Here was our first list from back in 2020 (Reader Recommendations – Our absolute favorite books that you might not have read yet…part 1) but it’s time to gather more, and what better time than now?. 🙂 And guess what? There are a TON of books below, that I haven’t even heard of but sound awesome, now that I have. 😀 😀
Michele: This is awesome, Maryse!
Niki: I love the idea of a list like this!!
Maryse: I think it is too. Books that many of us have never heard of… but tried and true. YES PLEASE!! Bring ’em on! 😀
Maryse: Right off the bat, I’m going to say Badger by C. M. McKenna. Totally not my usual read, but OMG it was intense, and dark at times, and crazy, and what an ending!! Amazing writing, intriguing story that has you in the feels, and has those feels all over the place, and one that illicit all sorts of reactions from readers.
And yet… that cover, and the “vigilante” aspect steers too many readers off, for some reason. But it shouldn’t. It’s amazing! And she’s always been one of my favorite authors, so I knew I could go into this one expecting awesomeness. And she did NOT disappoint. P.S. Here’s my 5-STAR review.
Lulu: Maryse! I wasn’t ready! I’d seen badger on a couple of your lists but never had the heart to read it. I didn’t know what it was about just had a feeling it would wreck me and it did! I went into it blind and I’m so glad I did but now I need book recommendations for the happiest fluffiest books…
Chris: 100% agree with Badger. Made me uncomfortable for sure but it was so so good. So well written. Read it when it first came out and I still think about it.
Kelly: Ruthless People jj McAvoy. it’s super good. strong independent female loved that series!
Lauren: Book 1 was incredible….lots of great reviews. Mob romance/arranged marriage between an Italian Mafia Princess & an Irish mob boss.
Nikole: loved these!!
Maryse: I remember these!! Annnnd… I haven’t read them yet. Thank you!!!
Sue: Claiming Noah was excellent! A library browsing find.
Maryse: I’m looking it up now. I’ve never heard of it. Thank you, Sue!!!
- Ever Mine Trilogy (How We Remember is book 1) by Louise Scoular
- Twelve Months Trilogy by R. Gadd
- The Girl (Box Set) followed by Broken Crown by Susan Ward.
Judy: The Girl Boxset by Susan Ward – Outstanding
Maryse: Oh these all sound amazing and I haven’t heard of any of them. Thank you, Patti!!
Stephanie: Enemies by Tijan – I love a good sports romance and this one is my favorite. All the angst and spice.
Karen: Yes!!! Enemies by Tijan…one of my faves.
Shara: Finished enemies by Tijan yesterday. Loved it. I’ve been in a book slump and this one got me out of it.
Tiffany: An Exhalation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur. I’ve never read something written so perfectly, that stays with you for YEARS. Highly underrated author and a book that EVERYONE should check out!
Kristy: YAAAAAS!!!!! THIS!!!! I had my book club read it and everyone LOVED it. I don’t know how all her books don’t get more love. The fish tales series is AMAZING too!!!!
Joy: The Exhaltation of Larks: So hot that I had to get my hands on my hubby!
Robyn: Maryse- check your Messenger because I wrote to you about my love of the book A Charm of Finches. Just an exquisite continuation of An Exhaltation of Larks by Suanne Lacquer. If you read her Fish Tales you know what I’m talking about.
Maryse: All of my favorites (both Fish Tales & An Exhalation)!!! Agreeeeed and I love this author so much! In fact, here are my reviews.
Sandra: Overseas by Beatriz Williams. I never hear people talk about it but it’s in my re-read rotation with all of my faves! And Elizabeth Hunter‘s two series the Elemental Mysteries and the Irin Chronicles. Also re-reads for me!
MichelleS: Elemental Mysteries – LOVE IT!!! One of the best Urban Fantasies I’ve ever read. Strong characters. Good writing. Slowly unfolding and world building. Fantastic.
Pam: I would recommend the Elemental Mysteries by Elizabeth Hunter. They are vampire romantic. The main characters are amazing and the love stories are fantastic. Best Series Ever.
Kelly: I also love the Elemental Mysteries books. They’re great.
MichelleS: IRIN CHRONICLES!!! OMG. I love that series. She is such an amazing writer. Elemental Mysteries is still one of my all time favorite vampire series, and Irin Chronicles was fabulous too.
Rachael: loved the Irin Chronicles books, I have re-read those a few times!
