Most readers I know have an alarming to-be-read (TBR) pile. Mine is mostly on my Kindle, partly because I vowed that I would stop buying paperback romance novels at the grocery store (yeah, right) and partly because I just can’t resist an Amazon bargain. Any time I see an e-book on sale, I snap it up, adding it to my ever-growing – and never-ending – list of books that I swear I will read someday.

Honestly, I both love and loathe my TBR pile. It’s like a warm and pleasant albatross around my neck, weighing me down while at the same time filling me with constant comfort and happiness. But I love that no matter what, I always have a book I want to read waiting on deck. (Sometimes too many, but that’s beside the point.) And even while I’m currently reading and loving a book, I’m always thinking and fantasizing about what I’m going to read next.

Right now I have about, oh, 40 or so books that I want to read ASAP. Those are ranked from most important to I-could-put-this-off-for-a-very-little-while.

Here are the most urgent, those five books I’m dying to read (just as soon as I find the time!):

Royally Screwed, Emma Chase (EverAfter Romance, October 18, 2016)

51ED8-jJlUL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_When I read the synopsis to Chase’s royal romance, I knew I had to have it. Seriously, it sounds just like The Prince & Me, but with sexy times. Um, SIGN ME UP. Nicholas Pembrook, Crown Prince of Wesseco, is pampered and spoiled, used to getting exactly what he wants. But then he meets waitress Olivia Hammond, who could care less about his royal prestige. Of course he falls hard for her, especially after she literally throws a pie in his face. Olivia falls too, but she’s not quite ready for everything that comes with dating a prince: the paparazzi, his disappointing family and the intense public attention. The two have to decide if their love can overcome the expectations placed on Nicholas from birth, and OMG this looks so good. I can’t wait to read this book.


Holding Up the Universe, Jennifer Niven (Knopf Books for Young Readers, October 4, 2016)


I love complex love stories with people who aren’t quite what they seem on the surface, which is definitely the basis for Niven’s latest young adult novel. After her mother dies, Libby Strout hides herself away from the world, gains a significant amount of weight, and, following a very embarrassing public event, becomes known as “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one knows the real Libby. That is, not until she meets Jack Masselin and the two end up working together after a cruel prank goes wrong. Jack seems confident and popular, but he’s hiding his true self too: specifically that he has a rare disorder where he can’t recognize faces. The two teens end up finding solace in each other. That kind of support and devotion is exactly why Holding Up the Universe is currently in the second spot place on my Kindle.


The Bird and the Sword, Amy Harmon (CreateSpace, May 6, 2016)


I started hearing buzz about Harmon’s poetic and lovely fantasy novel over the summer, but never quite got around to buying it. Then a few weeks ago I finally read the synopsis and instantly fell hard. The story follows a young girl named Lark who lives in the kingdom of Jeru. It’s a land where the power of words have incredible weight, which is part of the reason Lark loses the ability to speak after her mother dies. But Lark still manages to find her voice, particularly as she begins to fall in love with the king, Tiras, and starts to learn more about her family. It’s rare to find a romantic fantasy novel that’s also lyrically written, which is why I was immediately drawn to this read.



One Snowy Night, Jill Shalvis (Avon Impulse, November 8, 2016)


Jill Shalvis is one of those authors I just can’t resist. If I even see one of her books on a shelf, I’m buying it. Seriously, she could write a new version of the phonebook and I’d gladly add it to my TBR pile. So a cute, romantic novella set during Christmas time? I’m there. This is another Heartbreaker Bay story, this time following Rory Andrews who’s trying to get home to Lake Tahoe for Christmas. But her only ride is Max Stranton, a high school crush who she has a lot of old history with. Basically, the two hate each other — at first. Christmas chemistry can’t be denied for long though, and I fully expect these two to be making out in the front seat of Max’s truck before long. This looks like the perfect romantic read to get me into the Christmas spirit!



P.S. I Like You, Kasie West (Point, July 26, 2016)


West’s young adult novels are adorable, romantic and fun, which is why I snatched up P.S. I Like You as soon as it went on sale in July. Four months later and I still haven’t found the time to read it. But I will soon! And here’s why: after scribbling some lyrics down on her desk one day, Lily gets a reply from a stranger at her school, and soon she’s having a full-blown relationship with her secret pen pal. She just has to figure out who it is. Her mortal enemy, Cade? The cute hipster, Lucas? I already know who I’m rooting for, and I trust West to deliver well-rounded characters who never dip into the cliché. This is a cute romance that tempts me every time I open my Kindle. Maybe it’s time to bump it up the list!