Favorite Non-Contemporary Romances of the Year

So this post is still romances released in 2020, we’re just eliminating the majority of the books I read to focus in on all of the other categories of romance that I tend to neglect. But let’s hop to it because these are some great books, if I do say so myself!

Top Ten Favorite Non-Contemporary Romance Books of 2020

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

I thought To Have and To Hoax was such a fun historical marriage in trouble book with a series of escalating pranks like You Deserve Each Other and I really loved it. I think Waters is funny and engaging and I really, really enjoyed this one. I’m very much looking forward to To Love and To Loathe this year!

Chaos Reigning by Jessie Mihalik

This sci-fi romance wrapped up the Consortium Rebellion series and, technically, is probably just sci-fi not romance, but the romance between Catarina and her bodyguard, Alex, really carries this book for me. I know some people struggle with the single person point of view of this series, but I am apparently quite thrilled with the idea of ascribing motivations and emotions to the non-POV character and have really loved every book in this series. Here’s my ARC Review if you want to see my full thoughts on the series and on the book itself.

The Devil of Downtown by Joanna Shupe

I really, really enjoyed Joanna Shupe’s Uptown Girls series, which you can see here if you’re interested in a series review. I don’t think Justine’s story can top Mamie’s for me, but I loved how the sisters were so over-protective of Justine and she was just like *eye roll* and figured out how to do things her own way. Then there’s the fact that Jack Mulligan was brought SO low by Justine and there is nothing better than a man brought to his knees like this, for me. Sorry? Anyway, I love this one so much.

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

This book is arguably not for everyone, but it was absolutely for me. Like… *whispers* that bloody hand job???? Help. Anyway, this book is fascinating. The character dynamics and the world building work together to create such a fascinating book to slip into. It’s long af, but it’s so good. Yvenne is such an amazing character. And speaking of men brought low, Maddek is absolutely brought low and Yvenne is clearly the actual star of the show. She’s wonderful. He’s… complicated.

Go Deep by Rilzy Adams

This is 100% cheating, but I’m saying Go Deep is not a contemporary romance because it is an erotic romance. Is that fair? Probably not. But how was I supposed to not scream about this book in these lists?? I couldn’t. Navaya wasn’t really expecting to fall for Xander when she enlisted him to help her get back into the groove of writing steamy sex scenes. This book is the hottest thing I’ve read this year and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

A Stitch in Time by Kelley Armstrong

This book is stunningly gorgeous in the way it’s written and executed, catering perfectly to the desires I didn’t know I had. I read A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux earlier this year and the time travel in that book just did not work for me at all. In contrast, A Stitch in Time handles the time travel element so well and the mystery in it was really, really fascinating. I loved the way it combined so many genres into one absolutely glorious romance. I really, really loved this one and I can see myself re-reading it over and over throughout the years.

Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

Selenka is the first woman alpha we’ve gotten as a romantic lead and I was here for it. There’s something about an alpha that just appeals to me so much. I love the way they each care about their people. And then you add in Ethan, who is the sweetest and so convinced he’s damaged. I love the Arrows. Honestly, just everything about this book is perfect. Okay, thank you.

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Catalina and Alessandro are really, really amazing together, but what is most captivating about them is the fact that they’ve each gone through so much while they were apart. There’s a time jump here from Sapphire Flames and Catalina and Alessandro have both grown so much as characters when we meet them again in Emerald Blaze. I think this time jump served the series well, although it’s occasionally odd to know how much happened off screen. But ultimately, I loved the way Alessandro returned and I adore his dynamic with Catalina so much. I would forgive all of it.

The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan

I’ve not been too into historical romance this year, or last year, if we’re being honest. But I am always here for Courtney Milan and this book was absolute perfection. It is low conflict and even the deception plot didn’t ramp up my anxiety too high for me to enjoy it. So I loved this book. LOVED it. Chloe and Jeremy are so fabulous together and I just… The joy I felt reading this. Truly.

Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Listen, I had no idea what to expect when Nalini announced she was writing a book about Titus and The Hummingbird, but I had faith I would enjoy it because I trust Nalini. I nevertheless wasn’t expecting to absolutely fall in love with Titus and Sharine. And yet, there’s something so unbelievably captivating about the two of them, their banter, the way Titus underestimates her and then is entirely bowled over by her strength and care. I just… Honestly, there’s nothing I don’t absolutely love about this book. I think it’s the best in the entire Guild Hunters series.

So there you have my favorite non-contemporary romance releases of 2020! There were so many great books this year. What were some of your favorites?


5 responses to “Favorite Non-Contemporary Romances of the Year”

  1. I need to read Chaos Reigning – I was thinking I’d re-read the series. It’s wild how our tastes are SO similar. I loved so many of these books. I also need to check out the Joanna Shupe book as well as the Kelley Armstrong one. Both sound right up my alley. And maybe this is the year I’ll catch up on Guild Hunter???

    Nick (sorry I’m posting using the swoon account – can’t seem to log out of it!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, I really hope this can be the year you catch up on Guild Hunter!! I love it so much. I know it’s not the series for everyone though. It’s much darker in tone, I think, than Psy-Changeling.


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