Valentine’s Day is right around the corner which means stores are selling tons of chocolate, way too large teddy bears, and an overabundance of heart-shaped candies. So to fill my lonesome heart, I have some romance books to recommend today. You’re probably thinking well if you’re lonely why continue to read books that only increase that feeling. Well, the problem is, I can’t stop. I adore quite literally any wholesome and chaotic -in the best way- relationship and love laughing, and praising human decency whenever the love interest says, “Can I kiss you?” Anyways, let’s get into some cute romance novels, shall we?
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
We have our main character, Stella Lane, who’s great with math algorithms and is very successful in using said algorithms to predict customer purchases. Having this ability also gave her a job that gives her more money than she can handle. Upon being thirty with Asperger’s and believing kissing to be gross and like “a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish”, she wants to find love but professionally. Stella hires a Vietnamese escort, Michael, who helps teach her how to “romance properly” and actually ends up falling for him in the process. Wow, a romance book where the two main characters accidentally fall in love, who would’ve thought? No, but for real this book is amazing and the author has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder which makes the representation even more genuine. Lots of authors sometimes use disorders and include diversity in their work just to “check those boxes” when they themselves don’t either have those disorders or are a person of color. The fact that the representation in this is from an accurate perspective feels very refreshing!
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Olive doesn’t have the greatest luck at finding love or a stable career but her sister, Ami, does. Ami is about to be married and wants her identical sister to come along however, that means that Olive has to spend the day with Ethan, “her sworn enemy” who happens to be the grooms’ best man. While at this wedding, the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from bad seafood (typical) and the only people that don’t get it are Olive and Ethan. So to make matters worse, instead of Ami and her husband going on the lovely honeymoon they’ve allowed sworn enemies, Ethan and Olive, to go in their place. They both agree to this plan because it’s an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii and who doesn’t love a free vacation? On their fake honeymoon, Olive and Ethan pretend to be happily in love but -as is common in romance novels- their “hatred” for one another quickly turns into genuine, romantic feelings. This is a perfect and quick beach read considering most of the novel takes place in Hawaii and is utterly hilarious as well!
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Alex Claremont-Diaz is President Ellen Clarmont’s son and has a highly entertaining dynamic with his sister and Mother. Then on the other side of the Atlantic, Prince Henry is enjoying his rather scandalous-free life that is until American and British relations are at risk causing him and Alex to form a fake friendship. As we all saw coming this friendship sparks into something more and I couldn’t be happier for Alex and Henry. This book is mlm (male love male) and shows how society would be if we were all accepting of people’s orientations and identities. There’s tons of lovely banter between Alex, Henry, and Alex’s sister which felt a little too realistic. I cherish this absolutely adorable book with my life and love seeing LGBTQIA+ representation done positively!