Recommendations for The Ripped Bodice’s 2019 Summer Romance Bingo

The Ripped Bodice is back with another round of Summer Romance Bingo. Visit their site for a printable bingo card and rules on how to win prizes!

We’ll be playing along in our Goodreads group and helping one another out with recommendations. You can also follow The Ripped Bodice on Twitter for more recs. If you’re not on Goodreads, that’s okay! We’ll be giving some suggestions here and opening it up to the Bitchery for further help in the comments.

Not all of the square themes are listed below! Here are the ones we skipped, so if you have suggestions, leave them below:

  • Beach cover
  • On the Page Atheist
  • Eloping
  • Tarot
  • Prom

For the recs, we’re pulling from books that have been mentioned here on SBTB, are well-known, or have been recommended to us!

Next Door Neighbor

We had a great guest review of Feud by Phyllis Bourne ( A )!

Sleepover by Serena Bell ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) received an A grade from Elyse, and has an emotionally fluent hero.

The hero and heroine in A Notorious Vow by Joanna Shupe ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) begin as neighbors. I liked this one a lot!

Our database also contains the Neighbor trope with over forty books to browse!

Show Business

Show business could mean a lot of things, but we do have a tag for Actors/Actresses! We have another for Rockstars/Musicians.

Lucy Parker has a whole dang series for this!

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is a Roman Holiday retelling with a K-Pop heroine.

Elyse liked Heartstrings by Belinda Williams ( A | BN | K | G | AB ), which is a holiday romance novella with a British actor hero.

Queer Paranormal

Wolfsong by T.J. Klune ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) has been recommended a lot on the site!

And I do think some of K.J. Charles‘ books might qualify. Which would you suggest?

Assassins

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) has assassin nuns! Not really a romance, though.

We do have a Spy/Assassin character archetype in our database, but I do think there’s a difference between the two. Be sure to check for context!

Multiple Countries

More Than Words by Mia Sheridan ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) starts in the U.S. where the hero and heroine are kids, and then takes place in present-day France.

Want something more bonkers? The Professional by Kresley Cole ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) begins in Nebraska, has some cornfield finger-banging, and then is set in Russia.

For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) has an Indiana Jones-esque plot and has some traveling to other countries.

Sassy Grandparent

You might be able to find something in this Rec League of Eccentric Older Women!

Heroine Smells Like a Flower

We don’t have any specific recommendations for this one, but we have a Rec League for Gardening Romances. And, if a heroine is a gardener, I bet there’s at least one mention of her smelling like flowers.

Both Leads Over 50

We have some great suggestions for this one!

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is a historical lesbian romance. Check out the guest review for this one!

We recently featured The Inheritance by Rochelle Alers ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) on sale. If you bought it, it counts!

Carrie liked Bingo Love by Tee Franklin ( A | BN ), which is a graphic novel and features a romance between two Black women in their 60s!

The Duke of Olympia Meets His Match by Juliana Gray ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is a historical novella that Sarah enjoyed. The hero is in his 70s and the heroine is in her 50s.

Titles Include Character Names

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan would also work here, but remember, you can only use each book once!

Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon ( A | BN | K | AB ) is a contemporary romance with a nanny hero. Carrie gave this one a B+!

I believe any books in Sandhya Menon’s Dimple and Rishi series would work! The first book is When Dimple Met Rishi ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).

Dragons

We have a tag for that!

You can’t go wrong with romances by Thea Harrison, G.A. Aiken, or Donna Grant. You may have even bought one their books because they’re on sale frequently.

I loved The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).

Sarah and I both read Highland Dragon Warrior by Isabel Cooper ( A | BN | K | G | AB ), but be warned that it’s light on actual dragon-ing.

Kilts

Is a kilt ever worn by the hero in A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole ( A | BN | K | G | AB )?

Getting Hot with the Scot by Melonie Johnson ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) has a contemporary kilt-wearing hero.

I thought Highland Promise by Alyson McLayne ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) was a good read. It got a B+ from me and is the start to a series.

We also have nearly 90 books tagged as Highlander/Scot in our database.

YA Historical

Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) would fit!

My Lady Jane by Cythina Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is YA historical with a fantasy twist. The other books in this series also work!

