Do I create TBRs just for organisational purposes rather than an actual list of books I have any intention of reading soon? Not at all. Why would you ask??
jk, I definitely do it for the organisation.
As you can tell from the title, this is all about romance books. I don’t read a lot of romances, but sometimes I just crave one. Books focusing on falling in love that are quick to read, happy and, even a bit, sexy. They can be just what you want. However, I can never remember all my recommendations from over the years. Hence I made this post to refer back to in times of need (and so can you if you desire).
Plus, you can all scream your recommendations in the comments. It is a win-win for me. YAY.
I decided to group the books via some of my favourite tropes as I am a basic book lover and love me tropes.
MY ROMANCE TBR
second chance romances
I am forever in love with messy history. It brings in reluctant action, complex feelings and a closeness earned through time and each other. Plus, drama, please.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams // two successful writers who 15 years ago spent seven days madly in love meet again at a literary event. We experience their relationship as they reconnect, dealing with their past and complicated feelings. It sounds like a romance novel with a lot of depth.
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto // am I here for the chaotic-ness of this book premise? Most certainly. It isn’t often you get a rom-com including murder. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily say it was something I was looking for, I am very excited to experience it. Add in a wedding and a college ex and, just, thank you.
Memorial by Bryan Washington 🏳️🌈// This is literary fiction with romance and technically it is probably not a second chance, as it’s more about the couple dealing with crossroads in their relationship. It sounds like it will include a lot of emotional depth, some humour and talking about a part of relationships I haven’t seen written about a lot. I’m curious about it.
First Love, Take Two by Sajini Patel // Can you imagine if you had to live with your ex? It would be complicated, intense and always a bit awkward. It sounds like perfect reading material.
Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev // a book following the ‘cooking with the stars’ competition where a chef and soccer star are paired together… but, they used to date. A fun romantic comedy with food, media and drama. Please and thank you.
friends to lovers
I love the tenderness, closeness and all-around sweetness. It can be easy chemistry when done right.
Radiance by Grace Draven // you rarely get ‘friends to lovers’ in fantasy. It is all enemies this and enemies that, but, alas, Radiance comes to save the day. I am curious to see their relationship develop in a hopefully healthy way. But, this isn’t a typical ‘friends to lovers’ plot, as they only come together because of an arranged marriage.
Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson // a short novel that follows two people in South London, both artists in their own right, as they tentatively fall in love. It is a romance but also tells the truth of what it is to be Black in London. A poetic read that has been well received, so I look forward to reading this one.
Inevitable Conclusions by Christine C. Jones // Following the relationship of long term close friends who have even been friends with benefits in the past. It sounds like the premise is all about their relationship as well as ‘life’. I am definitely excited about the friends set up here, and I. CAN’T. WAIT.
The Roommate Risk by Talia Hibbert // A romance between roommates has sooo much potential. You literally can’t escape any interactions or your feelings. Plus, ‘friends to lovers’ would blossom so naturally in this setting. You try to hide your feelings, butttt you just can’t.
Starting From Scratch by Jay Northcote 🏳️🌈// an #OwnVoices Trans romance set in university. It sounds like a sweet, healthy romance. It should be a satisfying read about fresh starts and love. It is part of a series (of separate stories), and this is the highest-rated, hence my starting point. If I enjoy this, I will probably check out the others.
opposites aka please be sunshine and grumpy
‘Opposites attract’ is probably my favourite trope because I really think it strengthens their interactions through the contrast. Plus, it highlights understanding (and falling in love with) each other’s differences.
Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert // this literally says sunshine and grumpy on the cover. I repeat, it says sunshine and grumpy on the cover!! Plus, it involves ‘enemies to lovers’, B&B setting (they just hit differently), helping each other, and, once again, SUNSHINE AND GRUMPY.
Always Only You by Chloe Liese // Liese is an author I 100% want to check out, and I will start with the first book in the brothers’ series, but I had to mention this one. It is sunshine and grumpy, BUT THE GIRL IS THE GRUMPY ONE IN THE HET RELATIONSHIP FOR ONCE. sooo happy. Plus, it features #ownvoices for a portrayal of autism.
Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger 🏳️🌈// a nerd and jock romance (it happens to be a second chance too). After getting back in touch, he tries to rekindle their romance. Told in narratives, letters and checklists (very unique), we can see their relationship develop.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy // I mostly want to read this because it sounds like an adult version of The Duff (an old guilty pleasure movie). They make a deal with each other; she will help him study, and he will help her with romance/sex. Also, it cost £0 on kindle to buy… I literally got a receipt for £0 (that’s the dream).
let’s work together and accidentally fall in love
Love is what happens when you are busy making other plans. Thank you.
The Split by Laura Kay 🏳️🌈// I love the strawberry cover and the fact, the premise involves a cat. Of course, I love that there is a friendship at the front of the book. They are both trying to win their exes back by running a marathon. It sounds cool, even if slightly illogical (why would you choose to run ever??). I’m also very intrigued by the main character hitting it off with the trainer.
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite 🏳️🌈// a loved historical romance. Both women are dealing with their own pasts and only meet to work on one of their late husband’s scientific legacy. They get closer as they work together; will it work out, or will they be star-crossed lovers?
You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria // two actors are cast in the same rom-com and in hopes of ‘saving’ their careers they agree to rehearse in private. Naturally, this may lead to more. We follow them as they handle their relationship and the media. It sounds entertaining.
The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lie // a fine lady and a street hustler team up !!!! Even better, they are doing it to investigate an assassination and may accidentally fall in love. Yay!! Fantasy romances for the win.
