4 Books to Read if You (Think You) Hate Romance: Guest Post by Sarah Slusher of Really Into This

Romance Books for people who hate romance


I met Sarah on Instagram. Yep, this privacy-loving, scared-to-put-myself-out-there chick is now making friends on the internet. If you are on Insta, please go check out Sarah’s feed @ReallyIntoThis and her site which is my go-to for everything pop culture with a fun emphasis on books, baking, tv/movies and honestly, anything she (and her contributors) are “really in to.

I am not a lover of romance books (with a few exceptions), but when I do read romance, it’s a book recommended by Sarah. So, in honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, I asked her to put this list together for my readers who (like me) think they hate romance reading.


Friends, I get it! Even though I ride hard for the romance genre these days, that wasn’t always the case. Growing up, my mom’s Harlequin novels cluttered up my living room. I swore I would never read those cheesy ass novels, but HERE WE ARE!

A few years ago, I stumbled upon a novel that fit the romance genre and guess what? I LOVED IT! Since then, I try to give all romance books a fair shake, no matter the format or the cover. Without further adieu, here are 4 Books To Read if You (Think You) Hate Romance.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I make a small commission (at no cost to you!).

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne (2019, Gallery Books)

Passion on Park Avenue book cover
  • Under 300 pages, so it’s a quick read
  • Features strong female friendships
  • First in the series & I love a good series
  • Very light steam  – closed-door romance

Well Met by Jen DeLuca (2019, Berkley)

  • Cute, cozy, clever & fun
  • Takes place during a Renaissance Faire
  • Total small-town feel
  • Some open door romance
  • Definitely try this if you’re a fan of cozy & cuddly books

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (2019, Grand Central Publishing)

Friend Zone book cover
  • Abby will have you rolling with laughter
  • Lots of pop culture references
  • Super cute dog
  • Not just fluff  – gets emotional

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Kiss Quotient book cover
  • Reverse Pretty Woman style novel
  • Own Voices novel & features lead with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Full open door romance
  • Sweet, touching & memorable

Well, there you have it! I hope you’ll give one of these novels a go. You never know. You may just find out you love romance! 


Sarah Slusher Really Into This

Sarah Slusher

Editor, Really Into This

Sarah is a Texas girl living in Portland, Oregon & is a momma, wife, baker, reader & smart ass. Her love for doughnuts is worldwide and she has completed hundreds of marathons, of the TV variety. She’s a total library hound, a lifelong lover of George Michael, a former video store clerk, pop culture junkie & loves nothing more than sweatpants, pizza & a cuddly space. She writes about all the above on the pop culture site Really Into This.

Top photo by: Sarah Slusher

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2 thoughts on “4 Books to Read if You (Think You) Hate Romance: Guest Post by Sarah Slusher of Really Into This

  1. Totally agree with THE KISS QUOTIENT. It still had the ha-cha-cha factor with the steamy scenes, but Hoang brought so much more depth to the story with her main character and the obstacles she faces, particularly when it comes to sex. It was nice to see a more plausible storyline in a romance novel.

    I need to read WELL MET! I go to Ren Faires every year, and I love the idea of a story set there! It’s definitely a romantic setting, what with the corsets and pageantry and, of course, everyone walking around gnawing on gigantic turkey legs. 😉 hahaha For reals, though, I love Ren Faires, and I’m excited to see an author bring one to life in a book!

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