With Saint Patrick’s Day coming up, my mind has definitely been on the Irish. Irish romance novels, Irish romance movies, the works. What can I say? The Irish are sexy. And This is the perfect time of year to indulge in such fantasies.
Since I don’t particularly like watching parades and I’m not old enough to buy whiskey (not to mention it’s gross) , my Saint Patrick’s Day of 2016 will probably be spent reading Irish romance novels and watching Irish romance movies.
However, this isn’t a list of Irish romance novels. For that, I suggest you check out Boyfriends for Sale: Irish Edition. This is a list of books to read if you love the movie Leap Year.
Leap Year is the first movie I think about when I think about Irish romance. It’s hard to beat Matthew Goode’s accent and Amy Adams’ fantastic portrayal of a snooty New Yorker. With a journey across Ireland, a bar fight, and a reluctant love blossoming, what’s not to like? And with 2016 being a leap year, there are two reasons to watch it now. If you’ve already watched it, then these are the romances you’ll want to read next.
Born in Shame by Nora Roberts
A talented graphic artist, Shannon Bodine’s life revolved around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. But her world was turned upside down whe she learned the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother’s last wish, Shannon reluctantly traveled to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melted away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovered the possibility of a love that was meant to be…
This definitely fits the bill. I mean, it’s set in Ireland with an uptight New Yorker falling in love with an Irish man. It’s perfect for fans of Leap Year. All that’s missing is the road trip. And since I’ve read the book, I can already tell you that it is fantastic.
Wanderlust by Skye Warren
Evie always dreamed of seeing the world, but her first night at a motel turns into a nightmare. Hunter is a rugged trucker willing to do anything to keep her—including kidnapping. As they cross the country in his rig, Evie plots her escape, but she may find what she’s been looking for right beside her.
Okay, so this obviously has a darker streak than Leap Year, but it’s still about two people on a road trip and a woman who will eventually realize “the one” has been right in front of her the whole time.
Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert
Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she’s been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he’s completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother’s matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan—buy some lingerie and climb into her boss’s bed. The plan goes brilliantly…until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead.
Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started. Though her holier-than-thou attitude puts a serious damper his mood, Gabe’s never been one to give up on something he wants. And he wants Elle. But does a man who lives on the dark side really have a chance with a proper lady?
Just like Anna in Leap Year, Elle can’t seem to get the hint across that she wants something more. And just like Anna, she decides to do something about it. But while Anna flies across the world to propose to her man, Elle seduces him. And with both of them, many mistakes were made and mishaps happened and they realize that the man they were chasing wasn’t the one they were supposed to be with.
Wild Irish Embrace by Rene J. Garrod
A YOUNG IRISH LASS
Meary O’Byrne had always delighted in traveling about the green Irish countryside singing and playing her harp for willing listeners. She was free to do as she pleased, which included accepting the invitation to play in the home of the Englishman, Lord Colin Garrick. Meary was determined to resist his charms for she treasured her independence. But when she heard him speak and felt his voice envelop her in a soft caress, she longed to trace her fingertips over his eyes and lips, to feel his hard strength beneath her gentle hand, and to find a love she never knew existed.
A BOLD ENGLISH LORD
It had been so long since Colin had heard anything so lovely as this young woman’s lilting voice that for a moment he forgot the bitter pain of betrayal which had caused him to leave his family home in England. All women were the same with their spendthrift ways and malicious tongues, and he had no desire to become involved with yet another conniving female. But the independent and generous spirit of the beauty before him with waist-length golden hair and eyes the color of deep purple was like no other. Colin knew he must tame this Irish maid, hold her delicate frame, kiss her rose-colored lips, and tempt her lovely body into a long night of sensuous lovemaking!
This one mainly fits because it’s… well, it’s Irish. But Meary is a traveler, and Colin is recovering from past pain and betrayal, like Declan is in Leap Year. Perhaps Meary can help him move on like Anna helped Declan move on.
The Bridesmaid by Julia London
Getting her to the wedding on time is the least of his worries…
Kate Preston just moved to New York, but she has to get back to Seattle in time for her best friend’s wedding. Joe Firretti is moving to Seattle, and has to get there in time or risk losing his new job. But fate’s got a sense of humor.
