My best book of 2020 was not a romance, though it did have a romantic subplot. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James was perfection in book form and was the highlight of my reading year. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, which also had a sweet romance running through it, was a close second. If you like mystery, suspense and a touch of horror combined with your romance, these are the books for you.

If not, you’re in luck! I also found several absolutely fabulous romance reads and they are as follows:

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

When Olivia Monroe meets Senator Max Powell they have a fun, flirty conversation regarding the importance of  cake being the centerpiece of a quality dessert menu. They part ways amicably, both a bit sad they won’t be seeing each other again. But of course they do meet again, sparks fly and an epic romance is born. The author balances politics, love and work so perfectly in this humorous, sweet, sexy tale that it earned my vote for best of the year against some stiff competition.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent bookstore

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

This is the second full-length chapter in the love story between Catalina Baylor and Alessandro Sagredo and it delivers an HEA worth waiting for. Action, adventure,  and of course romance, combine in this sweet, riveting urban fantasy story that is loads of fun.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent bookstore

Snapped by Alexa Martin

I was a bit wary about this book based on controversial real life events but I shouldn’t have been. Martin’s talent was up to the challenge and this tale about quarterback Quinton Howard Jr., who takes a knee during the National Anthem at the start of his games, and Elliot Reed, assigned by his team to put the best possible spin on the situation, was wonderful. Romantic, sexy, mature, funny and full of heart this romance shows that romance mixed with contemporary politics can deliver winning love stories.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent bookstore

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Workplace romances are often disastrous as authors often fail to deliver a genuine employment experience. Not the case here where  Samiah Brooks and hero Daniel Collins deliver a realistic, enjoyable, heartfelt romance that takes place in a true to life work environment. Rochon has a gift for showcasing grown women living their best lives and killing at adulting and this book is no exception. I absolutely loved it.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent bookstore

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

This was an absolutely lovely, wonderful, witty, heartfelt genuine romance. Most of the time I spent reading the story, I alternated between amazement and delight; amazed at the craftsmanship the author displayed and delighted by the story she was telling.Laurie and Jamie, our heroine and hero, make such a real soul connection in this tale and I can not recommend it enough.

Buy it at: Amazon or shop at your local independent bookstore

A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden

This inspirational is light on faith and heavy on love and history. Caroline Delacroix is secretary to First Lady Ida McKinley, an irascible woman who makes her job a challenge.  Nathaniel Trask is a bodyguard to the President, a demanding position made all the more stressful by the fact he feels unequal to the task. Sparks fly when they first meet and kindle into romance as their respective positions force them to work closely together. One of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible or your local independent bookstore       

The Ippos King by Grace Draven

This third installment in the Wraith Kings series was worth the wait. Fantasy and romance blend perfectly in this story about warlord Serovek Pangion and fierce, fiery sha-Anhuset, the Kai woman he admires and desires most. Their epic journey to return a lost monk to his final resting place finds them battling enemies, outsmarting a king and falling in love. I loved how the author balanced the power dynamic between these two alphas to deliver a strong, powerful lasting love.

Buy it at: Amazon

The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

Hu Lian and Liu Shao find themselves on a romantic journey which will involve celestial beings, the gods, and a long trek through a war torn land. This beautifully written, evocative fantasy combines the history and legends of China to deliver a sweet romantic tale which challenges what it means to truly love another.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible  or your local independent bookstore

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop  by Roselle Lim

While this story isn’t perfect, I loved the writing and whimsical magical surrealistic elements that turned this tale into a fantastical, whimsical delight. Vanessa Yu had been told her magic would prevent her from ever finding a mate – and then she meets Marc Santos and decides she won’t let love go without first putting up a heck of a fight. This book is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, some chocolate, a warm blanket and a free afternoon.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent bookstore

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

I had a few quibbles with this love story between a gorgeous, beef-cake Hollywood star and his clever geologist heroine but I thoroughly enjoyed the ups, downs and turnarounds in their affair and was mostly charmed and delighted by this fun flirty romance.

Buy it at: AmazonAudible, or your local independent bookstore

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I've been an avid reader since 2nd grade and discovered romance when my cousin lent me Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe in 7th grade. I currently read approximately 150 books a year, comprised of a mix of Young Adult, romance, mystery, women's fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.