Favorite Books of 2020: Contemporary Romance Edition

I hope everyone has been enjoying time off over the holiday season. I mentioned last week in my favorite adult fiction and non-fiction books of 2020 post that I should’ve had a review posted on this past Saturday … but I’ll be totally honest & admit that I unexpectedly took a laptop break from Tuesday into Sunday afternoon. I’ve been off from school and work for the past 2 weeks, but it wasn’t until Christmas Eve Eve (yes, it’s absolutely a thing) that I really minimized my time on my laptop and ended up not turning it back on for nearly five days. If you’re someone like me who has been glued to her laptop screen between school and work this year, I highly recommend taking a break from the screen this week. I also completely admit I got distracted by a few books AND Bridgerton on Netflix! 

Anyway, today I’ll be sharing my final favorites post of 2020 with my favorite contemporary romances of the year! I shared my favorite young adult books of 2020 last Wednesday. I decided to save my contemporary romance favorites for my final favorites wrap up because contemporary romance was my absolute favorite genre in 2020. So many of the books below had the perfect blend of fluff and distraction I craved, while also often having depth and really unique premises. Out of my three favorites post this year, I had the most difficult time narrowing down my favorite contemporary romances between absolute favs and honorable mentions. 

Favorite Contemporary Romances of 2020 

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

If there was only one book on this list I could put in every reader’s hands, it would be Hannah Orenstein’s Head Over Heels. Following a former elite gymnast who’s tasked with coaching an Olympic hopeful, this book was so strong as a contemporary itself because of its plot, setting, and character dynamics, but was so enriched because of the relationship between the female and male leads. Head Over Heels 110% solidified Hannah Orenstein as one of my all-time favorite authors. 

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle 

I chose one book as my ultimate #1 favorite in my 2020 YA favorites list, but my favorite romance of the year is seriously a toss up between Head Over Heels and Sarah Hogle’s debut, You Deserve Each Other.  I often say that some of my contemporary romances have funny moments, but You Deserve Each Other is seriously the funniest and most sarcastic contemporary romance I’ve ever read. If only one book could have the ‘rom-com’ label, it’s this one. You Deserve Each Other follows two fiancés on the brink of separation – something I haven’t read in a book before- and I absolutely loved following this dynamic. 

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Emily Henry’s Beach Read rightfully took the contemporary romance world by storm this summer and honestly throughout 2020! This summer romance between two writers might become my new annual kick off to summer reading & beach reading season. 

The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren 

I’ve mentioned before on the blog that while Christina Lauren’s newer releases tend to get mixed reviews (especially from early CLo fans), but I’ve been such a fan of their newer books, including The Honey Don’t List. This Fixer Upper inspired romance following a fictional home renovation show’s two personal assistants totally met its synopsis – how can I a bookworm not love a book about a book tour?? – and introduced me to my new favorite CLo protagonist. Read More »

TWO 2020 FAVORITES, ONE MISS: Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews

It’s one of my reading missions in life to also have a contemporary romance book ready to read! If you’re absolutely loving all the amazing contemporary romances that have come out in 2020, I have another two 2020 releases for you to read… and a 2019 much-loved release to maybe avoid….

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

On a beautiful day in August, I decided I wanted a fluffy book that would occupy my full attention while floating around the pool, which led me to pick up Mia Sosa’s The Worst Best Man. I’ll read nearly any book that has something to do with weddings. This contemporary romance follows Lina, a wedding planner who was left at the altar three years ago when her fiancé’s best man, Max, convinced Andrew to not get married the night before the wedding. Three years later, Lina is up for a wedding planning position at a luxury hotel in Washington D.C. and is forced to work with Max to prepare marketing materials for her final presentation. Although Lina finally gets the opportunity for some payback, her and Max begin to connect in ways both of them would have never expected.

The Worst Best Man is seriously one of my favorite contemporary romances of 2020! I instantly fell into this story and Lina and Max’s attraction. I thought it had the perfect balance between romance & relationship development, the setting, and the personal challenges each character faces. As I’ve said before, Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings are among my favorite reality TV shows, so I loved getting the inside look at wedding planning. I thought Lina’s job and all the details were so well-developed. As someone who has experience in marketing, it was also really fun to learn about Max’s job as a marketing executive and seeing him and Lina collaborate on their pitch. We also spend a lot of time with each character’s family, as Lina comes from a close-knit family led by women and is planning her favorite cousin’s wedding, while Max and Andrew are going head to head for the hotel pitch. 

This book  hit a home run when it come to one of my favorite tropes, enemies-to-lovers. Lina and Max seriously had no feelings or attraction for each other at the start and even as their feelings begin to build, Lina is still getting revenge on Max for helping ruin her big day. I loved their antics and their more emotional scenes, romance scenes of course included. Read More »

Contemporary Romance TBR

Since about mid-2019, adult contemporary romance has been the genre I’ve been craving the most. I absolutely fly through most books in this genre, yet I find myself unsuccessfully attempting to take my time reading them because I want to enjoy them as long as possible. Everyone knows I love binge-reading series, but I’ve been trying not to binge-read the books in the series so I know I always have a book to look forward to.

Since I’ve been practically adding more contemporary romances to my TBR whenever I’m scrolling through Goodreads, today I’ll be sharing which adult & new adult contemporary romances I plan on reading (hopefully soon). I’ve divided this TBR by released books and 2020 releases still to come.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca – I’ve decided that on my next bookstore trip (or whenever I get a Barnes & Noble coupon) I’ll be buying Jen DeLuca. I’ve heard so many great things about this ren-faire inspired romance from many contemporary-loving bloggers. There will be also be two more books set in the Well Met world, Well Played (September 29) and Well Matched (2021).

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher – Not the Girl You Marry has received some mixed reviews, but I read its synopsis while strolling through the romance section in the bookstore and still added it to my TBR. I haven’t read a book set in the city in a while, and I love how the female protagonist, Hannah, is an event planner.

Roomies by Christina Lauren – I could probably dedicate a whole TBR to Christina Lauren books (actually, that’s not a bad future post idea…). Roomies received a ton of love and attention when it first came out in 2017, and I think it’s time for me to see what the hype is about.

Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt – What the main character does in Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words honestly sounds like something I would do. After being fired from her job as a kindergarten teacher, Heidi starts a podcast reading the steamy scenes from romance novels and finds way more success than she could have imagined.Read More »