It’s Valentine’s Day and love isn’t just in the air, it’s also between the pages. Romance novels are one of the biggest categories in publishing, and the genre has expanded to include LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. To celebrate the holidays, we’ve rounded up 10 titles that will blow your mind.
What better way to lighten and brighten a dreary winter month?
Fans of the hit Netflix series Bridgerton will love this book, which served as the basis for the show. Quinn’s first book Bridgerton series, The duke and me follows the eldest daughter of the family, Daphne, as she struggles to find a suitable husband among the ton of London. When she meets the overbearing Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, the two hatch a plot: they will fake an attachment, which (hopefully) will turn the eyes of eligible suitors on Daphne and drive ambitious women away from Simon. However, they soon discover that their alleged chemistry might actually be the real thing. Meanwhile, the presence of anonymous gossip columnist Lady Whistledown threatens to uncover the truth about their relationship…and some of their best-kept secrets. If you found the scandal and romance of the Regency series irresistible, this novel is a must.
Lady Penelope Campion is two things: single and sweet. She has never encountered an injured or abandoned animal that she did not love. Her new neighbor, the self-made and ruthless Gabriel Duke, only cares about selling the house he just bought next to her to a wealthy couple and demands that she get rid of her rescued animals. She agrees, on one condition: that he find good homes for all his animals, including a two-legged dog, a coarse-mouthed parrot, a pregnant goat, an otter and a hedgehog. As the two work together to eliminate the animals, Gabriel finds himself increasingly drawn to Penelope’s kind heart and sweet smile. A look at the cover will give you a pretty good idea of how things are going.
Grace Porter’s future is bright: she just finished a doctorate in astronomy and is on her way to a celebratory girls’ trip to Las Vegas. Upright by nature, she’s not one to go out and party, but she lets herself go for just one night… waking up the next day to find she’s drunkenly married a woman whose name she doesn’t even know . She quickly discovers that she can’t help but fall in love with the stranger who is now his wife.
Fans of Regency-era romance books and John Hughes’ 1980s teen movies will fall in love with this loose adaptation of Pretty in pink. Wallflower, spinster and scientist Lady Grace Wyatt struggles to persuade her parents and the rest of society that a single woman can pursue a career in science without a husband. The only person who seems to support her is her best friend, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway. That’s when a famous and handsome naturalist catches Grace’s eye. His solution? Ask Sebastian to pose as a handsome debauchee who woos her to make the object of his affections jealous. But Sebastian hides a painful secret: he has been in love with Grace for years, and this attempt is slowly breaking his heart. Will he lose her forever or will he find the courage to tell her what his heart feels? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Carolina Santos is a successful wedding planner, but she’s nursing her wounds after being abandoned at the altar. In the aftermath of her devastating marriage, which did not take place, she is focused on her career and making the dreams of others come true. When a fantastic career opportunity presents itself to her, Carolina is ecstatic, until she learns that she will have to work with Max Hartley, the brother of her ex-fiancé, who encouraged him to leave her. Lina and Max reluctantly agree to keep their animosity at bay for the sake of the project. Along the way, they discover that beneath their bickering lies a powerful chemistry.
In this independently published romance, ghosts have begun to haunt post-Civil War America. Inventor Henry Strauss is determined to put an end to paranormal activity once and for all with science and the help of his Electro-Seance. When invited by wealthy industrialist Dominic Gladfield to a contest pitting science against spiritualism, Henry can’t resist the chance to prove the power of science. The big monetary prize at stake is an equal incentive. The contest takes Henry to Reyhome Castle, the site of a series of brutal murders decades before. There he meets the handsome and charming medium Vincent Night, who immediately desires Henry. As the two compete to rid the castle of its ghosts and establish whether science or magic is more powerful, they find themselves unable to deny their growing attraction. But first, they must fight the evil lurking in the castle.
In this third installment of Rai’s modern love series (don’t worry, the books can be read out of order), a case of mistaken identity brings together a beauty guru and a soap opera star. Jia Ahmed is a makeup influencer who has no time for romance until the son of a powerful Bollywood family, Dev Dixit, slips into her DMs. Jia soon finds herself falling in love with the soap opera star, despite only chatting with him online. The twist? Dev barely touches social media and has no idea Jia exists. When a chance encounter at a party reveals that someone used Dev’s name to fish out Jia, the two are embarrassed and confused. Although Dev has never met Jia before, he finds himself struck by her beauty and drive, and Jia discovers that the real Dev is, in fact, far more attractive than the catfisherman she thought she had fallen for.
In this historic love story, reformed bandit Kit Webb tries to put his criminal days behind him, but finds his new life as a cafe owner to be far more mundane than the life of a bandit. Then the attractive and arrogant Percy, Lord Holland, enters Kit’s life seeking his help in recovering a stolen book that could be the key to his happiness. Kit refuses to participate in a robbery, but offers to give flying lessons so the aristocrat can steal the book himself. But the plan they hatch goes terribly wrong. Will the revelations revealed destroy their feelings for each other or will love prevail? A guess.
Alisha Blake loves nothing more than baking desserts for her grandfather’s restaurant, but hopes to open her own cookie shop in Chicago. When a dinosaur bone is discovered in his grandparents’ backyard, Quentin Harris, a handsome, hard-working and recently heartbroken paleontologist, shows up to examine the fossil and the suburban backyard by him- same. Sparks fly from the moment he and Alisha meet, but the two quickly discover that their ambitions and dreams for the future may not be compatible with a long-term relationship.
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