Best of May 2022

There was an embarrassment of reading riches in May, so my biggest problem was choosing which books would make this list! This month, I really focused on setting aside books that weren’t working for me and giving my full attention to those that did – whether they were new releases or retro reads. And that yielded some awesome results!

I have no idea which book was my favorite this month, but rom coms seemed to lead the way! The newest from Kayley Loring had me laughing and smiling, and it’s probably one of my new favorites from an author who has already given me plenty of excellent reads. I also loved Rival Radio, another steamy and fun romance with tons of great sexual tension. Kathryn Nolan is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I also read two excellent retro reads – One Moment Please and Bulldozer. Both have been on my TBR for far too long, and I am SO glad that I finally moved them to the top of my list. One Moment Please was an effortlessly entertaining read (especially on audio!) and Bulldozer gave me exactly the kind of friction I was hoping for from a roommates to lovers romance.

I also read several other books that deserve honorable mention. Book Lovers was a very solid read, and it certainly held my attention the whole way through. It definitely leans towards women’s fiction, but I loved the vibe. Lucky Star was also great – just the kind of light and easy read that I was in the mood for. I almost added Jennifer Hartmann’s June First to this list, which would’ve easily made the list on a less competitive month. I’ve still got complicated feelings about it, but that’s a good thing. Regardless, there were many fantastic romances this month.

Looking ahead to June, it seems like it’s going to be another very good month! Several of my one-click authors are releasing new books, and I’ve already read a couple of 5-star romances that will be on the way soon. I’ve also got some pretty exciting ARCs to read in June, so here’s hoping that we get another month overflowing with memorable romance.

I’ve got my review for each of this month’s best books below – you can’t go wrong with any of these!

If you missed my June Release Calendar, you can find it here!


TOP PICKS

Deliciously weird and super sexy, this single dad romance had me laughing within minutes and smiling the whole way through – exactly the kind of low angst, funny read that I love from Loring. If you’re new to the series, then you’ll be missing out on some hysterical family moments (and two other great rom coms), but you shouldn’t have any trouble following along with the love story. It’s instalove followed by three years of longing for these two near-strangers, so the ZAP of connection is instantaneous and powerful. Their chemistry was excellent (with some seriously fan-worthy moments!), and there are SO MANY funny scenes that kept me laughing and loving the story. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and smile-inducing, then look no further.

The story follows Miles, a single dad who loves his daughter fiercely. And what does his daughter love? Singing and acting – she wants to be a star. Sounds great, except… even this grumpy lawyer doesn’t have the heart to tell his daughter that she’s TERRIBLE at both. So when Miles’ daughter has an audition with the sexy former child star who has been starring in his dirty dreams, Miles can’t seem to help himself and he strikes up a deal that works for everyone. The only problem is that Aria is just as off-limits now as she was when they met three years ago, and spending time together does nothing to flame out those fantasies.

This has been such a fun series, and this quirky, easygoing installment was another fantastic one. Sure, the relationship has some pacing issues, but those faded into the background with my complete and total enjoyment of the rest of the story. It’s funny and STEAMY, with undeniable heat between these two. I loved that they’ve both been infatuated for so long, and it was like flipping a switch once they got together. There’s very minimal angst, which made this such a feel good read. If you’re a fan of single dads, then you’re going to absolutely MELT for the sweet, swoony moments between Miles and his daughter. If I’ve got one complaint, it’d be that I never want to hear the word “woman-child” used again, certainly not by somebody who will one day braid his lover’s hair. But… I digress. I can’t remember the last book that kept me smiling this much, and that is always a very, very good thing.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39Gc7zE


If you liked The Ex Talk but wanted more swoons AND more sex, well, then you’re gonna love this sexual tension-filled treat! There’s something about Nolan’s writing that is always so super swoony, with low angst vibes and romance that you can root for. I was expecting this to have stronger enemies to lovers vibes, but these two are very much rivals who can’t stand their attraction to each other. Our buttoned up hero believes in love and romantic gestures, while our heroine believes in loving yourself and putting your own happiness first. Their past experiences have shaped their current philosophies, and these two rival radio hosts can’t seem to agree on anything. I loved the bickering turned bantering, the playful and sexy feel, the HEAT, and the obvious chemistry. This hero is a cinnamon roll sweetheart who loves love, and I adored that he was steadfast the whole way through. It’s a lighthearted, intelligent story, and I had no trouble bingeing it in one sitting.

The story follows Daria and Theo, two radio personalities who each host their own shows about love. Theo is all about finding your perfect partner, commitment, and lasting relationships, while Daria is planning to remain single forever. They both have popular relationship advice shows, but the radio station is still struggling, so management decides it’d be best to pair them up for awhile. The only trouble? Daria and Theo can’t seem to stop arguing, and their advise to listeners couldn’t be more contradictory. It seems like they’ll never be able to get along… except, the chemistry that sparks between them is the kind neither one has ever experienced. As they struggle to find common ground, Theo and Daria realize that opposites don’t just attract – they might be perfect for each other.

