Here in New England, the weather is cooling. I have just started to pack away my sandals, beach blankets, and aloe vera (since the likelihood of me getting sunburnt is lessening each day — maybe). While I have tried my best to be present in every season — whether that’s metaphorical or weather related — I still emit this humongous sigh of relief every time autumn finally deigns to arrive. It is finally time for all the comfy, lovely things: apple picking, pumpkin carving, and Halloween movie nights. But most importantly, it’s time for me to start surrounding myself with cozy romance books!
To me personally, it has become quite clear over the last couple of years that the word “cozy” often involves all sorts of food related activities. And when it comes to reading, that means I absolutely adore reading cozy romance books about characters who love steaming mugs of chai, mouthwatering tacos, succulent cupcakes, and all sorts of other sweet treats just as much as I do.
That’s why I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of some of the coziest, loveliest romance novels perfect for the season. From classic literature retold with a Mexican twist, to neighbors bonding over tea, here are eight cozy romance books to curl up with this fall.
Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson
While many cozy, fall reads include plots centered on spooky Halloween themes or pumpkin picking, I think it’s important to not overlook another celebration that happens every fall: Día de los Muertos. It is during the Day of the Dead festivities that successful businessman Ramón and accomplished chef Julieta meet for the first time. There’s serenading under the stars! Steamy chemistry! Spicy tacos! Characters who want the best for their communities (and each other)! And the little fact that Ramón and Julieta’s families are pitted against each other. Join the two lovers as they navigate the churning waters of love in this retelling of Romeo and Juliet in San Diego, California.
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert
Cider is all Sanna knows, and quite frankly, all she’s prepared to care about. For as long as she can remember, the apple orchard and cidery have been a huge part of her family’s life. And she wants to keep it that way. Then Isaac and his son enter the scene. Suddenly Sanna is forced to rely on other people, and Isaac may have to learn how to let someone else in. At the end of the day, perhaps cider is not the only sweet thing in their futures.
Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley
There’s something so charming about a professional athlete who also loves baking. If you agree, then it’s time to pick up Jamie Wesley’s Fake It Till You Bake It! Donovan recently opened a cupcake shop with friends, but sales are unsteady. Unlike when he’s on the football field, he’s not sure what to do. Enter Jada. Jada has no idea what to do with her life following a television scandal. When she begins working in Donovan’s shop — after a rather embarrassing first encounter — she never expects to draw so many customers after she slips up and falsely tells the press that she and Donovan are an item. Somewhere between spilling flour and burning desserts, the two start to believe that perhaps there’s a recipe for happiness and they have the perfect ingredients between the two of them.
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
Although Katrina is a silent partner in a world famous dating app, she avoids fame more than anything else. When a misunderstanding turns into a viral moment, she freaks out. So what’s a girl to do but escape to the country with her hella attractive bodyguard? The crisp fall air, snug sweaters and flannels, and enough sexual tension to set a barn on fire proves just the thing. But as they begin to fall — pun intended — for each other, are Katrina and Jas prepared for reality outside of their cozy cocoon?
Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
If the best night in means snuggling down under a fluffy blanket and pressing play on an episode of The Great British Bake Off, then I have the perfect cozy read for you. In Anita Kelly’s Love and Other Disasters, Dahlia is a nervous wreck. Competing and starring in Chef’s Special, a sensational cooking show, is a dream come true. But she’s had a tough year, especially after a divorce. It just happens that London, another contestant, is also having a tough year. London meets backlash from friends and foes after sharing they’re nonbinary. The one thing that does not seem so tough is the way Dahlia and London feel for each other.
Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words by Annika Sharma
When Kiran first moved to New York City, she made a list of all the things she wanted to accomplish. Years later, she’s a successful biomedical engineer, yet many of the items remain unchecked, including the most important: falling in love. Then she meets Ned. Over a cup of chai — after Kiran discovers Ned locked out of their apartment building — the two feel a spark. He’s sweet and always up for an adventure. She’s haunted, however. How can she fall in love when that’s the very thing that tore her family apart back in India? Perhaps the answer will become clear over a couple more cups of chai…
Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky
If you could not get enough of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, you’ll love Timothy’ Janovsky’s queer romance Never Been Kissed. Wren is 22 years old. He’s a passionate romantic. But he’s never ever kissed anyone. So he could not be more embarrassed when he sends emails to all his previous crushes one night, confessing his feelings, and then is faced with one of the recipients at his summer job. Could a rash moment of honesty steer Wren towards something special? Buckle up for a hazy summer of drive-in movies and true love.
A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay
No list of cozy romances books feel complete without a title by one of my personal favorite authors, Katherine Reay! Emily can usually be found doing two things: 1. Restoring spaces, or 2. Trying to fix her sister’s life. But when Emily meets a handsome Italian chef, suddenly she’s thrown into a world of uncertainty. Following a romantic, whirlwind wedding, Emily and Ben set off for Italy. What can get more cozy and delicious than a trip to Italy? Especially with hours of painting, cooking Italian cuisine, and family drama on the menu?
Looking for seasonal reads (beyond cozy romance reads for fall)? Check out 12 Ghost Romances to Tingle Your Spine. Wondering how I was sucked into the hazy world of romance books? Read all about how Amish fiction served as my gateway to loving romance.