sweet-romanceRomance novels often get too steamy for my taste (I blush super easily) and/or there is no interesting plot except whether or not the leads get together … which duh. It’s a romance, so of course they will, eventually. That said, I try to be supportive of my fellow indie authors, so I read a dozen romances or so a year. These books make my recommendation list because neither of my aforementioned qualms were present. They showed a real character development and relationship arc that went beyond hormones, and other plot twists kept my interest piqued.

 

Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao

When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.

Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.

But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.

 

Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao

Despite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she’s ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn’t help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousin’s cute friend (no longer cute in her book!). When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. But somehow, Paco, the cause of all this, finds a way to be at every dare Tempest attempts, confusing her and forcing her to question what’s really going on inside her heart.

 

Darcy by Any Other Name by Laura Hile

At Netherfield, a glorious evening of music and dancing. But out in the garden two men are arguing, while a ferocious rainstorm swirls round. And then the unthinkable happens: a lightning bolt from heaven strikes. In that instant everything changes.

Jane Austen’s heartthrob hero becomes the bumbling Reverend Collins.

Shorn of his fortune, his social standing, and his good looks, Mr. Darcy is trapped in Mr. Collins’ body. And Mr. Collins wakes up to discover that he is master of Pemberley. Could there be anything worse? But the inner man is still Darcy. He is in love with Elizabeth Bennet. And now he is living in her house.

Discover the Pride and Prejudice ‘body swap’ that has readers laughing in surprise and delight.

CHECK OUT MY VIDEO REVIEW OF DARCY BY ANY OTHER NAME!

 

Ella Wood series by Michelle Isenhoff

Love. War. Both equally destructive to Emily’s ambitions.

Though she left Charleston a spoiled daughter of the South, Emily returns from her stay in the North a changed young woman. Her assumptions about slavery have been shattered, and her secret dream of attending university has blossomed into fierce ambition. As the passions sweeping North and South toward war threaten to envelop the city she loves, Emily must battle her father’s traditional expectations in her own bid for freedom. Meanwhile, the real fight may lie within her heart, which stubbornly refuses to accept that a choice for independence must be a choice against love.

Wrecked and Yours by CeeCee James

Miranda has always run from every problem and every confrontation, only trusting herself. People always proved that lesson time and time again. Until a car accident nearly destroyed her life.

In that instant, Jason became her unexpected rock. Struggling against everything she ever knew, she tried to trust him.

Over time, Miranda thought she knew everything about him. Then came the day she discovered he was running too. His love may save her, but will his secret destroy her?

Accidentally Married by Victorine Lieske

Madison Nichols, aspiring actress, is floundering. Her rent is due and she needs a job. Desperately. After getting a tip about an open position, she rushes to Jameson Technologies and meets CEO Jared Jameson. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding, she is put in the awkward position of pretending to be his girlfriend. Not the job she was applying for. And when she finds out Jared lied to her to get what he wanted, she decides to get back at him. In front of his family.

Jared is stunned when Madison announces they are getting married. She pushed her revenge too far. How can he tell them it’s all a lie? And when his sick aunt asks them to be married before she dies, Madison comes up with a hair-brained plan to hire an actor and stage a fake wedding.

What they both don’t know is Jared’s father has found out about the fake wedding. And he’s got his own hair-brained plan.

Candid by Michelle Pennington

Life is simple for high school senior, Sienna Whitfield. With a few good friends, a camera, and a dream, she has everything she needs to be happy. But when Jordan Rubio, the most popular girl at Haskins High, makes her mad, she decides to use the power of photography to right a few social wrongs. As if that doesn’t cause enough drama in her life, she realizes she’s falling for the new guy, Lee Franklin. Strong and protective, he’s just what she needs to survive the craziness she’s stirred up at school. If only she didn’t have to keep her feelings for Lee a secret from her mom…

Lover’s Quarrel by Jessica L. Randall

“Lovers’ Quarrel” is one of the hottest radio programs around, and Karina Kruz is the reason why. Fueled by her own secrets, Karina has dedicated herself to ridding the city of infidelity one call at a time. But she may have met her match when she crosses Ben Adler, who loses his girlfriend and budding career thanks to the show. When Ben tries to redeem himself, he and Karina make a wager that will end up pitting the two of them against each other over the air in Ben’s own hometown. But with Karina stirring things up, the good people of Willow Grove aren’t the only ones in danger of falling in love.