Return of the Rom-Com!

The romantic comedy film genre took a serious dive in popularity over the last 2 decades, going from 2 billion dollars in tickets sales (1999) to less than 1/2 million (2018). Romantic comedy novels followed a similar trajectory.  But the film genre is experiencing a resurgence, and rom-com novels are riding their coattails with a comeback of their own.

The past couple of years have seen an explosion of romantic comedies in publishing – heck, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction went to a book with a lot of rom-com characteristics: Less by Andrew Sean Greer. As poignant as it is humorous, Greer’s award-winning novel contains many familiar rom-com tropes, and also turns a few on their heads!

Once known somewhat disparagingly as “chick lit”, these smart and sassy stories explore all the quirks and foibles of modern relationships, often tackling difficult subjects but never losing their sense of humor. If you’re new to the genre, this list of recent romantic comedies is a good place to start:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are competitive rivals at a publishing company and profess to hate each other, but when the tension reaches the boiling point, they both wonder if the competition is just a game and that maybe they don’t hate each other after all.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Partnered with a nemesis best man on a paradise honeymoon when her bride twin gets food poisoning, a chronically unlucky maid of honor assumes the role of a newlywed before unexpectedly falling for her companion.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. A 30-year-old math whiz with Asperger’s tries to make her love life as rich as her career by hiring an escort to help her with her lack of knowledge and experience in the dating department.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. Stranded together in an elevator during a power outage, Drew and Alexa agree to pose as a couple at an ex’s wedding and discover afterwards that they are unable to forget each other.

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young. After her delayed flight, Ava has a brief intimate encounter with Caleb, an arrogant Scotsman, and never expects to see him again, but when he is stranded in Boston, they reconnect, and Ava has to deal with her increasing attraction.

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting. After meeting the former actor she had a crush on as a teenager and fangirling all over him, Kailyn Flowers strikes up a friendship with Daxton Hughes who needs help acting as guardian to his 13-year-old-sister.

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. A modern Muslim adaptation of Pride and Prejudice finds a reluctant teacher who would avoid an arranged marriage setting aside her literary ambitions before falling in love with her perpetually single cousin’s infuriatingly conservative fiancé.

Red, White & Royal Blue  by Casey McQuistion. A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends.

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri. A romantic comedy about gender and sexuality follows the experiences of a traditionally minded Midwesterner who, in the aftermath of an ended engagement, finds herself in a transformative relationship with a self-assured New York businesswoman.

 

 

Love & Laughter: 10 Romances That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

Light, lovely, and hilarious, these books are perfect for rainy days and lazy weekends. Indulge yourself in a little humor and romance!

AnyoneAnyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom—from the ex-husband, their and stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what she wants. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed—a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy. Instead she gets…Fred. Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly, Fred is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie KinsellaShop
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford any of it

EnchantedEnchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson
Katie Chandler quickly learns that office politics are even more complicated when your new boss is a real ogre, and you have a crush on the sexy, shy, ultra powerful head of the R&D department, who is so busy fighting an evil competitor threatening to sell black magic on the street that he seems barely to notice her. Now it’s up to Katie to pull off the impossible: save the world and–hopefully–live happily ever after.

Single in Suburbia by Wendy WaxSingle
Amanda’s husband has just traded her in for an affair with a teenybopper. Brooke is a trophy wife collecting dust. And Candace (Don’t call me Candy) has had too many husbands and too little love. What do these three unlikely accomplices have in common besides a Little League team called the Mudhens? A plot to reclaim a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

RosieThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.

The Grand Finale by Janet EvanovichFinale
Berry Knudson had a talent for disaster, but when she climbed a tree to rescue a kitten, she wasn’t prepared for the scrumptious hunk undressing in a nearby window, or her dive downward that smashed Jake Sawyer’s pizza and won his heart!

dogsMust Love Dogs by Claire Cook
Divorced preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy’s first mistake is letting her bossy big sister write her personal ad. Her second mistake is showing up to meet her first date in more than a decade. Now she’s juggling her teaching job, her big, rollicking, interfering south-of-Boston Irish family, and more men than she knows what to do with.

Recipe for Disaster by Stacy BallisRecipe
A delicious broth of a novel about a woman whose perfect life falls apart in spectacular fashion–leaving her with a house to restore, an antique cookbook (but no cooking talent), and one very unhappy schnauzer.

LadyThe Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
To avoid embarrassing her father, a Member of Parliament, Melissa dons a blonde wig and becomes “Honey,” a no-nonsense bombshell who helps clueless bachelors shop, entertain, and navigate social minefields. She even attends parties if a client needs a “date.” But when a dashing American starts to request Honey’s services on a regular basis, it’s only a matter of time before Honey’s and Melissa’s worlds collide….

My Heart May Be Broken but My Hair Looks Great by Dixie CashHair
Debbie Sue Overstreet and Edwina Perkins-Martin have never encountered a problem that couldn’t be fixed with a strong margarita, a whole lot of hairspray, and an ear for gossip. No doubt about it, hearts are definitely going to get broken, but if these gals have anything to do with it, the hairstyles around town are still gonna look great!