Romance novels are often promptly discarded by would-be readers for preconceived notions of bad writing and that they are nothing more than saccharine stories of women whose sole life purpose is finding that perfect man. However, they are much more than that. Romance is full of women’s stories, stories of strong and independent people who are discovering the real pitfalls and joys of emotionally connecting with another person. These novels are fun, witty, inclusive and smart. Best of all, a happy ever after ending is guaranteed. This February, give the romance genre a try. Here are a few recent standouts.
The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare. New York: Harper Collins, 2019. 246 pages.
Lady Penelope has never met a wounded animal that she did not want to save and now her house is full. Gabriel Duke has ruthlessly climbed his way up in society by making shrewd investment, the latest being the house purchased next to Lady Penelope. However, the zoo living next to him is bound to bring down property values. Lady Penelope has agreed to part with a few precious creatures, if Gabriel can find loving homes for them. Meanwhile, Lady Penelope has set her sights on saving him and Gabriel is having none of that.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. New York: Berkley, 2018. 320 pages
After getting stuck in an elevator together, Alexa spontaneously agrees to be Drew’s date to a wedding the next night. A one-time thing quickly has them flying back and forth between their homes whenever they have a free weekend. They now have to decide what they are willing to sacrifice for this relationship. Jasmine Guillory is an author to watch for smart, diverse, and addicting romances.
Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas. Harper Collins, 2020. 384 pages.
The first time Lady Cassandra and railway magnate Severin meet, sparks fly. They quickly determine that it is not meant to be. Cassandra is looking for a loving husband and cozy domesticity, while Severin freely admits to a frozen heart that will never love. Months later, Cassandra’s marriage prospects are doomed by scandal. Severin, who cannot forget Cassandra, steps up with an offer of matrimony. Though the novel is full of oft-used romantic tropes, the quality writing and fantastic characters make this more than a cliche.
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. New York: Gallery Books, 2019. 400 pages.
Olive and Ethan are the only members of the wedding party not struck by food poisoning. The all-expenses paid honeymoon is non-refundable, and Olive and Ethan take the bride and groom’s place. The only problem is that they cannot stand each other. What happens when they figure out they do not mind playing pretend? Christina Lauren are a powerhouse writing duo that are a sure go-to when looking for a satisfying rom-com.
These are only the tip of the romance iceberg. Here are a few more authors available at the library: Sarah Maclean, Helen Hoang, Sally Thorne, Julia Quinn, and Alyssa Cole.
Amanda Gramley is the Adult Programming Coordinator with the Alamance County Public Libraries. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.