Happy Valentine’s day everyone! I hope you’re all having the best time, how ever you’re spending it! In spirit of Valentine’s day, I thought I’d share with you today twelve books that you are bound to fall for, one way or another!
I have four different categories that groups these books, and each of them represent four different narrative conventions. They are characters, writing, romance tropes, and angst (I don’t think this is an official convention, but we’re going with it because I have some really good ones!!), and three books will be grouped based on the convention that stands out most from each respective story! I hope that made sense :’) There is a mix of Fantasy, Contemporary, and Adult books here (also one Sci-Fi!!), so hopefully you find something that suits your craving this Valentine’s day (or any other day in general!). Without further ado, let’s start with:
1) Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Undoubtedly, the characters are what leaves you wanting more when you finish this book. They are all the most precious snowflakes you’ll ever read about. The story is dark and broody, but the character dynamic and friendship are ultimately what draws you in. You will fall head over heels for the characters’ arc, and I have the softest spot for Kaz Brekker in particular so if you would please pick up this book and love this scoundrel along with me, that would be great. ❤
2) Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.
If that synopsis does not hook you already, here is what the dedication page says: “If your squad was hard to find, or you’re still looking, then this one is for you.”. There is all the sassy banter you need, and we’re following a group of “rejects” banding together to save their planet. Honestly, it does not get any better than that. Even though I enjoyed reading about the characters, they still have lot of room to grow, which is why I am so excited for the sequel! You’ll grow to crave for more spaceship fun and action with these guys, I promise!
If you want to read more of my thoughts, check out my review here!
3) Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.
If you want to know more about my thoughts, check out my review here!
A girl with schizophrenia befriends a group of quirky, young individuals in her school and they help make each other’s life brighter and better. It’s SO wholesome, and on top of having a mental illness representation in the novel, the friendship and romance in this book is just.. *chef’s kiss*. I ache for and love Alex and Miles. They’re so precious. There’s also quite a strong family dynamic in the story which you’ll definitely fall for as well!
1) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.
When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
As you’ve probably heard a million times from me, Laini Taylor is queen. Her writing just sucks you in, and when it comes to romance.. gosh, it feels like she’s serenading you through the book. You feel like you’re in this dream-like state when she talks about the love between two people, be it romantic or platonic. The series so far is also PERFECTION. Her characters and world-building are also absolutely incredible.
If you want to know more about my thoughts, check out my review here!
2) The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Renee Ahdieh + romance = unbeatable. Her words are dripping honey. SO smooth, thick, and sweet. The forbidden and hate-to-love romance just makes her writing and story SO much more addictive and passionate (and if you guys don’t already know, I am a complete sucker for both the forbidden and hate-to-love tropes!). I also ache for all her characters and their broken pasts ❤ I just love this book so so much :’)
3) Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland—the infamous Queen of Hearts—she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.
Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.
Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.
Oh Gods, you forbidden romance fans are in for a treat. This is a unique story of how the Queen of Hearts came to be, and if you are new to Marissa Meyer’s books, she is absolutely amazing when it comes to writing retellings! Marissa’s writing is gripping, enigmatic, and so beautiful! You can literally visualise all the delicious desserts that are mentioned in the book. There is also the inclusion of a very, very charming joker. It’s all so amazing! Everything about this book is amazing! ❤
If you want to read more about my thoughts, check out my review here!
1) The Deal by Elle Kennedy
She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.
…and it’s going to be oh so good.
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.
TRIGGER WARNING: rape and domestic violence
Just a heads up you guys – the books in this category all have the hate-to-love trope in them because ya girl is OBSESSED. The Deal is a sport romance between two college students whose chemistry will literally burn through the roof. There isn’t too much angst and the story is just so much fun to read about! It has the perfect amount of steam and wit, and the romance is absolutely swoon-worthy!
If you want to read more about my thoughts, check out my review here!
2) Royally Screwed by Emma Chase
Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.
Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.
Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.
Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.
There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.
But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.
Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.
I remember first listening to this book as an audiobook and LOVING the narrators of both characters. Regardless of whether you read or listen to this book, the story is one heck of a ride. It’s a little more dramatic than what I would have preferred, but the romance between both characters is what I always crave for!
3) Idol by Kristen Callihan
I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won’t leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he’s slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.
He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he’s theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?
As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.
Until Liberty. She’s grouchy, a recluse—and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who’ve screamed my name.
The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I’m not willing to leave her. I’ve got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.
The relationship between both characters started out with a minor hate-to-love and gradually blossomed into something so much deeper. I don’t tend to reach out for the ‘famous celebrity’ meets the ‘ordinary’ type of story, but I was rooting so hard for the bond that Killian and Libby had. I love how both of them acted like the mature adults they are. Not only is this book charming and steamy, it’s also meaningful and relatable. ❤
1) Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.
Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.
That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.
The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?
Okay but how amazing does that synopsis sound?? This story is an EMOTIONAL rollercoaster ride, you guys. It deals with so much more than the loving bond between two people. The author depicts the relationship of both her characters through the story that Emiline reads in her best friend’s book that ties in both their present and past. It’s a refreshing take on the genre, and man does it pack a punch.
2) A Love Letter to Whisky by Kandi Steiner
It’s crazy how fast the buzz comes back after you’ve been sober for so long.
Whiskey stood there, on my doorstep, just like he had one year before. Except this time, there was no rain, no anger, no wedding invitation — it was just us.
It was just him — the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle.
It was just me — the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less.
But we can’t start here.
No, to tell this story right, we need to go back.
Back to the beginning.
Back to the very first drop.
This is my love letter to Whiskey. I only hope he reads it.
This books has one of the best romantic build-ups I’ve ever come across in my whole life. The push and pull of both characters makes you ache and root for them at the same time. The written prose of the romance is also BEAUTIFUL, and the ending will make you want to hug the book and never let it go. In short, it’s an incredible romance story. No one really talks about this book, but they ought to because it’s an absolute gem.
3) Come Closer by Brenda Rothert
Sometimes appearances deceive. Take me, for instance. I look like a respectable doctor with his shit together, but the rural Montana mental hospital I work at is actually a sanctuary from my demons. At just thirty-five years old, I’ve already failed on an epic scale. Treating patients at Hawthorne Hill is part of my atonement.
I’ve found peace when a new patient turns me inside out. Allison Cole is a beautiful, haunted survivor who fell into silence after witnessing a murder. But even without words, I’m drawn to her. The closer we get, the more I’m tempted to cross my professional boundaries and give in to my desire.
Soon I find myself in a desperate race to put the pieces of Allison’s silence together. Her life becomes inextricably entwined with mine as I fight to save the second chance I never thought I’d have. I’ll break whatever rules I have to in order to protect this woman who’s been to hell and back. For her, I’ll do harm.
This books has so much angst and drama, it’s so delicious in every single way. The relationship between a doctor and his patient was also very interesting to read about! If you decide to pick up this book, you are in for a bunch of twists, suspense, and an I feel emotionally attacked romance. The characters are flawed in so many ways, yet they come together to mend each other’s wounds through their love and compassion. This is also another highly underrated book and I don’t understand why (but at least I get to keep this story all for myself haha 😉 )
Alrighty you guys! That was quite a list. I hope you found something to add to your TBR 🙂 I genuinely hope you enjoyed reading this post! Please let me know if you have read any of these books – I’d love to know your thoughts!
Until next time,