Keeping Up With The Penguins

Reviews For The Would-Be Booklover

10 Romance Books For Bibliophiles

It’s the season for romance and passion – and there’s nothing we’re more passionate about than books! So, here’s a list of romance books for bibliophiles, love stories with bookish themes, and happily-ever-afters for book lovers.

10 Romance Books For Bibliophiles - Book List - Keeping Up With The Penguins
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Beach Read by Emily Henry

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If you’ve spent even a minute on #Bookstagram over the last year or two, you’ve encountered an Emily Henry book. The best-selling author of sunny romances really found her people in the online book lover communicate, and she leaned into it – nothing wrong with giving the people what they want! Beach Read is exactly what you’d expect of romance books for bibliophiles. A romance novelist and a literary fiction author happen to take neighbouring beach houses, both in the hopes of breaking their own spell of writer’s block. They went to the beach looking for inspiration, and they found each other instead. But is their chemistry enough to overcome all of their differences?

By The Book by Jasmine Guillory

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The Venn diagram of adult bibliophiles who read romance books and who loved Disney’s Beauty & The Beast is very nearly a circle. For any book lover, a remote mansion with a huge library (and a sexy beast willing to let you use it) is pretty much the dream. The Meant To Be book series re-imagines these Disney fairytales for adults, and the grown-up version of Beauty & The Beast is By The Book. Jasmine Guillory transforms Belle into a twenty-something publishing professional, desperate to progress in her career – even if it means becoming a live-in cheerleader for a moody high-profile author who’s behind on delivering his manuscript.

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

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The romantic leads of Meet Cute Club are Jordan – founder of the fledgling titular club – and Rex – a “frustratingly obnoxious and breathtakingly handsome” bookseller who makes fun of Jordan for buying books “meant for grandmas”. Naturally, they’re destined to be together. This is a wonderfully sweet rom-com with relatable characters, and an important message about (forgive me) not judging a book by its cover. It’s also one of the most delightful queer romance books for bibliophiles you’ll find on any shelf.

How To Find Love In A Bookshop by Veronica Henry

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The clue is in the title: How To Find Love In A Bookshop is the ultimate romance book for bibliophiles. The story follows Emilia Nightingale’s fight to keep her late father’s bookshop out of the hand of developers, while her village customers look for love and the life they want to live. It’s a delightful story with the coziest possible vibes, a David and Goliath battle against gentrification and corporate greed, sharp and sweet dialogue, and heart-warming love connections. You’ll find yourself browsing for love as well as books next time you’re at your local independent bookstore.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

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A blocked ghost writer falls in love with her dead, sexy, no-longer-corporeal editor? Yes, please! The Dead Romantics is both a spooky story and a fun romance read for bibliophiles – that’s the best of both worlds! The fact that the main character can see and speak to ghosts is almost incidental to the romance plot at first, but it’s the crucial hook that makes this a fun and delightful read. Plus, most editions come with bonus content, including a list of the author’s own favourite comfort reads. Read my full review of The Dead Romantics here.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club combines all the elements that bibliophiles love in romance books. Baseball player Gavin Scott tumbles head-first into a crisis of confidence when he finds out his wife is divorcing him. Turns out, she’s been faking her orgasms for the entire duration of their marriage. Ouch! In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship (and ignite their sex life), he joins Nashville’s all-alpha-male romance book club. Will the wisdom of Courting The Countess help Gavin unleash his inner Fabio? “The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.” This is the first in a best-selling series of romance books for bibliophiles.

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan

There’s plenty of romance books for bibliophiles about authors and readers, but what about those hard-working heroes who narrate our audiobooks? They finally get a look-in in Thank You For Listening, a moving and uplifting romance about overcoming your fears to find love. Sewanee Chester has long given up on the idea of fairy-tale romance, and has no expectations of being swept off her feet when she takes on a job narrating an audiobook for one of the world’s most beloved romance authors. When sparks fly with her co-narrator, Brock McNight, she starts to realise that maybe romance books aren’t totally unrealistic after all.

Well Met by Jen De Luca

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“All is faire in love and war.” That’s the slogan of Well Met, an enemies-to-lovers romance novel that takes place in the unlikely setting of a small-town Renaissance Faire. The heroine, Emily, moves to Willow Creek, a (fictional) small town in Maryland, to help her sister and niece recuperate after a serious car crash. She finds herself roped into volunteering at the Faire, when she’s not working at the local independent bookshop. She clashes with Simon, the Faire’s organiser, but once they’re both in costume and hanging out in the tavern, all bets are off! Read my full review of Well Met here.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

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Paris is for lovers… book lovers, that is. With Shakespeare & Co, literary salons, and a rich history as a haven for prolific bohemian authors, it’s the logical setting for romance books featuring bibliophiles. The Little Paris Bookshop is one such book, the story of the city’s (sadly, fictional) ‘literary apothecary’. Monsieur Perdu can prescribe a book to heal any pain or problem… except his own. For years, he’s been dispensing paperback cures from his floating book shop on the Seine, but he might finally be ready to pursue a cure for his own broken heart.

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer - Keeping Up With The Penguins

A book club formed as an alibi for German occupiers of an English Channel island during World War II seems an unlikely basis for a romance book… but that’s what you get in The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. This epistolary novel is part sweet, slow-burn romance, part WWII historical fiction. A writer is searching for a story for her next manuscript, when she receives a letter from a man who lives on the island of Guernsey. They strike up a correspondence, and soon she is drawn into his isolated community, where books and food keep neighbours and friends connected in a world that’s falling apart. Read my full review of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society here.


  1. Thanks for the recs! Are these all what could be described as open door romances? Or are there some closed door options in the mix? I love a good romance, but the explicit scenes are not my cup of tea. 🙂

    • Sheree

      February 8, 2024 at 2:37 PM

      A few of these are open-door, but certainly not all of them! You won’t find anything explicit in The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, The Little Paris Bookshop, or How To Find Love In A Bookshop. By The Book is closed-door too 🙂 Enjoy!

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