I am so excited to be bringing you all some of my recommendations for #SpringIntoLoveBingo. I was bad though and repeated myself throughout because some of these I had a super hard time remembering even though I know I’ve read plenty of books that fill the prompt! So as always, please feel free to ask for additional recommendations, whether that be here, on Twitter, Instagram, or in Discord. I am happy to help find a book that will fulfill a prompt and that you’ll hopefully love!
- Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha
- Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope
- Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep
- Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh – I am stretching this, but there is a cast of characters list, which is almost the same as a family tree. Sort of.
- The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan and Lover Awakened by J. R. Ward both have glossaries!
- The Immortals After Dark series has something very similar to a glossary at the front of each book with explanations of The Lore, so I would count those too!
- Scandalous Secrets by Synithia Williams (ARC Review)
- Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade (ARC Review)
- A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
- Steadfast by Sarina Bowen (CWs for addiction, grief, and maybe others)
- Love on My Mind by Tracey Livesay
- Hard Chrome by Vanessa North (CW for grief)
Although you can use this prompt for a literal spring cleaning or any book in which cleaning plays a part, so I would have two recommendations for you of that interpretation. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall, which I wholeheartedly recommend (ARC Review), and Love at First by Kate Clayborn, which I loved despite the slow start (ARC Review). I, however, intend to interpret this as tackling one of the many books on my physical owned TBR that I’m working hard to shrink.
Set in Continental Europe
- The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
- Alpha Night by Nalini Singh
- The Hitman by Katrina Jackson
- The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
- The Professional by Kresley Cole
- The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
Makes You Laugh
So, honestly, this square is so personal. I can tell you about the books that made me laugh, but… You know. Humor is subjective! Also, I am incredibly easily amused.
- Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (The turkey scene!!! I die.)
- The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (The funerals!!!)
- Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
- Beach Read by Emily Henry (There are content warnings!! This is not as light as the cover suggests.)
- Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
- You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
- One Good Earl Deserves Another by Sarah MacLean
- Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes
- Go Deep by Rilzy Adams
- Heartland by Sarina Bowen
- Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn
Out of Comfort Zone
I can’t really provide direction here since I don’t know what is in your comfort zone. But if you need some recommendations, let me know what you are not comfortable with and I’ll see if I can help!
Here is a small selection of books I’ve read recently that are Black Love (reminder, this means books where both leads and the author are Black) and that I would very much recommend:
- Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins – ARC review
- Maybe Next Time by Christina C. Jones – marriage in trouble, CW for miscarriage
- Deeper by Rilzy Adams – an extremely short basically extended epilogue of Go Deep that was glorious
- Ate by Rilzy Adams – a short, extremely hot novella between a private chef and his client for the evening.
- Just One More by Jodie Slaughter – okay, technically this is a Valentine’s Day set book, but it’s sexy af and I don’t think you need to read it on V-Day!
- Adjacent and Displacement by Alexandra Warren – I’m honestly a little obsessed with Alexandra Warren’s Building 402 series.
And for a very small list of some people I think you might want to follow for more recommendations:
- Shades and Pages || Twitter || Instagram
- Brazen Babes Reviews || Twitter
- Ashley || Bookish Realm || YouTube || Twitter (Ashley reads a whole bunch of different genres and age ranges, but she usually reads at least a few Black romance books a month.)
- Danie Reads || Twitter
- Amanda || Talk About Swoon || Instagram
MC has Unusual Scent
I really wish I had more recommendations for you, but honestly, it is so rare that I remember to pay attention to scent markers, so instead, I bring you these four.
- Candy Hearts by Erin McLellan
Benji smelled like candy and ginger beer, and it was such a happy scent, so alive and sweet and dirty that William couldn’t hold in a rumbly growl.Candy Hearts by Erin McLellan
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
- Reckless Road by Christine Feehan (I don’t necessarily recommend this book, but if you like problematic books sometimes, this could work for you. I cannot explain my troubling obsession with this motorcycle club series.)
