AAR’s Disabilities in Romance Special Titles List was last updated in 2013, and a lot of amazing books featuring disabled or chronically ill protagonists have been published or added to our database since then. We wanted to shout out some of our favorites, so welcome to the latest AAR Loves… and this one is a loooong list, so look out for part two soon!

Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

Upon deplaning from a flight spent flirting and bonding over video games with his seatmate Ryan Orson, Josiah Simmons says the first thing that pops into his head. It turns out that exclaiming over loss of limbs to an amputee soldier is basically the worst possible thing he could have said. Still, Ryan takes pity on Josiah and offers to share his hotel room when they both get stranded, and the relationship blooms. Ryan and Josiah are an incredibly solid couple. Ryan’s story arc impresses even more than Josiah’s, even though Josiah has issues to deal with as well. There’s definitely a good dash of angst, so if that’s not your cup of tea, steer clear.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Blue Skies by Catherine Anderson

Anderson does a fantastic job creating a blind heroine, Carly, who never appears helpless or superhuman. Instead, she possesses a balanced set of strengths and weaknesses that feel utterly believable. The romantic relationship between Carly and Hank starts off rocky but ends up turning into a wonderful partnership. Our reviewer says, “I never felt that Hank pitied Carly because of her disability, and as a blind woman myself, I appreciated that. We all want to be seen as desirable, and Ms. Anderson did a fantastic job showing all the ways in which Hank desired Carly.”

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Companion Contract by Solace Ames

When adult film star Amy Mendoza is summoned to a party to retrieve a friend who has overdosed, she encounters Emanuel de la Isla, rock bassist who is an albino Afro-Colombian. Emanuel steps in when partygoers fling insults and snap pictures of the Filipina star. Amy can’t forget his beauty and intensity, so when he contacts her with a business proposition, she is intrigued. The entire cast of characters is well done. Amy, in particular, is wonderful. She knows who she is and makes no apologies for that She’s a businesswoman who makes careful decisions about her career. Plus, there is plenty here to steam up the screen of your ereader!

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout

It’s rare to find disabled characters in urban fantasy titles. Storm and Fury, the first book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger series, features a strong and resourceful teenage heroine, Trinity, who is losing her vision due to a progressive eye disease. She’s trained all her life to be a fighter, and she is forced to learn new ways of fighting that don’t rely on vision. She’s grieving the loss of her sight, but she’s also determined not to let it define her. She and Zayne, her love interest, both work to come up with ways for Trinity to be a full participant in the community, and her disability doesn’t sideline her.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

This new adult romance effectively captures the mind and feelings of a college aged woman who has suffered a permanent leg injury. Corey is a determined, stubborn young woman with the normal insecurities of a twenty something female, with fears and insecurities about her physical appearance magnified by her disability. She wants people to see beyond her wheelchair to the woman inside it and goes out of her way to prove to others and herself that her disability won’t hold her back. This story is funny, emotional, and romantic with likeable characters and a sweet happy ending.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Mad Earl’s Bride by Loretta Chase

Dorien Camoys, Earl of Rawnsley, believes himself to be dying of the brain disease that claimed his mother. The exact nature of the headaches and light disturbances that plague the hero in this novella are a spoiler, but those of us who experience it will recognize a fellow sufferer immediately. Suffice to say he’s not dying – and his heroine, Miss Gwendolyn Adams, will take their arranged marriage and give him a reason to live with his condition.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Chance of a Lifetime by Marissa Clarke

This sexy and fun second chance romance stars Gen Richards, a blind woman determined to accomplish all the things on her bucket list, and Chase, her former high school boyfriend who finds himself helping her with her goals. The author does an excellent job of bringing to life the challenges a blind person experiences while at the same time showing how living through those challenges gives that person a sense of self. This is truly a delightful story and one with a lot of heart to go along with the humor.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn

Lottery winner Greer Hawthorne uses her windfall to go to college, and she needs a photography credit to graduate. Alex Averin, her friend’s older brother, just happens to be an award-winning conflict photojournalist. Greer’s Chiari malformation made her family overprotective, while a traumatic and neglected childhood gave Alex panic attacks and anxiety. As our reviewer put it, Best of Luck masquerades as a simple (swoony) opposites-attract romance, and then slowly reveals itself as a lovely meditation on what it means to know and understand – and embrace – our truest selves. Alex and Greer slowly discover the freedom that comes in wanting – but not needing – someone with whom to share their secret selves.”

