20 May, 2024
520, Chinese Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day, romance books, spicy books, romance tropes
520, Chinese Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day, romance books, spicy books, romance tropes

Get In The Mood For Love With These Romance Books

20 May, 2024
520, Chinese Valentine's Day, Valentine's Day, romance books, spicy books, romance tropes

Looking for love? You might just find it in the pages of these sexy-to-sweet romance books with different tropes for every taste.

While we enjoy a good romance movie here at Sassy, there’s also something to be said about cracking open a book and immersing yourself in a love story. Although it’s the unofficial Chinese Valentine’s Day on 20 May, you don’t have to dress up and go out on a date (or even have a partner) to feel the ups and downs of love! Just jump into your coziest pajamas and snuggle under the covers because we’ve picked these three swoon-worthy romance books that will each answer a different romantic craving.

Read more: Grab The Tissues! The Best Romance Movies Guaranteed To Make You Ugly Cry

Dating Dr Dil, Nisha Sharma, romcom book, romantic comedy, romance book, desi romance

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma

Trope: Fake relationship

I knew Dating Dr. Dil would be good when my friend told me about this book, and I looked it up to see that the first search suggestion in Google was “Dr. Dil spicy chapters”. Sold! This modern desi interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew sizzles with plenty of back-and-forth banter and love-hate chemistry between the two leads, romantic idealist Kareena Mann and cynical doctor Prem Verma. 

Kareena’s father has been a widower for a while and wants to sell the family house, which belonged to her mother. Sentimental Kareena is horrified at the thought, but her father will only give her the house if she gets engaged within the next four months. However, Kareena is determined to only marry someone she truly loves, and everyone knows how dire the dating situation can be. The interactions that Kareena has with various men on dating apps is almost too realistic to be funny. A chance encounter with hot f-boy Prem, who is not only a heart surgeon but also hosts a TV talk show, initially starts off sexy but goes awry almost instantly, and when Kareena has an argument with Prem during a livestream, it sets the stage for them embarking on a fake relationship. Why? Because Prem is hoping to set up a health centre for the South Asian community, and his viral argument with Kareena is making investors nervous. Obviously, the only solution is for him and Kareena to pretend to be dating, thus solving both their problems. And of course, all that fake dating and chemistry leads to something that neither Kareena nor Prem was expecting: something truly genuine. 

Although Dating Dr. Dil has the usual rom-com situations that stretch the imagination — sorry, I just can’t get on board the sweater vest train — plus some questionable choices (let’s just say “Charlie” and leave it at that; you’ll understand when you read the book), it’s just so full of humour and joy that it’s hard to begrudge it all these little contrivances. Kareena is a great, contemporary rom-com heroine who reminds me of my own friends, and while Prem is written in the mould of a rake (as per the original inspiration), he gets a decent redemption arc.

I love the family dynamics, which I found very relatable. I used to wonder why so many rom-com heroines had only one friend and no family members at all, but this book definitely doesn’t have that problem. The universal WhatsApp aunties are a fantastic and also realistic touch. And as Google search promises, Nisha Sharma must be a fan of Dune because the spice is definitely flowing in this book.

Available here on Amazon for $117.04 (Kindle)

Read More: The Best Bookstores In Hong Kong

book lovers, romance book, sweet romance, romantic comedy, romcom book, Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Trope: City girl finds love in a small town

Emily Henry’s latest book Funny Story has just come out and, no surprises for this highly anticipated book, it’s already a huge hit. Since I haven’t read it yet (saving it for a beach weekend this summer), I really had an internal struggle about which Emily Henry book to add to this list. The last book to come out was Happy Place, which I enjoyed — it’s Emily Henry after all! — but it just didn’t do for me what Book Lovers did.

Any city girl worth her night-out heels and daytime flats will see a little of themselves in Book Lovers’ Nora Stephens, whose reputation for being a workaholic literary agent known as “the Shark” belies the fact that she’s actually a funny, loving and self-aware person, which only her sister Libby seems to see. Although they’re not quite nemeses, her first meeting with snobby book editor Charlie Lastra doesn’t go very well, but they’re forced to work together on her most popular author client’s book.

