By: Shianne Henion | February 14, 2022
Credit: Shianne Henion
Let’s admit it: Valentine’s Day brings us a sense of longing for a love that we may have never experienced before. Oftentimes we get it through the music we listen to or the shows we watch. But if you’re looking for a new way to immerse yourself into a beautiful love story, then go to your nearest bookstore and pick up these captivating tales about hope, adventure, self-love, and desire.
1. “Honey Girl” by Morgan Rogers
Grace Porter, after completing her PhD degree in Astronomy, takes a trip to Vegas with her besties to celebrate. There, she meets a wondrous woman who, while drunk and giddy, Grace marries. Our main character struggles to understand why she doesn’t feel satisfied after completing her degree, and under a lot of pressure and burnout, flees to New York to spend the summer with her new boo who she barely knows.
2. “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane is a successful mathematician in a job where she comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases. For her, the only important aspect in her life is the work that she does, and when faced with the idea of a date she is absolutely revolted. The only conclusion? She needs to practice what it’s like to kiss and what comes after. She hires an escort, Michael Phan, to teach her everything she needs to know. Everything is going according to plan until Stella realizes she is falling in love with him.
3. “The Spanish Love Deception” by Elena Armas
Catalina Martín’s sister is getting married and she needs to bring a date of her own. The only problem? She doesn’t have a date. She’s single as hell! Catalina devises a plan to ask her co-worker, Aaron Blackford, to accompany her to the wedding in Spain. Only, he makes her blood boil, and the two of them struggle to find common ground surrounding this intense dislike. Catalina wonders if it was worth it to fake this charade or to have just gone by herself.
“The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating romantic comedy. Perfect for those looking for a steamy slow-burn romance with the sweetest Happily Ever After.”
- from Goodreads
4.“A Curse so Dark and Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer
In this riveting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Harper is captured by a strange knight and brought through a portal to Emberfall, a historical kingdom so unlike Washington D.C. Prince Rhen has sat in a distressed state for hundreds of years. Harper, like many others, has been chosen to be his new consort and to break the curse cast upon him from a wicked sorceress. How does one break this curse? With true love. But Rhen is anything but kind, and Harper has no interest in participating in this charade. In this enemies-to-lovers styled story, with a threat rising above Emberfall, Harper has to make a choice.
5. “Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston
First-Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is basically royalty in America, with his Mom as the President of the United States. When photos of his confrontation with longtime nemesis Prince Henry leak to the tabloids, relations between America and Great Britain threaten to crumble. Alex and Henry have to fake their friendship as First-Son and Prince to appease the rumors until their friendship turns into a secret, passionate love affair. It could ruin the President’s campaign for re-election and the plans for Henry made by the British Monarchy. How can they fix this when they can’t deny the feelings they have for each other?
6. “Counting Down With You” by Tashie Bhuiyan
Karina Ahmed and her brother are left home with their Dadu while their parents go to Bangladesh for four weeks. Karina thinks this is when she will find peace and quiet with their absence, but she has no idea of what’s coming. As a school tutor, she ends up tutoring the school’s bad boy, Ace Clyde. But then she is compelled into fake-dating him for a week. Karina feels as though she is in over her head, but Ace does everything she’s ever wanted from a boyfriend. Karina secretly wishes for her parents' return so that things can return to normal, but when things start to get serious, Karina finds that she no longer wishes for normalcy.
7. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton is determined to be a favorite employee at her job, Bexley & Gamin, where she is forced into being in the same proximity as her office enemy, Joshua Templeman. Ugh, Joshua. The two of them are stuck in this forever game of up-ending one another. Lucy despises the idea of losing to him and when a new position opens up the two of them compete for the role. Then Lucy starts to dream about him (to her surprise) filling her mind with confusion. After an exhilarating kiss in an innocent elevator ride, Lucy ponders that maybe she has everything about Joshua all wrong.
8. “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” by Talia Hibbert
After having a near-death experience, Chloe Brown comes up with a list to help her live life more effectively. Her most important aspect of that list is to do something bad, but she has no idea how to do that. She hires a handyman with tattoos, Redford Morgan, who also happens to drive a motorcycle and has a hot body. Chloe starts to uncover little bits of information about Red, like the fact that he paints at night and hides that artistic side of himself. Chloe starts to unravel the tough man before her and comes to understand him in ways no one else has before.
9. “The Marriage Game” by Sara Desai
Layla Patel felt her life crumble around her, and in good conscience moved back in with her family in San Francisco. Her father gives her an empty space above his restaurant to make her have a home office so she can kick start her new business…and where she makes an online dating profile. Secretly, her father arranges a series of blind dates and Layla has no idea until the first one knocks on her door. But then she is forced to share her office space with a man named Sam Mehta, who is immersed into her crazy family and all the drama. When the two of them start fighting for control of the office space, they then have to realize the elephant in the room: the feelings they have for each other.
10. “The Charm Offensive” by Alison Cochrun
Dev Deshpande is a successful producer of the long-running dating show, Ever After. As a believer in fairy tales, he scripts the most perfect love stories for the contestants, no matter that his own love life is falling apart. But then Charlie Winshaw is cast as the new star of the show. This star believed being part of this show was a way to save his reputation, who is an absolute mess when it comes to dating women. He is awful on camera. He has no connection with any of the women, and when Dev pushes for Charlie to get to know them better, the two of them realize they have more chemistry than anything that’s been put on that show.