After Dark’s Romantic Reads

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As a blog primarily of romance books, it should be no surprise that each of our reviewers interpreted the idea of “what is romantic”, differently.  What may surprise you is that when I first mentioned this idea to the group, 4 out of 6 of the reviewers thought of the Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz.   So keep that in mind with our list.

Whether you are single or in a relationship on this Hallmark created day (can tell how I really feel about this holiday?), romance books are always a great escape, especially when the love story is well crafted.  Those books that make women warm all over can be based on the swoonworthy actions of the Hero (there’s a reason romance readers have book boyfriend lists) or it can an epic love story that hits every one of your emotions.  These books set the romantic bar high in our minds and are worth checking out.

Ivy
Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise
My most romantic read is my favorite romance ever. It’s Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. When Cal and Min meet, it seems like it’s going to be a clash of the prickly, curvy, heroine and the player hero. It’s the opposite of insta-love and I love every funny minute of it. Through their conversations, when the facades strip away and you get to know each flawed little bit of them so well, you can’t help but fall for them while they’re falling for each other. I still can’t listen to Elvis without thinking of this book.

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Amazon US

Grace
Frenched by Melanie Harlow
This takes place in the city of love.  HELLLOOO!!!  Of course this book is romantic.  As I said back when I read it, almost two years ago, I literally wanted to melt within the pages.  The author incorporates culture and humor to build a sweet and swoon-worthy story that I absolutely adored.

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Amazon US (free at the time of this post)

The Education of Sebastian/The Education of Caroline by Jane Harvey-Berrick
This a book based on an affair, you’d think this would be an odd pick as a top romance.  However, Sebastian and Caroline’s relationship is the definition of an epic romance in my mind.  The passion they share was undeniable, and despite their age difference and the forces that tried to keep them apart, fate brought them back together, where they belong.  The sheer span of their story and everything they have to overcome, is what makes this one romance I’ll never forget.

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Review of The Education of Sebastian/The Education of Caroline
Amazon US

Becoming Calder/Finding Eden by Mia Sheridan
There are several books by this author that could qualify for the “romantic” distinction, but this duo stands out for me, not just because of the depth of love between Calder and Eden, but the uniqueness of their story.  It’s hard to compare this couple’s story against any other I’ve read.  The sacrifices and commitment to protecting one another, runs down to the core.  Trapped in an isolated world, they had to keep their relationship a secret in order to survive physically, and didn’t have access to the skills or knowledge to help them emotionally.  In book two, they have to learn to adapt to their new world.  What makes it so special is how they find closure together in order to build their love story for the future.

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Review of Becoming Calder/Finding Eden<
Becoming Calder: Amazon US
Finding Eden: Amazon US

Yaya
Two of the very first books I fell in love with many, many books ago. They were journeys and unforgettable moments but most of all the true power of love the authors created through their words. They will remain in my top favorite romance stories of all time.

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Amazon US

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Amazon US

Tammy
The below series and stand-alones will always stay with me and always be in my top books of all time.

The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz
Two words: Tiffany Reisz
Truly that is all that I need to say but in case: her writing is magical, she makes you think and see beyond what might not be normal in a lot of people’s eyes. Nut underneath the unconventional there is true love. Whether they are in love or have love, it is always there. It proves that love can be found anywhere.

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The Siren: Amazon US
The Angel: Amazon US
The Prince: Amazon US
The Mistress: Amazon US

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The Saint: Amazon US
The King: Amazon US
The Virgin: Amazon US
The Queen: Amazon US

Chocolate Lovers Series by Tara Sivec
This series is hilarity at its finest. The characters come together as a loving family and one little crazy funny smart boy brings them as one. Beyond the humor and shenanigans, love unites them.

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Seduction and Snacks: Amazon US
Futures & Frosting: Amazon US
Troubles & Treats: Amazon US

The Law of Moses Series by Amy Harmon
Tear. Jerker. Love knows no bounds in this series. Amy showed that no matter what the person is going through or what physicality they have that are not normal, that love is able to be found. And they really do love.

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The Law of Moses: Amazon US
The Song of David: Amazon US

If Only by Beckie Stevenson
A truly great second chance love between two people that are truly soul mates. It was heartwarming and wrenching at times to see this romance fully blossom through test after test.

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Review of If Only . . .
Amazon US

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry
Two broken souls coming together to heal each other without letting go of their past come and realize that they are each other’s future. It the darkest of times, love is always a light.

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Review of The Air He Breathes

Amazon US

Rachel
The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
Camryn and Andrew. What can I say? It’s the story of two strangers with a serious case of wanderlust who unexpectedly found each other on a bus to Idaho, and then set out to make their own adventures without any sort of plan except to live everyday like it was their last. I fell in love with these two characters as they fell in love with each other on the road to nowhere, and no matter how many times I’ve read this book that ending still gets to me and makes me ugly cry.

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Amazon US

The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz
People may look at this and wonder how a book classified as erotica could be considered romantic, but I challenge anyone to read this and tell me it’s not filled with an enormous amount of love in all the unique and various and unconventional ways that someone can love another person. No one loves the way Søren, Nora, and Kingsley love and because we get to see their relationship over the course of decades we experience their love in all its brutal, complicated, tortured glory. Loving someone unconditionally even when it hurts, accepting them for who they are and not trying to change them even if you want to, I think is one of the most romantic gestures of all.

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The Siren: Amazon US
The Angel: Amazon US
The Prince: Amazon US
The Mistress: Amazon US

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The Saint: Amazon US
The King: Amazon US
The Virgin: Amazon US
The Queen: Amazon US

The Bronze Horseman Trilogy by Paullina Simons
It’s long and it’s a historical romance, but I’m such a sucker for these kinds of stories. It takes place during World War II Russia where 17 year old Tatiana meets Alexander, a soldier in the Red Army. The setting for this story gives it an epic feel which is part of the fun of historical romance for me. I’m not just getting a glimpse into their lives, but instead going on a journey with Tatiana and Alexander, and the backdrop of war and the circumstances of their lives make it all the more tragic and desperate, and I loved every moment of it.

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Amazon US

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
No list of Best Romantic Books would be complete without this. Yes it’s an oldie but a goodie, and there’s a reason it has stood the test of time. It’s is my gold standard for romance, and I’m pretty sure that Mr. Darcy might just be the first “bad boy” of romance. Often imitated but never duplicated, he’s set the bar for every book boyfriend that has come after him. Brooding, arrogant, incredibly wealthy, with a hidden soft spot for the feisty and free spirited heroine. Hmmm…it does sound awfully familiar. It’s a timeless love story that I can read over and over and fall in love with it every time.

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Kindle: Amazon US

Paperback: Amazon US

What are your favorite romantic reads?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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