Life·15 min read

Books We Love About Love

“Everything I Know About Love” by Dolly Alderton, “The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren, “Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall
Feb 2, 2022

You never forget your first…favorite love story. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or you just want to feel the love tonight, these Skimm Reads will get you in the mood. There are friends-to-lovers plotlines, friends-with-benefits twists, books about finding and losing your soulmate — we’ve got (and read) it all. But these select few had us at chapter one.

“Everything I Know About Love” by Dolly Alderton

We’re not being dramatic when we say every millennial needs to read this. Alderton is the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw meets Bridget Jones who writes about love, work, body image, and trying to figure life out. She’s heartfelt, funny, open, relatable, and oh-so real about her trials and tribulations about dating in her 20s. But more than writing about love, the relationships she has with her girlfriends are just as moving (arguably moreso) than the romantic ones she writes about in her memoir. Plus, her Britishisms will make you want to move to the UK and start a completely new life ASAP. Psst: It’s being turned into a TV series too. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


"In Five Years" by Rebecca Serle

An ambitious NYC lawyer has a big self-imposed plan: Get engaged, get the law job of her dreams, and do it all by 30. She’s right on track to achieve her goals but then, naturally, as romance novels do, it all goes off course. It’s a charming love story with alternate-universe vibes that’ll make your heart ache. Side of tissues sold separately. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


“Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall

Fake it ‘til you make it. That’s the best way to fall in love, right? After the son of a famous rock star ends up in a public scandal, he enters into a faux relationship with the perfect guy to help rehab his image. If you know any romance tropes — you can probably guess what’s going to happen here. The question is, will they end up happily ever after or will their manufactured-turned-real chemistry fizzle? (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“The Idea of You” by Robinne Lee

If you’re looking for a book you absolutely won’t be able to stop thinking about and stay up all night for…this is it. The 2017 sleeper hit follows a 39-year-old sophisticated, divorced mother who starts a hot and heavy relationship with a boy-band member half her age. He’s essentially a not-so-thinly veiled Harry Styles. And naturally, things get messy and super steamy — don’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s not a classic romance novel: It’s a cool (and smart) take on a romance novel that you’ll be thinking about long after you’ve finished it. Plus the characters' chemistry is off the charts. Let’s get it on. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren

This one follows a single mother with a full plate who’s hesitant to enter the dating game. But after a trendy new DNA-based matchmaking service comes along that includes a big payday for her, she decides she’ll try it out. The catch? She’s matched with the founder of the company, who she already knows — and can’t stand. And everything she thought she understood about love, fate, and chemistry gets flipped upside down. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


PS: New to Christina Lauren? Here are our other faves, In a Holidaze and “The Unhoneymooners.

“The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne

Raise your hand if you can’t resist a good enemies-to-lovers plotline. In this sexy workplace comedy, you’ll meet two executive assistants who absolutely despise each other. When they’re both up for the same promotion, their tension reaches an all-time high. Dun, dun, dun. Read it first, then stream the movie later. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


“Last Tang Standing” by Lauren Ho 

Meet Andrea Tang. She’s a 33-year-old successful lawyer who has (almost) everything: a gorgeous condo, a great group of friends, and access to Singapore’s best clubs. The only thing standing in her way of happiness? Her family’s unyielding pressure on her to get married. Cue a “Crazy Rich Asians” meets “Bridget Jones’s Diary”-esque novel about finding love, pushing back against pressure, and standing up for what you want. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


“While We Were Dating” by Jasmine Guillory

This one mixes business with pleasure after Ben, an ad exec, and Anna, a budding Hollywood actress, serve up some sizzling chemistry when they meet on set for a project. Guillory puts their banter to the test: They’ll have to deal with a family emergency, their pasts, and some other rom-com-esque shenanigans. It’s a love story, baby, just say 'yes' (Jasmine’s version). (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


PS: Just as obsessed with Jasmine Guillory books as we are? Check out some of our other favorite romances including “Royal Holiday” and “Party of Two.

“Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld

This modern version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is *it.* Sittenfeld’s novel centers on a 30-something magazine writer and her yoga-teaching sister living in NYC. After their father’s health scare, they go home to Ohio and their two other sisters, and see that things are all falling apart. Cue the entrance of a handsome doctor, a worrying mom, and a trashy TV show storyline that mirrors “The Bachelor.” And yes, the modern Mr. Darcy lives up to our (high) expectations. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Playing With Matches” by Hannah Orenstein

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match; find me a find, catch me a catch. In this frothy romp a recent grad lands a job as a matchmaker at an elite dating service in NYC. Along the way, she dishes out relationship advice and coaches her clients into successful dates. But when her boyfriend betrays her, she finds herself falling for a guy she previously set up one of her clients with. Aka…someone who’s strictly off limits. Will it all end up in flames? Or happily ever after? Swipe right to see. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


“The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

A 30-something econometrician with Asperger’s — who’s great with numbers and struggles with dating — hires a sexy male escort to help her learn everything she needs about love, sex, and relationships. And what starts as a non-nonsense, business-first agreement begins to add up to something else. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


PS: Already read and love this one? Check out Hoang’s latest romance, “The Heart Principle.

