Ever wonder if a romance book is worth reading? Never waste time again on mediocre books when you can read a GREAT one!
Every month I share my romance book reading list of all the books I read that month. My mini reviews give recommendations on which books I recommend you read and which books I suggest you skip.
See which new romance book releases and which throw back titles I recommend this month!
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June was a big month of reading for me. I didn’t realize how many books I read this month until I put this post together!
With homeschooling off my plate as well as my web site migration completed, I was ready to hunker down and get lost with some new book boyfriends.
I’m happy to say that many books met or exceeded my expectations, but I did have a few misses as well. And one book, (my most anticipated of 2021!) was my biggest disappointment.
Despite that, several books did earn a spot on my best romance novels of 2021 list with even a few earning a 5 star review (swoon!). You really don’t want to miss them.
Mini Reviews to Save You From Mediocre Books
Why do I share my reading list each month? Because it’s my goal here at She Reads Romance Books to help fellow romance book lovers find the best romance books worth reading.
There is no shortage of romance books available, so why waste your time (and money) reading a mediocre book?
That’s why every month I share with you my reading list with my recommendations for those romance books worth reading and which romance books you should skip.
My June 2021 Romance Book Selections
This month my reading list included several new romance book releases from my summer reads book list as well as a few throw backs I couldn’t resist.
My local library recently made a bunch of Sarina Bowen titles available, so I couldn’t resist binge reading her new book releases from this year.
I was also saddened to hear the tragic news about romance book author, Claire Kingsley, who lost her husband and high school sweetheart.
Many fellow authors rallied their email list subscribers to support Claire and her newest release. What a testament to how amazing the romance community is!
In June I read two of Claire Kingsley’s books and I’m kicking myself for waiting this long to read her work. She is quite a talented writer and I look forward to checking out her entire back catalogue.
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My June 2021 Reading List: What to Read & What to Skip
Favorite Books of the Month:
Published May 2021
A Fantastic Friends to Lovers, Opposites Attract Romance that Deserves all the Hype
Alex and Poppy have been the best of friends ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago. Despite being complete opposites and living far apart, every summer they have vacationed for a week together until two years ago when things were ruined.
Not having spoken since, Poppy realizes she needs to fix things and asks Alex to take one more vacation with her so that they can lay everything out on the table and make it right.
I LOVED this book and it’s now one my most favorite romance books of all time.
Poppy and Alex are the best characters – people who are just completely real and so funny!
This book made me legit ball my eyes out at one point. I was just THAT invested in these two and couldn’t help myself.
It’s a must read, friends-to-lovers, opposites attract romance that is all that and more. I can’t recommend it enough which is why it already made my best romance novels of 2021 list.
Published June 2021
A Must Read Romance with a Dirty Talker
As the most hated player in baseball, I had two options: either clean up my image or pack my bags. That’s how I found myself sharing a small bistro table with Kate Chapman, the Chicago Bobbies newest PR Manager.
It was supposed to be simple. Book some PR events, show up, smile for the camera, and be done. But one massive mistake on my end sends me into the trenches with Kate, forcing me to open up to her.
I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want her. And I know she wants me, but there’s a no fraternizing with the players rule. Neither of us can afford to lose our jobs, but we also can’t seem to keep our hands off each other either.
Meghan Quinn can do no wrong when it comes to her baseball boys! She amazes me how she keeps this series so fresh with each unique story, but it’s her signature, hilarious banter that continually hooks me.
Related: Best Sports Romance Books
More Romance Books to Read and Those to Skip:
Published June 2021
A Sports Romance that Didn’t Quite Score
Thaddeus Walker Bowman Owens is the backup quarterback for the Chicago Stars. He’s a total team player but not when it comes to his new travel partner for a nationwide promotional tour, Olivia Shore, the international opera superstar.
Too bad he has no tolerance for divas and she has a grudge against the jock. But these superstars have to find a way to work together or crash and burn.
I was SO excited to hear that Susan Elizabeth Phillips was releasing a new book in her Chicago Stars series because it is one of my favorite series to read. Although this book has Phillip’s wonderful writing style, it didn’t meet my expectations despite it being one of my most anticipated romance books for 2021.
There was just too much going on in this book, plus I don’t think Tad and Olivia had enough opportunities to really fall in love for me to buy their connection.
I honestly loved Phillips’ last release, Dance Away With Me, and say read that one instead or just reread some of the other Stars series books! If you’re a diehard Stars series fan, check it out but it wasn’t a favorite of mine.
