My 10 Favorite Romance Novels

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I decided to compile a list of my favorite romance novels. Romance is still a relatively new genre for me. Before three or so years ago, I did not read romance. Thankfully, I have widened my horizons since then and have read enough romance to figure out my favorite tropes. In no particular order, here are my ten favorite romance novels.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Synopsis: ​​​In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy, an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.

Of Note: MLM, Demisexual Rep, LGBTQ+ Rep, Neurodivergent Rep, BIPOC Characters

What I Love About It: The realistic portrayal of mental illness spoke to me. The characters were well-developed in a manner that they were both flawed and loveable. As someone who is not a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette, I enjoyed Cochrun’s satire of the show and others like it.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Synopsis: With its keen observations of creative life in America today, as well as the joys and complications of being a mother and a daughter, Seven Daysin June is a hilarious, romantic, and sexy-as-hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love.

Of Note: BIPOC Characters, Disability Rep, Second Chance Romance

What I Love About It: Witty, funny, and powerful thanks to Tia Williams’s writing. The characters jump from the page and settle into your soul. The conversations in this novel are so rich and deep – think a more currently relevant and smart Gilmore Girls.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Synopsis: In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari, a TV meteorologist, and Russell, a sports reporter, decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Of Note: Friends-to-lovers, Coworkers, Mental Illness Rep, Jewish Rep, Single Father

What I Love About It: I cried, I laughed, and fell in love with the genuine characters of this story.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Synopsis: Hannah Brooks is a bodyguard. When superstar actor Jack Stapleton’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch and needs protection from a stalker. But Jack does not want to alarm his family and enlists Hannah to be both his security and his fake girlfriend.

Of Note: Fake dating, Forced proximity

What I Love About It: Emotional depth and a romance that builds. A story that finds the perfect balance between humor, comfort, and a bit of seriousness. It was a refreshing, warm hug and a break from reality.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

After Perfect by Maan Gabriel

Synopsis: Gabby is getting a divorce after 20 years of being a housewife and having the perfect life with her childhood best friend. Single at 36 and without a plan, Gabby enrolls in a MFA program where she meets her hunky, mysterious professor Colt. Is Gabby destined for another heartbreak or will her connection with Colt unbreak her?

Of Note: BIPOC Characters, Student/Teacher, Post-Divorce

What I Love About It: After Perfect made me feel so much. It makes me happy to read about others finding their happiness, and this book did just that. It also reminded me why I fell in love with New York. This book was heartwarming in the perfect way.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Synopsis: A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Of Note: Enemies-to-Lovers, Grumpy/Sunshine, Neighbors

What I Love About It: My favorite part was without a doubt the witty banter between the two protagonists. The narrative was full of insight and emotion. But I also enjoyed the bits of family drama, cults, and purse-wine drinking. What more could you ask for?

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Synopsis: When her ailing, estranged mother calls her home to Boston, Cassie Hanwell is faced with the dual challenges of navigating their rocky relationship and making her mark in a new firehouse, that is less than female-friendly. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around.

Of Note: Coworkers, Focus on Forgiveness, Several Content Warnings

What I Love About It: Despite addressing sexism, trauma, and other critical and timely issues, this is overall a book full of hope and positivity. 

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Synopsis: Margaret Jacobsen, who is on the verge of having the perfect job, a great condo, and a new fiancé. After tragedy strikes, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

Of Note: Engagement in Trouble, Medical Trauma/Accident, Grumpy/Sunshine

What I Love About It: I could not get enough of the strong female protagonists. Center incorporated some life inspiration and managed to make a book that dealt with trauma leave me feeling warm and fuzzy.

Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

It Had to Be You by Georgia Clark

Synopsis: A witty and heartfelt romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories.

Of Note: Multiple Romances, Second Chance Romance, Secret Romance, Diverse Characters

What I Love About It: With numerous interconnected characters and romantic connections, there truly is a romance for everyone in this book. I loved the generational quips in the dialogue and the references to New York landmarks. By the end of the novel, my heart was warmed and my hope for the world renewed.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Synopsis: A biology PhD student wants to prove to her best friend that she has moved on and is dating. With no way to prove it, she kisses the first man she sees, none other than Dr. Carlsen. With his own reasoning, he agrees to become Olive’s fake boyfriend. But what starts as a fake relationship later turns into what Olive wishes was real.

Of Note: Student/Teacher, Fake Dating, Grumpy/Sunshine, Demisexual Rep

What I Love About It: The relationship built over time and was filled with great banter and electric chemistry. I smiled so much while reading it and then I proceeded to hug the book when I was finished.

Review | Amazon | | Goodreads | Storygraph

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