If you could reinvent yourself, what would you change? And are you willing to risk everything for the makeover? The drive to turn into the person you always wanted to be is both inspirational and intimidating. It takes courage to change your life, audacity to alter your future and hard work to make it stick.
That’s one of the reasons why stories about transformations intrigue us. What level of commitment is needed to walk away from everything comfortable and familiar? What if you didn’t have a road map or a fairy godmother? What if it turns out you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons?
Change is always messy. And in romance novels, the shopping spree is the easiest part of the emotional journey towards reinvention. If you want to read love stories that celebrate fresh starts, consider one of these romance novels:
In Handle with Care by Helena Hunting, Wren is a PR handler and is tasked to groom the heir apparent of the media conglomerate. Unfortunately, Lincoln is more of a grumpy mountain man than a sophisticated CEO. At first, Wren finds his appearance a challenge, but as she uncovers—layer by layer—his charismatic personality and unshakeable value system, she soon recognizes his appeal.
While she helps Lincoln in navigating social media and high society, their relationship becomes intimate and meaningful. Lincoln is not the only one who goes through a metamorphosis. He’s the impetus for change in Wren’s life. Her goals and dreams transform for the better because of his influence.
Sometimes the hero and heroine share the same self-improvement goal. Both Natasha and James in Barbara Dunlop’s The Dating Dare have been dumped and everyone believes their exes have upgraded with new lovers. Deciding that women admire power in a mate and men place more importance on looks, the two make a pact to help each other become irresistible.
Their joint image project experiences some misguidance and setbacks, and they learn to trust each other’s instincts. Nat and James become interesting and exciting on all levels. But Nat worries that the growing physical attraction between them is a problem. James has become too important to her and she doesn’t want to mess up what they have. Will she use her newfound boldness to take their partnership to the next level, or is her sense of daring only skin deep?
Makeover romances don’t always start with a new wardrobe. In Candis Terry’s Anything But Sweet, Charli is the host of a reality TV show that renovates humble and small towns. Her new assignment is Sweet, Texas, where she meets Reno, the hardware store owner.
Reno prefers his hometown just the way it is. It’s not just because he wants to keep the way things were in happier times. Reno also thinks it’s disloyal to those he has loved and lost if he doesn’t hold onto the traditions and memories. And he can’t get involved with a woman who doesn’t respect tradition, no matter how much she tempts him.
Charli understands Reno’s concerns all too well and she isn’t trying to change everything that mattered to him. Her job helps people take steps towards their new future while keeping traditions alive. Charli knows she has to challenge Reno every step of the way but she always fights for what she believes in. And as she falls in love with Reno, Charli questions the life she has created for herself. It may be time to renovate her priorities to make all her dreams come true.
Want to find more romances that include a makeover trope? Use the keywords “makeover”, “Plain Jane” or “Ugly Duckling” in your search. Don’t expect many results with “Pygmalion” or “My Fair Lady”. You can also try “Cinderella”, but those books might focus more on the rags-to-riches storylines.