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Romanceopoly 2019 Wrap-Up | Suzanne

Our first year of Romanceopoly is over…and what a year! It’s been a lot of fun completing this challenge and I have picked up books, authors and genres that I would usually dismiss. Some of these have been successful, some of them…haven’t. But I am really glad I gave them a try.

But, lets talk about exactly what I have read. Starting from the first street in Romanceopolis, this was my journey through the Romanceopoly challenge in 2019.

the mean streets of Urban Fantasy | Leather Lane, Kickass Lane

Leather Lane – read an Urban Fantasy where the series is already completed

Hounded
by Kevin Hearne
#1 Iron Druid Chronicles
⭐⭐⭐

I wanted to like this one way more than I actually did. But it has also been a book on my TBR for a really long time, so I am still glad I picked it up…even if it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

tropes & tags: action, magic, hero-druid, cute pets

My Review | Amazon

Kick Ass Lane – read an Urban Fantasy with a picture of a kick ass heroine on the cover

Sparkle Witch
by Helen Harper
#4 The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic
⭐⭐⭐⭐

This series is so cute, it’s a light hearted, funny romp of an UF series. This particularly book is a Christmas novella and it was delight to see what my favourite lazy witch and her smart ass cat were up to at Christmas.

tropes & tags: magic, heroine-witch, funny, cute pets, christmas read, novella, kindle unlimited

My Review | Amazon

growing with YA, Historical Fiction & Women’s Fiction | Growing Pains Place, Memory Lane, Women’s Avenue

Growing Pains Place – read a Young Adult book (contemporary or fantasy)

Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fangirl doesn’t quite fit the YA genre (something I didn’t realise when I picked it up) as the heroine has just gone to university, making it more new adult, but it doesn’t quite feel like that either. Which is perfect metaphor really for this entire book, it’s a fantastic coming of age story and I plan to read more Rainbow Rowell in the future.

tropes & tags: coming of age, heroine-geek, friends to lovers, college setting

My Review | Amazon

Memory Lane – read a historical fiction novel

The Witch of Willow Hall
by Hester Fox
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a genre that I read very rarely, so I felt a little lost when I was trying to find a book. But, this was recommended to me as it had a little romance, a few ghosts and a story to keep you gripped.

tropes & tags: ghosts, witches, haunted house

UTC’s Review | Amazon

Women’s Avenue – read a women’s fiction novel

Don’t You Forget About Me
by Mhairi McFarlane
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I picked this one up thinking it was a contemporary romance; it wasn’t. It is definitely in the realms of women’s fiction, but there is romance plot within it. This is one of my favourite reads of 2019, it made me laugh, it made me cry. It’s a journey of self-discovery written with warmth and humour. 

tropes & tags: second chance, childhood sweethearts, funny, recommended read 

My Review | Amazon

explore with New Adult & LGBT | College Row, LGBT Lane, Freedom Friars

College Row – read a new adult book set in college

The Deal
by Elle Kennedy
Off Campus #1
⭐⭐⭐.5 

I’m not a big new adult fan, but, as soon as I knew I needed a book in the genre, The Deal was what everyone recommended to me. I can see why, it was funny, sexy as hell and had some truly moving moments. However, did it enthrall me and make me want to jump on to the next book? Not really.

tropes & tags: hero-jock, h & H make a deal, set in college, heroine-musician, fake relationship, heroine-rape survivor

UTC’s Review | Amazon

LGBT Lane – read a new adult LGBT romance

Carry the Ocean
by Heidi Cullinan
The Roosevelt #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING! If I had to single out the best book of the bunch, this would be it. I loved it. It was so beautiful. I absolutely fell in love with both the characters and seeing their struggles was both heartbreaking and inspiring. It was so masterfully wrought; anyone who loves angst (which, honestly I don’t normally), will have an absolute ball with this! If you read nothing else from this list, make sure you pick up this one.

