Priya is pursuing her undergrad in Law and Business Administration. She loves translated books, world cinema and French chic.
I decided to create another list of romance novels because lately, I've been binge-reading them. This is part II where I list the novels that I think are worth reading, and in case you haven't already, don't forget to check out Part I.
10 Standalone Romance Books Worth Reading
All the Possibilites
Call Me Irrestible
Susan Elizabeth Napier
On Dublin Street
Hate to Want You
Anything You Can Do
The Sexiest Man Alive
Breach of Contract
1. All The Possibilities by Nora Roberts
You’ve probably heard of Nora Roberts, possibly even read some of her books. I don’t know why, but from all the books that I read by this author, this one definitely stands apart. It’s a romance novel just like a million others, but this one was…sweet. All the Possibilities follows a US senator trying to woo the daughter of a former president. I loved the protagonist, Allan McGregor. He stood out from the usual romance heroes. For a change, he was a calm, level-headed and poised gentleman.
2. Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Philip
I love this book. It starts as a love-hate equation because Meg ruined Ted’s wedding to her best friend but things take a different turn when Meg decides to live in the town to prove her worth. Theodore goes out of his way to make her life miserable. That’s when things start heating up. It is delightfully funny and sassy and a definite element for a cozy winter evening.
3. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
I quite liked the protagonist, Jocelyn Butler, an American girl who moves to Edinburgh after her family’s death. A multi-dimensional character, the author has carefully crafted her existence. There are reasons for how she behaves in every situation, reasons behind her insecurities, her aloofness and ultimately her slow progression into accepting her mistakes, her past and letting herself heal. As opposed to this, the hero was like any other erotic-romance novel hero – wealthy, good looking, talks smooth – all the basic check-boxes ticked. But that didn’t stop me from swooning every time he calls her babe. It’s a wonderful read, one of the better romance novels I’ve read. I also believe that this is one of Samantha Young’s best books.
4. Bossman by Vi Keeland
I had discovered this book quite recently. I loved it, loved it so much. Romance novels dance with age-old tropes. Fifty books down the line and it becomes difficult to recall what happened in which book. Hence, protagonists are all the more important. Chase Parker—loved the guy—was a complete departure from the usual domineering, alpha-male millionaire kinds of heroes that grace romance novels. He was kind, witty, down-to-earth and with the right amount of arrogance. Even Reese was a lovely heroine—strong, smart and beautiful but more importantly, flawed. It’s rare to like both protagonists in a romance novel. Most first-person narration turns the character into a whiny, annoying and complaining idiot. Vi Keeland wrote the book from both perspectives and did an excellent job at it.
5. That Guy by Kim Jones
It’s supposedly a romantic comedy. Laced with humor, sometimes, it's downright funny. It feels like this romance novel is mocking all the romance novels that have ever existed. Penelope is whiny, petulant and frankly, pathetic. The only reason this book is on this list is because of that guy. Again, Jake could be any other romance novel hero – with multiple romantic partners, multiple income sources (just guessed that) and multiple personality problems. But I still loved him! Despite Penelope’s stupidity, I still found the book to be well written. It can definitely sit on your reading list.
Clichés in Novels
- 10 Clichés of Erotic Novel Heroes
If you've read erotic novels, then here is a post for you for the 10 things you will find common in all erotic novel heroes.
- 8 Clichés in Every Mills & Boon
A definitive list of clichés spotted in Mills & Boon Novels
- 8 Clichés to Avoid in Young Adult Novels
Tropes used end number of times, wrung dry and used yet again result in clichés. After a while, they become terribly boring.
6. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
Alisha Rai is a beautiful writer. She knows how to paint pictures, capture moments and evoke emotions through words. The story revolved around two childhood sweethearts who separated due to filial pressure but met once every year on Livy’s birthday. (Another Livy on the list!!) There were a lot of guilt-tripping and pity parties. Unresolved issues and sweet moments. Drama and chaos. The protagonists received closure which meant that readers received closure. That sets for a satisfying end. The writing was without fault. The fault was in the pacing, it was slow. The scenes had more padding than necessary. The book could’ve been shorter by about 50 pages, yet, I quite liked it and you too can give it a try.
7. Anything You Can Do by R. S Grey
Two childhood enemies come back to their tiny hometown of Hamilton after successfully completing their medical degrees. But there is only one clinic and they both fight for a permanent position in that place. But things have changed now that Lucas is less arrogant and less annoying of the teenager that Daisy remembered him to be. This is a refreshing twist to an old trope with two sexy protagonists and a hell lot of sexual tension.
8. The Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James
It is such a cliché novel—everything about it, every situation and turn of event is so so cliché and it should’ve made me cringe. But surprise, surprise—it didn’t. In fact, I liked this book so much that I’m still not sure why. Maybe I was on a romance drought and Julie James came along and boy did I have such a good time. You should pick up this book when you’re bored because it just about serves as a quick read. Nothing more, nothing less.
9. Priest by Sierra Simone
I picked up Priest because I thought it had an interesting trope that several authors may shy of. It was a love story, or more accurately, a lust story between a woman and well…a priest. It was one of my hottest reads of this year. I wouldn’t go into the book looking for a story but if you’re feeling cold on a late autumn night with no company, this is the book for you. It had pages and pages of sex, some amount of guilt and an expected happily ever-after. It was written from the man’s perspective; you don’t often find that in a romance novel. There is a follow-up novella called Midnight Mass that explores their story further.
10. Breach of Contract by Elizabeth Miller
The lead character, Maise Williams was annoying but she had the confidence that is sourly lacking in female characters. She’s hot and beautiful and unapologetically herself. Oh, and she’s also smart. A paralegal, if I remember correctly. Gone are the days of the secretaries and the assistants. Jayce Kavanagh was the love interest that never came alive. All in all, it was a good read and good reads are scarce in this genre.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Priya Barua