Before this year I had read very few romance books. These three books helped show me that romance books are legit and not always saccharine.
I owe “Oprah’s 55 Books to Read in 2021” list for suggesting a few of my favorite books this year, but I am most grateful for it featuring Seven Days in June by Tia Williams. I immediately requested this book on NetGalley, even though I did not really know what the book was about. I mistakenly assumed from the cover that it was literary fiction. I am so happy I did, because I may have otherwise skipped this book and that would have been a tragedy.
Seven Days in June is about second chances, finding yourself, and black joy. This book is poignant and covers so many important topics, including invisible disabilities. Seven Days in June is witty, funny, and powerful thanks to Tia Williams’s writing. The characters jump from the page and settle into your soul. While reading this book, I laughed, I cried, and I loved.
The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun is a sweet, funny queer romance about an awkward tech wunderkind on a Bachelor-type dating show who goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer. Alison Cochrun included representation of mental health, neurodivergence, race, and most of the letters in LGBTQIA+ in this book. It was refreshing to find that these characteristics were just another normal part of the characters’ identities and not used as plot points. I found The Charm Offensive gripping and stayed up way too late to finish it.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood rounds out my top three romances. This book is a fake dating romance centered on Olive, a PhD student in Stanford’s biology department. This book gave me the warm fuzzies, and after finishing it, I immediately wanted to read it again. Ali Hazelwood also perfectly captured the emotions and struggles of being both a PhD student and in a male-dominated field. In The Love Hypothesis, the banter is electric and the spicy scenes hot.
What was your favorite romance of 2021?