2023 Staff Picks: Romance

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • The Neighbor Favor

    2023 by Forest, Kristina

    We really enjoyed this heartwarming contemporary romance about books and the publishing industry. Lily and Nick have great chemistry and we were rooting for them right from the beginning. Suggested by Rummanah and Sharon.

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  • That Summer Feeling

    2023 by Morrissey, Bridget

    Not only is the setting exquisite for fellow former-campers, but the honesty of the characters and their growth is "chef's kiss"! We loved the funny and hopeful approach to this sweet, queer romance. Suggested by Amy K. and Susanne.

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  • The Seven Year Slip

    2023 by Poston, Ashley

    We loved the fantastical elements that Ashley Poston uses to set up the story that gives it a sense of magic while addressing loss, personal growth, and finding a direction in life all within a great love story with humor and hope. Suggested by Rummanah, Sharon, and Susanne.

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  • Calamity

    2023 by Fay, Constance

    This is the found-family romantic space opera I never knew I needed, full of sexy scenes, epic world-building, and Firefly-esque vibes. Suggested by Annabelle.

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  • A Shot in the Dark

    2023 by Lee, Victoria

    I loved the queer representation in this book that explores topics like addiction, recovery, and identity. Suggested by Susanne.

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  • To Have and to Heist

    2023 by Desai, Sara

    A caper rom-com, with quirky characters and a laugh-out-loud twisty plot. The result is a book that I couldn't put down. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Ana María and the Fox: A Luna Sisters Novel

    2023 by De la Rosa, Liana

    I really enjoyed this slow-burn historical romance. I was completely unaware of the French occupation of Mexico during 1861. I loved how this novel not only addressed social concerns, but also how Gideon and Ana María had to present themselves in Victorian society as people of color. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Notorious Lord Knightly

    2023 by Heath, Lorraine

    Knightly and Regina seemed to be a strong couple, so why did Lord Knightly leave her at the altar? Lorraine Heath perfects angst in pining, which made this book a binge-read for me. Suggested by Amber H.

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  • New Adult

    2023 by Janovsky, Timothy

    The third book in the charming Boy Meets Boy series, it works as a standalone read. Channeling a bit of “13 Going on 30,” we get struggling comedian Nolan Baker who, after a train wreck of a day, makes a wish and wakes up seven years later to a whole new reality of success, but also minus Drew Techler, his best friend/sexy crush. Clever, joyful, and thoughtful, I can’t resist a good time-travel romance. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Business or Pleasure

    2023 by Solomon, Rachel Lynn

    This book was a low-stakes, sex-positive, swoony romance that was a joy to read. I've always appreciated how Rachel Lynn Solomon crafted realistic and complex characters, and Chandler and Finn were no different. This is a great pick if you're looking for a soft journey that will leave you with a smile. Suggested by Amber H.

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  • Something Wild & Wonderful

    2023 by Kelly, Anita

    This was by far my favorite romance of 2023! I’m a sucker for an outdoorsy setting, and this one takes place on the Pacific Crest Trail. Alexei and Ben are two backpackers trying to figure out what they want in life, and end up finding love. Suggested by Brenna.

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  • Much Ado About Nada

    2023 by Jalaluddin, Uzma

    Set in Toronto’s Muslim community, it’s a second chance, enemies to lovers, updated retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s so delightful, with a fantastic female lead, I couldn’t put it down. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • An Island Princess Starts a Scandal

    2023 by Herrera, Adriana

    I loved this empowering and riveting romance that puts equal importance on finding the right person but also creating a community of friends who understand, embrace, and support you to be your true self. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Same Time Next Summer

    2023 by Monaghan, Annabel

    This contemporary romance about childhood sweethearts meeting again after 14 years has a lot of emotional beats, but it also has enough humor and likable characters to be an entertaining breezy read. I was delighted from beginning to end. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • My Roommate Is a Vampire

    2023 by Levine, Jenna

    I enjoyed that this romance was super silly and had great banter between Frederick and Reginald. Fun! Suggested by Susanne.

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  • A Lady's Guide to Scandal

    2023 by Irwin, Sophie

    At first, I thought this romance was yet another Jane Austen retelling. I was very wrong! I loved this cute, witty, low-steam romance that was just as much about the heroine’s journey to find herself as it was the romance. I also loved the subplot of two secondary characters falling in love as well. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Knockout

    2023 by Maclean, Sarah

    This third book in the Hell's Belles truly lives up to its title. Lady Imogen Loveless and DI Thomas Peck make an explosive couple. Maclean expertly crafts a swoony romance that is full of suspense, historical detail, progressive characters, and an eye to social justice. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Long Game

    2023 by Armas, Elena

    I’m not sure how the author managed to write the ideal rom-com for Ted Lasso fans, but she did. There’s the hilarious meet-cute scenario, the enemies to lovers slow-burn situation, and the charming all-girl soccer team that brings the two lead characters ever closer. Not to mention an adorable baby goat. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • The True Love Experiment

    2023 by Lauren, Christina

    I loved how this rom-com smartly plays with romance tropes, toxic dating habits, and unapologetically celebrates romance novels all within the frame of a reality tv show. Fizzy and Connor's chemistry leaps off the page and you don't have to worry about the dreaded miscommunication melodrama. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • The Plus One

    2023 by Eddings, Mazey

    I adored Jude and Indira. I felt that Eddings tackled mental health in a realistic way. Suggested by Michelle.

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  • Mortal Follies

    2023 by Hall, Alexis J.

    I loved this whimsical, sapphic romance for its diverse cast of characters and Shakespearean elements. Suggested by Susanne.

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  • Not That Duke

    2023 by James, Eloisa

    An addictive ride, this story takes place during the majority of the second book in James' series, The Reluctant Countess. Both characters have distinct personalities, and their angsty journey to unconditional love kept me up all night. Suggested by Amber H.

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  • Happy Place

    2023 by Henry, Emily

    A couple on an annual weeklong get together with their besties pretend that they didn’t split up months ago. We loved the humor and hopefulness of being surrounded by the people who know you best and rediscovering love. Emily Henry hits the mark again! Suggested by Sharon and Susanne.

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  • Best Served Hot

    2023 by Elliot, Amanda

    Sizzling with charm, this enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy has a slow-burn storyline peppered with scrumptious descriptions of food. You’ll be left with a smile, not to mention a bit hungry. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Twelve Months and a Day

    2023 by Young, Louisa

    A widow and a widower bond over their shared grief and begin a correspondence. As the year progresses and they grow closer, their ghostly partners struggle with letting go and moving on. This book is a lovely, music-filled meditation on grief, love, and living. I found it full of wisdom, joy, and sorrow and needed to have tissues handy as I read it. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Next-Door Nemesis

    2023 by Martin, Alexa

    Collins Carter has a “campaign to win and an enemy to destroy.” Her former best friend Nate Adams is now her rival for president of the homeowners association, but this is a breezy rom-com, and love finds a way. Suggested by Sharon.

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