Best Reads May 2020

This post gives a list of my favorite books I read in May 2020. Which are not very many, because I had a pretty big reading slump in May.

This list definitely shows my bias towards contemporary romance, but also includes paranormal romance, and fantasy YA. I am putting the audiobooks in a separate category. I link to reviews where I have written them; and also where I have only posted trigger warnings, so you can easily find those. If I have not yet reviewed, I am using affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money on that sale (which I plan to use to buy more books to review), but it will not add any to the cost of your product. It comes out of the company’s profits.

I’m listing rep at the end of my descriptions. If you spot something incorrect, please do feel free to let me know. Also, I am not intending to out anyone; I get author info from the web and the book bio. If an author would like me to remove any info listed, please do let me know. I want to note that I use the word fat as a neutral descriptor when listing rep, and use the word queer when a character or author identify that way or when I am unclear about their identity but know they fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.

For folks looking for stories with no on-the-page sex, I am putting three asterisks*** at the end of the description.

New reads

I did some reading for a post on musician romances in May; a few of my fave reads were Geek with the Cat Tattoo by Theresa Weir, Appassionata by Emma Barry, Love’s Serenade by Sheryl Lister, The Companion Contract by Solace Ames, and The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale.

Meet Cute

  • The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M Cameron (2020 contemp f/f romance novel) This is a small town neighbors to lovers slow burn romance, and despite the darkness in Jude’s central arc, it’s fairly light in tone and rather cozy in it’s approach. If you have enjoyed other f/f contemporary romances by Cameron, chances are that you will also like this one, which has the added bonus of a very adorable dog. It’s very rooted in it’s Maine small town setting, which felt like a real strength to me, particularly as the author is from Maine.  (Rep: Lesbian white woman heroine. Lesbian white woman trauma survivor heroine. Queer white non-binary author.)
  • Pregnant by the Playboy by Jackie Lau (2020 contemp m/f romance novel) I really enjoyed this meet cute high heat romance with an accidental pregnancy. It’s on the sexier end of Lau’s work, and really delivers heat-wise, has these really lovely tender moments of care between the MCs, and is replete with wonderful food details, like I have come to expect from Lau’s work. This really hit the spot, when I was in a big reading slump, and I’m glad for it. (Rep: Chinese Canadian MCs. Chinese Canadian woman author.)
  • Yes, And… by Ruby Lang, in the collection He’s Come Undone  (2020 contemporary m/f romance novella) I really enjoyed this rather angsty romance, and especially appreciated the conflict and the way each of the characters were at a crossroads and were choosing to change their own lives. I love Lang’s work, and this one has a particular place in my heart because it lets the characters really feel sad, and bleak, and is about watching them slowly get to a place where they have a bit of hope. (Rep: Asian American hero. White heroine. Asian American woman author.)


Workplace Romance

  • Office Hours by Katrina Jackson (2020 contemporary m/f romance novel) I really enjoyed this low conflict, low angst, workplace romance between a sociology professor who is trying to get tenure and a history professor who has been crushing on her for months. They have lovely chemistry, and there is so much heart in this story to balance the heat. I really liked how realistic it felt in it’s portrayal of what it’s like to be a professor of color; the details of that experience added a lot of depth to the story. (Black woman heroine. Latinx man hero. Black queer woman author.)
  • Unraveled by Olivia Dade, in the collection He’s Come Undone  (2020 contemporary m/f romance novella) I adored this m/f romance between two teachers to bits. I fell for the heroine right alongside the hero, and loved witnessing him becoming completely unraveled for her. There is some really lovely fat representation here; I really liked seeing the fat heroine through the hero’s eyes, and the language used to describe her. The heroine is amazing and I wish I could be her friend. I loved all the geeky bits about teaching, as a former teacher; it was a joy to read about skilled teaching. It was nice to have a non-binary student included with basically no fanfare; it feels good to have folks with genders like mine as part of the worlds that authors create. I really enjoyed the burn of his attraction for her, the murder dioramas, and the humor in general. This was a joy to read, and I was glad that it was low conflict and low angst. (Rep: Fat white woman MC. White man trauma survivor MC. Fat white woman author.)



  • Smoke Signals by Meredith Katz (2018 paranormal m/m romance novella) This is an old fave that I did a comfort reread of when nothing else was working. I enjoyed it as much the second time round, with the grumpy dragon love interest, the geekiness, and the way the MC holds his ground and sets clear boundaries. (Rep: White gay man MC. White bisexual man love interest. White lesbian woman author.)

Audio Books & Podcasts


  • Considering Kate by Nora Roberts read by Christina Traister (2001 contemporary m/f romance novel) This is a single parent romance set in a small town, where a successful ballerina quits dancing and moves back home to start a dance school. The hero is the contractor she hires to refurbish the building she buys for the school, and he has a little boy and a contentious relationship with his own family to navigate, isn’t sure he wants to pursue a romance. She pursues him, and is very persistent about it, in a way that felt iffy to me. This is a comfort reread I do on audio when almost nothing will suit, and it definitely has it’s problems, including the iffy consent, and the exoticization of the heroine’s Ukrainian family and Russian former boss.
  • Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce read by the author with Full Cast Audio (1992 fantasy YA novel) This is a comfort reread for me on audio, and it is a dearly beloved book about a girl who has a way with animals that turns out to be magic, and how she begins learning more about her magic as she finds a new home and friends after losing everything. It definitely has it’s problems; the whole series has issues with racism and the development of a teacher/student romance that I personally find disturbing and cannot read the last book because of it. But this book as a stand alone often works when no other book will, so I keep returning to it.

June TBR (I likely won’t get to all of these, but it’s nice to have goals.)

Group Reads/Buddy Reads

ARCs to Read



Epistolary Romances

For fun





One thought on “Best Reads May 2020

  1. I’m so glad that Pink Slip is on your TBR, because I had been trying to remember the title so I could get a copy and all of my googling about poly spies was not getting me anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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