Wow. 2017 is almost done, and I can't say I'm sad to see it go. World problems and personal issues aside, this year did give me tons of new books and authors, and for that, I'm grateful. In no particular order, here are the books and series that brought sunlight and feels to my year.
London Celebrities Series by Lucy Parker
I only found out about this author this year, and she instantly made her way into my all-time favorite authors list. Dynamic characters, fantastic pace and banter, and words that will hook you from start to finish, all set in the West End scene. From fake relationship to a forbidden relationship, the London Celebrities series is a slow burn romance fan's must-have. (Book 3 is out May 2018!)
This trilogy is painfully beautiful, poetic, and woke. Their love story is not for the faint of heart, and along that, the story tackled issues especially relevant in today's time. I had so much feels from start to finish. What I love the most about this series is that as Grip and Bristol grew into better characters, so did I. And you know their love is something that will grow with each obstacle, each hiccup they face, because you know they'll face it together.
Illegal Contact (The Barons #1) by Santino Hassell
A new-to-me author and genre, and I absolutely loved it! A grumpy football player under house arrest and his new personal assistant weren't instant buddies when they first met, but that's what makes it more fun. As they get to know one another, we get to fall in love with them, too! It reminded me of one of my all-time favorite novels, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata. Since reading this, I've checked out Santino Hassell's other works, and gah. GAH. I LOVE IT.
Royally Matched (Royally #2) by Emma Chase
While I loved all the Pembrooks + St. James and their significant others in this series, I have to say Henry and Sarah were my favorite couple. Sarah was relatable and fun to get to know, and Henry has that charm perfect for a king. To see a man like Henry fall in love was an experience I would like to keep with me forever. Perfect for hopeless romantics and lovers of anything royal.
Ghosted by J.M. Darhower
A wonderful story about one of the biggest actors in the business, and the woman he lost because of it. The story is filled with angst between actor Jonathan "Johnny Cunning" Cunningham and his first love, Kennedy Garfield, as Johnny tries to get his life back on track and get a second chance to be a part of Kennedy and their daughter's life. I love the way the flashbacks were told, and my heart broke and hoped for these star-crossed lovers. It was my first J.M. Darhower read, but definitely not my last.
North to You (Journey to the Heart #1) by Tif Marcelo
Food, love, and second chances. North to You was a wonderful debut novel by Tif Marcelo. She highlighted two similar cultures—Philippines and Italy. Drew, a Filipino-American soldier, and his family-run restaurant, and Camille, with her food truck that features recipes she learned from her Italian grandmother. This book had the perfect mix of the light and fluffy, and the heavy and steamy. The food—Italian and Filipino—made my stomach rumble. And the ending left me happy and satisfied. Perfect for foodies and lovers of fluffy second chance romances.
Dating You/ Hating You by Christina Lauren
While Dating You/Hating You had a different feel to this duo's previous works, I loved it. This is definitely a more mature Christina Lauren, but the humor, effortless banter, great characters, and sizzling sexual tension are still there. A fantastic hate to love romance between two agents fighting to get one position.
Modern Love by Beau North
Three things to sum up Modern Love—David Bowie, growing up, new chances. It's a bit of a coming-of-age novella about a girl trying to make her way past the things that once held her back, and a guy looking for a home. A Pride and Prejudice-esque romance, so expect pride, prejudice, and a slow but steady transition from hate to love.
The Darcy Monologues
Edited by Christina Boyd and written by a few of my favorite JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) authors, this anthology has more than enough Darcys to share with everyone. Set in different eras and timelines, each author perfectly highlighted the Mr. Darcy every romance fan grew to love—a gentleman, a dedicated brother, a good friend, and a devoted lover. A good and honest man.
The Hot Shot (Game On #4) by Kristen Callihan
The Hot Shot was a wonderful example of why the friends to lovers trope works so well! There was fantastic build up, hilarious banter, and the sexual tension sizzling even in their friendship. Chess and Finn, although attracted to each other, are first and foremost friends. And that's what made them more shippable! This book made me laugh and giggle and sigh like a lovesick fool. I love it.
Roomies by Christina Lauren
Marriage of convenience, a guitar-playing Irishman, New York? I think it's a no-brainer as to why this gem is in my 2017 favorites. The story is sweet, romantic, and fun. There was never a dull moment reading Roomies. Fantastic banter and chemistry, great pace and flow, a wonderful and relatable heroine and a guitar-playing Irishman who will melt your heart with his music and accent.
There you have it! I'd love to hear what are your top books for 2017, so don't forget to leave them in the comments below. Hope you have a wonderful year ahead of you!