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A few of my friends have messaged me lately to ask for book recommendations of light and fluffy reads. They’re stressed about the state of the world and exhausted from being isolated at home, so they are looking for some books to read that are easy and fun, or romantic and sweet (but not necessarily steamy).
And to be completely honest, I’ve felt the same. I’ve had to put down books that I was excited to read because they were just too much for my mental state right now. With a global pandemic causing major and minor life changes for all of us, we need to put our mental health first. And sometimes that means putting down the adventure story and picking up something a little lighter, with a guaranteed happy ending.
Here are ten books that have romantic elements but don’t have a lot of upheaval or sex in them. They are fun, cozy reads—perfect for the strange times we’re currently living in.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I adore Sandhya Menon’s books (hence why there are two of them on this list). This was her debut and it is wonderful. I’ve read it multiple times.
Dimple is an Indian-American girl who desperately wants to have a career in web development. She convinces her traditional parents to allow her to spend the summer at an app development program. There she meets Rishi…the husband her parents have picked out for her. She’s not into the arranged marriage thing, but…she might be starting to like Rishi just a little bit.
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennet
This book was so much fun. I fully enjoyed it and plan to read it again soon.
Bailey loves classic movies. And so does her friend Alex—a guy she only knows through an online chat group. When she moves across the country to his California hometown to live with her dad, she doesn’t tell him. She’s too scared the real-life version of her friend won’t be the same. She gets a job at the local tourist trap, where she gets into annoying and yet fun disagreements with the rudely hot security guard Porter…who she’s starting to actually like. But can she choose between Porter and Alex?
Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan’s books are cozy and sweet and always leave me filled with warm fuzzies.
Rosie Hopkins moves from London to a tiny village to take care of her elderly great aunt. She didn’t love her London life, but at least it was familiar. Now, she’s tasked with sprucing up Aunt Lilian’s family’s sweet shop, the only one in town, to sell it…but things go in a direction she never expected.
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
An expansion of the fabulous YouTube series, this book is a top-notch modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. This book details what happens off-screen.
Lizzie Bennet is a twenty-four year old grad student who starts a video blog as part of her thesis work. She details life at home with her marriage-obsessed mother and her two sisters—lovely Jane and wild Lydia. When handsome Bing Lee comes to town with his annoying friend William Darcy, she had lots of stories for her fans.
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
I adore Beauty and the Beast retellings just as much as I love Pride and Prejudice ones.
Jaya Rao is determined to protect her sister at all costs, and that includes getting revenge on Grey Emerson, the heir to an odious family the Rao’s have been feuding with for centuries. Her plan is to make him fall in love with her and then break his heart…but his brooding mood and strange habits make her consider changing her mind.
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
It might be set at Christmas, but this book is too much fun to only read in the winter.
When Sophie and her boyfriend break up right before Christmas she heads to her grandparents’ house to try to salvage her winter break with family. There, her massive family creates a plan to help her get over her ex—by planning ten blind dates for her with people they know. Her aunts, uncles, and cousins all take part to coordinate some great and some terrible dates.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
This is one of my go-to reads. I really love the characters in it.
Lincoln has a terrible new job—he’s the IT guy hired to read people’s emails to ensure nobody is using company email for personal conversations. And when he see that Beth and Jennifer are emailing about everything but work, he knows he should turn them in but he’s captivated by their lives and their stories. And then he realizes he’s falling in love with Beth…
A Night in With Audrey Hepburn by Lucy Holliday
This series is hilarious. It’s imaginative and funny and ridiculous in the best way, which is what we all need right now.
Libby Lomax is an actress…or at least she’s trying to be. After a terrible day on set she crashes on her sofa only to find a real life Audrey Hepburn sitting there. With Audrey’s advice, and random appearances, Libby starts to remake her life, bit by bit.