evermore + romance novels, Part Two

If you missed part one, check that out here. I’m excited and nervous to be presenting you with the next eight song and book combinations to finish up evermore songs paired with romance novels. There’s probably going to be less analysis because I sliced off part of my pointer finger on my right hand and now it’s really hard to type. But, let’s just go ahead and dive in!

evermore + Romance Recs
Key Lyric: My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand
Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another
Oh, I can’t
Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I’m covered in you

“ivy” + Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan

So, Kennedy Ryan is the only person who could really have me supporting a relationship skating the line (crossing it maybe?) of infidelity and Block Shot is the perfect book to showcase that. Banner and Jared met in college and they had a great connection, but then there’s this really horrifying misunderstanding (TW: fatphobia) and they don’t speak for years. When Jared reenters Banner’s life, she’s in a long-term relationship, but even though she doesn’t want to admit it, that connection is still there. This is my favorite Kennedy book, I think, for sure my favorite stand alone and I feel like it’s a good match for “ivy,” which is one of my favorite songs on the album.

Key Lyrics: Never wanted love
Just a fancy car
Now I’m waiting by the phone
Like I’m sitting in an airport bar

“cowboy like me” + The Player by Kresley Cole

This is probably another weird choice, bit the thing about “cowboy like me” is that it’s essentially about two scammers who fall in love with each other, at least on the surface. So… Literally what can be better to pair with it than a book about a scammer thinking she’s found a mark and then oops, falling in love with him? And if you’ve read The Player, you know there’s another reason this song works so perfectly. But a book with a similar vibe that I know of, despite having not read yet, is Love, Unsolicited by Alexandra Warren, which I really need to read! If you are more in the mood for something historical, maybe you would like Courtney Milan’s Proof by Seduction or Joanna Shupe’s Baron.

Key Lyric: And I fell from the pedestal
Right down the rabbit hole
Long story short, it was a bad time

“long story short” + The Roommate by Rosie Danan

Listen, this is actually my favorite song on the album and I want a million books that give you these vibes. For me, it actually sort of reminds me of Celaena from Throne of Glass and specifically that transition from Crown of Midnight to Heir of Fire to Queen of Shadows. Unfortunately, to tell you much more would result in me spoiling things so I’ll refrain and instead give you a different recommendation. My real answer for this is actually going to be The Roommate by Rosie Danan because Clara moves to LA for her childhood friend and crush, but once she arrives he immediately leaves, Clara moved in part because she needs a change, but I suppose her fall from the pedestal so to speak comes because her move and the way she doesn’t really have a plan. But she pulls herself together, in part with the help of her new roommate, Josh.

Key Lyrics: And if I didn’t know better
I’d think you were talking to me now
If I didn’t know better
I’d think you were still around

“marjorie” + Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese

There are so many romances that do grief well, but despite the fact that Taylor’s grandma passed away in 2003, there’s something immediate about this song to me. So I thought that Only When It’s Us where Willa’s mom passes away during the course of the book would be an appropriate pairing. Another option where the loss is less recent and where you also have the whole carrying on something that the person close to you loved too would be Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey, where again, Rosie lost her mom. In complete contrast, if you want a fun grandma who is still alive, the grandma in Get a Life, Chloe Brown and Take a Hint, Dani Brown is utterly delightful and I adore her immensely.

Key Lyrics: Don’t treat me like
Some situation that needs to be handled
I’m fine with my spite
And my tears, and my beers and my candles
I can feel you smoothing me over

“closure” + The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

So “closure” is like the opposite vibes of the makings of a good romance novel on the one hand and on the other hand, I love a woman with this energy. Plus, in truth, “closure” feels way more about a song about Taylor’s crappy former record label than it does a romantic relationship. And you know what I think about when I think about a woman with a terrible boss? The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon and If the Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon. I was so mad at both of these bosses, but The Ex Talk especially really delivers on the moment when Shay quits her job (for me, anyway). Another good quitting your job moment is Untouchable by Talia Hibbert. It’s GLORIOUS.

Key Lyrics: I had a feeling so peculiar
That this pain would be for
Evermore

“evermore” + Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Okay, I know there are other books with mental health rep that I’ve loved, but whenever I think about mental health rep, the book I think of really is Hate to Want You, which I love an absurd amount. I have a feeling Invitation to the Blues by Roan Parrish will fit this song really, really well, but I haven’t gotten to it quite yet. A recent example is Ever After Always by Chloe Liese, in which Aiden has really bad anxiety and his marriage is in trouble. But anyway, this song really is, to me, a song that completely embodies the pandemic and then is hopeful at the end. So… obviously these books work perfectly. Please share with me though your favorite romance novels with mental health representation.

Key Lyrics: I stayed there
Dust collected on my pinned-up hair
They expected me to find somewhere
Some perspective, but I sat and stared

“right where you left me” + The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

I think all four books in this quartet are probably good for a song like this, but there are some serious content warnings. The conceit for the series is that these four women are survivors of a mass shooting at their high school prom. All four are in some way stuck in the past and need to forgive themselves of survivor’s guilt and move forward with their lives. For some reason The One You Can’t Forget stands out to me as fitting this song best because Rachel really seems to be stuck in the past in a way the other three aren’t. She’s a successful lawyer, but it seems like relationships just don’t really work for her because she isn’t dating the right kind of people. Anyway, after she is the victim of a mugging and rescued by Wes, things really start to change in her life and she sort of takes charge of her own life again. I will also say though that Ezra in A Wedding One Christmas by Therese Beharrie also is still really stuck on the way his last relationship ended at the start of the book!

Key Lyrics: That old familiar body ache
The snaps from the same little breaks in your soul
You know when it’s time to go

“it’s time to go” + Turning Up the Heat by Laura Florand

So before we dive into a romance novel that fits this song, let me tell you about how perfectly Untamed by Glennon Doyle fits this song! I know Taylor read Untamed because of a response she made to either Abby or Glennon’s tweet one day about their daughter and I really feel like this song and that book are like… meant to be experienced together. In Untamed, Glennon talks about the knowing and how she knew when it was time to leave her husband and take a leap of faith for a relationship with Abby. This is a memoir/self-help crossover, but honestly the HEA Abby and Glennon are living is a romance novel of sorts and I love it.

Anyway, a romance novel that seems like it shouldn’t fit this song right off, but that I really think works is Turning Up the Heat by Laura Florand because Léa takes off to a solo vacation to Tahiti because she felt like she had lost herself and who she is. I think this quick marriage in trouble novella captures this sense of knowing and also trying to reconnect with that knowing really well. So that’s my choice!

Now, as I mentioned in part one, I have sought out some blog posts that pair novels with evermore songs so that if you didn’t get a song pairing that works for you, maybe one of these will help! Here’s one from Steph; one from Sabrina and Vera; one from Holly; and one from Miranda. I hope you find some book to song pairing that gives you joy! Also apologies for any typos that I’ve missed. Typing without my pointer finger is really challenging, but I managed!

xx

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