10 Romance Books to Pick Up While At Home Social Distancing

What a crazy time we live in. Everyone’s home more working, studying, or chilling on the couch with no makeup and leggings 24/7 (um, guilty). However, there’s only so many Gilmore Girls episodes you can re-watch on Netflix each day. What else to do? Well, considering it’s me, I’ll always suggest reading. Being stuck at home is no excuse not to read, and so Miranda’s Book Nook is back to suggest a new crop of books that I’m obsessed with (and soon you’ll be too).

I love a good romance book; it’s so comforting and enjoyable to know you will definitely get an HEA (happily ever after) by the book’s end. And in these challenging times, isn’t that what we all need?

And the best part? These books are all available now (or in a few days or weeks), which are perfect to pick up right now while you’re WFH or OOO for the time being.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai*

You guys. Seriously. This is hands-down one of the most adorable romance stories I’ve read in awhile. Well, devoured, is more like it because I finished it in a matter of three days. I just couldn’t put it down, it was that intriguing and fun, and um, squeal-worthy. Within 37 pages, I was already hooked and dying to know what happened after Kat’s viral brush with Internet fame. And without Jas and Kat even professing their feelings yet, I was already hardcore shipping them together. OMG, I’m hooked and I love. I’d totally buy an epilogue or sequel starring these two lovebirds. Seriously, Kat has all the zings and so do I reading. Very enjoyable, and I don’t think a smile left my face once while reading.

In Alisha Rai’s second love in her Modern Love series, reclusive investor Katrina (Kat) suddenly goes viral. To hide, her bodyguard Jas (who she’s been pining for for years) whisks her away to his family farm for refuge. Alone with her crush (who also is crushing back), you know things are about to get steamy and romantic. And I loved every bit of it. I swear, I was legit squealing before they even kissed or admitted their feelings or anything. I was hooked from the get-go.

Available: April 21


Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally*

I’ve been reading different books by Miranda Kenneally for years, drawn in by the strong characterizations, friendships, and of course HEA and love stories. So, upon seeing she had a new book coming out this May, I knew I had to read. Her books are my ultimate guilty pleasure YA romance reads. And this book did not disappoint, so much so, that I finished it in two days (even staying up until 2am to do so!).

It’s so juicy yet grounded, I absolutely love it. From the very beginning, I just want to know all the gossip and I couldn’t stop reading; I needed to find out what happened next. The book takes place across Lulu’s four years of high school, based around the class trips at the end of the year, which somehow always brought her and Alex closer and closer. Of course, not all was revealed during the present time line, the book seamlessly wove in flashbacks to fill in the missing gaps of Alex and Lu’s love story. And seriously, I need an epilogue or a sequel like right now. Like, I cannot stop squealing, it’s absolutely adorable and so easy to get sucked into.

A bit of backstory: every May 7, the students at Coffee County High School in Tennessee take a class trip. And every year, Lulu and Alex’s relationship or feelings get more intense as their undeniable connection heats up no matter where they end up.

Available: May 5


The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren*

Take a little Chip & Jo’s Magnolia home-reno magic, a behind-the-scenes crew romance, and a Christina Lauren novel and you are sure to get a winner. And that’s exactly what this new book is, trust me.

By 16 pages in, readers are already hooked: What happened to the home improvement crew that fated night the police are asking about? Christina Lauren takes it back to the beginning of the team’s fame as you realize what happened along the way to end up where things are now. The writing is so captivating, you just want to find out what happens next!

For fans of renovation and interior design shows, this story is for anyone who’s wondered what life is like behind the scenes. After seeing something that could deter their bosses’ sugary-sweet PR image, longtime assistant Carey and newbie hire, nerdy James, tag along on their book tour to keep everything going smoothly for their brand. It’s a quick, engaging read and Carey and James have such a strong enemies-to-lovers spark from to get-go.

Available: Now!


