Books:- Hello, hello! If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I LOVE reading, especially fiction. For awhile I was on a big thriller and historical fiction kick, but lately I’ve been on more of a romance and fantasy kick and it has been so fun to mix it up!

I always love getting book recommendations from friends and other bloggers, and it has been way too long since I did a recent reads round up post, so here we go! Let’s do this.

Please note the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links.

My Favorite Recent Fiction Reads

My favorite way to wind down from a busy day is to get in bed early and cozy up with a book (or my Kindle – I have the Kindle Paperwhite and I love it, especially for some of the super massive/long fantasy series I’ve been reading lately because the actual books are quite heavy and big).

Here are some of the best fiction books that I’ve read recently!

The Christmas Orphans Club book cover

The Christmas Orphans Club by Becca Freeman

Genre: Holiday/Friendship/Contemporary Romance

Every year, four friends with less-than-perfect family lives spend Christmas together instead. But this year, with their lives all headed in different directions, may be their last year upholding this tradition – and they’re determined to make it count.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

I was really excited about this book and had it pre-ordered on my Kindle because Becca Freeman, the author, is one of the co-hosts of the Bad on Paper podcast, which I enjoy. After hearing her talk about the process of writing her first novel I couldn’t wait to read it.

I wasn’t disappointed! I loved this book. Great witty dialogue between characters, solid character development, and the overall vibe was really warmhearted and sweet. I liked that the main story was a friendship story as well since that’s not super common!

Highly recommend as a cozy, light read for the upcoming holiday season (or any time of year).

The Immortalists book cover

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism

This historical family saga follows four siblings – and the trajectories of their lives – after a traveling mystic tells each of them the exact day they will die.

My rating: 4/5 stars

I had mixed feelings about this book. The writing was absolutely stunning and beautifully insightful, and the story was really creative and weaved in some real historical events.

That said, it was certainly not a “happy ever after” type book. There were a lot of hard, sad parts and I don’t always want that when I’m reading fiction because there’s enough of that in the world, you know? And reading, for me, is a big escape.

I ended up including it on the list because the writing was gorgeous and the story was so unique and well thought out, but read it with the caveat that it’s not the lightest read.

Red White and Royal Blue book cover

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Genre: Contemporary Romance/LGBT

Sworn enemies – an English prince and the son of the United States president – are forced into a PR stunt where they have to pretend to be friends. But something more develops just as the president is up for re-election, causing strife between their families and their nations. Can they make a relationship work despite everything that’s stacked against them?

My rating: 5/5 stars

I loved this book so much. It was well written, the character development was fantastic, and the storyline was engaging with a lot of really insightful analysis of life in the spotlight (and the social media age) and the challenge of weighing duty with personal authenticity.

Can’t recommend it enough and I’m excited to watch the movie soon, too!

Nora Goes Off Script book cover

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

When romance screenwriter Nora Hamilton’s husband leaves her, she writes a movie script all about it. To her surprise, it’s picked up for production, set to be filmed at her own home – and star a hunky actor as her ex-husband. But after filming, the actor asks Nora if he can stay for an extra week, further complicating Nora’s love life.

My rating: 4.25/5 stars

This was a really sweet, light read that I enjoyed. It was really predictable (although there was a twist that I didn’t anticipate), but the writing is great. Recommend!

A Million Junes book cover

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Romance

Two enemy families – each with legacies steeped in myth – reside in the town of Five Fingers, Michigan. When the daughter of one family (June) and the son of the other (Saul) meet, they find they’re drawn to each other. Can they move past the bad blood (and the possible curse) between their families?

Rating: 4.75/5 stars

I basically read anything Emily Henry writes, and after reading all her newer adult romance novels I have started delving into her earlier YA (young adult – no shame) books, too.

I love her writing style, her character development and dialogue, and her way of making meaning of the world, and this book was no exception.

A Court of Thorns and Roses book cover

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

After huntress Feyre unknowingly kills a protected animal on faerie land, she’s captured and brought to the local high Fae’s estate for a reckoning. Over time, Feyre and her captor grow closer, shedding their initial hatred for passion. But shadows are closing in on this magical land, and the faerie world is in grave danger.

My rating: 5/5 stars

If you haven’t heard of this series, it’s time you do because it’s AMAZING. A friend of mine recommended this book series to me a year or so ago and I was hesitant because I don’t read a ton of fantasy, but she assured me I’d love it. And she was right!

I could not put any of the books in this 5 book series down. Especially book 2 was absolutely amazing and my overall favorite – one of those books I wish I hadn’t read yet so I could read it again for the first time, you know?

The character development is fantastic, and the world building and intricate weaving in of stories throughout the series is so well done. Can’t recommend enough. Just a warning that the books are quite spicy, though, definitely NSFW. 🙂

From Blood and Ash book cover

From Blood and Ash Series by Jennifer Armentrout

Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal

Since birth, Poppy was deemed a “chosen maiden”, her entire life set for solitary duty to her kingdom. But her desire to fight for her kingdom – along with what she feels towards one of her guards – makes her question the trajectory of her life. Meanwhile, a forsaken kingdom is fighting its way back into power, spreading violence in its wake.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

I read this series right after the A Court of Thorns and Roses series to try to help cure my massive book hangover. It took me a little longer to get into but it was worth the effort because by the second book I was all in.

Highly recommend this series too! And once you’re done reading it, I actually loved the prequel series (Flesh and Fire Series) even more… but be sure to read this original series first because there are a lot of fun references to things in the original series in the prequel that made it extra fun to read. So many good books, so little time! 😉

And p.s. this series is also quite spicy and NSFW!

