Romance Recommendations!

I love romance novels! They are super fun for me and I can usually read them in just about one sitting because I get so drawn in and invested in the couple.

I love romance novels! They are super fun for me and I can usually read them in just about one sitting because I get so drawn in and invested in the couple. Also, I definitely get sucked into reading anything with a cute illustrated cover…I love the style of them!

FIX HER UP BY TESSA BAILEY

Georgie is never taken seriously because of her profession as a clown and pro baseball player Travis needs to fix his less than savory image, so they decide to fake a relationship in order for others to take them seriously.

Tropes: fake dating, brother’s best friend

I definitely had a few issues with this book, but overall, it was a great time! I’m a sucker for fake dating and the sex scenes in this book were quite…memorable (in a good way).

GIRL MEETS DUKE SERIES BY TESSA DARE

The Duchess Deal: The Duke of Ashbury needs a wife and an heir, so when seamstress Emma bursts into his house in a wedding dress, he decides that she’ll do.

Tropes: marriage of convenience, scarred hero

The Governess Game: After losing her job, Alexandra takes her only option: becoming a governess for the wards of infamous rake Chase Reynaud.

Tropes: rake, secret heart of gold, workplace romance

The Wallflower Wager: Penelope is a spinster with a whole host of animals in her home, and in order for Gabriel, Duke of Ruin, to sell the house next door, he must help her find new homes for the animals.

Tropes: opposites attract, gruff/bad boy

*all of these have couples with class differences*

This series is honestly just a great time. They kind of follow a formula, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. They are historical romance, but they definitely feel more modern in their ideas. I highly recommend the audiobooks as well!

WELL MET BY JEN DELUCA

Emily and Simon can’t seem to get along in real life, but their alter egos at the Renaissance Faire, Emma the bar wench and Captain Blackthorne, can’t seem to stay away from each other.

Tropes: rivals to lovers, fake dating

I absolutely loved the tension of the characters real life issues with each other and the chemistry between their faire roles. This was overall just such a fun book!

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

After moving back to LA, Hannah is at a bar with her friends when she has a choice to make: stay with her friends or go with Ethan, her high school boyfriend. This book follows both paths Hannah’s life could take.

Tropes: second chance romance

I know that a lot of people didn’t like this book, but I really enjoyed it! The two timelines can be a little confusing at points, but overall, I think the message was really powerful and I really enjoyed the romance in this book.

JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

College acquaintances Josh and Hazel have recently reconnected and have started setting each other up on dates, though each date is a bigger and bigger disaster.

Tropes: friends to lovers

I normally don’t like friends to lovers, but the set up of this book was just so good! I had some issues with the ending, but I loved the rest of the book so much that I don’t really care. This is definitely one of my all-time favorites!

THE UNHONEYMOONERS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

After being the only people to leave their siblings’ disastrous, food-poisoning filled wedding unscathed, Olive and Ethan have to pretend to be newlyweds in order to go on the non-refundable, non-transferable honeymoon that the actual newlyweds aren’t able to make.

Tropes: fake relationship, rivals to lovers

This was such a fun book! It’s set mostly in Hawaii and it just had so many things about it that I enjoyed.

RED, WHITE, & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY MCQUISTON

First Son of the United States Alex gets into a sticky situation with Henry, the Prince of Wales, and the two have to pretend to be friends.

Tropes: rivals to lovers

This book definitely went further beyond the romance than most romance novels I read, because both Henry and Alex’s friends and family, as well as the political situation in the world is still very memorable to me. The romance was great as well, of course!

THE FLATSHARE BY BETH O’LEARY

Leon needs to earn extra money to help his wrongly-accused brother in jail, so he needs a roommate, but his flat only has one bed, so it has to be someone who is only there while he is on his overnight shift. Tiffy is looking for somewhere to stay to get away from her terrible ex-boyfriend, so she takes a chance on Leon’s strange offer.

Tropes: bed sharing (lol)

This book still warms my heart when I think about it. I absolutely love the romance, but I also love how it dealt with the other things going on in the characters lives.

THE HATING GAME BY SALLY THORNE

Lucy and Josh have been rivals the entire time they’ve been working together, and when a big promotion is coming for only one of them, their relationship evolves.

Tropes: rivals to lovers

I reread this book recently and it was still so good! This is one of the first adult romances I read, so it will always have a special place in my heart.


As I was writing this, I realized that this is one of the least diverse list I’ve ever made. In general, I think I do an alright job at reading diversely, but adult romance is really where my biggest problem is. I’m actively trying to do better, but I need to focus a lot more on this genre, especially since it is one of my favorites.

I also realized that a lot of these have a quirky woman and a stoic/closed off man as a couple. I don’t know if that is indicative of what I like or of what becomes popular in mainstream romance, but I would like to read more that is different from that.

What are your favorite romance novels?

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Standalone Fantasy Recommendations!

I want to start doing more recommendation posts, so I thought that this was a good place to start! I am including two sci-fi/dystopian books on this list because it was originally going to be “Standalone Sci-fi & Fantasy Recommendations”, but there are two sci-fi books among ten fantasy books! Sci-fi with be marked with a *!

I want to start doing more recommendation posts, so I thought that this was a good place to start! I am including two sci-fi/dystopian books on this list because it was originally going to be “Standalone Sci-fi & Fantasy Recommendations”, but there are two sci-fi books among ten fantasy books! Sci-fi with be marked with a *!