Wine & Spirits

Kristen Proby’s Blush for Me ( A | BN | K | AB ) has a bar manager heroine.

We can’t forget A Lot Like Love by Julie James ( A | BN | K | G | AB | Au | Scribd ). The heroine owns a wine store!

Kyle Scott has a Dive Bar series, with the first book being Dirty ( A | BN | K | G | AB | Au ).

Bartender characters are also part of our Chef/Foodie/Bartender tag.

Cowboys

May I direct you to our Cowboy archetype in our database?

I’d also recommend Reckless in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).

Road Trip

If you read the recent guest review of Desire Lines by Elizabeth Kingston ( A | BN | K | AB ) and picked it up, that fits!

Theresa Romain’s Passion Favors the Bold ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) has a treasure hunting heroine.

You can find more Road Trip romances here!

Epistolary

I don’t want to say When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is the best romance with epistolary elements out there, but it’s pretty close.

An older option would be My Sweet Folly by Laura Kinsale ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).

We have a tag for that!

Royalty

We’ve shelved over 150 books that feature royalty in our book database. That’s a heck of a lot.

Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series is an obvious choice. The first book is A Princess in Theory ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) just released and is a YA lesbian royal romance.

For something a bit different, A Queen from the North by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) is a royal romance with alternate history.

Someone Wears a Costume

I know of two off the top of my head!

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren has a scene where the heroine is dressed up as Hermione.

In Chase Me by Tessa Bailey ( A | BN | K | G | AB | Scribd ), the hero and heroine first meet when the heroine delivers a singing telegram in a bunny costume.

F/F Contemporary

Have you seen Tara Scott’s guest reviews? She has you covered!

If you need a specific review, a site favorite is Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler ( A | BN | K | G | AB ).

Will you be playing this summer? If you’ve played before, welcome back! Any Bitchery suggestions for the bingo categories would be so welcome!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Veronica says:

    Alterations by Stephanie Scott, which is found through the rec league for the “Sabrina” trope, features prom.

    Lisa Kelypas’ Devil in Winter is always a good read for the elopement category.

    For YA Historical I would add Meg Cabot’s Victoria and the Rogue and Nicola and the Viscount.

    Also, for Wine and Spirits, I would add Sarina Bowen’s Bittersweet and Speakeasy, as both feature craft brewers in Vermont.

  2. 2
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    I loathe the “feisty grandma” character and recently had reason to ding J. Kenner’s JUNK MAIL for using it. It’s just so patronizing to make it amusing for a grandmother to (gasp!) know and talk about sex—but she’s old and a widow, so probably not getting any, lol, amirite? Ugh! But if you absolutely have to have feisty grandma, try Melanie Harlow’s ONLY LOVE where Granny is a little more palatable than in some other books.

    Someone wears a costume: Annika Martin’s BREAKING THE BILLIONAIRE’S RULES—the heroine wears a cat costume (and totally OWNS it) as part of her food delivery job.

    Tarot: Try the Cards of Love series (although I don’t know how many actually have more than a tangential connection to Tarot):

    https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/129461.Cards_of_Love

  3. 3
    SandyH says:

    Tarot – Thea Harrison has a series of novellas based around a package of tarot cards True Colors, Hunters Season, Devils Gate.

  4. 4
    FashionablyEvil says:

    Actually non-fiction, but 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is a delightful epistolary book. It’s a series of letters between a writer in New York and a rare/used bookshop in London in the years following WWII. So lovely.

    There’s also another Kleypas from the Ravenels series with an elopement—might be Marrying Winterbourne? (I’ve read them all recently and they’re running together in my head.)

  5. 5
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    This is what happens when you can’t eat breakfast because you have to get “fasting bloodwork” done. J. Kenner did not write JUNK MAIL (as I indicated above), Kendall Ryan did. It doesn’t change the annoying feisty grandma character, but, now I’m back from the clinic and have a smoothie inside me, let me correct my error.

  6. 6
    MO says:

    Tarot-99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
    Dragons- Heartstone by Elle Katharine White (Pride and Prejudice retelling with dragons/dragon riders

  7. 7
    Hollyg says:

    Tarot – Ann Bishops Other series eventually uses Tarot cards, Thea Harris has a novella trilogy that features tarot cards. Lucy Lennox made Marian series has feisty grandmas and aunts; G,l carriger has a shifter paranormal m/m series; kaje Harper, Amy Lane, Rhys Ford, Charlie cochet have a few queer paranormal (mostly shifters and magic); royalty – red, white and royal blue is a new m/m royalty romance and it features a lot of texts and emails so it may qualify as epistolary romance.

