Susan's Picks: Adult Romance & Romance-Adjacent

By Susan the Librarian

By Susan the Librarian
Love at First Spite

Love at First Spite

Anna E. Collins

$15.99 $14.87

Miss Moriarty, I Presume?

Miss Moriarty, I Presume?

Sherry Thomas

$16.00 $14.88

The latest in Sherry Thomas' thrilling LADY SHERLOCK series! Sherry Thomas breaks out of the romance genre with a thrilling, funny, well-plotted, and (yes) romantic mystery series with a strong cast of characters and an immersive historical world that will keep readers rapt and turning pages. I read them all, then immediately read them again. Can’t wait for another LADY SHERLOCK book!

All the Feels

All the Feels

Olivia Dade

$15.99 $14.87

This hilarious, swoon-worthy, steamy romcom picks up the love story of two secondary characters in Dade’s bestseller, SPOILER ALERT, and if it’s possible, I think I liked this one even better(?!). Mostly because Alex, but also because the issues of self-worth and sacrifice were so powerful and accessible. Also, despite Alex’s occasionally juvenile sense of humor, the relationship was extremely mature: gradual to develop and always respectful, without the kind of lies and deceptions that often provide the tension in romance plots. I certainly enjoy lie/deception based suspense, but sometimes it’s nice to sink into a romance where the relationship is actually pretty healthy throughout and it’s the characters’ need for individual growth that creates the obstacles to their relationship’s success. FYI, you do not need to have read SPOILER ALERT to read this one. You can read them in either order. If you have read SPOILER ALERT, you will notice that ALL THE FEELS has less fanfic but don’t worry: it still has plenty of amazing references to fanfic romance tropes (and, of course, pegging).

People We Meet on Vacation

People We Meet on Vacation

Emily Henry

$16.00 $14.88

I laughed so hard through this book. The banter! Loved both the hero and heroine and just enjoyed every minute I spent with them. Fans of the genre, or anyone who enjoys witty dialogue and adults who aren’t afraid to be silly together, pick this one up! Highly recommend it.

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

India Holton

$16.00 $14.88

I’m pretty sure this book was written to delight me. I started laughing at the “Table of Significant Characters” and never stopped. But in addition to humor, it also checked all my boxes on what I want from a historical romance: a hero and heroine who I actually like, both independently and as a couple; a meaningful project not directly related to romance on which they can collaborate; and of course a healthy dose of swoon-worthy sexy-times. Still, as you can probably guess from the house-flying pirates, this won’t appeal to all historical romance readers. I would describe it as Sherry Thomas meets Gail Carriger. If that doesn’t help, read chapter one, and you will know if it’s for you. (And if this book is for you, we should definitely be friends. Because like I said, delighted…)

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Olivia Dade

$15.99 $14.87

I cannot squeal enthusiastically enough to do this book justice! Scientist by day, fan-fic writer by night (and sometimes also by day), April is a killer heroine, while Marcus’ demigod persona on-screen only accentuates his believably human flaws IRL. This book is not-so-secretly about GoT fan-fic, and its exploration of that world is perfect. And then on top of the humor and the fan-fic community, there is some real, gutting content about fat-shaming, learning disabilities, and the far-reaching effects of parental microaggressions on the lives of their (even adult) children. Truly wonderful, and a must-read for fans of steamy contemporary romance, especially GoT/fan-fic fans/writers.

The Duke Undone

The Duke Undone

Joanna Lowell

$16.00 $14.88

I love, love, loved this Victorian romance. Could not put it down. It has everything I look for in a steamy historical romance: an interesting and historically grounded conflict, a fierce heroine and principled if flawed hero, and so, so much sexual tension. Highly recommend to fans of Sherry Thomas and Courtney Milan!

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Linda Holmes

$17.00 $15.81

An engaging contemporary romance, EVVIE DRAKE is a fun read and great book club book for groups that enjoy “women’s fiction.”

A Lady's Formula for Love

A Lady's Formula for Love

Elizabeth Everett

$16.00 $14.88

A fun start to a new series about eccentric female scientists in the Victorian era. Lust at first sight, a bodyguard/client relationship, and a heroine with self-esteem issues may turn off readers who dislike those tropes, but I LOVED the book–especially the mutual respect of the relationship, the suspense, and the fact that the woman was the brains of the operation. Highly recommend to fans of The Brother’s Sinister, HIS AT NIGHT, and other Victorian romances about women breaking out of their “station.”

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank

Elizabeth Peters

$10.00 $9.30

One of my favorite, favorite book series ever, Amelia Peabody starts out as Victorian romantic suspense, through later books fall solidly in the mystery category. Intentionally over the top, and an inevitable page turner, this is a great, classic read for anyone who loves mystery with a dash of romance or romance with a dash of mystery.

Outlander

Outlander

Diana Gabaldon

$9.99 $9.29

OUTLANDER has everything I love in a novel: humor, romance, suspense, immersive world-building, and deep themes. It is difficult to put down, and a great book club book if all of your readers are ok with sex and violence. OUTLANDER will appeal to historical romance readers as well as many historical fiction and suspense/thriller readers.

A Study in Scarlet Women

A Study in Scarlet Women

Sherry Thomas

$17.00 $15.81

Sherry Thomas breaks out of the romance genre with a thrilling, funny, well-plotted, and (yes) romantic mystery series with a strong cast of characters and an immersive historical world that will keep readers rapt and turning pages. I read them all, then immediately read them again.

The Duke Who Didn't

The Duke Who Didn't

Courtney Milan

$15.99

This historical romance is everything you can expect from Courtney Milan: funny, sexy, layered, and chock full of interesting characters who both challenge and support the heroine and hero. It unfolds at a slower pace than some of Milan’s earlier books, so it may not snag all Brothers Sinister fans, but I personally found it a relaxing comfort read.

A Curious Beginning

A Curious Beginning

Deanna Raybourn

$15.00 $13.95

A suspenseful, action-packed mystery with a touch of romance, A CURIOUS BEGINNING starts off a series with a delightfully nonconformist Victorian feminist for a narrator and a surly but noble love interest/partner in slightly-criminal-criminal-investigation. Very fun read with plenty of thrills to keep you turning pages!

A Dangerous Collaboration

A Dangerous Collaboration

Deanna Raybourn

$17.00 $15.81

My favorite of the Veronica Speedwell books--and the most romancey! A series with a delightfully nonconformist Victorian feminist for a narrator and a surly but noble love interest/partner in slightly-criminal-criminal-investigation. Very fun read with plenty of thrills to keep you turning pages!

An Impossible Impostor

An Impossible Impostor

Deanna Raybourn

$26.00 $24.18

The latest installment in Veronica Speedwell. A series with a delightfully nonconformist Victorian feminist for a narrator and a surly but noble love interest/partner in slightly-criminal-criminal-investigation. Very fun read with plenty of thrills to keep you turning pages!