How are you celebrating this Valentine’s Day? Will you be having a hearts and flowers evening with a loved one, a hot and steamy date or a fun and cheesily romantic Galentine’s Night Out? Whatever you’re doing, I often find that the right romance novel is a perfect way to extend that Valentine’s feeling far beyond a single night.
Here are some romance books I’ve read and enjoy recently, all of which I’d say are fantastic Valentine’s reads!
1. Peppermint Cocoa Crushes by Laney Nielson
A cute and sweet middle grade romance about a seventh grader juggling the school variety show, volunteer commitments, her parents’ divorce and her friends developing new interests. To top it all off, Sasha has just assigned herself a new project: figure out if Kevin, her best friend and newly minted crush, likes her back. Juggling so many things is a lot of pressure for one girl, but luckily she has a lot of support from her new friend Pete, a boy in her math class who works in his grandfather’s market and makes a killer peppermint cocoa. Oddly, she finds herself exhibiting flu-like symptoms around Pete (flushed cheeks, odd tingling in her tummy), but he’s sweet and funny and a great friend. I absolutely loved this story. I’d recommend it to any middle grade reader, and any adult who wants to treat their inner tween with a good squee. Read my full review here.
2. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
I’ve been a fan of Sophie Kinsella since the Shopaholic series, and with this standalone novel, I honestly feel like I’ve grown up alongside her books. While the Shopaholic adventures were pure fun and perfect for my teens and 20s, Surprise Me is the perfect Kinsella’s book for me now. It retains Kinsella’s signature humour but tackles a more long-term, realistic concern: after the vows are said, how can you realistically keep up a happily ever after for the rest of your life? For Sylvie and Dan who are so close they can practically finish each other’s sentences, and who have just learned from their doctor that they could look forward to another 68 years together, the answer is to keep surprising each other. While this plan starts of with a series of blooperific and hilarious little treats, the discovery of a real secret reveals that they may not know each other as much as they think they do, and that possibly their love for each other is even deeper and more resilient than they ever dared imagine. I highly recommend it, and you can read my full review here.
3. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
When Alexa Monroe finds herself stuck in a hotel elevator with a hot guy, she takes a rare risk and agrees to become his fake girlfriend date to a wedding that weekend. Drew mostly just wants to survive his ex-girlfriend’s wedding without too much humiliation, but soon finds himself wishing his fake relationship with Alexa was the real thing. They both agree the wedding weekend was nothing more than a fun one-off, but then find themselves texting each other afterwards, and flying off to each other’s cities to hang out every weekend. The Wedding Date is such a fun, sexy romance, and I love how the dual perspective narration shows us how each character is slowly falling in love with the other, despite their best efforts to convince themselves otherwise. I also love how realistic the interracial aspect of their romance feels, and how Guillory centres the perspective of her Black heroine rather than treating white-ness as the default. I love this book and highly recommend it. Read my full review here.