Monday, November 20, 2017

My Favorite Romances I Read in 2017: Adult Edition

I threw out a tweet the other day, asking if anyone would be interested in a blog post from me highlighting my favorite romance reads of 2017. And the response was, YES! So, here it is. This list includes books that I read in 2017, not necessarily books that were published in 2017.  If you see something you've read, or are on the fence about reading, let me know in the comments. I always love recommending new reads!

Adult Romances

Some Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
About the book: Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she meets at a gig that evening is Adam Copeland. As in the Adam Copeland international rock god and object of lust for a million women. Make that a million and one. By the time she learns the truth, she s already spent the (amazing, incredible) night in his bed.

Suddenly Eden, who's more accustomed to being set up on disastrous dates by her mom, is going out with a gorgeous celebrity who loves how down-to-earth and honest she is. But for once, Eden isn't being honest. She can't bear to reveal that this overpowering attraction could be nothing more than seduction by science. And the only way to know how Adam truly feels is to ditch the perfume—and risk being ditched in turn. [goodreads]
**A new-to-me-author that I really loved reading. I enjoyed the musical element to the story, but really fell for the hot sexual tension between these two main characters.

Bet Me by Lila Monroe
About the book: What happens when your sex strike goes viral -- and suddenly every man in town has their eye on your prize?

All I wanted was little old-fashioned romance. After a parade of Tinder disasters who think chivalry is giving me a pearl necklace on the first date, I made a pledge: until guys step up their game, this girl is off the market.

But one bottle of chardonnay later, and my drunken rant has gone viral. I’m the most famous person NOT having sex since the Jonas Brothers put on their purity rings. A men’s magazine has even put a bounty on my (ahem) maidenhead: fifty Gs to whoever makes me break the drought.

Be careful what you wish for...

Now my office looks like an explosion in a Hallmark factory, I’ve got guys lining up to sweep me off my feet - and the one man I want is most definitely off-limits. Jake Weston is a player through and through. He’s also the only one who sees through the mayhem to the real me, but how can I trust he’s not just out to claim the glory?

And how will I make it through the strike without scratching the itch - especially when that itch looks so damn good out of his suit?

The thrill of the chaste has never been so sexy in Lila Monroe’s hilarious, hot new romantic read! [goodreads]
**Another new-to-me-author that had me binge reading her novels after I finished this one because I loved it so much!

Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow
About the book: When a psychic tells Natalie Nixon her life is about to be upended by a mysterious stranger, she laughs it off. After all, she has everything she’s ever wanted—a successful bakery, a the perfect boyfriend, and the keys to her dream house.

Who could possibly make her want to throw all that away?

Then Miles Haas comes back to town.

But he’s no stranger—they’ve known each other since high school. Plus, he’s only around for the summer, he’s still a shameless playboy, and he makes a living writing articles for a men’s magazine with titles like 'Should You Bang the Boss’s Daughter? A Flowchart' and 'Butt Stuff for Beginners: A Field Guide.'

He’s not the man of her dreams, and she’s not about to abandon everything she’s worked so hard for just for a little fun. Except he makes her laugh like no one else, smells like heaven, and looks sexy as hell in those panty-melting glasses. [goodreads]
**I'll admit, it was the cover that attracted my attention at first. But then I started reading & it was THAT GUY on the cover's voice that really pulled me in. I really, really enjoyed this one.

Purple Hearts by Tess Wakefield
About the book: When a soldier with a troubled past and a struggling songwriter agree to a marriage of convenience for the military benefits, neither expects much after saying “I do.” Then tragedy strikes, and the line between what’s real and what’s pretend begins to blur in this smart and surprising romance perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Jojo Moyes.

Cassie Salazar and Luke Morrow couldn’t be more different. Sharp-witted Cassie works nights at a bar in Austin, Texas to make ends meet while pursuing her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. Luke is an Army trainee, about to ship out for duty, who finds comfort in the unswerving discipline of service. But a chance encounter at Cassie’s bar changes the course of both their lives

Cassie is drowning in medical bills after being diagnosed with diabetes. When she runs into her old friend Frankie, now enlisted in the Army, she proposes a deal: she’ll marry him in exchange for better medical insurance and they can split the increased paycheck that comes with having a “family.” When Frankie declines, his attractive but frustratingly intense friend Luke volunteers to marry Cassie instead. What she doesn’t know is that he has desperate reasons of his own to get married. In this unforgettable love story, Cassie and Luke must set aside their differences to make it look like a real marriage...unless, somewhere along the way, it becomes one... [goodreads]
**When author & friend Bethany Chase recommends a book to me, I stop what I'm doing & read it. This story is yet another reason to always trust her recs. It's a heavier read, but a well-written, slow burn of a romance.

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
About the book: All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest. [goodreads]
**If it's Christina Lauren, I'll read it. This was my first introduction to a standalone novel by this writing duo and yet again, they proved what a powerhouse writing team they are! Loved this one, too.

Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven
About the book: Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story. [goodreads]
**Once I got past a few of the editing hiccups, I was totally pulled into this fun, feisty romance read! This was a nice surprise.

Lingus by Mariana Zapata
About the book: Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn't know. "My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn."

When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she's both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places. [goodreads]

**So this might be one of my most favorite romance reads of the year -- I know, what?? -- I just really, really enjoyed it. I want more stories like this. Totally unexpected and addictive.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
About the book: A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want... [goodreads]
**This novel doesn't publish until 2018 (January!), but I've already been recommending it to everyone I know. To say I loved this one is an understatement. Trust me when I say this, you want this book in your life.

Roomies by Christina Lauren
About the book: Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago? [goodreads]
**It's Christina Lauren, what do you expect? Of course it's made my list for favorites. Now, this standalone might just be my very favorite of theirs though. Again, an unexpected love affair has grown with these characters. Plus, I'm a sucker for pretend relationships.

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen
About the book: This is the classic tale of boy meets girl: Girl…goes home with someone else.

Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.

So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.

Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last. [goodreads]
**Here's another 2018 read that I just recently finished and immediately started recommending. This particular story is messy and unexpected. I didn't realize how addicted I was to it until I found myself finishing it and thinking, what now?!

Add any of these to your TBR? Let me know in the comments! What are some of your favorite romances read this year? I'm always looking for new recommendations, too.


  1. I'll have to check out some of these! My favorite of the year was decidedly The Day of the Duchess by Sarah Maclean.

  2. I love Sarah MacLean! I only read a few historical romances this year. A newly discovered author: Tessa Dare. I’m about to read a holiday novella by her.

  3. *immediately adds all the ones not already on my TBR*

  4. Ah so many of these are on my TBR, so I'm glad you loved them!!

  5. I have almost all of these on my TBR. I actually finished the companion to Some Kind of Magic yesterday, and now I want to read the first book. Great list.

  6. I loved Mariana Zapata's The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - you should check it out if you haven't already!!!

  7. oh, lingus was super cute! have you read her other books? i am obsessed with her now.


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