Now, this list isn’t comprehensive since most of the contemporary books on my shelves are favorites. This is a genre that I don’t read often, and honestly very few authors make up my collection. I tend to like the lighter, fluffier contemporary romances rather than the heavier ones.
This stems from the fact that I find I can’t relate to teens in a contemporary setting, which is weird since I can in SF or Fantasy. I’m probably not explaining it really well, but I like my contemporary romances light (for the most part)
So these five books I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on this blog at all, which is why I chose them. I could talk about Brigid Kemmerer and Robyn Schneider until I’m blue in the face, but for this post I’m not going to.
I’ve read every book on this list and loved them all, and I’m a sucker for the “boy-next-door” “childhood friend turned bf/gf” and “Pretend to date and fall in love”. I think these books encompass my tastes perfectly.
So here we go!
My Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
It took me awhile to read this – I don’t know why, but I loved it so much, and remember sitting in the middle of my living room until late because I couldn’t put it down.
My Life with the Walter Boys – Ali Novak
My Life with the Walter Boys centers on the prim, proper, and always perfect Jackie Howard. When her world is turned upside down by tragedy, Jackie must learn to cut loose and be part of a family again.
Jackie does not like surprises. Chaos is the enemy! The best way to get her successful, busy parents to notice her is to be perfect. The perfect look, the perfect grades-the perfect daughter. And then…
Surprise #1: Jackie’s family dies in a freak car accident.
Surprise #2: Jackie has to move cross-country to live with the Walters-her new guardians.
Surprise #3: The Walters have twelve sons. (Well, eleven, but Parker acts like a boy anyway)
Now Jackie must trade in her Type A personality and New York City apartment for a Colorado ranch and all the wild Walter boys who come with it. Jackie is surrounded by the enemy-loud, dirty, annoying boys who have no concept of personal space. Okay, several of the oldest guys are flat-out gorgeous. But still annoying. She’s not stuck-up or boring-no matter what they say. But proving it is another matter. How can she fit in and move on when she needs to keep her parents’ memory alive by living up to the promise of perfect?
This was another one sitting book for me. I binged the crap out of this, and I actually now want to read it again.
The Fill-In Boyfriend – Kasie West
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.
I stayed up late reading this, and then ended up in this reading rut where all I wanted to do was read these kinds of pretended dating and falling in love books.
The Heartbreakers – Ali Novak
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.
Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?
I will admit that I was obsessed with One Direction, and this book just made me so happy, and I read this at the beach. I’m pretty sure I didn’t get up until it was done.
My Faire Lady – Laura Wettersten
Rowena Duncan is a thoroughly modern girl with big plans for her summer—until she catches her boyfriend making out with another girl. Heartbroken, she applies to an out-of-town job posting and finds herself somewhere she never expected: the Renaissance Faire.
As a face-painter doubling as a serving wench, Ro is thrown headfirst into a vibrant community of artists and performers. She feels like a fish out of water until Will, a quick-witted whip cracker, takes her under his wing. Then there’s Christian, a blue-eyed stunt jouster who makes Ro weak in the knees. Soon, it’s not just her gown that’s tripping her up.
Trading in the internet and electricity for stars and campfires was supposed to make life simpler, but Ro is finding that love is the ultimate complication. Can she let the past make way for her future?
I love going to Renaissance Faire’s and one of my all time favorite romcoms is All’s Faire in Love, so I really enjoyed this.
If you’ve read any of these, do you have a favorite? Let me know!