Published June 2021
An Enemies to Lovers Romance That Shines
When Gracie Cooper’s father passed away, she put aside her own dreams to take over the family-owned Midtown Manhattan champagne shop. But Gracie has her hands full trying to keep the shop in the black out and warding off Sebastian Andrews and his big corporate proposal for a buyout.
Not wanting to admit her troubles to friends or family, she turns to “Sir” whom she’s connected with on the blind dating app where matches get to know each other through messages before exchanging real names or photos.
Although Gracie finds herself slowly falling for Sir online, she has no idea she’s already met him in real life.
I found my latest Lauren Layne favorite with this one! It is such a lovely, slow burn romance that I devoured in one sitting. Layne’s story was the perfect, modern twist on the iconic romantic comedy movie, You’ve Got Mail.
I loved the instant connection between Sir and Lady in their email exchanges because they were so honest and open with one another. But it was the growing connection between Gracie and Sebastian that tugged on my heart strings.
Layne fans will not be disappointed with this one! If you’re interested in more books similar to romantic comedies, check out my list of movie to book recommendations. This one also made my best romance novels of 2021 list!
Published December 2020
A Romantic Suspense Novel that Wasn’t Bowen’s Finest
Once upon a time I couldn’t keep my eyes off the pampered girl even though I was from the wrong side of the tracks. It’s been years since I saw Posy, but now that she’s in danger I have no choice but to pose as a barista in her coffee shop to catch the bad guy.
Nope. I honestly didn’t care for this one which pains me to say it since I adore Sarina Bowen’s books. Of course it’s well written, but I just didn’t like the story and found Gunnar and Posey to be boring together.
I recommend Moonlighter, the first in this series which I liked a whole lot more, but suggest you skip over this one.
Published April 2021
A Fun, Hockey Romance!
Anton Bayer is determined to turn things around this season so he’s set three rules for himself: no booze, no women, and no scandals.
They should be easy to follow but then he sees Sylvie, the hockey goalie for the new woman’s team, and he can’t stop thinking about her.
Sylvie just got her heart broken by his teammate, so she should be completely off limits, but no one said Anton was a saint.
This was a cute, easy read. I liked Anton but I really liked the inclusion of the women’s hockey players and look forward to more Bombshell-based books (the next one sounds FANTASTIC!).
I love this series and this was a great addition.
Related: Best Hockey Romance Books
Published January 2021
A MM Romance Between Roommates Worth Reading
Kieran has a secret that he needs to keep only it’s becoming more and more difficult ever since his new roommate moved in.
He can’t stop thinking about Roderick, the only person who knows the truth – tempting him to lose everything.
She just has this way of making me fall for her characters, especially in those moments when I just want to reach into the story and give them a big hug.
The chemistry between Kieran and Roderick was hot, and I loved their quasi-history from high school which gave it a unique spin. Plus, I’m a sucker for roommates to lovers stories.
Bowen knocked it out of the park again with this one earning its place as one of the best romance novels of 2021.
Published November 2017
A Mafia Romance That Couldn’t Grab Me
Theresa Drazen can have plenty of guys, but the one she can’t keep away from… The one she’s just about addicted to, is more than forbidden.
Antonio is obsessed. Theresa’s the last woman he should touch. She’s going to get him killed. Except… She’s perfect.
When I stopped and asked myself, “what the heck am I reading?” I knew it was time to call this one. The writing was all over the place and these characters are just crazy. I’m all about alpha males but Antonio just wasn’t doing it for me at all. This one is not for me.
Published October 2019
A Fabulous, Female Billionaire Romance I Loved
Cameron Whitbury—billionaire aerospace mogul—can engineer her way out of any problem. But a potential scandal and attempted mugging has her hiring Jude Ellis as her bodyguard to appease her friends.
With the threat against Cameron heating up, it’s best to keep things strictly professional between her and the hottie, right?!
This was my first Claire Kingsley book and I loved it and her writing style. Cameron is the perfect, confident heroine and Jude is the silent, hot bodyguard type I love.
I highly recommend this book if you like billionaire romances or bodyguard romances. Plus, it’s available on Kindle Unlimited!
Related: Must Read Billionaire Romance Novels
Published May 2021
A Decent Enemies to Lovers Romance That Didn’t Wow
Logan Bailey just did the unthinkable. He slept with his nemesis. The crazy redhead he loves to hate, Cara Goulding.
