Recommendations

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Books included on this list are my all time favorites and I consider them the best of the best, so I hope you find something you like! If you want a recommendation on a more specific theme or trope, please leave a comment below or use the Contact Me page and I’ll get back to you. Check out my Recommended Reads tag for even more favorites..

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6479112

Best Paranormal Romance, Forbidden Romance

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) by Nalini Singh
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”–the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was. Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion–and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities–or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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18680106

Best Suspense Romance, Military Romance

Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1) by Laura Kaye
Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey’s tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome — pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He’s left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander’s daughter. Loyalty won’t let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too. With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn’t expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees. Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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8231458

Best Contemporary Romance, Enemy Lovers

Something About You (FBI/US Attorney #1) by Julie James
Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career. Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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11475952

Best Fantasy Romance, Forbidden Romance

Vengeance Born (Light Blade #1) by Kylie Griffin
Annika, half-blood daughter of the Na’Reish king, longs for more than a tormented life among her father’s people. Conceived in hatred and bred as a tool of retribution, she’s gifted with a special talent that can heal as well as destroy. With the Na’Reish vastly outnumbering them, Kalan, a Light Blade warrior, knows the future of humankind depends on him alone. Incursions into human territory and raids for blood-slaves by the Na’Reish horde have increased. As chosen leader, he faces the task of stopping the demons—and convincing the Council of aging Light Blade warriors that change is necessary for survival. When Annika learns Kalan is a prisoner in her father’s dungeon, her dream of escape seems within reach. She agrees to free him in exchange for his protection once they reach human territory. Now, marked for death for helping him, Annika must learn to trust Kalan as they face not only the perilous journey to the border but enemies within the Council—and discover a shocking truth that could throw the human race into a civil war.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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31950854

Best LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance

Off Base (Out of Uniform #1) by Annabeth Albert
After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse. Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack. Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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15808408

Best Contemporary Romance, Single Parents

Sea Swept (Chesapeake Bay #1) by Nora Roberts
A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight. After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth’s sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth’s fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together—or tear them apart.
Goodreads

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25398263

Best Science Fiction Romance, Opposites Attract

Marcus (Hell Squad #1) by Anna Hackett
In a world gone to hell, Elle Milton—once the darling of the Sydney social scene—has carved a role for herself as the communications officer for the toughest commando team fighting for humanity’s survival—Hell Squad. It’s her chance to make a difference and make up for horrible past mistakes…despite the fact that its battle-hardened commander never wanted her on his team. When Hell Squad is tasked with destroying a strategic alien facility, Elle knows they need her skills in the field. But first she must go head to head with Marcus Steele and convince him she won’t be a liability. Marcus Steele is a warrior through and through. He fights to protect the innocent and give the human race a chance to survive. And that includes the beautiful, gutsy Elle who twists him up inside with a single look. The last thing he wants is to take her into a warzone, but soon they are thrown together battling both the alien invaders and their overwhelming attraction. And Marcus will learn just how much he’ll sacrifice to keep her safe.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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27286868

Best LGBTQ+ Romance, Nerdy Romance

Beta Test (#gaymers #2) by Annabeth Albert
Brilliant graphic designer Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game—he’s just been asked to present a top secret project at a huge conference in Seattle. All systems are go…until he learns his buttoned-up office nemesis is coming along for the ride. Tristan Jones isn’t really the gamer type, but he knows the back end of the video game business inside out. Together, he and Ravi will give an awesome presentation. If they survive the cross-country trip first. Tossed together in close quarters, Ravi’s shocked to see Tristan’s sexy, softer side emerge from such a conservative shell. He’s less shocked to learn his handsome colleague’s prominent family would never support an out-and-proud son. But Ravi didn’t struggle through his own coming out to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan will have to push past his fear and ultimately decide: Does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over before they’ve even begun?
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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16056408

Best Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1) by Tammara Webber
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life. Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night – but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound. When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
Goodreads

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35117770

Best Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Breakaway (Portland Storm #1) by Catherine Gayle
Portland Storm captain Eric “Zee” Zellinger knows how to get the job done, but leading his once elite team to victory is fast becoming a losing battle. He can’t lose focus now—not with his career on the line. But when his best friend’s little sister makes him an offer he can’t refuse, Eric could lose the drive the team relies on from their captain. Still in a downward spiral after a life-altering event in college, Dana Campbell is desperate to try anything to break away from the horror of that fateful night—even enlisting the help of the only man she trusts completely. No matter how irresistible she is or how tempting the offer, Eric might not be able to cross that line—especially with the team’s chance at the playoffs on the line. Now, Eric has to take one last shot, but will he choose Dana’s Breakaway chance at happiness or the move that could secure his career?
My Review    Goodreads

