new adult

ARC Review of The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman

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The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman

Publication Date: August 1, 2017.

Publisher: Independently published.

Genres: Romance.

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Purchase here: Amazon

Synopsis: There are only two reasons why Nina would come back home to Cincamarre–one, if Auntie Delia promises to stop butting into her business, two, if her father died and she was made to ascend the throne to be queen.

Unfortunately for her, it was the second thing that brought her home.

As a princess who’s sunk a yacht and been caught kissing popstars, it’s easy for her aunt, the regent, to think she’s ill prepared for the throne. But Nina doesn’t think that having to fake date Felipe, the handsome, squeaky clean Prince of Concordia was the best solution for that.

Nina’s ready to learn the ropes of her new role and make it hers, and reconnecting with Felipe only makes her want to be a better queen. But is the monarchy ready for Queen Nina?

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Thank you, Carla de Guzman, for my advanced review copy of The Queen’s Game. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

I am in love with The Queen’s Game and this contemporary romance story featuring Filipino main characters. As soon as I saw the blurb I knew I had to read it. I have a weak spot for contemporary royalty and mix that with #romanceclass and you know it’s a winner. This story features a princess, Nina, and a prince, Felipe, who grew up side by side because of their neighboring nations, Cincamarre and Concordia. Later on, in life, they reunite when Nina returns after several years of travel to attend her father’s, the king’s, funeral. What then begins is a story of a fake relationship that turns into something real. This book has royalty, fake dating and childhood friends; this book has it all.

As the prince and princess of neighboring nations, born in the same year, the Royal Houses of Mercado and Macasaet thought it would be cute if their equally royal children grew up together. No promise of engagement, no particular political reason except that the children looked so darn cute together.

 I love how Nina, who despite dealing with the loss of her father, is so strong and fierce. She is about to become queen in a nation where very few know who she really is. All they are aware of is what the media has been feeding them through various scandals. I love how Nina just embraces her past and her scandals. Nina is a rebel but she’s also kind and cares about her people, which becomes so clear when she’s finally back in her home nation of Cincamarre. There is also Felipe, the prince in charge of Concordia. He loves farming and everything that has to do with nature. He’s sexy, sweet, and modest but also very clumsy. I love how passionate he is about the things and people he loves and you can clearly see that he is a great ruler and an amazing person who cares deeply about the people he is in charge of.

“There’s only one thing I’ve done recently that makes me as happy as this does.”

“What?” She asked him, tilting her head.

“Spending time with you,” he said, smiling with that cocky little grin of his again.

I love the dynamic and banter that exists between Nina and Felipe. I love it when they flirt with each other and tease one another. However, there is also this soft side to their relationship. Felipe writes Nina love letters where he expresses his feelings for her and both Nina and Felipe are very supportive of one another. I love how Felipe sees Nina in a way that others don’t and he believes in her from the beginning until the very end. He lifts her up and reminds of her of what she already knows deep inside; she is meant to become a queen. Another aspect of Nina and Felipe’s relationship I really loved was how they talked about sex. Nina calls out the fact that sex should not have to shameful or something you have to wait until marriage for if you don’t want to. Sex can be pleasurable and fun and Nina embraced that in the most amazing way which made Nina’s and Felipe’s relationship that much more admirable.

If you love diverse books, romance, and contemporary royalty then The Queen’s Game is a perfect match for you. This book is funny, sweet, and sexy and will make you want more by the end of it. There is fake dating, rule breaking, and even a little bit of scheming. You don’t have to wait any longer, the contemporary royalty romance novel you’ve always waited for is here and ready to be read. Long live the queen!

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What To Read Summer of 2017 {Diverse Books Releasing In June, July & August 2017}

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Hey there, bookish people! Can you feel the summer vibes in the air? I certainly can. June is unofficially the beginning of summer here in Sweden and you know what’s just the best part about that? All of the free time, lovely weather and the big stack of amazing books you can *finally* devour. To celebrate all of this I thought I would write a blog post with all of the diverse books releasing this summer, in other words, all of the books releasing in June, July and August. There are so many of them and a lot of them are very anticipated reads for me. Do you have a book you’re dying to read this summer?

I’ve tried putting all of the diverse books I could find in this post, however, if I missed one please let me know so I can add it. The plan is to continuously update this post with any releases I might have missed. This summer is long and filled with so many diverse book releases. I can’t wait to read them all. In this list diverse books includes books with marginalized characters and books by marginalized authors, some who may not have diverse characters in their books.

