#TopTenTuesday: Reading Before the Year Ends – The Romance & Fantasy Edition

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Characters I’d Love An Update On (Where are they now that the book is over?)

I’m going rogue this week because I have zero brain power as I type this and I’ve been thinking about the titles on my TBR that I want to read before the year ends. They’re a mix of 2021 releases and backlist titles that I was super pumped to get to but for one reason or another were put off instead 😂 Most of the time it’s the hype that actually cautions me away from the books because I’m too scared that I’ll be disappointed! Does that happen to anyone else or is it just me?

Anyway, these are the titles that I’m really hoping to read before the year ends. 🤞🏽


the love hypothesis

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass.
Read more…

Beach read

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Read more…


Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, colorful creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere, the hottest pastry chef in London. When her glittery unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has managed to use her fame to help fulfill her dream of opening a bakery, Sugar Fair. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess. Read more…


When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she herself has just started to understand.Read more…


Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.
Read more…


she who became the sun

“I refuse to be nothing…”

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…

In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected. Read more…

these violent delights

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal. Read more…


Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. Read more…

the gilded ones

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat. Read more…

The jasmine throne

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

Have you read any of these romances or fantasies or are they on your TBR too? Do you specific books you’d like to read before the year ends?

55 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday: Reading Before the Year Ends – The Romance & Fantasy Edition

  1. I know what you mean about steering clear of some titles because of the hype. Been there, done that. Too often the book doesn’t live up to the feeding frenzy. Will have to check out She Who Became the Sun. Thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you enjoy SWBTS! There was a lot of hype around that and I’m kinda disappointed that I haven’t been able to really get into it as much as everyone else seems to have… But I’m hoping it’s just my funky reading mood 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


    • I’ve heard so many great things about all the romances and that’s why they keep coming up to the top of my list but for some reason I’m still not reading them 🙈 I’ve heard Hoang’s latest book is pretty different from the other two, which has me a little nervous, but I hope we both enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you on so many of these! I liked The Love Hypothesisd, even though I thought it was a different book when I started it (had it confused with The Kissing Quotient. 🤦🏻‍♀️). I have Beach Read out now, but I’m worried…I heard some not great things about it. Guess we’ll see.

    Also, I’m here for ANYTHING by Helen Hoang.

    Happy Tuesday, friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, The Kiss Quotient is another great book though! Did you end up reading that one? I’m a big fan of Hoang’s books too 🥰 I’ve heard lots of great things about Beach Read so I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it! I hope you enjoyed it? Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did read The Kiss Quotient, and I loved it! I don’t know that I have ever felt more protective of a character as I felt about Nora. I wanted to wrap her in bubble wrap and carry her around like a kitten. 💗


  3. Dini…. heyyyy!!! Long time! I really loved Beach Read and Love Hypothesis! Although, I loved Beach Read the most! lol. I hope you get to all of these. I am totally behind on all challenges and everything with all the move and stuff. I’m hoping to just finish a couple ARCs before the year is up!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • LESLIE! What a surprise to see your name up here 😃 I’m also really slow at replying lately so I’m only just now getting around to comments one week later (oops)! I know you loved Beach Read and everyone else seemed to as well! I hope everything went smoothly with the move ❤️ Speak soonies!

      Liked by 1 person

      • haha.. I know!! It’s so bad… I’m trying. Look at me.. responding to this even later.. lol. I miss you. I think we need another buddy read SOON!! ❤


    • I’ve heard mixed things about THP too only cos I think a lot of people were expecting stories more along the lines of the previous two books but this one was a lot heavier and more serious. Someone even said it read more like women’s fiction than a romance? Ngl, it makes me even more nervous to try it cos I’ve been SO looking forward to Quan’s story… LOL maybe you might end up reading it before I do 😂


  4. DINI. She Who Became the Sun is one of my favourite books of the whole year so I can’t recommend it enough, and I loved Act Your Age, Eve Brown and Beach Read, too. 😁 I’m glad I’m not the only one who still hasn’t read The Jasmine Throne! It’s one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I keep not picking it up… I hope you enjoy all of these when you get to them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOW, Jess! Omg, I’m so nervous about it cos I want to love it but… Ngl, I’ve been struggling a bit though it’s probably due to my weird reading moods than anything. I’ve been in much more of a romance mood lately and so fantasy has been going a bit over me head lately! I hope you enjoy Jasmine Throne! Maybe a buddy read moment if you want to give it a go? Happy reading! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I just said on another blog that it’s always sad to say good-bye to some characters and it would be nice to revisit them.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT which is a top twenty this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t read romances that often but there are like two or three on your list that I should read too… hahaha!

    This is a fun list to make for end of the year goals! Good luck and happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like if I don’t get to them in December I’m gonna try reading them by early 2022 but… No guarantees since I’ve had TVD on many “possibility piles” this year and just never got around to reading it. I hope we both enjoy the books though 🥰 Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would LOVE for you to read Beach Read. It was my favorite book last year and I fully intended to reread it this year but it didn’t happen. Hopefully next year! The Love Hypothesis, The Heart Principle, and Act Your Age are on my tbr, too. I definitely avoid books that have a lot of hype sometimes. Hello, Daisy Jones and The Six! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m still trying to process all the ways I loved Beach Read. I know I said above that I was worried about some of the reviews, but I shouldered on, and LOVED it. I will be reviewing it this week, provided I can sort out my feelings, which are numerous and, right now, a little overwhelming.

      Also, wait…you haven’t read Daisy Jones? Or you did but thought that it was over-hyped?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, yes! So many feelings with Beach Read. It’s definitely one I wish I could unread so I could read it again for the first time. Ha!

        Sorry for the confusion! I was NOT a big fan of Daisy Jones, but I do get why other reader are. I was also not a big fan of Eveyln Hugo. So I think it’s more TJR’s style of writing than anything else.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ah, no, makes me sad to hear that you weren’t a fan of Evelyn Hugo either but I guess we can’t all like the same books 🙂 I can defo see why people don’t enjoy Daisy Jones though but I’m so glad that I read it with the audiobook cos it just made the experience so much more immersive! And yes… I know, I definitely have to read Beach Read soon… Perhaps when on hols in Bali next week 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  8. I hope you’re able to get to all of these! I’ve read and loved Beach Read, The Love Hypothesis, Eve Brown, and The Heart Principle. Those were all quick reads too so definitely doable by the end of the year. 🙂


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