This is a difficult time for us all. Books have always been my happy place, so I thought I’d share some books that might bring you the comfort that we all need right now.
My genre for happy is romance – you are literally guaranteed a happily ever after. And right now, we all need that, don’t we?
Contemporary Romance Recs
The Chai Factor by Farah Heron
This book tells the story of Amira, a Muslim woman from Toronto who moves home only to find that her basement apartment has been let to a barbershop quartet – I kid you not! How many books include a barbershop quartet these days? I absolutely loved the heroine Amira, and what she stood for. The hero is Duncan, a member of the barbershop quartet from northern Ontario. This book made me laugh, cry and cheer. This book felt so real to me – it wasn’t all happy. It also deals with racism, xenophobia and homophobia but the characters were real and you could not help but root for them. I could not put this book down. LOVED IT. And the best news – another book in this series is coming out this year.
Until the Last Star Fades by Jacquelyn Middleton
This book has EVERYTHING! A great mother/daughter relationship, interesting friends and a wonderful friends-to-lovers love story!! This book felt so real – they live in New York City and face real issues. I also like the spotlight the book put on mental health. The heroine is Riley Hope, she is in her final year at NYU and has plans for her future, none of which included the lovely British hero she meets, named Ben Fagan. I literally dragged out finishing this as long as possible and was deeply disappointed when it was over. There are two books in this series that came out before this one London Belong to Me and London, Can You Wait?
The Haven Point Series by RaeAnne Thayne
All of these books are set in and around the small town of Haven Point, and many of the characters appear in multiple novels, so you feel like you know them. The books also feature the town’s traditional summer and winter events. Some of the books are set at Christmas – Christmas books are a personal favorite of mine! I have laughed and cried while reading these books. In the end, they leave me with the BEST warm fuzzy feeling. I admit I binged a bunch of them recently!! You can read them in order. I did not – they are pretty good as stand-alone books as well. My favorite was Sugar Pine Trail but the series starts with Snow Angel Cove. There are currently ten books in this series with the 11th due out later this year.
Buchanan-Renard Series by Julie Garwood
If you love romantic suspense with a touch of hot FBI agents, this will be your jam! These books are always a thrill ride. With strong female leads and their truly lovely protective heroes. These books can be read as standalones or in order, as the characters do appear in multiple books. There are currently thirteen books in the series starting with Heartbreaker. My favorite was Wired but that might be because it was the last one I read, truly all these books rock.
Historical Romance Recs
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Duncombe
Do you want a romance with a heroine who is part of the suffragists’ movement? This book has all of this and MORE. This book got A LOT of buzz before it came out, and it exceeded the hype. The heroine, Annabell Archer, daughter of county vicar becomes involved in the suffragist movement in return for schooling. The suffragists realize to further their cause they need to have some influential men in their corner and Annabelle is tasked with swaying the story’s hero, Sebastian Devereux, the Duke of Montgomery toward the cause. The characters are smart and driven by a cause that I am of course 100% behind – women getting the right to vote. And I can’t lie, Sebastian Deveraux is downright dreamy! The next book in this series, A League of Extraordinary Women, is due out this year!
The Girl Meets Duke Series by Tessa Dare
The first three of these books are now out, with the fourth coming out in August. They tell the story of three nontraditional women who meet their respective Dukes, who have had their own issues with London society. The books are absolutely charming, full of romance, humor and friendship. I especially loved the little girls in The Governess Game ,who were forever giving their doll the most horrible maladies – trust me, you will see the funny when you read the book!
The Wildes of Lindow Castle Series by Eloisa James
Set in the Georgian period, there are four of these books out now, with the fifth coming out in May. They tell the stories of the members of the Wilde family. The Wilde children have been primarily raised by their father and his twin sister, whose name is Aunt Knowe – such a marvelous name for a character! I have enjoyed all the books in this series but Born to be Wilde is my favorite book I’ve ever read in any genre – and that is saying something because I read a lot. These bring a strong sense of family and true happily ever afters. The series begins with Wilde in Love.
The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Did I save the best for last? Maybe…but truly I loved all the books I’ve listed here. This regency series is about the Bridgeton family and their journeys to find happily ever after. There are eight official books starting with The Duke and I and a bonus book told from the matriarch Violet Bridgerton’s point of view. My favourite Bridgerton book is The Viscount Who Loved Me. It tells the story of the eldest Bridgerton boy and head of the family, Anthony Bridgerton but the heroine Kate Sheffield is one of my favourite heroines of all time. Most exciting of all the Bridgerton series has become a Netflix show called Bridgerton to be released this year, produced by Shonda Rhimes!!
These writers have their own individual voices which I think helps create their amazing, interesting and lovable characters. So while the world may be a dark place right now, these books will bring you the warmth and comfort you need.