My Best Friend’s Royal Wedding by Romy Summer*

As much as it was predictable and cheesy, I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear by the final scene. This romance book features everything desired for a quick contemporary romantic novel: fast-paced dialogue, intriguing dual perspectives, a fish-out-of-water scenario in a regal environment, an enemies to lovers trope, and of course, a HEA. The book features very detailed language that you feel like you are there, living out your own inner royal fantasies alongside Khara and Phoenix.

In the story, Vegas cocktail waitress Khara heads to a small European country where she’s the maid of honor in her best friend and co-worker’s royal wedding. The snooty, regal best man Adam offers to show Khara the ropes. But after spending time together, she she realizes he’s more than just the playboy she first assumed. And who knows, maybe she’ll find her own fairytale along the way.

Available: Now!


We Met in December by Rosie Curtis*

What an adorable and fun rom-com read! The dual perspectives keep it intriguing as you see what’s going on in both characters’ heads. It’s a super fun, indulgent holiday read. Beyond adorable, that is for sure. 

Twenty-something Jess moves to London to follow her dreams and finds a room in a Notting Hill house-share. One of her new roommates is Alex and while nothing happens between them, there’s a vibe. Within a year, a lot can happen and change before the timing is right where they are both single and ready to give ~this~ a go.

Available: Now!

 


First Comes Love by Camilla Isley*

A very fun, indulging set of romance stories. While they are predictable stories, each short story is told in a fresh way that was so darn cute, I couldn’t put it down. Can’t stop smiling; that was adorable.

In Isley’s box set of three romantic comedies, readers can follow three separate yet interconnected romances across time zones and cities. But while they are all different, each features a fun HEA that is the perfect solution to the many days cooped up inside your house.

Available: Now!

 

 


Headliners by Lucy Parker*

We’ve got enemies to lovers, London as a setting, a Christmas miracle and deadline, and an HEA. All signs to point to a perfect romance read. For a romance with traditional tropes, the story feels original. From beginning to end, it’s enchanting, fun, and so damn cute.

Sparks are a flyin’ when two rival TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show and boost ratings over the competition. Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have the witty banter down to a tee, plus killer chemistry, as they must team up to save the failing morning show and their jobs.

Available: Now!

 


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord*

It’s super cute, full of cheesy goodness — pun intended. Featuring back and forth banter and perspectives, two tech-savvy teens, a dash of baking fun, and teen romance so adorable, it’s not just cute, it’s tweet cute. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one.) Very enjoyable and super easy to get sucked into the story through the very last page.

She’s an overachiever and he’s a class clown. They are polar opposites, but strike up an anonymous online friendship. But what they don’t know, their parents own rival dining establishments and as the social media managers, they find themselves competing in a Twitter war.

Available: Now!


American Royals by Katharine McGee

I love a good book about modern royalty. And this new YA book absolutely delivers. Seriously I couldn’t put down the 437-page novel and finished it in a single day during my winter vacation. It’s that juicy, engaging, and I’m obsessed.

This novel ponders what modern society would be if America adopted a monarchy after the Revolutionary War win. The book follows the three Washington siblings of royals: Princess Beatrice the twenty-something heiress to throne, high school twins Princess Samantha and Prince Jefferson, along with Samantha’s BFF Nina and Daphne both of who are vying for Jefferson’s affections. The kicker? Nina is Sam’s closest friend and not as much of a society match for the prince like blue-blooded Daphne. Oh, and Sam meets the handsome and sweet Teddy butttt he’s more of a match for her big sister. But, Bea only has eyes for one man: her bodyguard Connor. Messy and dramatic? Oh yes, and don’t forget romantic and cute as hell.

And don’t you worry, a sequel, Majesty, is already in the works for this fall. I can’t wait: I need more Bea+Connor swoon-worthy content already.

Available: Now!


Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

In keeping with the regal theme, acclaimed romance writer Jasmine Guillory is back with yet another hit. After we saw Maddie’s own love story play out in The Wedding Party at Alexa’s wedding to Drew (from The Wedding Date!), now it’s her mom’s turn. When Maddie gets the once-in-a-lifetime job offer as a royal stylist in London, she brings her single mom along for the ultimate trip, and a fun holiday romance in the process.

While on the trip, Vivian Forest meets private secretary to the queen Malcolm and they are instantly feeling the sparks. Their adorable banter turns into a holiday romance to a cross-country relationship and it’s cute as all hell, per Guillory’s signature style. Another book I polished off in a day, such a quick and easy ready that’ll have you grinning from ear-to-ear.

Available: Now!


What’s next up on my TBR? I’m very excited to begin Most Likely by Sarah Watson (she created my fave show The Bold Type!) and Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra. Keep your eyes peeled here for the next installment of Miranda’s Book Nook, and in the meantime, keep on reading!

*Advance reader copies of most books listed were provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

16 of the Best Body Positive Moments on Television to Remind Us to Love Ourselves

Most of us, myself included, have grown up and been able to rattle off a laundry list of all of our insecurities since we were young, those so-called “flaws” that signify how we in no way resemble what we see in media. What’s been great about the current body positivity movement is its awareness to different body types in society, in the media, and in the internet sphere. It has been hugely instrumental with body acceptance and facilitating self-love, and I celebrate that. However, the majority of all the classic TV characters has not really reflected that, where we haven’t seen as many characters that resemble us in reality, scars, stretch marks and all.

Believe me, I get it. To be frank, I’ve always struggled with self-esteem, confidence, and accepting what I look like. It’s always been difficult to feel confident when you turn on media programs and no one that looks like you, or is dealing with similar insecurities, is seen as the protagonist, the hero, the successful one, or the romantic lead. However, quite a few shows of the past and present have begun to knock down those beauty ideals of the past and helped to inspire us by showcasing that everyone is different and every difference is beautiful. Here’s a look at some of the most empowering moments to get you through this summer with total confidence and nothing but love and admiration for what you actually look like, cellulite, zits and all.

1. “The Bold Type”

On the third episode of “The Bold Type’s” season two that aired two weeks ago, the Freeform series conquered body positivity, and not just in a way of acknowledging it briefly, but rather they made it the cover story. (Pun intended.) From Tess Holliday’s cameo as a body positive champion and successful model, the girls embracing their “pimples, stretch marks, and moles” in a naked and un-retouched photoshoot, to Jacqueline schooling the board on why it’s such an important message. One of the most inspiring quotes was Jacqueline saying, “Body positivity is about self-love, self-acceptance. And that is healthy” to the media board member that just didn’t get it. All the motivation you need to live your best, confident lives this summer.

2. “American Housewife”

This is the ultimate summer swimsuit inspo we need this summer. Whether you’re scared of rocking a two-piece or that moment you go from covered up to disrobing as you descend into the water, we can all relate to Katie and daughter Anna Kat’s plight of body and swimsuit insecurities. So, follow Katie’s lead, and let go of that coverup and embrace your best swimsuit life this summer and just enjoy the sun, pool, and oceans, judgemental watchers be damned, because you look awesome in your swimsuit and confidence.

3. “Drop Dead Diva”

The premise of the former Lifetime show was what happens when a deceased model awakes in the wrong body— and into one of an accomplished lawyer, who happens to be a plus-size, drab dresser. We see Deb-as-Jane eventually come to terms with her new body and learning that confidence makes the world of difference. And that’s a message we can all get behind.

4. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

One thing “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” gets right is creating a female protagonist who’s relatable, but still owns herself, even though she has struggled with if she’s pretty enough to get the guy and her body type. Hey, Rebecca, we’ve all been there! The CW show is all about empowering females to be strong and confident for yourself, and that is why it’s so great.

5. “Younger”

Maggie is the best friend we truly deserve. While Liza becomes nervous about how she looks and her appearance, her best friend Maggie steps in with some words of wisdom, “With everything that women have to be paranoid about, we don’t need to be making up more stuff. You look amazing.” Morning mantra right here!

