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Romance Read-Alikes: The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Romance Read-Alikes: The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to November 2021, which, for the purposes of holiday gifting, is effectively December of any pre-pandemic year thank you to *gestures vaguely* the supply chain. So: 'tis the season! And we think books are a *great* gift. However, it can be a little hard to choose exactly which book is right for which person. Fortunately, we've got a list for that! 1. Ice Planet Barbarians --> Star Trek x Naked and Afraid 2. It Happened One Summer --> For lovers of Schitt’s Creek 3. Irresistible You by Kate Meader --> For lovers of Ted Lasso but 5/5 flames 4. The Queer Principles of Kit Webb --> A heist! (Additional "eat the rich" vibes) 5. Rosalind Palmer Takes the Cake --> Great British Bake-off but make it a rom com 6. Heart of Blood and Ashes --> If you miss Game of Thrones 7. The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels --> For devotees of The Princess Bride 8. Wicked and the Wallflower --> For fans of the Netflix adaptation of Bridgerton 9. Hate to Want You --> For fans of the Netflix adaptation of Virgin River 10. Act Your Age, Eve Brown --> A Hallmark movie about a charming B&B but spicy 11. An Extraordinary Union --> Spies! (This book tears down confederate monuments in its free time) 12. You Had Me at Hola --> For fans of Jane the Virgin 13. Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating --> For fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 14. Neon Gods --> Big Scorpio Energy 15. One Last Stop --> Queer Found Family + Time Travel 16. Boyfriend Material --> For fans of 90’s British romcoms 17. A Study in Scarlet Women --> Sherlock Holmes x Lady Detective

Playlist Tags: Meet Cute Romance Bookshop & Fizzery genre: Romance read-alikes topic: gift guide audiobooks gifts paranormal romance season: holidays contemporary romance regency romance romance science-fiction romance

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A Study in Scarlet Women

The Lady Sherlock Series: Book #1

By Sherry Thomas
Narrated by: Kate Reading
Length: 11 hours

USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas turns the story of the renowned Sherlock Holmes upside down.With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper-class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on... Read more »

Audiobook details

Boyfriend Material

By Alexis Hall
Narrated by: Joe Jameson
Length: 13 hours 10 minutes

If you enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue, then you’ll love Boyfriend Material.

“Boyfriend Material is funny. It starts out with quite a lot of silliness because fake dating requires some silliness to seem like a good option, but Luc with his bad decisions, terrible job, well-meaning, overwrought friends is charming. Pretentious, kind, insecure Oliver is charming. Boyfriend Material is charming enough to fake date. And then you start to care. OMG, I've fallen in love with this book.”

Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West image Robin, Books & Books @ The Studios of Key West
Audiobook details

One Last Stop

By Casey McQuiston
Narrated by: Natalie Naudus
Length: 12 hours 10 minutes

If you enjoyed Honey Girl, then you’ll love One Last Stop.

“McQuiston delivers a delightful sophomore novel that surprised me. Though similar to Red, White, and Royal Blue, One Last Stop adds a science fiction time loop element that makes it fun and different. I had major missing-Brooklyn-feels while listening to this! McQuiston perfectly captures the magic of Brooklyn and the MTA (both good and bad). They have a super strong cast of characters that celebrates found family and kindness. McQuiston redefines what a modern romance can be by combining genres and featuring a strong queer relationship.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Audiobook details

Neon Gods

Dark Olympus: Book #1

By Katee Robert
Narrated by: Zara Hampton-Brown & Barnaby Edwards
Length: 10 hours 39 minutes

Neon Gods

“The perfect modern take on Hades and Persephone. He was a pure and wonderful soul with enough wickedness in the bedroom to make you want him all for yourself. And Persephone was a delight. The perfect girl on the outside with a desire for more behind the curtains...Another fabulous read by Katee and I cannot recommend it enough!”

Inklings Bookshop image Anne, Inklings Bookshop
Audiobook details

Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating

By Adiba Jaigirdar
Narrated by: Reena Dutt & Shubhangi Karmakar
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes

Everyone likes Humaira "Hani" Khan―she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate―Ishita "Ishu" Dey. Ishu... Read more »

Audiobook details

You Had Me at Hola

A Novel

By Alexis Daria
Narrated by: Seraphine Valentine
Length: 10 hours 27 minutes

If you enjoyed The Proposal, then you’ll love You Had Me at Hola.

