Valentine's Day is a holiday not everyone loves. Whether you're single, married, or just don't want the hassle, some can agree that the best romance comes from romance books.
That's why I wanted to share some romance books that are geared towards the anti-Valentine's Day people. You don't even have to be craving something darker although there are some dark romances on this list.
This list of recommendations is going to feature books that are romances but also more because sometimes, you want to sink your teeth into a compelling plot as well. Then again as someone who is primarily a romance reader, I'm all about Valentine's Day and reading romance books all year.
If you're not, there's nothing wrong with that or just want a romance you can dive into without thinking about how much you don't enjoy this time of year so let's get into some recommendations.
Hate Valentine's Day? Try out these romance books.
1. The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod
The first romance book I'm recommending is one I just read recently and I haven't stopped thinking about it. This book follows Toni who is a struggling musician in Philly and gets the chance of a lifetime but ends up running into the guy who ditched her. He's now the manager of the band she's a part of and it's angsty from there.
The Girl With Stars In Her Eyes feels like a love letter to so many things including music, Philadelphia, and found family. While the romance is there, it's a slow-burn and this book mostly focuses on the band and their music so it was an easy one to recommend. Plus the second book in the series just came out so you can read this before picking up Girls with Bad Reputations.
2. Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne
The next romance I'm recommending is Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne. This is a remix of Pride and Prejudice which follows Liza who is trying to save her city from being gentrified and ends up getting mixed up with Dorsey. Similar to the source material, these two can't stand each other but slowly start to understand each other.
This is another slow-burn romance but once these two get together, it's electric. Plus the book also feels fresher than other Jane Austen reimaginings I've read so I had to feature it. I just love Nikki Payne so I wanted to make sure I hyped her up, too.
3. Ana María and the Fox by Liana De la Rosa
If you couldn't tell, one thing I considered while making this list was the slow-burn romances. I feel like having it be a slow burn can be easier for the reader. With that being said, I had to include Ana María and the Fox because I feel like no one is talking about how good this book is.
The story follows the three Luna sisters who are sent to Britain and are poised to become wives. The first book follows Ana María who ends up having an unlikely romance with Gideon. While it takes a while for the two to actually get that point, this book gives us a lot of important backstories and helps set up future books so I think it's a great one to pick up for that reason.
4. That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming
Before moving on to some dark romances, I wanted to include a fantasy romance. The Mead Mishaps series by Kimberly Lemming is easily one of my favorites. The series begins with Cinnamon accidentally saving a demon and the two go on a quest to save her town. While the romance is there and these two have a connection, it's mostly about their journey to save the town and slay the evil witch.
If you're not sucked in by the beautiful new cover, then I don't know what else to tell you. This book checks all the boxes for being a great fantasy with an amazing romance to boot.
5. Neon Gods by Katee Robert
I feel like I'm a person second and a Katee Robert fan first. Ever since meeting the author, I can't help but want to recommend their books. In this case, Neon Gods is an easy one to recommend as it's a classic story we all know and love. It's also the start of the Dark Olympus series and it's a somewhat dark romance with BDSM elements.
While there are lots of steamy moments between Hades and Persephone, this book does an excellent job of setting up the characters and this world. If you're looking for something you won't want to put down, then I can't recommend Neon Gods enough.
6. Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater
Moving to a fantasy romance, a recent one I read was Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater. While this book does feature a romance, it's another slow-burn. Once again, you're sensing a theme here but the book follows Dora who has a run-in with a fae and is cursed. As she grows older, her cousin becomes concerned and decides to go to London for "find a husband" but really to fix Dora.
That results in Dora and Vanessa meeting Lord Sorcier. While it doesn't seem like it at first, Dora and Lord Sorcier end up having a connection. Even though the book focuses a lot on their romance, it's mostly about Dora figuring out how to break her curse as it ends up being a journey and a puzzle for both her and Lord Sorcier to figure out.
7. The Risk by S.T. Abby
It wouldn't be an anti-Valentine's Day post without a serial killer romance. I mean how could I miss that opportunity? While there are a few floating around out there, I wanted to make sure I spotlighted The Risk by S.T. Abby. This book is incredibly popular as it's a series of novellas making up the entire series.
In addition, S.T. Abby changed things up by making the main character the serial killer and her love interest is the FBI profiler who is investigating her case. Honestly, this book is incredibly dark and is one you need to look up content warnings for. If you haven't picked this series up and don't mind some dark elements, then this is a good one to pick up. Plus the author sadly passed away so it's a nice way to honor her.
8. Maybe Next Time by Christina C. Jones
The final book is another light-dark romance book and it's a novella. If you only have a few minutes, then I think this is one you should try. Since it's so short, I'm going to be quick about it and let you know that it's about a married couple. She wants to get divorced and he ends up kidnapping her so she won't. Do you have to suspend your disbelief? Just a bit but it's a lot of fun.