Maryse: Thank you Sandra! I know Elizabeth Hunter is pretty popular amongst our book crew on the blog, though I agree, underrated overall, so I’m glad you brought them back up. Also I have never heard of Overseas so I’m looking it up now.
Alice: I just finished MAESTRO by Auden Dar. It is an amazing, heartbreaking, but beautiful story. I can’t say enough about it. I am in such a book hangover I can’t even open a fictional book, I’ve been reading nonfiction the last couple days. If you enjoy romance stories, it’s a must read. And it’s in Kindle Unlimited.
Maryse: Oh yes!!!! There was a week or was it a month a few months ago, where this book took our crew by storm! Thank you Alice.
Angie: You will NOT regret reading Maestro next. It’s a rollercoaster of a ride but I would get on that ride again and again. It’s already on my best reads list of 2023. I would like to recommend a “what to read after Maestro” list please & thank you. 📚🐛
Linda: Just finished reading Maestro last night!! I started reading the prologue a couple weeks ago and had to walk away. Nope! Kept seeing the reviews and decided to go all in a few days ago. Uuumm I had to shut my tablet down sooo many times to have a mini heart attack!! Seriously!! Epic is such a small description for this read!! It has everything!! Put your big girl panties on and dive in!!! 5***** no 10*****!!!!!
Shawna: Maryse! You will devour Maestro by Auden Dar. It is the best romance book I have read in 2022. It has all the 5-star feels and will consume you. It reminds me of The Opportunist and The Man I love (The Fish Tales Books), a slow burn romance between a boy and a girl who meet at age 13 at an audition. They become best friends who share the same birthday, with a shared passion for music. Young unrequited first love that leads to an intense love story. There is much heartache and obstacles thrown at them at every turn to keep them apart, all while loving each other so intensely. Your heart will break over and over with all the twists and turns. It’s sweet, angsty, and will keep you up. But so worth it!
Kelly: OMG Maryse!!! You have to read Maestro by Auden Dar. I agree with Shawna – reminded me a bit of the Opportunist and Fish Tales, I think the author even mentions it in her end of book notes. This book was so amazing. It is all about music and the way it is written it just like music. It was beautiful and epic and heartbreaking and SO well written. Absolutely a 5+ star read for me.
Stephanie: One On One by Tabitha King (wife of Stephen). This one is more family drama/coming of age, but pretty gritty. It’s an older book and I don’t think is available in digital format, but one I still reread about once a year (TW: abuse – physical and sexual, drug use)
Maryse: I’ve never heard of that one!! Stephen King’s wife!! Very cool. I need to order a used copy or something for myself. SO it’s really good? Is it angsty? Jawdropping? The synopsis barely says anything but still intrigues me.
Jennifer: Mine are mostly older that I reread on occasion. They might have been popular back then??
Jill: I know not many people read the first one, Beautiful Broken Rules (or at least didn’t make a huge deal about it on your FB page), but I absolutely loved it
Emily: I LOVE the “Beautiful Broken” series by Kimberly Lauren but I would absolutely recommend that you read “Beautiful Broken Rules” first because all the same characters are in “Beautiful Broken Mess” and you get the foundation for so much laid out in BBR. Did I mention TWINS!?
Maryse: Yes!! I remember this one! Here is my Book Review – Beautiful Broken Rules
- Wait for you by JLA
LinC: Wait For You is one of my all-time favorite reads!
Nanette: My most favourite book is Wait for you by J Lynn! I think Cam is just abso-freaking-lutely the best!
Trish: Wait For You by J. Lynn… …Cam and Avery are amazing if you love this genre. Great story… I HIGHLY reccommend it!
Maryse: I loved it!! Agreed. Here is my Book Review – Wait For You
- Alex by Sawyer Bennett
Melinda: I just finished Alex by Sawyer Bennett and I looooved it. Instant 5 stars.
Nikole: The Forever Evermore seriesby Scarlett Dawn
LiliG: You have to check out King Hall and King Cave by Scarlett Dawn. AMAZING New Adult Paranormal! It’s been a while since I read something that gave me that much pleasure.
Lindsay: I read a series yesterday that I can’t get out of my head and I most definitely need to share! Please, please read King Hall and King Cave by Scarlett Dawn. It is a paranormal romance, but unlike anything I’ve ever read, and as far as hott alpha males go…. I’m telling you Maryse you will love Ezra. This is one of those all consuming, can’t stop reading till I’m done books, that will have you thinking about it for days after.