tropes & tags: recommended read, mental health, autism, angst, m-m, new adult

UTC’s Review | Amazon

Freedom Friars – read an adult LGBT romance

Sticking to the Script
by Stella Weaver
Cipher Office #2
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was darn cute! And funny. And sexy. And did I mention cute? This was Weaver’s debut (I know it’s #2 in the series, #1 was written by a different author) and she has really nailed it with this book. I feel like a cartoon character every time I think about this book. One with her hands clutched to her chest and hearts for eyes. This book was everything I want in a romance, it was so full of hope, laughs and was sexy to boot. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.

tropes & tags: recommended read, bisexual, m-m, hero-doctor, funny, kindle unlimited, author debut

My Review | Amazon

living in the Contemporary | Sweet Street, Badboy Circus, Erotic Eaves

Sweet Street – read a sweet or small town contemporary romance

Make Me Bad 
by R.S. Gray
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐

This was my first book by this author and it was a great quick read. Funny and sweet, great for wiling away a few hours. Did it set my world alight? Not really, but it was fun. 

tropes & tags: small town, families are enemies, funny, class disparity, heroine-librarian, sweet, kindle unlimited

My Review | Amazon

Badboy Circus – read a contemporary romance with a bad boy hero or bad girl heroine

Melt For You
by J.T. Geissinger
Slow Burn #2
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Confession: I’m not really into bad boy heroes, which made finding a book for this prompt took me ages. But, I am soooo glad I picked this one up. It was hilarious! I raced through this in pretty much one sitting. I think it helped that the hero had the reputation of being a bad boy, but we never saw that side of him. Instead he was funny, charming and clearly madly in love with our heroine. This is definitely a book I plan to reread.

tropes & tags: funny, sports romance, friends to lovers, curvy heroine, good girl bad boy, kindle unlimited, hero rugby player, recommended read

UTC Review | Amazon

Erotic Eaves – read a smoking hot erotic contemporary romance

The Hostage Bargain
by Annika Martin
Kinky Bank Robbers #1
⭐⭐

I love Annika Martin’s writing style and this book was sexy as hell. As in melt your kindle, set your book on fire kind of sexy. But…I just couldn’t get into it. 

tropes & tags: reverse harem, heroes criminals, kidnapped, group sex, freebie, novella

Amazon

in another world with Paranormal | Warrior’s Way, Magic Row, Creature Crescent

Warrior’s Way – read a PNR which involves a band of warriors

Envy
by Lana Perchecyzk
The Deadly Seven #1
⭐⭐⭐.5

I love me a superhero, but I don’t see too many of them in romance, so when I saw this I knew I had to snap it up. And dayyyyyum look at that cover! This was a really great action packed romance, it suffered a little from information overload, nevertheless I am definitely reading on in the series.

tropes & tags: action, superheroes, fated mates, kindle unlimited, 

My Review | Amazon

Magic Row – read a PNR where the hero or heroine can wield magic

Stoned
by Layla Frost
The Four #2
⭐⭐

Hmmm, this book makes me hmmmmm. I have enjoyed Layla Frost’s contemporary romance – it reminds a little of Kristen Ashley – but I have struggled a little with this series. There were no BIG problems with this book, it’s just that I found it a little…boring. 

tropes & tags: kindle unlimited, magic, fated mates, funny

My Review | Amazon

Creature Crescent – read a PNR where the hero or heroine isn’t human (shifters, vamps, angels etc)

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire
by Kerrelyn Sparks
Love at Stake #1
⭐⭐⭐.5

This is the kind of book I wanted to tackle for romanceopoly…the type that has been on both my kindle and my TBR since early 2011. And finally, after 8 years of neglect I picked it up. This was such a fun read! It felt a little dated – how weird is it reading a contemporary setting where no one has mobiles? And digital cameras are a new thing? But, that doesn’t take a way from the really cute love story. 

tropes & tags: vampires, funny

My Review | Amazon

solve a Thriller & Mystery | Cozy Corner, Military Mews, Murder Mews

Cozy Corner – read a mystery or cozy mystery

A Merciful Death
by Kendra Elliot
Mercy Kilpatrick #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Although Kendra Elliot isn’t a new author to me, this is the first book of hers that I’ve read where she isn’t co-authoring with Melinda Leigh. It was a great read! A mystery with a spot of romance and family drama, meaning that you were reading for more than just the whodunit, I am definitely going to be continuing this series. 

