Hello, my lovely bookies!
2020. Let’s talk about it because what a year this one has been… I have to say, generally speaking, 2020 has been, to put it mildly, a pain in the ass. IMO, I am ready to forget about it, even though I know I never will. Corona has taken and changed so much of our lives since it started and I honestly hope we can start moving on and leave everything bad it brought behind. It will be difficult, so many people have lost loved ones and so many are still fighting it but it finally looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Still, I hope you all got through it safely and you are enjoying the holidays as much as you can while being safe.
But now let’s focus on what has been one of the best pastimes/distractions for me since, I have (as many of us, I hope!) been practicing social distancing. Books. My dear and beloved romance books have always been my escape from reality and even more this year since they have been that much needed getaway from what is still happening in the world. So, of course, I am here to talk about my favorite reads of 2020, which as last time, will be 15 (with some honorable mentions too after). Yes, I know, still so many since I’ve read a total of 82 during this year. It looks like I have less and less time to read as years go by but I cannot for the life of me even think about stop reading. I just love literature so much and I will never stop loving it.
Also, I want to thank all of you for all the blog/bookish love during this year! It is 100% appreciated and much needed. THANK YOU for being here and for also being the perfect getaway from the real world. Now, without further ado, let’s talk about my 2020 favorites!
PS: Please check all my friends’ lists too! You’ll find all the links down below (I will keep updating it these days).
TOP 15 BOOKS READ IN 2020
This list will be in in reading order, in other words, by date. This year I had more than one book with my special 5+ star rating (it has been a good one for romance releases, that is for sure!) so let’s start the list!
BOOKS RATED WITH 5+ STARS
DEAR AVA by Ilsa Madden-Mills
“WOW, guys. I am overwhelmed by feelings. ALL THE FEELINGS. Such a beautiful love story! An intense, heartbreaking, angsty but also sweet, romantic and sexy enemies to lovers romance.”
The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world—until one of them destroyed me.
The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them.
Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer: Knox, the scarred quarterback and their leader, Dane, his twin brother, or Chance, the ex who dumped me…
Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.That’s stupid. What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.
It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you.
I’ve missed seeing you walk down the hall. I’ve missed you cheering at my football games. I’ve missed the smell of your hair. The truth is, I wanted you back then—but you had him.
And then everything fell apart that night.
Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark.
I just want to make you mine.
THE GUY IN THE MIDDLE by Kate Stewart
“You’ll love them, you’ll hate them, you’ll empathize with them and you’ll connect with them in ways you did not expect. Gah, this book is just.. I don’t know how to even describe all the feelings I had while reading this story.”
I was born to play and bred to win.
My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.
With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.
Two birds, one ball.
Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.
For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach’s daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.
QUEEN MOVE by Kennedy Ryan
“I bow to Queen Kennedy Ryan! She has done it. Again. Her very own queen move! A moving love story developing from childhood to adulthood that was absolutely EPIC from beginning to end.”
The boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have…
Dig a little and you’ll find photos of me in the bathtub with Ezra Stern.
Get your mind out of the gutter. We were six months old.
Pry and one of us might confess we saved our first kiss for each other.
The most clumsy, wet, sloppy . . . spectacular thirty seconds of my adolescence.
Get into our business and you’ll see two families, closer than blood, torn apart in an instant.
Twenty years later, my “awkward duckling” best friend from childhood,
the boy no one noticed, is a man no one can ignore.
Finer. Fiercer. Smarter.
Tell me it’s wrong.
Tell me the boy who always felt like mine is now the man I can’t have.
When we find each other again, everything stands in our way–secrets, lies, promises.
But we didn’t come this far to give up now.
And I know just the move to make if I want to make him mine.
FLIRTING WITH 40 by K. Bromberg
“This story consumed me, the characters, the romance, their connection, their chemistry, the emotions. I just loved it ALL. And I am just going to say this: Slade Henderson is one of the best heroes Kristy has ever written. Period.”
An all new flirty, lighthearted, standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg guaranteed to make you swoon.
Blakely Foxx is having one of those years.
