The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
In the last few years, romance novels have acquired an emerging younger audience. According to The Romance Writer of America, over half of romance readers are aged 34 or younger. This younger audience represents more diversity in gender, sexual identity, and ethnicity. Because of this new readership, the romance genre has greatly increased diversity in its stories and authors - these are not your grandmother’s flowery romance novels! In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a list of romance novels with a feminist approach to love.
Set in England, 1879, Annabelle Archer has earned a place in the first cohort of female students to attend the University of Oxford. Annabelle is on scholarship, and in return must join the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her first assignment is to bring Sebastian Devereux, the Duke of Montgomery, to join their cause. Sebastian is cold and calculating, but finds himself falling for Annabelle, despite their social differences. Will Annabelle succeed in convincing the Duke to join the suffragist movement? This is the first is a series of feminist romances from Evie Dunmore. Also check out book number 2 in the League of Extraordinary Women series, A Rogue of One’s Own.
In this contemporary royal romance, New York socialite Portia Hobbs’ life is upended by an opportunity to across the Atlantic. Her unique skill set lands her an apprenticeship with a struggling sword-maker in Scotland, silver fox Tavish McKenzie. After Portia accidentally discovers Tavish is the son of a duke, she takes matters into her own hands. Can Tavish survive the spotlight? Can Portia balance it all while juggling her feelings for Tav? Check out all of Alyssa Cole’s novels for fun, female-driven plotlines.
Darcy Lowell and Elle Jones are set up on a blind date by Darcy’s brother. After a disastrous first date, Darcy fibs that the date went great to get her brother to stop with the set-ups. When Elle hears that Darcy thought they had a connection, she is baffled. Were they on the same date? Darcy begs Elle to play along, which Elle agrees to with a few conditions. Most importantly, Elle needs Darcy to help manage the many expectations of the holidays with her family. Can these opposites find love while navigating a fake relationship? Keep an eye out for Alexandria Bellefleur’s follow-up, Hang the Moon, expected this summer.
Frederica “Free” Marshall spends all her time and energy on her newspaper, which firmly supports women’s rights. While her many enemies are set on destroying her business and reputation, Free develops a plan to give herself more time to seek success. Edward Clark’s complicated history sets him up in a plot to seek revenge on Free and her newspaper. With nothing to lose, Edward lies and manipulates Free…while she’s doing the same to him. Find out who’s revenge is finalized first!
Lucy Muchelney is looking for an escape after her ex-lover’s false wedding. When she receives a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to help translate a French astronomy text, she heads to London. The Countess of Moth, Catherine St. Day, is looking to complete her late husband’s scientific legacy. Catherine is surprised to find Lucy at her doorstep, ready to assist with the project. While they work during the day to upend the gender discrimination with the scientific field, Catherine and Lucy slowly begin to fall in love. Can their love survive upending the patriarchy?
Enjoy this variety of contemporary and historical feminist romances!