Sarah Adler shares her favorite forced proximity romances

Mrs. Nash's Ashes. Image courtesy Berkley
Mrs. Nash's Ashes. Image courtesy Berkley /

Sometimes, there are authors you just click with, and for me, that was Sarah Adler. Adler’s debut novel, Mrs. Nash’s Ashes is coming out May 23rd from Berkley.

The romance is exactly that mix of grumpy sunshine that I adore and still can’t get enough of. I mean even re-reading before release day. In honor of that, I was able to talk to Berkley and they roped Sarah into writing us a list.

I was SO excited as I adore her story and writing. Plus looking at her list, we actually have a lot of favorites in common. Of course, I’d highly recommend Mrs. Nash’s Ashes especially if you’re looking for a fun summer read.

However, Sarah Adler was kind enough to share some of her favorite forced proximity romances and honestly, she’s making me want to dive into some of my favorites, too so let’s get into what Sarah Adler had to share with us.

Sarah Adler shares some of her favorite forced proximity romances with us!

Before getting into Sarah’s post, I’d like to thank Berkley for organizing this and Sarah for writing this for us so Sarah, take it away!

Sarah Adler
Sarah Adler_Photo © H. D. Kimrey 2022 /

The fun thing about forced proximity in romance is the, well… the forced part. Otherwise you just have people choosing to be around each other, and where’s the fun in that? Here are a few of my favorite books that take characters who aren’t necessarily eager to hang out, shove them together, and let love work its beautiful magic.

1. A Week To Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

It’s the early 19th century, and Minerva is a geologist who has recently discovered something very cool in the seaside resort town of Spindle Cove. She would love to share it with her peers, but she can’t get to their meeting in Scotland by herself. So she recruits local aristocratic scoundrel Colin to escort her under the guise of an elopement. What ensues is one of the most entertaining, hilarious, and steamy road trips in historical romance.

2. You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Naomi and Nicholas are engaged, but their relationship has deteriorated severely due to her passive-aggression and his overbearing mother, and Naomi wants to call it quits but doesn’t want to give Nicholas the satisfaction of being the one to end things. What they need, Nicholas decides, is to move into a beautiful old house in the middle of the woods. Living there shakes things up in just the right way, and their pranks and bickering quickly turn to smooching and taunting Nicholas’s mom from an upstairs window. A perfect story that’s one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies.

3. A Restless Truth by Freya Marske

This fantasy Edwardian era-set sapphic shipboard romance is the reason I’m obsessed with the very niche sub-subgenre of women solving murders at sea. This book is the second in Marske’s Last Binding trilogy, and it’s filled with high-stakes magical capers. Maud and Violet make a wonderful pair, and the ship carrying them across the Atlantic isn’t the only thing powered by steam, if you catch my drift.

4. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

In the process of trying to prove to her family that she can be a responsible adult, Eve Brown hits a grumpy innkeeper named Jacob with her car. She helps out with the bed-and-breakfast as he recovers to make amends. But working together in the inn’s close quarters quickly turns into doing… other things in close quarters. Including a very famous scene that involves a mislaid sex toy. This one has great neurodivergent rep, and Eve and Jacob’s sunshine/grump dynamic is perfect.

5. Forever Your Rogue by Erin Langston

This book! This book!! It stole my entire heart and still hasn’t given it back. In a last ditch effort to convince the courts to allow her to retain custody of her two young children, widowed viscountess Cora recruits her best friend’s rakish brother Nate to pose as her fiance. Nate agrees to spend a few weeks at the country estate where Cora and her children live to make the ruse believable. If you like the “he falls first” trope, this is the gold standard. This man not only falls first, he falls hard. Not only for Cora, but for her kids too. It’ll make you cry, it’ll make you swoon, it’ll make you fan yourself. A true must-read.

Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler will be released on May 23rd, 2023. 

Next. Meet Me At The Lake is an emotional summer romp. dark

What do you think of Sarah Adler’s picks? Personally, I love them and I know I’ll be adding some to my TBR. I also adored Mrs. Nash’s Ashes so I’d highly recommend picking that one up, too.