I’ve read some truly incredible and enjoyable romance books these last few years but these are just some that jumped out at me. Whether it’s friends to lovers, enemies to lovers…best friends brothers. Every single book here has a trope for everyone!
Of course, I’ll try to provide my ratings (especially with series)
And of course, who knows – I might do a Part 3 depending on the ones I read next year 🙂
“I read this when I was sick with COVID and didn’t realise my symptoms were getting worse. A phenomenal forbidden love story and I can’t wait for the next book!”
For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine.
I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night.
Famous film director. Fascinating. Talented. Fine
Before I could catch my breath, everything changed. I went from backstage Broadway to centre stage Hollywood.
From being unknown, to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips.
Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic, catapulting me into another stratosphere.
But stars shine brightest in the dead of night.
Forbidden attraction, scandal and circumstances beyond my control jeopardise my dream.
Could this one shot—the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime—cost me everything?
Beach Read by Emily Henry
“I cried my eyes out reading this. It made me fall back in love with love at a time when I was really struggling and for that, it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
January is a hopeless romantic who narrates her life like she’s the lead in a blockbuster movie.
Gus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale.
But January and Gus have more in common than you’d think:
They’re both broke.
They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
And they need to write bestsellers before summer ends.
The result? A bet to swap genres and see who gets published first.
The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely…
All the Kings Men Series by Kennedy Ryan
The King Maker – 5 Stars
The Rebel King – 4 Stars
Queen Move – 4 Stars
“This entire series was GOLD. Think Scandal meets Indigenous Representation, lovers to strangers to enemies and back to lovers again…this entire series will take you through ALL the emotions.”
Power. Passion. Betrayal.
Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.
In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.
My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.
And neither will I.
Truth or Dare by Danielle Allen
“Are you looking for a quick, fun read? This is it. Just two best friends discovering they have feelings for each other at their friend’s wedding set in a beautiful beach hotel! It’s brilliant and easy – the true escapism!”
With all nine of my best friends reunited for a destination wedding, I was not surprised someone suggested we play Truth or Dare. The secret exposing truths and the harmlessly fun dares bonded our close-knit friend group in college and kept us close throughout the years. So, when Kingston Wright was dared to kiss me, I didn’t think anything of it. Harmless kisses were always a part of Truth or Dare.
But there was nothing harmless about that kiss.
I felt something between us that I shouldn’t have.
Truth or Dare can be risky when you’re twenty.
But when you’re thirty, it can be reckless.
Honey and Spice by Bolu Babalola
“Now whilst I didn’t completely fall in love with this book the way I wanted to. I can appreciate the true Black britishness of this book and for that, it’s included in this list. Plus Malakai? Kai? Yeah he raises the standards for book boyfriends every time.”
Kiki Banjo is an expert in relationship-evasion.
In fact, she has made it her mission to protect the women of Whitewell University from the dangers of players and heartbreak, supplying advice, tips and essentials to paying men no mind on her student radio show, Brown Sugar.
And then Kiki meets distressingly handsome newcomer Malakai Korede, who threatens to tear apart the community of women she’s fought so hard to protect.
Kiki publicly declares Malakai the ‘Wasteman of Whitewell’ on Brown Sugar and brings a stop to her girls chasing his attentions. But when she and Malakai suddenly find themselves shackled into a fake relationship to salvage their respective reputations and save their academic futures, she is in danger of falling for the very wasteman she warned her sisters about.
With her heart compromised and defences weakened, Kiki has to learn to open herself up to the perils of love… and face up to a past that forced her to close down in the first place.
The Billionaire Brothers by Lauren Asher
The Fine Print (Book 1) – 3.8 Stars
Terms and Conditions (Book 2) – 5 stars (Declan and Iris >>>>)
The Final Offer (Book 3) – coming January 2023.
“If it wasn’t for Terms and Conditions, this series would not have made this list. I adored that book. More so than I thought I would. I was terrified that it was overhyped but that particular book wasn’t. I don’t actually think you need to read The Fine Print to read Terms and Conditions but I did anyway. So I’m going to put the blurb for Terms and Conditions below.”
