In this Valentine’s Day season where red hearts and flowers paint the world, don’t forget good stories. Slip away to small-town America with these inspiring romance novels to set your mood. These books, like Hallmark movies, offer clean romance with some good chuckles, lots of heart, and strong storytelling—all taking place in charming settings. So, as the holiday approaches, we wish you mounds of the best chocolate, bouquets of lush flowers, and a heartwarming romance novel to turn your mind towards love.
By Becca Kinzer
In the spirit of a Shakespearean mistaken-identity comedy, Dear Henry, Love Edith travels to small-town Illinois in this sweet debut rom-com offering a dose of misconception sprinkled with comedic scenarios. Widowed nurse Edith Sherman, fresh out of her short and difficult marriage, decides to focus on adventure rather than love. While she awaits paperwork for a humanitarian trip to South Africa, Edith moves to a new town for a short-term nursing job in the Midwest. Town local Henry Hobbes reluctantly takes Edith on as his houseguest, sight unseen, as a favor to his niece. To complicate matters, both mistakenly think the other is elderly. Thanks to their opposite work schedules, Henry and Edith only communicate through letters, while also falling for each other as they meet around town.
Prepare to laugh and wring your hands at Henry and Edith’s relational misunderstanding as the letters grow ever more personal.
By Courtney Walsh
The charming cobblestone streets of Nantucket await you in this new contemporary romance by Courtney Walsh. Travel to the famous island, where you’ll experience hidden identity and romantic attraction with a side of depth. Widowed single mom Emma Woodson moves to Nantucket with her young son, CJ, to start a new life after losing her husband in combat. After securing a dream job in an art gallery, she plans to fix up her late husband’s old apartment to rent out. When Jameson Shaw appears on her doorstep, she accepts his offer to clean out the apartment and offers him the living space in exchange for his work. Unbeknownst to Emma, the man is on a mission to resolve his guilt and find forgiveness. As Emma’s feelings for Jameson grow, his real reasons for stepping into her life begin to surface.
Enjoy a ringside seat to Emma and Jameson’s secret-filled and complicated relationship.
By Carla Laureano
From two-time RITA award–winning author Carla Laureano comes a contemporary romance sure to ignite your Valentine’s Day spark. City girl Kendall Green has built a career uncovering the provenance of antique pieces—their origins. But as a former foster child, her own provenance is a mystery to her. When she’s notified about a gift from an unknown grandmother, Kendall travels to small-town Colorado to see if the inheritance can get her out of a financial pickle. Jasper Lake’s mayor, Gabriel Brandt, knows about Kendall’s family history and hopes to educate her in time to save the historical properties from falling into the wrong hands. Together they race against the clock to discover both the story of her newly inherited estate and her past.
Filled with witty dialogue, mystery, and antique-laden properties, this one is sure to grab both your heart and mind.
By T. I. Lowe
Do you enjoy beach reads set in South Carolina? Then you’ll love this one from the Carolina Coast series by T. I. Lowe, bestselling author of Lulu’s Café. Travel to charming Sunset Cove and meet Josie Slater, a young woman who allowed her dream of an artistic life to sail away after her mother’s death. As she helps her father run the Driftwood Diner, her former high school friend returns to town after living his adventure. Now a professional artist, August Bradford wants to settle down—and he would love to paint a future with Josie. But first, she needs to be released from the fears holding her captive. When she agrees to help him plan a children’s art camp, old and new longings surface for Josie.
For a fun friends-to-more story, pick up this slow-burn romance and set your Valentine’s Day mood.