Things get more complicated when Libby, who is a fan of said author, drags Nora to Sunshine Falls, the small town where her favourite novel is set. Nora not only has to deal with her sister’s strange behaviour, she also find out that Charlie is in town as well and has an important connection to the town. There are a few of Emily Henry’s usual red herrings and misunderstandings, and fans will be happy to know that her falling-in-love pacing and fun dialogue are also intact. 

It’s not quite a slow burn, but there’s something charmingly realistic about the way Henry portrays the process of falling in love, especially between two characters who spend plenty of time giving themselves reasons not to do it. She captures the push and pull of Nora’s and Charlie’s fears about each other (and themselves) and the growing feelings that they have for each other. One of the amazing things about Henry’s writing is that I always feel like the characters’ feelings for each other at the end of every book seem to happen so organically that I almost don’t realise when that moment happens. There’s a reason why Henry’s books are such popular beach reads.

Available here on Amazon for $117.04 (Kindle)

Read More: The Best Beaches In Hong Kong To Visit

Seven days in June, Tia Williams, romance book, romcom book, romantic comedy

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Trope: Second-chance romance

This is the book you give to someone who claims that they don’t like romance books. It may not convert them into becoming romance book readers, but it will definitely convert them into becoming Tia Williams fans. You can tell that Williams must have such an interesting life because her main characters, Eva Mercy and Shane Hall, are just so interesting themselves; they’re the kind of people you end up talking to all night at a party because they’re not just funny but also insightful and thoughtful.

At the same time, Eva and Shane have believable vulnerabilities and flaws, and the mistakes they make as teenagers when they first meet make sense with their backstories and characters. It’s the seven days in June that these two teens spend together that end up haunting them throughout their adulthood.

The story begins in the present, when Eva and Shane are grown ups and haven’t seen each other since those seven days. Eva is now a popular writer of fantasy erotica and the divorced mother of a tween daughter while Shane is a reclusive, award-winning literary rock star. They have an accidental meeting at a literary festival, where Shane — in a truly funny scene — reveals to everyone that he’s a huge fan of Eva’s books and tries to rekindle some kind of relationship with Eva. Of course, she’s not entirely sure she can entirely trust him because he clearly has a lot of emotional baggage and a fear of commitment…or does he? Maybe she’s the one with the emotional baggage and fear of commitment?

While other books are spicy, Seven Days in June is sexy in a really modern and charming way. Williams has a real knack for creating crackling sexual tension between her characters; their interactions as adults are just charged with so much electricity, it’s amazing that the book doesn’t burst into flames. The story feels really grounded in these characters’ lives, and it almost feels like you’ll run into them at a museum or book reading (or know someone whose heart Shane has broken).

Contrasting the adult sexiness are the flashback chapters that show what happened to Eva and Shane when they were teens, and Williams manages to capture that high-stakes drama and angst that teenagers feel so deeply and show us how it would have been impossible for either Eva or Shane to forget each other. You’ll feel the same way after reading the book.

Available here on Amazon for $117.04 (Kindle)

Book Runners Up:

If you’ve already read the books we’ve recommended and are craving for more, here’s two more books that might do it for you.

They both die at the end, adam silvera, romance book, sad romance

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Trope: Star-crossed lovers

The title isn’t lying to you, and it’s good writing when you know what’s going to happen but still end up crying at the end. Rufus and Mateo live in an alternate world where you’re given a notification 24 hours before your death. Through a series of events, they end up spending their last hours together and falling in love. It’s very sweet and I’d suggest it for anyone who likes S.E. Hinton’s books.

Available here on Amazon for $117.04 (Kindle)

Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, romance books, romcom books, India holtonThe Wisteria Society for Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

Trope: Enemies to lovers

This book is charming and maybe a little ridiculous, but it’s what everyone would agree is a romp. The lead character is Cecilia Bassingwaite, a Victorian lady who’s also a scoundrel and a notorious thief who ends sparring physically, verbally and emotionally with pirate Ned Lightbourne, who has been sent to capture her. It’s written in a pseudo-Victorian style with plenty of little puns that keep you smiling.

Available here on Amazon for $117.04 (Kindle)

All artwork property of Sassy Media Group using images courtesy of publishers and authors.

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