My Romance Sub-Genre Recs for You – Sweet Romance

Posted 11 February, 2018 by Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Uncategorized / 40 Comments

Romance Sub-Genre Rec – Sweet Romance

Hey, and welcome to my new post series – where I recommend various romance sub-genres to you. The idea came to me the first weekend in February, while I was chatting with Evelina @ Avalinah’s Books. She asked me to recommend romance books to her. But she wanted romance with no actual sex, and not too heavy on the romance. Easy, right? Actually, it was. I read a whole lot of romance, and I love what the different sub-genres can bring us.

So for this first post in my series, I am recommending romances that are sweet, where there is chemistry between the characters, but where the romance is not necessarily the most important aspect of the story. These are all mostly contemporary romance, while some also can be categorized slightly towards historical romance.

In the Midst of Winter cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews - Weekend Wrap-up


In The Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende is a beautiful romance, set in current times, but with flash-backs to the past of the three main characters. Lucia has arrived in New York to be a guest lecturer at the university for at least one semester. However, one of the reasons she agreed to come to the cold was Richard, a scholar she had met at different conferences in the past. Evelyn, a young Guatemalan woman is also an important character. The slow romance between Richard and Lucia is not the main theme of the story – growing older, getting to terms with life, and the past definitely is.
The fact that the story spans over several decades and include four different countries added to my pleasure of reading.


The Upside of Unrequited cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews - Weekend Wrap-up


The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertelli is categorized as YA, however, I think it can be read by anyone – just as all books can be read by any reader. This is the story of a character who has to come to terms with her sister starting to explore what it means to be in a couple. Trying to find love. All the while leaving her sister behind. There are friendships, awesome parents. There is little romance and a lot of beautiful relationships that are even more important than the actual romance is.
The character development made me so happy. And the relationships both between the sisters, the sisters and their mothers, and the whole family and other people made the story exceptional!

Swear on This Life cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews


Swear on This Life by RenΓ©e Carlino is part mystery, part contemporary romance. The character depth is so good, it feels like they jump of the pages and truly share their lives with the readers. And while I have never experienced what these characters have experienced, I found the story, plot and characters to be very realistic. The writing drew me in from the start, and I couldn’t stop reading until I arrived at the ending.



Unmaking Hunter Kennedy cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews


Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot is also young adult, set in a small town in the Colorado mountains. Hunter Kennedy is a huge star, unable to go anywhere without being accosted by people. He really needs a break from the celebrity circuit, though, and without his knowledge, he is brought to a place for some rest. Some anonymity. Some true friendships. And some real heartbreak.


This Heart of Mine cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews


The whole Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak is one of my favorite romance series. There is a bunch of friends that are as close as family, and we follow them through their highs and lows. Sometimes, the friendships take a hit, other times, the romance seems impossible. Whiskey Creek is a small town, and almost everyone knows everyone else. Which can make for some humorous scenes, but also some anger at times.



Me Before You cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is an emotional roller coaster for sure. And this is one book where I found the movie to be better than the written word. I know a lot of people fell completely in love with the book, though. And there are some very important themes brought up in this story. The romance is in the background, as there are some heavy subjects that need to be dealt with as the main characters get to know each other.


The Piano Man Project cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews


The Piano Man Project by Kat French is a cute, flirty story. There is substance as well, though, and it was a contemporary romance I really enjoyed when I read it. There are several layers to the story, friendship, sisterhood, relationships and work are important here. I enjoyed the female relationships and the honesty between friends as much as I enjoyed the romance.



Call Me Mrs. Miracle cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews


Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber is a very sweet Christmas romance. There are two stories in one here, and both touched me in different ways. The cuteness of the characters and the strong chemistry between the romantic leads made me swoon – even when they were just getting to know each other at the beginning.





The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith is a YA story that I found to be fresh and cute. There is a lot of longing here, and I think that sense of missing someone is one of the things I enjoyed the most when I read it. The main characters met in one city, but they live at opposite sides, far away from that place. They are completely unable to forget about each other, though, and the way they keep thinking of each other was very well done.


Finding Colin Firth by Mia March is a chick-lit romance on the surface. Once I got into the story, though, I found that there were many themes that became important. One was about motherhood. Not every single woman wants to be a mother, and that’s OK. Plus, very often, when a woman does become a mother, she is often the one who makes the most changes to her daily life. Be it to stop working, work less hours, spend more time at home… And those questions are important! They were very well introduced in this story, and I enjoyed getting to know Gemma, her questions, and her quest for her true self.

Lies Jane Austen Told Me cover - (un)Conventional Bookviews - Weekend Wrap-up


Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright is a fun story. It involves a very strong female character, her almost fiancΓ©, and her almost fiancΓ©’s brother… Because Emma was such a Jane Austen fan, she always dreamt of her one true love and her happily ever after. When she realized she might not get that, she got mad. Not only at herself, but also at Jane. As she had to go far out of her comfort zone, she started questioning what she had been doing up until that moment. And she had to take a good hard look at herself so that she wouldn’t make the same mistakes over and over.

