Jul 4 2014 9:00am

Beyond Borders: Loving Outside Your Country in Romance Novels!

Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha YoungOne of the first times I encountered a romance where people from different countries meet and fall in love was Sharon Creech’s Bloomability: Girl goes to awesome international boarding school, meets boy and comes of age. It makes sense that romance authors would like to take people from two entirely different cultures and throw them together. For example, the Dublin Street series by Samantha Young features two romances where an American citizen falls for a Scotsman: the first book in the series, On Dublin Street, and the third book, Before Jamaica Lane. On Dublin Street's Joss is a heroine with a tragic past and Braden is the perfect alpha male counterpart. Meanwhile, Nate and Olivia in Before Jamaica Lane present a great friends-to-lovers story all set amidst Scotland’s capital.

If you’re a fan of Irishmen you need to pick up Edie Harris’s Stripped, a great little novel about a make-up artist heroine (love the diversity in her job) and a new European heartthrob, Declan. Fiona is a reluctant heroine, so Declan finds the process of taking down her walls that much sweeter. Together, the pair sizzle while Fiona tries (and mostly fails) to keep things professional with Declan.

If you like international rockstars, you’ll love Marian Tee’s How Not to be Seduced by Rockstars series. The romance is between fish-loving (she studies marine life), Saffi March and her hero, Sweden’s #1 Sex God, Staffan Aeherenthal. Saffi is an endearing heroine, especially with her construction of swears that normally involve some kind of fish alliteration. Staffan is the typical alpha hero who calls Saffi endearing names in another language.

A male point-of-view can be found in the Molly Ringle book, Relatively Honest. The hero, Daniel Revelstoke is an English transplant to the American campus where he falls for his first cousin, Julie.

Ink by Amanda SunLovers of young adult and paranormal romances will want to pick up Amanda Sun’s Ink and Rain respectively. The two books are the latest in a series about American Katie Greene moving to Shizuoka, Japan. Aside from dealing with the language barrier and new atmosphere, Katie also has to investigate the mysterious power of her classmate, Tomohiro.

Another YA novel with this set-up is Paul Rudnick’s Gorgeous. An ordinary girl living a pretty mundane life is transformed in this twisted fairytale. Oh, and she falls in love with the fictional Prince of England. If you like fashion, intrigue and a little magic, Gorgeous is a good choice.

Chanel Cleeton’s I See London and London Falling feature a South Carolinian girl, Maggie, in relationships with British heartthrob Hugh and the super popular half-Lebanese, half-French Samir Khouri. While the students seem to party more than they study, fans who like steamy scenes and almost a Gossip Girl-like atmosphere will find Cleeton’s world intriguing.

A new take on the cheating trope is presented in the story of two star-crossed lovers, one Canadian and one Spanish. Karina Halle’s Love in English revolves around Vera teaching conversational English in Spain while she falls in love with the dashing and unfortunately married, Matteo. Highly regarded and praised, Love in English presents an international love story told from the “other woman’s” point-of-view.

Theodora Taylor’s Her Viking Wolf, part of the 50 Loving States series features Chloe, a heroine of color who's also a shape-shifting wolf, who hosts her own pioneer woman web show. Chloe's hero is international in both space and time as he’s a Viking alpha wolf. It’s a pretty diverse romance in tone and the wackiness of the plot makes it fun while at the same time, Taylor knows how to write winning sex scenes.

Which are your favorite beyond borders romances?



Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I've enjoyed Laura Florand's Amour et Chocolat series which are set in France but whose heroines have been Americans (as I recall).
Janet Webb
2. JanetW
There are so many cross-border romances, it's hard to pick just one but a new series (Unruly Royals) by American author Megan Mulry features American/British heroes/heroines. The first, A Royal Pain is awfully cute. A Chicago executive meets a British doctoral student ... or so*she*thinks. Turns out he's a Duke with some seriously royal connections. I liked it: it's salty, funny, and poignant.
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