10 Romance-Adjacent Books I’ve Read Recently

So I was looking through my list of recently-read books and realised a rather large amount of them are romance books. Perhaps not technically within that genre, but to much of the plot of these stories is romance, it seems odd to ignore it entirely.

There is, obviously, a difference where the romance is the plot, and where it is the sub-plot. In the books below, I think the romantic relationships form a sort of middle ground, essential to the story but not overtaking it.

I missed last week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, which was a love freebie, so I’m doing that today!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where each week you write a list of ten particular books.

Beautiful World, Where Are You: from the internationally bestselling author  of Normal People: Amazon.co.uk: Rooney, Sally: 9780571365425: Books

Beautiful World, Where Are You? – Sally Rooney

I’m sure this is first and foremost contemporary fiction or one of those categories for literary writing, however I do think the romantic relationships are essential. Even where they take a backseat to the friendship.

Shadow and Bone: Now a Netflix Original Series: Book 1: Amazon.co.uk: Leigh  Bardugo: 9781510105249: Books

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

I can’t speak for the rest of the trilogy, but this book is absolutely informed by the romance within it. However, I wouldn’t say it’s the main plot, as instead we’re focused on the magical world building.

Ghosts: The Top 10 Sunday Times Bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Alderton, Dolly:  9780241434543: Books

Ghosts – Dolly Alderton

Here’s another contemporary fiction book. I wouldn’t class it as a romance, exactly, even though the main character Nina is completely obsessed by the romantic relationship she’s kind of in.

Reputation by Lex Croucher

Reputation – Lex Croucher

Again, although romance is a key component here, it is second both to the friendship and the author’s preconception with the world building.

Luster : Leilani, Raven: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Luster – Raven Leilani

Again, not a romance! But the main character’s preoccupation with her maybe-relationship with this older man is what propels the book along. Its importance fades into the background, but it’s the reason the plot moves.

THE BETRAYALS : The stunning new fiction book from the author of the Sunday  Times bestseller THE BINDING: This Christmas discover the stunning new ...  of the Sunday Times bestseller THE BINDING:

The Betrayals – Bridget Collins

I’m not entirely sure what genre this book belongs in, it’s everything and nothing at the same time. The romance here is odd, because the story is told through multiple time lines, involving different characters

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto – Ann Patchett

Is romance the focus of this book? Certainly not. But it is a sub-plot the story cannot do without.

If I Had Your Face: 'Assured, bold, and electrifying' Taylor Jenkins Reid,  bestselling author of MALIBU RISING: Amazon.co.uk: Cha, Frances:  9780241396070: Books

If I Had Your Face – Frances Cha

Throughout the six stories of the women’s lives, romance comes and goes, but most of them are concerned with it.

The Song of Achilles: Amazon.co.uk: Miller, Madeline: 9781408891384: Books

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

Technically not a romance?

Gone Girl: Amazon.co.uk: Flynn, Gillian: 9780753827666: Books

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Is this book a romance? Absolutely not. Is it also concerned with romantic subplots? Yes, yes it is.

What do you think?


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