Let's Talk Books: Romance

If you like books about love as much as we do, you'll adore this list of every book mentioned at this week's Let's Talk Books: Romance event. From cozy to racy, romance novels are enjoyable, fast reads with a happy ending -- the perfect antidote during these uncertain times. If it's been a while since you tried a romance, you might be surprised at how many contemporary books have improved gender dynamics, consent between characters, diversity, a sense of humor, and less cheesy covers.

500 miles from you : a novel

Jenny Colgan

ON ORDER BOOK
Romance

London nurse Lissie needs a change of scene; she's suffering from PTSD after witnessing a violent crime. Cormac, a rural Scotland paramedic, trades places with her. Lissie has never experienced small-town life, and Cormac is a fish out of water in London. Through email, they discover new feelings for their jobs and each other. What will happen when they meet? -- adapted from jacket

Get a life, Chloe Brown : a novel

Talia Hibbert

FICTION Hibbert Talia
Romance

Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruits a mysterious artist to help her establish meaning in her life, before finding herself engaged in reckless but thrilling activities.

White hot

Ilona Andrews

SCIENCE FICTION Andrews, Ilona
Fantasy, Romance

"Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill--she knows when people are lying--and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan. Rogan is a billionaire Prime--the highest rank of magic user--and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada's "talent." But there's no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice" -- from publisher's web site.

The right swipe : a novel

Alisha Rai

FICTION Rai Alisha
Romance

"Two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom. Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career-and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules: - Nude pics are by invitation only - If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice - Protect your heart Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears. Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful-and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that's too high a risk..."--Publisher.

Recipe for persuasion : a novel

Sonali Dev

ON ORDER BOOK
Romance

"Chef Ashna Raje thinks that joining the cast of Cooking with the Stars will help save her restaurant and prove to her mother that she's not a failure, but when she's paired with her first love, Rico Silva, the kitchen begins to heat up."--Publisher description.

The bookshop on the corner : a novel

Jenny Colgan

FICTION Colgan, Jenny
Romance

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion... and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile--a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling. From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there's plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that's beginning to feel like home... a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

The duchess deal : girl meets duke

Tessa Dare

FICTION Dare Tessa
Romance

The Duke of Ashbury needs a wife. Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress, will do. They both have terms for the marriage, but will they be able to stop from falling in love?

Take a hint, Dani Brown

Talia Hibbert

ON ORDER BOOK
Romance

The Blue Castle

L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Montgomery, L. M.
Romance

In early 1920s Canada, drastic circumstances give Valancy, a twenty-nine-year-old unmarried woman resigned to being an "old maid," the courage to defy her controlling family and escape to a life of her own choosing.

I owe you one : a novel

Sophie Kinsella

FICTION Kinsella Sophie
Romance

"From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be "the one," and an IOU that changes everything. Fixie Farr has always lived by her father's motto: "Family first." But ever since her dad passed away, leaving his charming kitchen supply store in the hands of his children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn't take care of her father's legacy, who will? It's simply not in Fixie's nature to tell people "no." So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees--she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer's owner is an investment manager named Sebastian. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, he scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off--she'd never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she? Then Fixie's childhood crush Ryan comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie's buttons. She wants nothing for herself, but for Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOU's between Seb and Fixie--from small favors to life-changing moments--ensue. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand for herself? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?"--

The undomestic goddess

Sophie Kinsella

FICTION Kinsella, Sophie
Romance

Heart mate

Robin D Owens

FICTION Owens, Robin D.
Romance

Outlander

Diana Gabaldon

FICTION Gabaldon, Diana
Romance

In 1945, a former combat nurse, back from the war and on her honeymoon, touches a boulder in an ancient Scottish ruin and is instantly transported to a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in 1743.

The sweet spot

Stephanie Evanovich

FICTION Evanovic Stephani
Romance

The day of the duchess

Sarah MacLean

FICTION Maclean Sarah
Romance

"Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer's end. There is only one problem-- he already has one. After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal-- to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal: Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement... which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist. The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day the Day of the Duchess." --

At the water's edge : a novel

Sara Gruen

FICTION Gruen Sara
Romance

The winter sea

Susanna Kearsley

FICTION Kearsley, Susanna
Romance, Fantasy

The heist : a novel

Janet Evanovich

MYSTERY Evanovic Janet
Mystery, Romance

Big girl panties

Stephanie Evanovich

FICTION Evanovich, Stephanie
Romance

When Logan Montgomery, a personal trainer to the country's most famous pro athletes, offers to help her get back in shape, young widow Holly Brennan, deciding to make at least one positive change in her life, throws herself into exercise and into Logan's arms.

Red, white & royal blue : a novel

Casey McQuiston

FICTION McQuiston, Casey
Romance, LGBTQ+

After an international incident affects U.S. and British relations, the president's son Alex and Prince Henry must pretend to be best friends, but as they spend time together, the two begin a secret romance that could derail a presidential campaign.