“Damn, this was cute. Definitely a mood-lifter, definitely a light read. Any fan of Jane the Virgin or One Day at a Time (or even an "I enjoyed an episode once" person) would devour this. Filled with representation, strong leading ladies, family drama, secrets, and pure sass, You Had Me at Hola has you entertained from the first page. Honestly, though this book includes some steamy romance, it wasn't the most exciting thing for me. I was really impressed with Daria's world building. She layered scenes of Carmen in Charge (the show Jasmine and Ashton are filming) in throughout and captures the families of both characters very well. Yes, there is sex but there is also a really sweet relationship blooming that involves multiple layers and I was honestly more in a "cute" mindset throughout that a "sexy" one. There was a lot of talk about being a Latinx actress in today's entertainment world and the difficulty with tokenism, racism, and stereotypes. Daria also touched on the multitudes within the Latinx community and how many different countries, languages, culture, and skin colors that covers. Of course, being a romance, there are always bad decisions and stupid people involved. Jasmine and Ashton, though super cute, are no exception. Just as much eyerolling happened on my face as grinning but in a romance, I guess I wouldn't have it any other way!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
Audiobook details

An Extraordinary Union

Loyal League: Book #1

By Alyssa Cole
Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Length: 10 hours 1 minutes

As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past. Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in... Read more »

Audiobook details

Hate to Want You

Forbidden Hearts
Forbidden Hearts: Book #1

By Alisha Rai
Narrated by: Summer Morton & Jeremy York
Length: 9 hours 59 minutes

Alisha Rai, one of contemporary romance’s brightest stars, makes her Avon Books debut with the first novel in the sexy Forbidden Hearts series!

One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted...

Read more »

Audiobook details

Wicked and the Wallflower

The Bareknuckle Bastards Book I

By Sarah MacLean
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
Length: 12 hours 39 minutes

When Wicked Comes Calling . . .

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . .

Bastard son of a duke and...

Read more »

Audiobook details

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

A Novel

By Talia Hibbert
Narrated by: Ione Butler
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

If you enjoyed Boyfriend Material, then you’ll love Act Your Age, Eve Brown.

“Hibbert continues the tale of sisters with Eve and her love him/hate him romance with Jacob, a B and B owner. Butler's reading captures every moment of wonder that signposts falling in love, infusing a little bit of awe in each tiny epiphany. It was touching and real to see these characters' neurodiversity as part of what makes them perfect for each other. We all have our quirks. Sometimes, love is just one of them.”

Schuler Books image Charity, Schuler Books
Audiobook details

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

Dangerous Damsels: Book #1

By author
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
Length: 10 hours 31 minutes

A New York Times Notable Book of 2021

“The kind of book for which the word “rollicking” was invented.”—New York Times Book Review

A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.


Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She's also a thief.... Read more »

Audiobook details

A Heart of Blood and Ashes

Gathering of Dragons: Book #1

By Milla Vane
Narrated by: Nicole Poole
Length: 15 hours 15 minutes

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil—until the barbarian king and queen are... Read more »

Audiobook details

Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Winner Bakes All: Book #1

By Alexis Hall
Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
Length: 11 hours 23 minutes

Fans of Casey McQuiston, Christina Lauren, and Abby Jimenez will love this scrumptious and sweet romantic comedy from the "dizzyingly talented writer" of Boyfriend Material (Entertainment Weekly)

LGBTQ Reads: Most Anticipated Adult LGBTQAP Fiction 2021
We Are Bookish: Spring Releases to Have on Your Radar


Following the recipe is the key to a... Read more »

Audiobook details

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb

A Novel

By Cat Sebastian
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 9 hours 11 minutes

"The Queer Principles of Kit Webb kept me up all night! I simply couldn’t put it down."— Tessa Dare, New York Times bestselling author

“Sharp, smart, and oh-so-swoony, The Queer Principles of Kit Webb reminds me that Cat Sebastian is an author at the absolute top of her game.”— Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author

Critically acclaimed...

Read more »

Audiobook details

Irresistible You

Chicago Rebels: Book #1

By Kate Meader
Narrated by: Pippa Jayne
Length: 9 hours 32 minutes

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won't let anything stand in her way. Not her... Read more »

Audiobook details
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Special offer

Free audiobook with membership

Happy New Year! When you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

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It Happened One Summer

A Novel

By Tessa Bailey
Narrated by: Charlotte North
Length: 10 hours 48 minutes

It Happened One Summer

“This story opened its broad arms and admitted me into the recharging station that I needed so badly in 2021. It was cute. It was sweet. It was heart-wrenching. It was steamy. It was everything!”

Stephanie Arrache image Stephanie Arrache, Waterwheel Gifts and Books
Audiobook details

Ice Planet Barbarians

Ice Planet Barbarians: Book #1

By Ruby Dixon
Narrated by: Mason Lloyd & Hollie Jackson
Length: 5 hours 51 minutes

LOST

You'd think being abducted by aliens would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And you'd be wrong. Because now, the aliens are having ship trouble, and they've left their cargo of human women—including me—on an ice planet.

FOUND

And the only native inhabitant I've met? He's big, horned, blue, and really, really has a thing for me... Read more »

Audiobook details