Self Care

4 Cozy Fall Romances With Introverted Main Characters (2023)

October 20, 2023

I'm Jess. This blog is a collection of everything I've learned as I rebuilt my self-image from a burned-out-extrovert-wannabe to an at-ease-introvert-bookworm.
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Hear me out. There are just not enough introverted main characters in the contemporary romance genre. (Eek – is it just me, or do you feel this way too?)

In my experience, there are plenty of “strong and silent” types, but that’s all they are – strong and silent (and usually grouchy). There are few characters whose thoughts, interactions, and actions truly represent the introverted experience.

In fact, one of the most disheartening aspects of growing up introverted in an extroverted culture is the lack of introverted main characters in content (think: TV, movies, books).

More often than not, an extrovert is the lead while the introvert is just the side character. Or in cases where an introvert is the main character, there’s usually a transformation at play (ex. Clueless, She’s All That, Mean Girls).

But when there is an introverted main character that is going through things you can relate to or have been through yourself just as they are? That’s pure magic. Yes, it’s commiseration – but it’s also validation that introverted stories are worth shining a light on just as they are.

4 Contemporary Romances with Introverted Main Characters

Recently, I’ve read four books that deliver on this promise: an introverted main character experiencing life in ways that I, as an introverted reader, can relate to.

I’m so excited to share them with you! Reading benefits introverts in so many ways, and the emotional satisfaction that comes from reading about introverted protagonists is just one of them.

In The Weeds by B.K. Borison

This is a steamy second-chance romance starring Evelyn and Beckett (introverted MC).

What it’s about:

Beckett is shocked when his weekend fling from months ago, Evelyn, shows up at his farm. He figured he’d never see her again except for in his dreams. After all, she left their hotel room in the middle of the night without a trace – he didn’t even know her last name. When she leaves again, returning to her life as a social media influencer, he does his best to move on. But he’s downright floored when she returns a second time, this time for an indefinite stay. Turns out Evelyn is unhappy with her life and is questioning her career. She makes her way back to Beckett’s farm because it’s the last place she felt happy… though it couldn’t have been because of the tall and tattooed farmer, right?

[This is book #2 in the Lovelight Farms series, but it can be read as a stand-alone.]

How it represents introversion:

Beckett is an introvert and, more so, he’s a Highly Sensitive Person. His tendency to become overstimulated is discussed thoughtfully. He’s accepted by his friends and family. They support him even at times when he feels ashamed and wants to hide his true feelings. I found the scenes where Beckett’s discussing feeling overstimulated to be painfully accurate. My heart broke a little at times when he wanted to hide it because I’ve been there too.

Books with introverted main characters: In The Weeds by B.K. Borison.

Morbidly Yours by Ivy Fairbanks

This is a slow-burn friends-to-lovers romance starring Callum (introvert) and Lark.

What it’s about:

Lark, a transplant from Austin, Texas, is settling into her new apartment in Galway, Ireland when she realizes she’s moved next door to a funeral home owned (and operated) by a very good-looking Irishman. Despite having opposite personalities, Lark gives Callum time and space (ish) to forge a friendship. Their friendship deepens, and he becomes a support system as she settles into life abroad (and processes the trauma from her recent past). On the flip side, she encourages him as he steps out of his comfort zone and begins dating (not by choice – turns out, he’ll lose his business if he’s not married before his next birthday).

How it represents introversion:

Callum is an introvert and could also be considered a Highly Sensitive Person. In Callum’s case, his experiences have also been defined by his speech impediment. Reading this, I think the author did a fantastic job articulating what it’s like to be introverted and an HSP, but also to be isolated because of insecurities. There is ableism in this book that’s heartbreaking to read, but Callum is generally accepted, especially by Lark. I would argue that there’s a real lesson to be learned here: how small actions, like patiently waiting for someone to finish their sentence, can be a sign of support and respect.

Books with introverted main characters: Morbidly Yours by Ivy Fairbanks.

Time to Bloom by Katherine Bitner

This is a college romance that’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster (in the words of Taylor Swift, don’t say I didn’t warn you). It stars Larkin and Wesley, both of whom have some introverted tendencies.

What it’s about:

At the start of Larkin’s sophomore year, she promises herself she’ll focus on school. After all, maintaining a high GPA is the best way to keep her overbearing mom off her back. But when she meets Wesley, a tattooed grad who’s working in town, her plans go out the window. She can’t stay away from Wes – and he can’t get enough of Lark either. They fall crazy in love, and we’re along for the ride – even when things start to fall apart. This book is set on a college campus and has big fall semester vibes.

How it represents introversion:

There are two things the author does really well. First is capturing what it’s like to be an introvert in college. Already, there is an inherent tension at play between Lark’s desires and the conventional “college experience.” The second is capturing how a single deep connection can be more significant than countless shallow connections. In my experience, that’s a uniquely introverted experience, and Katherine captures it beautifully.

Books with introverted main characters: Time to Bloom by Katherine Bitner.

Role Playing by Cathy Yardley

This is a friends-to-lovers romance about Maggie and Aiden (both introverted).

What it’s about:

Maggie and Aiden meet playing video games online. They enjoy playing together, but there’s one teeny misunderstanding: she thinks he’s a college freshman (he’s actually 50), and he thinks she’s a badass 80-year-old (she’s actually 48). When they meet IRL, they realize that they were really, really wrong… and that they’re kind of into each other. The burn in this book is slow, but it’s worth it. Their relationship evolves as they lean on each other to navigate life’s many obstacles including toxic family dynamics.

How it represents introversion:

This book is a cozy love letter to being yourself. After some harrowing experiences, Maggie is unapologetically herself. It is so refreshing to read about an introverted woman who knows what she’s willing to tolerate (and what she’s not). Yet she is empathetic, nurturing, and non-judgmental toward Aiden, which he truly needs in his journey. Aiden is the sweetest people-pleaser who has to learn how to put himself first. Honest communication and boundary-setting are explored in this book which are critical to any relationship, not just romantic ones. At the end, I felt like I was cozying up after a long day of slaying metaphorical dragons – and winning.

Books with introverted main characters: Role Playing by Cathy Yardley.

Last Minute Thoughts

If you’re an introvert, reading is an incredible way to recharge your social battery. It doesn’t matter what you read as long as it’s engaging and you enjoy it. 

However, reading about introverted main characters navigating life can be validating and empowering. 

There’s an understanding that introverts don’t like to be in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean we’re content with being on the sidelines. After all, we are the main characters in our own stories and our stories are worth telling.

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