Hey friends! If you’ve followed me since the beginning of the year you probably would’ve seen the solid 6 months where I read nothing but romance books. I’ve been meaning to write a post with my fave romance books for a while now and I thought that with #SmutAThon around the corner, now would be the perfect time!
If you’re not aware, SmutAThon is a romance focused readathon hosted by Riley @ Riley Marie and Lainey @ Ginger Reads Lainey. The next round of SmutAThon will be running from December 10th-16th and the tropes/challenges for this round are:
- enemies to lovers
- friends with benefits
- fake relationship
- slow burn
- forbidden romance
- different worlds
This post is more of a generalised romance recommendations post and not all of these will fit into one of this round of SmutAThon’s challenges/tropes. If they do, though, I’ll definitely let you know which one!
My Fave Romance Books
Alisha Rai is the queen of smoking sex scenes, gorgeous characterisation and deep exploration of familial relationships. I’ve only read 4 of her books so far but I’ve loved each and every one of them and cannot wait to devour the rest of her books in 2019.
» A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai
This is a recent addition to this list, as I only finished it last weekend but whoooo boy was this a damn good romance book. A Gentleman in the Street follows self-made businesswoman Akira and her ex step-brother Jacob. I loved that this was feminist as fuck and really sex positive. Akira is such an unapologetical character who isn’t ashamed of what she likes. The sex scenes in this were amazing and some of the best I’ve ever read. Her relationship with jacob was well-developed and if you want a recommendation for the enemies-to-lovers trope, this is the one!
» Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai
This is honestly one of my top 3 romance series ever. Alisha’s exploration of family relationships is so thorough and authentic and I just loved everything about these books. All of them contain well developed relationships, friendships, sexy scenes and flirty banter. You could read these for the enemies-to-lovers or forbidden romance tropes!
» Cyclone Series by Courtney Milan
I’ve only read the first two books in this series and am eagerly awaiting the release of the rest! Courtney Milan is another author who explores family relations in her romances very well. I personally preferred Hold Me out of the two of these, which is a hate-to-love romance (Can you tell my favourite trope yet?). Courtney Milan is a pro at writing flawed and realistic diverse characters navigating complex relationships. Milan is another author I think I’ll read a lot from in 2019!
» Surrey SFS series by Nicola Davidson
If you’re looking for short, sweet, sexy romance novellas, look no further. Nicola Davidson is a package deal– she writes sexy, swoon-worthy, relatable romances and all of her books have a great cast of characters. My Lady’s Lover is forever one of my favourite f/f adult romances, and My Lord, Lady, and Gentleman was one of my first forays into reading about throuples. These are all super sex positive historical romances centring around a sexual freedom society– if that doesn’t intrigue you, I don’t know what will. Davidson’s books always provoke my emotions and I’m so excited for the rest of this series!
» Ravenswood series by Talia Hibbert
Alright, y’all. Talia Hibbert is hands down my favourite romance author of all time and I will be singing her praises until I’m in my grave– and probably beyond. Talia Hibbert writes a bunch of different tropes and topics, but the Ravenswood series holds my heart. A Girl Like Her was the first Talia Hibbert book I read and it has remained my favourite ever since. Talia Hibbert is the queen of writing heartwarming yet serious romances with plenty of sexy scenes. Her stories are filled with strong, amazing female characters and caring love interests. Each of her stories deals with heavy topics so well and she’s honestly just an all-round amazing author that I want to just make everyone read.
» Never Sweeter by Charlotte Stein
I fucking love this book. This is like, the ultimate enemies to lovers romance and I am totally 100% here for it. I was a bit iffy going into it since it follows a girl and her high school bully falling in love but the way Stein handled this topic was so sensitive. Never Sweeter has one of the most memorable sex scenes I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the way Stein expertly twines her sex scenes with so much emotional connection. If you’re looking for an angsty, emotional, intimate story, this is the one for you!
» The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
This is the only book on this list that is not necessarily one of my favourites, though it’s one I would still recommend. This would fit perfectly for the fake dating trope as it follows our main protagonist Stella, who hires Michael to teach her about sex and intimacy. I really loved Stella and Michael’s relationship and felt they had loads of chemistry. The sex scenes were also really well-written and there was a clear emphasis put on consent which I really appreciated. This was a heartwarming and refreshing debut that I recommend!
» Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn
This was such a fun, cute romance! It’s funny because looking back at my review, I wrote that this didn’t make it to my new faves list. But every time I go to think about my fave romances, this book jumps into my head. Beginner’s Luck follows Kit and Ben, and I really loved them both as individual characters and together. There were great family relationships and there was an awesome group of non-toxic female friends which is so uncommon in romance. Overall this was a super smart, sexy, fun romance and I really highly recommend it.
» Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha
I have been kicking myself for months for not continuing on with this series yet. This is a sort of dystopian/post-apocalyptic erotic romance that is just so good. It challenges rape culture, values consent, is inclusive and super sex positive and doesn’t shy away from queerness or polyamory. Women are respected and their desire is respected and it’s just such a refreshing, unique story that I think everyone needs to read it. Also, the found family is amazing and I need to continue with this asap.
» Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
This was my first Sarah MacLean book and it was really good. Sarah’s writing is super addictive and pulls you in to the story and the characters right from the get-go. I loved the witty banter and I’m a sucker for the bad-boy-has-a-soft-spot-for-one-girl kinda thing. Devil and Felicity’s banter was A+, the side characters were great and this is a book I really highly recommend checking out & can’t wait to read more from.
» Thirsty by Mia Hopkins
This was one of my first 5 star books of the entire year and I’m still not over that ending. That cliffhanger has killed me!!!! This is also the only m/f book I’ve ever read solely from the hero’s POV but it was done really well. Sal in an ex-con who starts learning how to brew beer. His relationship with Vanessa was really good and I thought their history was well explored. It was a really fun ride seeing Sal and Vanessa develop together and learn how to love and trust one another. This is a wholehearted recommendation– give Thirsty the love it deserves!!
» A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Last but not least is one of the first romance books I read all year and one I really enjoyed. A Priness in Theory is super unique and fun and sexy and I love Alyssa Cole’s writing. (Also, it helps that these covers are to die for!!!). Ledi and Thabiso were both really well-developed characters and their relationship development was super authentic. There was a slight (predictable) mystery element to this that I thought was okay but it was unique to me. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking for any royal romances, romances with STEM heroines, diverse characters and a steamy but adorable romance!
Okay, there we have all of my favourite romance books! If you’ve read any of these, definitely let me know your thoughts and feel free to give me recommendations based on these favourites as well. What are your favourite romance books? And what are some of your absolute favourite romance tropes?
Thanks so much for reading!