- Best Laid Plans by Roan Parrish (would also work for mental health representation for intrusive thoughts and flowers because Rye and Charlie give one another flowers and it’s adorable)
Honestly, figuring out what people’s second book is was a challenge, which is why all of my recommendations are so recent. But I fully support you tackling this challenge in whatever way you see fit!
- The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (CW: grief)
- Fumbled by Alexa Martin (secret baby)
- Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler
- Dance with Me by Alexis Daria (CW injury and maybe toxic parental relationships? I’m not positive)
- Hate Crush by Angelina M. Lopez (CWs abound but I can’t remember the specifics. Just make sure you check!)
- The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
Each of the following prompts from the third row aren’t really ones I can provide recommendations for because they are very dependent upon your own taste. Those prompts are Clinch Cover, Social Media Recommendation, HEA, and Favorite Trope. I am, however, going to give you a list of some of my favorite romances with Terms of Endearment because that sounds like an excellent time.
Terms of Endearment
- Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas (would also work for flowers)
- Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins — He calls her Little Queen. I die. (would also work for Black Love)
- Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (honestly, just that scene where Hawke calls her baby!!!!!)
- Dance with Me by Alexis Daria (would also work for Competition or Reality TV as you’re about to see)
- Candy Hearts by Erin McLellan (which, as you saw, works for MC with a unique scent)
- Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Competition or Reality TV
- Take the Lead and Dance with Me by Alexis Daria are inspired by Dancing with the Stars, plus Stone is on a reality show with him family set in Alaska and he hates it.
- Desire and the Deep Blue Sea by Olivia Dade is about couples choosing which resort is the best one in the Caribbean. The show sounds like a dream, tbh, and I would like to volunteer as tribute.
- Sugar, Butter, Flour, Love by Nicole Falls is about a cooking competition show.
- I Think I Might Need You by Christina C. Jones is a twist on this, in that the characters are pitching their ideas for a reality tv show.
- A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon also isn’t necessarily a conventional example since so little of the book actually involves the show, but Evie begins the book as a chef on TV.
- The Playbook series by Alexa Martin, specifically the later few books, has characters who are on a reality show and there are lots of mentions of filming and the drama. This is especially prominent in Blitzed, but you could also use Fumbled or Snapped.
- One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London is about a Bachelor style show.
- Royally Matched by Emma Chase is similarly a Bachelor style show, but with royalty.
- Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey has a home improvement competition show.
- Red and White is a novella in Sierra Simone’s Once Upon a Dream that is an mff romance and Liam is very growl-y. He literally growls multiple times in chapter one.
- Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews
- Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
- Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
- Scoring Off the Field by Naima Simone (oh look, yet another reason to shout about this book!!!)
- Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
There are a few ways to interpret this prompt. Flowers on the cover, flower mentions inside the book, and characters named after flowers. Below I’ve compiled a few different types.
- Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh has flowers inside the book (Sailor is a landscape designer).
- Me + Somebody’s Son by Christina C. Jones (August manages Posh Petals and does science stuff with flowers)
- Your Dad Will Do by Katee Robert has a main character named Lily, aka a type of flower.
- Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas has a main character named Daisy.
- After the Wedding by Courtney Milan has flowers on the cover.
- Like Lovers Do by Tracey Livesay has flowers on the cover.
Spring Break: Vacation
- Scandal in the VIP Suite by Nadine Gonzalez is set in Miami, so it could also work for Big City Romance, but I think the idea of taking a vacation to sort of rest and restore oneself is the idea of Spring Break vacations so this romance seemed like a good fit for this square.
- 40-Love by Olivia Dade (Tess is on vacation and falls for a younger man)
- Turning Up the Heat by Laura Florand (Marriage in trouble)
- Love Scammed by Rilzy Adams (Friends set up Monae and Hudson via trickery, but it gets them to an island so…)
- Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh (Thea takes a vacation in this one; technically, Dave and the band are meant to be on vacation at the beginning of this one)
- Truth or Dare by Danielle Allen (I mean, the friend group is on vacation for a wedding, but like… it counts!)
