If you are looking for a new romance novel, this is the place to start. Check out these four books where enemies become lovers, and hesitance leads to passion. Summer reading season is still here, so keep enjoying the hot weather with these even hotter indie romance recommendations.
Written in the Sand by Joanna Kurczak
(Romance / Contemporary)
In this unforgettable novel, two people travel to a secluded beach in Trinidad and Tobago to heal and seek refuge. Andrea Prenzzoni, a famous Italian singer is just getting over a bitter divorce. Needing space and privacy, he does what all of us wish we could do sometimes. He travels far away to a place of beauty and tranquility. Although, he isn’t fully alone.
It turns out his island neighbor is Gabriella Vittoriani, a journalist who resigns from her job at a well-known New York Magazine. Like Andrea, she needs time and space to heal after quitting her high-stress job. However, the man who is responsible for her resignation just so happens to be Andrea. With no way out, Gabriella must learn to live with her unexpected neighbor. She does her best to fight his charm. But the more she fights it, the more she falls in love with him.
In this page-turning novel, you’ll experience a romance like no other as Gabriella grapples with the choice to accept love, and Andrea seeks the courage to apologize for the mistake he wishes he never made.
The characters are rich with complexities and the book is filled with unexpected twists and turns, making this an absolute must-read story about destiny, love, and personal growth.
Lucile Allen, Fake Girlfriend Extraordinaire by Suzanne Glidewell
(Romance / General)
Suzanne Glidewell’s novel is a coming-of-age romantic comedy rich with relatable characters and themes. In the book, protagonist Lucile (Lucy) Allen is pretty good at showcasing her life on social media. Millennials – does this sound relatable? But what happens when the girl who looks like she has it all on Instagram slowly begins to realize and admit that her life is much more complicated?
During her high school years, it seemed as if Lucy was living the dream. Yet, the life you create on social media rarely reflects reality – and faking it until you make it has always been Lucy’s specialty. As the book progresses, Lucy heads to college – seeking a fresh start. It turns out that her expertise of manipulating social media won’t carry the same weight as it did during her high school years.
Upon moving into her new life in college, she discovers that just down the hall lives her high school nemesis, Sebastian Torres. Lucy has spent years highlighting and sharing the good things in life. But she soon realizes that life brings certain situations and feelings that you can’t pretend your way through.
The entire book is so beautifully written, and Suzanne Glidewell captures the very essence of what it means to come of age in an era where we exist within two worlds – real life and social media. Through wonderful details, the book shares vulnerable and relatable characters who at the end of the day, are doing everything they can to discover and understand themselves. Lucile Allen, Fake Girlfriend Extraordinaire stands out as a top romantic comedy of the Summer.
Reason and Romance by Terrance Layhew
(Romance / Contemporary)
Reason and Romance offers a new spin on the romance genre and makes readers consider thought-provoking questions regarding what it truly means to love and to express it in language.
Terrance Layhew’s novel introduces you to a no-nonsense author, George Austen, who has a hard time finding validity in romance writing. In fact, he thinks romance is a worthless genre. When a rival author challenges him to write a romance book of his own, he faces personal questions of what love really means and how it is meant to be shared.
I loved this contemporary spin on romance. It weaves together love, determination, and wittiness and is filled with compelling characters who stick with you. If you are looking for a romance novel that stands out from the crowd, this should be the first on your list. George’s journey is humorous, but also profound and memorable. After all, he seeks to do something we all search for at some point of our lives – understand what it truly means to love.
Is it worthwhile? Is romance more than just a genre? What he discovers changes his life forever. In a world filled with so many romance novels, this one stands out.
Bordering Shadows by R.J. Luthey
(Romance / Paranormal)
This paranormal romance will give you goosebumps. It begs the question – what happens to an angel who is dragged into Hell?
The protagonist of the story, Rebekah, is one of God’s angel warriors who fought against the evil Shadows, demons, and other enemies that only an angel can counter. As she is dragged into Hell, she faces temptations of the heart, and one kiss could decide her fate.
Murmur, or Max as he is known to Rebekah, is a fallen angel who was once her lover in Heaven. Now that she has been dragged to his dark kingdom, he plans to keep her there. All he needs to do is get her to agree to stay.
This unique book is more than just a romance. It’s a thought provoking analysis of life, spirituality, and temptation. Author R.J. Luthey is a master of language and does such a fantastic job creating fascinating characters and a compelling paranormal universe filled with layers to unpack. If you’re a fan of paranormal fiction – especially paranormal romance – this book has to be on your list.
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