  8. 8
    Nicole says:

    Prom could be filled by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44648234-teach-me?ac=1&from_search=true&quot; title="Teach Me by Olivia Dade,”> which features two awesome 40-something high school teachers who love their jobs.

    Athiest is clearly the all-time best romance hero ever (in my ever-humble opinion), Silas from <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25241403-a-seditious-affair?ac=1&from_search=true&quot; title="KJ Charles's A Seditious Affair.” He’s very clear on his moral and religious beliefs, and it’s really refreshing to see a character whose faith matches my own.

  9. 9
    drewbird says:

    For Queer Paranormal other options are Mary Calmes (His Consort, Warders series, shifter books too), R. Copper’s Beings in Love books (and one of these could also count for the Dragon square), Strays by A.J. Thomas, and E.J. Russell’s Fae out of Water series. Those are the main ones that come to mind and if your library has Hoopla all of those are on there.

    I might see if I can do the bingo all Queer – that Red White and Royal Blue book just came out which will work for Royalty and I can see at least 6 other squares that are easily doable!

  10. 10
    HeatherS says:

    I’m opting for a Melissa Brayden book for the f/f contemporary; I know “Strawberry Summer” has been recommended a lot here, and she has the 4-book “Seven Shores” series, as well. I want more LGBTQ+ squares – June is PRIDE month, after all!

  11. 11
    Maia says:

    For Tarot, I recommend Catherine Cerveny’s Rule of Luck and the following two novels. They’re sci fi romance with a Brazilian Tarot card reader and a Russian Crime Lord. They’re bonkers so I highly recommend them.

  12. 12
    Kate says:

    For tarot, Just Say (Hell) No by Rosalind James has the rugby player hero’s mom always send him a daily tarot card. (It also has a tiny kitten adopt the giant rugby player, so if your type is very soft heroes, and it should be, then it’s a good book for you.)

  13. 13
    Lora says:

    I’ve read an ARC of the new Molly Jameson called Love Her Madly and it has KILTS AND ELOPEMENT both.

  14. 14
    Nicolette says:

    I know I’ve read others that would fit – especially the flower smell – but these are ones that aren’t mentioned so far that I read recently. I’m pretty sure when Dimple Met Rishi mentions smell but I can’t remember what the smell is…jasmine?

    PSA: Sweet Filthy Boy, Wicked Sexy Liar, and Starry Eyes are twofers!

    Takes Place in Multiple Countries:
    Sweet Filthy Boy
    Dirty Rowdy Thing
    One Day in December

    Someone Wears a Costume:
    Sweet Filthy Boy

    Roadtrip:
    Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour (coming-of-age with romance)
    Beautiful Player
    Starry Eyes

    Sassy Grandparent:
    Wicked Sexy Liar
    Starry Eyes

    Wine & Spirits:
    Wicked Sexy Liar

    Next door neighbor:
    Starry Eyes

    Show business:
    Someday, Someday Maybe
    Meet Cute
    Dating You / Hating You

    Title Includes Characters Name:
    The Rosie Project

    Assassins:
    Throne of Glass series (romance gets much less YA as the series goes along)

    Epistolary:
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

  15. 15
    HeatherS says:

    “Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston would meet the “Takes Place In Multiple Countries” square requirement – it alternates between the US and England, and I think maybe has a pit stop in another country or two.

  16. 16
    Teev says:

    For Next Door Neighbor: A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert. “Ruth decided that the next time she saw Evan Miller, she would wear her best pajamas.” That is a line from this book! Heroine is an autistic webcomic designer, hero is a blacksmith who keeps bringing over food he has cooked for her. ALL the catnip!

    For Someone in a Costume: Erin Nicholas has a series, Opposites Attract, of a group of friends who cosplay. My favorite is Forever Mine, reviewed here: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/reviews/forever-mine-erin-nicholas/

  17. 17
    Nicolette says:

    The Gentleman’s Guide also takes place in multiple countries and has tarot cards. It’s a three-fer!