Her divorce may have been finalized a few months ago, but her ex is already engaged to someone half her age. Her younger boss is determined to sabotage her chance at getting the promotion she rightly deserves. And to make matters worse, she’s closing in on the big 4-0. There isn’t enough wine or ice cream in the world to convince her things will turn around.
When Blakely meets Slade Henderson, she’s left wondering why an early-thirties, hotter than hell, cardiothoracic surgeon would take an interest in her.
She’s been warned that he’ll break her heart, but she’s willing to take the chance. Not only is he helping her get that promotion, but in the process, he’s encouraging her to find the parts of herself she’s lost over the past few years.
Slade shows her that good guys really do exist, but who knew the hardest part about turning forty would be realizing the man you thought was a rebound, is actually your happily ever after?
BOOKS IN READING ORDER (5 OR 4.5 STARS)
WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE by Giana Darling
“Hot damn, Daddy Zeus surely knows how to welcome his fallen angel to the dark side!”
I was a good girl.
I ate my vegetables, volunteered at the local autism centre and sat in the front pew of church every Sunday.
Then, I got cancer.
What the hell kind of reward was that for a boring life well lived?
I was a seventeen-year-old paradigm of virtue and I was tired of it.
So, when I finally ran into the man I’d been writing to since he saved my life as a little girl and he offered to show me the dark side of life before I left it for good, I said yes.
Only, I didn’t know that Zeus Garro was the President of The Fallen MC and when you made a deal with a man who is worse than the devil, there was no going back…
DIRTY CHARMER by Emma Chase
“I loved getting back in the Royally world, seeing bits and pieces of those characters I loved so much and seeing the wonderful Tommy fall in love with just as wonderful Abby.”
Abigail Haddock is stunning, sensible, and some would say… stuffy. But it’s not really her fault. She was raised in one of Wessco’s oldest, most affluent, aristocratic families—“stuffy” is their middle name. So is successful. Abby’s working overtime to distinguish herself as a top-notch physician, just as her family legacy demands.
She doesn’t have time for nonsense.
Tommy Sullivan’s all about nonsense.
Sure, he’s an elite bodyguard with lethal skills and co-owner of the renowned, S&S Securities Firm—protector of the wealthy and titled. But he’s also rowdy, fun and thoroughly irresistible.
Tommy knows how to have a good time, and he’s never seen someone more in need of a good time than Abby. The lass needs long, wet, filthy kisses—STAT—and he’s just the man for the job.
It doesn’t take long for a wildly sexy, sinfully satisfying, no-strings attached arrangement to turn into something more. Something sweet and addictive and real. But Tommy and Abby are too royally stubborn to admit it.
Opposites attract, everyone knows that. But can they last—can they love…for forever?
DREAM MAKER by Kristen Ashley
“A crossover between her beloved series, including characters from Dream Man, Rock Chick and even Chaos. This was just EVERYTHING I was hoping for and I loved every single word.”
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series comes a brand new story about love, friendship, and the bonds of sisterhood.
Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has worked her whole life to get what she wants. Growing up, she had no support from her family and has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when Evie decides she wants to earn her engineering degree, she realizes she needs to take an alternative path to get there. She takes a job dancing at Smithie’s club thinking this would be a quick side gig, where she can make the money she needs. But with her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this might not be as easy as she thought.
Daniel “Mag” Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag’s life, he realizes that he needs to come face-to-face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.
SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL by Lorelei James
“As soon as Lorelei shared the news about Silver-Tongued Devil, I thought: “Heck yes, I wanna know how everything started. I want to read the romance that started the McKay legacy”. And let me tell you, it was worth the short wait.”
Their love story sparked a brushfire that grew into the legacy of Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series. This standalone historical romance is a prequel to the McKay family saga.
The West doesn’t get much wilder than Silas McKay. He’s earned his cowboy reputation not just as a rancher, but as a brawling card sharp who’s short on cash but long on charm. And just as soon as he claps eyes on the pretty new schoolteacher? Well, Dinah Thompson is about to discover what courtin’s like McKay-style—sweet, hot and passionate.