I do not have enough Queer Historical recommendations, in part because I don’t read a ton of historical to begin with, so while I give you these four that I have read and can affirmatively recommend, I have more listed in my TBR that I want to try and would absolutely welcome your recommendations.
- The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (FF)
- Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian (MM)
- The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles (MM)
- That Could Be Enough by Alyssa Cole (FF)
- The Pursuit of… by Courtney Milan (MM) (Thank you Ruth for the reminder! I can’t believe I forgot about this one!!)
Big City Romance
- Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn is such a love letter to NYC, in my opinion. I think it’s a gorgeous novel and I love it so much. Here is my ARC review if you would like more information. And similarly, Love at First is a similar love letter to Chicago. Here’s my ARC review of it!
- Although all of Cara Bastone’s Forever Yours novels take place in Brooklyn, I think Flirting for Forever feels the most NYC to me. Here is my ARC review if you would like more information.
- Just One More by Jodie Slaughter is technically a Valentine’s Day set novella, but why let that stop you? It’s very NYC. Should I branch out to other cities for you? Probably.
- But first, A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole also feels very NYC even though Naledi and Thabiso do eventually go to Thesolo.
- Get It Right by Skye Kilean is set in Austin, Texas and has a pretty decent sense of place.
- So many of Jackie Lau’s books are set in Toronto! Mr. Hotshot CEO had me desperately wanting to pack up my things for a trip there!
PNR/SFF Romance by AOC
- Nalini Singh. Either series, Guild Hunters or Psy-Changeling would obviously work.
- Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope (Fantasy series)
- Erstwhile by H. E. Trent (Sci-Fi/Alien polyamory series)
- The Viking Queen’s Men by Holley Trent (Real world fantasy series)
- Barista and the Bear by Rebel Carter (Shifter series set in Alaska, novellas)
- Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert (Real world werewolf/hunter novella, sounds like Talia is making it a series!!)
You can interpret this prompt a few different ways, but I would obviously encourage you to interpret it in the Taylor Swift album way. And for that, you may know, I already have recommendations! Here is the folklore + romance novel recommendations part one and here is part two. In the time since I wrote those posts, I have re-read Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series and have determined that the first two, Hate to Want You and Wrong to Need You give me “exile” vibes, so I would add those in.
If you’re going for the folklore interpretation of a book that has folklore within or is inspired by folklore:
- The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (Beauty and the Beast vibes + Batman)
- Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Beauty and the Beast vibes)
- An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn (Cinderella vibes, but I’m not a fan)
Mental Health Rep
- Hate to Want You and Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai both have such excellent depictions of mental health struggles, specifically with anxiety (panic attacks) and depression. Plus, I think Girl Gone Viral has great anxiety representation too.
- Ever After Always by Chloe Liese has really great anxiety representation in the hero and talked about things you don’t often see discussed regarding side effects of medication.
- Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn similarly has really great anxiety representation, panic attacks included, in the hero.
- Untouchable by Talia Hibbert has Hannah, who suffers from depression, and there are general themes of anxiety, plus a conversation about suicide in Chapter Ten. Talia, as always, is a gem with content warnings so if you need anything further to take care of yourself, she’s got you covered. Many of Talia’s books have mental health representation, including Take a Hint, Dani Brown and Undone by the Ex Con.
- Trade Me by Courtney Milan has Blake, who is dealing with an eating disorder.
- Better than People by Roan Parrish has Simon, who has tremendous social anxiety. Parrish also has a tendency to write mental health representation into her books and I know Melinda especially recommends Invitation to the Blues, which is on my TBR.
- The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon is not only one of my favorite books of the year, but it also has a lot of mentions of Dominic’s forearms. It’s delightful. (My ARC review can be found here.)
- A Duke Worth Falling For by Sarah MacLean from Naughty Brits
- Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
- The Hitman by Katrina Jackson
- White Whiskey Bargain by Jodie Slaughter
- Ever After Always by Chloe Liese (ARC Review)
I hope this list helps you at least a little bit! As I mentioned, I’m happy to help you come up with something if you don’t like any of the options you’re finding so feel free to ask. And definitely share any books that fit the prompts that you think I or other people need to read!