Feature Image Credit: @thepaperbackbruncher
In this month’s Books On Your Radar, BookSparks’ founder Crystal Patriarche shares her top rom-com recommendations. After not reading romance for years, Crystal discovered and rediscovered delightful stories that will make your heart swoon. So, while some are not new releases, if you are a little late to the game and haven’t checked these fabulous authors out yet, now is the time to get back into romcom, and not just because it’s February. There is something for everyone in a romcom story, to be enjoyed anytime of year.
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
How on earth did I miss this book and this series? By far my favorite! Calla is a busy twenty-six year old living in Toronto. When she receives news that her estranged father is nearing the end of his life, she knows it’s her last chance to get to know the man she and her mother left when Calla was only two. This means a trip back to the Alaskan wild, where Calla was born. While braving the frontier- and backwoods’-lifestyle (including, an outhouse), Calla meets Jonah, the rugged pilot who helps her father run his charter plane business. She’s determined to prove to Jonah that she can handle whatever the Alaskan wild throws at her. But when Calla starts falling for Jonah, it seems like a relationship doomed from the start: Jonah will never leave Alaska, and truthfully, Calla can’t wait to return to Toronto. It would be impossible for them to make this work, right?
Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
In this heartbreaking and hopeful story of redemption, Kenna Rowen returns to her hometown where she made a tragic mistake five years ago; a mistake that landed in her prison. After serving five years, more than anything, Kenna wants to rebuild the bridges she burned and reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But, unconvinced that Kenna has changed, the people most important to her continue to shut her out. The only person willing to give Kenna a chance is local bar owner Ledger Ward. As Kenna’s relationship with Ledger becomes more intimate, she risks losing the trust she’s slowly rebuilding with everyone else in their lives. Kenna has to find a way to make up for the mistakes in her past to forge a new path into a hopeful future. A master at stories of love and redemption, don’t forget to check out these honorable mentions by Colleen Hoover that I also tore into: It Ends With Us, Ugly Love and Regretting You.
99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
A successful photographer, Darcy Barrett has travelled the world. After meeting men from around the globe, she can categorically conclude that no man compares to the crush she’s been obsessed with since she was eight year old: Tom Valeska. The only problem is that Tom is the best friend of Darcy’s twin brother, Jamie, and Tom wouldn’t dare risk his friendship with Jamie to pursue a relationship with Darcy. But, when Darcy and Jamie begin working together to renovate their late grandmother’s cottage, who should appear but Tom, now a successful house flipper, and he’s single. Darcy can’t resist staging a plan to make Tom 99 percent hers…she’ll let her brother keep 1 percent. And I can’t forget this honorable mention, also by Sally Thorne: Second First Impressions (which I also loved).
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
At a Seattle public radio station, things are getting heated between the radio station’s newest employee, Dominic Yun, and seasoned producer Shay Goldstein. Dominic is a recent graduate with a master’s degree in journalism, and he’s confident he knows all there is to know about public radio. But it’s Shay that comes up with a bold new idea to create a show called The Ex Talk, a show where ex couples share relationship advice live on air. Shay’s boss loves the idea, with one caveat: he wants Shay and Dominic to co-host the show together. They’ll need to lie to listeners about the nature of their relationship—but what choice do Shay and Dominic have when their boss is adamant it’s either this or find a new job? As the show gains popularity, the lies behind to get too big. And if they’re starting to fall for each other, that could mean a career-ending scandal…
Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
As someone who loves the weather, Ari Abrams has a dream job: she’s a TV meteorologist, and she works under the legendary weatherwoman Torrance Hale. Unfortunately, Torrance is too occupied with the sudden arrival of her ex-husband as the TV station’s new director to provide Ari with the career mentorship she needs. The friendly and sweet sports reporter, Russell Barringer, is the only one who seems to understand. Together Russell and Ari hatch a plan to get Torrance back together with her ex-husband. They organize double dates and plant secret gifts. But something unexpected happens when Ari realizes that she and Russell may be falling for each other. Although she’s usually sunny and optimistic, she’s been hiding a darker side. Will Russell still be interested when she shows her true colors?
Plus, these books that are also available in Booksparks’ Valentine’s Day Bookgrams:
Seoulmates by Jen Frederick
Hara Wilson is a Korean-American woman who has come to Seoul looking for her birth mother. She’s searching for answers about who she is and where she comes from. On the way, she meets an irresistible man, Choi Yujun, who is good-looking, authentic and kind—probably, she thinks, the best guy she will ever meet. But, as fate would have it, Hara discovers that Choi is her stepbrother, and a romance between them is forbidden. Now, reuniting with her birth family means letting go of the man she loves. Hara will have to choose between her birth family and Choi, when all she ever wanted was to find a place to belong, a family, a home.
Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson
A bitter feud between two families divides Ramón and Julieta, but their attraction is undeniable. Ramón comes from a wealthy family with a fast-food empire that’s taking over San Diego. Julieta is fighting to keep her sea-to-table taqueria afloat. What’s worse, it was Ramón’s father that stole Julieta’s mom’s taco recipe years ago. When Ramón and Julieta meet unexpectedly one Dia de los Muertos, Ramón is convinced of his love for Julieta. To be together, they must carefully navigate the tensions of their families growing rivalry. For Julieta, she must also protect her family’s restaurant at all costs.
A Perfect Equation by Elizabeth Everett
While Miss Leticia Fenley is preparing to compete for a prestigious prize in mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on a big responsibility: She must manage Athena’s Retreat, a secret society for England’s women scientists. She isn’t expected to take on this task alone, of course. Lord Greycliff, a man she strongly dislikes, is supposed to help her. Lord Greycliff, too, is displeased by the arrangement, but he has no choice since his future also hangs in the balance. As they work together to save Athena’s Retreat from closing, they begin to admire the things about each other they used to find intolerable. Yet, they will have to make an impossible choice, one that challenges their budding love for each other, to keep the Retreat from closing forever.
The second season of Euphoria is out! If you haven’t watched it yet, now is the time to jump in. The series follows a group of high school students as they navigate their identities, relationships, past traumas, drug use, sex and love. It is an intimate and complex portrait of youth in America, but the themes and topics go beyond high school-related issues. Euphoria challenges us to think about an array of contemporary topics, from drug addiction to friendship.
Bridgerton, of course!
This period drama now streaming on Netflix is an adaptation of author Julia Quinn’s historical romance novels. The series takes place during Britain’s regency era, a time of competitive social climbing and distinctive manners. It is also, written as an alternate history, depicting a racially integrated vision of the era. The show follows the Bridgerton siblings as they navigate London’s high society, search for love, and dodge foes.