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7 Books For People Who Think They Don’t Like Romance Novels


There are two kinds of readers in this world: those who love romance novels and those who haven’t read one yet. Never fear: we’re not talking about the sexy-sexy books with the bare-chested dudes on the covers (though there’s nothing wrong with that!). We’re talking about “gateway romance” books—the ones you just can’t help but fall in love with, that leave you desperate for more. When people tell us they don’t read romance novels, these are the books we put in their hands–then observe with glee as they fall down the glorious rabbit hole of amazing love stories:


The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

It starts out just like any other love story: boy meets girl, girl wants to avenge the death of her best friend by murdering boy, boy marries girl…well, ok, so it’s a little different than your typical rom-com. But Khalid and Shazi’s relationship is an unforgettable (and hot) romance, bolstered by a rich Middle Eastern setting, fascinating characters, and a compelling mystery. If this book leaves you yearning for more, you’re in luck, because the story continues in The Rose in the Dagger!


Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

Not a fan of romance novels, you say? But are you a fan of say…Hamilton? Alex and Eliza: A Love Story tells the story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler before they were the famed historical couple we know them as today.


The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead

Let’s be honest: forbidden romances are hot. And there’s definitely more than a little heat between Rose Hathaway and her instructor Dimiti Belikov. But the steamy romance is even more interesting because it’s surrounded by awesome action scenes, amazing friendships, hilarious banter, and totally bad-ass characters. There’s so much more to obsess over with this series than just the romance—but it’s there and it’s THE BEST.

The VA series is complete with six books, but when you’ve finished those, internationally bestselling Richelle Mead keeps the swoons coming in the Bloodlines series and her newest book, The Glittering Court!


Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Romance is definitely not the only engaging element of this Sarah Dessen classic. Main character Annabel Green is struggling with a ton of changes in her life—none of them good. When reformed bad boy Owen enters the picture, he’s just the thing Annabel needs to confront the secrets she’s been keeping. The “opposites attract” romance that develops between the two is perfect for anyone who appreciates a non-“instalove” story.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Sexy Aladdin, people. Sexy. Aladdin. This fairy tale retelling is brimming with lush world-building, beautiful writing, and thrilling adventure. And kissing. Lots of kissing. Between Sexy Aladdin and a female genie. Do we really have to go on??


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Fair warning: the build-up and tension of the romance between the pages of this book is so adorable and so real, you’ll be a puddle of swoon by the time you’re through with it. The romance sparkles in this one—as does its Paris setting (only the most romantic city on Earth, NBD).

When you’ve devoured Anna and the French Kiss, be sure to read companion novels Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After. The books are loosely interconnected; you can read them in any order you like, but you will want to read them all, we guarantee.


My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

It’s impossible not to get the happy feels while reading this story of first love with the boy next door. It’s the perfect summer romance book that seems light and fluffy on the surface but surprises you with its depth and realism. When you’ve turned the final page, rockstar author Huntley Fitzpatrick has two other amazing romances for you to enjoy: What I Thought Was True and The Boy Most Likely To.





Ready to take your romance read to the next level? Check out these steamy books to keep you warm this winter!


















Excerpt Alert: Rebelwing

Happy #FridayReads! Did someone say robot dragons?! This week, we’re reading Rebelwing by Andrea Tang. Read the excerpt below! Chapter 1   The Drop   The whole mess was a long time coming, but the drama really began when the long, sleek snout of a plasma gun interrupted Pru’s breakfast.   “Good morning,” said Alex, black-eyed gaze intent over … Continued
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Excerpt Alert: Devil Darling Spy

If you like an edge of thriller in your historical fiction, we’ve got some good news for you. Devil Darling Spy is hitting shelves January 21! This fast-paced follow-up to Orphan Monster Spy follows Sarah’s perilous journey as she hunts a rogue German doctor in Central Africa who might be a serial murderer. This unbearably high-stakes thriller pushes Sarah to … Continued
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Read an excerpt of THE BEAUTIFUL by Renée Ahdieh

Vampires are making their comeback in just FIVE DAYS, and we’re celebrating with an excerpt! Scroll down to read the first chapter of Renée Ahdieh’s The Beautiful. 1st février, 1872 aboard the CGT Aramis Not What It Seemed The Aramis was supposed to arrive at first light, like it did in Celine’s dreams. She would wake beneath a sunlit … Continued
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6 Books to Cuddle Up With

Winter is the best time to be a reader because no one tries to force you to go outside and be “active,” leaving you with plenty of time to cuddle up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book. Below are a few of our favorites to get all snuggly with, and the … Continued
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6 Reads to Help You Recover from Black Friday

You know that day that comes right after the day we all say how thankful we are for the things we have? The one where everyone runs out and risks life and limb to get half-priced plasma screens and tupperware? Black Friday. It’s one that requires a cup of hot cocoa and a stack of good … Continued
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October’s most anticipated reads!

To put it simply, October is a very good month for books. And here are 6 of the most highly anticipated you do NOT want to miss!   The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys – October 1st If you love historical fiction, stunning prose, and a cover you’ll want to keep turned out to gaze … Continued
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Excerpt alert: The Blossom and the Firefly

This week, we’re reading The Blossom and the Firefly by Sherri L. Smith, a powerful WWII romance between two Japanese teens caught in the cogs of an unwinnable war. Scroll down to read the excerpt! Chapter One Hana Japan 1945 My father’s voice wakes me—thick as wool, slightly scratchy. “Get up, Hana. It’s time to get going.” Music … Continued
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17 Books That Will Get You Hooked on Historical Fiction

Here’s the thing about reading a life-changing historical fiction novel. Once you read one, there’s no going back. You need to read another. And another. And another. So we decided to share the love and round up 17 reads that will get YOU hooked on historical fiction. (Welcome to the dark side. We have cookies.) … Continued
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Halloween may be over, but these 4 books will leave you thoroughly creeped out

We love a good Halloween spook, but the best ones are the scares that last year round, and these top 4 reads will probably be keeping us creeped out well into 2020…   Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall BY. FAR. One of the CREEPIEST reads of 2019. Rules for Vanishing is a chilling combination of The Blair Witch … Continued
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Read an excerpt of FIREBORNE

We’ll make it plain: Fireborne is going to destroy you. It is going to do things to your emotions. It’s going to suck you in with the gutting emotional pull of An Ember in the Ashes and then shock you with Game of Thrones-esque plot twists and battles. And it’s all coming October 15th, scroll down to read the … Continued
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