My May 2021 Reading List: What to Read & What to Skip

Check out which romance books I read this May and what I thought about them. I give it to you straight and tell you which romance books I recommend that you read and which books I suggest you skip.

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

She Reads Romance Books Mini Book Reviews for May 2021.

Mini Reviews to Save You From Mediocre Books

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 May Book Choices

This month my romance book selections started off really strong but then they totally fizzled.

I was honestly getting so discouraged but alas that is the breaks sometimes.

My reading can be summed up by saying I loved two new releases for May as well as my book selection for the May Romance Book Reading Challenge. Everything else I could take it or leave it.

So here are my mini reviews of each book that I read this month.

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My May 2021 Reading List: What to Read & What to Skip

Favorite Book of the Month:

The Crown of Gilded Bones is a must read romance book.

The Crown of Gilded Bones
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published May 2021
A Fantastic Continuation in a Must Read Fantasy Series
4 stars

Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers and now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire.

But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat to her and Casteel. 

I fell hard for Poppy and Casteel in the first two books which were AMAZING. I also love the story which is intriguing and keeps developing with each book.

This one had so many great conversations between Poppy and Cas plus I never get tired of Kiernan’s interactions with them.

Not a lot of time transpires for most of the book and just as I was getting restless things started to pick up.

I’ll admit I didn’t realize this wasn’t the end to the series and now I have to wait until next year for it to continue…sigh. But I know it will be worth the wait.

Amazon | Goodreads

More Romance Books to Read and Those to Skip:

The Soulmate Equation is a new romance book release coming in May 2021.

The Soulmate Equation
by Christina Lauren

Published May 2021
*ARC received
A Great Book With an Interesting Premise
4 stars

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but she’s hasn’t been a whiz in the dating department. Raised by her grandparents—she’s been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in.

But when she hears about GeneticAlly, a new DNA-based matchmaking company, she decides to take a chance and dip her toes back into the dating world.

How can she go wrong with science and yet something is drastically wrong when she finds out she’s been matched with GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena- the stuck-up, stubborn man she knows is not her soulmate.

When GeneticAlly proposes to pay her to get to know River, she can’t turn it down and may just find her soulmate after all. 

Christina Lauren wrote a hit in this one for me when previously I’ve been hot or cold with their books.

I loved the storyline of this romance – questioning whether science can help you find your soulmate based on your DNA – and how the main characters struggled with this fact.

It kind of read like a slow burn romance to me though I would have loved MORE interactions between Jess and River. I recommend this one.

Amazon | Goodreads

Sacked is a sports romance book worth reading.

by Jen Frederick

Published September 2015
A College Football Romance I Definitely Enjoyed
4 stars

Knox Masters has been a champion on the field his whole football career and now he has his sights on the NFL. To be the best he’s had to keep his focus on football which is why he’s still a virgin. Entering his junior year, he now has his sight on two things: the national title and Ellie Campbell.

All it took was one meeting and he’s rethinking everything. She may be the sister of his fellow teammate, but that’s not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

This was such a great sports romance read! I loved the football story and Knox’s goal to be the best but I loved how he just falls hard for Ellie. He’s never been with a girl because he’s kept his focus on the ball but man, when he decides that Ellie is now the focus, he willingly trades in his V-card and it’s HOT.

This is a great college romance that you’ll read in one sitting and ready to read the rest of the series.

Amazon | Goodreads

Something to Talk About is a romance book to skip.

Something to Talk About
by Meryl Wilsner

Published May 2020
A FF Romance You Should Definitely Skip
DNF – 1 star

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time—threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

The more time they spend together realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

I called it quits on this one about 40% of the way through it. I was so bummed and disappointed especially since this was a Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee last year.

NOTHING had progressed in this story by this point and there are just too many books to read to continue.

It was so slow it was getting painful and I couldn’t take one more instance of reading Emma call Jo “boss.” I honestly didn’t even like these two characters so I say definitely skip this one.

Amazon | Goodreads

Tie Me Down is a new romance book release for May 2021.

Tie Me Down
by Melanie Harlow

Published May 2021
*ARC received
A Good Conclusion to a Great Series
3.5 stars

When Maddie returns to her hometown of Bellamy Creek to sell her late mother’s house, she comes face to face with the man she used to have a secret crush on in high school.

Beckett was always a great friend and now he’s letting Maddie and her son stay at his house because that’s what friends do. Only secret crushes come to the surface when you’re sleeping across the hall from one another.

This is a sweet close to a good small town romance series. I liked the childhood friends to lovers storyline with a bit of forced proximity mixed in.