Kate goes from rubbing elbows on a plane with a gorgeous but irritating stranger (doggone armrest hog) to sharing one travel disaster after another with him on four wheels. Joe thought he had his future figured out, but sometimes fates has to knock you over the head pretty hard before you see what opportunity is standing in front of you…in a really god-awful poufy bridesmaid dress.
This is another road trip story that is full of bickering and attraction as well as embracing Murphy’s law: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Sound like Leap Year yet?
To Do List by Lauren Dane
He wasn’t part of her balance sheet. But one week in his bed could tip the scales.
Since she could pick up a pencil, Belle Taylor has used lists and charts to map out her life. When she achieves a goal, she marks it off her to do list. Simple. But now, just steps away from her corner-office, name-on-the-letterhead goal, she realizes that the life she thought she wanted may come at too high a price.
Exhausted, she retreats home for Christmas vacation to rethink her life, complete with all-new lists. What she hadn’t expected is Rafe Bettencourt, her brother’s best friend, the man who she thought only saw her as a pesky younger sister. But when he kisses her under the mistletoe, Belle finds herself with a whole new set of goals to balance with what she thought she always wanted.
Rafe knows Belle is trying to figure out what to do with her life. He also knows he’s done loving her from afar, and he’s not beneath making it as hard as possible for her to choose to return to San Francisco.
Because Rafe can make to-do lists too—and his plan is to seduce Belle back home where she belongs. At his side. And in his bed.
It has an uptight heroine who has her whole life planned out, or thinks she does. She has so many goals and To-Do lists that she’s forgotten how to live, and Rafe shows her again how to just live, like Declan does with Anna.
Road Tripping by Noelle Adams
Ethan was Ashley’s secret crush, until he became an asshole.
Asshole is too good a word for him. It’s bad enough that he stopped talking to her brother, who was his best friend since preschool. It’s even worse that he went wild and got involved with criminal types. But the worst thing of all is the way he trapped her on this ridiculous road trip.
Another road trip story and two people who irk the hell out of each other. All that’s missing is Ireland.
A Comedy of Erinn by Celia Bonaduce
Erinn Wolf needs to reinvent herself. A once celebrated playwright turned photographer, she’s almost broke, a little lonely, and tired of her sister’s constant worry. When a job on a reality TV show falls into her lap, she’s thrilled to be making a paycheck–and when a hot Italian actor named Massimo rents her guesthouse, she’s certain her life is getting a romantic subplot. But with the director, brash, gorgeous young Jude, dogging her every step, she can’t help but look at herself through his lens–and wonder if she’s been reading the wrong script all along…
Like Anna, Erinn is chasing the wrong guy even though the right one is right under her nose.
A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.
Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be… anywhere but Spindle Cove.
These unlikely partners have one week to
• fake an elopement
• convince family and friends they’re in “love”
• outrun armed robbers
• survive their worst nightmares
• travel four hundred miles without killing each other. All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.
What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.
Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble. And maybe… just maybe… love.
The events in here are a lot like Leap Year. From the robbers to faking a relationship (not to mention the road trip, huh?) this is practically the perfect book for Leap Year fans.
Open Season by Linda Howard
Daisy Minor is bored. Worse than that, she’s boring. A plain, small-town librarian, she’s got a wardrobe as sexy as a dictionary and hasn’t been on a date in years. She’s never even had a lukewarm love affair, let alone a hot one. So when she wakes up on her thirty-fourth birthday, still living with her widowed mom and spinster aunt, she decides it’s time to get a life.
But can a lifelong good girl turn bad? No, not exactly.
But she can pretend, right?
One makeover later, Daisy has transformed herself into a party girl extraordinaire. She’s letting her hair down, dancing the night away at clubs, and laughing and flirting with men for the first time in, well, ever. With a new lease on her own place and her life, it’s open season for man-hunting.
But on her way home late one night, Daisy sees something she’s not supposed to see. Suddenly the target of a killer, she’s forced to put her manhunt on hold. But the very moment she stops looking might be the moment she finds what she’s wanted all along. Trouble is, before he can share her life, he might just have to save it.
What did you think of these choices? Have your own recommendations for Leap Year fans? Leave them in the comments below.