Happy New Year, InspyRomance Readers!!
I can’t believe I get to be the first post of 2021!!! (Not like that creates any pressure or anything, lol.) I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s celebration. I pray that this year blesses you richly. And I pray that you get to read all the great books that 2021 will bring us.
Now let’s talk about My Favorite Christian Contemporary Romances of 2020. :)
Although 2020 gave us some hits, it gave us lots of great reads in my opinion. I read almost 300 books and thanks to Goodreads, I was able to keep track of my favorites. Although I think I need to create a shelf so that it’s easier then scrolling through 300 reads, lol.
Anyway, here they are!
Their Wander Canyon Wish by Allie Pleiter
I’ve been reading Allie’s books for awhile so picking this one up was a no brainer. But y’all it had so many good things in it and gave me all the heartwarming feels.
Blurb: Their mother needs a fresh start…Could he be what they’ve been waiting for?
Back in her hometown with her twin daughters, widow Marilyn Sofitel is set on never falling in love again. She’s sure her heart is safe spending time with Wyatt Walker as he works to fix the carousel her girls love. Everyone knows he’s handsome, charming…and trouble. But as they grow closer, might their unlikely friendship to develop into something deeper?
Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese
Y’all, if I had to pick a number one out of all the books, it would be this one. ALL. THE. FEELS!! Seriously, I may have needed tissues. May have stared at the back cover for awhile once I finished The End. May have prodded bookish friends to read it with a quickness so that I could gush over every detail. I may have even reread it.
Blurb: Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.
Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish by Bethany Turner
I’m a huge fan of Bethany as an author and a person so reading her 2020 release was a no brainer. And I laughed and sighed and loved all the nods to Food Network stars.
Blurb: Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.
As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.
Whatever Happens Next by Jaycee Weaver
Jaycee is an InspyRomance author and one of my critique partners. Her books always have me sighing over dreamy heroes and rooting for a happily ever after. This book is a must read.
Blurb: He needs to stay. He has orders to go. They’ll have to trust God with whatever happens next.
Growing up in small town Oklahoma gave US Air Force vehicle maintainer TSgt Dyson what his momma calls itchy feet. His wanderlust has kept him from romantic entanglements for years, until the day an over-dramatic, strawberry-scented chatterbox slams into him and turns his world upside down.
Jenna Davis was a quintessential good girl, deeply rooted in her family and faith until one mistake three years ago changed everything. Unable to admit her failure, she goes through the motions watching everyone else live their dreams. But it’s hard to find her purpose when opening up to anyone—even God—feels impossible. Then she meets Dyson, who personifies the strong, silent type.
Dyson gets her to open up and begin dreaming again, rebuilding the trust she’s lost in men and especially in herself. But Dyson has something important to tell Jenna, and he knows it’ll be the end of all they’ve built. After all, how can he ask her to leave everything and everyone behind when he can never stay?
Molly by Sarah Monzon
Sarah is another one of my critique partners so it’s no surprise I love all of her work either. She had two releases in 2020 and I loved them both, don’t make me choose between them.
Blurb: If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I absolutely refuse to tell a lie no matter the consequences. So don’t ask me a direct question unless you’re prepared for a direct answer—that’s something my SoCal sewing girlfriends have learned the hard way.
But who would have thought my honesty policy would get me fired from my job at the preschool? Or that a desperate—and not to mention devastatingly handsome—single father of one of my (now-former) students would hire me that same day as a nanny for his daughter?
I’m an education professional. How hard can taking care of a four-year-old and her over-stressed, over-worked father be?
Jocelyn by Sarah Monzon
Blurb: WWSOD—What would Scarlett O’Hara do?
Anything to survive, that’s what. But instead of a man-eating Southern belle in hoop skirts and big hats, my version of existence looks an awful lot like a financial conglomerate employee staring blankly at budget analysis spreadsheets. Either way, the motto has served me well most my life. Until now, that is. The corporate retreat location has just been announced, and this city girl is headed to a dude ranch in the country. How will Scarlett help me survive that? No, this time I’ll turn to the sage advice of preteen YouTubers and their ponies to keep me from making a fool of myself.
But who’s going to help me navigate the kind yet reticent cowboy in the black Stetson—the cattle ranch owner who’s slowly claiming corners of my heart?
Sea Glass Castle by T.I. Lowe
I read the whole series but this book was by far my favorite.
Blurb: Sophia Prescott is still mending from the embarrassment of a highly publicized divorce from a pro football player, and the now-single mother is back in Sunset Cove, surrounded by the supporting love of her family and the Sand Queens. Sophia doesn’t think there’s any hope for starting over until an unexpected trip to the pediatrician’s office gives her a second chance after all.
Dr. Weston Sawyer knows all about lives shattering into millions of pieces. His own all but ended when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and barreled head-on into his pregnant wife’s sedan, killing her instantly and leaving Wes with a soul so wounded that it has refused to heal. He packed up and left swampy southern Alabama for South Carolina with the hope of fading into the sleepy coastal town of Sunset Cove. Instead, feisty brunette Sophia Prescott will have him braving something different and entirely unexpected. If Sophia and Wes can take the leap to give love another try, they just might find that hope has a way of coming back around and weaving into one’s heart.
Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter
This is another book that was part of the series but this one was my favorite of 2020!
Blurb: Facing the past is easier if you don’t have to face it alone.
The Bluebell Inn is turning a profit, and it’s time for the Bennett siblings to sell it and move on. Only Grace has plans to stay in the small lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina, where she hopes her growing outfitters business will save her from the loneliness of her siblings’ departure and the persistent sense of unworthiness in her life.
A gunshot wound resurrects the past for Secret Service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell. There he must come to grips with the tragedy that altered his life fourteen years ago.
When Wyatt books a room at the Bluebell Inn, sparks fly between him and Grace. She volunteers to be his mountain guide, and he soon opens up to her, drawn to her strength and sense of humor. But both are reticent to talk about the survivor’s guilt they each carry, and when their pasts finally collide, their budding romance might not survive the truth.
Suddenly Forever by Teresa Tysinger
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Teresa in some book collections. I also had the pleasure of reading this book before it published and all I can see is grab some tissues!
Blurb: On the outskirts of Laurel Cove, North Carolina sits a quiet lake tucked into gentle mountains carpeted with the brilliant colors of autumn. Grief binds the lake’s only residents into an unlikely family, where old and new love build a bridge between loss and hope.
For years, best-selling author Cora Bradford has worked tirelessly to tread the unrelenting waves of grief in solitude. That is until a new neighbor moves in down the road and threatens to disrupt what she’s carefully preserved of the life she once knew. Will God ever answer her prayer for peace and calmer waters?
Following a scandal, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Luke Bassett escapes to the one place in the world he’s ever experienced peace—his mother’s cabin on the lake where he spent childhood summers. But the memory of her and the mistakes he made are hardly peaceful. To make matters worse, he gets off to a rocky start with his bitter, but breathtakingly beautiful, neighbor. Was running away from the life he’s always known the biggest mistake of all, or the beginning of something he never knew he wanted?
Spunky, opinionated, and recently widowed Ina McLean is alone for the first time in over ninety years. When Cora and Luke come together to care for their only other neighbor, Ina’s belief in God’s goodness through life’s ups and downs works to restore their hope in learning to live—and love—again.
Some Bright Someday by Melissa Tagg
I adore this series and didn’t know if Melissa could make me love a hero more than I did Marshall (in Now and Then and Always), but y’all Lucas deserves all the book boyfriend love.
Blurb: He’s torn between love and honor…
Lucas Danby has always regretted the decisions that caused his dishonorable discharge from the military—and he’s never stopped trying to redeem his honor. He’s spent the past decade taking on dangerous short-term missions as an elite private soldier—the only part of his life that’s ever gone right. But the high-risk work never cures his shame. Now he’s stuck stateside, mentoring a new recruit. Worse, he’s sick of lying to the people he cares about most—including the woman he’s secretly loved for years.
She can’t escape her house of memories…
Jenessa Belville should be happy. She’s the hometown girl everyone loves, after all. But she’s also the last Belville left—and if she had her way, she’d leave the name and all its painful memories behind. Which is exactly what she hopes to do once she sells Belville Park, the massive estate she inherited from her parents. First, though, she needs to restore the property’s once-glorious gardens. But on the same day she puts up the “For Sale” sign, she discovers three children hiding in the caretaker’s cottage, thrusting her into the unexpected role of temporary guardian.
Fighting for their future means healing from the past…
Struggling to mentor a young man with scars nearly as piercing as his own, Lucas offers to help Jenessa restore the Belville grounds. Though drawn together by a trio of kids who tug on their hearts and the sparks they can’t deny, past secrets and current sorrows threaten to pull them apart. Only the brightest love and hardest sacrifice can turn the house Jenessa never wanted into the home she and Lucas have always longed for.
Hope for Freedom by Elizabeth Maddrey
Another InspyRomance writer, Elizabeth Maddrey’s book 4 in the Hope Ranch series had me involved with the characters (I may have fussed at them and bugged said author while reading). I can’t wait for book 5!
Blurb: A vegan alpaca farmer, a ranch hand, and an accidental pregnancy.
Indigo Hewitt reluctantly decides a move to Hope Ranch is the best of the few options available. Despite not knowing her grandparents well, she moves in a few days before her baby sister’s wedding. Based on conversations she’s had with ranch hand Joaquin, Indigo figures she’ll manage to fit in just fine.
Joaquin Rivera has been pushing the Hewitts to bring livestock to Hope Ranch. When Indigo relocates with her herds, he’s excited to lend a hand with the sheep and alpacas. Working alongside Indigo isn’t going to be a hardship, either.
After a tipsy evening together, Joaquin is determined to get his relationship with Indigo back to a place that honors God. One mistake isn’t going to ruin either of their lives. Until those two pink lines appear.
Will they find a way to make a family, or will Indigo’s need for freedom be too much for love to overcome?
For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card and buy one (or more) of these reads, tell me your top five Christian contemporary romances of 2020. Comment by 1/6/21 3:00pm EST and I will pick a random winner.