Katrina, aka. LiteraryLoveBooks on Instagram, and I are real-life friends! In fact, she was the first romance-loving friendship I ever had that wasn't created anonymously through the internet and thus, she holds a super special place in my life. We are constantly recommending books to each other, ranting the emotional trauma the book we're reading has caused us, and going off on tangents about the latest drama in the romance genre. Her absolute best quality is she is always keeping me updated when my favorite authors have books up on Netgalley because I am technologically disadvantaged.
The funniest thing about our friendship is that we don't actually like all that many of the same books or authors. Actually, a more accurate description would be that we don't read all that many of the same books or authors. But when our interests do collide we are an unstoppable force... texting each other back and forth with the speed of lightening, gushing over every scene, sentence, and hero.
I would be doing my readers a disservice if I didn't do my best to provide them with diverse recommendations from a plethora of different authors. So, I invited Katrina to provide me with her Top Ten List.
Wait, did I say Top Ten?
Asking Katrina for her Top Ten list is like going into a small independent bookstore in the city center and asking to see their romance section. Impossible. (Sorry, that was a little romance-reader humor). So, this list isn't a Top Ten, but rather a Top Twenty-Two. Should have expected she couldn't even make it an even Top Twenty.
She has fabulous recommendations and has never steered me wrong, so I hope you enjoy her list of the top twenty-two romance novels and how they changed her life for the better.
1. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
J.R. Ward opened up the adult paranormal romance world to me at the tender age of 18. My poor little 18-year-old self had no clue what I was about to discover when I picked up that book.
Romantically Inclined Note: This book is literally sitting across the room from me right now. I think I need to bump it up to the top of by TBR list based on its ranking on Katrina's Top Ten list.
2. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
I was blooded on romance because of Perfect Chemistry. I was blown away that there were books about romance that I could read. I loved that book so much. I mean I was completely obsessed.
Romantically Inclined Notes: This is also on my TBR list. The entire series is!
3. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
Now this isn't my favorite Colleen Hoover book but it is the first Colleen Hoover book that I ever picked up. Before I was even finished with it I had been turned into a CoHo for life. So, it will always be my favorite.
4. It Ain't Me, Babe by Tillie Cole
I discovered Dark Romance thanks to Tillie Cole. Again, I was completely blown away. I remember when I finished it all I could think was, "People are allowed to write about this stuff?????" I read her backlist faster than should be possible. I couldn't get enough of her darkness!
5. Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon
This book absolutely destroyed me. This isn't the first book in Kenyon's Dark Hunter series but it was the one that has stuck with me the most. It's a book that I go back to time and time again and read my favorite passages.
6. Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Tessa Bailey is one of those authors that can make you laugh and cry within a paragraph. You know those books that just change your life? There you are... going about your life reading everything insight and BAM! Book changes life. And you don't know how you got through life without it? I loved Bailey before I read this book but now I love her even more.
7. Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
I discovered historicals because of this book. It's such a fantastic read and it opened my romance world up to a new genre as well. I now have so many historicals they practically have their own bookcase.
8. Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Klepas
It's Lisa Kleypas-- Just read it.
9. The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
It's magical and mysterious and romantic. Annoying alpha and stubborn heroine. It's such a great book! I became obsessed with Wilson and wanted to devous all of her backlist.
10. The Ugly Duchess and Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James
I'm not sure why these two books hit me so hard but they did. They are magical. The romance, the love, the learning what you want out of a partner; everything about these books is indescribably perfect.
Honorable Mentions--which translates to Romantically Inclined needed a Top 10 and I really couldn't pick just 10 books... so here are 12 more.
11. Circe by Madeline Miller
12. Third Son's the Charm by Shana Galen
13. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
14. Breathless by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan
15. Once Upon a Billionaire by Jessica Clare
16. Water Bound by Christine Feehan
17. The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
18. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
19. A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
20. The Clan of Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
21. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne
22. The Duke's Stolen Bride by Sophie Jordan
Give @LiteraryLoveBooks a follow on Instagram. I might make memes but she takes the most gorgeous pictures and puts a lot of thought into her content! You can also bookmark her website LiteraryLoveBooks.com.