The month of February is a time of division. There are those who have a loved one to celebrate with on Valentine’s Day and those who would rather cuddle up with a romance book.
Here are five swoon-worthy books that will remind you of what it means to love.
“Betting on You” by Lynn Painter
“Betting on You” paints a picture of change, love, anxiety and family relationships. Painter’s writing is full of pop culture references and undeniable chemistry between charming characters.
The book follows Bailey, a 17 year old grappling with her parents’ divorce. Through this struggle she meets Charlie, who, at first glance, seems to be Bailey’s polar opposite. Despite this, the two can’t seem to stop running into each other. Charlie believes that members of the opposite sex cannot be friends and Bailey decides to prove him wrong.
“Love Redesigned” by Lauren Asher
Asher’s pilot book for the new standalone series “Lakefront Billionaires” is a reminder of what second chances are for.
“Love Redesigned,” which takes place in the town of Lake Wisteria, follows two family friends with pasts that are anything but friendly. Following a messy engagement, Dahlia Muñoz wants nothing to do with her childhood rival, Julian Lopez. That is, until Julian makes her an offer she can’t pass up — the opportunity to renovate the historic house of her dreams.
While “Love Redesigned” centers itself around Julian and Dahlia’s reconnection, it also takes on subjects like grief, depression and infertility. Fans of Asher know and admire her ability to create gravitational pull between complex characters, and this novel does exactly that.
“Funny You Should Ask” by Elissa Sussman
In “Funny You Should Ask” by Elissa Sussman, Sussman captures the hardships of journalism as a profession and the conflicts of mixing business with pleasure.
Chani Horowitz is a writer in her 20s struggling to make ends meet, until she meets Gabe Parker. When she’s hired to write a profile of her longtime celebrity crush, her career transforms. 10 years later, his PR team requests that the two reunite for an interview and she decides it’s time for closure.
Throughout the book, readers get to delve into Chani and Gabe’s relationship through flashbacks, articles, interviews and blog posts in Sussman’s unique writing style. Readers will be immersed into Chani’s media-induced life and stories. Whether or not the audience are aspiring journalists, they will appreciate the beauty of this story from start to finish.
“One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Acknowledged for her works of historical fiction, the author of “Daisy Jones & the Six” explores finding love in this stand-alone novel.
Young and in love, Emma Blair marries her highschool sweetheart, Jesse. They move away from home and travel the world, until Jesse goes missing. Years later, Emma begins to fall in love with an old friend, Sam, and when the two get engaged, it feels like a second chance.
Though everything seems to be going well, things take a turn once again when Jesse is found alive. It turns out that he’s been trying to reconnect with Emma for years, and for the remainder of the novel, Emma is left to grapple with whether she wants her husband, or her fiancé.
This work of fiction poses the question of whether you can only have one true love. Reid has steadily mastered the art of creating a heartbreaking and simultaneously bittersweet tale of what it means to give love and to receive it.
“Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams
Set during a steamy summer in Brooklyn, New York, Williams tells a story of life and love in “Seven Days in June.”
Eva Mercy is a bestselling erotica author and single mom feeling pressure at all points in her life. Shane Hall is an antisocial, award-winning author, who unexpectedly appears at the same literary event as Eva. Though this seems like the perfect meeting, Eva is reluctant to admit that Shane broke her heart when the two were just troubled teenagers. Now, as adults and acclaimed authors, Eva needs to know what happened during those seven days in June.
While discussing the painful conversations of modern motherhood and generational trauma, “Seven Days in June” has deeply flawed, yet captivating characters who are unapologetically human. This book explores drug and alcohol abuse, self harm, child abuse and suicidal thoughts. Williams fearlessly addresses these topics with admirable grace and benevolence.
If you’re a fan of romantic comedies and love confessions, a few, if not all of these books should make their way into your upcoming reads this February.
This article was edited by Marina Zaczkiewicz, Sara Winick and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis and Charlie Mennuti.