Best Books of 2024 So Far - Part One

How’s your 2024 reading coming along? What books would you deem the best books of 2024? We’ve found SO MANY books to love, and it’s too hard to just narrow them down, so here we go with some quick recaps mixed with longer reviews. You can find more on our Goodreads page too. 

And if you’re looking for 2024 releases, check out our January, February, March, April, May, and June new release guides.  

When Clementine walks into her apartment—inherited from her free-spirited aunt—she never knows if it’ll be present day or seven years in the past. The first time it happens, she finds Iwan, a complete (and gorgeous) stranger. She understandably freaks out, even though she’s heard the stories from her aunt and knows the deal.

And so it goes on, with Clementine never knowing which time frame will greet her when she unlocks the front door and whether she’ll see Iwan, who she’s falling for despite knowing it’ll never work—if it did, they’d be together in the present. Right? But that doesn’t stop her from falling. Hard. Even when she finds him in the present. Why does she let herself keep falling for him in the past, knowing her heart will break? Read and find out!

Wow—I almost never give five stars but The Seven Year Slip gets my first of 2024, definitely one of the best books of 2024. Skepticism ruled before I started and even a little ways into the book. How could something like this work? Dual timelines are usually not my friend, and it’s so hard to get this type of storyline right. But she 100% got it right! The characters are beautifully written and developed and so real. Iwan had his present self and past self, masterfully done, still the same guy in some ways and different in others.

The time motif really sealed it for me. It’s not just going back and forth between past and present, but how people change or don’t change, what life and time do to people over the years, what you think you want, how love stays over time, and how timing affects everything. The author weaves it so beautifully into the characters’ lives and interactions; how people change in some ways but never change who they really are at the core.

Rating: 5
Steam: Low
Themes and Tropes: Magical Realism, Second Chances, NYC, Time
Pair With: Something that goes with fajitas

Next on the Best Books of 2024 So Far is Savor It. Sage is such a kind and loving soul who’s tired of being the town pity case after her ex (and mayor’s son) dumps her for another woman. She’s strong, smart, and does things her own way. She takes in unwanted animals and practically has a menagerie on her property. She loves her life, but doesn’t realize a piece of her heart is missing until Fisher comes along.

Fisher is a wildly successful NYC chef and guardian to his 15-year-old niece after her mother died. He’s full of guilt and unrest, and, finally, after a blowup with a slimy food critic and the loss of a Michelin star, he’s sent to small-town Oregon for a project and moves in next door to Sage.

I loved how their relationship built and came together—starting as friendly but somewhat distant neighbors who don’t understand each other, then growing together as they each feel seen by the other and truly connect. Everyone’s always tried to “fix” Sage, but Fisher wants her exactly as he is. Fisher’s been grappling with so many feelings and no way to get them out until he meets Sage and she draws him into her world.

I also loved how the book didn’t harp on the ex—you got what you needed to understand the tension and context, and then we moved on. She wasn’t wasting her time and energy being angry or pining over him, but moving on in her life (even if it’s nice to be petty every once in a while).

Also loved how nothing was ridiculous—of course there’s some drama to make the story interesting (and the animals had their adorable quirks), but things made sense, all the relationships felt so real, and I couldn’t get enough.

Rating: 5
Steam: Medium
Themes and Tropes: Small Town, Neighbors, Single Dad, Summer Fling
Pair With: Oregon wines

Here, Jo is heading to the absolute last place she wants to be: her ex-husband’s wedding to a beautiful and younger woman in Peñíscola, Spain. Adrián is in the same boat, as it’s his ex-wife who’s marrying Jo’s ex-husband, and he’s on the same flight. But they’re sucking it up for the sake of their kids and who knows why else. When their flight makes an emergency landing in France, the adventure begins….

LOVED this book! Another Leonie Mack gem and easily one of our best books of 2024. You know the drill for a road trip mishap book, but this one was so much more. They see each other at their best and worst, support each other, understand each other, take time to enjoy each other, and just have a beautiful time in spite of all the obstacles. It’s absolute magic!

Rating: 5
Steam: Low
Themes and Tropes: Road Trip, Enemies to Lovers, Single Parents, Divorce, Wedding
Pair With: Spanish wines

Selfish jerks Peter and Petra decide they belong together just before Peter is set to marry Daphne. So Peter dumps Daphne and Petra does the same to her boyfriend Miles. Ouch. Both are devastated, then figure their best option is to be roommates. And fake a relationship to show their exes that they’re just fine. Really. 

And after a while, they’re more than fine. The chemistry is sizzling, the conversations get deeper, the feelings become oh-so-real. But these two carry some serious baggage that needs unpacking, which occasionally gets to be a little much, but what a fabulous and fun story and next on our Best Books of 2024!

