The weekend will be here before you know it and you know what that means: date night! Whether you’re navigating the dating scene or in a long-term relationship, running through the same old dates can get boring. Why not look to romance books for inspiration? Below are seven date ideas from seven different romance and romcom novels, guaranteed to satisfy.
Tacos and ice cream in the park, The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
In The Wedding Date, Drew and Alexa have an unexpected — and super hot — night together. They decide to follow it up with a relaxed afternoon at Mission Dolores Park in San Francisco. Relaxed of course means tacos (because who doesn’t love tacos?) and ice cream (because seriously who doesn’t love ice cream?). They pick a spot on the grassy hill side to enjoy their food and each other’s company. This is an easy date to replicate. You can find tacos, ice cream and a cozy sitting spot almost anywhere. It’s the perfect setting to just chat in a laid-back environment with zero pressure.
Arcade date, Intercepted by Alexa Martin
Not everyone can afford to rent out an entire arcade like Gavin did in Intercepted — we can’t all be millionaire pro quarterbacks who are also devastatingly handsome (Marlee, you are a lucky gal!). But most of us can grab a few rolls of quarters and head to the closest arcade with our SO for a fun couple of hours. If you think you’re too old for arcade games, you are not. Because the instant you help Pacman evade those creepy colorful ghosts or sink a basketball into a hoop or whack a plastic mole on the head with a foam paddle, you’ll smile, whoop, cheer, maybe even all three. It’s a fun way to indulge your competitive side too. And a little friendly competition is always fun on a date.
Fancy steak dinner, Fight Or Flight by Samantha Young
If you have the cash, a steak dinner is always a winner. It worked for Ava and Caleb in Fight Or Flight. These two loathe each other when they meet. But after fate strands them on the same airplane and then at the same hotel restaurant, they realize escape is impossible. So they agree to have dinner together. Because who on Earth would say no to a delicious steak, a stiff drink and a chocolatey dessert? (Seriously who? I want names because I need to know how people like that live with no joy in their lives). That of course leads to conversation and admitting mutual attraction, which ultimately leads to hitting the sheets together. If you’re feeling bold, take a page out of Ava’s book and be sure to moan every time you take a delicious bite. It’s guaranteed to make your date think of what other sexy sounds you’re capable of when you’re out of the restaurant and in bed. Caleb sure couldn’t resist.
Breakfast in bed, A Girl Like You by Gemma Burgess
This is as romantic as it is easy. Everyone I know would swoon at the thought of their SO bringing them breakfast in bed, no matter how elaborate or simple the meal. In the case of A Girl Like You, breakfast in bed is something that London roomies Abigail and Robert do for each other when one of them is hungover (and well before they realize they have feelings for one another). They choose a wicked combination of crumpets with peanut butter and bloody Marys. Yum! But regardless of what you choose to serve, it’s the gesture that counts. It’s thoughtful and shows you care about that person enough to make them a meal. It’s cuteness/sweetness/thoughtfulness overload and a sure-fire win.
Marshmallows and wine picnic, 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
For those who prefer the simple things in life (and who are short on cash), look to 99 Percent Mine for inspiration. Darcy consumes wine and marshmallows like they’re going out of style. It’s the only way she can cope when she and her life-long crush Tom are alone together after a long time apart, reconnecting and chatting. Their unacknowledged sexual tension fills the air between them like invisible smoke. When the inevitable awkwardness hits, Darcy shoves a marshmallow in Tom’s mouth, and it’s just as sweet and sexy as it sounds. Try it. Take a date out for an impromptu wine and marshmallows picnic at a park or the beach. Every time there’s a lull in the conversation, feed each other a marshmallow. You’ll be laughing in no time.
Country bar drinks and dancing, Cyclone (Linear Tactical #1) by Janie Crouch
This isn’t the most original date, but it’s a guaranteed fun one — and also guaranteed to get you close to one another. It’s perfect whether you’re early days or you’ve been together for years. Who wouldn’t have a blast knocking back their favorite alcoholic beverages, then tearing up the dance floor? If you have no rhythm, here’s a tip: spend the fast songs drinking, then wait for a slow dance. It’s the perfect romantic setting: pressing your bodies close, lips almost touching, staring into each other’s eyes. Drinks and dancing work wonders for Zac and Anne in Cyclone, who reconnect after a falling out years before. Things get so steamy, they end up in bed together later that night. And here’s hoping you will too!
Boat date, Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon
A boat date can mean many things. You can go the simple route like renting a paddle boat or canoe on a lake and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the water. Or you can take it up a notch and rent a boat with a cabin that has a bed and a kitchen. That way an afternoon on the water can easily turn into a romantic evening and morning after. Think about it: whipping up a yummy meal together, stealing kisses in the tiny kitchen space, getting tipsy on wine while you dine, sharing more hot kisses, then falling into bed together. That’s exactly what happens for Hollie when ex-hockey player Ryan hosts her on his boat in Must Love Otters. Ryan’s thoughtful boat date makes Hollie swoon hard (well, that and the fact that he’s also sweet, funny and the owner of a ripped-to-hell bod).