What better time to talk about my favorite romance books & series than February? It’s the month of love after all. With Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day coming up, it’s the perfect opportunity to dive into some great romance novels. Now, I will admit, I used to think that romance was a silly genre of books and some of them are. However, after exploring some romance within other genres, I came to appreciate these books a bit more and now they make regular appearances on my TBR. I don’t always seek out romance stories, but if a book has a good solid romance that compliments the main story, then I am happy to read it.
To help you find the book that may be right for you, I have broken this list down into different genres. The romance level varies greatly in each book but overall I feel that it meshes well with the heart of the book.
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Favorite romance books & series
Ghost Planet is, so far, the only solid sci-fi romance stand-alone novel that I have read. Imagine a planet populated by ghosts, and every human that arrives is tethered to a particular ghost, who happens to be a loved one. This can be a husband or wife, grandparents or siblings. These ghosts, look, sound, and feel like their living counterparts. However, interactions between the living and ghosts are strictly forbidden, even if it means ignoring your deceased husband or wife. Elizabeth travels there for a job and finds herself undeniably attracted to her supervisor, Murphy. But there is a big problem – she’s a ghost.
The first book in the series, Grimspace, sets up such a unique set of circumstances and world-building that it’s hard not to love this series. The concept of what Grimspace is itself truly makes this one of the more unique sci-fi series out there. Oh, and there’s romance too! Of course, there is. Yet I can’t help but focus my attention on what truly makes this sci-fi romance series so good and that is the story itself. The world-building found throughout this series brings everything to life.
Okay, I will admit, the romance portion of The Courtship of Princess Leia is very minimal, despite the title. However, the element of romance is still there. Though Han and Leia’s love started well before this book, it is here that they truly have to fight for their love. Outside pressures threaten to tear them apart but it is their love for each other that allows them to endure the hardships. Bonus points go to this book for introducing the Dathomir Witches and Nightsisters.
Young Adult Romance
The Kindrily trilogy is a romance that transcends time. Mariah makes the biggest mistake of all, erasing the memories of her past lives and with it all recollection of the man she loves. Nathan is the love of her life, but she doesn’t remember him, in fact, she despises him. As danger draws nearer, these two, along with their families, need to fight for their love and their lives.
The heart of this story revolves around a dangerous horse race that occurs every November and a family struggling financially. Yet, romance blooms along the way as Puck and Sean work towards their goals of winning The Scorpio Races, each for a very different and yet similar reason. Their love for their horses and each other helps to drive the story forward without distracting from the struggles and dangers of the race itself.
The Lunar Chronicles offers a multifaceted young adult sci-fi romance story. Each book concentrates on a particular romantic pairing, though these characters and their relationship play important roles throughout the entire series. To make it more interesting, these stories and characters are based on fairy tales, such as Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella. The overall story arc and world-building are where this series truly shines, but the romance is such an integral part of it all that I can’t even imagine the story without it.
Historical Fiction Romance
The Boleyn Trilogy explores what would happen if Anne had given Henry a son. That in itself was enough to make me pick up this series. This story explores the life of Henry IX, known as William, and his rise to being king and his desire to be with a woman he has known his entire life. This series has everything that I love about historical fiction.
If you are looking for a not entirely historically accurate smutty series then Geek Girls is for you! Each book in the series focuses on a couple, of which the woman travels back in time in search of romance and hilarity, court intrigue, danger, and love. It’s certainly not your typical historical romance series but that is half of the fun of these books.
The first in its series, Kushiel’s Dart was a book that caught me by surprise. I had heard such good things from it but didn’t give it much thought. Yet as soon as I started reading it, I was drawn in completely. There are many aspects of this book to love. The relationship between Phèdre nó Delaunay and Joscelin Verreuil takes quite some time to build, especially due to so many complications that arise along the way, but that slow burn mixed with everything that is going on makes this a great read.
The Wayfarer Redemption is the first book in a series of the same name. This is a fantasy novel that has a very light romance aspect to it. However, the romance becomes more prominent as the series continues. This series truly shines in its deep storyline, fantastic world-building, and rich characters. Bonus points go to the cover art which perfectly showcases one of the scenes which occurs within it.
Ignoring the fact that I haven’t read the first three books in this series, Jackson Hole is a great western romance series to check out. These stories have slow-burn romance to them that, while important to the story, isn’t the full focus of it. If you are looking for a book that captures the heart of western living with a sprinkling of romance, then these are for you.
Hot cowboys and a healthy dose of suspense? Yes, please! I picked up this series for the suspense factor alone and yet what I got, in the end, is one of my favorite romance series. Each book focuses on a different couple and some event that is keeping them apart in some way. Murder plays a pretty big role in this series and I love it. My personal favorite is the first book, Unforgiven, which follows Destry and Rylan’s story.
Released in 2016, Your Name is a light novel that was subsequently turned into a short manga series and an anime movie. It was a hit worldwide and rightfully so. While it may not feel like a romance to start with, as Taki and Mitsuha continue to swap places through dreams, something they have no control over, a relationship forms. This is a story about love, loss, connections, family, and the struggle to find the one thing they are missing in their lives.
Honestly, if you haven’t read or watched this yet you need to do so now.
Kimi ni Todoke, or From Me To You, is a story about a shy misunderstood high school girl who struggles to make friends and fit in. Most people are scared of Sawako, except for one classmate, Kazehaya. It’s a classic case of opposites attract and yet these two struggle to make a connection. Their story and love grow over the thirty volumes of this series but there are many hurdles in their way. This series was so good that I read the entire thing in five days.
The first romance series that I ever read. It’s a time-traveling, fantasy isekai* romance that pins the characters against an evil they are ill-equipped to fight. At 56 volumes long, InuYasha is a bit of a time commitment, but I assure you that this series is well worth the read. The budding romance between InuYasha and Kagome has its share of struggles, but each hurdle helps to grow their relationship that much more.
*Isekai is a term used to describe a story where a character is transported into another world.
Those are my favorite romance books & series. Have you read any of them? What are your favorite romance books?