So now that we’ve all binged Bridgerton and are patiently waiting for our obsession, it feels like a good time to dive back into the world of reading, does it not? I asked our gorgeous community on Instagram the other day if they’d set a reading goal for 2021 and quite a few of you said yes! Personally, my reading tastes vary between pure escapism, self-help, wellness, and autobiographies. I recently signed up for BOTM so I’m hoping to expand my reading choices for the year. But today is dedicated to books to get lost in aka 10 of my fave sassy romances I can’t wait to obsess over with you!
The List: Books To Get Lost In
The Marriage Effect by Karla Sorensen
I may have a slight obsession with books revolving around athletes and the powerful woman they end up with. You’ll sense a theme as we go but this is the first in the line-up. The summary: Paige, an ex-supermodel with a habit of doing things on a whim is in need of a husband. Enter Logan Ward, the football player who keeps a strong lid on his private life caring for his 4 younger sisters. But when Logan’s brother finds the perfect opportunity to try to steal custody, he and Paige come to an agreement: to get married in 3 days for the next 2 years. What could go wrong?
All the pranks. All the sass. And of course, a happily ever after because no one needs anything else in their life right now. This is #3 in the series with a separate series following all of the Ward sisters. (amazon, bookshop)
The Not-Outcast by Tijan
I LOVE Tijan. I’ve gotten more than one friend hooked on her books because sister does not hold back. It’s steamy. It’s sassy. It’s definitely in your face. But you’ll love it. I devoured this one last weekend after I’d planned to only read an hour. And then I told my reading partner in crime who did the exact same thing.
The summary: Cheyenne’s lived quite a life. With a druggie mom and a dad who doesn’t really want her, she’s learned to survive. She’s also learned to thrive. So when she runs into her high school crush at a party years later, who didn’t know she existed, she goes for a one night stand thinking nothing will come from it. And bolts the next morning before it can blow up in her face.
Cutler thinks he’s just met the woman of his dreams. The one problem? She’s his best friend’s ex-step sister. And she keeps running away from him. Can Cutler convince Cheyenne their love is worth taking the risk? Will Cheyenne let down her walls enough to be vulnerable with a man despite feeling like she’s always teetering on the edge of crazy?
I will say, this book could absolutely be triggering for someone with anxiety. Tijan does a great job of writing in a way that draws that out in your experience. She doesn’t hold back with Cheyenne’s panic attacks and as the reader, you’re put through it too. But it was a great read. And it does a beautiful job at showing the normality behind mental health & anxiety disorders. (amazon, bookshop)
Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid
The knitting in city series is one I come back to time and time again. Truthfully, I could do an entire blog post just raving about them all. But for the purposes of narrowing things down for our books to get lost in this weekend convo, let’s go with one of my faves.
The summary: Elizabeth Finney is a doctor. She’s smart, sassy and she knows how to knit. So when she finds herself yelling “the baby is yours” at her high school reunion to save her former nemesis turned accidental crush, what could go wrong?
Nico Manganiello hasn’t seen Elizabeth in years. Not since she ghosted him after their one night together and never looked back. But the heart wants what it wants. And Nico is determined to show Elizabeth he’s no longer that boy who made her life miserable. He’s willing to do the work.
ROMANCING MISTER BRIDGERTON BY JULIA QUINN
Of course my first instinct after binging Bridgerton on Christmas was to hunt down the novels. Because when you’ve just spent that many hours in a world, why would you want to stop? And thus, I’ve been slowly making my way through the series. If you haven’t finished season 1, skip this bit. But if you have, then you’ll know who our beloved Lady Whistledown is and why I adore Penelope Featherington even more for it.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton is Penelope & Colin’s love story. Truthfully, I’m curious to see how the continue to adapt and expand the novels into television. Nevertheless, I was more than happy to get lost in their story for several hours. Unlike the show, this book is your first discovery of who Lady Whistledown is behind her mysterious papers. Plus, you get the added bonus of the typical Bridgerton chaos. (amazon, bookshop)
THE MATCHMAKER’S REPLACEMENT BY RACHEL VAN DYKEN
There’s a part of me that feels like I’ve recommended this book before. It’s one of my favorites and I read it or listen to it at least once a year. The details: Lex and Gabi are enemies. No seriously, knives need to be removed from the kitchen before they occupy the same space. Stubbornness? Sexual tension? Maybe a bit of both? The chemistry and fire between these two is off the charts. So when Gabi needs training for her job at Wingman Inc., Lex offers to show her the ropes. But when lines get crossed, secrets come out and the ability to resist whatever is happen between them becomes too much. Well you know how this story goes. . .
