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25 Romance Novels for People Who Don’t Like Romance Novels

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I like romance novels. I learn them by the boatload and discover nothing extra satisfying than reaching the top of a pair’s (or group’s) story. Then laughing and sighing and groaning and nail biting alongside the principle characters as they cope with the emotional evolution of falling in love, and the non-public progress that makes them one of the best particular person for his or her companion or companions. I decide them up as a result of I can learn with out worry of tragedy, and since love tales are simply…nicely, nice.

But I do know there are different individuals who don’t really feel the identical manner. And to you I say…sorry, bud. Maybe you’re not into love tales basically, or possibly you simply haven’t discovered the precise romance novel for you. Maybe you’re searching for one thing that has magical writing, or real looking characters, or a plot past the individuals falling in love. And guess what? There are a lot of romances with one or all of these issues! You can bask within the glory of a tremendous sentence and root for somebody whose life was a large number pulling themselves collectively. You can go on adventures or resolve a thriller or simply reside life with the principle characters — all whereas they’re both reluctantly or delightedly falling head first in love. 

Why would you deprive your self of such pleasure?

Here are 25 books which might be such nice examples of the romance style you’ll be able to’t assist however love them. 

You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

This is the place I at all times begin out with non-romance readers. Some would possibly say this isn’t technically a Capital-R Romance as a result of the principle character doesn’t meet her ultimate love curiosity till nearly midway by means of the guide, however the whole lot about it screams romance. The most important character, Feyi, is coping with an prolonged interval of grief after the lack of a companion and is managing it the one manner she will be able to: a lot of sexual companions and no emotional attachment. When a “friend” (her phrase, not his) invitations her to the islands for an prolonged go to, it’s there she meets a person she will be able to’t cease serious about. Do you want mess? This is the mess for you, written in Emezi’s enrapturing writing type.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Emily Henry might be a kind of authors whose books you’ve seen in Target and airports, or on tables on the entrance of Barnes & Noble. Her first grownup romance, Beach Read, was a runaway hit, drawing in readers of every kind. But for my part, that is her greatest work. Starring two New York Book People who discover themselves in the identical small city, Book Lovers is a love letter to books, writing, bookstores, readers, and, nicely, guide lovers. (Also, in case you like audiobooks, Julia Whelan’s narration is high notch.)

Unwritten Rules by KD Casey 

If your grievance about sports activities romance is the truth that the writer is aware of nothing about sports activities, let me introduce you to KD Casey, whose information of the sport is lovingly scripted into each catcher’s mitt and easter egg on this guide, and all the remaining. I’ve referred to this guide as “the baseballiest of all baseball books” and I stand by that assertion. It additionally encompasses a most important character who’s dealing in solitude with horrible anxiousness, and far of the story has as a lot to do with how he works by means of that as how he finds his manner again to the romantic relationship at its middle. 

Thirsty by Mia Hopkins

Some persons are postpone by modern romance as a result of each different particular person is a billionaire and no one is coping with precise real-life crises. Well, Thirsty is the answer. Both of the principle characters — considered one of whom is doing comparatively nicely for herself however not nicely sufficient, the opposite of whom has solely lately gotten out of jail and has excessive monetary anxiousness — really feel like actual individuals coping with actual issues, however that doesn’t imply they don’t have time to fall in love. And the opposite two books on this sequence, Trashed and Tanked, don’t maintain again from exploring how regular individuals with excessive setbacks would possibly be capable to come out on the opposite facet. 

The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann

Some individuals don’t need to learn romance as a result of they don’t need to be stunned by intercourse. There are lots of decisions a reader could make to make sure they’re studying closed door or non-explicit romance, and a kind of is to select up a romance centering a personality who’s asexual. (Bear in thoughts, an asexual character doesn’t at all times imply the guide has no intercourse, however on this case, it does.) Joy is head over heels in love along with her BFF, however can’t carry herself to confess it. When he invitations her out to a lake home for a protracted weekend, she thinks it’s lastly time — till he reveals that it’s to fulfill the brand new girl he’s relationship, and to maintain her buddy busy. Cue shenanigans. 

Love Flushed by Evie Mitchell

In addition to everybody being a billionaire, it looks like everyone seems to be within the utmost state of good well being. So how a couple of romance by which the principle character begins her personal rest room paper firm as a result of the stuff that was on the market simply wasn’t working for her points with a continual digestive sickness. (The writer has Crohn’s, however I don’t keep in mind a particular sickness being named within the guide.) The incontrovertible fact that she has to enter enterprise along with her ex-boyfriend and so they need to all cope with that fallout is only a bonus. 

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan 

An audiobook narrator who wrote a romance novel about audiobook narrators and narrates it? You need this.

Take The Lead by Alexis Daria (February 13)

I learn the unique version of this guide a number of years in the past and to at the present time my assessment is solely: “I’m crying. Why am I crying?” There are some books I would attempt to reel you in with subjects and hooks and “not like other girls books” however this one? It’s simply that spectacularly written. It doesn’t matter that it’s trope-filled goodness, the proper actuality present story for any romance reader to like. It’s simply…that good.

I’ll Come Back For You by Charish Reid

Maybe you don’t learn romance as a result of there isn’t sufficient horror? Here, have a haunting. 

Whitney and her sister inherited a haunted B&B, and so they’ve reached their final resort: calling within the Ghost Punters. But that actuality present is something however actual, which doesn’t end up so nicely when it seems their ghost is. And a person from Whitney’s previous is right here to movie all of it. 

The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

Speaking of ghosts. This Victorian-era historic romance additionally features a haunting, and there are positively some scary moments. But alongside the components you positively need to learn with the lights on, you get to expertise the sluggish romance of Alva, the titular widow, and Sebastian, the lovable genius who needs to fulfill her ghost. 

