I remember that when Romance-opoly (a year-long reading challenge hosted by @peacelovebooks and @utcbookblog) first started in 2019, I was in a bit of a rut, swearing that I was going to read more new-to-me authors that year. It’s really easy to get caught up in the authors you already know and love, but I’m proud to say that I’ve come a very long way since then. Maybe it’s because of my Kindle Unlimited subscription, but it’s not unusual for me to pick up a new author without so much consideration ahead of time. This is such an achievement! Especially for a moody reader such as myself <3 I’ve been so happy with my reading in 2020, and with the new authors I’ve discovered!
2020s Favorite New-to-me Authors
TJ Klune was someone I never expected. I’d heard about Wolfsong (my review) a bit on bookstagram and BookTube, mostly from the same creator’s who talked about the series a lot. I managed to snag it from my library… and ended up inhaling this chunky monster in one sitting, and desperately clawing for book two. The Greek Creek series is very special to me with 2020, and ended up being my favorite series/read of the year! That’s always a tough call to make, but by god there’s not much I love more than MM romances, and paranormal romances, and found family romances…. and this had all three. The House in the Cerulean Sea (my review) also started to make the rounds this summer, and I of course had to pick it up after the amazing success of Wolfsong! Can’t wait to read more of Klune in 2021 :)
Mariana Zapata was such a surprise and a delightful discovery this year! The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is a book that broke a 2020 record for me… where I stayed up until 6:30 am reading. Like an idiot!! I can’t tell you my state of panic when I jolted up as I heard my father get up to feed my dog breakfast in the morning. Last I knew, I’d been “finishing my chapter” at 3 am!! (My Review) Kulti was a book that I gobbled up not soon after (my review), and I ended up reading both Kulti and Winnipeg were both books that I read three times this year, with Dear Aaron clocking in at twice in 2020!
Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow-burn romances, and she’s had me hooked this year!! I’m so hyped to explore the rest of her books in 2021 :)
It’s hard to believe that it was indeed 2020 when I first read Red, White, and Royal Blue!! It’s honestly been such a long year ? I read this book in two sittings (but in one day) and had more fun doing so than I remember having in a long time. This book may have been written as a satire, but it swelled with hope and intelligence… plus a hilarious side of friends-to-lovers romance that truly rode off with my heart into the sunset.
This book was, quite frankly, an absolute delight. I loved how full of vibrant hope and fervor Alex was, and I especially loved how Henry and Alex connected! Casey was able to portray something incredibly special within these pages, and it was an absolute delight to find that the hype was not misplaced in this one. “History, Huh?” (My Review)
The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez was such a delightful surprise! I was absolutely shocked by how much I got lost in The Friend Zone story. It was such a journey, that it really felt like I was following Kristen and Josh through their life, their friendship, and their trials, rather than just peeking into a Hallmark romance. This was no fluffy romance read, to be clear. It was complex, hilarious, heartfelt, and had some fertility representation that I really appreciated. I loved that Abby honored her friend in Kristen’s journey, as Kristen’s struggle was fully based on Abby’s friend.
The Happy Ever After Playlist was also a great read, albeit very much a “book two,” you do need to read The Friend Zone first. I could definitely tell that Abby wrote HEA Playlist first when I compare the two, but they were both honestly so good :)
I did only read one Teagan Hunter book this year, but I definitely plan to check out more of her books and the rest of this series. Let’s Get Textual was a situation where it was recommended on YouTube and on Bookstagram by different people on the same day…. so I said “screw it” and downloaded it immediately! This book was so much fun. So much fun! Wrong-number romances are a great sub-designation of the epistolary romance trope (something you know I adore), and the friends-to-lovers vibe here was so strong and fun! Plus the best part of this one… Marshmellow the baby goat!
Dark romances are a big favorite of mine! I don’t read them often, but Penelope Douglas has quickly become a go-to, and so has this Kindle Unlimited series!
This is dark and devious romance and I’m living for it ?? The first book is better if you go in blind, but involves the heroine’s best friend’s older brother, someone who has always sung to her dark side, but who is unscrupulous and very dangerous. He’s plotted three years to get his revenge … suffice it to say, it had me ensnared, even if it did make me question my good judgment in a few spots. But I felt validated in the end <3 (Goodreads | Kindle Unlimited)
I’ve heard about Suzanne Wright all over Bookstagram and from my fellow PNR lovers! She’s a Kindle Unlimited author that I hadn’t explored yet, but I loved my glimpse at her writing with When He’s Dark (my review).
I definitely don’t recommend this book as a starting point, because although this book is the first in its own series, it’s a spinoff series and I felt very much like I was walking into a very established world. I can’t wait to start from the beginning, because I loved the author’s spicy characters and sweet style
Sara Ney wrote the How to Date a Douchebag series, a Kindle Unlimited college romance series following wrestling players who are… less than gentlemanly ? I loved books one and two of this series! I will definitely be continuing. I’ll admit… I had my eyebrows up for the first two chapters of the first book, but it didn’t take long for me to sink in. I love the way Ms. Ney subverted some of my least favorite tropes into things I enjoyed! (My Review)
The Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill is a newly discovered series for me this fall!! I binged eight books in a row before taking a break, and these books took me right out of a reading slump! This series is kind of like watching your favorite episodes of a TV series rather than reading novels. It’s a fun series, and I definitely want to check out her other series
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I hope I can stick to some of these goals and resolutions year-round… we’ll see :) What are some of your 2020 Bookish Resolutions and Goals? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!