As a reader and an agent, I am on the hunt for commercial romantic fiction, specifically for BookTok hungry new adult/20+ markets. I want books with romance at the very heart of the narrative. Messy, cheesy, heartbreaking, relatable, I want the characters and their story to engross me completely and have me reaching for it time and time again.
When it comes to romance books, I’m looking specifically for a few different types:
I love books that lean into the classic romance tropes. Friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, childhood sweethearts, forced proximity…you get the picture. I am on the lookout for books that lean into these tropes, but provide a new spin on the traditional story. I’m especially looking for books in the new adult, 20+ somethings market. Notably, LGBTQIA+ rom-coms and BookTok classics like Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus Series or Elena Armas’ The Spanish Love Deception.
I’m also keen to explore the spicier end of the BookTok universe. I love to read books that advocate for healthy adult relationships, both emotionally and physically. Tessa Bailey’s Hook, Line and Sinker was an instant hit for me. I really liked the blend of emotional depth and physical intimacy that felt poignant yet fun. I want books that offer a sex-positive outlook for readers and that are representative of all voices and sexual orientations. Above all, I’m looking for escapism, butterflies, and a healthy dose of spice.
I will always have space for a romantic fantasy, or “romantasy” series on my list. Something that transports my mind to richly imagined worlds, but keeps those romantic relationships at the core of the story. Sarah J Maas and Jennifer Armentrout do a brilliant job of balancing this across their respective books. I also love the desert settings of Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns Series and Danielle Jensen’s The Traitor Queen. I’m also on the hunt for anything sea-faring/mermaid related and fated mates romances. I want books that strike the perfect balance of romance, pace, action and world-building, with series potential. Importantly, I look for strong, diverse, brave and relatable characters in these settings. People that feel like both a friend, a champion and an ally. *NB
It’s important to note that whilst I love YA fantasy, as an agent, I am looking for books with 18+ characters.