Looking forward to 2021

It’s that time of year again.  The time of year where I get reflective about the year’s past (although is anyone really looking back at 2020 with anything other than disappointment, anger, and contempt?) and I start getting hopeful and excited about the year to come.  

Last year at this time, I hadn’t written much and used my Looking forward to 2020 list as a way to rededicate myself to making this blog work and used my Best of 2019 list as a way to jump start my writing. 

Although not many good things can be said about 2020, the one thing I am looking back on with pride is how this blog has grown.  I have published 32 (33 including this one) posts so far this year and I have ideas for so many more.  I exceeded even my wildest dreams by surpassing my previous yearly reading challenge by reading 160 new books this year (beating my previous record by about 30+ books) and that doesn’t even include rereads.  I even read some non-fiction books.

So with those happy thoughts, I look to the new year with hope.  I hope you and your loved ones are safe and continue to stay safe in this environment where, hopefully, there is an end in sight.  And if not, well, at least we can look forward to some new books to read.  Here’s my list of the books I’m looking forward to most in 2021:

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (Jul 6)

I could not possibly be more excited for this one!!  Currently, I’m listening to Carry On and Wayward Son again, because I cannot get enough of Simon and Baz (okay, let’s be real – I can’t get enough of BAZ!!!) I NEED July to get here faster.  Seriously.  Hurry up, July.  I have no idea what it’s about other than that it will bring Simon, Baz, Penny, and Agatha back to England and Watford. But really, I’d read anything that featured this cast of characters.  Read my review of the previous books Carry On and Wayward Son here

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (Jan 6)

I haven’t had a chance to write a post about Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreakers series, but it is so good!  A retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a curse that threatens to tear apart a nation (or two) and tear families (both blood relations and chosen families) apart.  If you haven’t read the first two in the series, you should run right out and do it!  A Curse So Dark and Lonely and A Heart So Fierce and Broken are on my Winter Break rereading list so I can be ready for this one – the final chapter.  I got to read a sneak peek of this one, and I am SO EXCITED that I can’t stand it!

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah Maas (Feb 16)

I have always loved Sarah Maas’ ACOTAR series and even though the most recent novella wasn’t quite up to snuff, I’m hoping that this one transports me back to the exhilaration of Book 1.  Although Nesta (Feyre’s sister) and Cassian (Rhys’ BFF) are the focus of this book, I’m hoping that the magic will return to the land of Prythian.  Read about my love for this series here.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (Apr 13)

The Hating Game is one of my all-time favorite romance novels.  I don’t think I can say that enough.  And while Sally Thorne’s second novel 99 Percent Mine wasn’t quite as good, it wasn’t bad either.  I’m so excited for her next novel (and I’m secretly hoping for another Josh and Lucy story at the end!)  Read about my love for The Hating Game here.

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Jun 1)

Another enemies-to-lovers YA romance by Rachel Lynn Solomon?  Um, heck yes!  Sign me up for this one.  After her enthralling Today Tonight Tomorrow, I will read anything this woman writes.  Jewish MCs?  YES!  Quirky characters and settings?  YES!  Great plot and dialogue?  Heck, YES!  And fortunately for romance readers, she’s got an adult rom-com coming out too. (See below)  Double the fun from RLS in 2021!  Read about my love for T3 here.

Kingdom of the Wicked #2 by Kerri Maniscalco (no title, no publication date, yet)

The ending of Kingdom of the Wicked was so unexpected that I cannot wait to see what happens in the second installment!  A blog proclaiming my never-ending love for Kerri Maniscalco is forthcoming.   

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary (Apr 29)

Beth O’Leary is really one of those authors to whom I should write an ode. I have read both of her published novels, The Flatshare and The Switch and both are incredibly delightful.  Not quite romance – although both books feature a romance – her books shine when you read about relationships whether romantic love, friendship, or familial love.  Both of those books are amazing and I’ll have to blog about her someday soon.  Luckily for me, she’s coming out with a new book in 2021 about exes who are forced to take a road trip together.  Can’t wait!

Well Matched by Jen DeLuca (no publication date, yet)

Well Met is the first book I ever blogged about (Click here to read it).  I cannot express how much the adorable Renaissance Faire enemies-to-lovers novel has made me smile in the last year.  This one is Mitch’s story and I can’t wait for all the kilt jokes and shenanigans!

Since I am “in the biz” shall we say, I have had the opportunity to read some of the 2021 reads early. Here are the two I’m most excited for right now!

Love at First by Kate Clayborn (Feb 23)

Another book I haven’t had time to blog about is Kate Clayborn’s Love Lettering – it’s not only a love story between Meg and Reid, but a love letter to NYC and a beautiful homage to calligraphy and journaling.  Her new one about two lonely people in Chicago is similar and an adorable read.  

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Jan 26)

This is Rachel Lynn Solomon’s adult book coming in 2021.  I waxed poetic about her writing above so I’ll just say that I’ve had the supreme fortune to have already read this one and I LOVED it.  An adult romance novel starring two public radio hosts pretending to be exes giving romance advice.  Enemies-to-lovers: check.  Fake dating: check.  NPR love: check. Totally worth it!!

This list is substantially smaller than last year’s list, so if you think there is something that I should definitely be excited about, leave me a comment about it.  I would hate to miss out.

And as a last note – Bookshop.org is offering free shipping as their Black Friday deal! So if the shipping is what is holding you back from helping local, independent bookstores, you have until Monday to take advantage. I’m not saying that I’m not buying books – heh – who am I kidding. Y’all know me better than that!

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