“Mergers and Acquisitions” by Cate Doty

Say ‘I do’ to this memoir from a former weddings writer at The New York Times. Doty mixes personal stories about her own love and marriage experiences with a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes into the society pages at the NYT. For anyone who’s interested in the history of wedding announcements or wants the deets on how to actually get yours in the paper of record, this one’s for you. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Take a Hint, Dani Brown” by Talia Hibbert 

An accomplished Ph.D student isn’t here for love. But when a hot security guard (and former rugby player) rescues her from a workplace fire drill, their lives get a little messy. There’s some viral internet fame, and a sports charity plotline that’ll keep you glued to the page. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“A Lowcountry Bride” by Preslaysa Williams

This charming love story feels like it’s straight out of a Netflix series. We’ve got Maya, who dreams of becoming the lead designer at an acclaimed NYC bridal brand. And Derek, a widowed father who’s trying to save his family’s bridal shop from bankruptcy in Charleston. After Maya comes home to South Carolina to help her father recover from a hip injury, she crosses paths with Derek. Some major sparks fly...but fingers crossed they get their fairy-tale ending. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


"Normal People" by Sally Rooney

We’re just some girls, standing in front of a book, asking you to read this immediately. If you haven’t already breezed through the Hulu show or picked up this uber-popular novel, what are you waiting for? It’s about a young Irish on-and-off couple who meet in high school and develop a deep connection at university and beyond. Rooney absolutely nails the pain, the euphoria, and everything in between that comes with being young and falling in and out of love with someone in the digital age. The dialogue and the details are spot-on — it’s hard to believe it’s just fiction. We’re not crying, you are. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Seven Days in June” by Tia Williams

Warning: Things are going to get steamy in this one. In this 2021 novel, a bestselling erotica author and single mother has a surprise run-in with an award-winning novelist at a literary event in NYC. Turns out they actually spent one hot and heavy week together 15 years ago. And before they can fully rekindle their former fling, they’ll have to cope with some serious stuff from their pasts. It's a 'cancel all my plans, I have to finish this right now' kind of read. So maybe don't overload your calendar the weekend you decide to pop this open. Take it from us. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“A Princess in Theory” by Alyssa Cole

In this email-forward rom-com, an epidemiology Ph.D. student in New York keeps getting emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. She thinks it’s spam. Turns out…it’s not. No spoilers on how their love story turns out, but let’s just say we’re royally obsessed. (Amazon, Apple Books,


“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry

Vacation mode, activated. This one follows Poppy and Alex on a trip to Palm Springs as they work through a rough patch in their 12-year friendship. It's about opposites attracting and friends becoming...more than friends. Spoiler: You will feel all the feels. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“The Royal We” and “The Heir Affair” by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Say ‘cheerio, how do you do?’ to this charming two-book series. These books, from the duo known as the Fug Girls, are the fictional-ish version of Will and Kate’s love story. There’s Nick, a future heir to the British throne, and Rebecca “Bex” Porter, an American commoner who marries into the royal family. Their courtship doesn’t come without drama (read: a love triangle with Nick’s brother, Prince Freddie) and a host of other royal scandals. Fancy that. (Amazon, Apple Books,


"The Light We Lost" by Jill Santopolo

This epic love story follows two people who meet in college at Columbia University on 9/11 and cross paths over the years. He goes to war zones as a photographer, while she starts a career in NYC. This read is "One Day" meets you going through an emotional rollercoaster on your couch. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)  


“A Lot Like Adiós” by Alexis Daria

All in favor of a hot, friends-to-lovers romance set in NYC, say ‘aye.’ This one follows two childhood friends who are unexpectedly brought back into each other’s lives after more than a decade apart. It’s from the author of “You Had Me at Hola,” and you’ll pretty much be begging for a Netflix adaptation once you finish reading. Swoon. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


"Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston

In this internet fave, the son of the first female president of the US goes to the UK to attend a royal wedding. The Prince of Wales is there. And spoiler: The "special friendship" between the US and the UK becomes a littttttle more like a special friendship with benefits. Snog on. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


PS: Want more McQuiston? Check out “One Last Stop” for another relatable romance story.

“Love Her or Lose Her” by Tessa Bailey

This not-as-devastating version of “Marriage Story” reads like a rom-com ready for the big screen. It follows a couple who are fighting to save their struggling marriage. They’ve been together since high school, and after their hippie marriage counselor helps them move forward, a big secret drops threatening all the progress they’ve made. (Amazon, Apple Books)


"Find Me" by André Aciman

Book clubs and wine go together like “Call Me By Your Name” and peaches. Yes, we went there. Just in time for the sequel, which picks up 15 years later. Elio’s in Paris with a new love, Oliver’s in New York and miserable, and Elio’s beloved father is divorced and on the mend. Here’s to hoping for a grand reunion but we’ll leave it to you to "find" out. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop


"Emergency Contact" by Mary H.K. Choi

On the menu: an awkward meet-cute that turns into more. You’ll watch a couple’s relationship develop over text as they become each other's emergency contacts. Very millennial, very timely, and will make you nostalgic for those puppy-love years. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“To Sir, With Love” by Lauren Layne

This fresh version of “You’ve Got Mail” follows two 30-somethings who meet on a dating app. The good news: They have lots of virtual chemistry. The bad news: They’re also unknowingly business rivals. There’s Gracie, who’s taking on her family’s failing champagne shop in NYC after the death of her father. And Sebastian, her arrogant corporate opposite, who wants to buy out her store. Will they or won’t they? You’ll just have to read to find out. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


If you buy anything from this article, theSkimm may get something in return. Oh, and if something’s out of stock, oops, it was there (and all prices were accurate) when we published. Thanks.

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