It is finally time to do my evermore and romance novels post! I am both excited about it and yet still feel completely unprepared. This latest album was obviously such a surprise and also the storytelling narrative style Taylor embrace in folklore really shines here, which made it difficult to match up song and book for me. But we’re here and I’m going to give it my best shot. I’ve certainly done my best to read the books that would best help me give you recommendations!
“willow” + The Sweetest Fix by Tessa Bailey
I’m really torn on what book I think fits “willow” the best so I’m going to list a few here. The thing about “willow” is that it really feels to me like a song about having a pretty immediate connection with someone and having your plans completely thrown off. I just finished The Sweetest Fix by Tessa Bailey last night and, honestly, she just wrote the hell out of a connection at first sight romance, which is not a trope that usually works for me. And yet, something about the way Reese was so convinced she had no choice but to beg Leo for a chance to get in front of his dad and then completely failing to ask him about it at all because of how immediately connected he was to her just swept me up entirely. The two of them have such an intense connection right off the back and it’s inexplicable, but I completely bought it. Another book I think really fit this vibe well are A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie, where Ezra and Angie meet and fall for one another over the course of 24 hours and it’s once again, so incredibly well done. I also think you could apply this song to so many Kennedy Ryan books, from Long Shot (CW for on page scenes of domestic violence) to The Kingmaker and The Rebel King. Kennedy is so good at depicting that first flush of instant attraction that is more than just lust.
“champagne problems” + One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie
“champagne problems” was one of the songs that gave me the biggest trouble because this isn’t exactly one that I can take the story of the song and find a romance novel that directly relates (but if you can, please tell me!). What I did think about when I was scrolling through my list of second chance romances was that the vibes, the melancholy of this song seem to fit quite well with Therese Beharrie’s One Last Chance. Beharrie is really brilliant at writing emotions and there’s something about the way this book shows how deeply, how truly Sawyer loves Zoey and how Zoey just wasn’t ready for it that made me think that this song would actually be perfect on a soundtrack for this book. I read the book as an ARC, so if you would like more information, my ARC review is here.
“gold rush” + The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
This is such an interesting song to me, both musically and lyrically. I think it’s so interesting how this song is almost like “I don’t like that everyone wants you the way that I do” and has this almost nervous quality, but at the same time sounds kind of happy? I still don’t know what to make of it, in other words, even though we’ve had this album now for over a month. Nonetheless, I have settled on a couple of books for you. First we have The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez because the reluctance to dive head first into a romance with a rockstar, though Sloan does have some other reasons for that reluctance. I liked this book, mostly, and I think the idea of falling faster than you’re quite ready for is definitely something in this book. Another book I think captures that reluctance for the life that goes along with loving someone that the whole world wants is Nalini Singh’s Rock Addiction, where Molly, again, has a lot of reasons to want to steer very far from the spotlight, but she can’t quite help the way she fell so fast for Fox.
“’tis the damn season” + Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert
This is the song on this album I most wish I had an exact match up of everything about it because I would love a book that fits these lyrics nearly perfectly. It’s funny because I think there are a lot of books that have little tiny elements of it, but I just can’t quite find one that fits every part of it. Like Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert has a mutual pining for the holidays with an actor lead and there’s something about the melancholic tone of both that makes it a tonal match. But they don’t have this sexual relationship until after they’ve worked things out. There are other books I’ve read where a person from one’s childhood shows up and then there’s this whole thing and I do love that too. You’ve got A Big Surprise for Valentine’s Day by Jackie Lau, Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn, or Clean Breaks by Ruby Lang for a few examples. Each of these books are good, but still aren’t exactly the same because for the most part, they aren’t a return to somewhere when it happens. Then you have sleeping with someone you have known for a long time and then catching feelings, but without all of the drama of there being a leaving, which feels important, like Heartland by Sarina Bowen. So, in other words, I have a lot of books that can capture part of this song, but no books that capture all of it and so I would like to be flooded with books inspired by this come next December, please.
