May was an OUTSTANDING month for romance! I’m pretty sure I rated more books as 5 stars in May than I did in April and March combined. So it was extremely difficult to narrow down my top picks this month – and I’m not complaining! There were so many excellent books that I highly recommend, but these are the ones that really made my month.
My two absolute favorites? Hands down it’s Jock Blocked and Beautifully Cruel, but I loved all of these. There’s a little of everything in this group, so you really can’t go wrong. I’ve included my reviews for each to give you an idea just how much I loved them.
From what I’ve seen of the releases coming in June, there’s another fantastic month of romance coming soon! If you need help managing your TBR, check out my calendar of June releases (found here) to see what new books are coming your way.
Holy CHEMISTRY – this couple has it from the very first page! I still cannot believe how quickly I devoured this intense, sexy, guilty pleasure of a read – the connection between the characters was there from the very beginning, and I just settled back and enjoyed the unpredictable ride. It’s banter-filled and sexy with combustible chemistry. JT Geissinger writes in a variety of genres so I was not really sure what to expect from this until I realized who the star is (this stands completely on its own, but if you’ve read her Dangerous Beauty trilogy, you’re in for a treat – and will probably handle all of the revelations better). It kept me guessing with twists, turns, and a couple who heat up the pages. This antihero is a big bad wolf of a man; the kind of guy you know is bad but want anyway. Our heroine makes his perfect complement – strong and fiery, constantly pushing back and demanding more. It made for quite the combination and a read that I couldn’t put down.
The story follows Tru, a law student who works at a diner to pay the bills. For the last eleven months, a mysterious stranger has been frequenting the diner, and she’s not quite sure what to make of him. He’s clearly trouble, but the kind that she might be okay with. It’s not until Tru finds herself in a bad situation that the sexy stranger starts revealing more about his life – and it’s more complicated than Tru could’ve ever bargained for. But now that he has Tru in his sights, he’s not stopping until he gets what he wants.
Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it took a different direction – and I loved that. I was kept in a constant state of tension, which paired perfectly with all of the sizzling chemistry these two characters have. It’s intense and engrossing with a dark humor that just really works for the story. I thought this might get too dark for me – it is a mafia romance after all – but all I felt for our hero was love. Geissinger wrote the perfect heroine for this; had Tru not been such a strong, smart woman, it could’ve easily headed in the wrong direction, but she didn’t let this alpha hero walk all over her. They have such great banter and a connection that’s so obvious that it makes the reader want to keep reading. It’s the kind of book that keeps you thinking about the characters long after you finish turning the pages, and what a steamy, wild ride it was. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC via Social Butterfly PR (then purchased it for my collection) and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy, suspenseful book.
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2z7h7vg
What a bright ray of sunshiney happiness this was! I always love Pippa Grant’s quirky rom coms, so I knew I was in for a good read, but this has got to be one of my absolute FAVORITES from her. It’s light and funny and oh so sweet with a couple that you will be rooting for from start to finish. I loved this hero once I got to know him a little better – Brooks is kinda broken at the beginning of this book, and it takes some TLC from our heroine before he finds his happy again. It’s refreshingly delightful from beginning to end, and the perfect book to kick off this new series (though there are plenty of appearances from old favorites)!
The story follows Brooks, a baseball player who seems to have a curse. Every time he gets past second base with a woman, his game falls apart. For that reason… he’s never gotten any further than that with a woman. When Brooks was playing for a winning team, the sacrifice to his love life seemed worth it, but now that’s he’s been traded to the worst team in the league, well… he’s ready to make a few changes. Desperate to lose his v-card to any woman who will have him, Brooks turns into a bit of a horndog. The only problem? Super fan Mackenzie knows about the curse, and she is determined to stop him before he crosses that line. While Brooks might think Mackenzie is a special kind of crazy, it’s not long before the two shift from strangers with conflicting goals to something much deeper.