I’m always up for an opposites attract romance, and having a hero who is all in right away is never a bad thing. I loved Theo, who has been searching for real, authentic love for years. He’s such a sweetheart of a man, but certainly has an alpha side when he needs it, and that made for such a compelling combination. Daria was also great too; she is so strong and independent that it would take just the right man to make her fall. There are some excellent themes about putting yourself first, compromising, accepting imperfections, and holding on to a love that feels right. There’s also plenty of inclusivity in this cast of characters, another of Nolan’s strengths. The whole thing remained upbeat and STEAMY, with tons of playfulness and some great insight. And did I mention the chemistry? There’s not much that I didn’t love about this; it was another very satisfying read from Nolan.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wEbkXV


With crackling chemistry and a sexy doctor you’ll want to kiss one minute and smack the next, this accidental pregnancy romance hooked me in IMMEDIATELY. I always love strangers to lovers romances, and this adds an element of enemies to lovers that was pure delight. These two don’t know anything about each other, but the sparks that fly between them are all kinds of HOT. Their first interactions are fiery fun, slowly simmering into something sweeter and more heartfelt. Our hero is in way over his head, and it was fun (and a little frustrating) to watch him heal his broken pieces. He’s got a protective, possessive side that was super swoony, and he shows his affection through actions instead of words. It’s another fantastic installment in a series that I’ve been slowly catching up on (backwards), and it left me ready to dive into the next one.

The story follows Lynsey, a woman who is both attracted to and a little infuriated by the temperamental doctor she keeps running into at the hospital cafeteria. On the day that she has a particularly memorable interaction with Josh, Lynsey has the unfortunate luck of being forced to talk to him at a bar. One thing leads to another, and the two feuding near-strangers have a hot and steamy night together. After disappearing at the end of the night, Lynsey believes she’ll never see the man again… until she ends up in the ER, and he’s the doctor on call. He’s also the man who is tasked with letting Lynsey know that she’s pregnant… with his baby. As if sleeping with the moody man wasn’t bad enough, now Lynsey is stuck with him forever.

This really put me through my paces, emotionally. It’s scorching one minute, playful the next, and then angsty when you least expect it. I loved that Lynsey and Josh were forced to connect and push through in moments when they would’ve otherwise given up, and their hard-won relationship felt sweeter because of it. I still kinda wanted to smack Josh sometimes, but I also adored his softer side. He’s a man who doesn’t know how to love – or is at least incredibly resistant to doing so – but he’s a natural caretaker and truly loving deep down. Compartmentalizing his feelings as a doctor does not translate well to his personal life, and that causes plenty of conflict. However, the overall tone is light and sexy, with SO MUCH chemistry between these two. It reads easily as a standalone, but also makes a great addition to the series, and I’m kicking myself for not moving it up my TBR sooner.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3l5Dvd5


I finally, FINALLY, moved this up to the top of my TBR, and it made my love for the rest of the series come rushing back to me – one of my all-time favorites. Often, when you’ve been anticipating reading a book for so long, you build up unrealistic expectations that it has no chance of meeting. That wasn’t the case here; I’d just had this little gem sitting on my Kindle, waiting for the right moment. And this was it!

There’s something about Dangelico’s work that resonates with me; I always devour her books in one sitting, and they are often poignant, memorable reads. This one pairs humor with heart, providing a playful, friction-filled roommates to lovers romance, a story of redemption, AND a sweet, sentimental single mom romance, all rolled into one. The hero is a lovable grump who is shameless, but such a little sweetheart in the ways that count. He’s a giant linebacker with a marshmallow heart and the tendency to blush when he’s embarrassed… how adorable is that? The chemistry that sparked between this couple leapt off the page, and I experienced so many emotions while reading. I loved it!

The story follows Amanda, a single mom who is trying to do things right this time around. She knows she’s made plenty of mistakes in the past, but she’s been sober for three years, and is now focused on being a great mom. So when she borrows her brother’s vacation home for an extended business trip, the last thing Amanda expects to see is a large man clad in his birthday suit. Grant is her brother’s former teammate, and while she’s been told he’s one of the good guys, he certainly doesn’t seem to match that description. Reeling from a spinal injury, the giant man is moody, broody, and all kinds of frustrating. As the two – along with Amanda’s son – figure out how to live together temporarily, Amanda soon realizes that there’s more to Grant than meets the eye. He’s determined to stay away, but that zap of connection keeps pulling them together.