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

In this fun, sexy, and thoroughly enjoyable geek culture themed romance, the heroine has ataxia, a neurological condition resulting from a childhood bout of meningitis. The author has done an excellent job showing how other people’s expectations affect Reggie, and her love interest Gus is an absolute sweetheart who admires and respects Reggie and makes it clear that her wheelchair is no barrier to his feelings for her.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Worth it All by Claudia Connor

A car accident as a teenager took J.T. McKinney’s lower left leg, and now he works as an engineer developing cutting-edge prostheses. Single mom Paige’s four year old daughter Casey is missing the same part of the same leg, because hers never grew. It’s nice to watch a mentorship relationship between an adult and a child, as J.T. helps Casey with her struggles with her prosthetic. Even if this book is a bit too sweet at times, a mature, genuine courtship between J.T. and Paige make it an enjoyable read.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan

Ed Maurer suffered a neck injury that could have killed him, but instead killed his football career and left him with chronic pain. He’s disgusted with prancy Laurie Parker, who teaches ballet next door to his weightlifting class – until Laurie starts teaching Ed to dance. Cullinan’s descriptions of the men doing sultry South American dances sing. Ed’s vision of Laurie’s talent and his support to see Laurie dance professionally again are lyrically written, and Laurie helps Ed adjust to the fact that he can’t ever play football – the only activity that really satisfied him – again. Ultimately both men need each other to go forward and to be happy. And what is love, really, except a life steeped in happiness?

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Three Nights with a Scoundrel by Tessa Dare

Noble by-blow Julian Bellamy’s best friend Leo was murdered by thugs, and Julian is guilt-stricken, sure the men were after him instead. Leo’s twin, Lady Lily Chatwick, teams up with Julian to learn more. Lily went deaf as an adult following a fever, and this book shows her lip-reading realistically (for instance, noting that she understands the main ideas but may have missed specific words) and also using sign language. Our reviewer praised the book for its “well rounded and interesting, complex characters with wonderful chemistry and even better, intimacy that goes far beyond the sexual.”

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

When a Duke Says I Do by Jane Goodger

A hero with severe anxiety meets a heroine who truly sees him, and together they work to overcome their pasts. Elsie and Alexander feel vulnerable and real. Their struggles and trauma are sadly understandable, not at all contrived, and add to the emotional quality of the book. There are historical romances that are well-written in terms of historical detail, grand adventure or just plain steaminess, but it’s got harder to find one that truly pulls at the heartstrings in the way that this one does.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Risk Aware by Amelia C. Gormley

Geoff Gilchrest is a genius tattoo artist, and a mild sexual masochist. Unfortunately, he is also a haemophiliac, so a tattoo of his own or a mild flogging could kill him. Geoff is understandably bitter about his illness and the weakness he perceives it to be, and the author explores the effects of growing up with this condition. Geoff meets Robin, a handsome Dom who has no intention of re-joining the scene; however, for a few days, Robin shows Geoff the possibilities and the pleasures that can be his with trust, complete honesty and commitment. This novel is well written and paced and takes the reader with Geoff and Robin as they discover if what they have is more than BDSM sex.

Buy it at: Amazon

Interested in finding more books AAR Loves..?

Check out these posts:

Yes We Can! Our Favourite Activist Heroines

Romances featuring Refugee Heroines

Romancing it Royally – Some of our favourite royal romances

AAR Loves… Historical Romances featuring scientist heroines

AAR Loves… Romances featuring music and musicians

AAR Loves… Romances featuring realistic parent/child relationships

AAR Loves… Partners to Lovers romances – Part One (Military, law enforcement etc.)

AAR Loves… Partners to Lovers romances – Part Two

AAR Loves… Seasoned Romance

Five Baseball Romances Worth Your Time

AAR Loves… Modern Historicals

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I'm a history geek and educator, and I've lived in five different countries in North America, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the usual subgenres, I'm partial to YA, Sci-fi/Fantasy, and graphic novels. I love to cook.