I admit that Beckett frustrated me quite a bit with his lack of honestly with Maddie which kept me from loving this book, but overall it is a fun, light read.

Amazon | Goodreads

Enemies to Prom Dates new romance book release in May 2021.

Enemies to Prom Dates
by S. Doyle

Published May 2021
*ARC received
An OK Young Adult, Enemies to Lovers Romance
3 stars

Fitz and Beth have been academic mortal enemies since they could remember, and nothing has changed junior year until they realize their younger sisters are the target of a super creepy Freshman Bait List.

With no choice but to team up and uncover who’s behind the list they discover maybe they don’t hate each other as much as they thought.

S. Doyle gave me one of my most favorite romance books of 2020 in Santa Baby Maybe, so I was excited to see what else this new to me author had in store.

While I did enjoy the storyline that brought Beth and Fitz together, it took me a bit to get into it. The whole freshman list/bet also got a bit creepy considering it regarded 14 year-old girls giving it up.

That being said I was totally surprised by was how this book pulls elements from Pride and Prejudice which was really neat.

Amazon | Goodreads

A Kiss for a Kiss new romance book release in May 2021.

A Kiss for a Kiss
by Helena Hunting

Published May 2021
*ARC received
An Enjoyable Older Couple Romance
3 stars

Jake Masterson walked away from a hockey career to raise his daughter. But that turned out just fine as he’s now the General Manager of Seattle’s NHL team and his daughter Queenie is getting married.

Only there’s a small complication. Hanna- his son-in-law’s older sister, or that’s how people associate them but the truth is far more scandalous. One night Jake and Hanna finally give in to their temptation which leads to a lot of sneaking around…and a surprise pregnancy.

I for one love romance books with older characters who have been there done that but who can still can get hot and heavy!

Overall it’s great writing by Hunting but it got a bit tied up in the pregnancy angle for me. I also think you’d enjoy it more if you first read A Secret for a Secret.

Amazon | Goodreads

How to Find a Princess is a new romance book release coming in May 2021.

How to Find a Princess
by Alyssa Cole

Published May 2021
*ARC received
A FF Romance That Missed
2.5 stars

When Makeda Hicks agrees to help the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies tasked with searching for Ibarania’s missing heir, she didn’t expect to be dragged on a transatlantic adventure with the sexy Beznaria Chetchevaliere.

When they finally make it to Ibarania, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and Makeda must learn what it means to fight for what she desires and not what she feels bound to by duty. 

I really wanted to like this one but it didn’t quite hit the mark.

I love the “Anastasia” feel to this story set up with a long lost heir to a throne still out there and an investigator looking for her. While this did occur, the story veered off for more than half with them on a cargo ship which was just odd.

The characters were just hard to like as well. I gave it 3 stars because the writing was decent but I just kept waiting for this one to be over.

Amazon | Goodreads

The Road Trip is one of the best summer reads of 2021. Check out all of the best books to read this summer in this book list.

The Road Trip
by Beth O’Leary

Published May 2021
*ARC received
A Disappointing Summer Read
2.5 stars

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. Only now they are joined by Addie’s ex, Dylan, and his best mate after Dylan smashed his care into their own.

Her heart was torn apart two years ago and now she’s forced to confront their past while trying to make it to the wedding on time.

This was a major disappointment, as I had this on my list of best summer reads for 2020. I unfortunately found this book to be depressing with lackluster characters. Plus it gives a good example of what toxic friendships look like.

There was great writing which I’ve come to expect from O’Leary and a good use of flashbacks to move the story along, but ultimately I didn’t like the characters and didn’t buy into their love story. This one is definitely one to skip.

Amazon | Goodreads

Wingman is one of the best relationship coach books in romance.

by Katie McCoy

Published June 2018
A Fun, Relationship Coach Book Worth Reading
4 stars

Kelsey has been hopelessly in love with her boss for the last four years but hasn’t been able to get his attention. Ready to finally make her own move she realizes she needs some lessons in seduction.

Who better for the job than Chase, the bartender at Rascals, who has a new girl every night and isn’t looking for a relationship. Only once the lessons pile on, Kelsey’s not sure her boss is the man she truly wants and Chase may no longer be satisfied being just the wingman.

This was a fun, quick read that totally fits the relationship coach trope I love so much. I loved the easy way Kelsey and Chase just fit which made their connection seem so genuine even when it was just a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

I recommend this one then check out the rest of the books on my relationship coach book list.

Amazon | Goodreads

Looking for More?

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.

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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She Reads Romance Books helps romance book lovers find their next book boyfriend because life is better with a love story.