12 Books with ‘Romance’ for Romance Haters

You want a love story outside of the mushy-gushy, trope-filled genre

Kaitlyn Varin
7 min readFeb 1, 2022


Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

I don’t use the word hate lightly, but I’ll admit I don’t love romance novels for a few reasons. They’re usually cliché, littered with tropes, and highly predictable. It’s hard (though not impossible) to find a romance that isn’t light-hearted, emotionally charged, and all ‘happily ever after.’ Romance novels leave me waiting for my best friend to proclaim their love, my enemy to come around to how attractive I am, or a golden boy to move in next door. My binoculars are ready. And you thought I had them for watching birds.

If it’s extreme actions that’ll get me a love story, I’m willing to take them. Jokes aside, the month of February makes me want to read love stories, but still, I’m not too fond of the clichés, lack of substance, and predictability I’ve found in most romances.

These selections are for someone who wants to read about romantic love or become invested in a good love story but doesn’t necessarily like the romance genre. That someone is me, and I guess because you’re here, it’s you too.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

I realize that this could be the most hyped book on the internet, but it’s for a reason. If anyone knows anything about love, it’s Reid’s character Evelyn Hugo, who married seven different men and found the love of her life.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Reclusive movie icon Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell her story and chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to get the job done. Summoned to her apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn tells the story of her scandalous life in seven marriages. Who was her greatest love? Why did she choose to give her tell-all to Monique?

Tags: #LGBTQ #HollywoodGlamour #StandAlone

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simpson

Though The Rosie Project is a romance, it’s so much more and stands out because the protagonist is a man, so is the author, and the love interest is far from perfect. This is book one of the Don Tillman series.



Kaitlyn Varin

Kaitlyn Varin is an avid reader, who is passionate about health and wellness, personal improvement, and writing. RYT 200.