Romance as a genre is very under-appreciated in lots of circles. So recommend your favorite romance books. These are books where romance is the main genre, not a secondary one..
I don’t read a lot of romance, so I decided to cheat: not all of these are novels.
Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour
I love Nina LaCour’s writing style, and while this is not my favorite book she has written (that would be We Are Okay, which is about grief and not a romance at all), I still really liked Everything Leads to You. This is a f/f romance between a set designer and an actress, and it was just really sweet and cute. The story also has a hint of mystery, which was very interesting.
Darkling by Brooklyn Ray
One of the things I don’t like about romance is that it’s always slow. If you avoid it for similar reasons, try Darkling by Brooklyn Ray: it’s a novella with great characters and an all-queer cast you can read in just a few hours.
It’s a m/m friends-to-lovers story between a fire witch (who is trans and also secretly a necromancer) and a water witch.
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Under the Lights is a f/f novel that is a perfect crossover between YA and new adult. It’s about a Korean-American actress, Vanessa Park, who is realizing she’s a lesbian and falling in love with Brianna, who is bisexual and her manager’s daughter. The other PoV character is Josh, a stereotypical bad boy whose character development does not revolve around a girl who is “changing” him. I loved this book a lot.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
This book gets a lot of undeserved hate. It is a cute romantic comedy (which is, by definition, trope-y) between two Indian-American characters, Dimple and Rishi. I thought it delivered perfectly, and I really liked Dimple because she was messy and unlikable and felt very real. I loved how Rishi and Dimple both had a multifaceted relationship with their culture and what it means to be both American and Indian.
Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins
This is an anthology about summer romances, and one of the best YA anthologies I’ve ever read. There are m/f, f/f and m/m stories here, stories about characters of color, and also neurodiversity representation. I didn’t love every single story, but overall this was great. My favorites were Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo and The End of Love by Nina LaCour.
What are your favorite romance books?