September was an AWESOME month for new releases, with some of my favorite romances of the year. From light to angsty, there was a little of everything, but the fun, sexy reads dominated the month for me. The six books on this list all take the reader through a variety of emotions, mixing humor and heart with plenty of heat. Though the vibes are all very different, each one held my interest from start to finish, and their unique storylines ensure that they’ll leave a lasting impression.
October brings so many intriguing new releases, with romances from some of my favorites as well as plenty of new-to-me authors whose work I’m just getting acquainted with. If you missed my October Release Calendar, you can find it here – there are a LOT of exciting books to look forward to!
I’ve got my review for each of this month’s top picks below – you can’t go wrong with any of these!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely LOVED this
Just rip my heart out already, why don’t you? If you’d asked me early on in the Wild Minds duet, I would’ve told you that I didn’t want Gus’ story. I don’t like cheaters, I don’t want to read about cheaters, and his actions were the catalyst for that whole story. But there’s so much more to it than that. Gus has had time to process his actions, realize exactly what he missed out on, and now knows with certainty that he never wants to feel that way again. So now that Gus is finally ready to move on from that relationship and open his heart up again, it makes him a completely different man.
This story is the kind that will have you immersed from the first page, caught up in the serious chemistry between these characters and wanting to peel back the layers some more. Both our hero and heroine have gone through so much to make them the people they are today (definitely some triggers in their history). This love story is all about finding the right person at the right time in your life. Gus and Naomi connect because their jagged edges fit together, and the story is emotional, intense, sexy, engrossing – while still having plenty of lightness in between. Saman seamlessly transitioned this antihero into a hero in his own right, and he’s actually one of the best I’ve read in a long, long time.
Essentially, the story follows Gus as he gets over the former love of his life. She’s found happiness and now it’s his turn to move on. While reading the Wild Minds duet prior to this is in no way necessary, it will greatly enhance the reading experience. There, we’re introduced to Gus and the complexities of his character, which gives this book so much more depth. Add in a beautifully broken heroine, and these two musicians make for an incredible pairing. As they work on a duet that begins the healing process for them both, Gus and Naomi fight their attraction while falling deeper each day.
It’s devourable, engaging, and the perfect followup to one of the best love stories I’ve read all year. I had incredibly high expectations for this and it did not disappoint – Saman never does. Those who have come to know Gus throughout the series will love to see his redemption, and it makes this romance that much more fulfilling. This author has such a way with building intimacy, and that’s the focus here, showcasing the connection between these two. In case you couldn’t tell, I loved it. I cannot wait to read more from the series and see what trouble Gus’ bandmates get into when they fall themselves.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely LOVED this
Back off, ladies, this book boyfriend is mine, all mine. I don’t think I’ve ever laid claim to a fictional man before, but this caring, compassionate, empowering, genuinely GOOD hero is the kind of guy you’ll want in your life. He’s effortlessly sexy, with humor, intelligence, and enough self-depricating charm to make you swoon. When paired with a woman who is just getting her fire back, the combination makes for a truly compelling read – from the first page to the very last.
The story follows Blakely, a woman whose confidence has dwindled after the dissolution of her marriage. She’s almost forty and it seems like nothing’s as easy as it used to be. When she musters up the courage to go to a bar one night, the last person she expects to meet is Slade. He’s younger (31 to her 39), gorgeous, and is solely focused on her. Too good to be true, right? Though their conversation is magnetic, Blakely no longer has the confidence to believe a man like that could truly be interested. But as the two find themselves spending more time together, Slade shows Blakely that she might’ve been wrong from the start.
I love books that hook you in immediately, and this does just that. Slade and Blakely meet within the first few pages, and the chemistry is so, so obvious. I absolutely loved the connection and the amount of dialogue, and it didn’t stop there. These two live in such a beautiful bubble – away from the complications of the real world – for much of the book, and it makes the spark shine that much brighter. Yes, it’s light and sexy, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The depth sneaks up on you and makes the story so much better because of it. Bubbles burst, flings end, but it’s what happens afterwards that makes the difference. This isn’t even the type of storyline that I would normally gravitate towards, but it’s written with such skill that I was completely engrossed. It’ll put you through a range of emotions, but this is a feel good, smile-inducing read through and through. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy via Valentine PR (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this fantastic romance.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely LOVED this
I am LOVING this series so far, and Luca’s book did not disappoint. Grant has such a way with humor, infusing quirky comedy and lightness into her books while still bringing the sexy and the heart. This heroine can only be described as “eccentric,” but she pairs perfectly with a guarded, serious hero who will make you swoon. The combination of the two makes for a read that will have you entranced from the very first page. It’s light one minute and heartfelt the next, never lingering on anything too heavy but still feeling like a well-developed romance. I loved every minute of it.
The story follows Luca, a baseball player who has given up on love after his failed engagement. When jilted bride, Henri, comes into his life, Luca doesn’t know what hit him. Henri loves love – that’s why she’s been engaged 5 times – but she can’t seem to make herself stop falling for the wrong guys. Who better to teach Henri how to stop falling for every guy she meets than Luca, the man who has sworn it all off? They may have the best intentions, but a fake relationship complicates the whole arrangement, especially when they begin living together and slowly merge their lives.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one – other than a great, funny read – but this was more than I could’ve anticipated. Fake relationships are always fun to read, and adding in the unexpected roommates storyline gave this one so much more depth. I loved getting to know Luca better and seeing his walls slowly start to come down. For an author who excels at comedy, Grant really knows how to write those nuanced moments that make a romance. You can feel these two fall for each other. The story flies by and just makes you want more from this group of characters. I think I had a smile on my face for at least half of the book, and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. It’s playful, it’s sexy, and it’s an all-around fantastic read.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3i1T2aE
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ LOVED it
Such a devourable read! Light and sexy with the kind of delicious tension that keeps you turning the pages, I loved this one from start to finish. It’s got the sexy and playful feel that I love about Hunter’s rom coms, paired with an “enemies” to lovers vibe that shakes things up a bit. One of my favorite tropes is hate that’s not really hate, and that’s exactly what’s at play here. These two just aren’t sure what to make of each other, and their combustible chemistry has thrown them off-balance. Add in an unexpected roommate situation, and the tension gets ratcheted up a notch. It’s still an easy, quick read, but just the kind of rom com that I love to devour.
