Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Whether you believe that Valentine’s Day is a product of mass commercialism or a day to celebrate Love, I think we can all agree that it is a great excuse to read some romance, (like I need an excuse). When someone asks me to recommend a romance book for them, I immediately have so many questions: do you want it to be contemporary? Historical? Fantasy? How much spice? How taboo? What tropes do you like? It’s never as simple as just picking out a “romance” novel. And that’s what makes it such a great genre – it has so many subgenres to please any palate!
So, in honor of Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite books and couples from a few of my favorite romance subgenres!
*Spoiler Alert* Some of the sections below will contain spoilers, so please proceed with caution if you don’t want any of these books to be spoiled.
Title: Maybe Someday | Author: Colleen Hoover | Genre: Contemporary Romance
This has to be the hardest one for me to choose simply because this is the genre I read the most and thus have the most options to choose from.
Maybe Someday was one of my first forays into the world of new adult contemporary romance and my first book by Colleen Hoover, who I now worship. So, maybe my love for this couple comes partially from nostalgia but not entirely! What I love most is the depiction of an interabled couple. The way Sydney and Ridge connect despite their communication barriers makes their relationship stronger than many others on this list.
Title: Outlander | Author: Diana Gabaldon | Genre: Historical Romance
I mean, obviously I had to pick Claire and Jamie! I have to admit that I’ve only read the first book in the Outlander series (I will read the rest eventually, I promise). Their love knows no bounds, including the bounds of time and space, and what’s more romantic than that??
Title: From Blood and Ash | Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout | Genre: Fantasy Romance
I only just started reading these kinds of romance books as an adult, so my pool is limited but mighty. This year, I fell into the worlds of BookTok and Bookstagram and was introduced to many fantasy romances. My favorite has to be my first, and that’s From Blood and Ash. Poppy and Hawke/Casteel have the best relationship arc! The lust, betrayal, and then pure love for one another was almost too much for me to handle! I’m chomping at the bit for The Crown of Gilded Bones to come out!
Title: Thoughtless | Author: S.C. Stephens | Genre: Contemporary Romance
As far as taboos in romance books go, It can get much worse than cheating – although cheating is reprehensible, of course – but we all know that some books can really push the boundary between taboo and just… yikes. I personally subscribe to the belief that “once a cheater, always a cheater,” but I couldn’t help but love the blossoming relationship between Kellen and Kiara, and, honestly, the wrongness of it all made it all the more enjoyable. I still think Kiara is awful for her actions, but Thoughtless remains one of my favorite books of all time.
Young Adult Romance
Title: Twilight | Author: Stephanie Meyer | Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Edward and Bella was the first bookish couple I fell in love with. We all know their relationship is as codependent and toxic as they get, but it ignited my passion for romance novels – fantasy, YA, or otherwise! While I will say, I did stray into Team Jacob territory for a while there, you have to admit, Edward and Bella are genuinely meant for one another. Side note: as an adult, I am now fully Team Charlie – that man was done dirty by his teenage daughter, poor guy.
Title: Pride and Prejudice | Author: Jane Austen | Genre: Historical Romance
Of course, I have to say Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I want to say they are one of the OG enemy-to-lovers couples?? Don’t quote me on that. But who doesn’t love the tension and the witty banter? And the movie is amazing too.
So, what is your favorite romance subgenre? Let me know in the comments!