Happy Valentine's Day from WLABB, and in honor of this holiday, I am happy to share some of my favorite romance books. I am a unapologetic romance reader. I looked on my Goodreads "read" shelf, and I have over 500 books classified as romance. It was so hard selecting books for this list, but I tried to pick a mix of well loved and less appreciated book. I hope you like my picks.
Favorite YA Romances
By the time I read this, the third and last book in the series, I was wholly onboard this ship. June and Day had this amazing and epic love, but there were so many things keeping them apart. The ending was tough, but beautiful and so meaningful to me. I thought it was an interesting way for Lu to show how real and true their love was. *sniffle, sniffle* Getting a little misty just thinking about the ending.
Michael Kun and Susan Mullen
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
This is the third time I am mentioning this book, and I will aver my love for Tornadoes and shout it from the mountain tops. I actually stumbled upon this book. I had gone to a bloggers event and this was one of the ARCs left on the table. It was blurbed by Susan Elizabeth Philips and set in the 80s, so I was in. Best. Decision. This is a friends to lovers story told via letters between Scott and Catherine, and I swear, my heart exploded over and over again. Sweet, funny, charming, heartwarming, smile-inducing -- I don't have enough adjectives to express my love.
Shannon L. Alexander
Publisher: Entangled Teen
I cried happy and sad tears reading this one. This is not the HEA romance that I typically go for, and it was sort of sad, but there was so much beauty in the sadness. I laughed, I cried, I raged against the universe, but I finished this book with a full and happy heart.
Publisher: Random House
I was so lucky to get a copy of this at YallFest 2015, because this ended up being one of my favorites. This book falls into the "warm and fuzzy" category for me. It was like a warm blanket on a cold day, and I loved every second of it. Wonderful story + great characters = a happy heart. (I went on to read Buxbaum's adult books, and they were fantastic as well)
Jennifer E. Smith
Series: This is What Happy Looks Like, #1
Series: This is What Happy Looks Like, #1
This starts with a fun premise, an online friendship forged between a small town girl and a movie star via an accidental email. From there, the fun just keeps coming. I have a soft spot for JES, as she knows how to write the type of romances that are adorable and cute and keep a smile on my face from beginning to end. I never wanted this one to end.
There are so many authors that have gifted me with special books that have touched my heart.
Favorite NA/Adult Romances
Series:True North, #1
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
I really loved the Gravity and Ivy Years, so I went into this series a solid Bowen fan, but still a little skeptical of this book. A hero who's a farmer? That's, uh, different. But you know what? It was fabulous! This is a second chance romance set in beautiful Vermont with great MCs surrounded by a wonderful and loving family, and FOOD! Lots of food. I was so happy out on the Shipley's farm, and the love just continued in book 2. I hope Bowen will add more books to this series, because I don't want to leave VT.
Series: Flat-Out Love
Publisher: Self published
This was a romance, but it was also a story of a broken family. A family that was so entrenched in their denial, and were functioning at a bare minimum level. This added that layer of drama and emotion that just pulled me in. But all these feels were ok, because Park balanced it out with fun light-hearted moments. The companion books in this series were also wonderful, with Flat-Out Matt filling in some of the gaps in this book.
Series: Knitting in the City, #1
Publisher: Caped Publishing
Reid is one of my go-tos for rom-coms, and this is Penny Reid doing what Penny Reid does well. She creates sweet, endearing romances that are filled with whip-smart characters that are hilarious. For the love of Thor! How could you not fall in love with both Quinn and Janie? Janie is so odd and quirky, but so smart and honest. Her awkwardness is what makes her so special and unique, and she won the heart of Quinn - Sir McHotPants, who makes her proclaim such phrases as "It was as if a unicorn had appeared beneath a double rainbow and started tap dancing." *Huge smile*
Series: Marked, #3
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
I am a HUGE Crownover fan. The Marked series was my gateway into her world, and I will read every book she writes. This series focuses on a group of tattooed men, who are connected through friendship, family, and the shop. I loved all the Marked books, but this one was, and still is, my favorite. The romance is between Cora, the pink-haired pixie who manages the shop, and Rome, who is slightly adrift after being forced out of the service due to an injury. I re-read my comments on GoodReads, and it was apparent that I loved the high drama in this book, and the MCs. I especially loved Rome, and found that Crownover gave him some of the most beautiful dialogue, internal and external, of all the Marked Men. I sighed, I swooned, I fanned myself.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rainbow Rowell does such a good job of crafting amazing and interesting characters, and she did so, once again with Landline. This is a beautiful story of two REAL people in love, who have to juggle real life along with maintaining the romance. It's a story of woman falling back in love with her husband, and that concept just hit me right in the feels. This book usurped Attachments as my favorite RR book, and that is saying a lot.
Again, I feel as though I could not show my love for some of my favorite romance writers:
Jay McLean - Where the Road Takes Me
Cora Carmack - Rusk University series
Gayle Forman - Just One Year
Jill Shalvis - all her books
What are some of your favorite romances?
Let us know in the comments!