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Heartwarming book recommendations for Valentine’s Day

There is no shortage of romance novels in bookstores, but finding the right one can prove difficult — especially when you have specific taste. 

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a heartbreaker, let me offer some romance novel recommendations to warm your heart during this chilly Valentine’s Day season.

Lila Baltaxe | Senior Graphic Artist

POV: Your ideal night in includes Pinterest and a rom-com marathon. 

“Better Than the Movies” by Lynn Painter

Liz Buxbaum is your typical hopeless romantic who is determined to get her long-time crush, Michael, to notice her. She strikes a deal with her annoying next-door neighbor, Wes, who helps Liz in her pursuit for Michael’s attention. 

Wes and Liz have known each other since they were kids, but all of Liz’s memories are filled with Wes pranking her and making her cry. Fast forward, and they start fake dating with the hopes of getting Michael’s attention, but Liz begins to realize that Wes may not be as infuriating as she once thought.

Chapters of this book begin with a quote from rom-coms like “10 Things I Hate About You” and “27 Dresses.” The writing style is humorous and lighthearted, and this book is perfect for anyone who loves romanticizing the little things. 

If you need a fluffy, cute romance to read this Valentine’s season, this book is for you.

POV: You can’t stop thinking about that one person you saw on the T.

“Blackout” by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon

“Blackout” is a collection of short stories that follows teenagers in New York during a summer blackout. This collection of Black love stories about a second-chance romance, friends who consider being more and discovering one’s sexuality. 

These stories can warm any cold heart and the relatable characters allow the book to reach a wide audience. In addition to romance, all of the tales’ progressions make them feel like coming-of-age stories. 

This novel is great for anyone interested in getting back into reading, as the anthology format is fast-paced and easy to follow.

POV: You see your childhood crush in a cafe and you realize that you still have a crush on them.

“Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren

Pediatrics resident Macy Sorensen has her future planned to a T. She’s in a relationship with an older, pragmatic man and she’s ready to seal the deal as she plans her wedding. Then suddenly, her first love re-enters her life.

Elliot Petropoulos is Macy’s intelligent childhood best friend. They did everything together and connected by reading books in Macy’s closet. As they grew into adolescents, their relationship became more complicated.

This novel jumps between the past and present as the audience learns why Elliot and Macy were disconnected for ten years. This book explores love, friendship and grief through compelling writing.

If you love a heart-wrenching love story, the novel is perfect for you. This book captivates its audience by building suspense and it also features a lovely female friendship between Macy and Sabrina, her former college roommate. This novel beautifully balances romance and other aspects of Macy’s life.

POV: You think “standing on business” is a major green flag.

“Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute” by Talia Hibbert

Two aspiring lawyers fight for a scholarship that could change their respective futures. Celine and Brad were once friends, but are distanced after Brad joins their high school football team and Celine gains a following on TikTok. They are forced to work as a team in order to get the scholarship. They become closer and remember why they were friends in the first place.

Celine’s relationship with her mother is an imperative part of her character that readers with single parents can relate to. This book also discusses mental health, specifically OCD, as Brad learns to manage it.

The book features excellent British banter and layered characters that excite the audience. It balances serious topics and comical one-liners in a way that is unique to Talia Hibbert. The book is like a dessert that you can’t stop eating, but luckily doesn’t make you feel sick in the end.

POV: You love “Gilmore Girls,” and you are unapologetically on Team Jess.

“The Do-Over” by Lynn Painter 

Emilie Hornby experiences the worst Valentine’s Day you can imagine. She rear-ends someone on the way to school, loses a scholarship competition and catches her boyfriend kissing another girl. 

Emilie goes to her grandmother’s house to escape her horrifying day and falls asleep on her couch. She wakes up the following day hoping that she can move on and forget the tragic events that took place only to find out that it’s Feb. 14 again.

This Valentine’s Day version of “Groundhog Day” explores the importance of getting out of one’s shell. Emilie finds herself interacting with Nick, the person she rear-ends, more and more on each Valentine’s Day. He comes off as standoffish but as the days, or day, goes by, Emilie learns that Nick is more complex than he seems.

This book is great for anyone who loves witty dialogue, Taylor Swift references, and a daily planner. The combination of humor and heartbreak will cure your winter blues.

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