It’s August, my favorite month of the year, because this month independent bookstores celebrate Romance books and all things related to its writing, publishing, and selling. There’s all sorts of statistics and data I could share on the popularity of Romance, the rise and evolution of the content, and much more. Instead, I’d like to focus on the fact that many wonderful, popular, Third Place staff-loved titles straddle genres. Chances are, if you’ve loved what we have recommended in our stores, there’s a Romance for your tastes. Take a story with love and conflict, make it the central purpose of the plot, write a satisfying and happy ending, and there you have it: a romance novel! So here’s that little push – otherwise known as a really good recommendation – to get you reading the genuine article, er, book.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is an epistolary fantasy novel about faeries, their world, and small town secrets. There’s also a slow and tender love story nested inside. Luckily, there’s another lovely book about Fae and humans that has a core love story to follow: Half A Soul, the first in the Regency Faerie Tales series. Both books explore the wondrous, fantastic elements of the Fae as well as their brutal, terrible indifference to human livelihood. These creatures have teeth; our main characters make up for it in curiosity, heart, and courage.
If you liked This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, try Happy Place by Emily Henry
This Lullaby is sort of the inverse of Happy Place. A group of friends are separating and going off to their respective colleges in Dessen’s classic. In Henry’s staff-beloved latest, a group of college best friends reunite at a familiar beach house and try to recapture the feelings of their group at its happiest. I feel like I’m cheating to say that Sarah Dessen fans will love all of Emily Henry’s books, not just the above recommended title, but I speak from experience.
HOT RIVALRY. You shouldn’t need more information than that, surely?
Well, ok. As both books go on, the missives get more and more personal. I also think both books unfold rather slowly, taking their time, giving the reader little delights and a bit of humor along the way. If Blue and Red had you convinced that you were reading a love story, I can promise Lucy and Joshua will satisfy your itch for enemies to more.