Best Romance and Rom-Com Novellas

Sometimes you want a long, glorious book to get lost in, but sometimes your attention span is shorter and a quick, fun read will hit the spot! Here are some of my favorite romance and rom-com novellas. Going modern today, and regency is coming soon!

Wishing by Karen Booth

Fresh off a heartbreak and the end of her short-lived writing career, Samantha swears off musicians and heads home to stay with her parents for a while. Only to find super sexy musician Duncan, who’s there to work with Chris, Samantha’s rock star stepdad. In the guest room. Right next to her room.

Duncan has his own issues with an unsupportive family and a close friend’s death. He sees Chris as the ultimate father figure and in no way is he going to mess with Chris’ stepdaughter. Easier said than done…

Wishing is a really cute read and the perfect story for a novella—instant attraction but they both resist until they can’t. Duncan is a stand-up honorable guy and so sexy; Samantha is trying to find herself and find her path in the world.

Rating: 3.5
Steam: Low
Themes and Tropes: New Start, Instant Attraction, Rock Star, Resisting Love
Pair With: North Carolina beer (see https://www.southernliving.com/north-carolina-breweries-7506812) or wine (see https://ncwine.org/).  

Christmas Presents by Tarah DeWitt

Christmas Presents is a fun compilation of epilogues from three of Tarah DeWitt’s other books, The Co-Op, Funny Feelings, and Rootbound (all of which I enjoyed), so it helps if you’ve read them. It shows the holidays in the year following the end of each book, and gives us one more look at these memorable characters and the lives they’ve created.

Rating: 4
Steam: Medium
Themes and Tropes: Compilations, Novella
Pair With: Holiday Drinks. For inspiration, check out these 50 possibilities

 

Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood

Women in STEM? Check. Hilarious? Check. Quick and fun? Check. Loathe to Love You consists of three enemies-to-lovers novellas:

  • Under One Roof. Mara’s mentor and renowned scientist, Helena, leaves her half a house, with Helena’s brooding nephew and big-oil lawyer Liam owning the other half. Can they co-exist without murdering each other?
  • Stuck With You. After Erik’s company used Sadie’s groundbreaking work to steal clients and push Sadie’s firm our of business, he’s the last person she can tolerate being stuck in an elevator with, but here they are….

  • Below Zero. What to do when the bane of Hannah’s existence becomes her hero?

These novellas are quick, fun versions of Ali Hazelwood’s novels—a little less angst, definitely not dragged out, and a fab diversion for an hour or two. And I actually liked these better than her novels.

Rating: 4.5
Steam: Medium
Themes and Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Women in STEM, Novellas
Pair With: Women-Owned Wineries

Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert

Hiding out in her old town to escape her abusive husband, pregnant Laura finds unbelievable kindness and sweetness in her teenage summer sweetheart, Samir.

The depth of his understanding and the strong feelings they have for each other make this book so lovely, sweet, and sexy too. Samir might be one of my favorite book boyfriends ever.  

Rating: 4.5
Steam: Low
Themes and Tropes: Second Chance, Childhood Love, Small Town, Escape
Pair With: Sweet wines; check out this list https://www.liquor.com/best-sweet-wines-5072308  

Even if the Sky Is Falling by Taj McCoy, et al.

A brilliant idea: Six stories about people thinking it’s literally the end of the world when the international warning signal goes off. Some of the stories were executed brilliantly, others not so much. Here are my quick thoughts on each:

  1. All the Stars by Taj McCoy. I wish I’d skipped this one. It’s a second chance romance where NO second chance is deserved. I just could not warm up to Griffin—you learn early on that he dumped Halley by text message, and it doesn’t get any better from there. The writing was pretty good but I could not get past my dislike of Griffin. 2 stars.
  2. Keep Calm and Carry On by Farah Heron. I started off hating this one (maybe some residual feelings from All the Stars), mainly because of Tarik’s arrogance and Maya’s batting her eyelashes at an arrogant jerk…but then ended up liking it as the characters opened up and we learned more about their past and true feelings. 3.5 stars.
  3. My Lucky Stars by Lane Clark. This one is a solid 3—good but not memorable. Two law students and rivals find themselves stuck in the deserted library, realize they made some unfair assumptions about each other, and work through their differences.
  4. Bunker Buddies by Charish Reid. Easily the best of the bunch. Professor Shea and bookseller Nick have both been trying to work up the nerve to ask the other out, and now they’re stuck in his bookstore bunker. 4.5 stars.
  5. Interlude by Sarah Smith. This is the hot and spicy one of the group. Sexy contractor gets stuck with his pretty client in her basement. . . . 4 stars.
  6. Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better by Denise Williams. Former college rivals are stuck in a deserted classroom building; the tension is there from the beginning and the enemies-to-lovers theme is executed perfectly. 4 stars.

 

Rating (Combination): 3.5
Steam: All over the place
Themes and Tropes: Forced Proximity, End of the World
Pair With: Whatever you’d drink if the world was ending

 

 

The Forever Formula by Kendall Ryan

The perfect plot for a novella—Rachel finds herself unemployed and needing a new start, and heads back to the small town she thought she’d escaped forever. She intends to sell the cabin she inherited and get out of town, but there’s sexy neighbor and childhood friend Noah, and maybe some other reasons to stay in town…

Rating: 3.8
Steam: Low to Medium
Themes and Tropes: Small Town, Second Chance, Childhood Sweethearts/Friends
Pair With: Check out a few of my Favorite Cabernets!

Forever Wild by K.A. Tucker

Forever Wild is puts a bow on Calla and Jonah’s story from The Simple Wild and Wild At Heart, possibly my favorite series of all time (I might have a slight obsession with it). So of course I loved it—you get family drama, Christmas in Alaska, a hot young couple, a wedding, hilarity, and more. Definitely read the first two books before this one! If you’re as into them as I am, this book is the perfect ending.

 

Rating: 5
Steam: Medium (not really explicit, but they are together a LOT)
Themes and Tropes: Small Town, Sequel, Christmas, Family
Pair With: Holiday Drinks