Signed, Sealed, Delivered: 'The Roxy Letters' Author Recommends These 10 Uplifting Romances

Posted by Sharon on March 30, 2020
Mary Pauline Lowry knows a thing or two about being stuck at home when you don't want to be. After all, the premise of her newest novel, The Roxy Letters, is about what happens when her protagonist's ex-boyfriend moves back in so that they can both save on rent. With that lens in mind, Lowry has compiled a list of uplifting romance recommendations to brighten even the dreariest day at home.

Lowry's previous novel, Wildfire, chronicles the story of the lone woman on an elite wildfire-fighting crew. The Roxy Letters releases in the U.S. on April 7. 

Suddenly, many of us are finding ourselves at home, with more unscheduled time than we’re used to. Sure, we could use these hours to study geography, learn French, deep clean our pantry, or slog through some intellectual tome that’s about as big and lighthearted as a brick.
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But I exhort you: Pick up a novel that makes you laugh so hard you might pee your pants a little, or a book that gives you the thrill of an incredible first date. Don’t worry right now about elevating your mind or organizing your broom closet. Instead, grab a book that lifts your spirits!

Fun, uplifting, sexy, romantic novels do more than provide much-needed distraction. They revive and rejuvenate us. They give us energy and levity to make it through unexpected challenges. They remind us that life is essentially good, that pleasure is still possible. Experiencing an escape into laughter and frivolity and sexiness can help us to tap into our best and highest selves.
And once we are tuned in to our highest selves, when we put our book down and return to reality we are more likely to: Ask a neighbor if they need help with the groceries, be patient instead of snappy with a family member, or send a funny group text to our besties to make them smile and know they are not alone.

And heck, maybe some steamier titles will encourage us to interrupt our WFH groove for a little sexy time—either with ourselves or a partner. (Self-love is an activity that Roxy, the protagonist of my novel The Roxy Letters would highly recommend!)

Here are a few titles whose protagonists know how to respond with grace and grit to the unforeseen, and whose stories are guaranteed to infuse your life with joy and laughter.

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If you are ready to sail away from your WFH groove into a hilarious and heartwarming tale of complicated family relationships, this Reese’s Book Club selection is for you. 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins writes a sexy essay to win a 10-day cruise from Athens, Greece, to Barcelona, Spain, and convinces all her adult children to come along, despite the strains in their relationships. The cruise offers sun-drenched days full of bickering, lovers old and new, surfacing secrets, and, ultimately, healing and joy. A perfect pick for fans of The Nest or The Vacationers.

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I can’t wait for March 31, because it’s the pub date for this new McMillan novel. With her 90's novels, Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, McMillan proved romance novels about black middle class women could be mega-bestsellers. With It’s Not All Downhill From Here, McMillan shows us that a female protagonist nearing 70 can have the same wide appeal! Because this book is about the power of female friendship to lift us up, even when loss has knocked us down, I’m hoping it will inspire us all to schedule a Zoom coffee date with our besties!

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Imagine being beautiful, 25, and living the high life of the fashion industry in NYC, where beauty, youth, and glam create a feeling of immortality—and then finding out you have inherited the breast cancer gene. While protagonist Lacey Whitman’s situation is scary, she handles it in an uproarious, uplifting fashion, deciding to create a “bucket list” for all the sexy things she wants her tatas to experience before a possible surgery. With snappy, exhilarating prose, Georgia Clark shows readers how to handle bad news with verve, passion, and moxie!

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Find me an American woman who isn’t hot for an English accent, and I’ll recommend another book. But until that unlikely day, I urge you to dive into Royal Holiday, inspired by Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mother. Vivian Forest is surprised when her daughter invites her on a work trip to England to style a member of the royal family. The last thing she expects is to spark a romance with the Queen's private secretary. Maybe overseas travel is off the table for a while, but thanks to Guillory, you can still experience a transatlantic love story!

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Now let me first say: this novel deals with heavier issues than the others on this list—but I’m including it because despite its darker subject matter, Thorpe’s prose is both witty and positively transcendent. The Knockout Queen features a teenage protagonist named Bunny Lampert who’s over six-feet tall and packs a powerful punch in defense of her best friend Michael, who explores his sexuality through secret trysts with men he meets on Craigslist. This novel is uplifting in that it’s a true work of art, and will remind readers about the power of human connection.

