Whatcha In The Mood For? // The Romance (Or Lack Of One) Edition

book recommendations for what type of book you are looking for


It’s that time where I dole out recommendations according to what kind of mood you might be in at random — whether that be an actual mood or a specific type of book. Check out past Whatcha In the Mood For recs!


I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if you could also leave some recs for my categories in the comments to further help people looking for books that fit! Also, have a good idea for a category or something you have been looking for? Leave it in the comments!

This time I decided to do a sort of theme around my mood reads. Normally they are ALL over the place but I decided to do some romance-themed moods in honor of mine and Will’s 4th wedding anniversary which is TODAY! 🙂



Pining for a YA with little to no romance?


Outrun the Moon stacey lee

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

Why? Oh man this historical fiction was a good one! There is a teeny thread of romance but it kind of bookends the novel in a way so the majority of this book is more so dealing with the boarding school, friendships, the earthquake and their life in the aftermath. That teeny thread is very impactful but I definitely think this one is a refreshing one for people who are looking for a romantic relationship that isn’t really the main thread of the novel. You can check out all my thoughts on Outrun the Moon.

In search of an complicated romance situation?


One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Why?  I don’t know what is more complicated than the love of your life and husband being presumed dead in an accident and years later down the road, when you are newly engaged to a man you deeply love, that your husband has been found and is on his way back home to you. Let me just tell you….this book gave me SO MANY FEELINGS. Check out all my thoughts on One True Loves.

Needing a book with a cute and nerdy YA romance?

The Start of Me and You Emery Lord

The Start Of Me & You by Emery Lord

Why? This book is so great for manyyyy reasons and touches on a lot of great stuff but I really loved the  romance in this book. They start out as friends (which I love) and they have the most cute nerdy banter and flirting. Very smile-inducing. Plus it’s got a great cast of friends and family with equally important relationships! Check out my full thoughts on The Start of Me & You.

Looking for a book to dip your toes in the romance genre?


Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Why?  I used to be a very reluctant romance reader. Like I LOVED romance and love in my books I was reading but I was not yet ready to dip my toes in the romance genre. Now, I know you might be thinking, “OMG Jamie…this book looks straight up like a romance novel and look at that title…SUGAR DADDY?? I AM NOT READY FOR THAT STUFF YET.” But trust me, dear friend. Trust me. As the friend who recommended this to me said, this is part contemporary women’s fiction and part romance. It’s such an amazing book that can help people get into the full on romance genre, in my opinion. Check my full thoughts on this one here.

Like a messy love story?

99 Days Katie Cotugno

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Why? I mean, the girl cheats on her boyfriend with his older brother and then still has conflicting feelings about it when her boyfriend is willing to forgive and take her back. Now, before I lose you….hear me out. I haaaate cheating in books but it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for me. So, if like you are 100% sure, even if it’s done well, that it’s a deal-breaker for you..maybe skip this. BUT if you are willing to read a messy story with messy characters who make mistakes but it’s amazingly well explored…please try this book. This author is the queen of writing messy and complicated stuff and I just can’t recommend it enough. While on the surface this book might just seem like a romance with a love triangle between two brothers, it is SO much more than that. It’s about making mistakes (repeatedly) and growing from it the hard way — realizing you CAN come back from it and take control over your life again. Go read my non-spoiler review if you are unsure because I get into why this is worth the read!

Have you read any of these? Agree/disagree with my recs? Have any to add?? Also, if you have a specific mood you think I should do next time….drop that in the comments!

P.S. Books To Read If You Are in the Mood For YA Books Set Outside the US // top ten books for people who enjoy not-so-easy-to-like characters

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Great list! I’ve added some of these to my goodreads

    Mel ★ meleaglestone.co.uk

  2. i have read one true loves and the others are on my list already. i love romances, the only ones i can’t stand or try and avoid are friends to lovers, especially next door neighbours. i don’t know why it annoys me but it does! isn’t that weird? i’m weird. i love hate-to-love stories, like pride and prejudice hahahaha. happy anniversary!

    • heh I looooove friends to lovers (also the neighbor thing maybe bc I had like a on again off again crush on my next door neighbor but we never interested/available when the other was in high school). I STILL LOVE YOU EVEN THOUGH YOU HATE A TROPE I LOVE….especially because hate to love is like MY FAVE TROPE so you redeem yourself. And thank you! <3

  3. For YA with no romance, my go-to rec is Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard, the first in the Russalka Chronicles. Good sci-fi and no romance at all, which I find really refreshing.

  4. This Savage Song is also lacking in a love story- there’s an attraction but it isn’t romantic. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
    How (not) to fall in love is a super cute love story with lots of complicated life stuff happening. One of my faves.
    I also love the Ivy Years series- quick read romances with well developed characters and big ole dose of serious real life issues.
    PS- I’ve read most of the recommendations in this post and they so good! These are my favorite posts!

    • YES I really enjoyed This Savage Song recently. I loved the attraction but no real romance. Definitely think that is a very solid rec!

      Definitely check out your other recs! Thank you!! And it makes me so happy that you enjoy these posts. When I first started this series I got a lot of feed back but it’s definitely dropped off in terms of interaction on it…though I know people are still reading so I just hope they are finding them helpful!

  5. One of the sweetest YA romances I read this year was The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett.

  6. Every book by Jennifer E. Smith are really cute YA romances! I love her books so much!
    You have a great list, I’ll look into some of these! 🙂

    Sam @ Paper Cuts

    • YAS her books really ARE so cute. Statistical Probability might be my fave still of the ones I’ve read! Such feel good books! Hope you find some you enjoy! 🙂

  7. The Start of Me and You looks good! I’m adding it to my TBR list though I think I might have it… I’m not sure.

    • It’s seriously SO good. All Emery’s books are goood — the first two are definitely a bit lighter but her latest deals with a more serious subject but I loved that one too! (and omg I do that all the time….I think I havne’t heard of a book and then I go to Goodreads and somehow already have it added??? Too hard to keep up with our TBRs).

  8. 99 Days sounds really intriguing! Added it to my list. I’m sure I’d like a few others, but I’m feelin a little overwhelmed by my TBR lately so I’m trying not to add frivolously

    • 99 Days is such a polarizing book but I SO loved it! Hehe I feel you on TBR overwhelm. I made an exclusive shelf on my Goodreads account called TO CHECK OUT so that I can add these books I might want to remember but don’t want to overwhelm my TBR with!

  9. WOw! This was great. I added a couple on goodreads, but I’m not sure I could handle the last one with the cheating because I don’t think I could handle it, but I’m excited for the others. Thanks!

  10. I recently read When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks. I don’t love a single-minded romance, but when it’s a little bit of the story, it’s great.