“I have lived a thousand lives lost within the pages of a book” – Robert Comier
Reading truly fills my soul. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed, or simply uninspired – I can open up a book and re-ignite my creativity. Reading is one of the only times my brain truly “shuts off” and I can just get lost in the story & characters. It’s a huge part of what self care looks like for me! If you are in similar shoes, or simply wanting to pick back up a book this year, I wanted to share some of my favorite books that I read in 2021 with you!
If you’re new around here, I also want to say that I’m a hugeeee romance novel fan and a hopeless romantic at heart! That being said, I read 95% fiction, romance novels – and some of them are pretty spicy lol. So if that’s not your thing, you probably should just exit out now – trust me, it doesn’t hurt my feelings! I will always encourage you to read whatever genre sets your soul on fire!! Don’t feel closed into one genre because that’s what you feel like you should read, or that you can’t explore other genres or authors, or worried about judgment from others. Read the dang book, friend!
PS – If you love the romance genre too, make sure to follow @fitteacherrachel on instagram! She shares so many amazing (and spicy) romance recommendations and a lot of the books I read in 2021 came from her recommendations! you can also friend me on goodreads to see what I’m reading and my ratings for books I’ve read in the past!
My Favorite Way to Read
I read all of my books on my kindle paperwhite and absolutely love it – and this is coming from the girl who insisted on a paperback book (and hates reading from my phone). The kindle paperwhite has a glare-free screen that doesn’t hurt my eyes even hours after reading – and the display looks like real paper, regardless of lighting!
I’ve had my kindle for over a year now and think it is the best money I’ve ever spent on myself. You don’t need wifi/internet to read the books, only to download them. And you don’t have to get a kindle unlimited membership (although I think it is so worth it if you read 2+ books a month) – it’s only $9.99 USD per month and there are literally hundreds of thousands of books available through their digital library! ALSO! Most of the books on my list are free with kindle unlimited!
Pro tip: add a pop socket to the back of your kindle for easy holding & reading!
Brooklyn’s Must Read Books from 2021
Please note, these are in no specific order! I love all of them and can’t possibly rate them on a scale in order! Also, most of these books are series/trilogies – so I will just be sharing the first book in each series and making sure to note the entire series name if there is one!
The Stopover (The Miles High Club) by T.L. Swan
My number one recommended book if you’ve never read a romance (specifically spicy) romance novel before and are looking to dip your toes in! You will quickly learn if it’s something for you or not with this book. I fell in love with the characters, the story, and the love story between Emily (a strong-willed woman trying to navigate life and her career) and Jameson (a dominant, mysterious CEO).
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata
Such a feel good romance novel! I fell in love with both characters – Aurora has been through so much in the past few years and is starting over in a place she knows well, that doesn’t really know her anymore. Happenstance events force her into an unwelcoming landlord situation, that ends up turning into a remarkable story. Rhodes is a tough guy on the outside and not easily swayed or cracked, but man, is he a good one!
Balance (Off Balance Series) by Lucia Franco
Warning: This series contains taboo topics with an age gap romance, so if this is not your thing, back out now. For those of you who proceed, please keep in mind that this is just fiction.
Adrianna Rossi is a gymnast with big dreams to go to the olympics. She left her hometown (and very complex family situation) to pursue her dreams at Word Cup Academy of Gymnastics. Things begin to shift when she meets and starts training with her coach, Konstantin. Their love story is a rollercoaster of experiences, emotions, sacrifice, and balance. I will truly never forget these two characters!!
Hate (Madison Kate Series) by Tate James
Madison Kate is out for revenge after criminal charges were put on her unjustifiably. This is a reverse harem (meaning there is one female character and 3 male love interests – I know, sounds strange, but trust me on this one. This series will keep you on the edge of your seat with not only the friendships and love stories, the spicy scenes, but also the drama and mystery surrounding the characters and their town (and gangs) of Shadow Grove.
7th Circle (Hades Series) by Tate James
I started this series at the very end of 2021 and have fallen in love with Hades. She is a complex figure who is an alpha, super powerful gang leader on the outside, but also a loving, fearlessly loyal woman on the inside who has experienced a lot of trauma. Similar to Tate James’s Madison Kate series, this book is FULL of twists and turns that will leave you flipping the page. Make sure to read the Madison Kate series first, as this is a spin-off of sorts from that series and also a reverse harem!
Beautiful Bastard (The Beautiful Series) by Christina Lauren
Spicyyyy work romance! Intern meets CEO, perfectionist boss and sparks fly. Bennet is blunt, inconsiderate, rude, and selfish. But Chloe is willing to stand up for herself and is darn good at her job.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Warnings: abuse, addiction, partner violence, and abandonment present in this book
A book you read that you never truly forget. Lily has come such a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She meets Ryle, a neurosurgeon, and they quickly fall for one another. But Lily’s past soon reappears. What starts as a love story becomes more of an examination of what love is and isn’t, as well as the sacrifice that often defines relationships that live on an emotional rollercoaster.
Dr. Stanton by T.L. Swan
Cameron Staton and Ashley Tucker have a passionate night in Vegas, but never speak to one another after. Fast forward 5 years, and Ashley has moved across the country to start a new internship. Little does she know, her past is soon to meet her face to face. Their second chance romance is told from a dual point of view and will keep you on your toes.
Happy reading! xo, brooklyn