Back in 2022, I read over 30 books (check out my recommendations here), but I doubled my reading in 2023 with over 60 books. If you struggle to find time to read, try replacing your IG scrolling in the mornings and evenings with a physical book or purchase a Kindle this year to boost your reading goals! And remember, you can read whatever you’d like! There are books for every interest and inclination. I read mostly romance novels last year, with varying levels of depth, and there are a handful that would definitely be worth a reread in 2024!
One thing to consider when grabbing a new book off the shelf, however, is the spice level of that particular romance. While we have decided that reading smut is borderline porn (read our thoughts here), there are ways to balance some of the less spicy but still hot scenes in romance novels. Our solution is quite simple: skip a few pages! In the large majority of romance novels, the content of the bedroom isn’t important to the plot, so you aren’t missing anything important. As a rule, I also avoid any books with suggestive covers or titles, and stray away from authors that have a spicy track record.
Not sure of the spice level in your next read? There are a few different categories to keep track of! Most of the time, an author will include their spice level in the description, especially online, but you can also take a peek at the comment section to help make your decision. An open door romance is pretty spicy – the descriptions and details are there, but likely don’t contribute a ton to the plot of the novel. A closed door romance is like that of a closed door – you know what happened but didn’t get a first-hand view!
Need a few new books to add to your reading list? Here are my personal favorites!
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Happy Place, by Emily Henry
Despite the Happy Place’s controversial reviews on social media, I loved this newest read from Emily Henry, just as I have loved everything else she has written! This novel is the ideal mix of friendship, nostalgia, grief, and growing up, all wrapped up in a love story that is deeper than you might expect from the hot pink cover.
Lovelight Farms series, by B.K. Borison
If you love the feeling of Christmas all year long, the Lovelight Farms series is perfect for you! Currently, there are three books, each featuring the love story of an employee at a Christmas tree farm, and the fourth book will be released in July! However, while the location of the books seems festive, most of the plot takes place in the summer to fall months, so you could add it to your summer reading plan too. These books are a bit spicy, but you can easily skip the scenes in a page or two (nothing too intense, though!).
Just My Type, by Falon Ballard
Just My Type, by a new and upcoming author, might be one of my favorites from this year of reading. Two journalists, lots of dating fumbles, and plenty of comedy create the ideal environment for falling in love. This book gave me How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days vibes, and I adored every word.
Love and Other Words, by Christina Lauren
This writer duo produced another winner! I adored Love and Other Words, and I have shared it with all of the reading women in my life. Childhood friends reconnect as adults after a great deal of loss, growth, and major life changes. This love story has everything and makes for a cozy read!
Love Buzz, by Neely Tubati Alexander
A little bit of Mardi Gras meets a little bit of serendipity in this fantastic rom-com novel! If you often feel like you don’t have it all together, you will love Serena’s honesty as she fumbles through life, her career, and the expectations she has for herself. Adorable, and I can’t wait to reread Love Buzz!
Yes and I Love You, by Roni Loren
I loved Yes and I Love You (and the series) for so many reasons, but Loren’s ability to write characters with mental health struggles is simply beautiful. This particular book features a woman with Tourette’s syndrome, and details her daily life, her friendships, career, and a budding love story with an actor!
The Homewreckers, by Mary Kay Andrews
If you love a small town romance with a bit of mystery and Hollywood thrown in, you will love The Homewreckers! A young widow known for her house flipping abilities (and getting too attached to the wrong things) is recruited by a home television channel for a new series…and chaos follows by way of a murder, scandal, Hollywood hotties, and a lonely director in need of his big break. You will love it!
The Soulmate Equation, by Christina Lauren
Yes, this is another Christina Lauren novel because I am obsessed with this writer duo. A single woman takes a chance on new DNA match-making software in order to find her soulmate…and he turns out to be the last person she expected. Cute, quirky, and unique, The Soulmate Equation is difficult to put down!
The Roughest Draft, by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka
If you love writer romances, then The Roughest Draft will be an immediate favorite! Two writers are bound by a past contract to finish a novel together…which would seem fine if they hadn’t fallen in love and broken up years before! This close proximity novel is hilarious and thought-provoking, and calls into question the meaning of true love.
The Wedding Season, by Katy Birchall
The Wedding Season encompasses heartbreak so well! The leading lady is ditched at the altar, leaving her broken before a season of weddings among her friends and family. Determined to help her thrive despite her misery, her closest friends come up with a checklist of activities for her to complete throughout the wedding season, which leads her to her greatest love of all! So cute!
Twice Shy, by Sarah Hogle
Masculine but sensitive, Wesley is an incredibly well-written character who sets a great standard for the way women should be treated by men! Loved every page of Twice Shy (and everything else Hogle has written!).
How to Love Your Neighbor, by Sophie Sullivan
How to Love Your Neighbor is so cute! This enemies-to-lovers beach read is just adorable, with lots of flirty disagreements and home decor decisions. The characters are loveable, and their love story develops so naturally, it's like watching two close friends fall for each other.
Ready to spend your evenings curled up with a new book? Add one of these romances to your reading list this year and get lost in the pages!
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