These Were My Favorite Romance Books Of 2019
So many good books published this year, so little time!
Ten Of My New Favorite Books
Each year, if we're lucky, we read books that we love and some that we just don't like. I actually had a lot of trouble narrowing down my favorite books of 2019 because I read so many good books this year! I suppose it helps that I'm a little picky about what I read and only choose books I'm fairly confident I'll enjoy (though I'm pretty sure most people do this, right?).
I read a lot more fiction this year that I usually do, listening to a lot of books on my Audible Escape subscription. It was nice to be able to escape into stories more than normal. However, that means I didn't read as much nonfiction as I usually do. I am somewhere in the middle of two nonfiction books at the moment--Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis and The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk--though I don't know if I'll finish them by the time the new year rolls around.
I find it really fun to look back on what I've read over the course of the year and reflect on it all. Because I'm a huge nerd, it helps me set some reading goals for the next year and adjust my Goodreads goals!
What were your favorite books of 2019?
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1. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I didn't know much about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo before I read it, but I'm glad it worked out that way!I needed a book to read on my honeymoon and ended up picking up this book because I'd heard so many great things about it from others who had read the book.
The book is about a reclusive aging actress who finally decides to share her story, choosing a down on her luck, unknown reporter to write her tell-all.
2. Beautiful Dreamer by Melissa Brayden
Melissa Brayden is one of the most popular lesbian romance writers around. In 2019, she released two books. While I loved both of them, Beautiful Dreamer was the one I connected with more.
The book is about a woman named Devyn who left her hometown as fast as she could but gets called home when her sister goes missing. She reunites with old classmate Elizabeth and, while they never really knew each other as kids, their connection as adults is undeniable.
3. By the Dark of Her Eyes by Cameron MacElvee
I thought Cameron MacElvee's By the Dark of Her Eyes was going to be your regular paranormal romance featuring a haunted house. That's the farthest thing from the truth because the book is so, so much more. It's about grief and guilt, racism, worker's rights, murder, and the love a mother has for her child. It's hard to explain this paranormal romance so take my word for it when I say that it is worth the read!
4. American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera
Adriana Herrera is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance authors and it's all thinks to her Dreamers series, especially American Dreamer, the book that started it all! The series follows four friends of various Caribbean descent who grew up in New York together. In American Dreamer, we get Nesto's story, a man who has just moved his Afro-Caribbean food truck to upstate New York in the hopes of finding a market and meets a man named Jude along the way.
Right now, I'm reading Herrera's Christmas novella, Mangos and Mistletoe, and can't wait to read more soon!
5. New Ink on Life by Jennie Davids
I was excited to read Jennie Davids' New Ink on Life as soon as heard about it. Would could be better than a F/F romance set in a tattoo shop? After finishing the book, it turns out not much! I loved the story between the grumpy, jaded tattoo shop owner and the cancer survivor tattoo apprentice and can't wait for the next book to come out!
6. The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan
Until The Red Tree, I'd never read a book by Caitlin R. Kiernan before, but I'm sold on her writing now and will likely read more of her work in the future. This book is horror, fantasy, and paranormal that is hard to put my finger on why it just works so well. But it does. After moving into a house with some local renown, Sarah happens upon the work of an anthropologist and winds up with the same obsession that led to his death.
7. Hoosier Daddy by Ann McMan and Salem West
When people say that romance novels aren't or can't be smart, worthwhile reads, I will point them to Hoosier Daddy. I listened to this on audiobook earlier this year and it soared broke the top 10 of my favorite books. The book is set in a small Midwestern town where everyone in town works in the local factory much like where I grew up. The tale is a romance between a supervisor at the plant and one of the UAW union reps who comes to town.
8. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson is the queen of gothic fiction. She's been on my TBR for ages but, with hundreds of books gracing the list, I hadn't read anything by her until this year. Then I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and that all changed. It's a short novel that packs a punch. I'm a big fan of unreliable narrators, family secrets, creepy houses, and oddballs, and Castle fulfills this and then some!
9. Sadie by Courtney Summers
I haven't read too much YA lately, something I need to remedy because there are just so many good YA books out there, but one I did read this year was Courtney Summers' Sadie. It was dark and emotional and made me cry way too many times. I loved the set up in which half the book is in Sadie's perspective while the other half is set in the future and is of a podcast about Sadie going missing and what happened to her.
10. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
For whatever reason, I don't read much historical romance. It's likely because there isn't nearly as much F/F historical romance as there is straight romance and, as a lesbian, I prefer to read about characters like me. But after reading about the acclaim The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics was getting, I knew I had to read it. I'm so glad I did because it's incredible. It turns out that historic feminist women scientists are my jam!
Let's Keep the Conversation Going
What are your favorite books of the year?