Romance novels are powerful tools.
Can they be formulaic, tropey, and unsurprising? Sure, but that’s what makes them so fun. Does the quality of writing vary? Yes, as with any genre. Does the genre persist, retaining a large chunk of the market share, despite being dismissed as fluffy because it challenges the status quo around sex, pleasure, and relationships? Hell yes.
At a time when the world around us is burning—literally (climate change) and figuratively (babies in cages)–the ensured happily ever after (HEA) romance novels offer safety and comfort. Now, more than ever, we need romance novels to help us escape and recharge from the struggles of a society hurtling towards fascism.
And then there’s the sex.
That feeling of new relationship energy as you enter the story of new characters, and witness them make their way towards each other. The inspiration: “uh, I’ll have to try that next time.” The rush of endorphins when they finally get together. The day-long turn on—with or without solo release. The explicit consent that challenges the idea that asking for sex can’t be sexy. The 3:1 ratio of her and his orgasms in heterosexual novels. The alpha male being called on his shit and doing the work to unlearn it and make amends.
What better time than Read a Romance month to celebrate our favorite reads this year? These aren’t all new releases, but rather those that have gotten under my skin lately.
Kait’s Top 5 Steamy Romance Reads This Season
Summer Fridays may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean your fun has to! Let these steamy romances carry the summer heat into the fall.
Intercepted by Alexa Martin
Sportsball romances aren’t usually my cup of tea, but Alexa Martin’s years as an NFL wife infuse her stories with that little extra something no amount of research can bestow. Intercepted is the first in her Playbook series and my favorite. I fell in love with Gavin, the sweet hero who sees through Marlee’s trauma response (and her BS) and keeps showing up. I resonated with Marlee’s abandonment issues and struggles as a budding entrepreneur. This is the type of book you devour in as few sittings as possible, that’ll have you cheering Marlee’s successes and screaming at Gavin’s missteps. And for how sure you can be that their HEA is coming, how they get there totally surprised me, making the ending that much sweeter.