Okay, before I jump in and share what my favorite books of the year are, I’ll be honest. I didn’t read nearly as much as I wanted to this year but let’s face it, this year was BONKERS for me so it’s not entirely surprising. I did reread quite a bit and most of what I did read that was new was romance – all I’ve wanted the past year or so was a happy ending and that’s what I’ve been searching for.
That being said, I’ve read a lot of great books this year. Here are the ones that stood out to me!
If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
A modern day retelling of Cinderella involving a plus sized heroine and a tv show twist on the Bachelor, If The Shoe Fits is fun and romantic and a page turner from the front cover to the back. I had been highly anticipating this novel but I had NO idea how much I would truly love it when it came out. I’m a big Julie fan and have loved all her books but I think this one now tops out at my favorite.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
The Hating Game is a romance novel that had been on my radar for some time and became even more intriguing once I realized that that it was going to be a movie starring Lucy Hale as well. I couldn’t decide whether to read it or not because I’d heard great things and terrible things and it felt overhyped in so many ways. I finally decided to take the plunge and I absolutely loved it. I LOVE a good enemies to lovers stories and this one does such a great job of it. It’s full of so many romance clichés and tropes but I still think it makes for a great story AND I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I am just as in love with Josh as Lucy is.
The Roommate by Rosie Danan
This book actually came about as a recommendation for the SECOND book in the series. Someone recommended it to me saying it was so fun and sex positive and I’m so here for that kind of novel but when I realized it was the second book, I knew that it could be read on its own, like most romance series, but I needed to read the first one and I’m so glad I did because I devoured it and loved it. The main male character is a porn actor and there’s no shame in it, he’s open about it and open about why he enjoys it and really helps the female main character to be open about her own sexuality and its sexy and fun but also the romance between them is SO great. This is the FIRST book that I thought of when coming up with this list for sure.
Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
Every time Cassandra Clare puts out a novel, well, it always ends up on my end of year list. No matter how much I complain that she has been writing in the same world for more than a decade, it doesn’t matter – I love it all. I’ve been truly enjoying the Last Hours series, mostly because I absolutely adore Cordelia Carstairs. This book had so many ups and downs and while I don’t think its a perfect book by any means, I thought it was a strong book and it left me with too many questions and way too much time to wait for answers.
The Entire Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Like a lot of people at the end of 2020, I fell absolutely in love with the show Bridgerton on Netflix, the first season having premiered at the end of the year. I thought it was ridiculous and over the top and so insanely enjoyable. I was immediately intrigued at reading the series because I loved all the characters and wanted to see how their happily ever afters happened. I literally read all the books in the series in a matter of a week exactly because they were SO addicting. They’re a bit predictable and formulaic but so enjoyable and even though they were consumed nearly a year ago, they are still at the forefront of my mind.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I’ve been on a huge romance kick this year – with everything going on in the world and in my own life, I’ve just wanted a constant happily ever after – and this was another book that had been on my radar for such a long time. I decided to take a plunge and guys, man, I loved this book so much and I wish I could write fun romance like this book. Fake honeymoon, enemies to lovers, shared bed…so many tropes, so much fun. Add in a beautiful location like Hawaii and throw in a bunch of Mai Tais and I was here for this book. I ended up reading a few Christina Lauren novels this year but this one absolutely topped them all.
What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Continuing my streak of romance and enemies to lovers is a wonderful book by my favorite writing couple. Ever since I met Emily and Austin at a book event a few years ago, I’ve been gobbling up their books like they’re candy and they’re addicting, delicious and fun like candy. This is the only one that I wasn’t granted earlier access to and the wait for the actual release date was a total first world blogger problem but it was worth the wait. The chemistry between the main characters, even while they spewed at each other and battled it out, was on FIRE. The earliest YA I can remember reading were books by Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen and Emily and Austin remind me of those books, writing about the ups and downs of high schools, friendships, family and falling in love for the first time and this book didn’t disappoint on all of that. I’m counting down the days until their first adult romance comes out in 2022.
A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St Clair
I feel like I’m cheating a bit by adding this one to the list because I literally just finished it last year and it’s likely the last book I’ll be reading in 2021 and what a book to end the year on. There seems to be an influx of Hades and Persephone romance stories and I love it. I have a huge obsession with anything to do with greek mythology and I love the story of Hades and Persephone because, for being the dark, death god, Hades has the most stable marriage and I love stories that show a true romance between them. I’ve been finally reading Lore Olympus and it drove me to finally read the first book of this series and absolutely loved every single moment of it. It’s dark and sexy but so insanely sweet and romantic and I’m almost afraid to read book two because of how much I loved this book.
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE READS OF 2021? SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS!