Find your next book … if you’re into darker romance
I love romance novels. I’ve written a few and read thousands. And some of them helped me through a tough time or reminded me that love is worth fighting for. But not all romances are created equal. There are some books in this genre that truly stand out from the rest—they’re funny and deep and have substance, but they also have heartache, loss, and self-discovery mixed into their pages. These books make you fall in love with characters who aren’t perfect (yet) but who are imperfectly perfect for each other.
Not all romance novels have to be light and fluffy
There are many different kinds of romance novels, each with its own unique tone and style. Some authors use humour in their stories, while others go for a more serious tone.
Some books may be classified as “dark” or “light.” The difference between these is usually down to stories about the darker side of life. Some darker romance novels are more accessible than others. Some call for focus from readers before they’ll start taking root.
Depth and substance
My ideal read isn’t just about two people falling love in some beautiful setting. It’s important to have depth and substance, so the characters’ growth and development means something more than their happy ever after. If you’re looking for an easy read then a darker romcom like GHOSTED might not be the best choice for your next read!
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green has many great qualities: it’s relatable, it’s funny at times but above all else it is full of emotion which makes reading this novel very special indeed!
Does romance have to be funny?
Humour is a great way to deal with difficult issues. It can make a serious topic more accessible and relatable, which is especially important for people who may have difficulty dealing with their own experiences. If you’re looking for something funny, try reading books by authors like Jennifer Weiner (In Her Shoes), Emma Donoghue (Room) or Jenny Lawson (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) or my very own Rebuilding Alexandra Small.
The sum of its parts
When it comes to finding your next book, you want to make sure that the plot is engaging and interesting. The writing style should be accessible and convey the right tone and mood for the story at hand. You need characters who are believable—not only in terms of their actions but also their motivations. And it’s a romance novel rule that there needs to be some sort of resolution at its end – a happy ever after (or hint at that) or a happy for now. I love stories that let the reader carry the story on in their head after or just as the romance for real becomes a thing for the lead characters.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find that next book!
- “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan – A dark romantic comedy that follows the adventures of New Yorker Rachel Chu as she travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family. The novel is considered a dark romantic comedy because it explores themes of wealth, power, and family dynamics in a hilarious and often over-the-top manner. Despite the darker elements, the novel is filled with humour and romance that make it a standout in the romantic comedy genre.
- “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion – “The Rosie Project” is a quirky and dark romantic comedy about a socially awkward genetics professor named Don Tillman who sets out to find a wife using a scientific approach. Along the way, he meets Rosie, a barmaid and fellow outcast, and the two embark on a journey filled with laughter and self-discovery. The novel is considered dark because it touches on themes of autism and mental health, but it is also filled with wit and charm that make it a must-read for fans of the romantic comedy genre.
- “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han – This novel follows the life of Lara Jean, a shy and introverted high school student who writes secret love letters to all of her crushes but never intends to send them. When the letters are accidentally mailed, she is forced to confront her feelings and navigate the ups and downs of first love. The dark themes of insecurity and unrequited love are balanced with moments of levity and optimism, making for a charming and relatable read.
- “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes – This novel follows the relationship between Louisa, a small-town girl, and Will, a wealthy man who has been left paralysed after a motorcycle accident. As Louisa becomes Will’s caregiver, they both come to learn important life lessons and fall in love, despite the dark reality of Will’s impending death. The dark themes of illness and death are balanced with moments of humour and hope, making for a deeply moving and uplifting read.
- “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne – This novel follows the contentious and often hilarious office relationship between Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman, two executives at a publishing company who are constantly at odds with each other. As they spend more time together, they come to realize they have feelings for each other, despite the dark reality of their competitive and often hostile dynamic. The dark themes of professional rivalry and personal animosity are balanced with moments of wit and romance, making for a delightful and entertaining read.