5 Romance Recs for Galentine’s Day

Ashes of Love Valentines Day TV Shows

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and if you’re anything like me—a fan of free chocolate and a bit too obsessed with fictional villains—you might be looking for some romance recs to help you weather this winter holiday.

There are a lot of lists out there for mainstream romance that is really good, but if you’re looking for fantasy or sci-fi—if you’re looking for more uhh, niche stuff, inside of that—then I might have a couple recommendations up my sleeve.

As always, my recs come with a list of tropes and content warnings, so you can tailor your reading/watching preferences even further. Hope you enjoy it, and happy Galentine’s Day!

1. Blood In Roses+ (Otome Game)

Genres: Fantasy Romance, Gothic Romance.
Play It If You Like: Paranormal shifter romances, harem romances, vampires, werewolves, monster husbands, captor/captive scenarios, mild damsel in distress tropes, gothic fashion.
Content Warnings: None.

First, on the list, I want to rec Blood In Roses+ for iOS and Android. It’s an Otome game produced by NTT Solmare that’s free to play but contains in-app purchases.

The setup for the story is pretty simple. You play a witch or a vampire hunter who lives next to the haunted Idra Forest, an area that has been controlled by supernatural creatures for centuries.

After being lured into the forest by a strange song, you find yourself kidnapped and trapped in a castle. From there, you have to escape and make your way to the hotel Libra Sincera. Once you’re safely at the hotel, you’re asked by its proprietor to solve the mystery of a nearby vampire faction, while also wooing the supernatural guy of your choice.

There are a lot of romance options in this game, ranging from vampires and werewolves to wizards and reapers. So if you’re really picky or niche with your tastes, have no fear.

Also, the secondary mystery plot is really good. I was not expecting to get as invested in it as I did but I’m hooked.

2. Ikemen Sengoku (Otome Game)

Genres: Historical Fantasy Romance.
Play It If You Like: Harem romance, time travel romance, a-historical retellings of historical events, villain ships, captor/captive scenarios, damsel in distress tropes, dress-up games.
Content Warnings: None.

Another game I’ve been getting into is Ikemen Sengoku, by CYBIRD Co. for iOS and Android. Like Blood In Roses+, Ikemen is an otome game that’s free-to-play but contains in-app purchases.

The setup for the story is the stuff of dreams (literally). Your heroine has just scored an exclusive job at a Tokyo-based fashion house when she’s sent hurtling back in time to the Sengoku Era.

After saving the warlord Oda Nobunaga, your character must then survive three months in the past before she can be sent back to the present-day—if she doesn’t end up falling in love first.

The main story is lots of fun, but the mini-events and fashion quests that are held on a monthly basis are really enjoyable as well. Also, the game is pretty as hell to look at. The aesthetic is just chef’s kiss.

3. Lips Like Ice (Book)

Genres: Erotica, Sci-Fi Romance.
Read It If You Like: Gender-fluidity, LGTBQA+ themes, captor/captive scenarios, enemies-to-lovers, full-on alien erotica.
Content Warnings: Explicit erotica, themes of abuse.

So this is an older book and one I rec’d on Metamashina, but if you haven’t listened to our more recent episodes I figured there would be no harm in recommending it again.

A sci-fi erotica set in an undetermined area of space, Lydia (our protagonist) wakes up on a spaceship to realize that she’s been kidnapped by an alien prince to be kept as his pet.

Humanoid in appearance, intensely curious, and accustomed to getting what he wants, the Prince is dismissive of Lydia and the two of them get off to a very rocky start. Soon, however, the Prince learns to feel compassion for her, and she learns that he’s a prisoner, too. This leads them to a greater understanding and a deep, all-consuming lust.

4. Ashes of Love (CDrama)

Genres: Historical Fantasy Romance.
Watch It If You Like: Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms, immortal love interests, enemies to lovers, love triangles, reincarnation, inter-generational stories, family dynamics, Hades and Persephone vibes.
Content Warnings: Abuse and implied sexual assault (but not towards the main character).

Ashes of Love is based on the novel Heavy Sweetness, Ash-Like Frost by Dian Xian. It centers around a girl named Jin Mi, who is the daughter of a flower goddess. Unfortunately, she was born under tragic circumstances.

When Jin Mi was born, her mother prophesied that she would suffer a great “love trial” that would destroy her when she came of age. To prevent this from happening, she hid her daughter away from the world in a fairy bubble. But fate cannot be thwarted, and when Jin Mi is older she meets the phoenix god Xu Feng and his dragon brother Run Yu, both of whom fall in love with her.

This is a problem, of course, as their parents were mortal enemies. Xu Feng’s mother was directly responsible for the death of Jin Mi’s.

Ashes of Love is a really in-depth series, full of angst and surprising amounts of comedy.

5. The Queen’s Gambit (Book)

Genres: Action Adventure, Sci-Fi Romance.
Read It If You Like: Soft boys, mercenary queens, anything reminiscent of Mass Effect, enemies-to-lovers in space.
Content Warnings: None.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know I’ve been screaming about this book non-stop. But if you haven’t, guess what? I’m going to scream about it again.

Originally a serial by Jessie Mihalik and now the first book in a series, The Queen’s Gambit follows Samara: mercenary queen of the Rogue Coalition, a political faction that is trying to stay out of an ongoing turf war between the Quint Confederacy and the Kos Empire. Unfortunately, this neutrality gets Samara’s ships embargoed, and her people end up starving as a result.

When the Kos Emperor—Valentin—is kidnapped, Samara decides to save him for a price. After all, what else is a girl to do when she needs a lot of cash? But when her plans go sideways and the Quint Confederacy spring their own trap, she soon realizes that the ridiculously beautiful Emperor is not the villain that she’s made him out to be. Heavy sexual tension ensues.

Romance is one of my favorite topics, so I’ll be sure to come back with new recs in the new year. Until then!

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