I have more recommendations in the ‘sweet’ sub-genre of romance, but this post is already so very long, so I’ll just link to my reviews, without a tiny summary to tease you with.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson, Starry Night by Debbie Macomber and Too Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins are among my favorite romances where there is a lot more going on than the romance. And where there is little to no sex involved.

I’m pretty sure I could have gone on for a long time, still, but then, I am sure I would have lost most of you before the end πŸ˜‰

Thanks for stopping by today! Have you read any of these? I will have more romance sub-genre recs next week, and then, I’ll tackle romantic suspense, so please come back.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Lexxie is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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40 responses to “My Romance Sub-Genre Recs for You – Sweet Romance

  1. I feel like February is also the perfect month for this!!! It’s Valentine’s in just a few days, and your recommendation series comes out πŸ™‚ awesome!

    And nope – I haven’t read a single one of these! I think I will try the library πŸ™‚ thank you for this list <3 I will be super curious about the other installments πŸ™‚

    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted: The Week When I Didn’t Haul Any Books!!
  2. LOVE!
    I read an Isabel Allende book YEARS ago. I loved it.
    I have Rene Carlino’s on my Kindle and have been considering reading Jojo Mojes but I’m too much of a chicken sh*t. I think that would break me. πŸ˜€

  3. This is a great idea for a post series since there are so many subgenres and types of romance! I haven’t read any of these, but they do sound sweet πŸ™‚ And I like that they have other aspects to them besides romance, like friendship and family.

    • I agree, Kristen. While I do love everything romance, I think the stories where there are friends who become lovers, or second chances are the sweetest. Because the characters already know each other, and that just makes everything more plausible in many ways. Plus, if the focus is on character growth, or on the story itself, or on the plot, the romance isn’t overwhelming for those who don’t love romance as much as I do πŸ™‚

  4. I like this a lot. I’ve heard great things about The Geography of You and Me and Me before you. While romance isn’t my type of thing I do enjoy romantic sub-plots in books. There’s just something about romance novels that give me unnecessary anxiety about whether or not the couple will stay together. Great post though, I really like your format.

    • In most contemporary romances, the main thing you should know is that usually, there is either a happily ever after, or a happy for now for the main couple at the end of the book. I think that’s partly why I enjoy them – because I know that while the characters might not see eye to eye all the time, in the end they’ll be fine.
      Thanks Jared πŸ˜€

  5. Thanks so much, Lexxie! I occasionally read a romance but usually a small town romance (Robyn Carr) or a romantic suspense (Laura Griffin) because I must be in the minority of women who don’t care for sexually explicit stories or erotica. If I see a muscular man without a shirt on the cover I back away, lol! I used to read them so many years ago but now I prefer ones that show friendship to love, or love rediscovered, etc… without the biology lesson πŸ™‚ I’m checking out the Brenda Novak series and Swear on this Life after I comment here.

    I look forward to next week’s, because romantic suspense is a good one for me.

    Kari @ Kari Reads and Writes recently posted: A Week of Bookish Days- 2/10/18
    • Ha! I don’t think you’re in the minority, Kari. I know lots of bloggers and readers who prefer the sweet romances where there is more going on than a couple that find each other and fall in love πŸ™‚
      Whiskey Creek series by Brenda Novak is set in a small town, you should definitely check it out. Her writing is really good, and I think you might enjoy the strong friendships between the side characters as well.
      I don’t know what’s up with the bare-chested covers these past few years. I don’t mind them, but I know that some readers won’t pick up a book because of that. And sometimes, that bare chest is the most chest you’ll see in the whole story, so it’s kind of sad…

  6. You know, I just realized that a lot of the romance I read these days has a lot of sex…or at least a scene or two. HOWEVER, I do love Me Before You and I want to read The Upside of Unrequited. Thanks for all the other rec’s!

    • I totally don’t mind the sex, but I think it’s really hard sometimes to figure out from the cover or the synopsis if that’s what we’re getting or not. And I know that in the beginning of my romance reading days, I felt really awkward reading about people getting it on. Like, I would actually blush while reading. Needless to say, that doesn’t happen anymore πŸ˜‰
      I’m glad Evelina asked me for some recs, as that just spurred on this whole post series idea for me πŸ™‚

  7. RO

    This is a really good idea, and mixes things up on the reading front. I cried when I watched Me Before You, and love just about any Debbie Macomber and Brenda Novak novel. You’ve given some really great choices I haven’t heard of. Hugs..RO

  8. I do like romance books a lot! I love them and I can never get enough. I recently read In the Midst of Winter and I was a bit skeptical in the beginning when I read it, but it really did grow on me and I enjoyed reading it a lot πŸ™‚ I also want to read Swear on this Life myself too.

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