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The books releasing in June are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • June 1 – The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 2 – Mature Content by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 5 – North to You by Tif Marcelo. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger. GoodreadsAmazon links.
  • June 6 – Perfect Ten by L. Philips. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 6 – Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 8 – Grrrls on the Side by Carrie Pack. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 13 – Want by Cindy Pon. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak. Add it on Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • June 27 – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Goodreads & Amazon links.

These are the diverse books set to be published in June. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

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Now onto July. The books releasing in July are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • July 4 – The Tower of the Antilles by Achy Obejas. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 6 – After the Sunset by Lilah Suzanne. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Refuge by Dina Nayeri. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 11 – Fragile Chaos by Amber R. Duell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 18 – The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 20 – Brush Strokes by E.S. Karlquist. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Lucky in Love by Kasie West. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Solo by Kwame Alexander & Mary Rand Hess. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 25 – Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • July 26 – Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra. Goodreads link.

These are the diverse books set to be published in July. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

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Lastly, we have August. The books releasing in August are listed below in the order of their release date. All of the Goodreads pages will be linked together with where you can buy/pre-order the book if that option exists.

  • August 1 – New People by Danzy Senna. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 1 – Sour Heart: Stories by Jenny Zhang. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 3 – Absolutely, Almost, Perfect by Lissa Reed. Goodreads and Amazon links.
  • August 8 – Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 8 – The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 15 – Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 15 – Home Fire: A Novel by Kamila Shamsie. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 17 – Blended Notes by Lilah Suzanne. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 22 – The Tiger’s Watch by Julia Ember. Goodreads link.
  • August 22 – The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – Starswept by Mary Fan. Goodreads & Amazon links.
  • August 29 – You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow. Goodreads & Amazon links.

These are the diverse books set to be published in August. If I missed any, let me know so I can add them right away. If there is a title that doesn’t fit, let me know about that too.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read all of these books so I cannot speak for the representation present in them. However, if you know that any of these books are problematic please let me know so I can delete them from this list.

Do you have a specific book release you’re excited about this summer? Do you know of one I missed?

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April Book Haul – My Latest Purchases & Acquired ARCs

Hi everyone in the galaxy! April is ending and I thought it’d be a fun idea to show you guys which books I got this month. At first, I was unsure about whether to make this post or not, but I figured it doubles pretty well as a book recommendations post (cheap books am I right) so why not. Lots of these books have been anticipated reads for me so I’m really excited to finally own them in one way or another. If I got any books you’ve already read, let me know what you thought of them. Let’s look at the books I got in April.

Ebooks & eARCs I Got in April

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I bought the following four ebooks during the beginning of April. They were all on sale, and you know how much I love a sale, I grabbed them as fast as I could. I always have my eyes out on Amazon and their sales since they often come out of nowhere.

  • As You Breathe Again by Molli Moran. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, new adult, interracial romance, and contemporary.
  • Beginner’s Guide by Six de los Reyes. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, contemporary, and new adult.
  • Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are contemporary, young adult, mental illness, and romance.
  • When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, chick lit, and new adult.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is still on sale for 1.59$ so I’d definitely get that one if you’re interested. The rest are 5$ or under.

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I also purchased the following four ebooks during April and they were basically a steal for me. I’m excited for every single one of these ones.

  • Lilacs and Vanilla by CS Patra. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are women’s fiction and lesbian fiction.
  • At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, new adult, and contemporary.
  • What About Today by Dawn Lanuza. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance, young adult, and contemporary.
  • I Am More Than a Daydream by Jennae Cecelia. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are poetry and inspirational & religious.

Lilacs and Vanilla is only 0.99$ at the moment and At Any Price is currently free. The rest are 3$ each.

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The following four are the last ebooks I got this month. The first two are already published and the last two are eARCs.

  • The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are fantasy, LGBT, romance, fantasy, and retellings.
  • Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon. The genres of the book are fantasy, young adult, mystery, and LGBT.
  • Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology (received an ARC through the blog tour). You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon. The genres of the book are romance and anthologies.
  • Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais (received an ARC through Edelweiss). You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon. The genres of the book are young adult and cultural.

The Beast That Never Was is currently free on Amazon so I would definitely grab that one. The pre-order price for Summer Feels is 2$ so I would definitely check that one out. I’m currently reading it and it’s really cute.

Physical Books & ARCs I Got in April

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I only got two physical books this month. The first one I pre-ordered ages ago and the other was an ARC, my first ever physical ARC actually, which is really exciting.

  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon or Book Depository. The genres of the book are contemporary, young adult, and romance.
  • I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (received an ARC through the publisher). You can add the book to your TBR on Goodreads and pre-order it on Amazon or Book Depository. The genres of the book are contemporary, young adult, romance, and school.

