- Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas
He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.
I have to stop this. It can’t happen.
My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable. Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
I took her in, because I thought I was helping. As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.
But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.
And her boyfriend’s father.
Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.
This is my favorite romance novel, EVER! It’s a slow burn, forbidden romance. It has boyfriend’s dad trope which I wasn’t sure about going into this book but I absolutely loved it. Pike and Jordan are perfect together, they are such a good match that you don’t mind the age gap.
2. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.
That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.
Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
I think this was my favorite read of the year! I read it 3 times and I will definitely reread it in 2022. It’s a fake dating romance. The relationship of Olive and Adam is a life goal! They are perfect for each other.
3. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Synopsis: Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.
This is a perfect summer read. It’s a fake dating romance. Thi one was special, I loved how there was this misunderstanding between them that made them dislike each other, and I loved how when it was resolved it was like a fog cleared and their feelings were revealed.
4. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Synopsis: When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
I can’t believe this book made me cry, like a full-on sob. It was so good. The sad story of Miles and the tragedy in his life and how Tate basically brought him back to life, it was so good.
5. Hooked by Emily McIntire
Synopsis: He wants revenge, but he wants her more.
Once Upon A Time, there was a little boy.
His belly full of laughter, his life full of joy.
Until one day, something changed; stripped his innocence away.
The hole inside making space for the devil to come and play.
His dreams gone forever, he grew up way too fast.
An endless night of crocodiles, and watches made of glass.
He grew into a villain, the taste of vengeance on his tongue.
Craving to make his enemies pay for the misdeeds they had done.
Instead, he found a darling girl and refused to let her go.
For what better way to make the man pay than to steal his little shadow.
This is a retelling about Wendy & Hook but I didn’t know that going in. This book was so good. Perfect mafia romance, super dark and twisted. I loved the characters and the romance between James and Wendy. There is a very controversial scene in this book but I was able to get past it and then this book became 5 stars.
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