  18. 18
    lils says:

    Assassin: The Assassin’s Salvation book 3 in Ruby Lionsdrake’s Mandrake company. Space adventure with hea

  19. 19
    Emily says:

    Costume – Jackie Lau, One Bed for Christmas

  20. 20
    Peggy says:

    @drewbird and @HeatherS
    I highly recommend
    His Royal Secret & His Royal Favourite by Lilah Pace for your Queer Royals block! (A Prince + a reporter!)

    Other queer recs – (all m/m)
    Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall (very sweet YA, Neighbors)
    The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune (a wizard, a unicorn plus a dragon! So funny!)
    (I will also second the rec for TJ Klune’s queer paranormal, Wolfsong)
    Sinner’s Gin Series by Rhys Ford (rock stars)
    Escort by Harper Fox (both heroes are over 50). I’ve not read this but am interested.
    A.M. Arthur’s Saddle Up is in my TBR (cowboys!)
    Beyond the Sea by Kiera Andrews (rock stars – I think – but definitely a beach on the cover. I haven’t read this but did like her paranormal, Kick at the Darkness)

    KJ Charles’ queer paranormals.
    I’d say start with The Magpie Lord
    (Book1 in Charm of the Magpies series. Any in that series would qualify though).
    Her other queer paranormals that come to mind –
    The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
    Spectred Isle.

    @Amanda. Thank you and all the Bitches for the awesome trope lists. On them, I found several books deep in my teetering TBR that will work! (Am trying to resist the lure of the new book purchase – not sure how successful I’ll be)

  21. 21
    Natasha says:

    Thank you for posting this guide! This will be my first year participating in bingo and I’m very excited!

  22. 22
    Perrine says:

    Amore and Pinot Grigio: A Guido la Vespa Christmas Tale has wine and spirits, and also a mini-roadtrip. Talk to the Hand Model: A Guido la Vespa Romance in France has royalty – a French count. It is also epistolary – if you count emails in that category. And @fashionablyevil, I also love 84 Charing Cross Road. Great story. @Teev, yes, Talia Hibbert’s A Girl Like Her is a great example of Next Door Neighbor. All four of these books are fun and re-readable.

  23. 23
    Jenny says:

    Heroine Smells Like a Flower: in Lorraine Heath’s “Always to Remember”, the hero thinks the heroine smells like honeysuckle. (According to Kindle, the word “honeysuckle” appears 26 times in the book!)

  24. 24
    Kareni says:

    Recommendations for the epistolary square (Some have more, some less of an epistolary component) ~

    Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
    Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
    My Dearest Enemy by Connie Brockway
    Attachments by Rainbow Rowell (non-traditional romance with emails)
    Making Faces by Amy Harmon (this will likely make you cry)
    The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

  25. 25
    Jenny says:

    Someone Wears a Costume: Jackie Lau’s novella, “One Bed for Christmas” (the prequel to her new Baldwin Village series) features a hero who has a side gig performing with a barbershop quartet wearing an inflatable dinosaur costume.

  26. 26

    SASSY GRANDPARENT — Jackie Lau’s “He’s Not My Boyfriend” — it’s soooo good! I don’t usually like plot moppets, young or old, but the heroine’s grandmother was so amazing. This is the first feisty grandma I can actually recall liking in a book.

  27. 27

    Oh – epistolary – the Magic Chocolate Pot thing! Too late to remember the title in full, and must go to bed, but I imagine many people here know it. It’s lovely, and I should re-read it.

  28. 28
    Aviva says:

    I wanted to play this bingo last year and then didn’t but I’m definitely going to this year! I love the idea of trying to do a whole LGBTQA+ too.

    For a beach on the cover, there is Pull me under by Zarah Detand (funny because I was just thinking of rereading it). It’s a sport m/m romance with a fake relationship and friends to lovers tropes if I remember correctly (I read it years ago in summer too).

    For queer paranormal and both leads over 50 at the same time, I think Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke fits the bill (I’m not completely sure for the age because I just bought it and wanted to avoid spoilers but one of the MCs is a ghost).