As with the other (excellent) books in this series, there’s a phenomenal slow burn romance, plus a great combination of lighthearted moments and shots of angst that will HURT. I loved watching Amanda and Grant stumble along the way; they’ve both got their walls up, and that means it’s not an easy progression. In the other books in the series (certainly not required reading, but I highly recommend them), we got to see the troubled side of Amanda. Here, she’s in a much more stable place, and I loved that she’s actually the one with a steady foundation. The story is told exclusively from her perspective, but we really do get to know Grant well – he’s this big, strong man who is broken and vulnerable on the inside. They make such a compelling combination, and the payoff at the end was immensely satisfying. It renewed my love for the series in a big way, and that’s always a fantastic feeling.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/386jv7a


HONORABLE MENTION

Watching an ice queen’s heart melt for the right man is as satisfying as it is unexpected. A love note to book lovers, this literary romance stars the villain of everyone else’s story. She’s the stereotypical “unfeeling” workaholic; a woman who is successful, beautiful, and comes across as ice cold. She’s the woman that the hunky hero leaves behind in every small town romance, and she knows it. This is truly her story, with a great mix of women’s fiction and romance told exclusively from the heroine’s perspective. The heart of the story is Nora’s personal journey towards love and self-acceptance, but the romance is also an integral part of the tale. This romance lover was greedy for the swoony scenes – I loved both characters, and they were electric together. While the love story is not always the focus, it definitely had me caught up, and I also appreciated the smart, impactful moments that make this a well-rounded read.

The story follows Nora, a woman who knows she’s not heroine material. As a book agent, she can see the parallels between her own life and the plot of a small town romance novel. Basically, she’s the workaholic ice queen that the hero always leaves behind once he finds the love of his life… and that’s actually happened to her several times. Nora has always been an unapologetic city girl who is married to her job, so when she suddenly finds herself spending a month in a charming small town, Nora is a fish out of water. She’s out of her element, and the only person who seems to understand the feeling is the grumpy editor who is also in town. Nora wrote Charlie off as a jerk when she first met him, but getting to know him better has shown her that there might be more to the story. They might not be anyone else’s definition of “perfect,” but they shine when they’re together.

I was grinning within minutes of reading this, loving the many nods to tropes, rom coms, and classic love stories. It’s such an intelligent romance, starring a woman who most would consider unlikable or unrelatable. I loved getting to know Nora better and understanding what makes her tick. This is 100% her story, and that really worked here. Sure, I was impatient to get back to the romance sometimes, but I also enjoyed how unique the storyline feels. It’s truly a blend of women’s fiction and romance, about finding your own happy place and being loved for who you are. Nora softens so much throughout the story, but I adored that Charlie never asks her to. They make such an interesting combination, with plenty of sexual tension, chemistry, and banter. There’s a great mix of small town charm, swoons, humor, emotional moments, and angst – it puts you through your paces, emotionally, and leaves a lasting impression.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3y8CRDg


Super cute! After reading a particularly angsty book, I was in the mood for something lighter, easier, and refreshing – and this was just what the doctor ordered. It’s a low angst, sexy rom com that takes the fake relationship trope and spins it into something else. I loved how perfectly this couple complements each other, and how they’re both in need of a little light in their lives. They’re hurting and raw when they meet, but the easy attraction between them soon smooths out those rough edges. I also loved the fact that our hero is a TV star who the heroine has been crushing on for years; that made for some particularly fun moments, and the Hollywood vibes added a little something extra to the story. I’m new to the series, but I had no trouble diving right in – and now I want to go back and read the other interconnected standalones.

The story follows Eve, a woman whose life seems to be falling apart around her. She works two jobs to make ends meet, and the two people closest to her have just betrayed her. Reeling from the news, Eve bumps into Boone, the star of a long-running TV show… who just so happens to be her celebrity crush. Boone has some problems of his own, and the cute coffee shop girl he’s been sneaking glances at for weeks just might be able to help with some of them. Starting up a fake relationship seems beneficial to both, but neither Boone nor Eve anticipated the very real feelings that would soon follow. Nothing about their situation feels fake, and they both feel stronger together.

I’m not usually a fan of third person perspective, but I barely even noticed it here – the story is so easygoing and swoony. I liked both characters right away, and their chemistry is obvious. While the story starts like the typical fake relationship romance, it soon transitions into something a little more unique. The celebrity crush dynamic was super fun, and I loved Boone more and more as we got to know him better. He’s such a sweetheart, with a vulnerable side that got to me. There are some seriously swoony vibes, and the whole story is light and sexy, even when it tackles difficult subjects like gaslighting and anxiety. It was entirely too easy to binge, and now I’m left wanting to check out more from the series. If you’re looking for something cute and steamy, then this is a very solid read.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EINtKf


Did you see my June Release Calendar?

It includes the 30+ June releases I’m excited about AND 200+ upcoming books that are available for preorder! Check it out here.


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