Less than one week left in 2020! Thank god. I’ve compiled a list of 11 books that I’m super excited for in the coming year. Obviously these are all mostly romance (sue me), but I’m working in some other titles too. Most of these are from the first half of 2021 because that’s all I’ve got friends! I’m sure more books will be announced later so we can see part 2 in the summer months. Without further ado, here are my 11 titles that I’m highly anticipating for 2021 in no particular order.
11 Books for 2021:
1.) Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks
Release Date: January 12, 2021 | Historical Romance | Find it Here
Georgana’s mother dies when she is still young. Rather than move in with her abusive grandmother she hides herself as ‘George’ on her father’s naval boat. Lieutenant Dominic Peyton joins the ship with no interest in finding a wife or appeasing gentile society. When Dominic discovers Georgana’s secret they must hide their growing affection for each other or ‘George’s’ identity may come out.
This book is an absolute need for me. Navy dad (mine too!), secret identity, REGENCY ERA, forbidden love. Oh wow. I haven’t read anything else by Arlem Hawks but I will definitely have to if I love this one! Plus I like a good regency era romance, especially one on the seas.
2.) If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
Release Date: August 3, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
From the author that brought us Dumplin’, Julie Murphy is giving us an updated version of Cinderella. After graduating in shoe design (?) Cindy takes a spot in her stepmother’s production of the TV show Before Midnight. This is a Bachelor-like reality dating show. Cindy hopes to give herself exposure to get a job after the finale, but she finds that being the only plus-size contestant creates a whole lot of other problems. With the possibility of love and a career on the line, Cindy has to decide what’s best for her.
Confession: I don’t like the Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise/etc., but I LOVE these types of books. I know. One to Watch was amazing so I can imagine this being just as good. I am very curious about the major she’s done because shoe design? Idk. My calendar alert is already set to go off so I remember to get this! If this sounds good to you, I would recommend Spoiler Alert—review here.
3.) Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Release Date: April 13, 2021 | Anthology | Find it Here
Love in Color is a collection of mythical tales retold in a modern style from around the world. From West African Tales to the middle-east and beyond, Babalola unfolds a selection of stories with a love for love.
Anthologies and I typically don’t mix because I like longer pieces. However, exceptions can be made and this is one of them. Mythical tales from around the world focused on love and retold in a contemporary manner–HELL yes. I am ready to read all of these lovely tales and definitely will be doing a little bit of research on the tales as well, because I, unfortunately, am probably going to be out of the loop when it comes to most of the stories.
4.) The Layover by Lacie Waldon
Release Date: June 15, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
Ava Green is about to retire from being a flight attendant after 10 years. One her last flight mechanical issues with the plane cause them to take a pause in Belize for the weekend. Unfortunately this break also includes Jack Stone, the pilot that caused Ava’s most embarrassing night of her life. With a few days in paradise with each other, maybe things aren’t always as the seem. Ava has to decide whether she’s making the right calls or to be grounded.
This is going to be a great beach read. I know it. Now if I could go to a resort in Belize to read it… sign me up please. Enemies-to-lovers is a favorite trope of mine, so I can’t wait to see how it plays out here. Also the author, Waldon, is a flight attendant, so it’ll interesting to see how she writes one. And that cover! Love, love, love it! So bright and happy. I can’t wait to have this on my shelf.
5.) Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
Release Date: March 2, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
Reena Manji isn’t doing so great in the relationship field, or in the job field, or in the intrusive family field. What she is doing great in is breaking bread. When her family sets her up with Nadim, she’s determined not to get involved because parental interference. It’s a shame that he’s super attractive, super kind, and necessary for her to win a baking competition. So what’s wrong when they pretend to be engaged for the competition, what’s the worst that could happen?
I realize that there is technically another book that is a companion to this one, and I plan to read it. However, a bread baking competition with an attractive man and interfering muslim parents? Yes. Fake engagement? Yes. I am sooo ready for this.
6.) Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl
Release Date: July 27, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
Brinkley Saunders gave up the academic world when she dropped out of grad school. While others may think that she’s wasting away as an administrative assistant, she’s actually working for a company that takes down exes, coworkers, anyone annoying for a price. Here she saves up money so that she can open an art gallery. When her company starts hiring male heartbreakers, one turns out to be someone Brinkley broke. When Mark shows up, he gives Brinkley a run for her money.
In my opinion, Brinkley has the perfect job. After a life in retail/customer service I would love nothing more than to take down annoying assholes. The whole premise of the story sounds fascinating and I am here to see how this whole thing goes down.
