by Jenna Chapman
February is the month of love. Whether you enjoy cheesy cards and balloons on Valentine’s Day or are more excited about the discounted chocolate the day after the holiday, there are plenty of books you can enjoy this season. Love stories can take place in a variety of settings. Whether you want to hang out with characters from a professional baseball team, travel back in time, or learn about love in personal essays, this list has something for you.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Jasmine Gillory has written many popular modern romances, starting with “The Wedding Date.” This tale begins with a power outage that leads to a fake date. When Drew and Alexa get stuck in an elevator, Drew uses the opportunity to convince Alexa to tag along as his plus one to a wedding. Will these two forget each other after their spontaneous weekend or will a connection keep drawing them together?
Emma by Jane Austen
If you haven’t read this classic yet, February is the perfect time to check it out. It is a story of youthful romances and varying social statuses in the English countryside. The old language might be hard to follow, but you can’t miss the chemistry between Austen’s characters. This is a fun one to listen to on audio because you get immersed in the world of Emma and her matchmaking schemes.
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
This adorable novel follows Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott as his marriage is on the rocks. His wife asks for a divorce, and Gavin doesn’t think he will be able to save the relationship. In a last-minute effort to fix it, he seeks advice from a group of the city’s macho men. To his surprise, his new buddies suggest he read a regency-era romance novel to learn how to win his wife’s trust back. The idea might just be crazy enough to work.
Confessions in B Flat by Donna Hill
In Harlem in 1963, the fight for equality is top of mind for everyone in the Black community. The book’s two main characters believe in two different ideologies. Anita Hopkins follows the teachings of Malcom X, while Jason Tanner is in New York to spread the nonviolent practices of his mentor Martin Luther King Jr. Despite different ideas on how to achieve the same goal, the two cannot deny the spark between them. This historical fiction tale sets out to see how powerful love can be.
How to Fall in Love with Anyone by Mandy Lee Catron
If novels are not the genre for you, there is still a chance to read nonfiction and get in the Valentine’s Day mood. In this deeply personal memoir, Mandy Len Catron explores what it means to give and receive love. She shares her own stories, starting with her grandparents falling in love in the 1940s in Appalachia and on to examining her dating life in Vancouver. There also is research from biologists and psychologists to understand love on the scientific level.
Jenna Chapman is a Stockbridge High School graduate who loves curling up with a book or listening to an audiobook on evening walks around her neighborhood in Chicago. You can find more reading suggestions on the book blog she and her partner have on instagram.com/neverdogear.