India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
December 12, 2019

Love Interests

Leah and Bea Koch, owners of The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles — the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States — specially select five contemporary titles that lead with the heart

Romance could not be a more perfect genre of literature for an issue about celebrations and new beginnings! We often tell curious customers that romance is the genre of hope. It can contain werewolves and faeries, small towns and big cities, grumpy heroes and charming heroines, but, no matter what, it will always have a happy ending.

Whether you are a seasoned romance reader or just getting started, here are our picks:

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be room for another Austen adaptation, Dev introduces us to the powerful and complex Raje family of San Francisco. The P&P comparisons are fairly light, but readers will nonetheless be invested in youngest daughter Trisha’s journey to understand her attraction to a man she absolutely should not want. Each and every character is deftly woven and will leave you hoping for many sequels.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
This charming novel offers a fresh take on the epistolary romance novel; except, instead of love letters, Tiffy and Leon have Post-it notes. See, they live in the same apartment but they’ve never met. Leon has the apartment during the day, Tiffy has it at night. Their romance blossoms over reminders about cleaning and leftovers, and when they finally do meet, it’s a moment that was worth waiting for.

Over and Over Again by Cole McCade
What do you get when you ship a bored and disaffected young man off to a goat farm in the English countryside? A love story, of course! Luca’s parents send him to help on their friend Imre’s farm in an effort to help him figure out his life. Luca never expected that he would start to fall for Imre, who he’s known all his life. This queer May-December romance is a lovely slow burn with original and magnetic characters.

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Historical romances have long been a staple of the romance genre, and something about the glittering ballrooms of Regency London will always capture the reader’s imagination. Dunmore lends a bold new voice to the subgenre, plopping her character smack in the middle of the British women’s suffrage movement and bringing a sense of urgency and excitement to the world of London. The story might take place in 1879, but Annabelle’s struggle to find her place in a world that tells her she has no voice will feel familiar to every modern woman.

Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed
The romance genre has a terrible history when it comes to the inclusion of authors of colour and queer authors, which is why we are so happy to see people like Waheed making a place for themselves in today’s romance world. In her delightful queer love story, anxious beauty blogger June falls in major like with actor Selena, but has a hard time overcoming all the voices in her head telling her to run in the other direction.

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