What books have you gotten this month? Have you gotten any of the ones I did? If you know a great book that’s on sale right now I would love to hear about it. 

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Zodiac Recommendations #11 Sagittarius Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my eleventh week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Sagittarius.

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This week we are embracing fire, the element of the Sagittarius, the one that they carry inside of them. Like every other zodiac sign, the Sagittarius have their strengths and weaknesses, and with these qualities in mind, I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Sagittarius yourself or someone who knows a Sagittarius, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Sagittarius, I’m recommending the books below,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Sagittarius qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Capricorn, see previous recommendations here.

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Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie Book Playlist

Hi everyone, I have a lovely book playlist I want to share with you guys today. If you saw my review for Infini earlier this year then you know the book totally blew me away. Krista & Becca write the most magical books, and I always love them so much. Infini is about forbidden second chance love and will gut and build you up at the same time. This book has a Jamaican-American heroine and a Russian-American hero that you will just fall in love with (I know I did). I seriously recommend you guys check it out if you haven’t read it yet. You can add it on Goodreads or buy it on Amazon.

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The book playlist consists of 14 songs, and it’s based on the love story between Luka and Baylee from the book. If you’ve read the book, I would recommend you to listen to it in order, from start to finish, but it works either way. You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here or on YouTube here. If you’re interested in Krista & Becca Ritchie’s other books, you can visit their website here.

Have you read Infini yet or do you have plans to do so? Do you plan to listen to the book playlist I made?

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Zodiac Recommendations #6 Cancer Books

Hi everyone, and welcome to my sixth week of Zodiac Book Recommendations. Every week I’m recommending books for one of the zodiac signs, starting with Aquarius and ending with Capricorn, after chronological order. This week I have three book recommendations for Cancer.

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We are talking about Cancer this week, the zodiac sign that embraces the element water. The Cancer have their strengths and weaknesses, which can be read about in the graphics, and with these qualities in mind I have tried to find suitable book recommendations. I hope that whoever you are, whether you are a Cancer yourself or someone who knows a Cancer, you’ll enjoy these book recommendations.

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For Cancer, the books I’m recommending are the following,

The books I’ve chosen are ones that I think celebrate Cancer qualities in one way or another. I hope you’ll love these books, and maybe even find a new favorite. Check out my book recommendations for the other zodiac signs too. Next week I’m doing Leo, see previous recommendations here.

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Five Days of Romance: Day 5 – Anticipated Romance Reads

Hi everyone and welcome to the last day of Five Days of Romance. Even though Valentine’s Day is over doesn’t mean the romance has to be. Personally I love romance the most, and have a bunch of books I own I’ll be reading when I get more time away from some of my ARCs. I thought I’d share some of the romance books I’m truly anticipating to read at the moment.

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These are 14 Romance novels that I own and am dying to read, but haven’t gotten around to just yet. They all come highly recommended by friends and loved ones, and I’d take their recommendations over anyone’s so I know these books will be great. Hence, why I’m excited to read them. The books I’m anticipating to read are,

  1. Act Like It by Lucy Parker.
  2. Dare to Love by C.P. Santi.
  3. Ash by Malinda Lo.
  4. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.
  5. Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler.
  6. More Than Distance by Elizabeth Briggs.
  7. Trade Me by Courtney Milan.
  8. Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David.
  9. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee.
  10. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz.
  11. Love On My Mind by Tracey Livesay.
  12. That Thing Between Eli & Gwen by J.J. McAvoy.
  13. Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler.
  14. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon.

This was Day 5 of Five Days of Romance, and the end of this blog series. However, the romance lives on, and we can always find it in a book whenever we desire. To check out my earlier posts for Five Days of Romance, go here.

Have you read any of these books, or are you also excited to read any of them? Is there a special book you have your eye on?

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Five Days of Romance: Day 4 – Recipe for the Perfect Date

Happy Valentine’s Day my loves, and welcome to another day of Five Days of Romance here on my blog. Today I’m here to give you the recipe for the perfect date. You don’t want to miss this. In only five steps you’ll be sure to have the perfect date by tonight, amazing right? Well I won’t keep you waiting, for all my single people and not so single people. Here is how you get the perfect date in only five steps.

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The first step to fixing the perfect date is to choose who your date is going to be, and yes my friends, the perfect date is of course a book! So be it an old favorite or a new book you’ve had your eyes on for ages. Date night is all about you and a book you would love to read at the moment, nothing more, nothing less. Just pick a book you want to read and ignore all other distractions.

