This post lists my favorite Valentine’s Day-themed romances I read since last Valentine’s Day’s list. I tried 30 romances to get to this list! These recs definitely show my bias towards contemporary romance, but there are romsusp and paranormal romances included as well.
I link to reviews where I have written them; and also where I have only posted trigger warnings, so you can easily find those. I’m listing rep at the end of my descriptions. If you spot something incorrect, please do feel free to let me know. Also, I am not intending to out anyone; I get author info from the web and the book bio. If an author would like me to remove any info listed, please do let me know. I want to note that I use the word fat as a neutral descriptor when listing rep, and use the word queer when a character or author identify that way or when I am unclear about their identity but know they fall under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.
For folks looking for romance with no on-the-page sex, I am putting three asterisks*** at the end of the description.
- A Shot of Cupid by Elizabeth Wilde*** (paranormal m/m romance novella) This fated mates story centering Cupid won me over, despite my general dislike for love magic and fated mates. In this story, the Cupid character is grumpy, gay, and convinced that his role in life is to exhaust himself matching others without ever falling in love himself. (Rep: Gay MCs.)
- Illusion of Love by Nana Malone (contemporary m/f romance novella) I really enjoyed this neighbors to lovers fake relationship romance. I especially appreciated the heroine’s arc around living for herself instead of to please others. (Rep: Black woman MC with hyperosmia and synaesthesia. Black woman author.)
- From My Heart by Sienna Mynx (contemporary m/f romance novella) I enjoyed this angsty romance about a widower and a woman who was dumped right before the wedding; it has a twist that makes it feel almost soapy, but it really sold the twist in a way I appreciated. It was also lovely to read a romance about celebrating Valentine’s Day in Italy. (Rep: Black woman MC. Black woman author.)
- Conversation Hearts by Avon Gale (contemporary m/m romance novella) I loved this romance between a sex worker and the assassin who breaks into his hotel room and might actually be a client. It has wonderful dialogue and I liked the way they built connection. (Rep: Queer man sex worker MC. Queer man MC. Bi/demirom/grayace woman author.)
- Lumber Jacked by Annabeth Albert (contemporary m/m romance novella) I really enjoyed this addition to the Rainbow Cove series, which is one of my faves by Albert. A lovely kinky romance, with bondage and light D/s and a really tender connection that warmed my heart. (Rep: Queer man MC. Pansexual man MC. Bisexual woman author.)
- Charm City: A Valentine’s Day Novel by Monica McCallan (contemporary f/f romance novel) Hands down my fave Valentine’s Day themed romance I read in 2019. Some of my most favorite tropes all wrapped up together (enemies to lovers, forced proximity, grumpy/sunshine, and snowed in), a chosen family, and a romance with queer characters I’d like to be friends with. I loved how deeply rooted in Baltimore, it was too. City based romances that are rooted like this make me really happy. I will definitely be checking out this author’s backlist. (Queer woman MC. Queer woman MC with a history of homelessness. Lesbian woman author.)
- Campfire Confessions by Bru Baker*** (contemporary m/m romance novella) This friends to lovers fake relationship forced proximity romance was pretty cute. The pair end up at a camping couples retreat, pretending to be together. I enjoyed watching it unfold, and how clueless the MC was about how his friend was into him. (Gay MCs. Asian American author.)
- His Only Valentine by Katrina Jackson (contemporary m/f erotic romsusp novella) I loved getting to spend time with Kenny and Maya again. I adore Maya to pieces and they are so sweet together and it was just lovely to see them celebrate Valentine’s Day, even though a few wrenches got thrown in, as they do when you are a spy. This would be better if you read Private Eye but I think it can stand alone okay. The fat representation in this book is breathtaking; I love how much Kenny is gone over her, and how it carries both heat and sweetness in the descriptions of her from his POV. (Fat Black bisexual woman sex worker MC. Asian American man MC. Black queer woman author.)
- Maestro by M. Crane Hana (contemporary m/m/m erotic romance novella) I enjoyed this polyamorous romance quite a bit. It starts out more as an open relationship, with a long history of that, but ends up leaning towards a resolution as a triad, which felt rather sweet. I especially appreciated the way the workplace issue was handled in the story. The sex and kink in the story was lovely and hot, and I especially appreciated how intensely into the music the MC was. (Rep: Queer men MCs. Queer man MC with diabetes and depression.)
- Remember Our Love by Chencia C. Higgins (contemporary m/f romance short story) A series of gifts from her husband on Valentine’s Day take a woman back to memories of their relationship at different stages in their life together. She does have to wonder, since they decided to never celebrate V-Day, why is he giving her all these gifts this year? (Rep: Black MCs. Black woman author.)
- Heart2Heart anthology (contemporary m/m romance and romsusp stories) This anthology of opposites attract romances has some really wonderful stories in it that are full of heart and humor and hit the spot as V-day romances. The only one I don’t recommend is The Florist & the Lawyer.
- A Werewolf’s Valentine by Zoe Chant (paranormal m/f romance novella) I loved this shifter romance with a great meet-cute, a heroine I adored, and a found family theme. It was full of heat and heart, and gave me so many feelings. (Rep: Trauma survivor hero.)