Luckily, Dinah’s got the sass and sense to stand up to Silas’s shenanigans. She relocated to rural Wyoming to teach and become a self-reliant woman, not to spend her nights dreaming about that blue-eyed rogue and his ranchwork honed-body. But Silas McKay’s powerful appeal and tempting promises convince Dinah to recklessly go all in with him.
When Silas’s long-standing rivalry with Zeke West puts Dinah, Silas and his twin brother Jonas in danger, each one is forced to make difficult decisions about taking a chance to build their legacy… and a love that transcends time.
FOOL ME ONCE by Staci Hart
(a.k.a. STAR BRIGHT)
“A brand new sparkly world from Staci Hart? Count me in! It was all about the glitz, the family created between this misunderstood group, the mystery around Cecilia Beaton and the connection between the couple.”
You are cordially invited to the party of the century.
There’s no greater thrill than in the moment a courier hands you the heavy invitation with those words etched on the front. Because you’ve just joined the most exclusive group in New York.
The Bright Young Things.
Lavish parties. Irreverent treasure hunts. Every event is a sparkling spectacle, stalked not only by the media, but by the law, who’s declared war. They’re out to ruin everyone’s good time, starting with uncovering the mysterious benefactor leading the group, thus answering the question on everyone’s lips.
Who is Cecelia Beaton?
And no one knows it’s me.
If society finds out the truth, my plans will unravel. And with one smoldering look from a stranger, my carefully ordered world catches fire.
Because he has secrets of his own, secrets that could bring down everything I’ve built.
But even the best kept secrets have a way of getting out.
Secrets and lies. Love and laughter. And two people with something to hide and everything to gain.
Welcome to the party.
QUARTER MILES by Devney Perry
“I love a good friends-to-lovers / “I’ve loved you forever” kind of romance and Devney did a brilliant job with this one. It was a great addition to the series and definitely my favorite to date!”
Katherine Gates has been in love with Cash Greer since the moment he saved her life from a runaway goat. According to Cash, she’s the little sister he never had, the greatest roommate in the world and his favorite coworker. They’re friends—best friends.
In the dark days of her youth, it was his friendship that kept her alive and made life in a junkyard worth living. So she’s learned to shove her feelings for Cash down deep, even if that means ignoring eyes that shine brighter than the Montana summer sun and the smile that illuminates the snowiest winter day.
Except with every passing year, the denial takes its toll on her wounded heart until one day Katherine decides to take an impulsive road trip to the Oregon coast. Alone. That is, until Cash cons his way into the passenger seat.
The farther they travel, the harder it is to pretend. And when she confesses her feelings, she learns that Cash has some secrets of his own. Secrets that will either bond them together.
Or rip them apart.
EXODUS by Kate Stewart
“Kate made me fall head over heels in love with these characters and their inspiring stories. I love a smart and powerful romance that makes me think and Exodus surely did that.”
Can you live a lie?
It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.
It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.
I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.
Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.
I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.
There was never going to be an escape.
All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.
I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.
It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.
And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.
But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.
At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.
Because I can no longer live a lie.
THE WRECKAGE OF US by Brittainy C. Cherry
“What a nice surprise I had with this book! I loved Hazel, Ian, Big Paw and Holly, James, Marcus and Eric, Rosie. I just loved this family feel the whole novel has and how it develops together with the love story and the band’s new fame.”
Never in a million years did I think it would be Ian Parker who saved me…
I know I should stay away from Ian Parker.
But when my drug-dealing stepdad kicks me out, I have nowhere to go. Squatting in an abandoned shed on Ian’s grandpa’s farm seems like as good a plan as any.
Ian finds me there, of course, and he insists on me moving into his spare room. I should say no, but the appeal of a roof and a warm bed is too much. Not to mention Ian’s brown eyes and strong arms.
We’re nothing alike, but the spark between us is undeniable. My life is finally looking up.
Until I call the cops on my stepdad and unintentionally get my pregnant mom arrested.
Now I have to sacrifice my dreams to take care of my mom’s baby. She’s the only family I have left. Meanwhile, Ian’s band is taking off; his dreams are coming true.
Ian is my one chance at love. I just hope he doesn’t become the one chance that got away.
