From Book Riot: LOVE ISN’T A BATTLEFIELD: 13 GENTLE, LOW-DRAMA ROMANCES
That’s certainly an inviting title for a post! I’m definitely up for gentle, low-drama everything whenever life is stressful; eg, for years on end lately. Also, contemporary romances in particular are useful to me because I can read them when I’m working on WIP of my own and therefore don’t want to read complicated, involved secondary world fantasy or SF. Low drama is good there too. So sure, by all means, let’s take a look!
Sometimes it’s not enough simply to know a happy ending is coming. Sometimes, the whole thing needs to be happy. I’ve endeavored to find a wide range of books across sub-genres and levels of explicitness, so you can find your particular happy place within the world of gentle romances.
Okay, looking over the list, this one stands out:
When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
Again, it was tough to pick among Tessa Dare’s outstanding bibliography for this list, but if you haven’t yet read When a Scot Ties the Knot, you simply must. Madeline did what so many of us have done to avoid unwanted male attention. She invented herself a boyfriend: Captain MacKenzie. She sends him letters and everything. So when the real Captain MacKenzie shows up with her letters in hand, she’s in some real trouble. All Madeline ever wanted was to uncover the secrets of lobster mating (not even kidding), but she accidentally caught herself a mate.
Mating habits of lobsters? That is a startling interest for the lead in a Regency Romance novel. That’s definitely a detail that catches my eye. And Regencies are just as good as contemporary romances for presenting a familiar setting. You know what, sure, I’m picking up a sample.
Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg
Ready to fall in love with some characters? Alisha is a baker and power lifter dreaming of opening a cookie shop in Chicago. Quentin is a dreamy bespectacled paleontologist. When Alisha’s grandparents discover a dinosaur bone in their backyard, Quentin is on the scene. And he meets Alisha, who is also a dinosaur lover. Yes, there are Jurassic Park references. And also a completely amazing romantic gesture that I will not spoil. If you’re looking for a romance with kisses only, this one’s for you.
Both baking AND paleontology? Wow. Sure, another sample.
Twice Shy by Sara Hogle
Maybell is a dreamer who prefers her mind palace to real life. She inherits a rambling old house in the Smokies, but she shares ownership of it with the groundskeeper Wesley. He’s guarded and uncompromising, and suddenly, all of this is way too real for Maybell. They have a grumpy/sunshine slow burn relationship that unfolds beautifully. This book also depicts characters struggling with anxiety. When it comes to sex, this is a closed door romance.
I’m not sure this one sounded as good to me up front, but I like the first half-dozen or so reviews on Amazon. We are indeed fixing up the house together, and that sounds appealing. They start communicating by passing each other notes! That’s funny and also appealing. Yet another sample.
If you’re in the mood for a gentle romance, definitely click through and take a look at the whole list.
4 thoughts on “Gentle Romances”
Gentle romance sounds exactly up my alley right now (and the first chapter of the Dare book looks fun!). Thank you for sharing this list!
I love gentle romances, life is too stressful otherwise. I like the Kristan Higgins Blue Heron series. Charming, funny and with some unexpected depth.
Thanks for the recommendation, Alison! I see a Golden Retriever front and center on the cover of the first book. That plus your recommendation is plenty for me to try a sample.
Tessa Dare is pretty reliably enjoyable.
I like Nalini Singh’s New Zealand rugby player series and the rock star one that overlaps with it.