tropes & tags: serial killer, kindle unlimited, FBI 

My Review | Amazon

Military Mews – read a romantic suspense with a military hero/heroine

The Darkest Hour
by Maya Banks
KGI #1
⭐⭐⭐

Romantic suspense…another genre that I don’t generally read. But, I did enjoy this one, it had such a nuts story, but it still managed to tell a powerful emotional tale. Plus, look at those glorious abs!

tropes & tags: married couple, second chances, amnesia, special ops 

My Review | Amazon

Murder Mill – read a thriller or romantic thriller

Wolfhunter River
by Rachel Caine
Stillhouse Lake #3
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I adore this series, but, I was behind so this challenge gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up. And wow, what a ride! This book really takes you through the wringer. This book really gets you feeling our heroines frustration, heartbreak and fear. Which, just makes you admire her even more as she tackles all the obstacles that life keeps throwing in front of her like a complete bad ass.  

tropes & tags: action, serial killer, kindle unlimited, nail biter, heroine i love, recommended read

My Review | Amazon

a world away with Fantasy, Steampunk & Sci-Fi | Faraway Land, London Street, Alien Avenue

Faraway Land – read a fantasy romance or fantasy novel

Armed & Magical
by Lisa Shearin
Raine Benares #2
⭐⭐⭐⭐

If you want a fun fantasy romp, then you need to give the Raine Benares series a try.  Our witty heroine is street smart, but occupies a fairly low rung on the magical ladder. Or she used to be until she accidentally gets handed a magical artifact. Much chaos, action and a little romance ensues. Does it delve deeply into any of the characters or have a complex story? Not really, but it’s perfect if you want something fun and action packed.

tropes & tags: action, magic, fun, love triangle

My Review | Amazon

London Street – read a steampunk romance or steampunk novel

You Only Love Twice 
by Bec McMaster
The Blue Blood Conspiracy #3
⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is another series where romanceopoly gave me the excuse I needed to catch up. This book was smoking hot, full of spy on spy action, both in and outside of the bedroom and it masterfully wove through threads for the coming books. McMaster is a fantastic author and her series are a great place to start if you haven’t read much/any steampunk before. 

tropes & tags: vampires, second chance, spies, amnesia, assassin

My Review | Amazon

Alien Avenue – read a sci fi romance or sci fi novel

Mama and the Alien Warrior 
by Honey Phillips & Bex McLynn
Treasure by the Alien #1
⭐⭐⭐.5

If I could just read alien sci fi all day every day I would. I had too many choices for this challenge! But, I adored Mama and the Alien Warrior. It was just so cute and sexy and full of alien hero goodness. If you don’t like your aliens pretty freaking alien – scales and a tail – then you won’t be into this. I, however, am all about the tails, scales, horns, wings, tentacles, extra arms, exo-skeletons and any other combo! Bring it on!

tropes & tags: aliens, kindle unlimited, cute kids, kidnapped

Amazon

go back in time with Historical | Austen Row, Mayfair

Austen Row – read a classic romance or historical romance on UTC/PLB rec list

The Princess Bride 
by William Goldman
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Princess Bride is one of my favourite films, which is why I am kind of ashamed that I didn’t realise into fairly recently that it was based on a book. But, once I knew, I viewed it as a classic, and it is definitely a romance, and even better a surreal swashbuckling one. This book was as weird and wonderful and I am so glad I picked it up! I have watched the film again since reading it and it has given me an even better appreciation for it. 

tropes & tags: kindle unlimited, fantasy, classic, has a film adaption, adventure 

