The Best 5 Star Romance Books of 2020 So Far

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Discover with the best romance books of 2020 so far. These books received 5 star rating and are worth adding to your TBR pile!

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Book list of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

5 Star Romance Books of 2020 To Read Right Now

Where has the time gone? The year is already more than half way over so it’s time to take stock of the best romance books of the year so far.

There have been a number of three and four star reads for 2020 that I’ve enjoyed but the books below are those that earned five stars in my book.

If you’re looking for a great romance book to read this year, why not pick one of the best? Pick any one of the novels below and you may have found your next favorite book.

It’s hard for me to assess sometimes what kind of book reviewer I am. Am I a tough critic? Do I have really high standards?

I’m not sure to be honest, but I do read a lot of good books which I give a 3 star rating. These are books that I enjoy reading, but they don’t necessarily wow me.

They are probably books that I won’t end up re-reading because there are just too many books to read on my ever-growing TBR list!

A four star book is really great and one I’d recommend to any reader. But that brings us to the few books that earn a five star rating from me.

I really don’t give this rating out freely so when I do, you know it’s a book that you’re going to want to read. These books have EVERYTHING going for them from start to finish and often have me thinking about them long after I read the last page.

You can check out my ratings to learn more.

Knowing that my five star rated books are really the best of the best, check out the romance books of 2020 that have earned this rating from me so far.

The Best Romance Books of 2020 So Far:

The Guy in the Middle by Kate Stewart is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

The Guy in the Middle
by Kate Stewart

I was born to play and bred to win.

My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.

With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.

Two birds, one ball.

Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.

For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach’s daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.

As I mentioned, a five star romance book to me is one that has me continually thinking about it long after the last page is read. I devoured The Guy in the Middle in one sitting because I was utterly captivated. I FELT what Lance and Harper felt and found myself thinking about their struggles and their connection well after I read the end. I also go back and reread passages often.

So many things make this a 5 star romance book. I loved the enemies to lovers start, the forbidden romance, the character struggles and the character redemption. Kate Stewart wrote an amazing story about two characters who just fit despite what others had to say about them.

Can you find true love in college? Can it withstand sacrifices for family, career dreams and distance? Can you trust love if you’re not sure you are worthy? These are some of the themes explored in this amazing, heart tugging romance. This is honestly one of the best romance novels of 2020 and one of the best romance novels of all time.

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Been There Done That by Hope Ellis is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

Been There Done That
by Hope Ellis

Theirs was a forever kind of love, until it was stolen.

ZORA LEFFERSBEE’S once perfect life is no longer perfect. Her tenure at the University is in question, funding for her employees uncertain, and her faux-fiancé, Jackson James’s unpredictability is wearing on her last nerve. Just when Zora is convinced things can’t get more complicated, life proves her wrong.

What the heck is he doing here?

NICK ROSSI’s complicated life is still extremely complicated. He’s used to fighting for everything he has, but he’s also used to winning. Now a man of power and influence, his return to Green Valley after so many years hasn’t gone according to plan, especially with the woman he’s always wanted.

She can’t know why I left, or why I’m back.

A powerful woman intent on righting the wrongs of the world, Zora doesn’t have time or energy to deal with the man who broke her young heart.

A powerful man intent on righting the wrongs of the past, Nick can’t help wanting to protect Zora, even if his devotion is unrequited.

I completely fell in love with Been There Done That which is the debut novel from Hope Ellis. I mean, this lady can write!

This was a second chance love story between Nick and Zora who had grown up together and had planned to marry at age 18.

But one night, Nick up and left, only leaving a note, until he returned 12 years later. Is it enough that someone had good intentions behind their actions even if those actions hurt or were meant for good?

When a book leaves you wanting more and itching for the next book in what you hope will be a series, you know you’ve stumbled upon a good one.

Fantastic writing, amazing characters, hilarious moments and a terrific love story made this a 5 star read for sure.

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Upsy Daisy  by Chelsie Edwards is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

Upsy Daisy
by Chelsie Edwards

College, cookies, capers, Oh my!

Daisy Payton has everything.<br>Exceptional grades. Impeccable clothes. Model family. But perfection comes at a high cost, and Daisy is wilting.

Determined to use college as her chance to bloom anew, she’s focused on only one thing, leaving the Payton name behind and forging her own path—even if she has to tell the teeniest of fibs to do it.

Trevor Boone has nothing. Abandoned as a child. Raised by distant relatives. Constantly reminded he’s a burden.

Trevor’s lived at the edges of opulence for years, having all he’s ever desired dangled just out of reach. But his ambition is finally about to pay off and nothing will distract him from his goal—finishing college top of his class and starting life, on his own terms.

When Daisy and Trevor meet it’s clear from the start that they’ll tempt each other to distraction, can they learn to put their ambitions aside and fall or will they lose it all?

Upsy Daisy is another stellar romance book from a debut author.

Chelsie Edwards takes you back to the 1970s in this tale which had so much more to it than the romance between the main characters. This was a romance set on a college campus but this book had so many engaging themes within it.

It delved into friendship, the bonds of family, the importance of loyalty, honesty, forgiveness and grace. It also peered into the different social stratas, familial expectations and grief.

Now that is A LOT to cover in one book but Edwards does it so brilliantly that I didn’t want the book to end. This novel was hands down a 5 star read in my book.