Rating: 4.8
Steam: Medium
Themes and Tropes: Fake Relationship, Roommates/Friends to Lovers, Opposites Attract
Pair With: Michigan wines

Tour Wars combines two of my great loves–Italy and archaeology (secretly wish I was an archaeologist)–and brings a fun, different, and memorable story! Emilia’s always had to hustle and scrap for everything in her education and career, and she’s so close to getting the academic job she’s wanted for so long. Success has always come easily to TJ, and he loves to let everyone know about his accomplishments and more.

These characters have their shells and defenses, but as the book moves forward, we see what’s underneath–the hurt, love, past experiences, grief, and passion that drive them and make them who they are. The banter gives  ground to more depth (but doesn’t go away), with TJ and Emilia letting each other in and finding they really care for each other.

There’s so much humor too–some side characters add laughter to the story, some of them are complete slime, and in a perfect storyline, the fun and awesome ones help get revenge on the slimeballs and tie everything together. Add this to our Best Books of 2024!

Rating: 4.8 rounded up
Steam: Low to Medium
Themes and Tropes: Opposites Attract, Academic Rivals, Enemies to Lovers, Close Proximity, Italy, Travel, Archaeology
Pair With: Italian wine

Lucy’s best friend Savvy is found dead on the side of the road early one morning, and Lucy is found wandering badly injured nearby. At first, everyone thinks Lucy escaped whoever killed Savvy. But when no one else is found and Lucy can’t remember anything, the town starts suspecting her and soon everyone’s 100% sure Lucy killed Savvy.

That was five years ago, and everyone outside their small Texas town has forgotten. Lucy moved to L.A. and hasn’t set foot in town since. Until podcaster Ben drags it up and makes it a national story, and now everyone in the US thinks she’s a murderer. But she still doesn’t remember anything and doesn’t know whether she killed her friend or not.

I loved how it was set up–most chapters from Lucy’s point of view with podcast segments interspersed, plus a few flashback chapters. I loved how Lucy wasn’t even a particularly likeable character–I actually liked her spine and willingness to take no s*** from people–but she’s rough around the edges and has no interest in playing nice. I wish the author had gone deeper with Ben’s character; I would have loved more backstory and detail on him.

The side characters really made the book–the whodunit element is spectacular when you have a full cast of quirky, hateable characters to consider. Honestly, there are a lot of jerks in this book. A LOT. But they make it interesting and a pretty wild ride, perfect for our Best Books of 2024!

Rating: 4.5
Steam: Low (more mystery than romance)
Themes and Tropes: Whodunit, Small Town, Podcast Mystery, Dysfunction
Pair With: Texas wines

Wow. What I Should’ve Said hit me hard in all the good ways and is a no-brainer for the Best Books of 2024. I love Max Monroe’s writing style, characters, storytelling–everything. This book is different from the couple of hers I’ve already read–deep and absolutely heart-wrenching. I almost never cry in books but boy did this one get me.

Norah’s been raised by a psychotic mother in NYC wealth and privilege, has her life pre-arranged, and is all set to marry old money and power at St. Patrick’s when she receives a life-changing letter exposing some dangerous truths. So, with basically nothing but her wedding dress, she high-tails it to the small Vermont town where she was born and her older sister lives.

Bennett’s a NY transplant too, a renowned artist and resident grump, living in the same small town. He’s raising his absolute ray of sunshine daughter, who suffers from a serious genetic disease and brings all the emotions.

Norah and Bennett’s chemistry is instant, even if manifests in hatred, anger, and judgment for a while. But they turn so many corners together, support each other, and find the beauty in their lives. While romance is the central plot and theme of What I Should’ve Said, there is so much more to this story–the fragility of life, self-discovery, karma, family. It’ll be sticking with me for a while.

Rating: 5
Steam: Low
Themes and Tropes: Runaway Bride, Small Town, Enemies to Lovers, Artist, Family, Grief, Self-Discovery
Pair With: This one calls for some bourbon.

Loved it! Mainly because the two main characters are so sexy together and have the best chemistry. Though at the beginning, it’s hard to see how they’d ever find a happily ever after–two very determined, individualistic people with crazy lives not really screaming “settle down.”

Lisbeth is a former English countess and current American spy tracking dangerous smugglers and pirates, one monstrous man in particular. She never lets anyone close and becomes a notorious female pirate captain, feared everywhere. But then she meets Raphael (and it still takes the walls a LONG time to even think about coming down).

Raphael is a hot, hot disgraced French duke and owner of a (mostly legit) shipping company, but also becomes a pirate of sorts, seeking revenge on the same dangerous monster as Lisbeth. Who also happens to be his murderous uncle. Both keep secrets, understandable to a certain point, but it gets to be a little ridiculous toward the end.

If you want white hot chemistry and a spy/thriller historical romance, this is definitely for you!

Rating: 4.5
Steam: Medium to High
Themes and Tropes: Secret Identity/Other Secrets, Spy, High Seas, Proximity
Pair With: La Sirena TreasuRed