7.) Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
Release Date: April 13, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
Ruthie Midona has worked at a retirement villa for her entire adult life. She takes care of the home, patients, and the tortoises in the back. Ruthie is there for hard work and not much else. Teddy Prescott is the opposite of Ruthie. His father owns the villas that Ruthie works at and wants Teddy to work his worth there too. Ruthie and Teddy don’t get along, but with Teddy wooing the residents it’s hard not to like him. The only problem is that Teddy’s father is planning on selling the villas–soon.
I think like so many others I adored The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, but 99 Percent Mine wasn’t a love. This was put on the list just because I’m so hoping it’s like The Hating Game. I want to love it and I really like the premise of the book. I’m not sure where the tortoises come in, but I like when there are animals involved.
8.) The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Release Date: January 26, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
Shay Goldstein has been producing her radio show for nearly a decade. When fresh-out-of-grad-school Dominic Yun comes to the studio they can’t help but to clash heads. When Shay comes up with the idea for Ex Talk, a show where two exes come together to give relationship advice her boss puts her and Dominic in the host seats. They may seem like the perfect couple to host about hating each other, but once the show starts going things start to change between them. Unfortunately that’s not great when their careers focus on truths, so the fallout could be worse than just their hearts.
I have seen several reviews from people already on this book (I am envious of each and every one of you, FYI). Enemies-to-lovers is my jam and having exes on a talk show seems like just the right amount of drama I need. The idea that Shay has experience and Dominic having the education I’m looking forward to that discussion as well! Good, fun reads are a complete necessity in the world we live in now!
9.) People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Release Date: May 11, 2021 | Contemporary Romance | Find it Here
Alex and Poppy are as different as night and day, but every year for the past 10 they have gone on a week long vacation together. That is until 2 years ago when things changed between them forever. When Poppy gets stuck in a rut, she proposes one last week vacation to Alex. He agrees. With one week to make things better between them, can they?
I’ve just started reading Beach Read by Henry and if this is anything like that I’m set. Best friends torn apart by an incident, oh goodness I need this. I can’t wait to read the witty banter and (I’m hoping) compelling love story. Plus this is coming out at the exact time that we should all hopefully be sitting on a beach with.
10.) The Last Tiara by M. J. Rose
Release Date: February 2, 2021 | Historical Fiction | Find it Here
Isobelle’s mother, Sophia, has kept quiet about her life in Russia. When Sophia dies, Isobelle finds a jewel-less tiara in her mother’s things. She brings it to the local jeweler, who is a part of a society that returns lost/stolen items to their original owner. The story is told between both Sophia in 1915 Russia and Isobelle in 1948 New York. Isobelle works to solve the mystery that her mother has left her in the Romanov tiara.
A historical book about love, mystery and Russia is everything that I could possibly want and need in life. I’m not the biggest fan of Anastasia-like retellings. She’s been found and she is dead. No one is really left from that whole tree, the Bolsheviks killed them. Done. But with a duel telling between the mother and daughter taking place in two different times. I’m intrigued. I really hope that this one doesn’t fall flat and doesn’t do Russia poorly. I’m tired of ill-written Russians. Also the cover is stunning so it’s automatically a must be read for me.
11.) Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi
Release Date: March 2, 2021 | Contemporary LGBTQ+ Romance | Find it Here
CeCe is insta-famous with her girlfriend, Silve. They are a power couple! When Silve breaks up with CeCe, she’s devastated for the loss of her love and possibly her followers. With a new boy, Josh, in town who is so not online, CeCe starts to fall. She doesn’t want him to know about her online profile. But life doesn’t always work out the way you want it, which CeCe is about to find out the hard way.
I’ve always had a hard time trying to find bi books. You can find a LOT of mlm books and wlw books are picking up too, but a bi main character? Sign me up. I am excited to see how this all plays out, because knowing how people would react if a person they knew to date a woman and was known for it started dating a guy… yeah… twitter, tumblr, instagram, those would be not great. I’m very curious to see how Verdi will handle it!
Which Of These 11 Books Are You Most Looking Forward to Reading?
Did you receive any of these books as an ARC? I’m so pumped to read them and I will update this with links to the reviews once they’re out and I’m able to read/review them. Obviously there are many more books that are coming out that I’m pumped to read as well. What other ones are on your radar? What do I need to put on my list?
Happy Readings & Here’s to A Better 2021!