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Between Valentine’s Day and nearing the end of the cozy winter season, I think we can all agree that February is the ideal time to cuddle up on the couch with a good ol’ romance novel. But where to begin? Well, there are about 10,000 paperbacks out there with a strapping young man holding a damsel in distress on the cover. However, I’m much more inclined toward modern, spunky love stories with fewer damsels in distress (and fewer shirtless men on the cover — they’re a tad awkward to have on your bookshelf in the background of a Zoom call). So, without further ado, here are five golden romance novels I recommend, from least to most saucy:

Would Like to Meet

A rom-com in its truest form: An aspiring screenwriter stuck in an assistant job is forced to reenact meet-cutes and fall in love to convince her boss’s biggest client, a hot-shot writer, to pen his next hit. Funny and feel-good, cheesy and a bit predictable, this is a wonderful comfort novel.

Steam Level: None! Would let my mom read it

Evvie Drake Starts Over

This one follows a recently widowed woman who hardly leaves her house and a professional baseball player who’s in a major slump. When he rents her guest room, they agree on one thing — no talking about the dead husband and no talking about baseball. But, hey, as a friendship forms, sometimes rules are broken.

Steam Level: A few scenes but all PG-13 — I recommended it to my mom because I forgot they were even in there

The Royal We

I’ve recommended this one a thousand times. It’s just so good. Loosely based on Will & Kate’s romance, this book is perfectly gossipy, spunky, and fun. An American studies abroad in England, and, oops, accidentally falls in love with the prince! Also, there’s a sequel (which is nearly as good!) entitled The Heir Affair.

Steam Level: A tad steamy, but my mother and I read this one at the same time, and there wasn’t any awkwardness afterward if that tells you anything

Beach Read

A romance writer who no longer believes in love? Who ends up in the same little Michigan town as her college nemesis? AND the two of them making a bet? Sign me up. There are so many good flirting scenes.

Steam Level: Would not recommend this one to my mother

The Bromance Book Club

This is one of the most interesting concepts for a book that I’ve read recently. It’s completely different than the usual storylines. When a professional baseball player’s marriage is in crisis, he’s invited to join The Bromance Book Club, a group of successful and powerful men who study romance books to better understand women and save their relationships. 

Steam Level: Would definitely not recommend this to my mother

Now, go show some Valentine’s love to your public library or favorite local bookstore by grabbing one of these, heat up a Trader Joe’s Chocolate Lava Cake (trust me), and happy reading!

Cassidy Woodward

Pepperdine '21

Hi y'all! My name is Cassidy Woodward, and I'm a senior Integrated Marketing Communications major at Pepperdine University. I'm originally from Fort Worth, Texas but ventured out to the west coast for college. Some of my hobbies include consuming novels in fewer than 48 hours, making copious amounts of baked goods for friends, and combing Google Flights for cheap plane tickets to my next adventure! Follow me on Insta @cassidymw or Twitter @Cassidy_Michal
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