Of These Black Sands by Vanessa Rasanen // a runaway council member trainee and pirate captain end up in each other’s orbits as they deal with their own roles and secrets. Together they go on a journey to find an enchanted dagger… as you do. I know I’ve said this a lot, but I see a lot of potential here.
Gilded Lies by Lin Lustig 🏳️🌈// a love triangle who as a trio have to go save abnormals under-experimentation. I believe it is a sci-fi adventure with romance and magical abilities. It sounds like a fun, original, but unique read.
Of Fear and Faith by N.D. Jones // “two individuals will be drawn together to meet a dangerous calling–or die trying” As a fantasy fan, I love these words. It involves a prophecy, saving humans, fighting foes and a whole lot of attraction. A fantasy romance I am eager to try out.
I don’t like sports, but sports romance really do it for me. I truly don’t know why.
From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata // I’ve heard verses about the beauty of Zapata’s slow-burn, so I’m ready to experience them. This seems to have enemies to lovers vibes (bring it) and figure skating which is very cool (no pun intended).
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata // The main reason this is on the list is because it’s very popular. The premise does intrigue me as it is ‘Mr. Popular’ and a ‘normal’ girl (I feel bad saying that, but you get my drift). I think it will either be a hit or a miss for me, but I’m optimistic.
Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese // Liese is the author I mentioned earlier, and this is the first book, so my starting place (although they can all be read as a standalone). This is a frenemies-to-love college sports romance with a women’s soccer star (thank you). It is also meant to be a slow burn, including pranks which I actually love.
Kiss and Cry by Mina V. Esguerra // Ten years later, two exes, both successful athletes in their sports, meet again and can’t deny their chemistry. It isn’t a good time for either of them to have a relationship, so they decide to go to Manila for three weeks and do everything they wished they’d done before. Then they can move on with their lives. Thank you for this plot premise.
Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler 🏳️🌈 (the title will always mean Lady Gaga)// Spangler seems a loved author, so I’m intrigued to explore her books. In this book, we follow a Snowboard champion who following an injury, gets a training partner. Will her training help her get a gold medal or something else?
The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley 🏳️🌈// Set in an elite ballet company. Following a new recruit as she adjusts to the ballet school and her relationship with her idol, which didn’t have the smoothest start. Dealing with jealousy, sabotage, injury, friends and lovers… let the show commence.
marriage of convenience/fake dating
Do I need to explain? They agree to not fall in love whilst being in highly romantic settings and fail every time.
A Notorious Vow by Joanna Shupe // I haven’t read any historical romance, but I love the sound of this one. A marriage of convenience between an outcast and a girl trying to escape her family’s plans. I just love the idea of these two working together and falling in love. This book does feature a disabled main character, so I hope that will be handled well. If so, it should be a great read.
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall 🏳️🌈// A book set in the UK, as the cover clearly shouts. I do have a soft spot for the UK, so yay from me. Another highlight is fake dating, especially with LGBTQ+ identities. I have also heard the banter is great, so sign me up. I need more funny books in my life.
Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert 🏳️🌈// The Third book by Talia Hibbert on this list. What can I say? I like the sound of her books. This involves fake dating as well as maybe friends-with-benefits. Yay. All with an ex-rugby star and not to be about looks, but the blurb even mentioned the thighs !!!
How To Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole // I quote, “an unexpected romance leads to unexpected desire”. Say no more… but I can. It deals with royalty (not a fantasy) and what their roles mean for them. I’m excited about the royal politics and how their relationship will develop next to them. Plus, this cover is amazing!! I hope to check out more of Cole’s books too. Have you got any favourites??
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane // Office romances aren’t really my thing. But there are exceptions, and I am hoping this is one. When a long-standing office couple breaks up, and he has a new pregnant girlfriend, she ends up fake dating the office playboy to change the office gossip. I see the potential for drama and feelings.
enemies to lovers
Whilst this trope can end up disappointing me a lot, I still have a lot of hope for it. The angst can be pretty stellar. I just need a good reason for the enemies part and the ‘journey’ part, which also needs to be a step-by-step progression. At least, I’m not picky.
Peter Darling by Austin Chant 🏳️🌈// Peter returns to Neverland after ten years but, the only person who missed him was his old nemesis, Captain Hook. What could possibly happen?👀👀 As well as a possible ‘enemies to lovers’ romance, it is a fantasy retelling with a trans MC, so I definitely want to check it out.
Sweethand by N. G. Peltier 🏳️🌈// a wedding story where the ‘sister of the bride’ and best man have a past where they always butted heads. Cue the adventure. Plus, it promises baking and is set in Trinidad, so I’m excited about it.
A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K. A. Tucker //a thief ends up in the role of the captured princess, betrothed to the prince/king. She and the prince strike a deal to help with the political situation. It promises to be an interesting fantasy with plenty of royal duties, political strategies and, of course, a hate-to-love romance.
Sapphire and Steel by Violet Froste // an arranged marriage but the groom takes the wrong wife. He got the Princess’ guard. I mean, of all the things to happen. An enemies to lovers situation dealing with politics, lies, royalty and hopefully love.
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory // a main character has glasses, yay!! Guillory is a pretty well-established author in the romance genre, and this premise caught my eye. I think they are opposites who hate each other, but both are best friends with the bride-to-be. So, they have to work together for the wedding. Oh, and this is after they surprisingly shared a kiss. Bring it on.
Let the reading commence… Hopefully.