Contemporary Romance

A-
Tools of Engagement

I never would have thought one of my rare DIKs would go to a romance with kids in it, but 2020 has just been That Kind of Year. Tessa Bailey’s Fix Her Up, the first in her Hot and Hammered trilogy, was my Best Romance of 2019 pick, and while Tools of Engagement doesn’t displace it in my heart, i ...

A-
Last Tang Standing

My first reaction upon finishing this book was that I was angry it was Ms. Ho’s debut because I needed to read more by her. The tagline of Bridget Jones meets Crazy Rich Asians is… fine? But it doesn’t go near capturing what made me absolutely adore this story. I’d throw in vibes of The H ...

D
Warpaint

Warpaint is the story of Willow Campbell, a Scottish make-up artist who falls in love with a dashing American and allows herself to be swept away in a whirlwind romance. She agrees to marry a man she’s only known for six weeks and sets out for his home in New York City, only to find that his life ...

B+
The Tourist Attraction

The Tourist Attraction, the debut from promising new contemporary romance author Sarah Morgenthaler, takes place in a tiny town in Alaska where the tourist/local divide is a chasm. The story is between Graham - the local who loathes tourists - and Zoey - the tourist who falls for Alaska's charm (and ...

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The Spiral Path

(originally reviewed on December 21, 2001) In her second contemporary romance, Mary Jo Putney tells the tale of a memorable tortured hero and the woman who refuses to give up on him. While this sounds like a conventional love story, the special characters prove that, as always, Putney can be reli ...

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The Roommate

Friends, there is nothing like reading a debut romance and loving it.  Surprising, funny, sexy and original, The Roommate is on my shortlist of favorite books of 2020.  It’s excellent. Clara Wheaton has loved Everett Bloom since they were small children.  Their families, part of the Connecti ...

B
So True

Serena Bell’s Tierney Bay series continues with So True, the finely written and engrossing story of Chiara Campbell and Jax Walker. It’s a good romance and the characters are generally sympathetic, but I had to take some points off for Jax’s self-flagellating, cruel behavior toward Chiara. ...

A
My Christmas Number One

I had been prepared for Leonie Mack’s debut romance My Christmas Number One to be a ‘Hallmark-esque’ holiday romance complete with Christmas tree-lighting, cookie-baking, and enough snow to cool me down during California’s heatwave. Surprisingly, the fresh plot is largely unpredictable and l ...

B
Princess From the Past

I often finish an ordinary-heroine, imperious billionaire/prince/etc. Harlequin Presents title and, with a roll of my eyes, think, ‘Well, that’s never going to last.’ Caitlin Crews took this reaction and made it the starting point for her second-chance romance, Princess from the Past. Betha ...

B
A Much Younger Man

A Much Younger Man is, as the title would suggest a May/December romance, and it’s the first book in Z.A. Maxfield’s Men of St. Nacho’s series – a spin off of her earlier books set in the small California coastal town of St. Ingacio, (called St. Nacho’s by the locals).  It does feature so ...