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT by Tessa Bailey
“Romantic comedy filled with chemistry and feels. Age-gap enemies to lovers who “secretly” want each other. House renovation competition between siblings. An adorable kid. A hot alpha falling in love. A woman finding her strength. Do I need to continue stating the reasons I loved this book?”
Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve their dreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.
When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, but the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.
As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flipping disaster.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Karina Halle
“Forbidden, angsty, dramatic, sexy, romantic and full of ups and downs, The One That Got Away is second-chance romance gold!”
Ruby Turner was never meant to be mine.
When I first met her, she was a fresh, young, American sports journalist trying to find her footing in a new life abroad. She was the one interviewing me for an article, yet I wanted to know more about her. She captivated me.
But she went home with Marco that night.
And I did what I could to pretend I was fine with it.
After all, I’m Luciano Ribeiro. As the captain of Real Madrid, and Portugal’s National Team, it’s my job to be cool, calm, and collected, not easily rattled.
Only what I felt for Ruby over time, shook me to my very core.
It made me do things I never imagined I would do.
It started with a stolen kiss in the middle of the night.
It led to a passionate tryst.
It created a burden of guilt that I had to carry, as Ruby came in and out of my life until she left for good, leaving her mark on me.
Now, seven years later, she’s back.
She was the one that got away.
I don’t think I’ll let her go this time.
But I might not have a choice.
Because my heart still belongs to her.
And her heart might belong to my brother.
HARD TO HOLD by K. Bromberg
“I have a new favorite in the Play Hard series. Yes, you read that right. It was difficult because I really loved Hard to Handle and the couple in it but Hard to Hold was a masterpiece.”
The contract with Major League Soccer was supposed to help repair my damaged reputation.
Then I discovered that I’d made a deal with the devil: the player I’m supposed to recruit is none other than the bad boy, star Premier League footballer, Rush McKenzie.
British. Tattooed. Sexy. A man currently at the center of a huge scandal.
The goal? To convince him to stay in the States.
But what’s wrong with a little fun in the meantime? No strings. No sweet nothings. Just a way to pass the time while we’re both struggling to prove our true selves to the world.
If someone found out our relationship was anything more than professional, it would only serve to prove all our critics right.
I never should have agreed to take the fall.
But I did and I’m a man of my word.
Even if it means risking everything I’ve worked for.
The only bright side is Lennox Kincade.
Gorgeous. Defiant. Rumor-tainted. Totally off-limits.
Sharing a house with the gorgeous sports agent should have been a fun distraction from the turmoil. Someone to help pass the time while the tensions back home die down.
But what started as nothing, ends up as something I never saw coming.
2020 HONORABLE MENTIONS
Click to read MY REVIEW:
MY FRIENDS’ FAVORITES!
A Book. A Thought. ♥ A Lovely Book Affair ♥ About That Story ♥ Ali’s Books ♥ Beware Of The Reader ♥ Blue Mood Café ♥ BookishLauren ♥ Book Jotter ♥ Chatterbooks Book Blog ♥ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic ♥ Crazies R Us Book Blog – Liz ♥ Curvy Constellation ♥ Dirty Girl Romance – Lana ♥ Feeding My Addiction Book Reviews ♥ HEA Novel Thoughts ♥ In Love & Words – Bree ♥ Jeeves Reads Romance ♥ Louise’s Book Buzz ♥ Once Upon a Book Blog – Amy ♥ Reading Frenzy Book Blog ♥ Read with Me ♥ Sentranced Jem ♥ The Bookish Mom ♥ The Brown Eyed Bookworm ♥ The Geekish Brunette ♥ The Staircase Reader ♥ The World Was Hers for the Reading ♥ Totally Bex
Please check all my friends lists, I am sure you will find lots of great recommendations!
And do let me know your absolute favorites reads of 2020! I am sure I missed so many amazing books that you all have read.. lol Please comment down below, I would love to know them to put them on my TBR!
Let’s hope for a better 2021 (’cause we sure need it) and for a new year filled with love, health and books!
Happy (safe) holidays and happy 2021 to all of you!