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Rhiannon Hunter is the Converse-and-hoodie-wearing, tough, proud boss of a dating app empire. But her own app-driven hookups are governed by tight rules to protect her heart—until she slips up during an epic night with former pro-football player Samson Lima. This is a must-read for anyone hungry for a feminist, diverse, super sexy pick-me-up of a read. The last page will leave you smiling!

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Web maven Chloe Brown may be chronically ill, but a recent near death experience has inspired her to Get A Life. She has a list and a plan for YOLOing, but she’ll need a guide to execute the part that involves doing “something bad.” And that guide is Red, a smoking hot, tattooed building superintendent by day, secret artist by night. If WFH has you craving drunken nights, bucket lists, and lusty rendezvous, add this book to your Want to Read shelf!

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This hilarious, steamy debut novel takes place in a rather more optimistic present-day America, one in which the female president’s son Alex falls madly in love (and lust!) with his longtime frenemy, the Prince of England. The “White House Trio” of Alex, his sister June, and their bestie Nora—the Veep’s granddaughter—are so lovable I didn’t envy them their lavish lifestyles. I finished this novel weeping happy tears. But I have to warn you it broke my heart a little too—but only because I’m dying to read another book by McQuiston. Since it’s her debut, I’ll have to wait.

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Even though legendary television producer and showrunner Shonda Rhimes has changed the landscape of television by ushering in a new era of diversity, she’s said she has never gotten as many kudos from friends and family as when she has a boyfriend. The protagonist of Love at First Like finds herself with an even more dramatic positive response to being coupled up—she co-owns a struggling jewelry shop in Brooklyn with her sister, but after she accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing an engagement ring, her business starts to boom! She decides to continue the ruse of being engaged with a guy who’s almost the man of her dreams

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In her debut novel, Food Network champion Abby Jimenez shows she’s not just a master baker, she also has the chops to write a hilarious romance that tackles the difficult issue of infertility with great sensitivity. When Kristen meets firefighter Josh who hopes for a large family, she knows that because she has uterine fibroids that impact her ability to get pregnant, she needs to keep him in the friend zone. Delightful, satisfying, and at times serious, this novel will remind you that when it comes to love, there’s always a way, even when it looks nothing like you ever expected.

Which romances do you turn to when you need an uplifting read? Let's talk books in the comments!

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Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Victoria (new)

Victoria S I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations.

message 2: by TMR (new)

TMR What a wonderful selection. Can’t wait to read em all!

message 3: by TMR (new)

TMR Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."


Suaad (I just want a cat) Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

I really enjoy them<3

message 5: by luv4pez (new)

luv4pez I loved The Roxy Letters and I'm excited to read some of these recommendations. Light, cute, funny books are just what I need these days.

message 6: by D.B. (last edited Mar 30, 2020 10:36AM) (new)

D.B. Soltana Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

yes it's a trend for a few years.. Personally I love it. it has that comedy side

message 7: by Vera (new)

Vera Love at First Like isn't good. If you're okay with person who continuously lies and gaslights her partner, breaks his heart, and then ends up with good guy without any repercussions , then read it.

message 8: by Cal (new)

Cal (Cal's Reading Corner) Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

I did too lol. Maybe the same artist?

message 9: by Renee MA (new)

Renee MA Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

Totally! Though I don't mind- I'm just glad it's a step away from shirtless guys with six packs. I'm sure I'm in the minority with that! :)

message 10: by Eliza (new)

Eliza Adler Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

It gives off a certain vibe

message 11: by Allison (new)

Allison Clemons Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

Lol, so there is!

message 12: by Victoria (new)

Victoria S Renee MA wrote: "Victoria wrote: "I’m noticing a trend in cover illustrations."

Totally! Though I don't mind- I'm just glad it's a step away from shirtless guys with six packs. I'm sure I'm in the minority with th..."

I 100% agree with you! Those covers are so corny. I much prefer the colourful quirky illustrations.

message 13: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill I know many people don't mind the cartoon-ish covers, but frankly I find them cheesy and cheap-looking. When I'm looking for a book and the covers are illustrated, chances are pretty good I won't take the time to read the blurb. There are plenty of other books out there with beautiful covers and stories to match that allow me to be picky like this.

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