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kakashi: Starting something new and everybody is welcome to chip in! If you want to write about books of any kind, let me know! First up: Romance Queen PANDA!!!! *standing ovation*

The best contemporary romance books I read in 2019

by Panda

Hullo! 2019 was a good reading year for me. Coinciding with a drama slump my book reading moved close to my teen years. I rediscovered my love for reading well almost anything (minus non-fiction) and even started a book club! I had long been a print only snob decrying my aversion for e-books, but I changed my tune last year. I still can’t read books in the pdf format, but my Kindle is my new best friend coupled with Kindle Unlimited (KU). Anyway, I had talked about writing on books here before with Kakashi ages ago, but it fell by the wayside. I decided to finally start and see what strikes my fancy.

This post as the title says will be about the best contemporary romances, I read in 2019. I think most of them were also published in 2019 but can’t confirm. Hopefully this makes you interested in reading some 😊 after all we got nuffin’ but tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime.

P.S Please let me know any other contemporary books you loved last year!

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Trigger warning – Emotional, Physical and Emotional abuse
Heat index – 5/5

Whenever I think of memorable books of last year this is always in my top 3. Sport romances are not my thing and I had not read anything
from the author before, so it was totally not on my radar. Then I read a review from a friend, got interested, and started searching for it. Thankfully saw the entire trilogy (Hook Shot and Block Shot included) and settled in. I truly had no idea what I was going in for. This book made me squeal, I cried, I physically had to stop reading at places just to get myself back in control. It is written in a super authentic voice that is so skillful, in places so raw, and honestly I can’t recommend it enough.

It is the story of future NBA star in the making August and Iris. They meet one evening and truly connect but their path is not destined to be smooth and this is what is written with so much deft skill by Kennedy Ryan. She guides their journey with a lot of skill, and it was just a joy to see people grow and overcome and heal. We also have a great supporting cast of characters from Lotus (Iris cousin with a truly epic sismance) and Caleb (August’s stepbrother). Both characters star in their own separate books too – Block shot and Hoop shot respectively. I truly loved this book and despite how painful it got in certain places; I have re-read it at least twice. She is that good and came as no surprise when I discovered the first AA author to win a RITA for Contemporary romance with this. Try it, it is so well done.

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Trigger warning – Chronic illness
Heat index – 4/5

I love reading a book and genuinely liking the leads especially the female lead because I have learnt a lot of authors sometimes neglect to fully flesh out the female protagonist. I loved Chloe. I loved her humor, her confidence, her family, her jackets! I loved her intelligence and the way she decided to take charge of her life. I adored her relationship with her family especially her grandmom. And let’s talk about Red! Oh la la. He is just the cutest. I love reading a book with no expectations and being blown away and that happened here. This is a genuine romantic comedy novel and I absolutely adore it. I am eagerly waiting for Dani’s story coming out this June!

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Trigger warning – None
Heat index – 2/5

Easy breezy romcom whose first 2/3 was very memorable. I so disliked the “big argument” between our leads close to the end and the resolution also and that made me waffle over putting it here. I remembered though that I have re-read portions after so I guess it should be here.

P.S. I read almost the entire CLo works last year. Some of my favs were: My favorite half-night stand, Love and other words, and Josh and Hazel’s guide to not dating.

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Trigger warning – Emotional abuse
Heat index – 1/5

I absolutely devoured this book. Funny enough the romance was my least focus. Not that I hated it, on the contrary I looked forward to it; but my favorite part was reading about these full-fledged individuals. Both Trisha and DJ were completely, fully well actualized real people and I was completely transported in their individual journeys. And even the side characters got the same treatment! Can’t wait to read about Ashna, Yash and Emma’s future adventures!! Again this can’t be classified as a rom-com book because it packs a healthy wallop of angst but I enjoyed it very much.

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Trigger warning – None
Heat index – 1/5

This book is a gem! I really don’t know much more to say than that I adore people acting like real life people, slow burns, the slow awakening of passion in people who had earlier thought they had no more to give. Catnip.

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Trigger warning – None
Heat index – 3/5

Book 1 in the fantastic London celebrities series (Honestly the only one I rate less than 3 stars is Making Up) I love this book to pieces. Our protagonists are Lainie who is currently London’s sweetheart and the dastardly Richard who is truly a talented arse. His antics however unintentional on his part started making the production (they are in a play where he is the lead naturally) bleed and the powers that be got the brilliant (if unoriginal idea) to make them act like a couple hoping her “goodness” rubs of him. Of course hijinks ensure and *gasp* are those real feelings blossoming?

I loved the setting especially since I don’t think I have read many romance books about actors in a play setting recently (if ever) and I enjoyed the world it built. Lainie and Richard felt like real human beings (I mean famous ones) not caricatures. Honestly Richard never seemed that arse-y to me as I am someone that also likes being left alone most times. Both of our leads were talented and secure in their skins which was a huge plus. Even though Richard was the main lead, it was no issue as Lainie did not want to be the female lead and knew her strengths. The chemistry was also quite spectacular and the book was genuinely funny. I squeed in so many places and had no qualms reading the rest in series. Thankfully I was not disappointed 😊

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Trigger warning – Some emotional abuse
Heat index – 1/5

An unexpected find, in that I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. So surprising that this was a debut book, Tiff and Leon were fully realized characters and the entire crew was so much fun. Loved the way she dealt with the heavy topic too. I really want to read Ritchie’s story! And if Holly makes an appearance, I would love it.

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Trigger warning – none
Heat index – 2/5

Never knew I could enjoy a book set in Alaska so much. Calla sets out to reconnect with her father who left the city life to live in Alaska and in the process re-discovers herself, her strengths and also meets Jonah 😊

It’s just those kind of books that reel you in slowly but surely. I loved it and I am so grateful I was able to check out the sequel before we went on shutdown.

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Honorable mentions

Passion on Park Avenue – Lauren Layne
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and Wait for it – Marian Zapata
Cream of the crop – Alice Clayton

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