to woo the woman trying to kill him. Super sweet and funny.

 

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