Top Ten Tuesday is a listicle created by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was created from a love of lists, books and creating bookish friends. Each Tuesday she assigns a new topic for others to join in with. Here is where you can learn more information about Top Ten Tuesday. Ad/Affiliate – Some of these books have affiliate links, you can read my disclaimer here.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday listicle is a love freebie celebrating Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I am considering having a little date with myself at a local cafe, mainly because they are selling red velvet cupcakes! Anyway, I am sharing 10 romance books on my TBR list. Romance is my favourite genre and there are so many great books out there but this year I’m aiming to read quality over quantity. Reading has become a bit of a competitive hobby of trying to read as many books as you can in a year. I have set myself a target of 25 which I think is doable, either way, this year is about slow reading for me. I have purposely added books that are either on BorrowBox or that I already own (which are on my TBR list).
If you click on the book image, it will take you to StoryGraph so you can add it.
(Cover photo by Ioana Motoc)
Related post: How to read sustainably
1. The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella
The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella only came out in October 2023 but I am so eager to read it! I love the author’s writing style and have read a few of her books previously. This book is currently on BorrowBox, and I have it reserved for May.
She can do anything . . . just not everything.
Sasha has had it. She cannot bring herself to respond to another inane, “urgent” (but obviously not at all urgent) email or participate in the corporate employee joyfulness program. She hasn’t seen her friends in months. Sex? Seems like a lot of effort. Even cooking dinner takes far too much planning. Sasha has hit a wall.
Armed with good intentions to drink kale smoothies, try yoga, and find peace, she heads to the seaside resort she loved as a child. But it’s the off-season, the hotel is in a dilapidated shambles, and she has to share the beach with the only other occupant: a grumpy guy named Finn, who seems as stressed as Sasha. How can she commune with nature when he’s sitting on her favourite rock, watching her? Nor can they agree on how best to alleviate their burnout (Sasha: manifesting, wild swimming; Finn: drinking whisky, getting pizza delivered to the beach).
When curious messages, seemingly addressed to Sasha and Finn, begin to appear on the beach, the two are forced to talk—about everything. How did they get so burned out? Can either of them remember something they used to love? (Answer: surfing!) And the question they try and fail to ignore: what does the energy between them—flaring even in the face of their bone-deep exhaustion—signify?
2. You Have a Match by Emma Lord
You Have a Match has been on my TBR list for a while and I like that romance doesn’t seem to be the only theme in the book. Even though this is a romance books on my TBR blog post haha!
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.
But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.
But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
3. The Little Flower Shop by the Sea
I bought this book from the charity shop last year and then took it interrailing with me but never got around to reading it! Yes, all those hours on the train and I didn’t pick up my book. I think it was because I didn’t want to read it really quickly and then be just carrying around a book. But that is exactly what I did, but without reading it! Nevertheless, the blurb sounds really good.
Poppy Carmichael, 30, certainly never intended to own a florist. But when she inherits her grandmother’s beloved flower shop on the beautiful Cornish coast, Poppy has no choice but to return to the pretty harbour town of St Felix where she spent much of her childhood.
Returning to St Felix brings back sad memories for Poppy. But when she makes new friends such as local flower grower Jake, a young widowed father of two teenagers, Poppy begins to overcome her fears, and discover for herself what’s so special about this little flower shop by the sea.
4. The Spare Room by Laura Starkey
I spotted this book when I was browsing on BorrowBox and then saw that it had only just been published. It came out on the 6th of February, so a very new book. I managed to reserve it to read in May. The book sounds similar to The Flat Share so I’m very excited to read it as that is my favourite book.
Rosie had the perfect evening lined up: she’d come home early, slip into a sexy dress and surprise her boyfriend with date night. What she was not expecting was to find his bags packed and herself unceremoniously dumped.
But she can’t even think about her heartbreak when she faces the more pressing matter of making rent this month. And in desperate times, she agrees to let her spare room out to her elusive upstairs neighbour.
Aled needs somewhere to stay while his place is being renovated, and she gets to keep her home. It’s a win-win situation… At least in theory.
