Millions of people across the United States will be happily joining their families for Thanksgiving this week. If you’re not joining yours—or if you’re joining them but not doing it happily—you may need a family to sub in and keep you company.
Just like last year, here are five (more) families to share your Thanksgiving with, whether you’re missing your family, or you’re just trying to escape them for awhile between green bean casserole and apple pie.
The Sinclairs from Phyllis Bourne’s Sinclair Brides series
The Sinclairs are a great addition to your life no matter what, but they’re definitely going to need to be a part of your holiday if your siblings are the kinds of people who would be waaaay better off if they just listened to your advice. Riley and Hope Sinclair can commiserate: each feels that way about the other. Lucky, each has also found her HEA. Phyllis Bourne writes some of my favorite zany romantic comedy, so even if you just need to add a little levity to your Thanksgiving, find yourself a seat at the Sinclair table.
Recommended Read: Between a Rock and a Hot Mess
The Pembrooks from Emma Chase’s Royally series
My theory is that this series was born of Emma Chase wondering what would happen if England’s royal family was sexier, more bad ass, and way more interesting. Chase writes romantic comedy with a raunchy edge, and this series has hot body guards, sex in a throne room, reality-show dating competitions…and there’s even a lot of pie, so the Thanksgiving element is pretty much built in. Turn to the Pembrooks if the gossip around your commoner cousins and siblings is starting to get a little stale, and you need a family with a higher-profile, more elegant set of problems.
Recommended Read: Royally Screwed
The Chamberlains and Fredericks from Ruthie Knox’s New York Series (mostly)
In a lot of romance series that revolve around families, all of the family members are happy supporting cast members until it’s time for them to get their books. You think to yourself, “Boy, Matt is great. I can’t wait til he gets his book.” (The men in romance are often named Matt.) Ruthie Knox does not roll that way. Siblings and family members in these books aren’t always likeable, and in some cases, they’re downright villainous. It makes it even more rewarding to learn more of the larger story and see the characters grow and evolve as they get their own stories revealed. Seeing even romance characters as imprecate humans with the capacity for change is a study in patience and empathy we could all use while navigating friends and families this holiday season.
Recommended Read: Technically the series starts with Truly, but you’ll get more context for the series—especially the second and third books—if you read Knox’s About Last Night from 2012 first, since there are overlapping main characters.
The Grant/Shaws from Tracey Livesay’s Love on My Mind series
I’m not always into the kind of soapy romance that centers on false identities, unplanned pregnancies and, you know, amnesia. But in this series, I’m 100 percent here for it. Livesay has an amazing ability to make her characters relatable despite their unusual situations and decisions, and frankly, if your Thanksgiving is going to be this dramatic, it’s probably better that it’s happening on the pages in front of you instead of in the room beside you.
(Full disclosure: I’m not sure there’s a real name to this series, and actually no one shares a last name—Indi Shaw and Chelsea Grant are foster sisters—but sometimes families are like that. I have faith in your ability to roll with it.)
Recommended Read: Love On My Mind
The Kanes from Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series
If you’re the kind of person with some unresolved issues hanging around back in your hometown, the Kanes might be the kind of family you find relatable. Things basically imploded for the Kanes when twins Livvy and Jackson were young adults, and each left town, headed in a different direction. Each also left behind the person they loved. A decade later, they have to learn what happens when you try to go home again. Fun bonus: You can read Livvy’s story, Hate to Want You over Thanksgiving, and then use Wrong to Need You (Jackson’s story), which is out Nov 28, to avoid your family obligations in December. The Forbidden Hearts series is the gift that keeps on giving.
Recommended Read: Hate to Want You