I’m destined to become the next CEO of my family’s media empire.
The only problem? My grandfather’s inheritance clause.
Fulfilling his dying wish of getting married and having an heir seemed impossible until my assistant volunteered for the job.
Our marriage was supposed to be the perfect solution to my biggest problem.
But the more we act in love for the public, the more unsure I feel about our contract.
Caring about Iris was never part of the deal.
Especially not when breaking her heart is inevitable.
My plan to marry Declan was simple in theory.
Move in together. Throw a wedding. Have a baby.
We set rules to prevent any kind of issues.
Ones that were never meant to be broken, no matter how much Declan tempts me.
But what happens when our fake relationship bleeds into our real one?
Falling in love was never an option.
At least not for me.
The Twisted Series – Ana Huang
Twisted Love – 4.5 Stars
Twisted Games – 4.25 Stars
Twisted Hate – 3.5 Stars
Twisted Lies – 5 Stars
“This was a damn good series and I’m so surprised. I devoured this in a week. I could sit here for hours discussing my rating for each book, then each book boyfriend and each protagonist. Because whilst I hated Twisted Hate, Jules was definitely top 2 female protagonists. However, Christian Harper holds my heart. Maybe, I have a problem and I like possessively quiet men. Either way, I’m here for it.”
Alex Volkov is a devil blessed with the face of an angel and cursed with a past he can’t escape.
Driven by a tragedy that has haunted him for most of his life, his ruthless pursuits for success and vengeance leave little room for matters of the heart.
But when he’s forced to look after his best friend’s sister, he starts to feel something in his chest. A crack. A melt.
Stoic, broody and arrogant, elite bodyguard Rhys Larsen has two rules: protect his clients at all costs and do not become emotionally involved. Ever.
He has never once been tempted to break those rules . . . until her.
Bridget von Ascheberg. A princess with a stubborn streak that matches his own and a hidden fire that reduces his rules to ash.
Gorgeous, cocky, and fast on his way to becoming a hotshot doctor, Josh Chen has never met a woman he couldn’t charm – except for Jules f**king Ambrose.
The beautiful redhead has been a thorn in his side since they met, but she also consumes his thoughts in a way no woman ever has.
When their animosity explodes into one unforgettable night, he proposes a solution that’ll get her out of his system once and for all: an enemies with benefits arrangement with simple rules.
Charming, deadly and smart enough to hide it, Christian Harper is a monster dressed in the perfectly tailored suits of a gentleman.
He has little use for morals and even less use for love, but he can’t deny the strange pull he feels toward the woman living just one floor below him.
She’s the object of his darkest desires, the only puzzle he can’t solve. And when the opportunity to get closer to her arises, he breaks his own rules to offer her a deal she can’t refuse.
Hoops Series – Kennedy Ryan
Long Shot (Check Trigger Warnings for this book!!) – 4 Stars
Block Shot – 4 Stars
Hook Shot – 5 Stars
“Kennedy Ryan back again? If that’s not a sign to check out at least ONE of her books then I don’t know what is. Please please check the trigger warnings for Long Shot before you start it – there’s definitely a lot. However, this series is a brilliant read. Hook Shot is without a doubt my favourite and I can’t wait to buy a copy once the new covers come in!”
Long Shot: A Forbidden Basketball Romance
Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?
My fairy tale is upside down.
A happily never after.I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.
I was a fool, and his love – fool’s gold.
Now there’s a new player in the game, August West.
One of the NBA’s brightest stars.
He wants me. I want him.
But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won’t let me go
*Contains intimate partner violence not involving the hero. Read online reviews for further guidance.
Block Shot: An Enemies-to-Lovers Second Chance Romance
If I had a dollar for every time Banner Morales made my heart skip a beat…
The heart everyone assumes is frozen over.
Her anger is . . . arousing.
