7 joyfully diverse rom-coms to read this Valentine's Day

Naina Kumar's Say You'll Be My Jaan is brimming with characters you can't help but fall for, off-the-charts chemistry and all the joy of a 90s rom-com as it takes a fresh look on that age old search for your other half. This Valentine's Day, we invited Naina to recommend her favourite inclusive rom-coms to buy from your favourite bookshop. 

Don't forget, if you spend your National Book Tokens (or Bookily gift cards) in your local bookshop before 29th February, you could win £500/€500 in cash.

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Naina Kumar

"February is the month of love, and Valentine's Day gives us the perfect excuse to pick up a great rom-com (or two…or three!). There's nothing I love more than reading about romance, and in recent years it's been so exciting to see more and more diverse representation in rom-coms. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented in the stories they adore, particularly in love stories, which are fundamentally about joy. Below you'll find some of my favourite rom-coms in this tradition, as well as my debut novel, Say You'll Be My Jaan, which foregrounds the South Asian experience, drawn from my own life." Naina Kumar

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

In this perfect grumpy/sunshine pairing, Eve Brown crashes (quite literally) into the life of an uptight Bed & Breakfast owner, but as they work together and fall in love, both end up learning more about themselves in the process.

Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron

Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron

Set during a destination wedding and safari in Tanzania, this book is a delightful second-chance romance about Jana Suleiman who’s learning how to let loose and walk on the wild side, all while rediscovering her feelings for her ex.

Tastes Like Shakkar by Nisha Sharma

Tastes Like Shakkar by Nisha Sharma

In this reimagining of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, wedding planner Bobbi Kaur and chef Benjamin "Bunty" Padda, two sworn enemies, have to put their differences aside and work together to pull off the perfect wedding for their mutual friends, especially when they realise someone is trying to sabotage the wedding.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Khai Diep avoids relationships, but his mother is determined to find him a match, visiting Vietnam to bring him back the perfect bride. Esme Tran comes to America hoping to win Khai over, and her lessons in love seems to be working…but only on herself. Khai and Esme are characters you can’t help but root for, and their love story is beautiful.

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest

A shy bookworm enlists her charming neighbour to help her score a date, not knowing he’s the obscure author she’s secretly been corresponding with. With secret identities and an epistolary element, fans of You've Got Mail will love this charming romance.

Exes and O's by Amy Lea

Exes and O's by Amy Lea

On her hunt for true love, a romance novel-obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes, with the help of her new handsome firefighter roommate. But she discovers love might have been a lot closer than she'd first thought.

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams

The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams

Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn't plan on Britta. Filled with incredible banter, chemistry, and playfulness, both characters develop a real friendship and help each other work through their issues as they fall in love.

About Say You'll Be My Jaan by Naina Kumar

"Think of it like Tinder. Except your parents are the algorithm"

Meghna has tried everything to find her jaan: blind dates, the dreaded apps, even attempting conversations with strangers. Everything except arranged marriage.

Then Seth, her best friend and the-one-who-got-away, asks her to be his "best man" and suddenly her parents' taste doesn't seem so bad. Which is how she meets the cranky but handsome Karthik, who knows marriage is not for him.

They're the perfect match – if not the one their parents think they are making – and a deal is struck. They'll announce their engagement: Karthik will be excused from his mother's set-ups and Meghna will have a date for the wedding from her nightmares.

But how can you fake it and get away with it, when you’re not faking it at all?

Say You'll Be My Jaan

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