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How to Find a Romance Novel by Description

“It had a pirate...or was it a knight?”

girl holding book over her face

Here at A Love So True, we know how tricky it can be to find a romance novel by description. If you can’t remember the names of the main characters or any part of the title, searches like “book where people fall in love after a marriage of convenience” can turn up quite a few titles. 

Even so, there are a few ways you can narrow down those search results. Keep reading for the five steps you can take to find a romance novel by description.

And if all else fails, you can always check out our romance book section and find a new romance to fall in love with! 

Write Down Everything

Just like when you’re searching for your soulmate, it’s the little things that count when you’re searching for a romance novel without knowing the title. Make a list of everything you can remember about the book, including what the cover looked like, the genre—was it a historical romance, or a contemporary romance?—, the names of the heroes and heroines, and even their personality traits. If you can think of any particular scenes or quotes, jot those down too. 

It might even be helpful to make a note of when you read the book—that way, you can rule out any newer titles. 

Try Google

We know—Google was probably the first place you turned, and it was less helpful than Allie’s mom in The Notebook. But thanks to all the notes you’ve written down, you just might have better luck this time. 

Plus, if you weren’t using quotes and minus signs in your search before, you can use them now to get more specific results. For example, if you’re positive about a character’s name, put it in quotes—then Google will only return results with that word in them. You can also use minus signs to get rid of any similar book titles that are clogging up your results.

Try Google Books

If regular Google hasn’t worked, move on to Google Books. This search engine specifically checks the text of every book available to buy from Google—and that’s virtually every book ever written. 

To get the most out of Google Books, search for words that you’re confident would show up in the book (quotes, character names, names of places), rather than typing in a description of the book itself. 

Check Reddit

Many subreddits are full of helpful people and internet wizards that love a good puzzle—including figuring out a romance novel by description. (Plus, it’s always fun to delve into the drama that is reddit relationship stories.)

To utilize Redditors in your romance book search, head to r/whatsthatbook, or r/tipofmytongue. Read the guidelines, rules and FAQs associated with each subreddit before you make your post—if you don’t follow them, the moderators may take it down. Then stay active and reply to any comments as necessary—the users will probably have questions or guesses that could jog your memory. 

Go to the Library

If you’ve tried everything listed above and you still feel like you’re halfway through a romantic mystery book, it’s time to ask a librarian. Librarians are essentially walking encyclopedias, and they usually love helping people research obscure topics. And if they’re stumped too, they can definitely help you find similar love stories to get lost in.

Featured photo: Danny / Unsplash