I've read and written more in 2020 than I have in my entire life and that's saying something. I think we can all agree that this year has been a roller coaster and we've all been looking for something to help us escape. Whether it's books, movies, video games, or maybe hobbies like working out or cooking, we want that disconnect. So, I've built up quite the list of recommendations in 2020!
Shameless self-promotion! I mean, this is my blog XD. Genesis is a post-apocalyptic, scifi adventure set in a brutal, futuristic world. Follow Genesis, one of the last remnants of humanity's most advanced age of genetic engineering. Witness her journey as she fights through countless obstacles, both physical and emotional.
At number 2 I have the Eon Warriors series by Anna Hackett. I started these with book one and couldn't stop from finishing them all because these were SO MUCH FUN! They are PACKED with action. Like, Indiana Jones, comical, sexy, adventure action in space. I love space. I love romance. I love hot alien men and fun situations. Not only that, but Anna Hackett makes some seriously badass female characters and I appreciate that. They could hold their own, but also love a sweet romantic moment <3
Oh boy, where do I even start with Michelle M. Pillow. I could NOT put her books down. From the main series to the spin-offs, I was hooked. Here we have another alien romance set on a planet where the boys need ladies due to an atmosphere that prevents females of their species from being born very often. Cheesy-sounding? Yeah, I thought so, too, but then I read them and the characters, lore, and setting had me completely immersed. Every couple is a different flavor of sexy and I appreciated the wide array of personalities so every book sang to me in a different way. If you like fierce, protective dragon boys and strong ladies, this is a great series to dip your feet into.
YES, I am aware this is another Michelle M. Pillow book, but this one deserved its own slot because I LOVED this book with all my heart. Now, while her books can be read as stand alones, this one I think best fits once you've gotten into the world a bit because it does involve a character that is connected with another couple. Let me tell you...I was ready to take a bullet for the main female. That's how wonderful this books was. So if you want to dive into the spin-off series, check out the Space Lords!
ONWARDS! If space boys aren't your thing, maybe a ride on the dark side of magic is. Illusions of Grandeur is book 1 in The Impossible Julian Strande. I haven't read the second book yet, but book 1 was a beautiful and magical world that the author, Kathryn Ann Kingsley, classifies as "villain romance." Julian Strande isn't your typical white knight...actually, he is more of a black knight. He's mysterious, dark, and absolutely irresistible. Get lost in the windy turns and hidden corridors of his giant, mystery mansion and delve into the illusions of Julian Strande's tricky and seductive world.
NEXT! If you want some urban fantasy feels, check out the Eternal Mates series! I started the Eternal Mates books at the very beginning of the year and have enjoyed revisiting the series over the months as the series is LONG. Different books call to me in different ways, but with how many there are, you will definitely be able to find your favorite! These are set in current time and yes, it's about fated mates. Dragonshifters, cat shifters, demons, witches. It's all here and it's all steamy fun.
And while we're on the subject of dragonshifters, meet the first book I reviewed on my blog! Song of Smoke is a fantasy romance written by Jillian James. While I love my fated mates books, this was a refreshing, old-fashioned slow-burn romance that had me rooting so hard for this couple. I'm impatiently waiting for book 3 to come out! So if you want some steamy-sweet romance with a sexy dragonshifter and a strong and caring woman, dive in! It's a quick read...and one I foolishly chose to do right before bedtime. Goodbye sleep.
Well, now we're on to something a little different. I read the Study series ages ago. Back then, it was on the romance shelf and while there is some romance, there is soooo much more. These are gritty, harsh, dark, and absolutely amazing books that I will recommend to anyone. You get to follow a wronged woman who doesn't back down through her journey to learn magic in a corrupt kingdom that forbids it. Seriously, this series hits in all the tender places and leaves you writhing and suffering but still somehow wanting more. Currently, I am re-reading, so I thought they should be here!
And continuing with a slightly darker theme, (although trust me, poison Study trumps a lot of books in the dark department save for my own XD) we have His Darkest Craving by Tiffany Roberts. I don't really jive with a lot of her books because her men seem a little too inhuman, but His Darkest Craving was a dark take on fae and romance and I absolutely enjoyed it. It's a standalone, so don't worry about committing to a series! It's also a short read, so I read it in one night. You follow a woman just out of an abusive relationship who stumbles into the woods of a cursed forest fae. Interested? I was too.
Moving on to the most ridiculous and yet most addictive series I've read so far. Why did I keep reading? Because Ruby Dixon doesn't pretend and I appreciate the shit out of her weird, dirty, and sometimes goofy stories. Ice Planet Barbarians is about a bunch of ladies who are abducted into alien slavery and crash land on...well...an ice planet or "not Hoth." They meet a race of giant blue men with hearts as big as mountains. If you want sweet, nurturing aliens who literally just want to please their women (and have ridged tongues and penises) this is probably your series. There is a couple and a story for everyone in this HUGE series!
Ridiculous? Yes. Did I keep reading because it made me laugh, blush, and escape reality? Yes.
Speaking of weird penises, The Boundarylands series has 'em! I was a little hesitant, but yes, I read them and I loved them. They're quick reads, the men were hot, the ladies were unsuspecting, and there was a lot of knight in shining armor action with even more "you're mine now." This series by Callie Rhodes is lots of fun if you are a fan of the Omegaverse. Admittedly, this was my first taste of the genre and I am intrigued!
And, oddly enough, I'm ending this list on NOT paranormal romance. Honestly, I saw the claw mark tattoo on his chest and thought it was a werewolf book. When it wasn't, I felt stupid, but also...this book was hot as hell. Quinn is a rough dude. He fights in fight clubs to blow off steam from a past that scarred him and he hates pretty much everyone. When a girl comes in with some attitude and really just needs some love, this unlikely couple sort of melts together after a fake relationship gets a little too real. <3
And that concludes my 2020 recommendations! Now, to end it with some more shameless self-promotion! Thanks for being here with me in this crazy year! You all rock and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season <3
Like anything on this list? Like dragon shifters, alpha males, steamy fun and action? Check out my series!
Into fantasy romance? Beyond the Merillian is a new series of novellas set in a fantasy world with elves, humans, and magic. Into the Wild is book 1 and every book is a stand alone. Slip into the realm in this new, ongoing series of quick reads!