6. “Ugly Betty”

Betty taught us not to let insecurities overpower your dreams and your attitude. It’s that age-old lesson of “don’t judge a book by its cover” because your confidence outweighs any external beauty or so-called imperfections. Besides, if Betty can survive (and thrive) at Mode, then you got this.

7. “That’s So Raven”

Growing up, this was arguably one of the most inspiring moments on television I’d seen, let alone from a Disney entity! Seeing Raven Symone openly speak up about unrealistic body standards and how that makes people feel gave all the young girls (myself included) out there that didn’t fit Hollywood’s ideal of a “perfect body” all of the confidence in ourselves to own who were were. And that moment is something every little girl should have moving forward.

8. “First Dates”

On the popular British reality show, “First Dates,” contestant Eve stunned the world with her power and strength as she removed her wig, covering up her alopecia, for the first time. Her strength empowered viewers as she unapologetically embraced her baldness and went on enjoying the on-camera date and creating a romantic connection, sans-wig. We should all have this level of internal strength to embrace every so-called flaw.

9. “Suite Life of Zach and Cody”

Another time Disney addressed body insecurities, they discussed eating disorders when neither girl really had any issues to begin with, other than letting some outsider into their heads and disrupting their confidence. That was an important lesson as well, don’t let the haters get to you, because you are beautiful (and definitely model-worthy) as you are.

10. “Broad City”

One of the things that Comedy Central series does best is showcasing these girls living their best selves, confident in who they are and owning it. Ilana is unapologetically herself, with plenty of confidence in everything she does. Then, there’s Abbi who’s not as self-assure but who’s worked hard to find her true happiness in her whole life and can own it as well. Something to aspire to.

11. “Gilmore Girls”

While Melissa McCarthy’s Sookie on “Gilmore Girls” was primarily meant as a humorous character, during her first date with Jackson in season one, we see her as vulnerable, worrying if her date will turn out well and if he’ll like her and the way she looks. Best friend Lorelai reassures her pal, and as the evening, and future seasons, later unfold, it’s clear she had little to worry about, because Jackson liked her when she wasn’t trying too hard and was just herself.

12. “The Mindy Project”

If Mindy Lahiri has taught us anything, it’s confidence, confidence, confidence. May we all have Mindy’s level of confidence in every aspect of her (and our) lives, from her bright wardrobe and outspoken personality, she’s truly an inspiring TV role model we could all learn a lesson from.

13. “Empire”

Gabourey Sidibe’s sex scene on “Empire” was one of the first times a plus-size woman of color is seen in a sex scene, proving that it’s not just for skinny, model-pretty people.

14. “Project Runway”

During season 14 of “Project Runway,” Heidi Klum and the panel of judges chose Ashley Nell Tipton as the season’s grand winner. Tipton was notably the first plus-size designer who won the grand prize, and choosing to design for real women and their different body types, as showcased in her final runway show. As the competition series has continued, the rules have evolved where the pool of models regularly reflects a variety of body types. A step in the right direction for the fashion industry.

15. “Glee”

After Mercedes faints from extreme dieting, Quinn is there to support her Glee Club pal and lets her know that she is already beautiful the way she is, no change needed. Quinn tells her how she’s lucky to “always feel at home in her body” because throughout the show Mercedes had plenty of goal-worthy confidence. Even the most confident of us have those days where it seems like we’re not enough, but it’s important to remember that even when we don’t think so, we are, always.

16. “How to Get Away With Murder”

Even without saying much, this scene from “How to Get Away With Murder” still says a lot in an empowering take of Annalise Keating taking off her wig and all her makeup. It’s an inspiring message that you can still be strong, powerful, and beautiful even without your hair done and makeup carefully applied.

Plenty of strong female role models to look up to that proves you are beautiful as you are and it’s high time to embrace who you are, flaws and haters be damned. Because they can’t mess with confidence. ✨