19 January 2024

2023 Romance Favourites

Okay, so I started off well with not posting these too late and then I got distracted. So here is my favourite romance reads of 2023. It's only really been the last 2 years that I've started reading romance again and I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I obviously still love a good thriller though and you can see my 2023 favourite crime thrillers here

The Graham Effect by Elle Kennedy* - #1 Campus Diaries

Gigi Graham is desperate to qualify for the womens national hockey team, win an olympic gold and finally step out from her fathers shadow. To do that she needs to improve her game behind the net and for that she needs help from Luke Ryder. Ryder is desperate to prove himself to get a coaching spot with the legendary Garrett Graham after making a terrible first impression. The two make a deal. Ryder helps Gigi make the national team and she puts in a good word with her dad. 

This is my first read by Elle Kennedy but I will definitely be reading more. It’s dual POV which is my favourite format and there are so many fantastic characters. Gigi and her family & Ryder and his friends are all so lovable. There’s some great banter and Gigi and Ryder are so cute together. The joining of two rivel teams added so much entertaining drama. I’m still not sure how I feel about a certain event near the end but I enjoyed the ride enough to overlook it. 

Things We Left Behind by Lucy Score - #3 Knockemout (On Kindle Unlimited)

Lucian is a mean vengeance seeking mogul determined to erase his abusive fathers mark. The more money and power he has the safer he feels. Sloane is a feisty small town librarian bonded to him by their mutual disdain grown from a dark secret in their past. Somehow their bickering turns to foreplay but Sloane is ready to start a family and Lucian refuses to even consider a happy ever after but he also can’t bring himself to let her go. 

This is definitely the best book of the series and I think we were all waiting for Lucians story. Who can resist suit daddy? Plus I love Sloane so much. I would love to be a part of their friendship group. There’s a load of lovable characters who all annoy and adore each other. There’s a side plot running throughout the 3 books that adds some extra drama. Lucian and Sloane are so damn sweet despite their barbed flirting/fighting. The dual POV is perfect and the chapters flashing to their past explains so much and broke my heart a little bit. Steamy, sweet, action packed and hilarious. 

Reckless by Elsie Silver - #4 Chestnut Springs - (On Kindle Unlimited)

Winter is almost free from her toxic marriage and has sworn off men. Theo is a rowdy bull rider and notorious ladies man. It was supposed to be one night to get it out of her system but the small plus sign complicates things. 

I normally hate the surprise pregnancy trope but Elsie Silver managed to suck me in. I think this is actually my favourite from the Chestnut Springs series. Theo is freaking adorable but Winter grew on me more than I thought she would. I loved seeing her rediscover herself and accept the love of her sister as well as her found family. There is so much character growth. As with all Elsie Silvers books the spice is great, there are so many lovable characters, the cowboys are swoon worthy and the romance is sweet.  

Curves For Days by Laura Moher* - #1 Big Love from Galway

Rose is most comfortable when she's invisible so when she wins the lottery and everyone wants a piece of her she flees to hide out in a small town. She hires Angus to fix up her new house and it doesn't hurt that he's a burly bearded guy with a great sense of humour. The only downside is his need to give more than he takes. 

I will always read a plus sized protagonist and Rose is an amazing character. I really enjoyed seeing her discover how to really live life. She's a fun character who is smart, sexy and such a lovely person. The small town setting is perfect and there are so many great characters to add to the story, even the judgy old lady. I believe there is going to be a sequel with July's story which I can't wait for. There are a couple of sex scenes but it's more about how Rose feels discovering her sexual side and confidence. They were beautifully written and I loved the sexy plus size representation. 

Iris is surrounded by loved up couples and is struggling with writers block for her new romance novel. Stevie is fed up of her friends treating her like a child. A chance meeting between the two after a disastrous one night stand leads to a mutually beneficial fake dating scenario. Iris will get some inspiration for her book and Stevie get’s her friends off her back as well as some help in the confidence department. 