Cara will not be tempted by the one night she spent with the infuriating (and hot) firefighter because it was a mistake. But when you live in a small town, avoiding each other is difficult, especially when life has other plans.
I picked this one up because I LOVE enemies to lovers books and I wanted to support Claire Kingsley’s latest release given the recent tragedy in her family.
The beginning totally hooked me with Logan and Cara’s attraction and their sizzling banter. But then their push-pull and banter sort of ended once they got together and not too much happened. I wanted more!
Overall a good book with great writing that I recommend but it didn’t have that continued sizzle I was looking for.
Related: Best Enemies to Lovers Books
Published June 2021
A Fred Rogers-esq Romance That Didn’t Deliver
When Teddy Phillips is dumped by her longtime boyfriend, she takes comfort in her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James. Everett seems to have everything in life figured out so she decides to write him for advice.
The two never meet but continue writing to each other, until their worlds collide. It’s then they are both forced to let go of their fears and figure out if their futures include each other.
I probably should have stopped reading this after the second chapter when I realized I didn’t care for Teddy. Why? Because I really dislike romance book heroines who are complete doormats.
I was intrigued by the Mr. Rogers meets You’ve Got Mail kind of story but it was slow, too idealistic for my tastes and very redundant.
I love the idea of falling for someone via email but even their email exchanges were brief without laying a firm enough foundation for me to buy into their “love.”
The story had such potential from the synopsis, hence why it made my best summer reads for 2021 list, but I was disappointed and don’t recommend it.
Related: Best Summer Reads of 2021
Coming July 6, 2021
A Beautiful, Neighbors to Lovers Romance Between Two Survivors
Andi Lockley knows first-hand that the world can be a scary place after narrowly escaping a dangerous man years ago. Her anxiety doesn’t let her forget it, but she’s channeling her fears into her next horror novel and her true crime podcast.
Former firefighter Hill Dawson can’t sleep and is stuck in limbo. After losing part of his leg in a rescue gone wrong, he doesn’t know what to do with his life, but he’s quick to jump in and save is neighbor Andi when someone breaks in.
What starts out as a neighbor rescue turns into a chance for something more if Andi can put aside her fear and trust in love again.
I have a real weakness for romance book characters who are able to confront their pasts and find the strength in themselves to rise above. All the better when they are able to find their soulmate in the process!
I found this book to be an emotionally charged, beautiful love story. Andi and Hill are survivors and I adored their honesty and bravery in this neighbors to lovers romance. Another great read in this series by Loren and definitely one of the best summer reads for the year!
Related: Best Summer Reads
Published June 2021
A College, Sports Romance That Didn’t Meet Expectations
Ashley Dryden-Jones is the best rugby player on the field—when I take a dare I instantly regret, I had no way of knowing he was a gentleman. An athlete. British with no plans to stay in the States.
When I win a trip to Vegas, I need a plus one and he agrees to join me. Nothing good can come from crossing the line from roommates to lovers, can it?
I’ve adored all of the books in this series so far, so when the beginning of Jock Royal started off strong I was so giddy. Unfortunately, the book started to take a dive about halfway through.
The push pull between the two wasn’t very strong and then it just went sideways after their trip to Vegas. Then the ending was very lackluster and seemed unfinished – probably because I didn’t buy their connection at this point because it just wasn’t there.
I say skip this one and read Jock Rule or Jock Row instead!
Related: Popular College Romance Books
Published June 2021
A Disappointing Lesbian Romance
August looks forward to seeing Jane every day on the train. Only her subway crush is impossible because Jane is a girl lost in time, displaced from the 1970s.
I really couldn’t believe that I called it quits on my most anticipated book of 2021 halfway through reading it. This was my book selection for the June Romance Book Reading Challenge but it just did not meet my expectations.
While I fell in love with McQuiston’s writing with Red, White and Royal Blue, the writing was all over the place with this one to where I just couldn’t connect with the story or the characters.
I also simply didn’t care for these characters. Plus, this book is SLOW and not in a good slow burn kind of way. I kept trying to go on but I got to the point that I’m wasn’t invested at all to understand the reason for Jane’s time issue or what will come of them.
You can give it a try to see if it’s just me, otherwise I suggest you skip this one.
Related: Popular Lesbian Romance Books
Looking for More Recommendations?
Check out all of my What to Read book lists to see which romance books I recommend you read and which I suggest you skip.
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Here’s to finding your next book boyfriend!
What book did you love (or dislike) this month? Share in the comments below.