    Ohhh dragons, those are among my favourite. For queer dragons, Amy Rae Durreson has a great series (that I still have to finish) Reawakening.
    Mell Eight writes pretty cute queer dragons (the Supernatural consultant serie and The dragon’s hoard series). Annabelle Jacobs’s Capture was nice too but I read it years ago so I don’t really remember and I bought recently The dragon’s devotion by Antonia Aquilante and I haven’t read it yet but it has a scholar dragon!

    I’m also going to try and only read books I already own rather than go on a buying spree but we’ll see how that goes.

  29. 29
    Chantal says:

    Epistolary (or elements thereof): Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Keyplas, Sorcery & Cecilia or The Enchanted Magical Plot by Patricia Wrede, & To Sir Phillip with Love by Julia Quinn.

  30. 30
    Rhonda says:

    I tried to do this LGBTQIA+ last year and did pretty well.

    For dragons (and m/m) – Piper Scott & Virginia Kelly’s Clutch, Bond, and Mate. The third is my favorite but there’s an overaching plot arc so read in order. There is shifting, especially in the third one.

    For queer paranormal – Macy Blake’s Chosen One series/universe. Even though it was released second, the prequel Sweet Nothings is a good place to start. (I fully concur on Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS, as well).

  31. 31
    Berry says:

    Co-signing A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles for an atheist hero. I love that book and think of it often. I want more suggestions for atheists!

    For costume, I immediately thought of Level Up by Cathy Yardley, about two video game coders. The heroine dresses as a Sailor Moon character. But most importantly, there’s a costume party scene where the hero recreates Sherlock Holmes kissing Molly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkFfctcZgRA

  32. 32
    Sarena says:

    If you like YA here are some Prom recs: https://bookriot.com/listen/everyone-dies-at-the-dance/

    Beach Covers:
    Bachelor Undone by Brenda Jackson
    Resort to Love by Priscilla Oliveras
    Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
    Sea Breeze series by Abbi Glines
    Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery

    I’m pretty sure Nora Roberts has a couple of books with beach covers as well.

  33. 33
    Esther says:

    Tarot – Katee Robert’s “Queen of Swords” is a sci-fi romance with a Tarot Reader heroine! The pre-quel “High Priestess” is well worth the short read for world building.

  34. 34
    Cindy says:

    Tarot
    kresley cole, Arcana Chronicles series

    queer paranormal
    j r ward, Lover at Last

    grandparent
    Sarah Hegger, positively pippa

    epistolary
    that kleypas, Love in the afternoon
    Julia Quinn, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (starts out with letters)

    wine/spirits
    Lauren Layne, I knew you were trouble

  35. 35
    Peggy says:

    Atheist:

    Band Sinister by KJ Charles (Sir Phillip is an atheist)
    This book has been described as queer Georgette Heyer. It is one of my faves and I highly recommend!

  36. 36
    Emily B says:

    So fun!

    Beach:
    Kylie Scott – It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
    Kate Canterbury – Magnolia Chronicles

    Next Door Neighbor:
    I second the rec for Serena Bell’s Sleepover
    Devney Perry – Tragic
    Melanie Harlow – Only You
    Lucy Score’s Whiskey Chaser is the first in a really fun small town series with some kooky characters
    JT Geissinger – Melt For You (Scottish rugby captain hero, mmm)
    Talia Hibbert – A Girl Like Her

    Show Business
    Kylie Scott has a whole series of rockstar romances
    Kristen Callahan’s VIP series is great, highly recommend
    Kennedy Ryan’s Grip trilogy is sooooo beautiful (the trio before that about the heroine’s brother is also great, but if you’re only going to read one, read Grip)
    Alexis Daria’s series about a Dance With the Stars-type show is so fun (though I think the first book is better than the second)
    Christina Lauren’s Roomies is a fun take on this
    For a really good YA take, Sarina Bowen’s The Accidentals has a heroine who finds out her dad is a huge rockstar after her mom passes away

    Queer Paranormal
    So I don’t really read paranormal, but Sierra Simone has some really interesting magical realism going on in some of her books (The American Queen trilogy and her new Thornchapel series)

    Multiple Countries
    I highly recommend Melonie Johnson’s new Sometimes in Love series – the first one has a heroine on a multi-country European vacation where she meets the Scottish hero, and the second one’s heroine is the Shakespeare and Jane Austen obsessed best friend who falls in love with the Scottish hero’s friend, a real live Duke!