This might just be my favorite read from Grant, and that’s saying a lot. It’s quirky and kinda ridiculous but so, so funny. I loved both of these characters and their strange journey to happy ever after, which is actually surprising given how much OW drama there is at the start of this. Naturally, Brooks is trying to lose his v-card, so it’s not without its drama, but Grant handles everything so well that it was never really a problem for me. And the payoff… so, so worth it. I loved the buildup of intimacy and the changes we see in both characters throughout the course of the book. It’s light and funny from start to finish, but there’s that underlying layer of depth that I love about Pippa’s books. All in all, a really great, fun read, and I cannot wait for more from this series. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC via Give Me Books (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this quirky romance.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2WMPVuW
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/36gEJKo
What a great hero! I absolutely loved Aaron Wylde, the shameless playboy who just needed to find the right girl to fall head over heels for. I don’t mind a manwhore hero IF the character is written correctly, and Bennett handles the situation well – yes, Aaron’s always been a one-night kinda guy, but there’s little to no OW drama, no one else on his mind, and a great insta-lust vibe that quickly turns into so much more. And the best part? He COURTS our heroine, building up the trust before things get steamy (and they definitely do get smoking hot at times).
The story follows Aaron, known to all his friends as simply “Wylde,” because of his reputation as a player on and off the ice. When he meets Clarke, a bookstore owner, he’s taken by her nerdy good looks and hits on her immediately. But Clarke’s got a past that Aaron doesn’t know about, so she has zero interest in getting involved with someone in the spotlight – even if Aaron is just after a good time at first. So, for the first time, our hero finds himself working overtime to win over a girl, and it’s not long before lust turns into determination.
It’s light, sexy, and easy to devour in one sitting. If you’re not caught up on the series, it’s not a problem, though there are countless appearances by other couples we’ve met and fallen for. Honestly, if I have one complaint about the book it’s that a few of those scenes could’ve been eliminated in favor of more Aaron and Clarke, but I loved this one from start to finish. It was refreshing and fun with characters that are easy to like and chemistry that sparks off the page. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC via the author and am voluntarily leaving a review of this steamy/sweet sports romance.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/3c4rHSk
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2YEJxay
Worth the wait, that’s for sure! I’ve been eagerly anticipating this love story since the start of the series, and it did NOT disappoint. It’s without a doubt my favorite so far, with a swoony kind of romance that just flows naturally and holds your attention from start to finish. I loved this bad boy hero who can’t seem to stay away from the quintessential good girl – they have some serious chemistry, a history as friends that makes their connection feel deep, and the kind of sexual tension that’s bound to snap at some point. I binged this baby in one sitting and can’t wait for more from the series.
The story follows Rian and Dylan, two people who have been in the same group of friends for the last few years. The friends all live in the same apartment building and know more about each other’s business than they probably should, so it’s like one big family. As a former foster kid, that family unit is important to Dylan, and he won’t do anything to screw it up. Rian’s been crushing on Dylan for years, but he either doesn’t know or doesn’t reciprocate, and she’s reached the point where she realizes it might be time to move on from the fantasy. So when a new roommate – who seems to have a lot of history with Dylan – joins the mix, it changes the dynamic completely. Suddenly, it becomes impossible to ignore the deeper feelings hiding beneath the surface.
I know that the title might have you worried that this is a love triangle, but it really isn’t. It’s much more about the sudden jealousy that sparks in our hero as he’s finally forced to confront his feelings. Throughout the first two books in the series, we knew where Rian stood but were left in the dark about Dylan, and I loved how it was handled by the authors. He’s such a lovable guy deep down and I thought he made a great hero. Plus, these two already have a level of familiarity that takes years to build, so it felt like there was a strong connection between them. It’s high tension but low angst and makes for a very compelling read. If I have one complaint it would be the big fight, but… I also understand why it played out the way it did. Regardless, I loved this one from start to finish, and absolutely look forward to more of these characters. I received an ARC via Wildfire Marketing Solutions and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy friends to lovers romance.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/3bnII8C
Haven’t started the series yet? Check out my reviews of the first two books:
SO GOOD! I am really sad to see this series come to an end – each book has been exceptional in its own way, and King’s story did not disappoint. A Favor for a Favor is one of my favorite books of the year, so I already knew that I was going to adore King when it came time for his story – and that is definitely the case. He is the most polite, caring, dirty talking, gentleman that I’ve read about, and Queenie complements him perfectly with all her chaos. It was so refreshing to read about a genuinely good guy who has never been a playboy, wants a relationship, and respects the woman he’s pursuing. King and Queenie’s relationship might’ve developed in a way that’s vastly different than King expected, but it helped loosen up this otherwise rigid guy.