The story follows River and Dean, neighbors who have been throwing barbs at one another for the past year. They got off on the wrong foot, and now neither one is exactly sure what to make of the other. Sure, there’s attraction there – but not necessarily the healthy kind. These two bicker like it’s banter, fight like it’s foreplay, and since they live next door to each other, there’s no escaping the feud. When Dean accidentally (almost) burns down his apartment, he’s left without a place to stay… and River doesn’t know what comes over her when she offers up her spare room. Now that these two are living together, they can’t just fight and move on. They’ve got to dig a little deeper, and that uncovers the kind of feelings neither one expects.
I loved it from start to finish. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this new series (the blurb and cover had me thinking this might be heavier), but I should’ve known better. Hunter has always delivered consistently solid reads, and this is no expection. I loved Dean; he doesn’t make this book, but he definitely took it to another level. There’s something so sexy about a hero who is genuinely good but still makes your blood boil. The angst is at a minimum here (despite the heavy dose of tension), and I was rooting for this couple even when they were in denial. Yeah, they’re stupid sometimes, or at least blind to their feelings, but there’s an undercurrent of intimacy throughout the book that elevates the story. If this is the start of a brand new series, then sign me up for the rest. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this enemies to lovers romance.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/32CyDnj
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SO GOOD
Sometimes fighting is the best foreplay, growling can be a sign of affection, and the gruffest heroes fall the hardest. This book is light and oh so STEAMY, featuring a couple that you will love to root for. The chemistry jumps off the page and this couple will have you fanning yourself while swooning and occasionally wanting to shake some sense into them. I’m definitely a fan of a slower burn, but the author knows how to make this level of steam work to her advantage. The build in intimacy is so great to read, and the emotional connection just gets stronger as the book goes on. You’re going to love this giant teddy bear of a hero and the strong, sassy woman who brings him to his knees.
The story follows Charly, a woman in desperate need of a new place to live. After Charly’s roommate scammed her and her landlord made some inappropriate advances, Charly is willing to respond to a very questionable online job offer. Her new boss wants a “Girl Friday” who will help organize every aspect of his life, and Charly is just the right kind of desperate to take the job. But on the night before she starts work, Charly unknowingly shares a steamy evening with her new boss and, well, let’s just say that things get even more complicated. Maxx has trust issues following the disastrous end to his last relationship, and no amount of chemistry or a bubbly personality is going to change that… or so he thinks. As the two work and live together, their fights just seem to make the connection stronger – and that’s all kinds of problematic for both of them.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this storyline, and that’s probably for the best because – on paper – it’s not the type that I would normally gravitate towards. Yes, I love a growly hero, and yes, I love all of the tension that comes with bickering that’s really bantering. But I don’t love romances that get steamy so quickly with “no” feelings involved. So kudos to the author for making this story work for me – and I loved every minute of it. It’s light and playful, tense and steamy. These characters have such personality, and there was never a dull moment. I basically loved it from the first page to the last, and really hope we get more from a few of these characters. If you like an opposites attract romance with a crazy amount of chemistry, then this is the one for you. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy via Enticing Journey (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this steamy romance.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SO GOOD
So. Much. Fun. This series has been low angst delight so far, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s playful and funny with characters you’ll root for and slow burn romance that will have you hooked. I loved this couple; they’re former classmates who reconnected as pen pals of sorts, and it’s clear from the start that they’re meant to be together. We’ll call their miscommunication style the classic “boys are stupid” scenario. Shepherd is a fantastic hero, so kind, caring, sexy, compassionate… but he can also be kinda oblivious. While I wish it hadn’t taken so many years for our couple to get together, their love story makes for a very fun, sexy read.
The story follows single mom Wren and the guy she’s been crushing on since she was thirteen. While Wren was reserved in high school, Shepherd was prom king, a popular guy, and now lives the life of a sports star. Though they haven’t been in touch since high school, Wren and Shepherd reconnect through social media. They spend a year becoming true friends through messages… until Shepherd cuts off contact. Turns out, Shepherd thinks Wren is with her child’s father, and his growing feelings for her have just gotten too complicated. After suffering a career-ending injury, Shepherd is ready to apologize for cutting Wren out of his life. But when he comes to town and discovers that she’s actually single, it’s a whole different ballgame.
Though it’s a slow burn romance, this relationship escalates quickly… and I kinda loved that. Instead of the whole reluctant hero thing, we get a guy who is so obviously into our heroine. He’s ready to be in a relationship, ready to step up with her son (no, it’s not his son), and he’s got zero hesitation in moving forward. While I didn’t love the drama with his ex or the situation there, I can 100% understand the reasoning behind it. Shepherd thought Wren was in a relationship, so he never let them out of the friend zone – until he found out the truth. It’s full steam ahead from there, and nothing’s sexier than a good guy hero who is determined to get his girl. That’s the story here, and it’s a playful, funny, sexual tension-filled read with little angst and a lot of heart. It’s the kind of rom com that will have you laughing, swooning, and fanning yourself in equal measure. I can’t wait for more Summersweet because this series has been outstanding so far.