Find Your Next Romantic Read

Romances are books that feature a relationship between two main characters that have a “happily ever after” ending. They can be a great optimistic escape! There are many sub-genres too, if there is a particular setting or mood you like, such as historical, contemporary, paranormal, or inspirational. Here are some tips to help you find your next read as well as a convenient clickable list of contemporary romance authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books or audiobooks. For more romantic reads browse our If You Like Historical Romance reading recommendations.

1. Read an award winner.

  • The Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Award and the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) Rona Award both recognize excellence in romance writing.
  • The Swoon Awards, or “Swoonies” is a reader-based award celebrating the romance community’s favorite romance novels.
  • The Emma Awards are the premier award for diversity in romantic literature.
  • The Lambda Literary Awards, or “Lammys,” celebrate LGBTQ storytelling with category awards for RomanceGay Romance and Lesbian Romance.
  • For audiobook listeners try out the Audie Award winners in the Romance category.

2.  Borrow e-books or downloadable audiobooks.

Use romance lists from OverDrive to find e-books and downloadable audiobooks. If you have never borrowed from OverDrive before, both OverDrive app directions and OverDrive browser directions are available as well as an OverDrive video tutorial and Overdrive Support.

Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

3. Get reading recommendations from IndyPL staff.

Click on a featured booklist to get romance reading recommendations, or see all our staff romance lists. For even more ideas tailored to your particular romance taste, one of our staff romance readers suggests trying this book finder. Results are also linked to graded reviews, making it easier to find a book that suits your needs.

IndyPL Staff Picks 2023- Best of Romance

Looking to add a touch more romance to your 2023? Check out these swoony recommendations from IndyPL Staff Members, featuring a queer farm commune, drunken emails, and sweet kindergarten teachers.

Title - Happy PlaceTitle - RosewaterTitle - That Time I Got Drunk and Saved A HumanTitle - Emma of 83rd StreetTitle - Tastes Like ShakkarTitle - InfamousTitle - Wild ThingsTitle - Assistant to the Villain

4. Make a selection from these contemporary romance authors.

5. Use your IndyPL Library card to login to Novelist Plus.

Get read-alikes and other “what to read next” suggestions from ovelist Plus. If you like contemporary romance, you’ll find romance reading recommendations, read-alikes, series lists, reviews, and lists of award-winning romance books. Once you login with your IndyPL library card, choose the “Romance” category from the list on the left. When you click on a book you can read a brief description, see a star rating, and click “Check Availability” to see if your selection is available to borrow from IndyPL.

6. Subscribe to the romance newsletter from NextReads.

Subscribe to NextReads to receive romance reading recommendation in your inbox monthly. Book suggestions are linked to our catalog for easy requesting. It’s FREE! See a See a sample issue and Subscribe to NextReads!

Find a book discussion near you!

You are invited to join in one of our many in-person or online book discussions that take place several times each month. In our book discussion groups we read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books. We express our opinions (both likes and dislikes!) with other avid readers in the city.

  • Event: Adult Book Discussion at Beech Grove
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: Join us as the group discusses the book “Roman Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Adults are invited to this monthly book discussion.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Zine Salon
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 23, 6:00pm
  • Location: East 38th Street Branch
  • Description: Join us for this special-interest book club focused on zines.  Select from our collection, or bring your favorites.  We’ll spend the first hour reading, and then share and discuss what we’ve read.
  • Register Here

Here some tips to help you find your next historical romantic read as well as a convenient clickable list of historical romance authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books or audiobooks. Also, browse our If You Like Contemporary Romance reading recommendations.

1. Read an award winner.

There are a variety of awards given each year for the best in romance writing. Browse the winners from peoples’ choice to the best romance audiobook.

  • The Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Award and the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) Rona Award both recognize excellence in romance writing.
  • The Swoon Awards, or “Swoonies” is a reader-based award celebrating the romance community’s favorite romance novels of the year.
  • The Emma Awards are the premier award for diversity in romantic literature recognizing excellence in works featuring diverse and multicultural protagonists.
  • The Lambda Literary Awards, or “Lammys,” celebrate LGBTQ storytelling with category awards for RomanceGay Romance and Lesbian Romance.
  • For audiobook listeners try out the Audie Award winners in the Romance category. 

2. Borrow e-books, downloadable audiobooks, or movies.

Use romance lists from OverDrive and Kanopy to find e-books, audiobooks & streaming movies. Here are some short cut links to easily borrow online with your IndyPL library card. If you have never borrowed from OverDrive before, both OverDrive app directions and OverDrive browser directions are available as well as an OverDrive video tutorial and Overdrive Support. If you have never borrowed from Kanopy before, try these Kanopy directions.

3. Get reading recommendations from IndyPL staff.

Click on a featured booklist to get historical romance reading recommendations. See also If You Like Contemporary Romance

4. Make a selection from these historical romance authors.

5. Use your IndyPL Library card to login to Novelist Plus.

Use your IndyPL Library card to login to Novelist Plus. On Novelist Plus you’ll find historical romance reading recommendations, read-alikes, series lists, reviews, and lists of award-winning historical romance books. Once you login with your IndyPL library card, choose the “Romance” category from the list on the left which includes choices like “Regency Rogues,” “Victorian Days,” “Men in Kilts,” and more. Click on a book to read a brief description, see a star rating, or choose “Check Availability” to see if the book is available to borrow from IndyPL.

6. Subscribe to the romance newsletter from NextReads.

Subscribe to NextReads to receive romance reading recommendation in your inbox monthly. Book suggestions are linked to our catalog for easy requesting. It’s FREE! See a sample issue. Subscribe to NextReads!

7. Find a book discussion near you!

You are invited to join in one of our many in-person or online book discussions that take place several times each month. In our book discussion groups we read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books. We express our opinions (both likes and dislikes!) with other avid readers in the city.

  • Event: Adult Book Discussion at Beech Grove
  • Date & Time: Monday, April 22, 6:30pm
  • Location: Beech Grove Branch
  • Description: Join us as the group discusses the book “Roman Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Adults are invited to this monthly book discussion.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Zine Salon
  • Date & Time: Tuesday, April 23, 6:00pm
  • Location: East 38th Street Branch
  • Description: Join us for this special-interest book club focused on zines.  Select from our collection, or bring your favorites.  We’ll spend the first hour reading, and then share and discuss what we’ve read.
  • Register Here

Need more help?

Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.