Romance novel lovers know that this genre is more than just happily-ever-afters and smoldering glances. They explore the intricacies of who we are, our hopes for the future, and the complexities of attraction and partnership.
Plus, you’ve got to love some good, snappy, romance-novel banter. Who doesn’t swoon over banter?
For the hopeless romantic, here’s the list of love stories your heart has been yearning for.
The Wedding Date
What’s one wild path that spontaneity has led you down? A last-minute trip out of the country? A purchase with an abnormally large price tag? How about a wedding with a stranger you met in an elevator?
This fun-loving rom-com from Malala’s Fearless book club might remind you of the last time you caught feelings when you had every intention of just keeping things casual. Alexa and Drew may have accidentally fallen in love on the wedding reception dance floor, and now they’ve been propelled into a complicated, long-distance relationship they weren’t ready for.
The Wedding Date is an irresistibly feel-good read that you’ll finish in a weekend. Try to read it without cracking a smile. We dare you.
Dept. of Speculation
Jenny Offill finds a unique way of superimposing honesty, rage, love, loss, and hope—all within the binding of a book.
Pulled from Susan Orlean’s Private Collection book club, this is an unconventional love story and an exploration of the many facets that coexist in one’s identity. Depicting both the joys and frustrations of marriage, parenthood, and writing ambitions, the complexities of this novel are eloquently captured in The New Yorker as glittering “with different emotional colors.”
Yes, you’re a hopeless romantic. But you’re also grounded in reality and know first-hand the depths of human emotion. Dept. of Speculation is, unequivocally, for you.
Much Ado About You
Much Ado About You is every bibliophile’s dream of falling in love in a bookshop come true.
For starters, our protagonist’s name, Evangeline Starling, is just as lovable as her relatable, gentle-hearted personality. A missed opportunity for promotion takes her from Chicago to a cozy book shop in a small English village where she’ll meet Roane, a charming farmer who also happens to be very easy on the eyes.
Warning: Pour yourself a glass of cold water because things are about to get steamy. Samantha Young, a New York Times bestselling author, comes through again with another addictive piece you won’t want to put down.
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Kirkus calls this one a story “about kind people who are trying their best but messing things up anyway.” If that’s not relatable, what is?
Complex pasts and playful banter intertwine in Linda Holmes’ novel about two people hopeful for second chances. Evvie is mourning the death of her husband and Dean is a major leaguer with a struggling baseball career. When he winds up living next door to Evvie in a small Maine town, there’s no telling whether their friendship is destined to fail or turn into the kind of redemption they both long for.
Evvie Drake Starts Over is as romantic as it is real. You’ll get lost in the humorous dialogue and find yourself rooting for two people you’ve never even met.
Rootbound: Rewilding a Life
Okay, we had to sneak in just one more non-traditional love story that will make you take a look at love in a new (photosynthetic) light.
Rootbound, a memoir by Alice Vincent, is much more than a dreamy walking tour through an array of lush gardens in New York, Berlin, and Japan. It is a search for fulfillment and purpose amidst heartbreak and the grief that often follows when plans for your future don’t materialize in the way you’d hoped.
Nature lovers will fall head over heels for the wildness rooted in the very pages of this book. Also, when you’ve finished devouring every page, you can find Alice Vincent on Instagram and swoon over her plant collection. Need we say more?
Happi-Literati Ever After
You’re a sucker for a good love story, and we are, too. Whether you want to commiserate over a literary love lost or gush about characters who are “couple goals,” you’ve found your people. Pour yourself a glass of your go-to rom-com drink—we think you’ll find yourself quite at home in Elin Hilderbrand’s Literati book club, The Beach and Beyond.
When it comes to literary love, Literati Book Clubs are your ticket to living happily ever after.