Romance isn’t dead, (despite what you might think if you go on a dating app). Romance is alive and well, and (finally) diverse in terms of fiction.
If you’re thinking romance novels are only about swooning helpless women and a plethora of semi-clothed men trying to woo her, you would be wrong. While what could be argued as a “stereotypical” romance novel still exists, the genre is quickly exploding. Authors of color and LGBTQ+ writers are giving romance novels the much needed diversity that should exist in every genre.
Here are 5 romance novels that give you more than one reason to gush over them.
Get a Life Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert
Chloe Brown is a computer-savvy chronically ill woman with a plan, a goal, and a list. After nearly dying, Chloe decides that she needs to live life. The list to help her “get a life” includes riding a motorcycle, enjoy a drunken night out, and moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. Falling in love is not on the list.
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
Susan Green is like a cactus. Prickly on the outside, and able to endure harsh climates. No one seems to understand her, but for 45-year-old Susan that’s okay; she knows who she is. When her mother dies, Susan is forced to work together with her irresponsible brother to plan her funeral. When she finds out her mother’s will favors her brother, Susan is convinced he and his friend Rob had something to do with it. Susan’s worst fear is coming true, she is losing control of her perfectly structured life. But when her brother’s feckless friend Rob pops into her life, Susan starts second-guessing everything.
Meet Cute Club (Sweet Rose #1) by Jack Harbon
Jordan Collins has a lot going on. He has a bookstore, and a romance book club that he’s worried is slowly fizzling out. He doesn’t need a man, he needs his new employee to stop making fun of him for reading romance novels.
Phoenixcry: A Paranormal Rockstar Romance (The Rogue Witch #1) by KT Strange
Phoenixcry is the first in a reverse-Harlem series. A reverse-Harlem consists of a romance with one woman, and several men. This series follows a young witch who is trying to live a normal life, and a band of sexy musicians who also happen to be werewolves.
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
A truly special book, Boy Meets Boy follows Paul, an openly gay teen in high school. Like any high schooler, Paul is going through some problems. But, none of them are about his sexuality. When a new kid who happens to be gay moves into town, Paul finds himself with a new problem, having a crush on someone.