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

After being carefree her whole life, Siri is suddenly sent to marry the God King in order to fulfill her country’s treaty instead of her sister Vivenna, who has been trained since birth for this purpose. Vivenna follows Siri to God King’s city in order to try and save her from her fate.

As of right now, this book is a standalone (though there is probably going to be a sequel in the future) and it is a self-contained story. I think the magic in this book is so cool and I really enjoyed all of the characters that we get to follow. There isn’t a ton of action in this book, which is actually why I liked it so much!

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Dashti gets locked in a tower with her Lady Saren for seven years because of Saren’s refusal to marry a man she hated. As Dashti journals her way through their imprisonment, the two must face the trials of living in the tower, as well as Saren’s suitors showing up outside of the tower.

I adore this book. It is apparently a retelling of a Grimm fairytale, though I don’t know which one, but it set in fictional Mongolia. The fantasy elements are kind of minimal, but I love the story, the characters, and the themes of this book.

Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman*

After the water runs out in California, Alyssa must try to find water and safety for herself and her brother.

This book is so intense! I think this is technically considered a dystopian, but the scary thing is that it feels like the scenario could happen in the very near future. It follows a group of teens over a few days and I know that type of story isn’t for everyone, but I think it is such an interesting look at the nature of people and how they react in disasters. Keep some water nearby for this one!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

As Ead infiltrates the Berethnet court in order to protect heirless Queen Sabran, a slumbering darkness begins to rise again.

That description is quite simplified because there is a lot going on in this book. It covers a wide expanse of places and follows multiple characters. I definitely was unsure of this book when I started it, but now I hold it very fondly in my heart. There is a great F/F romance in this that doesn’t take over the story at all and there are dragons. What more could I want? (the answer is nothing)

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Twins Hazel and Ben live in a town that borders the fae lands and strange things always happen there. There is a boy with horns who has been asleep in a glass casket in the forest for many years, until suddenly, he wakes up.

I love fae stories and this one is no exception! There are lots of different fae creatures in this book and the creepy forest vibes are also strong in this book. There are two really good romances in this book as well.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Elisabeth has dreamed of being a warden of a Great Library who takes care of the magical books there, until she is framed for releasing one of the books that became an enormous monster. She must then flee and try to figure out who wants her framed and why.

I was drawn to this book because of the idea of a magical library, but I think it’s actually all the other elements of the book that I enjoyed more! Elisabeth learns a lot about herself and the world over the course of this book and I really enjoyed watching her uncover nefarious plots. I loved the trio of characters we follow in this book.

How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates*

(NOTE: this book has to do with a plague of sorts, so especially now with COVID-19, skip past this if you do not want to hear about anything plague-related)

After the Singers came, the infected Wicked run rampant all over the world trying to eat other people. Groups of people live in glass communities to stay safe from the Singers and the Wicked, while the rare Vexed is immune to the Singers infection.

This book follows two points of view and it was so much fun to try to figure out how they connect. One follows a girl in a sheltered glass community and the other follows a girl living on an island with her family. This was just a fun book, as weird as that is to say because it definitely contains some heavy topics.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

After painting human sorrow in a Fae princes eye, Isobel must travel with him to the Fae lands in order to answer for her crimes.

This book was honestly just a delight to read. It is fun, pretty, fast, and charming. It has seasonal fae courts, which I really like, and the fae in this story can’t make anything, so they have to rely on humans, which is a cool twist. I thought the romance was cute and sweet as well!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

All Catherine wants is to open up a bake shop, even if she is the most desired girl in the land and is the favorite of the King of Hearts. When she meets Jest, she decides that she wants to do what makes her happy, not what everyone else wants for her.

This is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. It was so interesting to see Cath at the beginning, but knowing that somewhere along the way, she becomes the Queen of Hearts. It has the same kind of crazy magic that is in Alice in Wonderland. I thought this was super fun, even if it did hurt me.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Annaleigh lives in manor by the sea with her sister, except her sisters keep dying. Now that four have passed, she thinks their deaths may not be accidental. She and her remaining sister find a door that leads to other lands where each night a ball is taking place. They try to let go of their grief by going to these balls every night, even as Annaleigh experiences visions that make her suspicious.

This is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I don’t know much about. I picked this book up on a whim (and the cover) and it blew me away! The story was so interesting and suspenseful. It was definitely scarier than the books I normally read, but it added to the intense atmosphere of this book.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Anastasia is given a secret magical relic to keep and use when the time is right, even when her family is being hunted by the Bolsheviks. In their imprisonment, she befriends Zash, one of her guards and thinks that he can help her, until he is part of the firing squad ordered to kill her and her family.

This is a magical alternate history of Anastasia and the Romanov family. The first half of the book is mostly historical (and the author addresses the things that aren’t accurate at the end of the book), while the second half deals with magic more. The content of this book is really heavy, so it definitely an emotional ride, but I really liked the themes it discussed. There is a lot of emphasis on the struggle between revenge and doing the right thing. The magic in this book felt like it was just there to further the story, but I think the story is worth it.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Lynet finds out that her father had her created out of snow, while her stepmother Mina has a glass heart. Following Lynet in the present and Mina in the past, both girls struggle with what makes them different, as well as their complicated relationship.

This is yet another retelling, this time of Snow White. I absolutely love the exploration of Mina and Lynet’s relationship and how they take control of their lives and the plans men had made for them. The story just felt so original, especially for being a retelling, and the world and magic were so cool!


What are some of your favorite standalone fantasy (or sci-fi) books?

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