I sometimes get asked what books I would recommend, so I’ve decided to do blog posts for each trope. Of course, remember, this post was written in May of 2020, so its current for me as of this date.
Be warned I went off the beaten path with literary definitions, and let me tell you why. Simply a genre is defined as a kind of stylistic category or sort, so romance. A subgenre is a category we can sort romance into, for example, Contemporary Romance. A trope is something recurring across a genre, a theme if you will, hence Smalltown Romance. I’m not this structured or organized (Girl Mom x3 here and remember my last post when I told you about #3 shoving the poo diaper in the vent? Yeah, you get what I’m saying.) and I want to talk to you about a lot of different books. I may write about my favorite Contemporary Romances and just generalize them under that subgenre because they all don’t fall into the same specific trope. Basically, the words subgenre and trope are going to be used loosely here.
So how did I come about this list? I decided the easiest way to give you an accurate recommendation would be what books are the first I think of when someone says, “I want to read smalltown romance.” This list isn’t every smalltown Romance I have read, and like, that would take hours, but I’d say these are my favorites because they are the ones that automatically come to mind.
Also, if the book is part of a series, but you can read as a standalone, I will list the book title and the name of the series. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love the series or like the rest of the books, it just means this book is my favorite from the series. If the book is part of a series and you HAVE to read the books in order, then I’ll list the just the series name. Make sense, or have I completed lost you? Too late now, here we go!
I’ve been reading for a long time, but when I first started diving into the indie romance world, one of the first books I read was Say You Want Me. This book GUTTED me. Corinne Michaels is a fantastic writer, but these two characters just hit home in my heart. I love the way she brings them together, the setting of the small town. I’m from a small town, so I connected with their way of living, and how they fell in love was just perfection. Then Corinne cuts your heart out, but man, in the end, it’s good, so so so good.
This book was the first city girl to meet a smalltown boy in a small town and falls in love, read for me. The heroine, Margot, has been one of my favorite heroines over all the books I have read. I wanted her to be real and to move to my small town and become my best friend. Jack though, ohhhh, Jack. If I could input a swoony gif right here, I totally would do it. Jack is all broody and broken and so fucking perfect for Margot that you just can’t stand it. I really enjoyed this whole series, but this book will always be one of my favorites.
So I chose this whole series to recommend because this series, even though you can read each as a standalone, I feel like you need to start at the beginning. Just my personal opinion, you can totally do whatever you want. I sort of stumbled across Catherine Cowles books. She was a brand new author, and I was in Devney Perry’s reader group when a fellow reader said, “you have to read Catherine Cowles.” So I did, and here we are. I was shocked she was a brand new author; her writing is lovely, her characters, her plots all of it. It’s smalltown romance with a dash of romantic suspense, and you can’t go wrong with anything she writes!
I left Devney Perry for last in my recommendations because first, you can’t go wrong with ANYTHING Devney writes. I read her first book, The Coppersmith Farmhouse, from the Jamison Valley series and knew I was going to love anything she writes. Of course, I love some more than others, that’s only natural, but my absolute all-time favorite Devney book and overall smalltown romance is Timid.
Willa and Jackson, man their story gave me the feels from my fingers to the tips of my toes. The story isn’t one of an ugly duckling becoming a beautiful swan. It’s so much more than that. It’s of a young girl who has a crush, and even when she is older, he never truly sees her. God, it breaks my heart every time I read it. I think it’s relatable for a lot of us. Wanting someone who isn’t mean to you or treats you badly but literally doesn’t see you. Jackson is so broken he needs someone like Willa in his life because she is so pure and good. Not in a, she’s perfection personified, but because you know deep down, she’s just irrevocably good.
This book gives my heart wings when I read it. It’s a favorite re-read of mine, and if you are into audible books like I am, I definitely recommend giving it a listen.