The story follows Ryan Kingston, aka King, a hockey player who is known as the serious, steady guy. He drives like a grandma, drinks milk with every meal, and always seems to be wearing khakis. But when a revelation about his family leaves him reeling, King has a night where he just needs to let loose. Enter Queenie, the, well… Queen of Chaos, if you will. At 24, she’s moved back in with her father and has taken a job as his assistant. When King and Queenie meet at a bar, they’re both looking to drown their sorrows but wind up getting more than either one bargained for. After one steamy night together, they part ways… only to reunite a few weeks later when King realizes that his one and only hookup is the daughter of his boss.
I loved the chemistry between these two – the fact that they get dirty together in the first chapter means that there’s a level of sexuality to the entire story, which is unexpected given King’s personality. He is such a gentleman that it was nice to see him opening up and getting a little wild. The book reads quickly, making it easy to devour – mixed in with the likable characters and sexual tension are some seriously funny moments and touches of angst. It stays relatively light the whole time, making for a fun, sexy read and though there are appearances from characters in past books, this easily reads as a standalone. All in all, it’s just an entertaining read and I am so sad that there won’t be more from the series. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC via Social Butterfly PR and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy sports romance.
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Wtf1Pk
Amazon Audio: https://amzn.to/2Z0abuK
Haven’t read the other two books in the series? This will read as a standalone but is better when paired with the others. You can check out my reviews below for details:
My favorite read from Lauren Landish so far? Quite possibly. It’s light, steamy, and a lot of fun. Landish knows how to write a rom com, with playful antics and a heavy dose of sexy. This brother’s best friend/fake relationship romance is lighthearted and everything you could want from the trope – it’s definitely a play on a familiar storyline, but distinctly the author’s style. I enjoyed it from start to finish.
The story follows Kaede, a gym owner who is seeking out a business partner to build the brand. When a potential investor hints that the deal will only be sealed if Kaede dates his over the top daughter, Kaede panics and claims he’s engaged. The only woman who comes to mind is his best friend’s little sister, Courtney. She’s considered to be a workaholic and a bit of an ice queen, but neither of those things deters Kaede. He’s always found her attractive, but bro code means that she’s completely off-limits. But when Courtney agrees to go along with the ruse and her longtime crush on Kaede is exposed, it makes things even more complicated.
I love both fake relationship and brother’s best friend romances, so this combination really worked for me. It’s low angst and a lot sexy, with more steam than you typically find in a rom com but all of the other things I love about the genre. Landish was able to give the relationship plenty of depth, so while there were a couple of times when I thought the lust was overtaking the story, it settled into a nice, heartwarming read. It moves quickly and stays fun throughout with minimal angst. While this is part of a series, it’s easily read as a standalone – though those who are familiar with the series will love the involvement of characters from the previous books. If you’re looking for a light, STEAMY rom com, then this is certainly worth a read. I received an ARC via the author and am voluntarily leaving a review of this light romance.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2ZKP0x9
Oh my goodness, I’ve been trying to figure out what is up with brother’s best friend romance! You’ve got to explain it to me. Why do you love it? I’m not hating. It just seems very random to me. I can’t figure out why it’s a trope.
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Lol! I think it’s because often they’ve been a part of the heroine’s life for years in some way or another, so there’s a lot of history there but less baggage than with a second chance romance or friends to lovers where you wonder why they’ve been with other people. You still get the chemistry of them getting to know each other better with a hint of forbidden because the hero isn’t sure how the brother will react. Love it!