A Romance Writer’s Guide To Valentine’s Day

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As a romance writer, it probably comes as no surprise that Valentine’s Day is my all-time favorite holiday. Why do I love it? Because at the core, it’s about love, and if there’s something this world needs more of, it’s love. Sorry for the cheeseball moment! But I write kissing books for a living. What did you expect?

I’ve compiled a list of romantic moments from some of my favorite books (and a flashfic story of my own!) that would make killer Valentine’s Day dates. The heat levels vary, so whether you’re in the mood for something hot and heavy or prefer a date on the sweeter side, everything’s covered.  

A Good Night’s Sleep by Stefanie Simpson

Activity: home-cooked meal and cuddling

Perfect for: homebodies, introverts, budget-conscious folks and anyone who hates fighting those infamous V-Day crowds

This book is part of Simpson’s New City Series, a contemporary British romance series with lots of heat and angst. In this first book of the series, sweet Effie and grumpy, sleep-deprived Stuart are neighbors who can’t stand each other — at first. But after crossing paths and indulging in a bit too much alcohol one night, they fall asleep together and realize just how divine it is to share a bed with someone you’re insanely attracted to.  

Poor Effie is dealing with the worst of her period and doesn’t feel like doing much on a night that Stuart would like to see her. He cooks a yummy meal, then cuddles her the rest of the evening. 

When I read this, my PMS-ing self swooned hard. Cramps, bloating and all that other un-fun stuff can put a damper on date night, especially Valentine’s Day. But if my guy offered up such a thoughtful date idea, I would pounce on him. Comfort food and cuddles when I’m not feeling my best? Yes, please! 

Wrong Bed, Right Roommate by Rebecca Brooks

Activity: dinner at home, drinks at a brewery, dancing

Perfect for: beer lovers, people who love to dance

Jessie and Shawn are roommates for the summer in New York City. Totally standard, right? Except that Shawn is the older brother of Jessie’s bestie and he is crazy, ridiculously hot. They’re two very different peas in the same pod. Jessie is focused, career-oriented, and plays by the rules. Shawn is a slacker with a capital “S,” with a spotty work history and zero direction in life. When they start co-habitating, the sexual tension is palpable. But how to make the first move? 

Shawn chooses post-it notes and it’s damn adorable. They work opposite schedules so setting something up in person is out of the question. Tell me you wouldn’t swoon so damn hard if you opened your refrigerator and saw a sweetly worded post-it tacked to the milk carton asking you to dinner, written by your hot and charming housemate? That’s better and more creative than a text in my book. Dinner at home turns into drinks at the brewery where Shawn works, which turns into tipsy dancing at a crowded bar. You can probably figure out what happens next. 

I’m not one for beer or dancing on Valentine’s Day (or any day…I actually loathe both). But that post-it move slays me. I would say yes to almost anything if it’s presented in a cutely worded post-it. 

A Good Man by Rosanna Leo

Activity: shower sex 

Perfect for: anyone who loves getting frisky in the shower

In this first book of Leo’s Handymen Series, Michael is the star of a home renovation show, along with his two brothers. Emily is the lucky lady whose home is their new project, with plans to turn it into the headquarters for her new cooking business. When she and Michael meet, sparks fly. There are obstacles in the way of course, like a douchebag fiance, a jealous ex and unresolved personal issues. But once those are squared away, raw sexual tension is left. 

After spending countless days on the worksite getting dirty and sweaty together, Michael and Emily can’t fight their mutual attraction any longer. They take it out on each other in his gigantic spa shower. He makes Emily the focus, and oh my golly is it hot. 

An intimate, low-cost and low-stress way to spend V-Day for sure. The things that can be done with soap and warm water are mindblowing. And I’m always a fan of a man who knows his way around a lady’s body in the shower. 

RAFE: A Buff Male Nanny by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Activity: timed fooling around session

Perfect for: parents who want to get frisky but time is an issue

Sloan is a busy single mom and brilliant surgeon. Rafe is the sexy male nanny caring for her twin girls. When they stop fighting their attraction to each other, life gets a whole lot sweeter. But how do you navigate sexy times when sharing a home with two kindergarteners? With stellar time management skills. 

One night Rafe sets a phone timer so he and Sloan can fool around. When the alarm goes off, real life resumes. But the time constraint doesn’t make things any less hot — it actually amps up the heat because there’s a sexy finish line they’re racing toward. Rafe prioritizes her pleasure (hell yes), and all other concerns and thoughts fall by the wayside temporarily. 

Parents often miss out on a Valentine’s Day celebration because they’re busy with their kiddos. But this is a creative solution when a fancy V-Day just isn’t in the cards, but getting off is still a priority.

Game Night by Sarah Smith

Activity: strip poker

Perfect for: card sharks, folks low on cash

In this flashfic, a couple plays strip poker. As each piece of clothing slides off, their patience is tested. Will they make it all the way to the naked end? Or will someone say screw it and quit mid-game to ravage their opponent? Either way, everyone wins. 

This is a guaranteed good time. Zero crowds, free, and intimate. Expect many hands to go unplayed, but no one will be angry about it. Promise.  

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