    Sassy Grandparent
    Piper Rayne’s new Bailey’s series has this
    Melanie Harlow’s Only Love
    The grandma in Mia Hopkin’s Thirsty is kind of sassy (and also I would just highly recommend this book)

    Title includes Character’s Name
    You’d think this would be more common, but I couldn’t think of many
    Magnolia Chronicles (Magnolia is the heroine)
    Jay McLean’s YA/New Adult Preston Brothers series are all named after the hero of each book, but I will warn in advance that these books are just okay, and there’s a lot of angst

    Kilts
    Melonie Johnson’s Getting Hot with the Scot and Smitten by the Brit (such a fun new series)

    Wine and Spirits
    Sarina Bowen’s Bittersweet and Speakeasy – this whole series is so good. Sarina Bowen is comfort reading for me
    A lot of Melanie Harlow’s books involve wine/spirits – in Frenched the hero is a bartender, and the couple eventually opens a vineyard back in Michigan and they show up as characters in her other books, like Some Sort of Happy, where the heroine ends up working for said vineyard. In Forked, the hero runs a bar. In Undeniable, the couple is working to open a craft distillery.
    Lexi Ryan’s Straight Up Love from her Jackson Harbor series has a bar-owning hero who brews craft beer.
    Devney Perry’s Lark Cove series has a local bar where several of the characters work.
    Same goes for Lucy Score’s Blue Moon series – family runs a bar/restaurant, brews craft beer (didn’t realize this was such a common trope!)

    Cowboys
    Devney Perry’s Lucky Heart from her Jamison Valley series – this is the only one in the series where the hero is a cowboy, but since the series is set in a pretty rugged part of Montana all the heroes are cowboy-like.

    Roadtrip:
    Jenny Holiday’s Three Little Words (her whole Bridesmaids series is so good)
    Tessa Bailey’s Clarkson’s series – siblings on a road trip together
    Roni Loren’s Nice Girls Don’t Ride has a HEA that ends with the couple taking a road trip together (very sweet novella)

    Epistolary:
    Sarina Bowen’s The Accidentals has some of this
    Natasha Boyd’s Accidental Tryst is super cute – hero and heroine accidentally switch phones, lots of cute text banter ensues
    Christina Lauren’s My Favorite Half Night Stand as well as Love and Other Words
    Kate Canterbury’s Magnolia Chronicles has some great dating app message banter
    Older YA suggestion, but Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling/Sloppy Firsts series was a favorite growing up

    Costumes:
    Pippa Grant’s Pilot and the Puck Up
    Jenny Holiday’s One and Only – the heroine cosplays as Xena.
    Liz Lincoln’s On the Line – super cute single dad pro football player romance, the heroine cosplays as Poison Ivy

  37. 37
    Mikaela says:

    I am rubbing my hands in delight.
    Title contains the character name: The Gideon Rider’s series by Kit Rocha.

    Queer PNR: Humanity for beginners is a delightful f/f romance book filled with love and chosen family.
    Someone in a costume: Claustrophobic by Bernadette Franklin
    Royalty: The Royal States novels by Susan Cooperfield. It is a blend of royal romance and urban fantasy and I love them.
    50 +: Dandelion Spring by Zoe Chant. It is a super cute book.
    Dragon: Tropical Dragon diver by Zoe Chant.

  38. 38
    MEME says:

    Alyssa Cole’s A Prince On Paper is WONDERFUL and can be used to cover so many tricky squares:

    -Royals (obvi)
    -Takes Place in Multiple Countries
    -Someone Wears a Costume
    -Heroine Smells Like a Flower
    -Sassy Grandparent

    For a stretch it could even cover Show Business and Epistolary (Cole’s use of the group text is how I relate to people’s love of community in small town romance)

  39. 39
    Robot says:

    For name in the title, if you haven’t read Austin Chant’s “Peter Darling”, do. A wonderful queer retelling of Peter Pan.

  40. 40
    Sandy D. says:

    Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna’s “Way Down Deep” is one of the best epistolary romances I’ve ever read.

    Also excellent (but in a totally different vein from Stein & McKenna!) for an epistolary: “Meet Me at the Museum” by Anne Youngson. Much more literary….would also work for characters over 50. Beautiful story.

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