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I read a lot. If you’re here reading my book blog, you’ve probably figured that out.
This year, I used a cool spreadsheet to track my reading. It even has charts that auto-populate with neat stats about my reading. One of these stats is that 38% of the books I read in 2019 were romance novels.
I thought I would share with you, fellow readers, which romance novels topped my chart this year. I giggled, I full-on belly laughed, I grinned and I full-on swooned. These romances are almost all romantic comedies and I fully enjoyed every single one of them. They are all by women, and many of them are by women of colour and star women of colour.
Here are my favourite romances novels that I read in 2019.
If you need help picking books to read, here is one book for each month of next year.
Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner
This Young Adult (YA) romance was one of my first reads of 2019 and I loved it. It centers around NAME, a teenage girl who loves cosplay design and wants to get into fashion school. She and her family, including her twin brother (I love boy/girl twins! I am one!), have just moved from the big city to a small town. She get’s treated poorly at the local comic shop and ends up pretending to be a boy so she can be accepted there. It’s got sweet romance, DnD, and calls out misogyny.
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
I loved Sally’s first book, and was stoked for her second. She did not disappoint. 99 Percent Mine tells the story of Darcy who has been in love with her brother’s best friend, NAME, since childhood. And now, she has the chance to spend a bunch of uninterrupted time with him as he renovates her late grandmother’s house. This one got pretty swoony and I giggled a lot.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I’ve read this book quite a few times and it never fails to make me grin. Dimple is an Indian-American teen who’s parents have firm ideas on what her future should be. She’s excited to spend the summer at an app development camp to show them how successful she can be. Unbeknownst to Dimple, her parents have permitted this because the boy they’re arranging for her to marry will also be there.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
I smiled the entire time I read this book. Millie is one of the guys. But…she develops feelings for her best friend Reid. And…when her alter-ego “Catherine” and Reid match on a dating app, Millie can’t resist seeing if they hit it off. But…if she were to come clean, she might be risk losing both her best friend and the man of her dreams. Cue lots of adorable messages, miscommunication, changing the topic of conversation, and a great pact between friends.
Unmarriagebable by Soniah Kamal
I love anything Pride and Prejudice. And this is Pride and Prejudice set in early 2000s Pakistan. I couldn’t put it down. It’s also one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. Alys is one of the five Binat sisters who are living scandals after their father lost his fortune and now relies on his two eldest daughters to work as teachers to help support the family. Mr. Darsee, who they meet at one of the biggest weddings of the year, is unimpressed with her and her family. And yet…they keep running into each other.
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandya Menon
Sandhya Menon is one of my favourite YA authors and There’s Something About Sweetie is pure joy. It’s a follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and centres around one of the side characters in that book. It’s about an unapologetically fat girl who recognizes that she is strong and athletic and beautiful even if she doesn’t fit into the stupid standards of the beauty industry. She’s Indian-American and finds love despite her parents’ inability to see that she is perfect and lovable just the way she is.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
I listened to this one on audio and can’t wait to read it in print too. Tiffy needs a place to live. Leon needs some extra cash. So Tiffy moves into Leon’s flat. It’s a one-bedroom. But that doesn’t matter because Leon works nights and Tiffy days. They’ve never actually met. She has it at night and weekends, and he is there during the weekdays. They start leaving notes for one another and soon those notes develop into an adorable relationship.
The Chai Factor by Farah Heron
This is another book that I grinned throughout. I sped through it because it was so fun. Farah is Canadian (yay!) and the book is set in Toronto. Amira is an engineer and is finishing up her master’s degree. She heads back to her cozy basement in her family home to finish her final paper in peace and quiet. Unfortunately, her grandmother has rented the basement out to a motley barbershop quartet to practice for their upcoming competition. And even worse, the annoying lumberjack she met on the train is one of them. The adorable banter mixed with intense discussions on racism and Islamophobia makes this both a really sweet and really powerful book.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Fake dating is one of my favourite tropes and this one has it in spades. Alexa and Drew meet in an elevator and Alexa agrees to be his fake date to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. Except there are lots of moments that make them wonder if this could be a real relationship, even with all the extra things to navigate like living in different cities and being a mixed-raced couple. There’s lots of great sexy scenes too.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Like fake dating? This one has a fake marriage! Olive ends up on her twin sister Ami’s honeymoon with the man she hates most in the world – Ami’s brother-in-law Ethan – so that the all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii isn’t left unused after the bride and groom get disgustingly sick. But they have to pretend to be married to use the trip. So much banter, so much sexual tension, and so many laughs.
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
Oh hey, another Sandhya Menon book, surprise surprise. I had the amazing opportunity to read an early copy of this one. It comes out in February 2020 as the first in Sandhya’s new series. Of Curses and Kisses is inspired by Beauty and Beast and is set in an international boarding school. Indian Princess Jaya Rao is focused on doing her duty as heir and protecting her family. Especially protecting her little sister from the terrible Emerson clan, a family of English aristocrats who have despised them for hundreds of years. Grey Emerson believes he is at fault for his mother’s death and it’s all because of the curse on of the Rao’s put on his family. What happens when these two meet at school? Can the beast become a prince?
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
I’m loving all the books that are exploring dating apps these days. But this one is a fresh take – it’s about the people who run those dating apps and what they do when they’ve been ghosted by someone only to learn that person is now on the team of their rival app. Rhiannon is a tough, strong, smart CEO and creator of a dating app. She has hard and fast rules about dating and what to do with men who ghost. And Samson ghosted her, so she wants nothing to do with him. But now that he’s found her again, he’s not willing to let this chance pass them by. This book has great banter, sexual tension, and character growth. I read it in one day.
So there you have it, my 12 favourite romance novels from my 2019 Read List.