Cybill: The Surviving Trace by Calia Read
MichelleS: I’m reading a perfect “summer read”. It’s a time travel romance. She’s an antique store owner who finds a photograph she’s drawn to. She gets thrown back to 1912 Charleston & is the wife of a broody, well off man who hates her. She wants to get back to her fiancé in 2017. Really good story so far! It’s called The Surviving Trace. It’s got the formula I love: feisty girl, brooding man. Yay.
Petra: Crossing the Lines: A Taboo Older Man Younger Woman Romance by SJ Hooks. Fantastic book!
Maryse: Oooooh I wonder what is the Taboo aspect??
Jemi: Darke Passion and Dark Music by Rosanna Leo
Patty: Mist of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar
Alice: oh how I loved that book.
Gaby: this is such a beautiful book
Maryse: One of my all time favorites ever! Here is my Book Review – Mists of The Serengeti – 5 stars
Elin: Anything by Josie Juniper. She recently got picked up by an agent so hopefully she won’t be underground for much longer!
Nancy: Rejected by my Alpha Mate by Jaymin Snow!
Kristen: Parallel Series First of all, I LOVE THE PARALLEL SERIES SO MUCH. If you haven’t read it, you should definitely add it to your TBR.
Storme: Parallel series by Elizabeth O’roarke. My all time favorite. Maybe it’s time for reread again
Diana: OMGosh I stayed up so late last night devouring the Parallel duet. (Note to self: don’t start new series right before bed 🙈) I loved it…
Cheryl: Ok, I just finished the Parallel duet. WOW. JUST. WOW. I have not gotten anything else done that I had planned…
- Anything by KF Breene. Literally all of her stuff is so well written with strong FMCs that STAY strong/get stronger.
Ashley: I can’t remember if I saw this listed on your website, but I just read 3 great books all a part of the Growing Pains Trilogy by K.F. Breene. The leading male is hot, but has his issues. The heroine is fierce and independent and the supporting cast are a riot! A MUST READ!!!!!!
Kay S: My favourite has to be The Leveling up series by kf breene.
Christine: I am definitely a new fan of K.F. Breene!!!
- PenPal by JT Geissinger
Aimee: OMG!!! I just finished PenPal. This book is hard to put in words… it definitely was a tearjerker. Wow what an ending!!! I truly enjoyed this book!!! It was definitely a 5* Thanks for the recommendation because I LOVED IT!!!
Kim: PenPal by JT Gessinger was AMAZING. The ending had me 😮😮😮 A must read.
- going back a bit for this one, but The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is on my permanent reread list forEVAH
- Bass-Ackwards by Eris Adderly. Actually, everything she writes is delicious.
- the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning is also on the permanent reread list.
- Also, I saw Flock and Exodus on the list but what about Finish Line? That series messed me up, not gonna lie. Not sure how I feel about the way it went, but holy emotional rollercoaster
- Seaside Pointe Series by Mindy Michele
- Last Call by Michele G Miller
- If We Disappear Here by Mindy Hayes
Kathy: I just finished If We Disappear Here by M. Hayes. I am making my husband read it! Thanks for the recommendation. Definitely 5 stars for me. Some plot twists and I agree a few I expected but definitely a page turner.
Linda” If We Disappear Here by M. Hayes! Why yes I devoured it!! 5*****
Mona: Finished If We Disappear Here by M. Hayes yesterday. Holy moly, I could not put this book down! Maeve wakes up in a cold cement room, looks around and sees a man, but he is not her husband. They have been kidnapped and locked in an underground bunker by a man bent on torturing them. Maeve and Ledger try to figure out why they were kidnapped, what is their connection since they’ve never met, and where are their spouses? This is suspense with a little romance thrown in. There are twists you see coming and some that are surprises. This is a new to me author, but I’m headed to Amazon to download more! 5 Stars for me and it’s KU!
Erin: Neighbor From Hell series by R.L. Mathewson, really anything from her is awesome.
Maryse: Agreed!! I LOVE her! These books helped me when I was visiting my dad in the hospital. ❤️ Here are my Book reviews:
- Book Review – Playing for Keeps (A Neighbor from Hell Novel) – 4 stars
- Okay… This Isn’t the Review Just Yet, But I Loved This Book!! Perfection (A Neighbor from Hell)– 4.5 stars
Angie: I’m a huge fan of this author. I also love her neighbor from hell series. I highly recommend this series if you’ve not read it. 📖
Rachael: the Neighbor From Hell series. Made me laugh and swoon! xo
Shara: Neighbor from hell series. Love all the books!
