By Jessica Trotter
The romance genre is a billion dollar plus industry and it’s finally starting to look like there’s a little something for everyone. That includes new adult — post high school/early college protagonists — more mature adults and second chance love stories, LGBTQIA relationships and protagonists who are people of color.
Representation matters, and while it still has issues, the genre has come far. Need examples? Here are a few recent and popular favorites to spice up your reading list.
Michigan author Lyssa Kay Adams knocked it out of the park with her series starter “The Bromance Book Club,” featuring a second-chance romance between a major league second baseman and his wife on the brink of divorce. Enter the book club — a group of alpha men reading romances to better understand women. The next title, “Undercover Bromance,” is due out in March.
“The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang is the first of series featuring protagonists of Asian descent as well as lead characters on the autism spectrum. In the first book, mathematician with Asperger’s Stella Lane hires escort Michael Phan to teach her about sex. Follow it up with 2019’s “The Bride Test.”
“The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics” by Olivia Waite is not your traditional historical romance. This one features the brilliant daughter of an astronomer left without her work at her father’s death, along with a widowed countess with ties to the scientific community and a French astronomy text in need of translating.
“Red, White, and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston was named to numerous end-of-the-year lists for its smart enemies to friends to lovers story, featuring a fictional first son and a British prince. I appreciated the bisexual and multicultural representation and the refreshing way it tackles several serious topics.
If these suggestions don’t hit the spot, visit a Capital Area District Libraries branch or check out cadl.org/recommendations.
Jessica Trotter is a collection development specialist at Capital Area District Libraries and a co-host of the “Reader’s Roundtable” podcast.