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Realistic Love & Romance in Books

For those who have been there, done that and all the rest we might want to take a pass on, will agree the best parts of realistic love and romance is the first stage of love; falling in love... along with the 15-20-30 years later when we realize we are with our best friend. Somewhere in the middle of all this, also is the time when the chips are really down and that element of surprise happens.

The element of surprise is just that…an element that can’t be prepared for, or plucked out of self-help books and tucked in purses or back pockets for later use. This element won’t be found looking around corners or in dark crevices, and no one, neither best friend nor beloved family can pre-warn or advise on what to look for or how to handle. That’s because a surprise is just that… a surprise.

This is exactly what makes some realistic love stories and romance novels so darn good.

One of the best ‘realistic’ love elements inside from ashes to africaby Josh and Amy Bottomly was that marriage counselor. To avoid spilling any spoilers this element proves how even the skilled at relationships can be in for a surprise.

Now, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker by Marla Martenson was a book that surprised the heck out of me. The title got me. I expected the book to be rich on matchmaking, which it was, except the matchmaking tales didn’t trump Marla’s own match-made story.

The Last Blind Date by Linda Yellin is another realistic love potion. The advice from the friends... the family…the guy…Linda’s writing…and the surprise element in that ending totally won me over.

The Cost of Hope by Amanda Bennett contains a wonderful surprise. Even I questioned that opening, doubting this relationship. Redeeming doesn’t always mean happy, but as in the case of this story, redemption never fails to deliver harmony all the way around.

Doing Germany by Agnieszka Paletta is another favorite high on love and harmony, and humorously clever writing to boot.

I've read some dynamite romance novels not slacking on realistic redemptive love either.

Lifetimes Ago: A Love Story Inspired from Past Memories by Susie Schecter is a very well put together (almost paranormal, but realistic paranormal) romance story.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella (original edition) humored me, similar to She Likes it Rough by GVR Corcillo. (1st edition) The antics don’t stop in these two.

The Crisis before Midlife by Mario D. King (1st edition) is an urban tale that mixes realism and humor very well. Quite relatable… and a tintsy-wintsy spoiler acoming… I flew out the chair on that ending. Oh, how I loved that ending!

And The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber was one story where I did whine to myself, “I want to write a story like this.” …Something that is sweet, humorous, beguiling, realistic… zero profanity and lovey-dovey all rolled into one. I think I have that story, but won’t be sure until I get to The End.

A Valentine Treat


  1. Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles and Unwrapping Her Perfect Match by Kat Latham are two romance stories that me whine "I want to write a story like this," too. They were sweet, funny (especially UHPF) and NRL had a bit of thriller/mystery in there too. They're both great reads worth rereading.

    1. Yes, I love sweet and funny too. And who knows... we've probably written something... or are doing something someone else is saying the same thing. ...Oh me, oh has to be that darn grass on the other side thing. ;-)

  2. A great list. I always prefer reading the realistic romances to the fantasy kind!

    1. ha! I can't paint my words in a corner on that one. Never fails that someone will come along with a story that has me going 'aah...'


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