Kathy: I am finally reading the R. L. Mathewson’s Neighbor from Hell Series. I am on Book 3. Loved the first two books and definitely laughed out loud on book 1. I am so embarrassed to say that I have had some of these books on my iPad/Kindle for over 3 years. I am in denial of the amount of unread books but yet I keep one clicking. Is there a support group for too many books on their Kindle?
Karen: June First.
Lynn: wow what a journey that book took me on!!! Emotional heartache, forbidden, and tragic. I could not put the book down and the tears that flowed were endless. Highly recommend this all-consuming read.
Linda: reading June First by Jennifer Hartmann. Giving my heart a pounding!!
- Drumline by Stacy Kestwick
- Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon
- Wilder Adventures series by Serena Bell
Michele G: …my most recent guilty pleasure series…The Wilder Adventures by Serena Bell. I’ve read all three that she has published so far. They are fun, sexy and sweet. The characters are relatable and the Wilder family is entertaining. It’s a fun series
- No More secrets by Kerry Lonsdale
- The Space Between by Sarah Ready
- Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler
- Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman
Michele G: absolutely LOVED it. Don’t be swayed by the cover…it’s ehhh, but the book was really good! Ana: Just finished ‘funny you should ask’ loved it, got me out of a book slump
Stacy: Thanks to everyone who recommended Funny You Should Ask! I really enjoyed it but would have definitely skipped past it because of the cover.
- Darling Venom by Parker S. Huntington
Dawnee: No Turning Back series by Tiffany Snow !! There are a Few in the series but lots of drama, romance and suspense ! And … a brother love triangle… her standalones and other series are great , too!!
Maryse: Now THAT is a popular blast from the past!! Thank you Dawnee!
Christine: They are filled with two men fighting over one girl. One man is a wealthy lawyer and one is a tattoo’ed bad boy. Loved these books.
Lorna: Try The Mageri series by Dannika Dark. Wonderful paranormal romance with a side of urban fantasy. So good!
MichelleS: Mageri series? Her best work, I think.
Kimia: I love Kiss Thief. It’s so good.
Dennishiel: The Kiss Thief by L. J. Shen is a must read! Frankie & Wolf were true celebrities in my eyes on a more Bonnie and Clyde but classy level! It’s more of a suspense romance! It’s hard to explain plz go read it if you haven’t!
Jen C: Wallbanger! I really need to do a re-read of that one!
Tessa: Wallbanger was hillarious! I had tears from laughing so hard.
Sabrina: Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle. Soooo good. A little bit of scares and a lot of angsty sensual tension. Make Dex your new book boyfriend and read this series!
Maryse: One of my favorites!!!! It takes a bit of effort to get readers past the “horror” aspect of the stories (which is fun in its own right!!) and once they jump in, they fall for Dex so hard like we (and Perry) did!! That slow burn is exquisite. A slow burn through the series with EXTRA angst, and she’s crushing on him from the first book. But he’s got a girlfriend… BEST!!!
Brandy: I liked that series too!
Sabrina: idk know anyone who’s read it! But I really enjoyed it. Took a break from vampires series and Mercy Thompson series which was really good as well.
Lorna: I started reading them when she was about 3-4. Books in. Couldn’t wait for each one to come out.
Maryse: Annnnnd here are my reviews. This series rocked my world:
- Book Review – Darkhouse by Karina Halle – 3.75 stars
- Book Review – Red Fox by Karina Halle – 4 stars
- Book Review – Dead Sky Morning by Karina Halle – 4 stars
- Book Review – Lying Season by Karina Halle – 5 stars
- Book Review – On Demon Wings by Karina Halle 4.5 stars
- Book Review – Old Blood by Karina Halle – 4 stars
- Book Review – The Dex-Files by Karina Halle – 5 stars
- Book Review – Into the Hollow by Karina Halle – 5 stars
- Book Review – And With Madness Comes the Light by Karina Halle – 5 stars
- Book Review – Come Alive by Karina Halle – 4 stars
- Book Review – Ashes to Ashes by Karina Halle – 5 stars
➔➔➔ Looking for more of my must-read recommendations? Check out more of our favorites lists! 😀