December Romance Wrap-Up

During the month of December I read several 5 star books, including  Fearless, The Sweet Spot and Next of Kin.

Lauren Winslow

During the month of December I read several 5 star books, including “Fearless,” “The Sweet Spot” and “Next of Kin.”

Although December may feature a smaller selection of books, this month really emphasized quality over quantity, which was a great way to end the year. Overall, this year I read exactly 160 books.

To start off the month, I read “The Sweet Spot” by Adriana Locke, who is one of my favorite authors. Locke specializes in small-town romances and absolutely crushes the single mom trope every time. I loved watching Cole try and woo both Palmer and her son Ethan. Despite his past playboy antics, from the moment Cole met Palmer, he was ready to settle down and showed his devotion every day.

5/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads )

After reading “The Sweet Spot,” I was in the mood for another single-mom romance, but what I found was even better. “Next of Kin” by Hannah Bonman-Young is a foster guardian romance, where both the female and male main characters foster their younger siblings. Failing to meet Child Protective Services requirements for fostering, they are paired up to live together in order to keep custody. I loved seeing the four characters come together to create a found family. Despite Warren, the male main character’s initial grumpiness, he truly had a heart of gold, which he dedicated to his younger deaf brother as well as Chloe and her baby sister. This was my first book by Young, but I can’t wait to read more.

5/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads )

Next, I started a new series that had been on my TBR for way too long. “Fearless” and “Heartless” by Elsie Silver are both small-town romances featuring strong women and devoted cowboys. In “Fearless” Summer and Rhett have an instant connection and Rhett becomes ultra-protective despite having to navigate familial tensions throughout their relationship. On the other hand, “Heartless” is a single-dad age-gap romance and the connection between grumpy Cade and his son will absolutely melt your heart. Although Cade has had issues with women in the past, he is absolutely devoted to Willa who loves his son like he’s one of her own.

5/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads )

Up next I read “The Buy-In” by Emma St. Clair which was a small-town romcom. To be honest I was disappointed by this book. Although the plot line and the town of Sheetcake seemed interesting, the story dragged and the connection between Lindy and Pat seemed forced.

3/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads)
4/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads )

In the midst of my romance reading, I also read “Candide” by Voltaire for my English class. Despite its graphic and violent themes, it was a very interesting satirical read that broadened my reading tastes.

However, that dabble into satire was not enough to distract me from my true dedication to romance novels. I read both “An Offer From a Gentleman” and “Romancing Mister Bridgerton” by Julia Quinn, which are the third and fourth books of the Bridgerton series respectively. “An Offer From a Gentleman” followed the story of Benedict and Sophia and greatly resembled the plotline of Cinderella. For both characters it was love at first sight, however, social class managed to get in the way and separate them for years. Even when apart the character still yearned for each other, which made for a beautiful story. “Romancing Mister Bridgerton,” told the story of Penelope and Collin. Although I preferred Benedict’s book, I loved getting to get a deeper glimpse into the life of Penelope Featherington, who is one of the most interesting characters in the entire series.

4/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads )

Finally, to finish off the year, I read a novella by one of my favorite authors, Devney Perry. “Timeless” is the fifth book in the Lark Cove series and goes back in time to tell the love story of Aubrey Kendrick, a successful businesswoman, and Landon McClellan, a cop who loves a powerful woman. What I loved about this book is that it showed us a little about the life of the daughter of the couple from the first book in the series, and perfectly sets up the next book.

4/5 stars (Courtesy of Goodreads )

Highlight of the Month: “Next of Kin”

*Always make sure to read trigger, content and age warnings before reading any recommendations. These can typically be found within the first few pages of a book or the authors website.