Romance for Book Clubs
Do you love novels with romance? Are you looking for your next romance pick or trying to decide on a novel for your book club? While these novels may not be pure romance (romance purists, I see you), they are book club picks with plenty of romance included. So, check out the fiction with strong romance storylines featured here on Book Club Bites. Each includes a book club guide just for you!
The Thread Collectors is a collaborative novel written by authors Shaunna Edwards and Alyson Richman. Loosely based on the authors’ family histories, the novel tells the story of two women working to support the Union effort during the Civil War. As the novel progresses, the women (a black woman in the South and a Jewish woman in the North) work to aid the Union effort through sewing and later discover how their stories are intertwined.
It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us are Colleen Hoover’s most popular books (outside of Verity). The novels are a duology featuring the same set of characters. If you are wondering which novel to read first, the series actually starts with It Ends with Us, then continues to book two, It Starts with Us.
I’ve provided book club questions and delicious food ideas for It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us and I have a special recipe for you! So if you are looking for book club ideas and more, keep reading!
The Vibrant Years is Sonali Dev’s newest novel and the first book from Mindy Kaling’s new imprint Mindy’s Book Studio. Yes, that Mindy Kaling. It’s a rom-com about three generations of Indian-American women navigating the throes of love. Insert one Millennial genius trying to code a revolutionary dating app. Add in two begrudging research assistants in her strong-willed, gorgeous grandmother and her career-stunted, timid mother. Top it off with a series of…unfortunate dates. And you have The Vibrant Years.
Most book clubs will know Madeline Martin from The Last Bookshop in London and, with The Librarian Spy, she has delivered another WWII novel centered around book lovers. The novel follows two women – one in Nazi occupied France who works at a newspaper for the Resistance and an American librarian in war-neutral Lisbon who collects war propaganda in hopes of finding coded messages.
The Call of the Wrens is a dual timeline story following two women who join the Wrens (the nickname for the Women’s Royal Naval Service). The first timeline follows the first group of Wrens in WWI and the second timeline follows the second group in WWII. As their stories intersect, the reader learns about these brave groups of women who served Britain in many capacities during the world wars. Interwoven in both timelines are two unforgettable love stories, friendships between brave women, and characters who battle their own internal enemies even while serving bravely during the war.
Noue Kirwan’s debut, Long Past Summer, is a fantastic second chance romance story that some readers have called Sweet Home Alabama for Black girls.
The novel alternates between the main characters’ past and their present. As Cameron and Mikaela fall in love the summer after high school graduation, their current, separate lives collide once more when Mikaela’s firm represents Cameron, a successful photographer, in a lawsuit over a photo that happens to feature Mikaela all those years ago.
The Invincible Miss Cust is Penny Haw’s first historical women’s fiction novel, but I hope it isn’t her last. The novel follows Aleen Cust as she grows up in Britain and ultimately becomes Britain’s first woman veterinary surgeon.
Aleen Cust defied seemingly insurmountable odds from both society and her own family in order to study in the field, practice, and finally become the first licensed woman veterinary surgeon in Britain.
Has your book club been searching for a novel about Ukraine? Given the devastating current events in Ukraine, you might be wishing to read more about the country and its people. If so, The Memory Keeper of Kyiv is the perfect choice.
The Memory Keeper of Kyiv is a dual-timeline novel. It follows a young woman and her family as they deal with Stalin’s invasion and the resulting famine in the 1930s and her granddaughter as she comes to term with her own losses and seeks to reconnect with her family heritage in the early 2000s.
A rock star on the verge of an early mid-life crisis finds herself on a cruise ship with the father who’s always misunderstood her.
Jennifer E. Smith’s divergence from YA to adult lit results in a sometimes humorous, often poignant look at the dreams we hold onto and the people who shape us.
If you love a novel about searching for clues to the past, you’ll love The Italian Daughter, Soraya Lane’s newest novel.
When Lily receives an unexpected inheritance containing only two clues linking her to a family she’s never known, she sets out on a journey to discover the past.
Set in present day and post-WWII Italy, the novel follows Lily and her ancestor, Estee, as they navigate through difficult life choices that will both separate and eventually draw them together.
Emily Henry is making waves in romance. If you didn’t hear of her after her debut, Beach Read, you probably heard about her after the release of People We Meet on Vacation. And, this summer, everyone was talking about Book Lovers. (Can we appreciate that play on words for a minute?) I think the reason her books resonate so well is that they are romcoms with depth.
A quiet novel, full of characters dealing with real grief, it reminded me of other heartwarming books that I have loved. While reading, the book offered me a similar feel to At Home in Mitford, with a little more edginess (aka tragic character pasts).
A Boundless Place is the first novel I’m featuring for Book Club Bites’ collaboration with The Best of Women’s Fiction podcast and Hasty Book List.