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Wild at Heart  by K.A. Tucker is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

Wild at Heart
by K.A. Tucker

Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind.

When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.

With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path.

In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

Wild at Heart is the follow up novel to The Simple Wild.

Most of the time reading romance books, you make it to the part where the hero and heroine finally become a couple, but rarely do you get a glimpse into the true story of a relationship where you see the day to day of them trying to make it work.

It can be so easy to fall in love. Not so easy to stay in love, especially when love is found between two opposites.

This was a special, fantastic book where you get to see the struggles (and triumphs) of Calla and Jonah trying to make their relationship work in the wilds of Alaska.

Tucker once again paints a beautiful landscape where the Alaskan scenery is as much a character as the people living in it. I highly recommend reading The Simple Wild first (a 5 star read itself) and then following it up with this 5 star romance book.

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Fortuity  by Jewel E. Ann is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

by Jewel E. Ann

Forty-something Gracelyn Glock is living the dream. No husband. No retirement plan. And since her self-imposed man-ban—no need to shave above her knees.

After a tragic accident, Gracelyn inherits her ten-year-old nephew. She signs a lease on a San Diego beach house and learns their neighbors for the summer are a sexy anatomy professor and his young daughter.

Professor Nathaniel Hunt has spent the last decade being a single dad … and not having sex. So when he discovers Gracelyn has a peculiar outdoor stripping ritual, a million inappropriate thoughts fill his responsible mind.

When kisses are stolen, man-bans are broken, and summer comes to an end, will hearts stay in one piece and hope stay alive? Or will saying goodbye destroy everything?

It’s extra special when you stumble upon a 5 star book that you pick up on a whim.

This was my first Jewel E. Ann book and it was fantastic. I didn’t even read the prior two books in this series. Fortuity is one of those books where two people who have been devastated by love in the past, finally find a love that lasts.

Both Gracelyn and Nathaniel have had their hearts broken multiple times to the point where Gracelyn has put herself on a self-imposed man ban and Nathaniel has been relationship-less for the last 10 years!

But these two are thrown together by happenstance and given a new chance at a happily ever after.

I also have soft spot for this book because it features a heroine in her forties which is also rare! A great book from start to finish.

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Beautifully Cruel by J.T. Geissinger is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

Beautifully Cruel
by J.T. Geissinger

Alpha (noun): 1) Having the highest rank in a dominance hierarchy  2) the most powerful man in a group 3) Liam Black

He was a stranger to me, a dark and dangerous presence who materialized from the shadows one rainy night to save me from a vicious attack. I didn’t know his name or where he was from. All I knew was that the only place I’d ever felt safe was in his arms.

But safety is an illusion. And not every savior is a hero. And—as I’d soon find out—having an alpha save your life comes with a price.

Liam Black wanted something from me in return.

Geissinger is one of my most favorite romance book authors and for good reason.

What I love about her writing is that you’re not spoon fed what to think or feel.

Instead, her storytelling just leads you to unearth more and more details about her characters and their connection and all you have to do is settle in and enjoy the ride.

When you start reading Beautifully Cruel, you have no idea who Liam Black is. But you learn quick that he is a man that deserves your attention.

He was the perfect alpha male and yet Truvy was just as enticing a character as well who could hold her own. You’ll want to read this book in one sitting as it’s difficult to put down!

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Dear Ava  by Ilsa Madden-Mills is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

Dear Ava
by Ilsa Madden-Mills

The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world–until they destroyed me.

The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them. Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer?

Knox, the scarred quarterback. Dane, his twin brother. Or Chance, the ex who dumped me. Dear Ava, Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea. Wait. That’s stupid. What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.

It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you. I’ve missed seeing you walk down the hall. I’ve missed you cheering at my football games. I’ve missed the smell of your hair.

And then everything fell apart the night of the kegger.

Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark. I just want to make you mine. Still.

Young adult romances that take place in high school aren’t usually my top picks when it comes to romance books but if Ilsa Madden-Mills wrote it, I’m in.

Dear Ava is quite a special young adult romance book that will have you feeling so deeply for characters who have seen and struggled with way more than anyone ever should during their eighteen years of life.

Yet despite their struggles, this book highlights two very strong people whose bravery and character and fortitude rival that of many adults.

Dear Ava was a wonderful enemies to lovers, opposites attract love story that really tugged on my heart strings over and over again earning it my 5 star rating.

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

Hard to Handle  by K. Bromberg is one of the best romance books of 2020 so far.

Hard to Handle
by K. Bromberg

At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency. Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox. Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.

If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.

But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated. But I know better than to cross that line. I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.

Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out. Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career. And time is running out.

Enter Dekker Kincade. Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away. I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.

But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world. I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.

Hard to Handle was a moving second chance romance but was really so much more. I loved how this story wasn’t simply a matter of two people finding each other again, but really explored why they didn’t work in the first place.

It made me think about whether there really is such a thing as good timing when it comes to relationships.

K. Bromberg’s books never disappoint in giving strong characters who are able to rise above circumstances or a damaged history to finally claim the love of another who completes them in the most perfect way.

Her stories dig deep, so you have no choice but to fall into her book world from start to finish. This is my most favorite book of hers so far and definitely a 5 star read!

Find on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | My Review

What is your favorite 5 star romance book of 2020 so far? Share in the comments below.

Want more favorites? Check out these best book lists:

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Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

Why Trust She Reads Romance Books?

Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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