I don’t think I have ever been as glad to be an introvert as I am right now.
I am currently in self-isolation at my family’s home after flying from New Zealand to Australia. At the time I’m writing this post, I still have 11 days to go. So far this isolation period feels like my usual two week holiday: I barely get out of bed, only get dressed when I’m trying to do something productive, and mostly play PlayStation games and read. Specifically, I’m reading old favourites and comfort reads.
What’s a comfort read? It’s a book that makes me feel happy or calm. It’s low stress, easy to read, usually a short novel with a fun, light-hearted plot. And it has a happy ending. It can be a new read or a reread, but the important thing is that you can get lost in it and forget all your anxiety for a while.
With the current state of the world, it’s not hard to imagine why we might need a bit of easy reading.
Recently I noticed that my comfort reads tend to be romance novels. Typically, historical romance (lots of regency novels are in my immediate TBR right now!) though sometimes contemporary romance. YA or adult, it doesn’t matter, I just want something light and fluffy that makes me happy.
Do I have recommendations that fit these guidelines? YOU BET I DO. The whole purpose of this post is for me to shout from the rooftops about some of my favourite historical romances that I usually don’t review or post about.
Now I might only be highlighting one book/ series from the authors I mention, but I must stress that I have loved pretty much every book I’ve read from these authors so far. All of their books fit into my comfort read category (even though they might emotionally traumatise you a little bit… in the best way).
Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
My current read. It’s actually the fifth time I’ve read this (at least). Historical fantasy with a good romance, this is my all-time favourite Beauty and the Beast retelling. I actually plan on writing a more in-depth review soon because I need to convince more people to read it. Marillier is a brilliant Australian author who is severely underrated.
Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn
One of my favourite things about historical romance is that a lot of series tend to revolve around a particular family. Each sibling gets their own novel, and there are SO MANY CAMEOS and cross referencing to previous events. The cameos and family camaraderie are some of the things that make Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons series such a fun read. The Pall-Mall competition scene in The Viscount Who Loved Me is one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever read.
As a side note, a Bridgerton adaptation is on its way to Netflix!! I’m excited.
Bareknuckle Bastards by Sarah MacLean
Another of my current reads. I just finished Wicked and the Wallflower, LOVED IT, and have immediately jumped into Brazen and the Beast. Sarah Maclean writes strong, independent female leads and complicated male love interests. She makes you feel a lot of emotions about not only the relationship, but the characters and their growth too. I’m loving all the little Easter eggs from her other series scattered throughout the novels.
The Duchess Deal and other books by Tessa Dare
I’m still making my way through Tessa Dare’s catalogue (have a couple of her early books to go before I’m fully caught up) but her books are HILARIOUS. They’re great for witty banter and outrageously funny awkward situations. Everything of hers I’ve read has been wonderfully entertaining. The Duchess Deal, Romancing the Duke, and When the Scot Ties the Knot are my top favourites of hers.
What are you reading in this crazy time? Fluffy romances like the ones I’m jumping into? Or do you find action packed novels that you can’t put down a better distraction?