For Rosie has sworn off men indefinitely, and never saw herself living with one so soon after her breakup. But being in Aled’s company day in, day out has this annoying habit of playing havoc with her heart…
On paper they’re just flatmates, but could there be room for more between them?
Continue reading: 10 romance books on my TBR list
5. Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton
I’m hoping that I enjoy this book because I adored Emily Houghton’s previous book. Before I Saw You was my favourite book of 2022!
Best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to keep their lives intertwined. And of course, they’ll get married if they’re both 35 and single. Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met. So, when newly single Fin reappears, there’s no way they can keep their promise. Is there?
6. Fling by J.F. Murray
I saw this book on World of Books and thought it sounded good. Then went to check on BorrowBox and it is there! So I have reserved it for June. My monthly eBooks are really stacking up now 🙂
Tara and Colin were instant soulmates. But after six years of marriage and many failed IVF attempts, Tara feels unloved and unsexy, while Colin believes his best days are behind him. Neither Tara nor Colin is the cheating type, but they’re both desperate to shake things up. It seems the relationship is over–until they each secretly download a controversial new dating app, Fling, where married people can find discreet, anonymous affairs online. The rules: no tell-tale photos, no real names, and absolutely no distinguishing details. Soon, Colin and Tara are each sent 100% perfect-match profiles, dream partners–but is true love too good to be real?
7. Beach Read by Emily Henry
I have heard so many mixed reviews about Beach Read, which is probably why it has taken me so long to read. It is the only Emily Henry book that I haven’t read so I’ve now got it on reserve.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Had to include a classic. I have said that I will read it this year for the past 2 years, but I think 2024 is finally the year! I started reading Pride and Prejudice on the weekend and I’m about 20% through. I’m enjoying it so far, and the edition I’m reading has lovely illustrations.
Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.
9. The Accidental Housemate by Sal Thomas
I won this book in a giveaway on Instagram (along with a box of chocolates!). I loved the sound of it, so was very happy to receive it in the post. I’ve not yet read it, but it sounds entertaining.
Cath Beckinsale is in a jam. She’s a single mum of three, with her 40th birthday in sight and a precarious hold on employment. And she can’t quite let go of her late husband Gaz, whose ashes are still in an urn on the kitchen table.
To make ends meet a student lodger seems like the perfect solution – after all, what’s one more child in the house? But when Dan flies in from the US with guitar and chest hair on display, it’s immediately clear that he’s no teenager, but someone who quickly sends life in an unexpected direction.
10. Finding Gene Kelly by Torie Jean
The last book on my romance books TBR list is Finding Gene Kelly by Torie Jean. I actually pre-ordered this book back in September 2022, but have not found the time to read it. I think I have been putting it off because I know it is going to be a good book. (if that makes sense?).
When five-year-old Evie O’Shea married her next-door neighbor in the wedding of the century, she had no idea she was swearing an oath to love the man who would grow into the bane of her existence until the end of time.
Or that she would be ushered into a large community of people with endometriosis shortly.
Now, aged twenty-six, Evie O’Shea lives in Paris, balancing precariously close to her Charlotte Lucas birthday. A burden to her parents, with no prospects and no money, Evie’s humdrum life needs a shake-up.
Enter Liam Kelly, the man Evie married at the age of five and promptly divorced at seven when he had the audacity to throw a muddy football at her while she was reading Eloise in Paris and ruined the whole darn book. Clad in a Henley and equipped with toned forearms and eye crinkles that rival Gene Kelly himself, Evie is determined to keep her ultimate temptation at a distance while she flails wildly navigating life, love, and endometriosis on the banks of the Seine.
But when a family secret is revealed weeks before her brother’s wedding, Evie seeks Liam’s help to get through the wedding with some semblance of sanity intact.
Her request? Fake date.
But making a deal with the Devil always comes with a cost, and when Liam’s conditions which include elaborate backstories and practice dates, reignite passions her disease smothered long ago, Evie has to learn to fight for her dreams and break free from her life measured in ibuprofen pills and heating pad settings. Or else risk being alive but never truly living.
What romance books are on your TBR pile?