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The second step to a perfect date is deciding where you want to have it. Where will you and your date have the most amazing time together? Now this all depends on the weather, opportunity and circumstance but a few excellent options are listed above. If the air is not chilly and the sun is out, perhaps a picnic outside is the way to go. However, a library or café might be a better option if you want to go out but the weather is not that welcoming. To make it extra cozy, a blanket and pillow fort or a bubble bath might be just the right way to spend your perfect date.

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On your date, the mood is also very important, which leads us to step three. In order to make the perfect date you might need a few mood setters, perhaps a few lit candles, your favorite music or fresh flowers. Anything that will make your evening feel more magical is just what you need for the date. Truly, the sky is the limit. If it helps you relax and enjoy your date, it’s clearly perfect.

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The fourth step to create the perfect date is to bring snacks with you, because what is a date without something to snack on? It sure isn’t perfect. Deciding exactly what to bring will differ depending on where you go, but having something to drink with you is always a smart move. With your date you can eat cupcakes, cookies, cake, chocolate dipped strawberries, a bowl of watermelon or potato chips. Mix and choose however you like, all depending on what you love to snack on when you spend time with your date. Do you prefer it sweet, sour, salty or a mix of them all somehow?

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The last step is choosing what to wear to the date and it’s probably the easiest step out of the five. The clear answer is, wear what you love to wear, so be it nothing at all or your favorite pair of jeans and a top. If the weather allows it, a fluffy dress might also be just what feels right. The best part is that no matter what you wear, I can 100 % guarantee that your date will love it. You look gorgeous just the way you are.

This was Day 4 of Five Days of Romance. Tomorrow we’ll have Anticipated Romance Reads, and you don’t want to miss it. To check out my earlier posts for Five Days of Romance, go here.

These five steps were it for my Recipe for the Perfect Date, what did you think? Will you be following these steps tonight for date night?

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Five Days of Romance: Day 2 – Romantic Book Postcards

Welcome to my second day of Five Days of Romance! Today I have romantic and funny bookish postcards to share with you all. Save them, share them, and send them to your friends and loved ones. Just don’t claim them as your own when asked. I had so much fun making these, I love pick up lines and puns and whatnot, which is why this was so much fun. These postcards are perfect in time for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.

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(inspired by Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember)

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(inspired by Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie)

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Five Days of Romance: Day 1 – Romance Book Recommendations

Hi fellow readers, and welcome to Five Days of Romance. For five days, including today, I’ll be posting romantic bookish posts in celebration of Valentine’s Day, and this lovely time of romance. I’ll be posting the following posts,

  • Romance Book Recommendations (today, see below)
  • Romantic Book Postcards (Feb 12, 2017)
  • Book Girlfriends (Feb 13, 2017)
  • Recipe for the Perfect Date (Feb 14, 2017)
  • Anticipated Romance Reads (Feb 15, 2017)

Stay tuned the following week, because you don’t want to miss these posts and get that romance on. There is something for everyone!


This first day of Five Days of Romance I have some romance book recommendations for you all. I specifically have 14 books that I’ve read and loved. These books are a mix of Young Adult, New Adult and Adult books, and they all have diverse characters in one way or another.

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These 14 Romance novels are ones that I really love. They all vary a lot in style, age of protagonist and story, but they have all mesmerized me in one way or another. I really recommend them, and they’re perfect in time for Valentine’s Day. A good romance novel is just what you need when love is in the air.

  1. The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen. New Adult, sports, disabled protagonist.
  2. Rumor Has It by Farrah F. Polestico. Young Adult, theater, Filipino main characters.
  3. We Awaken by Calista Lynne. Young Adult, Fantasy, asexual protagonist.
  4. Keeping Her Secret by Sarah Nicolas. Young Adult, camp, bisexual Indian protagonist.
  5. Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour. Young Adult, Hollywood, gay biracial protagonist.
  6. The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis. New Adult, pansexual protagonist.
  7. The Unforgettables by G.L. Tomas. Young Adult, Haitian-American protagonist.
  8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkes. Young Adult, forbidden love, Mexican love interest.
  9. Complementary and Acute by Ella Lyons. Young Adult, boarding school, gay protagonist.
  10. Roller Girl by Vanessa North. Adult, sports, trans lesbian protagonist.
  11. More Than Fashion by Elizabeth Briggs. New Adult, reality TV, Korean-American protagonist.
  12. Interim Goddess of Love by Mina V. Esguerra. Young Adult, Fantasy, Filipino main characters.
  13. Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan. Young Adult, gay Persian protagonist.
  14. Prep and Prejudice by Miren B. Flores. Adult, Filipino main characters.

Have you read any of these books, are you excited to read any of them? Do you want to get that romance on with a cozy book?

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