The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan

One factor that units this romance except for so many others is the period of time every of the characters will get by themselves. There are lots of romances by which the characters spend lots of time in one another’s pockets; they meet and may’t cease being round one another, or are trapped collectively for no matter motive. What in regards to the reverse of compelled proximity? (Forced distance? Maybe.) The different factor that units this guide aside is that it’s a historic romance set in China, that includes a Chinese girl who has been adopted by a British Emigre, and a Black American sailor-scientist attempting to determine a telegraph line.

Wolfsong by TJ Klune

This is among the best books ever written, and I intend to face by that. Not romance. Book. It spans a lot of years, beginning out with Ox, the narrator, assembly Jack once they’re each very younger. You need a sluggish burn? Watch these two youngsters develop into themselves, dwelling for themselves and one another, till they’ll acknowledge their roles as soulmates as adults. I don’t even know if I’m describing it nicely, however you simply need to learn it. 

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Intrigue? Drama? Danger? History? You get all of these with the books in The Loyal League. In the primary one, Elle Burns (impressed by Mary Bowser, an actual life spy for the Union), should companion with a Pinkerton detective to infiltrate a Confederate family. They don’t get alongside. So that’s enjoyable. This trilogy will get higher and higher with every guide, so positively try A Hope Divided (my favourite of the three) and An Unconditional Freedom

The Tenant by Katrina Jackson

I do know, statistically, there aren’t as many haunted romances as there appear to be in my checklist, however this one specifically stands out for me — partly as a result of Katrina Jackson is considered one of my favourite authors and she or he put her foot into this story; partly as a result of the particular person doing the haunting can also be a protagonist. I’m not going to let you know how that works; you simply need to test it out.

Syncopation by Anna Zabo

There are individuals who assume a romance novel that includes an aromantic protagonist is an oxymoron, however Anna Zabo exhibits how attainable it’s. Zavier doesn’t expertise romantic love like different individuals, however he can nonetheless care about individuals and have profitable relationships. Zabo is the kind of author who will make you care about something they put to paper, together with drumming. 

Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert

I needed to decide a Talia Hibbert guide, so I picked this one. It most likely has probably the most Feelings. And Feelings are one thing Talia does fairly magnificently general.

We meet Laura within the first Ravenswood guide, A Girl Like Her, by means of her horrible husband. When she takes off and hides away the place she thinks nobody will discover her, she doesn’t anticipate finding solace within the arms of a person she spent one magnificent summer season with as a teen.

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

This guide is about love. Love of self, love of household, love for a companion, love of your work. Anna loves her music, however it doesn’t love her. She loves her boyfriend, however he needs to take time aside. She loves her household, and falls deeply into the position of caretaker. Anna doesn’t put herself first, however possibly, sometime, she is going to. And Quan will assist with that.

The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary

Two surgeons butt heads so exhausting they need to go to couple’s remedy about it. This is one about Big Feelings and love languages, whereas additionally being in regards to the ache of relationships whereas within the medical occupation. 

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean has taken the Regency romance and constructed an empire. In the sequence that begins with Bombshell, we meet a bunch of girls who’ve the aptitude to make issues occur, whether or not legally or…much less so. They’ve established their very own form of sisterhood, decided to assist those that are unable to assist themselves, after which a person is available in and messes that every one up. 

Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

Look. The vibes on this guide are simply good, okay?

Fine, I assume I’ll let you know what it’s about, too: A stolid baker and his sunshine nemesis have bakeries proper throughout the road from one another. This was achieved on function: she wished to show to the person who closely dissed her baking on a contest present that she might succeed, and she or he needs him to see each single second of it.

Lucy Parker is nice at combining comedy and grief, and is so good at that grumpy/sunshine vibe. A+ character creation.

Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish

Roan Parrish is a grasp of her craft, who will make you are feeling issues it doesn’t matter what form of story she’s writing. Best Laid Plans gives compelling characters and catalyzing occasions that carry the proper quantity of pleasure and marvel to life. 

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams

As a fats Black girl, it’s a little bit of a minefield to learn books about fats Black girls. This one is a secure area. Yes, it’s about health, and the principle character’s health journey, however it’s approached in a manner that’s joyful and physique optimistic. Also, I simply need to be Britta’s buddy. 

Heartbeat Braves by Pamela Sanderson

If you need to learn one thing that digs into the social inequalities and life experiences of Indigenous Americans, you’ll be able to nonetheless learn one thing that has an HEA! This is the primary in a trilogy of books about Native individuals dwelling within the metropolis and on the rez, and the totally different points they need to endure. 

Something Like Love by Beverly Jenkins

Do you understand how exhausting it was to select a Beverly Jenkins book? The Queen of Words, First of Her Name, has been writing historic romance centering Black characters since 1995. By her personal admission, Something Like Love is her favourite guide, so why not begin there? You’ll be taught extra in regards to the historical past of Black individuals within the United States than you ever did in class, and also you’ll have enjoyable doing it. 

You, Me, U.S. by Brigitte Bautista

Best pals Liza and Jo are doing their greatest to make ends meet in Manila. One a gross sales clerk, the opposite a intercourse employee, they discover themselves questioning what they really need from life and one another when considered one of them has the chance to alter her life and that of her household’s endlessly.

There are so many causes persons are averse to studying romance, from an absence of curiosity in intercourse to some misgivings in regards to the high quality of the style as an entire. Take an opportunity on considered one of these books, after which try another romance content across the website.

Do you want fantasy? Here’s some fantasy romance.

Now that you simply’re a romance reader, subscribe to the Kissing Books newsletter and listen to When In Romance for extra recs.


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