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 plotlines. To celebrate the holiday, we’ve put together 10 titles sure to make you swoon.
What better way to lighten and brighten a dreary midwinter month?
Fans of Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton will love this book, which was the basis for the show. The first book in Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Duke and I follows the family’s eldest daughter, Daphne, as she struggles to find a suitable husband amongst London’s ton. When she encounters the domineeringSimon Basset, Duke of Hastings, the two hatch a plot: they will fake an attachment, which will (hopefully) turn eligible suitors’ eyes towards Daphne and steer ambitious women away from Simon. However, they soon find that their pretended chemistry could in fact be the real thing. Meanwhile, the presence of the anonymous gossip columnist Lady Whistledown threatens to uncover the truth about their relationship…and some of their most guarded secrets. If you found the show’s Regency-era scandal and romance irresistible, this novel is a must.
Lady Penelope Campion is two things: a spinster and softhearted. She has never come across a hurt or abandoned animal she didn’t love. Her new neighbor, the self-made and cold-hearted Gabriel Duke, cares only about selling the house he’s just purchased next door to her to a wealthy couple and demands she get rid of her rescued animals. She agrees, on one condition: that he find good homes for all of her animals, which include a two-legged dog, a foul-mouthed parrot, a pregnant goat, an otter, and a hedgehog. As the two work together to clear the animals out, Gabriel finds himself increasingly attracted to Penelope’s kind heart and sweet smile. One peek at the cover will give you a pretty good sense of how things turn out.
Grace Porter’s future is bright: She’s just completed a PhD in astronomy and is on her way to a celebratory girls’ trip to Vegas. Straightlaced by nature, she’s not the type to go out and party, but she lets her hair down for one night only…waking up the next day to find she’s drunkenly married a woman whose name she doesn’t even know. She quickly discovers she can’t help but fall for the stranger who is now her wife.
Fans of Regency era romance books and John Hughes 1980s teen films will fall in love with this loose adaptation of Pretty in Pink. Wallflower, spinster, and scientist Lady Grace Wyatt is struggling 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. Then a celebrated and handsome naturalist catches Grace’s eye. Her solution? Get Sebastian to pose as a handsome rake who’s courting her to make the object of her affections jealous. But Sebastian is hiding a painful secret: he’s been in love with Grace for years, and this endeavor 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 licking her wounds after being jilted at the altar. In the aftermath of her devastating wedding-that-wasn’t, she’s focused on her career and making other people’s dreams come true. When a fantastic career opportunity falls in her lap, Carolina is ecstatic, until she learns she’ll have to work with Max Hartley, her ex-fiancé’s brother, who encouraged him to jilt her. Lina and Max reluctantly agree to keep their animosity at bay for the sake of the project. Along the way, they find that beneath their bickering lies a potent chemistry.
In this independently published romance, ghosts have started haunting post–Civil War America. Inventor Henry Strauss is determined to put a stop to the paranormal activities once and for all with science and the help of his Electro-Séance. When he’s invited by wealthy industrialist Dominic Gladfield to a contest pitting science against spiritualism, Henry can’t resist the chance to prove the might of science. The hefty monetary prize at stake is an equal inducement. The contest takes Henry to Reyhome Castle, the site of a series of brutal murders decades before. There, he meets 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 combat the evil lurking in the castle.
In this third installment in Rai’s Modern Love series (don’t worry, the books can be read out of order), a case of mistaken identity brings a beauty guru and a soap opera star together. Jia Ahmed is a makeup influencer who doesn’t have time for romance until the son of a powerful Bollywood family, Dev Dixit, slides into her DMs. Jia soon finds herself falling for the soap opera star, despite chatting with him only online. The twist? Dev barely touches social media and has no idea that Jia exists. When a chance meeting at a party reveals that someone has been using Dev’s name to catfish Jia, the two are embarrassed and confused. While Dev has never met Jia before, he finds himself smitten by her beauty and drive, and Jia discovers that the real Dev is, in fact, far more attractive than the catfisher she thought she had fallen for.
In this historical romance, reformed highwayman Kit Webb is trying to put his criminal days behind him, but is finding his new life as a coffee shop owner to be significantly more humdrum than the life of a bandit. Then attractive and arrogant Percy, Lord Holland, swaggers into Kit’s life seeking his help to recover a stolen book that could be the key to his happiness. Kit refuses to participate in a robbery, but offers to provide lessons in thievery so the aristocrat can steal the book back himself. But the plan they hatch goes terribly awry. Will the revelations that come to light destroy what they feel for each other or will love prevail? One guess.
Alisha Blake loves nothing more than baking desserts for her grandfather’s restaurant, but is hoping to open up her own cookie shop in Chicago. When a dinosaur bone is uncovered in her grandparents’ backyard, handsome, hardworking, and recently heartbroken paleontologist Quentin Harris turns up to examine the fossil and the suburban backyard for himself. Sparks fly from the moment he and Alisha meet, but the two soon find that their ambitions and dreams for the future may not be compatible with a long-term relationship.