The sweet, the spicy and the wholesome
I get what I like to call the ‘romance bug’ every few months. For whatever reason, all I want to read are romance novels. This isn’t much of a surprise, considering even when I read fantasy books or memoirs, I can’t help but want to hear about people’s love lives.
I am not single either; I have a wonderful boyfriend who has been with me since the summer before my senior year of high school. He’s absolutely wonderful; I love spending time with him, he’s intelligent and we care about each other a lot. In short, he’s my person.
Even still, something about falling in love just calls to me, and if you’re reading this, something about it calls to you too. That’s why I will tell you about my top three romances — what I loved and didn’t love, and the tropes that made them appealing to me.
No. 3: ‘One to Watch’ by Kate Stayman-London
This book is about Bea — a fashion blogger recovering from a broken heart. After writing a review criticizing the ‘Main Squeeze’, a bachelor like tv-show, and criticizing it for its lack of racial and body diversity, she is invited on the show.
She accepts this offer and has to decide who she should fall in love with and which of the proposals she will accept at the end of the show.
This book was good for a variety of reasons. It was one of the first books I have ever read with a plus-size heroine. I am not plus size, and it was terrific to get an insight into how that affects her life and how being in the public eye shapes her self-image.
The story also has an exciting way of storytelling by showing the reader fake comments or tweets commenting on each episode. It kept things fresh and added an extra layer of social commentary to the book.
What sold me on this book was the love interests. I have never been interested in shows like “The Bachelor”. Still, her forming relationships with multiple people, some of which weren’t romantic, was very entertaining.
While I loved the guy she ended up with, I found myself guessing throughout the entire book who she would eventually fall for. While it may be predictable to some, the third act pulled the rug out from under me. Without spoiling the book, the ending was satisfying. And if you’re looking for a romance with a charming premise, this may be a good one for you.
No. 2: ‘The Unhoneymooners’ by Christina Lauren
Olive’s sister is getting married, and the best man is Olive’s sworn enemy. After a disastrous wedding where all of the guests are poisoned due to bad shellfish, Ethan and Olive are left untouched.
With an all-expense paid vacation up for grabs, these enemies have to pretend to be married to enjoy their free trip. Will these two be able to put their differences aside?
Yes, and they fall in love, and it’s great. I don’t know what to tell you other than to read this book! This couple couldn’t be more perfect for each other. The third act conflict is the most realistic of all the books on this list, and it goes to show how messy family can be.
Reading this book, you just want to see this couple succeed and overcome their differences. I got this book in a “book blind date” from Barnes and Noble, and I have no regrets.
This book got me into the genre, and it’s a fantastic read, so I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great introduction to romance.
No. 1: ‘The Hating Game‘ by Sally Thorne
My boyfriend and I met at work, so I am a sucker for enemies-to-lovers workplace romances; that is exactly what this book is. The heroine Lucy and her love interest, Josh, work at a publication house, and their bosses just decided on creating a new job position that Josh and Lucy are competing for.
Boom, that kicks off the story. The sexual tension is off the charts; they are both so into each other and just don’t want to admit it.
The way the story ends is so satisfying, and there is not a miscommunication trope to be seen. The book is funny, charming, sweet and a little spicy.
Overall, if you want to know my taste in books and my ‘Achilles heel’, this is probably it. I read it once, and then as soon as I finished, I went back and reread it another two times.
Remember though, these are just the books that I love. You may disagree with my rankings and my top three picks, and that’s okay! Everyone has different tropes that they love. These are just the books that worked really well for me.
That being said, if you have other recommendations for me, please tell me because I am so down.
Honorable mentions for me would be the “Folk of Air” series by Holly Black; I didn’t include it because it’s not strictly a romance novel. But guys…this series is tied with another series for No. 1 book series of all time. The romance between Cardan and Jude, sheeeeeesh, their tension may be perfectly written.
My other favorite series is the “Six of Crows” duology. I am weak in the knees for all three couples in the books but Kaz and Inej?? Bro, I can’t with them, that couple is so good.
Again the duology isn’t strictly romance, it definitely has some fantasy, but it’s so good. Anyways, I will leave you all on that note. Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day, and keep reading good books!