Contemporary romance

C+
Coming Up for Air

This was a tough one to grade. I loved Miranda Kenneally’s first book, Crossing Jordan, and ever since then, I’ve wanted to love her subsequent titles. I keep giving them a try, and they keep falling short of the mark. So while Coming Up for Air isn’t a bad book, it isn’t great either. It ju ...

A
Having Her

There are books I read once and there are books I read again and again. Having Her is one of the latter. I read it for the first time two months ago and, since then, have read it again... and again. It's sexy, unexpected, romantic, smart, and, in places, achingly sad. The novel meets my criteria for ...

C
Cross Check

The first book I ever read by Kelly Jamieson, Shut Out, didn’t sit very well with me. I’m happy to say that the second book in the series, Cross Check: A Bayard Hockey Novel, is an improvement, but there are still some aspects that simply grated on me. Ella Verran has made some bad choices in ...

D
Hard Stick

Y’all, I wish I could tell you what I thought of this book, but I’m still not really sure. What I do know is this. It’s not – despite a cover that screams otherwise – a hockey romance, which is a serious bummer. As far as I could work it out, it’s some sort of romantic suspense caper tha ...

A
My Roommate's Girl

I know a lot of romance readers steer clear of NA books.  I get it, I do.  It’s difficult to achieve the right balance writing about college kids maturing into adulthood - and not a lot of writers are able to do it well.  One writer who does successfully navigate this transitional time period i ...

A
When Dimple Met Rishi

Adorable book alert! If you need something cute, funny, and romantic to read this summer that will also introduce you to a new, diverse voice in fiction, I have to wholeheartedly recommend When Dimple Met Rishi. Honestly, I have been trying to nudge everyone I know into reading it for the last week. ...

B+
Perfect Kind of Trouble

The first book in Chelsea Fine’s Finding Fate trilogy, Best Kind of Broken, was nearly a DIK. So when I finally found the time to jump into the second installment, Perfect Kind of Trouble, I had very high expectations. To be sure, I thoroughly enjoyed Daren and Kayla’s story and can easily recom ...

B-
Lickety Split

They say you can’t go home again. I don’t know how true that is really, but as you get older, I think how you see home, and how you see other’s actions, changes pretty drastically. In Lickety Split we get to see that return to home, and a view of the people you knew through different eyes. Esp ...

A-
Love Story

It’s rare to get a standalone book by Lauren Layne, so if you’ve been reading praise of her books but haven’t been in the mood for a multi-book commitment, Love Story, a second chance/enemies-to-lovers tale might be just the place to dive into her oeuvre. Lucy Hawkins has her life all mappe ...

A
Undeclared

I picked the first book in the Burnham College series, Undecided, as one of my favorite books in 2016, and guess what?  Ms. Keyes has followed it up with another winner!  Undeclared is funny, sexy, awkward, addictive, and frustrating... just like its principal character Kellan McVey.  This time M ...