I read this series out of order and started with this one but quickly went back and devoured the other two. Such a great series. The romance was adorable and I loved both Iris and Stevie. Stevie’s anxiety was written so well making her extremely relatable to anyone who struggles with their own anxiety. Her growth was beautiful to read. 

There are so many great characters with a diverse cast. This book really makes you feel all the emotions. It made me laugh and cry and was just a joy to read. The fake dating was so fun and I loved seeing their friendship bloom. The way Iris was with Stevie made my heart melt. She just knew exactly how to support her as opposed to her friends attempts. 

For Astrid failure is unacceptable so since she broke up from her Fiance she’s been focused on her career. When she’s asked to be the designer for the Everwood Inn’s renovation which will be featured on TV it’s her chance to rescue her failing business and get her mothers approval. She didn’t plan for the owners granddaughter, Jordan, to hate every design choice she makes. The crew ask them to play up the tension for the cameras but somewhere along the way it evolves to something more. 

I think this was my favourite out of the series. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Astrid at the start but I soon fell in love with her. I loved seeing the platonic love with her friends and her slowly mending her relationship with her sister whilst learning to stand up for herself. I adored Jordans family as well. The banter with Jordan was fun and they make such a cute couple. The interior design and seeing the place come together was a fun element. As with the other books, there are so many great characters with such sweet friendships.

After crawling out of a hotel room Hallie decides it’s time to become a full blown adult. When she logs onto her dating app to find love, she’s greeted with Jack, the guy whose room she snuck out of. They both agree that they aren’t interested in each other so offer support on the quest for love. To make the search more interesting they make a wager on who will find love first. Then they agree to be fake dates for a wedding and all bets are off. 

This is such a fun romcom. It’s both funny and adorable. I adored both Hallie and Jack and I loved their friendship. I’m not an insta love girly so I really enjoyed seeing their friendship grow. Plus the banter and the differnt dates they go on were highly entertaining. It’s a slow burn with dual POV which really shows their chemistry.

Icebreaker by Hanna Grace - #1 Maple Hills 

Anastasia has worked her whole life for a shot at Team USA and everything seems to be going according to plan. Nothing will stand in her way. Not having to share a rink with the hockey team and definitely not Nate, the captain of the hockey team. But when there are issues with her skating partner Nate may be the answer. 

I loved everything about this book. Anastasia and Nate are such great main characters. Nate is so damn sweet and knew exactly what Anastasia needed even when she didn’t. Anastasia is sassy and strong and I want to be her bestie. They go from frenemies to friends to lovers and I loved seeing the relationship grow. The banter was great and they’re just so freaking cute together. Huge fan of the fact that there was no miscommunication or 3rd act breakup. It made a nice change and we got the drama from other elements. I also really liked the mental health and therapy representation. It showed therapy as a good thing and Nate supporting her made my heart melt. There are so many lovable characters and the found family aspect was perfect. I think we all need a Henry in our lives. 

Not my Kind of Hero by Pippa Grant* - (On Kindle Unlimited)

Maisey is a single mum who just moved to a small town to renovate the ranch she inherited with her teenage daughter. The ranch comes with a gorgeous but grumpy tenant who also happens to be her daughters teacher and coach. Maisey realises he’s not as grumpy as he makes out but she can’t do anything to jeopardise her rocky relationship with her daughter. 

Another fun read. It made me laugh, the romance was cute and there are also some deeper moments that hit you in the feels. Maisey is such a great character. I love a woman who everyone assumes is an airhead but can actually do it all. Juniper was such a great kid and I loved seeing her grow. The dual POV means you quickly fall in love with Flint as well. It’s a slow burn with a lot of chemistry. The small town setting is perfect and there are so many great characters to add to the story. Earl is obviously the star of the show.

What romance books do I need to add to my tbr?

You can also keep up with my reviews and what I'm reading 


* This book was gifted in exchange for an honest review, however, it does not affect my views and the opinions expressed in this post are independent and my own

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