So, I am not going to deny that there is a large market for romance novels* — and I’m all for them, especially if they’re getting people reading! Hopefully they are portrayals of healthy relationships, but as we know, that’s not always the case. However, in addition to your beach reads and long tomes to be conquered over the second half of the summer, here’s some ridiculous romance novels** that are good for a laugh or dramatic reading among friends (all are linked to Goodreads!):
1. My Highland Lover by Maeve Greyson
Ah yes. This is an entire genre: time-traveling Scottish Highland romance novels. Take from it what you will. My Highland Lover has just that – A Highland Lover. A Kentucky small-business owner named Trulie is secretly from thirteenth century Scotland – and when called home, she goes. She travels straight back into the arms of Gray of the Clan McKenna, a chiseled, sensual man out for revenge for the death of his parents. Will their love be as timeless as the journey Trulie took to find Gray?
2. The Heir and the Spare by Maya Rodale
Twin princes – one deadbeat, the other overlooked – are vying for exceptionally clumsy Emilia’s heart — but who will win? Bonus: the first meeting is at a ball in London. I haven’t read this, but I’m sensing a Mia Thermopolis vibe from the main character, as well as a more modern setting than many romance novels.
3. Fearless (Scarlet Sufragette #1) by Nicola Claire
Historical romance novels are a staple… Because it’s fun to think of these relationships and petticoats through the lens of current women’s rights and autonomy (which is still not fulfilled, but great strides have been made!). Heroine Anna Cassidy has trained her whole life to be a surgeon by the best: the former Chief Surgeon of the Auckland Police Force – but apparently society is not ready to think about a female surgeon. But as she fights for her rights, she finds that she and her fellow Suffragettes are being stalked and murdered. Get ready for a romance of Ripper proportions!
4. In The Air Tonight by Lori Handeland
Paranormal romance. Another standard in the romance genre. But this one has witches! Detectives! And again, ties to Scotland because that is apparently the land that romance comes from — move over Italy & Paris. The main character, Raye, has a secret past and the ability to see dead people, as well as fall in love with the detective who needs her abilities.
5. Howdy, Ma’am by Mary J. McCoy-Dressel
This would not be a complete list without a Western Romance (which barely beat out a post for Soldier Romance and Knight Romance). A bull rider wants to start truly living again – so he hires a sexy photographer to travel the circuit with him. Little does he know that she’s decided to start a new life – alone. But when passion sparks, will they grab it by the horns?
*P.S. Many romance novels contain rather explicit content, so this list is recommended for adults. Also, so much Scotland.
**I am only calling these ridiculous due to the fact that they are often far-fetched and impossibly unreal. Very few people have anything remotely like this happen to them, even if they are fun to read and a great escape. (But also a few of these are certifiable ridiculous because they are just not well written…)
Also, just a fun reminder: Fifty Shades of Grey was originally put into the universe as an online Twilight fan-fiction. Also, please don’t let this novel inform your views on the BDSM community because the book is so incredibly and beyond wrong. Happy reading!
Have a favorite romance novel you want other patrons to know about? Feel free to leave it in the comments!