Goodreads Choice Awards: 5 romance books you need to read

Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score. Image courtesy Bloom Books
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score. Image courtesy Bloom Books /

In a word, the Goodreads Choice Awards are strange. The list is supposed to represent the most “popular” and “beloved” romance books from a given year.

In recent years, the list has changed a lot, especially since as readers, we can no longer do write-ins to nominate our favorite romance books. Instead, the list mostly consisted of romance books that have a massive mainstream following or were Book of the Month selections.

That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with either of those categories. However, it does exclude a lot of indie romance books and romance books that are talked about on Booktube, Bookstagram, and BookTok.

The romance category for the Goodreads Choice Awards was okay as the top 20 books had some gems so we’re here to talk about them and celebrate the ones I think you should pick up.

These 5 romance books were gems from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2022 list.

Before getting into my five recommendations, I’d be remiss to not applaud Emily Henry. Once again, she took home the title with her 2022 release, Book Lovers. While I’m sure most of us thought Colleen Hoover would win, I’m happy to see Book Lovers was voted the best romance of the year although I don’t exactly agree. Even so, I’d be remiss to not feature it so let’s get into my recommendations.

1. You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

The first romance book I have to recommend is You Made A Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi. Despite being my most recent read on the list, this book made such a lasting impact on me. It follows Feyi who is dealing with the loss of her husband and deciding to try her hand at dating or should I say, hooking up. While she doesn’t end up in a relationship until almost the middle of the novel, this one was so dramatic and juicy which I adored.

Plus the friendship between Feyi and Joy is #bestiegoals. While this book only managed almost 9k votes, this one was easily the best-written of the bunch and honestly, is going to be one of my favorite romance books I’ve read in 2022.

2. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

The next book on my list is one I didn’t absolutely love, but I’m just so happy to see it on the list for multiple reasons. Before getting into those, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a “second-chance” romance between Delilah and Claire who is Delilah’s stepsister’s best friend. While the two didn’t get along much when they were younger, they eventually reconnect, and the relationship between the two blossoms from there.

Even though I didn’t love this book as it felt more family-focused, I will say that I’m happy to see a sapphic romance making the list. This is also Ashley Herring Blake’s first adult romance and that’s something to be applauded. Hopefully, we’ll see more sapphic romances making the cut within the next few years. As mentioned in the previous recommendation, this one ended up with almost 38k votes which are pretty amazing.

3. Electric Idol by Katee Robert

Moving onto the next Goodreads Choice Awards pick, I had to feature a Katee Robert book. Katee Robert is just one of those authors who always gets it done. While I don’t usually like to feature sequels, Electric Idol reads more like a standalone. This is a retelling of Eros x Psyche with Eros being charged with killing Psyche but to save her, the two agree to get married and it follows their marriage along with the fallout of their actions.

This book has a plus-sized heroine, and lots of actions, and frankly, might be my favorite book of this series. While I do think Neon Gods broke the mold, I feel like Electric Idol was just as good if not better. Honestly, Katee Robert just does not miss despite only getting 8k in votes.

4. Twisted Hate by Ana Huang

Since I’ve already featured one sequel, I figured it’d be okay if I featured another and that’s Twisted Hate by Ana Huang. While I would have chosen the follow-up, I will say that Twisted Hate definitely has more mainstream appeal for new romance readers. This is a hate-to-love romance between Josh, Ava’s brother, and Jules, Ava’s best friend who can’t stand each other but end up getting into a friends-with-benefits arrangement.

The chemistry between these two is eclectic and it really feels like the book could start sizzling at any point with how much sexual tension there is. If you haven’t read Ana Huang before, then you need to love yourself and pick up the Twisted series. As for votes, Twisted Hate ended up with 35k which is amazing for what started as an indie.

5. Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

Rounding out my Goodreads Choice Awards recommendations, I had to go feature Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score. This is a small-town romance between Naomi who is tasked with raising her niece and Knox, the town’s “bad boy.” While the relationship takes a bit of time to develop, these two were a delight to read about and I loved seeing Naomi slowly come to fall in love with the town and taking care of her niece.

Originally, this book was a Kindle Unlimited gem, causing it to stay on the charts for months before getting picked up by Bloom Books. Either way, if you haven’t picked this one up yet, it’s going to be one of my favorites of the year and I’m so happy Bloom Books decided to gift me with a copy.

dark. Next. Gift Guide: 5 picks for the romance book lover in your life

Do you have a favorite Goodreads Choice Award pick for the romance category? Which books would you recommend from the top 20 list? Let us know in the comments.