Romance novels to fill your heart and mind


Photo courtesy of @emilyhenrywrites on Instagram

“People We Meet on Vacation,” written by Emily Henry, is a charming friends-to-lovers novel, full of witty dialogue and swoon-worthy moments.

By Caitlin Murphy, Assistant Online Editor

Everyone has their favorite rom-com movie, laughing despite the cliches and swooning as the leads declare their love for one another. While some may not know it, their favorite movie genre is paralleled in the literary world with books containing tropes from friends-to-lovers to fake dating. For those looking to dive into romance novels this list contains some options to get started.

“People We Meet on Vacation,” Author: Emily Henry

Poppy and Alex couldn’t be more different, but after meeting at the University of Chicago, they became fast friends. Since college, the two have taken a trip together every year to a different location, making a pact to spend a week together despite their busy lives. However, everything changed two years ago, and they haven’t spoken since. Feeling lost in life, Poppy decides to reach out and take one final vacation with Alex. These polar opposites have one week to fix their friendship and possibly discover something more. 

Besides the fact that both friendships started with a car ride from the University of Chicago, “When Harry Met Sally” and “People We Meet on Vacation” both share the same journey from best friends to a blossoming relationship.

“Love and Gelato,” Author: Jenna Evans Welch

The first in the trilogy, “Love and Gelato” follows Lina, a teenage girl who’s headed to Italy for the summer, as it was her mother’s dying wish for her to get to know her absent father. While all Lina wants to do is go home, she uncovers her mother’s old journal which sends her on a journey to uncover family secrets across Italy. Along the way, Lina falls in love with Ren, her neighbor and confidant. This story filled with romance, family, secrets and European adventure is sure to delight readers.

Similar to the movie “Letters to Juliet,” “Love and Gelato” is filled with adventure, romance, and Italian charm.

“Love and Other Words,” Author: Christina Lauren 

Childhood best friends to lovers, Macy and Elliot grew up spending weekends and summers together reading in the comfort of their “closet library.” Years later due to a chance encounter, the two reunite after not having spoken for the past eleven years. This second chance romance takes readers from past to present, watching Macy and Elliot fall in love both as teenagers and as adults, and uncovering what truly happened to lead them to cut each other out of their lives. This story of enduring love delivers a shocking plot twist and will leave readers with both tears and laughter. 

For fans of the film “Love, Rosie,” “Love and Other Words” will be a favorite, combining the friends-to-lovers trope with heartbreaking miscommunications.

“It Happened One Summer,” Author: Tessa Bailey

Piper is an LA socialite, spending her days shopping and her nights partying. However, after a rooftop party gone wrong, her stepfather ships Piper and her sister off to a small fishing town in Washington, which just so happens to be the home of their late father. Soon after arriving in Westport, Piper meets Brendan who thinks that Piper won’t last a day in his town. Polar opposites apparently do attract, because Piper and Brendan find themselves constantly bumping into each other and soon a romance ignites, leading Piper to question where she is truly meant to be. 

Said to be based on the sitcom “Schitt’s Creek,” Piper and Brendan bear stark similarity to Alexis Rose and Mutt Schitt, both of whom encompass the “grumpy-sunshine” trope.

“The Hating Game,” Author: Sally Thorne

The Staring Game. The Imitating Game. The Mirror Game. Lucy and Joshua spend their days trapped in a publishing office tormenting one another, playing one silly game after the next and working to ensure that the other never wins. When Lucy and Joshua get the opportunity for the same promotion, competition raises to another level. But when Lucy starts to spend all of her time thinking about Joshua, and not just about ways to beat him, she starts to wonder whether they ever really hated each other at all. This funny office romance is a quintessential “enemies-to-lovers,” delighting readers with playful banter and evolving relationships.

Just like the movie “10 Things I Hate About You,” “The Hating Game” highlights the “line” between love and hate and shows that maybe there is no “line” after all.

With so many options to choose from, diving into the world of rom-com novels can be overwhelming. This list is just to get started, and from different tropes to different authors, the options are endless.