“tolerate it” + Ever After Always by Chloe Liese
I actually have two books that I think fit this song really well. First of all, I love this song so much. It’s so perfectly sad and devastating. But anyway, in Ever After Always Aiden gets too caught up in his anxiety and is spiraling, but forgets to include Freya in what’s going on with him. So Freya kicks him out. They wind up working on their marriage and it’s a really beautiful story that I absolutely loved, but yeah, the “tolerate it” vibes are strong in this one. Second, A Midnight Feast by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner is a gorgeous novella where Mitch is really the person in the marriage to Margie who feels like he is being tolerated. But they both do things that the other doesn’t verbally acknowledge and it’s just such a great book that really hammers home the importance of communication.
“no body, no crime” + Jane Doe by Victoria Stone
Okay, so even though I haven’t read the book Jane Doe by Victoria Stone and even though it’s not a romance novel, I feel like it is such an obvious choice for this song to book comparison. Jane Doe follows a woman who goes after the man (men?) who led to the death of her best friend, which really just seems like such a solid best friend to me. Romance novel wise, the most apt comparison I could think of is Kerrigan Byrne’s Devil You Know series, though I would strongly discourage you from picking up book two, which coincidentally is also the only book I’ve read in the series. However, the thing that bonds these three friends together is the fact that they murdered the man who tried to (succeeded in?) raping one of the women. Speaking of, major CW for rape in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, where the incident itself apparently happens on page. But, murder as a bonding method is something.
“happiness” + A Marriage Worth Saving by Therese Beharrie
This song is interesting because it’s difficult to interpret it as something aside from a song about a woman singing about her divorce. There are, thankfully, romances with divorced leads, but weirdly, the book that I actually felt really worked for this was A Marriage Worth Saving by Therese Beharrie because after a whirlwind romance, Mila and Jordan married, and nearly as soon afterward, divorced. The main reason I feel like this book works is because Mila really has changed and isn’t as willing to hide who she is when Jordan comes back into her life. There are some content warnings that you should be aware of, like parental death and death of an infant.
“dorthea” + Fumbled by Alexa Martin
I really struggled with this song too! Can you tell why I’ve put this post off for so long? I thought about Dear Enemy by Kristen Callihan because it captures the vibe of wanting to be known for who you are and has a childhood person returning later, but the tone comparison is super off. Dear Enemy is, as the title suggests, very much an enemies to lovers romance. I thought about Love Hard because I think that’s a similar concept, but also didn’t think it worked well enough because Jules and Jake didn’t have anything between them when they were younger but a sort of antagonistic friendship. What I’m going with is a similar disonnant match tonally, but is the most satisfactory match up I can think of. That book is Fumbled by Alexa Martin. I think Fumbled has a lot of the second chance vibes that would be necessary if you carried “dorthea” through to the HEA necessary for the whole idea of this post to work. Poppy and TK dated in high school and made a baby. Long story short, TK doesn’t know he’s a dad and when he and Poppy run into one another again, it’s on. I think “dorthea” is a little bit the way Poppy felt or must have felt living in the same city TK played in. And, at any rate, it’s the closest I can come to a perfect match! Please let me know if you have a better one!!
“coney island” + Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey is a marriage in trouble romance between Rosie and Dom. By the time we’re introduced to Rosie, her marriage is over, at least in her mind. But when she gets home and finds that Dom thinks they’ll just have sex like normal because it’s a Tuesday or whatever, she surprises him by telling him she’s leaving. Their fight to get their marriage back on track is incredible and what Rosie’s really been feeling is like Dom is just gone. Specifically, the reason I feel like this works for “coney island” is because I feel like both the song and Love Her or Lose Her are about a couple, or at least a member of the couple, is still very aware that they love the other person but that they lost something. I do also think though that “tolerate it” would work for this book!
As you can probably tell, I really struggled with so many song to book comparisons for this album! I would love to know your thoughts and what books you think would really work for this. I also figured I should take this time to link Gabby’s video pairing evermore songs to books in general, Elise’s video pairing evermore songs to sapphic books, Gabriela’s video, and Ameena’s video! Just in case you wanted more content like this. I’ll be looking for any other blog posts like this to recommend in the evermore + Romance Recommendations Part Two post so let me know if you wrote or read one!