This is the 2nd book in the series. You don’t need to read book one to understand what’s happening. However, if you like a good rom-com with a bit of Darcy/Elizabeth stubbornness, this is for you. (amazon, bookshop)
THE RISK BY ELLE KENNEDY
I fell in love with Elle Kennedy while reading the first Briar U series. And the second doesn’t disappoint. I love seeing independent and powerful women written with such drive & balance. The Risk is book 2 in the 2nd Briar U series.
The summary: Breanna’s not new to the world of star hockey players. Her dad is the coach of the Briar U team. But when Breanna finds herself in need of a fake date courtesy of Harvard’s star play (and Briar’s biggest rival), she knows she’s in trouble. Especially when Jake wants one real date for every fake one Breanna requires. Will Breanna be able to protect her heart while going after her dreams? Will Jake be able to convince Breanna they are worth the risk? You’ll have to read to find out! (amazon, bookshop)
AXEL BY SAMANTHA WHISKEY
Samantha Whiskey’s collection of stories is incredibly well woven together. Sis writes sports romance like a champion. Axel is the first in the Carolina Reaper’s series. But you can’t really go wrong with any of her stories.
The summary: Fresh off a breakup and with her job on the line, Langley needs Axel to sign with the Carolina Reapers. The problem? Axel will only sign if Langley agrees to marry him for 6 months. Curious enough to give the Viking player a shot, Langley says yes. But will curiosity, sexual tension and growing romance be enough for Langley to truly give Axel the relationship they both deserve? (amazon)
THE WALL OF WINNIPEG & ME BY MARIANA ZAPATA
Also on the list of authors I read yearly, Mariana Zapata. I recently saw someone on Goodreads say that Mariana could write a book about Peppa Pig and they would read it. They’re not wrong. If you like a slow build romance, Mariana is for you.
The summary: Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary. But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked. For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable. What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants? (via Goodreads) (amazon, bookshop)
HANDS DOWN BY MARIANA ZAPATA
The summary: Bianca Brannen is moving on with her life. After heartbreak and betrayal, she’s finally got her business back and she’s ready to go all in. But when her past, in the form of her first love and childhood friend Zac Travis pulls her back in, it’s hard to say no. Can Bianca overcome her insecurity and past issues with Zac to start fresh? Is Zac ready to fight for what he really wants for once?
Honestly, writing these summaries makes we want to go curl up with a novel. So if you don’t see me on stories, just know that’s why. 😂 Bianca is a new character in Mariana’s world. She also tends to cross reference people between novels. But if you’ve read Wall of Winnipeg, you’ll know Zac. This one is long but it’s the perfect thing to add to your list of books to get lost in this weekend! (amazon, bookshop)
OPENING BELLE BY MAUREN SHERRY
Before Reese’s book club was a thing, I got in the habit of noting the books Reese Witherspoon was talking about. As you might have noticed, she’s gotten in the habit of buying the rights to her faves to be able to produce more stories. Opening Belle is one of those books.
The summary: In 2008, Isabelle—a self-made, thirty-something Wall Street star—appears to have it all: an Upper West Side apartment, three healthy children, a handsome husband, and a high-powered job. But her reality is something else. Her trading desk work environment resembles a 1980s frat party, her husband feels employment is beneath him, and the bulk of childcare and homecare still falls in Belle’s already full lap.
Enter Henry, the former college fiancé she never quite got over; now a hedge fund mogul. He becomes her largest client, and Belle gets to see the life she might have had with him. While Henry campaigns to win Belle back, the sexually harassed women in her office take action to improve their working conditions, and recruit a wary Belle into a secret “glass ceiling club” whose goal is to mellow the cowboy banking culture and get equal pay for their work. All along, Belle can sense the financial markets heading toward their soon-to-be historic crash and that something has to give—and when it does, everything is going to change: her marriage, her career, her world, and her need to keep her colleagues’ hands to themselves. (via Goodreads) (amazon, bookshop)
And there we have it friends! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any of these or what you’re currently reading. Also, there will be more book reviews coming up on the blog so make sure you’re subscribed to the newsletter. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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