Novel-tea: 2023 romance novels I'm excited about
Novel-tea is The Tartan’s literary and language opinion column, so if you like hot takes and reading about cool ideas in the literary community then this is the place for you!! If you have your own hot take to add to this column, do not hesitate to contact us.
Valentine’s Day is coming up and that means… romance novels!!!! There are so many cute cozy novels coming out this year, so even if you’re single this Valentine’s don’t you worry! You can live vicariously through your favorite characters. Special for the holiday, I decided to do a little list for you all of some romance books I’m looking forward to in 2023:
Did someone say chef love story? Katrina Kwan’s new novel coming out on Dec. 19 is a book I’m expecting to leave us hungry for more. When a sous chef’s embellished resumé lands her a job with one of the most impressive chefs on the scene, she just wants to keep a low profile. However, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for her and her new boss, who rules the kitchen with “an iron fist.” Spicy, sweet, and everything in between, this friends-to-enemies-to-lovers is exactly what we’ll need to end 2023.
When a socially-awkward book-worm Lily Greene asks her cute neighbor to help her find a date to her sister’s wedding, she is completely unaware that he also happens to be her favorite fantasy author (who writes under a pen name). When he realizes Lily is the woman he’s become enamored with over email, he refuses to “complicate things,” agreeing to set her up with someone else, but who knows how long that will last? “The Neighbor Favor” is expected to be released on Feb. 28 and will be the perfect pick-me-up to a mid-semester reading slump.
I am many things, and an Emily Henry girlie is in fact one of them. For those who could not get enough of “Beach Read,” I’m sure this spring release date is making you crazy. “Happy Place” (expected publication April 25) features Harriet and Wyn, a couple who met in college and built their best friendships as a couple. However, when they break-up, they refuse to tell those same friends — which is how they end up sharing a bedroom at their friend group's summer getaway. Lying to their friends (and themselves), Harriet and Wyn are in for an eventful summer.
Lauren Kung Jessen’s January release features a matchmaker who can’t seem to find herself a match. When her grandmother’s matchmaking business rooted in Chinese astrology is threatened by some new dating app, Olivia Huang Christenson is beyond furious. So, Liv and the app’s developer, Bennet O’Brien, decide to compete to find a match… for each other. What could go wrong?
Bonus Lit-fic Romance: Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
Unlike the others on this list, “Big Swiss” is lit-fic with a strong romantic plot which is basically my bread and butter. While it was only published a few days ago, Jen Beagin’s new novel immediately hit my TBR. Greta transcribes therapy sessions for a sex coach, not expecting to become enamored with one of his clients. She nicknames her Big Swiss and is fascinated by her outlook on life. When Greta recognizes Big Swiss’ voice at a dog park, she introduces herself with a fake name and they hit it off. Greta’s attraction to Big Swiss makes her ignore the ethics and guilt just to sustain the relationship. Goodreads reviewer Meike describes “Big Swiss” as following the Ottessa Moshfegh vibe of messed up female protagonists, so those of you who read my first novel-tea piece know that this sapphic lit-fic will be a must-read.