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It’s the Valentine’s Day season and love is in the air. If that’s made you feel like you want to bring some of that love to your bookshelf, "Bridgerton" author Julia Quinn has a list for you.
Her picks are set as far back as 18th-century London to present-day Colorado and range from romance novels for genre die-hards to epistolary novels about a young boy and a first baseman for the New York Giants. They even include both brand new releases and gems you might have missed.
No matter your interests, the picks below will have a book that will tug at your heartstrings.
If you're a fan of historical romance
"The Wallflower Wager: Girl Meets Duke," by Tessa Dare
Fans who devoured Quinn’s "Bridgerton" series or binged the show on Netflix and don’t know where to turn should be looking in Tessa Dare’s direction. Set in 18th-century London, "The Wallflower Wager" follows Penny, a woman who spends her time rescuing and caring for animals, and Gabriel Duke, her new neighbor.
When her parrot escapes into his house, she chases after it. “She thinks she can sneak into his house unnoticed, but this is a romance novel, so of course he's going to catch her,” Quinn says. You’ll have to read to find out what happens next!
If you're a fan of sports romance
"Snapped," by Alexa Martin
In Alexa Martin’s latest, goal post to goal post romance lines up alongside rich social commentary after the Denver Mustangs try to handle their star quarterback who chose to kneel in protest during the national anthem. The team assigns their strong-minded strategic communications manager to handle him when she realizes they have more in common than she expected. "I've been hooked since her first book, but with 'Snapped' I think she's taken it to a new level," Quinn says.
A good friendship story
"Miss Benson's Beetle," by Rachel Joyce
If platonic relationships are more your speed, Joyce’s story of two women fleeing their dreary lives in 1950s Britain in search for a mythical beetle in the South Pacific is for you. As the pair navigates the difficulties of their journey, they become closer and help each other grow. “You can't help but root for Margery and Enid as they fight to do something extraordinary in a world that has written them off as inconsequential,” Quinn says.
A heartbreaking love story
"Wild Women and the Blues," by Denny S. Bryce
Bryce’s new novel, releasing on March 30, 2021, follows two narrative threads, 90 years apart. In the first, a young woman fights to make it as a dancer at Black-and-Tan clubs in 1925 Chicago. In the second, a film students sets out to interview that same woman, now 110 years old, about her life. As the book unfolds, they learn about each other and themselves and the love they’ve had and lost along the way.
A familial love story
"Last Days of Summer," by Steve Kluger
This book is, as Quinn puts it, “a story about the family you make.” This epistolary novel explores the relationship between Joey Margolis, a 12-year-old Jewish boy living in 1940s Brooklyn, and Charlie Banks, a first baseman for the New York Giants. Alongside the letters, Kluger includes newspaper clippings and other ephemera, which creates a wonderfully immersive reading experience.
For more book recommendations, check out:
- 32 books bestselling authors recommend to honor and celebrate Black history
- 24 cute children's books to read with your littlest valentine
- Looking for an inspirational story? 10 feel-good books to read right now
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