Blanche’s Book Club: 2023 Valentine’s Day Reading Guide!

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I haven’t done any reading recommendations for Valentine’s Day in the past, and I realized, wait, why not? I love romcoms and romance novels — I should make a list!

I’m starting with a short list that includes new and backlist titles. If you’re like me, I’m trying not to spend money on books right now, so anything I can get at the library is a plus.

Here’s my list:

‘Icebreaker’ by Hannah Grace 

Anastasia Allen has worked her entire life for a shot at Team USA.

Nathan Hawkins has never had a problem he couldn’t solve. As captain of the Maple Hills Titans, he knows the responsibility of keeping the hockey team on the ice rests on his shoulders.

When a misunderstanding results in the two teams sharing a rink and Anastasia’s partner gets hurt, Nate finds himself swapping his stick for tights and one scary coach for an even scarier one.

I’m currently reading a hockey book, so when I saw this one, I couldn’t resist! I love a meet-cute, especially when the characters really hate each other at first.

‘This time it’s real’ by Ann liang

When seventeen-year-old Eliza Lin’s essay about meeting the love of her life unexpectedly goes viral, her life changes overnight. Now she has the approval of her classmates at her new international school in Beijing, a career-launching internship opportunity at her favorite magazine…and a massive secret to keep.

Eliza made her essay up.

Desperate to hide the truth, Eliza strikes a deal with the famous actor in her class, the charming but aloof Caz Song. She’ll help him write his college applications if he poses as her boyfriend.

But when her relationship with Caz starts feeling a little too convincing, all of Eliza’s carefully laid plans are threatened.

Fake love turned into real love?! I’m here for it. I would love to see this as a movie, too!

‘Love in the time of serial killers’ by Alicia Thompson

Ph.D. candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime. She’s even analyzing the genre in her dissertation–if she can finish writing it.

It doesn’t help that she’s low-key convinced that her new neighbor, Sam Dennings, is a serial killer (he may dress business casual by day, but at night he’s clearly up to something).

But it’s not long before Phoebe realizes that Sam might be much scarier–a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armor to reach her vulnerable heart.

This is actually a plot twist: girl thinks guy is a serial killer but then they fall in love. It’s so twisted that I’m into it!

‘Married for a month’ by Susan Mallery

Taylor McGuire, a hardworking single mom with a Ph.D. in psychology, believes compatibility is the key to a successful marriage. Bestselling relationship guru Jonathan Kirby believes it’s sexual chemistry.

So when these two former lovers meet on national TV, it’s more than just a difference of expert opinion that sets the sparks flying between them.

And when Taylor puts forth her theory on love, Jonathan can’t help but challenge: “Want to bet?” So begins an unconventional contest–forty couples involved in a monthlong mock marriage for a chance to win one million dollars–which puts Taylor’s and Jonathan’s professional reputations on the line.

As the competition heats up, so does the attraction. And as they fall for each other, the two experts realize that love is not a science…sometimes, it’s just magic.

‘The fault in our stars’ by John green 

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.

But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I couldn’t miss including one of my favorite love stories of all time — between Hazel and Augustus! I love the book and the movie, and you should definitely read this if you haven’t already.

‘Message in a bottle’ by Nicholas sparks 

Divorced and disillusioned about relationships, Theresa Osborne is jogging when she finds a bottle on the beach. Inside is a letter of love and longing to “Catherine,” signed simply “Garrett.”

Challenged by the mystery and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Theresa begins a search for this man that will change her life.

What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous — an encounter that embraces all our hopes for finding someone special, for having a love that is timeless and everlasting.

I didn’t think a Valentine’s Day reading guide would be complete without including something from Nicholas Sparks! “Message in a Bottle” is one of my favorites from Sparks, but any of his books would be fitting for the holiday.

I hope you enjoyed my Valentine’s Day reading recommendations. What books are you picking up in honor of Valentine’s Day?

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop

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