My Review |Amazon

Mayfair – read a historical romance where there is a class disparity

Any Duchess Will Do 
by Tessa Dare
Spindle Cover #4
⭐⭐⭐⭐

I don’t know how I hadn’t read this book before. I have read all of the Spindle Cove series apart from this one. What is even stranger is that I have 2 physical copies of this book and an ebook. How on earth did I miss it?! But, I am glad I did, it is the perfect book for this challenge. Our hero is a duke and our heroine is a bar maid, it doesn’t get much disparate than that! As always with a Tessa Dare book, it had a perfect balance of being both fun, but with a real emotional back bone.  

tropes & tags: class disparity, funny, fake relationship, funny

UTC Review |Amazon

moving along the Subway | Downtown, Uptown

Downtown- read a rock star romance

Lick
by Kyle Scott
Stage Dive #1
⭐⭐⭐.5

This was my last read of romanceopoly and, it was one I was dreading. I had yet to find a rock star romance that I liked. Have I found one now? I think I have! This book was a lot of fun and I am definitely going to be picking up the next book in the series. Am I completely converted to rock star books though? Not really.

tropes & tags: rock star, curvy heroine, funny, one night stand, 

UTC Review |Amazon

Uptown- read a chef/roodie romance

The Opposite of You
by Rachel Higginson
Opposites Attract #1
⭐⭐⭐

This may be one of my favourite covers of the year, but I wasn’t really feeling the book itself. Neither the hero or heroine resonated with me…however, I would quite happily eat at their food! This book made me so hungry!

tropes & tags: chefs at war, food truck, kindle unlimited, enemies to lovers, opposites attract

UTC Review |Amazon

free styling in the Library | Free choice

Library – read any book you want in any genre!

Verity
by Colleen Hoover
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐⭐

This one isn’t really romance, more of a mystery, but I really wanted to try out Colleen Hoover – this is my first book by her – and I thought of all her books, this fitted my reading tastes the most. Boy, was I right! What an absolutely gripping read. I could not put this one down. It was a little slow to start, but damn, once it got started, it was intense. And that ending…

tropes & tags: mind fuck, twisty, recommended read, kindle unlimited

UTC Review |Amazon

Alex, Approximately
by Jenn Bennett
Standalone
⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am not a big reader of YA, especially contemporary romance YA, however, Jenn Bennett has really brought me on side this year. This book in particular was a favourite. It was a perfect coming of age summer read.  

tropes & tags: online, epistolary, recommended read, summer reading, young adult

My Review |Amazon

Run To Ground
by Katie Ruggle
Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #1
⭐⭐⭐.5

If you want a fairly low key romantic suspense with minimal explosions, but with a working dog and his partner needs some love and care after a tragic series of events, then you need to pick up this book.  

tropes & tags: woman on the run, animal characters, angsty hero, single parent, 

My Review |Amazon

unravel the Mystery | Fated to Love, Wallflowers and Courtesans, Sports Season

Fated to Love- read a paranormal romance with a fated mates trope

Bear Necessities
by Dana Marie Bell
Halle Shifters #1
⭐⭐⭐

I have had this on my kindle for such a long time. I had kind of forgotten all about it until I was scouring for a book for this challenge. I am glad I decided to pick it up, as although it didn’t blow my mind, it was still a lot of fun to read.   

tropes & tags: shifters, characters of colour, fated mates, 

My Review |Amazon

Wallflowers and Courtesans- read a historical romance where the heroine is either a wallflower or a courtesan

Brazen and the Beast
by Sarah Maclean
The Bareknuckle Bastards #2
⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

Sarah Maclean is one of my favourite authors and so it came as no surprise that I adored this book. For starters it had a curvy heroine, which I loved. And then the hero Beast, who grunts his way into our hearts. Then of course there’s the sexy as hell scene involving a lifted skirt, a closet door and a Beast on his knees…delicious!   

tropes & tags: recommended read, curvy heroine, criminal hero, class disparity, competent heroine, good girl bad boy, wallflower 

My Review |Amazon

Sports Season- read a sports contemporary romance featuring a hockey or football star

Bountiful
by Sarina Bowen
True North #4
⭐⭐⭐.5

You know what I loved about this sports romance? That no sports was ever really involved. It was more like a small town romance where the hero just happens to be a ice hockey star. Perfect. I haven’t actually read any of the other books in this series, but, it read perfectly without knowing what had happened in the previous 3 books. As usual with a Bowen book it was super sexy, with great banter and brilliant chemistry between the hero and heroine.  