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25413371

Best Contemporary Romance, Overcoming Trauma

The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1) by Scarlett Cole
Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning, summoning the nerve to take back her past. She’s determined to forget her old life and is looking for an artist who can tattoo over the scars on her back. Trent Andrews, local legend and owner of the Second Circle tattoo studio, has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And in spite of her mysterious past and the difficult road ahead, he quickly realizes that Harper is funny, smart, and–under her ridiculously oversized clothing and SPF 100 sunscreen–totally hot. He’s happy to take on the challenge of designing a meaningful and deadly full-back tattoo for her. But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper’s phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. Running was the only thing that saved her last time, but now that she’s started to put down roots in Miami, she’ll have to decide if she can finally fight back instead.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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35872803

Best Science Fiction, Fugitives on the Run

Antidote (Love and War #1) by R.A. Steffan
Skye Chantrell has just escaped a war zone. She’s carrying the stolen antidote to a deadly bioweapon. When her damaged shuttle crashes on a remote lunar outpost, she’s captured by the leader of a rogue group of barbaric aliens. Now her people’s survival-not to mention her own-rests in the hands of the Seven Systems’ most feared and hated criminal. A man with the face of a brutal thug, and the eyes of an angel. Hunter Tarthasian has every reason to hate the Regime. He and his comrades have gone rogue, vowing to use every means at their disposal to bring down the evil Premiere. Now, they’re hunted and on the run, holed up in an abandoned outpost while they plan their next move. The last thing Hunter needs is a female human civvy with a terrible secret crash-landing on his doorstep. Especially when she starts to awaken feelings in him that he has no place for. Feelings that could very easily get all of them killed.
My Review    Goodreads

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35482402

Best LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz. Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game. But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.
My Review    Goodreads

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35832861

Best Contemporary Romance, Music & Dance

Take the Lead (Dance Off #1) by Alexis Daria
Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up. Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead. When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.
My Review    Goodreads    See the Series

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279522

Best Paranormal Romance, Forbidden Romance

Dark Protector (Paladins of Darkness #1) by Alexis Morgan
Devlin Bane: Born a Paladin, he is a member of an ancient band of warriors locked in a centuries-old war against evil. His destiny: To die over and over again to protect mankind from the Others, only to be revived each time by his mortal Handler. But his fierce strength and courage cannot save him from gradually becoming one of the monsters he was born to destroy. Dr. Laurel Young, who has spent years training to become a Handler, must remain detached from her patients. But each time she revives the darkly compelling Devlin Bane, he claims a little more of her soul and incites in her desires that grow wilder and wilder — even as he inches closer to losing his humanity. As the war against the Others grows more desperate, Laurel and Devlin can’t help but give in to the fierce hunger that’s sizzled between them for so long. Now they’ll face the ultimate battle together — to save a dark, passionate love that goes against every rule as they join forces to fight an enemy who is closer than they ever imagined
Goodreads

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25738714

Best Science Fiction Romance, Fake Relationship

The Power of Two (2176 #1) by Patti O’Shea
For years, UCE Captain Cai Randolph has had one goal: Find her missing parents and bring them home. She thinks she’s finally located them, but if she’s right, they’re on the Raft Cities, one of the most lawless and dangerous places on Earth. She searches for a reason for the army to send her, her partner, and his team there and discovers the UCE’s most wanted fugitive—Banzai Maguire—is hiding on the floating cities. Special Forces Captain Jake Tucker is furious when he learns Cai is a woman and not artificial intelligence. There’s no chance he’s taking her with his team on a mission to the Raft Cities, but when he realizes she’s facing multiple threats, he has no choice. No one else will protect her the way he will. But getting her away from the UCE increases her risk and pretending to be lovers complicates everything because it isn’t long before Jake wants Cai to be his for real.
Goodreads

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25687508

Best LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance

In the Middle of Somewhere (Middle of Somewhere #1) by Roan Parrish
Daniel Mulligan is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home in Philadelphia with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates looked down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Holiday, Northern Michigan, but he’s a city boy through and through, and it’s clear that this small town is one more place he won’t fit in. Rex Vale clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his muscular body, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. When the two men meet, their chemistry is explosive, but Rex fears Daniel will be another in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in can be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia, where he discovers a secret that changes the way he understands everything.
My Review    Goodreads

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9795263

Best Urban Fantasy Romance

Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell #1) by Jenn Bennett
Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge. But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.
Goodreads

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30334

Best Young Adult Fantasy Romance, Forbidden Romance

Hawksong (The Kiesha’ra #1) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
DANICA SHARDAE IS an avian shapeshifter, and the golden hawk’s form in which she takes to the sky is as natural to her as the human one that graces her on land. The only thing more familiar to her is war: It has raged between her people and the serpiente for so long, no one can remember how the fighting began. As heir to the avian throne, she’ll do anything in her power to stop this war—even accept Zane Cobriana, the terrifying leader of her kind’s greatest enemy, as her pair bond and make the two royal families one. Trust. It is all Zane asks of Danica—and all they ask of their people—but it may be more than she can give.
Goodreads

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