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Top 10 Romance Novels of 2021

For the first time, The Poisoned Martini is taking a look at the most popular romance novels of the previous year. What were the most popular romantic reads that readers picked up? Based on circulation figures at the library where I work, these were the most checked out titles in 2021.

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10. The Dating Plan by Sara Desai—A marriage of convenience will get Daisy Patel’s matchmaking family off her back and fulfill the terms of Liam Murphy’s late venture capitalist grandfather’s will. What could possibly go wrong?

9. On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn—Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love, but the woman he thinks is “the one” is in love with another. 8th book in the Bridgerton series.

8. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn—Spinster Eloise Bridgerton flees London to spend a fortnight with her pen pal, Sir Phillip Crane, the moody father of twins. This seemingly mismatched pair may find that they are a more suitable match than they first perceived. 5th book in the Bridgerton series.

7. The Roommate by Rosie Danan—Two strangers share a sublet for the summer, but can an east coast elite and an adult performer find common ground and fall in love?

6. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn—An infamous rake falls for the lovely Francesca Bridgerton as she is to be married to his cousin, but then a twist of fate brings them together…  6th book in the Bridgerton series.

5. Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory—A chance meeting at a hotel turns into a whirlwind affair for lawyer Olivia Monroe and politician Max Powell, but will their romance survive intense media scrutiny?

4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn—A friend of the Bridgertons, Penelope Featherington has harbored unrequited love for Colin Bridgerton for years. When he returns from travels abroad, both Colin and Penelope begin to see each other with new eyes. 4th book in the Bridgerton series.

3. The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn—Anthony Bridgerton has chosen a wife, but his intended bride’s older sister is determined to stop the betrothal. 2nd book in the Bridgerton series and inspiration for season two of the Netflix series, Bridgerton.

2. Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas—A mysterious past haunts Scottish whisky distiller Keir MacRae while Lady Merritt Sterling, owner of a shipping company, strives to avoid scandal. Sparks fly when Merritt meets Keir. Now, if only someone wasn’t trying to kill him…

And the Number One Romance of the Year is …

  1. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn — Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, agree to a fake courtship that turns into something more in this Regency era romance, first published in 2000. Basis for the 1st season of the popular Netflix series, Bridgerton.

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And there you have it, the most popular romantic reads of 2021. The Bridgerton series was a clear winner no doubt spurred on by the popular Netflix adaptations. It’s a wonder all 9 books in the series aren’t in the top ten!

So are you delighted or disappointed by the top reads of 2021? How many have you read? Which books made your 2021 top ten list? What are your speculations for 2022 and romantic reading resolutions for the new year?

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