tropes & tags: ice hockey romance, oops she’s pregnant, small town, summer fling, second chance 

UTC Review |Amazon

hanging at the Corners | Dungeon, Firestation, Heartbreak Hospital

Dungeon – read a book with a hero in prison or ex-con -OR- read a book from one of UTC/PLB fave book boyfriends list

The Kiss Quotient
by Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Am I the last person in the universe who read this book? I kind of felt like I was. It was on our fave book boyfriend’s list – added by Jess at PLB – and I decided that now was the time to pick it up. The big problem was that this book has SO MUCH hype. So so very much that what I was expecting, even though I tried really hard to expect nothing, was perfection. For me, it wasn’t quite perfection, but it was funny, sexy and moving. I really enjoyed it. And, I am pleased that finally a quality romance book has found the spot light (I’m looking at you Fifty Shades).

tropes & tags: hero sex worker, autism, sex deal, kindle unlimited, fake relationship, opposites attract, characters of colour

UTC Review |Amazon

Firestation – read a book with a firefighter hero/heroine -OR- read an “on fire” HOT erotic romance

Hero
by Lauren Rowe
The Morgan Brothers #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Confession. I picked this book because of the cover. I can’t resist a gorgeous, topless, mud smeared bloke in braces. It’s a weakness I have. But, I am glad I did, the sexy cover in no way prepared me for the emotional punch this book delivers. We have the widowed heroine and the hero who has suffered through a big trauma. So, although we have a bit of an insta-love situation in this book, I love the mature way the characters handle their relationship. I was honestly surprised by how much I liked this book and I’ll definitely be reading on in this series.

tropes & tags: hero fire fighter, heroine medical professional, injured in the course of duty, single parent, big family, kindle unlimited, characters of colour, insta love

Amazon

Heartbreak Hospital – read a book with a doctor hero/heroine -OR- read a tear jerker

Doc’s Orders
by Cynthia Sax
Cyborg Space Exploration #2
⭐⭐⭐

My secret mission for romanceopoly was to get as many sci fi books in as I possibly could. I kind of failed at this, as I think I only managed to read 2. Oh well! But, I did manage t o get this book in, I love Sax’s books, they are so sexy, her cyborgs love to be in control and when they find their female, they are willing to do anything to keep them at their sides. 

tropes & tags: cyborg hero, alien heroine, hero medic, fated mates

Amazon

getting about on Transport | Bus, Taxi

Bus – read a contemporary book about a travel story – OR- read a book about a hero/heroine going on a journey (including fantasy)

A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love Instagram, it’s my social media platform of choice, and you it doesn’t take long when you’re part of the bookstagram community to see how many people love this book. It’s everywhere. Which, is why I decided to give it a try. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Now I’ve read it, although it won’t really make it on any all time fantasy/urban fantasy favourites, I did like it. I especially loved our swashbuckling heroine Lila, however, the overall book seemed to suffer from information overload, I look forward to book 2 where hopefully the story will take precedent over world building. 

tropes & tags: magic, magic users, parallel worlds, action and adventure

My Review |Amazon

Taxi – read one of UTC/PLB recommended reads list (any genre)

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days
by Kerrelyn Sparks
The Embraced #1
⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is my second Kerrelyn Sparks book for 2019 romanceopoly, and although I really liked her PNR, this was definitely my favourite of the two. It was a recommendation from Francesca, who I know adored this book and the others in the series. Now, Francesca and I don’t always like the same things, in fact we are known to have the direct opposite views on the same books. But, for this book, I have to agree, it was excellent. Although it was the first book in a fantasy series it wasn’t overburdened with world building, instead we had a fast paced romance with an element of adventure which has you quickly turning the pages. Thank you Francesca for the recommendation!

tropes & tags: magic, magic users, funny, action and adventure, arranged marriage, mistaken identity, ghosts

UTC Review |Amazon

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