Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing my book reviews for my absolute favorite romance novels of the year. There were so many amazing books released in 2020! It was incredibly difficult to narrow down my list to just twenty books – I reviewed over 350 new romances this year, so these are at the very top of my list.
Today brings the second round of books (in no particular order) – reviews below! Check back tomorrow for the next four books.
View Round One here
WOW, talk about a build in intimacy. These two are hot for each other from the moment they meet, but love takes a little longer to happen. While I often struggle with that kind of storyline, Bromberg is such a master at writing those quiet, impactful moments of intimacy that this was compelling from start to finish. It’s a slow emotional burn, but there are these little tender moments along the way that really make the story shine. I loved the level of tension, the crackling chemistry, and the intense connection between these two. It’s angsty and steamy, emotional and gripping, and an engrossing read from the first page to the last.
The story follows Rush, a British soccer player who is spending some time in the USA following a scandal. He’s accused of sleeping with his teammate’s wife, and no one has taken the time to question whether the British bad boy would do such a thing. When Rush meets Lennox, it’s lust at first sight. They’re two people who use sex to avoid their feelings, and they seem to be the perfect match – at least temporarily. Neither one expects their relationship to develop into anything deeper than lust, but spending time together and seeing so much of themselves in one another changes the dynamic. Now… they just have to figure out what to do about that.
After a great start to the series, I was wholly expecting to love this – and I definitely did. Bromberg is SO good at building intimacy, showcasing touches and lingering glances that say more about the relationship than anything else. These two might’ve believed that their connection was only physical, but it was easy to see that there was more there. And I really, really loved Rush. His backstory is heartbreaking (and may be triggering to some), so it was even more gratifying to see him find happiness. I’ll openly admit that Lennox was more difficult for me to connect to; she definitely straddles that fine line between being sexually aware and just completely unprofessional. But that’s all part of the story, and the similarities between these two are what draw them to each other. It’s an intricate dance from start to finish, and I absolutely, wholeheartedly LOVED the back half. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy, and am voluntarily leaving a review of this steamy romance.
I knew within the first few pages that I was going to LOVE this one, with its slightly ridiculous, playful feel and a storyline that kept me guessing. It’s my first from the author but I will definitely be going back for more, because this was so entertaining from start to finish. The storyline is nothing like I expected it to be – this is an office romance in only the vaguest sense – but there is a boss (who gets a little demanding in the bedroom) and his new assistant (who keeps him on his toes). The meet cute is utterly original, the hero’s vulnerable side is refreshingly unexpected, and the small moments make this an outstanding read.
The story follows Ash, a workaholic whose business and personal life are both suffering because he has trouble relinquishing control. While sifting through resumes on an airplane, Ash meets Zelda, a whirlwind of a woman who changes his life from the moment they cross paths. Zelda’s got what some might consider an overwhelming personality, but something about her draws Ash in right away. They have a crazy first day together, during which Zelda somehow inserts herself into every aspect of Ash’s life – and he’s 100% okay with that. She’s nothing Ash ever expected but everything he’s needed, and these two opposites attract in a big way.
My favorite part of the book? All those little stolen moments and touches. Canterbary does a great job showing how starved for affection both Ash and Zelda are; they see something in the other that calls to them and there is an immediate ease there. There’s lots of “emotionally needing cuddling” that contrasts so well with the dirty steam later on. You may need to suspend reality a few times – the story is downright zaney at the beginning – but I was completely invested the whole way through. It’s light and funny with heartfelt moments and some steamy scenes that prove the title correct. Ash is both tender and alpha in all the right ways, and while he got a little bossier than I like my heroes a few times, there was nothing that hindered my enjoyment of the story. I loved his grumpiness, his growls, and everything else that makes him a great hero. I’ll definitely be checking out more from the author in the future, because this was a very fun, sexy read. I received an ARC (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this steamy romance.
Well that was… basically perfection. I knew I was going to enjoy this, but Helena Hunting outdid herself with this one. It’s a light and funny romance with so much depth; a slow burn that crackles with sexual tension. Bishop has got to be one of my all-time favorite romance heroes – he’s a lovable jerk with a gigantic heart who isn’t a manwhore, respects Stevie in a major way, and connects with her on a deep level before things turn physical. This enemies to lovers romance held my attention from start to finish – I loved every minute of it.
The story follows Stevie, a physiotherapist and sister of a famous hockey player, RJ. When she goes through a bad breakup, her brother lets her stay at his empty apartment for a while, but a misunderstanding leads her new neighbor to think she is RJ’s mistress. Brash and unfiltered Bishop isn’t all that fond of his teammate to begin with, but when he thinks RJ has put his mistress up in her own apartment, he takes out his irritation on Stevie. The two go through a series of misunderstandings until they somehow find themselves exchanging favors after Bishop is injured on the ice. The more time they spend together, the more they realize that they had their first impressions all wrong.
I’ve always enjoyed Hunting’s work and was definitely looking forward to this because of the premise, but it exceeded my expectations by far. It’s not a short book, but I still managed to finish it in less than a day, letting those pages fly as I got to know these two. I loved their bantering/bickering, the chemistry that was evident from the very beginning, and the slow burn that gave their relationship so much depth. We also got to know King pretty well, and I am absolutely looking forward to reading his book next. 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 rom com with heart.
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.
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