Same Time Next Summer book cover

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

After Sam runs into her high school sweetheart – the man who broke her heart – at her family’s beach house after fourteen years, she questions everything she thought she knew about what happened back then. She’s engaged, but somehow, it also feels like no time has passed between her and Wyatt – and she has to make a choice.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

I loved this book so much – from the coastal beach town summer vibes to the great character dialogue and development to the beautiful writing it was a win all around.

It was predictable but it didn’t matter because I loved it anyway. Highly recommend – the perfect light, cozy vibes romance read.

The Once and Future Witches book cover

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Historical Fiction

Set in 1893, three sisters pursue the magic of long-forgotten witches – not for themselves, but to help empower the suffragist movement and a woman’s right to vote. But a powerful force is working against them, putting them in grave danger.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

This was such a well done book. Great writing and a really unique storyline with some magic woven in. It took me a little while to get into but once I did I loved it, especially given all the insightful parallels to current events.

The Enchanted Hacienda book cover

The Enchanted Hacienda by J.C. Cervantes

Genre: Magical Realism/Romance

After getting fired from her job and dealing with a bad breakup, Harlow Estrada returns home to her family’s enchanted farm in Mexico. As the only non-magical woman in her family, she is given a task she believes is impossible – but she finds she has more power than she ever knew.

My rating: 3.75/5 stars

I didn’t absolutely love this book, but I liked it enough to recommend it. It’s a light and quick read and although it was predictable the writing was good. I wished the magic portion of the book had been more played up but overall it was still a creative and sweet book.

Fourth Wing book cover

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Violet Sorrengail is forced to join a training college for dragon riders, despite her desire to become a scribe instead – and the fact that her body struggles to heal from even a minor injury. Nobody believes she’ll make it through the rigorous training, or that a dragon will agree to bond with her. Her only chance at survival is to outwit every obstacle they throw at her.

My rating: 5/5 stars

AHHHHH I loved this book! And yes, I know this whole fiction round up is heavy on the fantasy but what can I say, I’m on a tear! I promise you though even though I know it sounds very fantasy-esque with the dragons it’s SO good. Great world building and really creative story line.

Multiple friends who “don’t like fantasy” books have read this and loved it. It’s incredibly fast paced and engaging and you won’t be able to put it down. And it gets spicy, too. 🙂

(Btw if you read this and loved it like I did, be sure to pre-order out the sequel – Iron Flame – coming on November 7, 2023. So soon!)

The Love that Split the World book cover

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry

Genre: YA Romance/Magical Realism

During her last summer after high school, a teenage girl begins to see strange visions all over her small Kentucky town. Shortly after, she meets a boy and falls for him – but she’s told she only has three months to save him, and she may have to risk everything.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

Yep, more Emily Henry! I just love her writing so much. This is another of her early YA books that has some magic woven in to the storyline.

It’s incredibly creative, poignant, and well thought out and like always with her books the character development and dialogue is beautifully done.

Happy Place book cover

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Every summer, Harriet and her friends return to their “happy place” – a lovely Maine cottage by the sea. But this year, Harriet and her longtime boyfriend are broken up – and no one knows. They decide to pretend they’re still together, so they can enjoy their last trip with their friends. But of course, it proves to be more complicated than they expect.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Yep, MORE Emily Henry! This is her newest adult novel that came out relatively recently.

This was not my absolute favorite of her adult novels, but it’s still really good, and as always I LOVED the witty character banter and the artful building of tension. Recommend!

Reign book cover

Reign (American Royals #4) by Katharine McGee

Genre: Alternate History/YA Contemporary Romance

This book is the conclusion to the American Royals series, an alternate historical fiction series which follows the exploits of the American royal family – filled with family drama and forbidden romances.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

If you haven’t read the 4 book American Royals series, I recommend it! It’s YA so while it’s not as deep as some of the other books I’ve read lately, it’s a really easy and super fun and engaging read. It’s based on the creative premise that George Washington accepted a crown instead of becoming President, and that the U.S. had a royal family!

I flew through the books (each one seemed to end with a crazy cliffhanger that kept me guessing) and couldn’t wait for the final book in the series to be released. When it finally was (a few months ago), I devoured it! Loved how it ended.

Meet Me At The Lake book cover

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Genre: Contemporary Romance

After just one day together, Fern Brookbanks and Will Baxter fall head over heels. But when they make a plan to meet up a year later, Will never shows up. Years later, Fern is running her mother’s lakeside resort, not quite living the life she dreamed of. One day, to her shock, Will shows up – but Fern’s not sure she’s ready to let him back into her life.

My rating: 4.75/5 stars

This book is Carley Fortune’s second novel, and I was really excited to devour it as soon as it came out after reading and absolutely loving her debut novel, Every Summer After, last year.

It did not disappoint! I think her first book inched this one out for the win, but I loved this book as well. Fortune does a great job with character development and witty banter just like Emily Henry, and her books have an overall really sweet vibe that I love. Highly recommend!


Whew, that was a lot of books. I hope you found something that piqued your interest on the list – let me know, I’m curious to hear what you’re intrigued by!

I’d also love to hear what you’ve read lately and loved – I’m always looking for more recommendations.

And if you want even more ideas, here’s another of my Fiction Books I Loved posts that features mostly historical fiction and thrillers, and here’s one that features Non-Fiction Reads I Loved. Also – check out my friend Julie’s recent Books I’ve Read Recently and Loved post – she and I have very similar book taste so there’s some overlap but I got a lot of new to me ideas, too!

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