Chrissa Hardy
October 24, 2013 9:00 am

We all have our guilty pleasures. Our vices. And I learned two things about mine recently. One – romance novels are my vice. Well, one of my vices. (Love you too, Bravo TV and Junior Mints.) But also, just because it’s a “guilty pleasure” doesn’t mean there should be any actual guilt tied to it. SO WHAT if I enjoy reading about two gorgeous misfits that fall in love unexpectedly, under impossible circumstances? SO WHAT if I can’t get enough of the girl next door and rugged rebel love story? I just love love, you guys. #sorrynotsorry

When I was looking for my next romance novel to consume in 48 hours or less, I was pumped to find Harlequin KISS. They release four new romance titles per month, and I have yet to read one that isn’t thrilling and all sorts of spicy.  *And we’re giving away all four October books to five very lucky winners! Details below.

And really, it’s the same as falling in love with our favorite fictional couples from TV or movies. Maybe I’m a romantic fool, but there’s a consuming magic in new love that makes it compelling to the people just following the story. For example, I remember how I felt when Jim unexpectedly interrupted Pam’s interview/confessional on The Office and asked her to dinner instead of taking the job in New York. She blushes, tears fill her eyes and when she looks up at the camera and says, “I’m sorry. What was the question?” I melted. Even reliving it now makes me giddy.

Or on Friends when Ross said Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s at his wedding? YOU GUYS. That was story heaven. I went to story heaven in that moment and only returned to Earth when the credits rolled. 

Don’t even get me started on Nick and Jess… That first kiss was absolute perfection.

There are moments in love stories that just hit you. That leave you breathless. As if you are in them yourself. And the four new titles for October from Harlequin KISS are no exception. All e-books are available for just $1.99, so you will gobble these books up without any budget guilt. Also, they all feature the same dynamics as some of the best fictional couples of all time.

Last Groom Standing by Kimberly Lang

He recently had his heart broken by a fiancee who left him for another man. She has been watching all of her best friends settle down and she has yet to meet a guy that’s worthy of settling with. They’re brought together in a passionate encounter that could easy be brushed off as a one night thing. But it doesn’t. They stay in contact. They get to know each other. And even though the sex happened immediately, they fall in love slowly.

Who does that sound like? Monica and Chandler from Friends, maybe?

Whose Bed is it Anyway? by Natalie Anderson

The grumpy, guarded guy. Known for his heroic acts as a medic who travels to places ravaged by natural disasters to save crying babies. He knows he’s not really the hero that everyone thinks he is. There’s a dark past there that forces him to keep his distance from people and commitment in general. The former soap star and recent celeb trainwreck that needed a place to hide for a month so that the internet and the trolls that often attacked her could forget that she ever held the spotlight. They end up in the same bed. His bed. He thinks she’s a hooker that his brother hired. She is reasonably offended by this and dismisses him as a jerk. Somehow, they agree to share his apartment for a month and try being “just friends”. Right.

I read this and I kept picturing Carrie and Big from SATC, Arlene and Terry from True Blood, Kate and Jack from LOST, and Tara and Jax from SOA. Human beings with flaws and regrettable pasts. It’s the whole, ‘both of us need saving, so let’s save each other’ thing. Equal ground. It’s kinda beautiful.

Backstage with Her Ex by Louisa George

The bad boy rockstar from her past. His high school sweetheart that was always too good for him. They reunite in a surprising way and fall in love all over again.

I mean, Dylan and Brenda from 90210, you guys. Jess and Rory from Gilmore Girls. Sookie and Eric from True Blood. Those bad boys just have a way about them, eh?

Blame it on the Champagne by Nina Harrington

The quiet, rigid good girl who’s too driven to let her hair down. Until she meets the charismatic athlete that breaks down her walls and shows her how to have fun.

In reality, people don’t change. The quiet, rigid ones will always be that way. But it’s easy to fall into a behavioral routine when nobody is trying to introduce you to something different. It’s nice when that does happen. We could all use a little more adventure in our lives, wouldn’t you say?

This story made me think of April and Andy from Parks and Rec, Julia and Joel on Parenthood, the couples that are polar opposites, but still manage to bring out the best in each other.

Giveaway Deets:

In the comments below, answer this: Favorite romantic moment of all time? (Can be from a book, movie, or show.) Share your answer for a chance to win free copies of these books!

*Only entries from residents of US will be considered.

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