Every glare from those fire-spitting eyes, every time she grits her teeth, gets me . . .well, you know.
If I had a dollar for every time she’s put me in my place, I’d be an even richer man.
I’m a successful sports agent because I assume “no” means you’ll think about it.
I’m sure what you meant to say is “Coming right up.”
They say even rich men don’t always get what they want,
but those men don’t know how to play the game. The trick is to keep them guessing.
Take Banner. She assumes she’s winning, but this game?
She doesn’t even know how to play.
If I had a dollar for every time Jared Foster broke my heart, I’d have exactly one dollar.
One night. One epic fail. One dollar . . . and I’m out.
I’ve moved on.
I’ve found success in a field ruled by men.
Anything they can do, I have done better.
They can keep the field while I call the shots, blocking them when I have to.
And Jared has the nerve to think he gets a second chance?
Boy, please. Go sit down. Have several seats.
I’ll just be over here ignoring the man carved from my fantasies with a lust-tipped chisel.
Oh, I didn’t say the struggle wasn’t real.
But I’ve got that one dollar, and Jared won’t have me
HOOK SHOT: An Age Gap Single Dad Romance
Divorced. Single dad. Traded to a losing squad. Cheated on, betrayed, exposed.
My perfect life blew up in my face and I’m still picking up the pieces.
The last thing I need is her.
A wildflower. A storm. A woman I can’t resist.
Lotus DuPree is a kick to my gut and a wrench in my plans from the moment our eyes meet.
I promised myself I wouldn’t trust a woman again, but I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want Lo.
She’s not the plan I made, but she’s the risk I have to take.
A warrior. A baller. The one they call Gladiator.
Kenan Ross charged into my life smelling all good, looking even better and snatching my breath from the moment we met. The last thing I need is him. I’m working on me. Facing my pain and conquering my demons.
I’ve seen what trusting a man gets you.
I. Don’t. Have. Time. For. This.
But he just keeps coming for me.
Keeps knocking down my defenses and stealing my excuses one by one.
He never gives up, and now…I’m not sure I want him to.
You Made A Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
“This knocked me out of my reading slump just by the first line because HELLO? Starting a book like that should be illegal.”
It’s the opportunity of a lifetime:
Feyi is about to be given the chance to escape the City’s blistering heat for a dream island holiday: poolside cocktails, beach sunsets, and elaborate meals. And as the sun goes down on her old life our heroine also might just be ready to open her heart to someone new.
The only problem is, she’s falling for the one man she absolutely can’t have.
“Okay whilst I’m incredibly biased because this book is life-changing for so many other reasons in regards to women’s health. The romance was incredibly sweet. Joya is the QUEEN at YA romances. Check out Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry too if you don’t believe me!”
Monique lives a perfect life – a preacher’s daughter and the girlfriend of the town’s golden boy. But it’s not that simple. She’s torn between her parents who want the pure virginal daughter, and her boyfriend, Dom, who wants to explore the more intimate side of their relationship.
Tired of waiting, her boyfriend breaks up with her, spurring Monique to discover she has a medical condition that makes her far from perfect and she concocts a plan to fix her body and win him back.
With the help of her frenemy, Sasha, the overly zealous church girl Monique’s mum pushes her to hang out with, and Reggie, the town’s bad boy, Monique must go on trips to unknown and uncomfortable places to find the treatment that will help her. But in doing so, she must face some home truths: maybe she shouldn’t be fixing her body to please a boy, maybe Sasha is the friend she needed all along and maybe Reggie isn’t so bad at all.
Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
“Literature fans…this one is for you. The cutest love story for all the Black lover girls that adore reading and grew up wanting their own love story…”
Prince Jones is passionate about music and romance, dishing out relationship advice on his Love Radio show. But his own love life is looking kind of quiet…
Until he meets Dani Ford.
Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan to move to New York City to become a famous author, and avoiding dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago.
When the two meet, sparks fly – but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. So she gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for.
Sometimes the best love story is the one you write yourself...
If you liked this post, check out some other lists I’ve made!