Katie's recommended romance reads

Published on 22 January 2024


Library Operations Officer, Katie, has shared her recent romance reads, all available to borrow at the library.

Love, theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Ali Hazelwood writes romance novels based in the academic world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Her books are clever and addictive, and are great for people who are looking for a fresh take on romance, in a non-traditional setting. Love, theoretically is an enemies-to-lovers romance about a pair of physicists, and is my favourite Ali Hazelwood novel.

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Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

A whimsical fantasy romance (romantasy!) set in a world where fairies are real. Emily Wilde is an anti-social professor who is studying the world of faeries, and writing a groundbreaking encyclopedia of faerie lore. There is adventure, danger, mystery and romance here, as well as friendship.

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The Benevolent Society of Ill-mannered ladies by Alison Goodman

The Benevolent Society of Ill-mannered ladies is one of my favourite books of 2023 – I’ve read the library e-book, and listened to the e-audiobook (both on BorrowBox). Written by an Australian author with a PhD in regency history, this novel follows two sisters in their 40s as they break free of the restrictions society places on them and solve historically accurate crimes. This is a detective novel with a subplot of romance. Great for people who love a cozy mystery and don’t mind a slow burn romance in the background.

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The Wisteria Society of lady scoundrels by India Holton

A novel about women who battle pirates and steal anything not nailed down, set in Victorian England. Described as ‘Bridgerton meets Peaky Blinders,’ this is a fantasy romance with a unique narrative. There is tea drinking, etiquette, blackmail, flying houses and general mayhem. The first in a series, this book by a New Zealand author is quirky and addictive – we have the audiobook on BorrowBox.

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Something wild and wonderful by Anita Kelly

A romance about two cute guys who meet hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA. It’s a thoughtful story of reflection and growth set against the backdrop of a scenic long-distance hike. I’d recommend this one for people who enjoyed Red, White and Royal Blue and aren’t sure what to read next.

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Bringing down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Set in Victorian England, this is a feminist romance about a female student at Oxford campaigning for women’s suffrage. It is clever, compelling, and well-researched, and would appeal to people who liked Bridgerton but also like a narrative with a bit more substance. This is the first novel in a series of four books, so if you like this one there are more to choose from.

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The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

Set in Kentucky, USA during the Great Depression, this story is about the Horseback Librarians, who delivered books on horseback as part of a travelling library service. This is a moving story of female friendship, love and endurance. Jojo Moyes is a well-known author, so if you’ve enjoyed any of her books or their movies (like Me Before You), I would recommend giving this one a try.

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Matters of the heart by Fiona Palmer

I love a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and Fiona Palmer’s retelling is a rural romance set among farming families in Western Australia. If you like rural romance (ru-ro), modern reimagings of classic novels, or Jane Austen’s works, this one is worth a read.

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The Little Teashop in Tokyo by Julie Caplin

This is the sixth book in Julie Caplin’s series ‘Romantic Escapes’ but can be read as a standalone. It’s a cute romance set in Japan, and is a great escapist read. If you like travel fiction and light easy reads this one is for you.

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Any novel by Georgette Heyer

If you like to read historic romance, you can’t look past Georgette Heyer. Writing from the 1920s to the 1970s, she is considered to have invented the genre of historical romance. Her novels were meticulously researched and written in the style of Jane Austen - if you are deep-diving into the genre, her novels set in the Regency and Georgian periods are must-reads.

Great places to start are Frederica  and Venetia

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