Does anyone else use the month of February as an excuse to read more romance novels? If so, then this post is for you. I've pulled together 16 of my absolute favorite recent favorite romance reads, and I've included fantasy, contemporary, Young Adult, New Adult, Regency romance, and more. Take a look, and share the titles you'd add in the comments!
Romances are as different as romance readers. Sometimes you want a gentle, heart-warming story, and other times you want something that’s blush-inducingly steamy. To help you pick the perfect romantic read for the perfect moment, I’ve ordered my 16 Romantic Reads for Valentine’s Day from heart-warming to blush-inducing.
The books at the beginning of the list will give you warm-fuzzies and those romantic moments you’re craving, and by the end of the list you may want to invest in a nice fan or at least a chilled glass of wine. In other words, maybe don’t read the books at the end of the list in public, because when I say blush-inducing, I mean it !. ;)
Psst: You can skip straight to the list I made on Goodreads for links to each book’s info and buying options.
1. THE APPLE ORCHARD by Susan Wiggs
Full of complex family histories and dynamics, long-kept secrets, plus a slow-build romance - great if you’re looking for a satisfying romantic read.
2. TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han
What is it about this book that makes me want to stay in the main character’s world forever? Definitely on the sweet and heart-warming end of the romance spectrum. Perfect if you love contemporary YA and slow, sweet romance.
3. CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Keneally
The main character in CATCHING JORDAN plays football, and that’s just the start of her uniqueness. I loved reading her story - the romance isn’t the number one focus, but it’s a sweet and heart-warming read.
4. THE VINTAGE GUIDE TO LOVE AND ROMANCE by Kristy Greenwood
This book is: Hilarious. Laugh-out-loud funny. Sweet. Add just a dash of romance and you have it. The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is UK chick lit, and perhaps the best-written chick lit I’ve ever read.
5. THE BEST MAN by Kristan Higgins
Kristan Higgins’ books are consistently funny and touching, and always include a good dose of swoon. Family and community often play a role in her novels, and THE BEST MAN is no different. It’s the start of the Blue Heron series - about a family-run winery in upstate New York. This book is such a perfect read when you want to have all the feels and be left with a happy ending.
6. HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS by Susan Elizabeth Philips
Like in many of Susan Elizabeth Philips’ novels, Heroes Are My Weakness opens with a quirky and memorable scene. I won’t ruin it for you, but it was the absolute last thing I expected. The book is an ode to Victorian Gothic Novels, with unique twists to keep things interesting. A very fun and unexpectedly unique romance, with a satisfying path to a great ending.
Bookmarking this list of 16 Romantic Reads for Valentine’s Day! tweet that
7. NEANDERTHAL SEEKS HUMAN by Penny Reid
The sweet and smart heroine might be the entire reason why this book is on the list. That and the chemistry between her and the hero.
8. ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER by Sarah MacLean
This is book number two in a series and the entire series is so. much. fun. The main characters in this had great chemistry, and I loved the nerdy and logical female protagonist.
9. SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL by Trish Doller
Something Like Normal is NA romance at it’s best. It’s a captivating, heart-wrenching story. Beautifully written and powerful.
10. MY BEAUTIFUL ENEMY by Sherry Thomas
Sherry Thomas has a number of romance novels that I love - she often writes heroines that stand out from other Victorian romances (they have jobs, or aren’t in the upperclass, etc.). In My Beautiful Enemy, the main character is biracial and skilled in the martial arts. She’s kick ass. The story is rich, full of interesting history and unique twists - a very satisfying read.
11. DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers
I love the His Fair Assassin series and would have added all of them … but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be Dark Triumph. The main characters have dark, dark pasts, and seeing their story unfold kept me reading late into the night. I love Robin LaFevers rich, detailed writing style, and the dark, paranormal medieval setting is amazing. (I recommend starting with book number one in the series if you can.) :)
12. SCREWDRIVERED by Alice Clayton
THIS BOOK! Hands-down one of my all-time favorite romances. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but please read this book if you like spunky/quirky female protagonists, laugh-out-loud jokes, and slow burn romances.
13. AFTER THE KISS by Lauren Layne
An opposites-attract romance with oodles of steamy scenes, fireworks, and the set up of a series of contemporary romances. Fun!
14. LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT by Dahlia Adler
I had a hard time choosing which of Dahlia’s books to include on this list, but picked LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT because it does such a fantastic job with a tough story. The main character loses her parents and gains custody of her younger siblings. She goes from college party girl to guardian, and the transition isn’t easy. Meanwhile, she develops feelings for her TA (uh oh). Definitely heart-wrenching, but also just a lovely read.
15. MORE THAN COMICS by Elizabeth Briggs
I talk about Elizabeth Briggs’ Chasing the Dream series A LOT because it’s really, really good. Fantastic writing with tension-packed plots and Steamy (capital S) romance. This book is a favorite because of the ComicCon setting, the writer heroine, and the artistic + grumpy hero.
16. TALK ME DOWN by Victoria Dahl
Victoria Dahl’s books are great fun. She doesn’t hold back in her romances (you’ve been warned!), but I love her smart and snappy dialogue, unique spins on stories, and the kind of heroines I’d like to have a glass of wine with. TALK ME DOWN is no different. Definitely a favorite!
That’s my list! I’m always looking for new books, so let me know if you have recommendations. You can also vote for books to add to my Romantic Reads for Valentine’s Day 2016 list on Goodreads.
It’s your turn, friend. Have you read anything great lately? (Romance or not?) I’d love to hear about it!
P.S. Click the image below to join my mailing list for romance readers & I’ll email you directly with a FREE preview of my debut rom-com!