The bride test : a novel

Helen Hoang

FICTION Hoang Helen
Romance

"Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but he doesn't experience big, important emotions like love and grief. Rather than believing he processes emotions differently due to being autistic, he concludes that he's defective and decides to avoid romantic relationships. So his mother, driven to desperation, takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect mail-order bride. As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity to marry an American arises, she leaps at it, thinking that it could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn't go as planned. Esme's lessons in love seem to be working...but only on herself. She's hopelessly smitten with a man who believes he can never return her affection. Esme must convince Khai that there is more than one way to love. And Khai must figure out the inner workings of his heart before Esme goes home and is an ocean away"--

How to hack a heartbreak

Kristin Rockaway

FICTION Rockaway Kristin
Romance

By day Mel Strickland is an underemployed help-desk tech at a startup incubator, Hatch, helping entitled brogrammers who can't even fix their own laptops, but are apparently the next wave of startup geniuses. By night she goes on bad dates with misbehaving dudes she's matched with on the ubiquitous dating app Fluttr. After one inappropriate pic too many, Mel uses her coding skills to designs allowing users to log harassers and abusers in online dating space. It's called JerkAlert, and it goes viral overnight. Swipe right for love... swipe left for disaster. -- adapted from back cover

Best laid plans

Nora Roberts

LARGE PRINT FICTION Roberts, Nora
Romance

She was the sexiest thing in a hard hat that architect Cody had ever seen, yet structural engineer Abra also had a will as strong as a steel girder. But he has plans for her that even this spirited beauty could not resist...

Moon called

Patricia Briggs

SCIENCE FICTION Briggs, Patricia
Fantasy, Romance

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

The governess game

Tessa Dare

FICTION Dare Tessa
Romance

"He's been a bad, bad rake--and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson. The accidental governess. After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don't need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke's heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried--and failed--to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart . . . without risking her own. The infamous rake. Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education--in pleasure. That should prove he can't be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase's heart are crumbling . . . and he's in danger of falling, hard." --

My fake rake

Eva Leigh

FICTION Leigh Eva
Romance

"Lady Grace Wyatt is content as a wallflower, focusing on scientific pursuits rather than the complications of society matches. But when a handsome, celebrated naturalist returns from abroad, Grace wishes, for once, to be noticed. Her solution: to 'build' the perfect man, who will court her publicly and help her catch his eye. Grace's colleague, anthropologist Sebastian Holloway, is just the blank slate she requires. To further his own research on English society, Sebastian agrees to let Grace transform him from a bespectacled, bookish academic into a dashing--albeit fake--rake. Between secret lessons on how to be a rogue and exaggerated public flirtations, Grace's feelings for Sebastian grow from friendship into undeniable, inconvenient, real attraction. If only she hadn't asked him to help her marry someone else. Sebastian is in love with brilliant, beautiful Grace, but their bargain is complete, and she desires another. Yet when he's faced with losing her forever, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to tell her the truth, even if it means risking his own future--and his heart."--Provided by publisher.

Evvie Drake starts over : a novel

Linda (Radio talk show host) Holmes

FICTION Holmes Linda
Romance

"In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button. When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out"--

Royal holiday

Jasmine Guillory

FICTION Guillory Jasmine
Romance

"Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie's work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can't refuse. She's excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn't expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain Private Secretary and his charming accent and unyielding formality. Malcolm Hudson has been the Queen's Private Secretary for years and has never given a personal, private tour...until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling. Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy fling come New Year's Day...or are they?"--

Would like to meet

Rachel Winters

FICTION Winters Rachel
Romance

Can you fall in love like they do in the movies? It's Evie Summers's job to find out. Because if she can't convince her film agency's biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? He thinks rom-coms are unrealistic and he'll only put pen to paper if Evie shows him that it's possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen. Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she'll do what it takes to save the job that's been her lifeline . . . even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends and Ben and Anette, the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations Evie is determined to prove she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who's given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?--

Hate to want you

Alisha Rai

FICTION Rai Alisha
Romance

"One night. No one will know. That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts--and the last names that made them enemies. Until the night she didn't show up. Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn't have time for distractions and Livvy's sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She's the one woman he shouldn't want...so why can't he forget how right she feels in his bed? Livvy didn't come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence--and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families. Being together might be against all the rules...but being apart is impossible"--Page [4] of cover.

Persuasion

Jane Austen

FICTION Austen, Jane
Romance

Pride, prejudice, and other flavors : a novel

Sonali Dev

FICTION Dev Sonali
Romance

Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco's most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that's not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules: never trust an outsider, never do anything to jeopardize your brother's political aspirations, and never, ever, defy your family. Trisha has been guilty of breaking all the rules, but finally has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn't repeat her old mistakes. Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha's arrogance. Then he discovers that she's the only surgeon who can save his sister's life. But before a future can be savored there's a past to be reckoned with....