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Fall is right around the corner, which means pumpkin spice lattes, sweater weather and books. Lots and lots of books. While for us college students some of those books may be textbooks, I hope this article will get you to consider adding something else to that list. Something that may make your heart spin a few times, laugh so much your roommates may be concerned and occasionally tear up from time to time. Here are the three rom-com books that NEED to be in your hands right now.

  1. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Calling all Pretty Woman fans — have we got something for you. 

Told from a dual point of view, Helen Hoang makes sure each page leaves your heart racing and mind wanting more as she builds a passionate connection between her two characters, Stella Lane and Michael Phan. Stella, although smart and accomplished, struggles in the relationship department, specifically the sexual department. Taking it into her hands, she decides to practice with a professional — Michael Phan. Before you know it, you’re falling in love with the characters just as they are with each other, admiring the perseverance and strength of the characters seen through their journeys.  

While The Kiss Quotient is filled with humor and romance that makes you pray for a rom-com of your own, Helen Hoang touches upon many important topics such as Aspergers (an important part of Stella’s journey in the story), sexuality and the importance of consent. A story filled with heart-wrenching moments, comical dialogue and steamy scenes (definitely not something grandma would want to read), The Kiss Quotient is the perfect book for you.

  1. Beach Read by Emily Henry 

Emily Henry is dominating the Contemporary Romance section and once you pick up Beach Read, you’ll see why. Our protagonist, January Andrews, is a 29 year old romance author who sees the glass half-full and life through rose-colored glasses until her father’s death reveals a family secret that changes her life. Enter Augustus Everett, a 30-something year old literary fiction author with a tragic past and a swoon-worthy personality. Together these two make for an amazing love story. 

Forced to be neighbors for the next three months, their beach houses side by side, these two college rivals decide to turn their writers-block into a fun partnership — January teaches Augustus about romance and Augustus shares his dark project with January. From their witty bantering to their sweet confessions, Augustus and January check all the boxes for a perfect enemies to lovers story. 

P.S I’ve already claimed Augustus Everett. If anyone sees a 30 year old author going through a midlife crisis who will confess to me that I’ve always been the one, please send them my way. 

  1. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert 

Enemies to lovers trope ☑

A female protagonist who’s a triple threat — gorgeous, intelligent, and successful ☑

A gorgeous male who shows it’s okay to be sensitive while saying the most intense lines that basically kill me ☑

One person asking the other to help them complete a bucket list trope ☑

Scenes that will make your lips hurt so much because you can’t stop smiling and screaming at the overload of cuteness and passion ☑

Get a Life, Chloe Brown, the first book in the series The Brown Sisters, is one of those books that you will not put down until you reach the last page. If you’re done with falling in love with characters who you know will set your expectations way too high in the real world (it’s okay, it happens to all of us) — then this isn’t the book for you. Ms. Talia Hibbert does an amazing job of making sure that when you finish Get a Life, Chloe Brown, you end up with two more crushes: Redford Morgan and Chloe Brown. While the bantering and sarcasm made me laugh and smile, it’s the vulnerability and sensitivity of the characters that surprised me, forcing me to keep a tissue box by my side at the stories of both Ms. Brown and Mr. Morgan. 

If you’re in need of a new book boyfriend (or girlfriend), then this book is the one for you. I’m not lying when I say you will fall in love. Talia Hibbert has a gift and she has blessed us with giving us even more fictional crushes. 

Did these books absolutely set my expectations high? Yes. Am I disappointed that I have yet to meet someone like Redford Morgan, Augustus Everett, and Michael Phan? Yes. Will you be too? Most likely. But will I still tell you to go ahead and read these books because they’re amazing? Also yes.

These three amazing women don’t make it hard to fall in love with their beautiful characters. From the witty men to the intelligent women, it won’t take long for you to start making a fictional crush list of your own. Trust me.

Kavya is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh and pursuing an Economics-Math dual major alongside with a Creative Writing minor. She's also a part of Dhirana, Collision Literary Magazine and Women in Economics. Besides scrolling through tik tok, she loves reading, writing, the daily Netflix binges, and hanging out with friends.
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