I’m being a bit unfair with the title. Adult romance is in no way the dark side or shameful to enjoy, but I just haven’t experienced very much of it and it’s totally outside of my usual genres. Sure, I’m a sucker for romance-based fantasies, and I will always appreciate a love-based contemporary, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ever strayed completely into the romance genre.
I’ve dipped my foot into the proverbial pool, sure. I read Me Before You alongside everybody else and I’ve read maybe one sentence of Fifty Shades of Grey. But those two books don’t represent the entirety of the genre, far from it- and I don’t feel like I’ve seen anything of worth yet. However, a few books are making the rounds in the book community that I’m intrigued by and there’s nothing stopping me from waiting until pay-day and stocking up on some new reads to try.
Admittedly, my most recent completed read (Red, White & Royal Blue) is a huge part in why I’m finally truly considering adult romance. Pitched as NA, it’s the closest I’ve come to reading a ‘realistic’ (as in, set in the real world) love-story actually written for someone my age. (I’m 19). Casey McQuiston did such a good job with writing her book that now I want to explore a whole new genre that I’ve never really considered before- and here are the authors/books that I’m tempted buy.
Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test
A strong figure in the YA book community, Helen Hoang is a name I’ve been hearing over and over again. Not only are her books appearing in pretty much every single bookhaul on BookTube lately, but raving reviews are persuading me to give her books a try.
Taylor Jenkins Reid: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo skyrocketed into space with people worshipping the bisexual queen that is Evelyn. It feels like everyone in the world except me has picked this one up by now, and I really need to get round to it. Not only because I need the representation, but because it just sounds like something I’d enjoy.
Jennifer L Armentrout/J. Lynn: Wicked, Titan, With You
Technically, most of the books I want to read by Jennifer L Armentrout are all classed as NA, with only a few adult romances – but I had to feature my favourite author on this list. There’s a whole selection of her books I haven’t read purely because they aren’t YA, but that shouldn’t stop me. I’m perfectly capable of reading out of my genre and enjoying mass-market paperbacks. She’s my most-owned author and I’m ashamed of myself for not actually owning the majority of her books. I could, I just need to get off my high-horse and buy books that won’t technically suit the aesthetic of my shelves.
Sally Thorne: 99% Mine & The Hating Game
Some more tragically-famous romance novels on my list that I just haven’t got round to. I don’t own them, I’ve never seen them in a bookstore (though I’ve never been specifically looking), and honestly I don’t really know that much about them. However, from what I do know- readers I trust love these two and therefore I’m confident that I will. If I could just persuade myself to buy them. I’M SO TERRIFIED OF BUYING BOOKS THAT I MIGHT NOT LIKE. At least with YA, I’m fairly confident I’ll remotely enjoy them but if I don’t it’s a very rare occasion. If I decide to start picking up books outside my usual genres, there’s a likelihood I won’t enjoy the vast majority of them. What do you guys think? Is it worth the risk??
Colleen Hoover: It Ends With Us, Ugly Love & November 9
I know Colleen’s books aren’t super restricted to just romance, but happen to be tragic heart-breakers and I’m all here for that. I’m ready for my emotions to be ripped open because I’m in a good place right now and I can handle it. I think. I don’t know how truly sad her books are, but I’ve heard quite a lot of things. I figure Colleen might be a nice step from YA contemporary into adult books, just because I know so many YA readers love her books.
Sarah Dessen: Once and For All and Saint Anything
Soft adorable characters and gooey relationships that make me melt. I’ve heard that Sarah Dessen has a way of writing that makes you fall in love every single time you open her books, and I’m ready to be transported away. They sound like the perfect beach-reads I’ve been searching for, and I just need the sun to burst out from the clouds so I can get in the mood for a cutesy romance.
All in all, that’s 6 authors and over 10 books I really want to try. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy them all in one go, so I have to turn to you for advice. Which books should I prioritise? I’m hoping to buy a bunch in June for my birthday AND my holiday to New York City, and I need to be prepared with a plan of what I want. I think it could be really fun to read loads of adult-romance in the first month after I officially become an adult. I’LL BE TWENTY SOON. That’s terrifying. That won’t stop me though, and I’m super-duper ready to accept adulthood whilst trying to expand my reading tastes. Now which books should I buy…?