I am a fan of Hallmark Channel movies. You know the type. They are not just on Hallmark Channel (there are at least three Hallmark Channels too). Lots are on at Christmas time. And, they have a lot of romance, usually mixed with some humor.
There are also LOTS of romance novels out there. The novels are broken down into a range of categories. For instance, I once read a charming book from a series geared toward interracial romances. I recently enjoyed Do Not Open ‘Til Christmas, a Sierra Donovan novel.
I picked out ten of the best romantic comedy books. The mix includes some time-old favorites and some much more new books. As usual, I will tell you a bit about the books and provide you with a link so you can buy them. The wine and chocolate are your department.
Nick Hornby is a popular novelist with multiple works (including this one) made into films.
This is how I know about this book. Will Freeman is a single curmudgeon who decides the best way to pick up a woman is to be a single dad. Problem is that he has to find a child.
The one he does find has some issues. Hilarity and some serious character growth ensue. The book is funny, and touching has some empathy for its characters, and is well-written too.
Feedback: Fans of Nick Hornby will know what to expect here. There are some serious themes in his books so be aware it is not all light and airy. Some will be turned off by Will, who has some jerk qualities. It is a nice touch that we get the boy’s point of view as well.
The book is about Nora, a cutthroat literary agent, and Charlie a bookish book editor. An unlikely couple, but fate keeps on throwing them together.
Toss amusing dialogue, a surprising plot twist, and a book that has fun with the tropes of the romance genre, you have an enjoyable read. Maybe, the “most anticipated book” label given to it by some promotional material didn’t turn out to be too much baggage after all.
Feedback: A must-pick for this book lover. My favorite review is “Book Lovers is Schitt’s Creek for book nerds.” Fans used words like how much “nuance” the book had. Some depth. A few “not fans” complained about the “sister issues” and lack of a good plot. The book is a bit long.
Khai Diep is successful in business but is autistic. His mom won’t let that stop her and seeks to find him a wife. Esme Tran has a shot at getting out of the slums of Vietnam. All she has to do is find a way to be the perfect bride for Khai. That will take work.
Feedback: This is a follow-up to The Kiss Quotient in which the lead is a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome and she takes a very practical approach to find a mate. The author is autistic herself so it is not surprising that she is able to write characters that come off as very real. The books are also very amusing. You are rooting for these characters to obtain happiness.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (25th Anniversary Edition)
Everyone’s favorite singleton was a romantic comedy novel heroine before an American tried to play a Brit once again in the film version. There is now a 25th Anniversary Edition that has an extended look at the character over the years.
For those who do not know, Bridget Jones is a thirtysomething British singleton (single woman) in London trying to make sense of life and find the right guy.
She’s worried about her weight [“Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way).”], smokes (it is 1999), and is just a bit ill at ease about the whole life thing.
Feedback: Obviously, lots of people loved this book and its sequels. The book is set up like a diary so be aware of that format. Some will find the character a bit annoying and stereotypical. Many loved her as a down-to-earth type. Some thought her too desperate and this is the sort of book that some love to hate. Check it out. See where you fit!
Humaira “Hani” Khan is a popular girl at high school but gets in trouble when she says she is bisexual. “You only go out with guys!” She blurts out that she is going out with a less popular “brain” type, Ishita “Ishu” Dey.
Ishu agrees to go along if Hani helps Ishu be “head girl” since she hopes it will help her get into a good college. As these things tend to go, pretend goes sideways …
Feedback: I saw this one in a display of ethnic-themed teen books at the local library. It is a popular book about two Bengali girls trying to find love and happiness.
A funny and cute “fake dating” story. This book is geared toward high schoolers but as usual with good YA fiction adults should like it too. The author recently wrote a book (A Million to One) about four young women trying to pull off a heist on the Titanic.
This is the first book in the “Broken Heart” series. It involves a mom who becomes a vampire. Becoming a vampire does wonders for those “mom thighs,” but it also requires a rather long-term romantic commitment.
Feedback: I included this one because I found it a fun read. Years back this is how I described it: “It is labeled a romance, and surely it is, even though it concerns a mom turned into a vampire. A lot of hot and heavy stuff with her true love.”
I also agree with one fan who says “light easy read with lovable characters.” If you like it, check out the film Love At First Bite!
Chemist Elizabeth Zott in the early 1960s is a no-nonsense sort who is stuck in a male-dominated world that has a bit too much stupidity for her taste. But, she insists on staying true to herself, when forced into hosting a cooking show. Cooking is just a form of chemistry, right? And, mixed in with her unique approach to cooking are some feminist truths that together make her audience love her.
Feedback: I really enjoyed this book. Shades of The Queen’s Gambit. The book is very amusing, if often in a bittersweet way, and has a touching romantic subplot.
Offbeat touches including a very empathic dog are done well. The book is a bit quirky and some readers might not like that. But, I think you might just love this book.
House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols is thrown for a loop by sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright. And, how can you not be with a guy named “Silas” anyways?
Feedback: “Fast-paced with Gilmore Girls banter.” This is a fun romance novel that fans of the genre should love, especially if they like some sex. Do you want your “sexy” with your “sweet”? This is the book for you. Readers thought it was very funny with great characters.
The second book in the “Montgomery Sisters” series. This one is about Avery, a high-heeled diva who needs to get her sister’s dog back to California. Roughing it is not her style, but Jake Matthews thinking she can’t handle it makes her not want to give up.
Feedback: This is an amusing tale of two opposites falling for each other. I found it on a few lists as a top romantic comedy book to check out. Many readers say the book is surprisingly interesting with characters you really care about.
This is the first book in the “Knitting in the City” series that each is a stand-alone story about members of a knitting circle. Janie Morris doesn’t knit. Has a habit of oversharing when nervous. And, dealing with “Sir McHotpants” is not helping.
Feedback: This is another book that I saw on a few “best of” romantic comedy book lists. It is an AAR (All About Romance) top 100 romance. One book blog says “highly intelligent, yet totally goofy heroine” and another praises the “unique” heroine. Toss in knitting, well, seems worth a look! A few suggest it is a bit of a “mess” of a first effort.
GET SOME CHOCOLATES AND/OR WINE … AND START READING!