Romance Books That Rocked (and ones that sucked)

I got you caught up on the fantasy books I’ve read lately, now let’s check out some of the delicious contemporary romances!

Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

The Score by Elle Kennedy

This whole series was DELICIOUS! It sent me deep into book hangover territory. I was ruined for all future books for WEEKS!

  • Fabulously awkward scenes. (I love awkward stuff!)
  • You’ll be desperate for the next book.
  • Swoony romances.
  • I wish I had BFFs like these characters!

Learn more on Goodreads

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn<

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

(tl;dr synopsis)

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. But when her perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process.

This was exactly what I needed after a terrible reading slump.

After finishing the Off-Campus series, I was WRECKED! I tried reading a few books and couldn’t get through them. I was not finishing books left and right! But Firsts yanked me out of that slump.

I knocked off a star because sometimes Mercedes could be really annoying. There was great character development but sometimes her meanness/aloofness/whateverness just went a bit too far for me and I’d resent her. I wanted to smack her and be like, JUST BE REAL WITH PEOPLE!!!!!!

But whatevs. It was still a fabulous book and I did sympathize with her pretty well. I could really see the complexity of the situation and how she got to where she was, but then was like, “How the hell did I get here?” Good intentions gone bad, I guess.

Learn more on Goodreads

Deeper by Robin York

Deeper by Robin York

(tl;dr synopsis)

When Caroline Piaseckiโ€™s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesnโ€™t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.

I don’t know. I kind of liked it, but I also kind of didn’t.

  • Caroline felt like… a really dim character. Mostly around West. She’d look at him and suddenly lose the ability to think or function. It was honestly kind of pathetic. Made me want to slap her.
  • I might get some flack for this, but I also feel like Caroline made a bigger deal out of the photos than necessary. YES, the guy who released them was an asshat. YES having your photos out there sucks big time. But I feel like Caroline let the incident rule her life and she massively exaggerated it. She acted like everyone was constantly judging her and whispering at her… but they weren’t. So many people just didn’t give any fucks. She finally started to realize this (“omg there are people who don’t think I’m a slut???” *sigh*) but it took so damn long.
  • Caroline’s relationship with West was kind of stupid. She demanded that they not be friends.. so West was like, “Okay you can hang out with me if you want but we’re not friends.” Then later, she’d get all pissed at him for not sharing all his feelings and life details. GIRL! COME ON! Do you want to be friends with the guy or not? You can’t have it both ways.
  • I can’t believe she paid a company to “scrub her from the internet”. Stupid stupid stupid. On the one hand she was like, “Everyone always told me once something is on the Internet it’s there forever.” Then she’d turn around and say, “There’s this company that can totally defy that logic and remove my pictures forever.” Yeah. Right.
  • West had some annoying-as-fuck moments. View Spoiler »

But it wasn’t all bad. There were definitely some things I did like.

  • I kept reading. That says something in itself. Despite not liking a lot of the book, I was still morbidly interested and wanted to keep going.
  • The sex was hot!
  • View Spoiler »
  • There were just generally moments where I was enjoying the book. Particularly the scene where View Spoiler »

Learn more on Goodreads

Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young (On Dublin Street #6)


This book really made me fall in love with On Dublin Street again. It actually took me a little while to get into it, but once I did, I loved it!

The end was very happy-sad. It really bummed me out to see the series come to a close, despite my previous claims that the series was dragged on too long.

Learn more on Goodreads

Fall from India Place by Samantha Young

Fall from India Place by Samantha Young (On Dublin Street #4)

It pains me to say this, but I didn’t like this book. For some reason I skipped it in the series, but after reading and loving Moonlight on Nightingale Way, I decided to go back and take this one for a spin. Maybe because there were references to it at the end of book #6 and I wanted to understand them.

But nope.

Hannah was just ANNOYING. I didn’t like her as a character and I think that ruined everything for me.

Learn more on Goodreads

What are some contemporary romances you’ve read lately? Any on this list?

Photo of Ashley
I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

Don't miss my next post!

Sign up to get my blog posts sent directly to your inbox (plus exclusive store discounts!).

You might like these


    1. I have one friend who loved Deeper (that’s why I picked it up) so your feelings could definitely go either way!

  1. Book hangover territory–I know exactly what you mean. I feel like I GET your reviews. My recent contemp. Romances are First & Then by Emma Mills and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (recently reread). Both so so good!

    1. Thank you Ashley! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Nice book choices! I’m glad you luiked them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’ve heard so many good things about the Off-Campus series, I really want to give it a try! I can definitely use some swoon-worthy romances, since sometimes they’re too tame in the YA novels I read

    1. Yeah I totally agree. Sometimes I’m totally in the mood for the cute fluffy YA stuff (I just finished Defending Taylor last night which fit that perfectly!) but other times I want to dig a bit deeper in NA/adult. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Ashley, I too read the Off-Campus series, and like you had a huge book hangover afterwards. I don’t remember now which book (s) helped get me out of that hangover. I have read a few books since that left me feeling the same way. But generally, book hangovers are far and few between.

    1. Aw I’m sorry you didn’t like Dean!

      And yes, I’d love more NA! When you get good NA it’s sooooooooooooooo good!!

  4. I’m so glad you loved Off Campus! I gotta ask… which one was your favorite??

    I own On Dublin Street but I haven’t started it yet. Everyone raved about it waaaay back when but I just haven’t picked it up yet. Maybe it would fix MY reading slump! I’ve picked up 3 books in a row and I can’t get into any of them, either. It must going around… :S

    Kristin @ Addicted to HEA recently posted: Review: Nightstruck by Jenna Black
    1. I liked The Deal best I think. ๐Ÿ™‚ Second favourite being The Score.

      Dublin Street is FAAABULOUS! I thought the series started to feel a bit the same after a while, if you know what I mean, but the first few and last few books are wonderful. Just a bit of a slump there in the middle. ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. LOVE the Off-Campus series! The Game On series by Kristen Callihan has a very similar feel. I love those books, too.

  6. SAD> I loved Deeper! I only read The Deal – and thought it was okay. I hated the THING AT THE END with his dad. *glares*

Recent Posts

    Random Posts