‘Tis the season for those warm and fuzzy feelings.
Romance novels are my antidote to hard news and harder reality. Want to shut off the loop of climate change, coronavirus, air quality, death, and terror? Pick up something by a romance novelist, and let them weave a story that will give comfort and hope. The assurance of a happy ending is a balm to the soul. I remember reading Nicholas Sparks’ Message in a Bottle as a young teen and getting disenchanted by the romance genre because his book bruised my heart. But I’ve since discovered that there are sub-genres in romance and they don’t make you cry for days on end. The opposite, in fact, is true. A good happily ever after (HEA) will make you giddy, and a well-written protagonist will cause a flutter of butterflies in your stomach. Contrary to popular belief, the romance genre is not fluff at all. There are emotional scars, deep backgrounds, character arcs, angst, and everyday issues that complex people go through in these novels. It’s a powerful genre and one of the best selling around the world. In this list, I’m suggesting a few common tropes such as office romance, enemies to lovers, second chance romance, marriage of convenience, and fake relationships. These feel-good romance novels will be great companions this winter season, so bring out that weighted blanket and fluffy socks, and make yourself a cup of hot chocolate. Things are about to get mushy.