Hello, my lovely lemons! 🍋 I hope you’re doing well and that 2022 is treating you nicely so far. (How are we nearly 4 months in already? How???) A lot of things happened last year, and one of those things was that I started to read romance books. Sure, I’ve read plenty of books with romance in before. I’ve always loved rooting for and swooning over the romances in fantasy books, sci-fi novels, every paranormal book I ever read. It took me a while to realise it was even possible to find books that didn’t have a romantic subplot. There’s something about two characters coming together that really makes for a deliciously cheesy happy ending.
And yet, for a very long time, I had an unfairly dismissive view of books that were soley centered on romance. Not so much YA contemporaries, since they always have a background element of “this story is about growing up”. But adult romance, yeah. I was judgy. (I think it had something to do with all the stock images of shirtless men on the covers.) But I was wrong. I was looking down on something for no reason, without even realising I was doing it. It’s a trap I’ve fallen into before. I used to love adult romance books, and ‘chick-lit’ back when I was 11 or 12 and too young to care about anyone’s opinion of me. (Does anyone call it chick-lit anymore or have we moved on from that terrible name?) But then high school happened, and high school makes you really analyse whether anything you like could be targeted. So I did that terrible thing teenagers do when someone makes fun of something you like, so you join in – but worse – to make sure they don’t make fun of you. And it can take a while of being an adult before you realise you don’t have to do that anymore.
Anyway, that was a long detour I wasn’t really intending to take. My point being, I am so over that “romance is girly and stupid, I would never read that, I’m not like other girls” phase. I hate myself for being led into it in the first place. Nowadays I prefer to be unapologetic about what I like, so I can confidently say ROMANCE IS FUCKING GREAT. There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure. And here are a bunch of amazing romance books I want to read now I’m finally letting myself:
Beach Read by Emily Henry
I loved You and Me on Vacation when I read it last year, so I immediately went and picked up Emily Henry’s debut novel. In true bookworm fashion, I haven’t read it yet. This sounds like a super fun book about a romance between two writers with opposing personalities, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.
Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
This sounds like everything I could ask for in a romance! Non-binary love interest? Check! Clumsy protagonist? Check! Set in a cooking competition? I LOVE cooking competitions! Forget enemies to lovers – competitors to lovers! What could be sweeter than two people deciding love is more important than victory?
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Characters annoying each other until they fall in love? I mean, it just sounds great. I adore snarky banter between characters and this book promises lots of it. Count me in!
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
I’ve been meaning to try a Christina Lauren book for SO LONG. There’s no reason for me choosing this one in particular to try first, other than it being the one I found in my local discount bookstore. At £2 I didn’t really have much to lose. Also, enemies (rivals?) to lovers. The trope is just so good!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
In true masochistic fashion, I adore books that cause me emotional pain. Like, if it hasn’t made me cry at least once can I even call it a favourite?? (See: the post where I share of photo of me bawling my eyes out over Monsters of Men then proclaim it the best book I’ve ever read.) While I’m not overly familiar with Greek mythology (that’s my partner’s speciality), I know enough to realise this book will rip my heart out and dance on it. And… I’m weirdly excited for that.
So, that’s my current list of romance novels on my TBR! I’m sure there are a few more scattered throughout it, but these are the ones that stuck out most in my mind. It feels nice, branching out into a different genre. It’s good to get out of your comfort zone sometimes. Do you have any romance recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments!