An Extremely Opinionated List of the Best Romance Novels

I've read them all, and these are definitely the steamiest books.

best romance books

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Whether you salivate over historical fiction that follows the fluttering hearts of yesteryear, witchy paranormal romance that proves you don't need flesh and blood to get frisky, rom-coms that pair hilarious hijinks with the steamier stuff or the type of stories that might get sidelong glances on public transit, we've got a romance book you'll want to read over and over again.

And to those who think romance is just for bored housewives picking up a bodice-ripper at the grocery store checkout counter, think again. The romance realm has a lot of romance-plus-other to offer that might surprise you — although we'd never turn down one of those fun, flirty grocery store standards either. Many of our favorite romance books also feature exciting adventure, LGBTQ+ love stories and lyrical prose. Add these to your TBR pile, and don't forget to check out the Good Housekeeping book club once you're done, for even more feel-good reads.

It Ends with Us Boxed Set by Colleen Hoover (2023)

It Ends with Us Boxed Set by Colleen Hoover (2023)

Grab the box set so you won't have to frantically order the second installment of this smash hit from Colleen Hoover. If you haven't read her books yet, start with these two and then work your way through the back catalog. In them, you'll meet Lily, a woman who finds herself in a bit of a love triangle as she grapples with her new relationship with Ryle, and re-meeting her ex lover, Atlas. It contains a lot of heartbreak, as domestic violence is a critical part of Lily's story, but it's also extremely touching.

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (2018)

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (2018)

More nerdy storylines, please! In this novel from Helen Hoang, Stella Lane is the genius mathematician who puts herself in remedial romance — by hiring escort Michael Phan to teach her the ins and outs of sex. We consider it the perfect equation for a great read.

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood (2023)

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood (2023)

Rival physicists. Fake dating. Real love? Hazelwood's trio of STEM romances that sees her characters spar on both professional and personal fronts are definitely not homework. Did somebody leave a bunsen burner on, or are things heating up in here?

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan (2023)

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan (2023)

Sports fans know how emotional a high-stakes game can get. Add actual romance into the mix, and all we can say is just remember to hydrate. This heartstring-tugger is all about missed connections, tarnished golden boys and the darkness that can lie beneath the most glittering exteriors.

Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (2023)

Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (2023)

Sage Flores has been running from her ability to commune with plants ever since her sister passed away. But after she's forced to return to her hometown and slips back into her old life — including reconnecting with a high school flame who broke her heart — she can't deny her gift or her family any longer. You could cut the tension here with a knife, or should we say, a pair of gardening shears.

With Love, from Cold World by Alicia Thompson (2023)

With Love, from Cold World by Alicia Thompson (2023)

From the author of the hit Love in the Time of Serial Killers comes the perfect workplace romance for fans of a certain mouse-centric theme park. Lauren is a serious bookkeeper at a theme park where it's always winter, which doesn't get quite the crowds as its more famous counterparts. Asa is her fun-loving coworker who's always trying to spice things up around the office. Of course, their boss asks them to team up on a project. And naturally, sparks fly. Read to find out the rest.

Vision In White by Nora Roberts (2012)

Vision In White by Nora Roberts (2012)

The prolific Nora Roberts has penned more than 200 romance novels, but this one earned top marks from her fans as the first installment in The Bride Quartet . Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot operates a wedding planning company with three friends. When a day on the job introduces her to sweet and stable English teacher Carter Maguire, their casual fling might lead to her own happy ending.

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Violeta by Isabel Allende (2022)

Violeta by Isabel Allende (2022)

Allende is one of the best romance writers of our time, and her latest doesn't disappoint. This epic story of a woman who perseveres through two pandemics, war, the Great Depression and the battle for equal rights is not only a passionate love story but a testament to the strength of the human spirit.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2013)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (2013)

They say you never forget your first love. Test that theory by taking a trip down memory lane with Eleanor and Park, two lovestruck misfit teens in 1986. They're smart enough to know young love never lasts, but brave enough to try anyway.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (2016)

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (2016)

If you've ever carried a torch for a colleague (the scandal!) this novel will feel familiar. Coworkers Lucy Hutton and her sworn nemesis Joshua Templeman have a rivalry as bitter as they come, especially as they compete for the same promotion. At least, it starts out that way.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day (2014)

Bared to You by Sylvia Day (2014)

If you like your romance in multiple installments, try the Crossfire series. Big city newbie Eva Tramell literally falls at the feet of billionaire tycoon Gideon Cross, kickstarting a steamy affair that reveals secrets from both their dark pasts. Sound familiar? There's a reason one Amazon reviewer called it the "soap opera version of Fifty Shades of Grey ."

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (2019)

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (2019)

After a health scare, Chloe Brown makes a list of things to do to help her "get a life," including doing something bad. Naughty doesn't come naturally to good-girl Chloe, so she enlists the help of rough-and-tumble handyman Red. But what she finds is more than meets the eye, in this first in an absolutely devour-able series.

Happy Place by Emily Henry (2023)

Happy Place by Emily Henry (2023)

Harriet and Wyn’s friend group has spent languorous summer days at the same Maine house for a decade, so when it goes up for sale, they’re determined to soak up one last week of memories. There’s just one problem: Harriet and Wyn haven’t told their crew they’re no longer engaged, so they’re stuck sharing a room to keep up the charade. But is it all really just for show, or are sparks flying? Read this one now while you wait for the queen of beach reads' next hit to drop.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (2018)

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (2018)

You really can't go wrong with any of Jasmine Guillory's fun, romantic romps, but this sporty love story is especially great. Freelance writer Nik's boyfriend proposes at a Dodger's game, and the dude can't even spell her name right. She says no (obviously), and the video goes viral. Handsome doctor Carlos sweeps her away from the frenzy, but he can't possibly be the real deal. Or can he?

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Delta of Venus by Anais Nin (1977)

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin (1977)

If you've never read Anaïs Nin and call yourself a romance fan , fix that right now. This vintage short story collection's erotic vibes still hold up. But don't take our word for it — turn off the lights, slip into something slinky and try it for yourself.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)

This 1847 classic tells the tale of courageous governess and heroine Jane Eyre and her brooding employer with a terrible secret, Mr. Rochester. Groundbreaking for its time, the first-person narrative set a new standard for what romance could be — no wonder readers still love it more than 170 years later.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2012)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (2012)

Look, we understand that a retelling of The Iliad sounds more like history class than a romantic read, but pick this one up and get ready to eat your words. It's an action-packed epic with one heck of a love story that will change the way you look at the classic tale forever.

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (2023)

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld (2023)

If the title doesn't get your attention, and you've somehow missed Sittenfeld's other star-tier books, the sizzling plot will do it. This one's about a late-night comedy writer who falls for a pop star with a rep for dating knockouts, which she definitely is not. If you've ever shipped Saturday Night Live stars, this one's for you.

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (2019)

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (2019)

McQuiston has earned their place in the canon of contemporary romance, and this sexy royals romance is one of the reasons. Ever wonder what would happen if, say, a Kennedy fell in love with a Windsor? With this book, you don't have to.

Love at First Like: A Novel by Hannah Orenstein (2019)

Love at First Like: A Novel by Hannah Orenstein (2019)

Eliza co-owns a jewelry shop with her sister, and accidentally posts an Instagram of herself wearing a diamond ring on you-know-which finger. The photo blows up, and she realizes even a fake engagement is good for the ol' bottom line. But then she meets Blake. He's great, except for one thing: Blake doesn't know about her ruse, and Eliza doesn't know how much longer she can keep it all up.

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The 60 Best Romance Novels to Sweep You Off Your Feet

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Blog – Posted on Tuesday, Nov 03

The 60 best romance novels to sweep you off your feet.

The 60 Best Romance Novels to Sweep You Off Your Feet

Romance is a perennial favorite for readers everywhere, and it isn’t hard to see why. A good love story has drama, intrigue, laughs, and, if you’re lucky, a little heat; while the very best romance novels can feel just like falling in love — intimate and personal, yet huge and life-changing all at once. 

We’ve compiled a list of our all-time favorite romance novels, from historical regency romance to contemporary novels tackling love in the digital age. So whether you’re searching for a how-to guide or cautionary tale (and there are plenty of those), you’re hungry to read the next rom-com blockbuster before it hits Netflix, or you just want to lose yourself in timeless romance tropes, we’ve got you covered! 💘

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great romance novels out there, why not take our 30-second quiz to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized romance book recommendation?

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The Classics

1. jane eyre by charlotte brontë.

Though Jane Eyre might be ‘poor, obscure, plain and little’, her love story is anything but. One of the authoritative classics of the genre, Jane Eyre’ s enduring popularity is testament to the power of its central romance. Jane, a destitute young orphan, arrives at the home of the mysterious Mr Rochester in search of employment, but finds far more than she bargained for. The naïve and uncertain Jane is magnetically drawn to her brooding employer, but will the twisted secrets lying at the heart of Thornfield Hall undermine their budding relationship? Written at a time when most romantic heroines were preternaturally pretty, the headstrong, wilful, yet utterly average Jane is a subversive breath of fresh air — or should we say Eyre?

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A sprawling epic that takes readers across continents in the name of love, Anna Karenina is one of the longest books on this list, coming to an intimidating 800+ pages. But those who persevere with this colossus of a novel are richly rewarded. In what is considered by many to be the best romance novel of all time (and, we think, one of the best books to read in a lifetime ), Tolstoy tells the story of an extramarital affair and its fallout in Imperial Russian society.  When Anna runs away with the handsome Count Vronsky, excitement gives way to paranoia, isolation, and regret, as we witness the unravelling of their relationship, and of Anna herself. As much a cautionary tale as it is a romance novel, Anna Karenina is a richly imagined portrait of both the agonies and ecstasies of love.

3. Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah's Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Florentino Ariza has been waiting for 50 years for his true love to return. That’s not to say he’s been bored: he’s passed the time by having no fewer than 622 love affairs, which he has painstakingly recorded in his notebooks. Despite his dalliances and the passing of decades, when the man who married his childhood sweetheart dies, a now elderly Florentino seizes the opportunity to declare his love once more. An astonishing exploration of devotion and reunions, and the unrealistic expectations we place on those we love, Love in the Time of Cholera doesn’t just ask whether the hero will get the girl — it asks whether he should. They don’t just hand out the Nobel Prize for Literature to anyone, so it’s safe to say we’re in good hands with Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

4. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

This classic fish-out-of-water tale follows Margaret, a nineteen-year-old girl whose life is turned upside down when her family relocates from a sleepy village to Darkshire — a rough and restless industrial town in the north of England. Margaret finds a new calling, advocating for the poor and disenfranchised, but it brings her into direct conflict with imposing mill owner John Thornton. Can the two find any common ground, or will misunderstanding keep them at odds? Heart-warming and ahead of its time, North and South isn’t just a beautiful romance, it also has a lot to say on politics, gender, and religion, so one for the history buffs, too!

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any list of the best romance novels must be in want of at least one Jane Austen title (we’ve gone for three!). And Pride and Prejudice is by far the English humorist’s most famous story. It’s a tale as old as time: boy meets girl; boy and girl bicker and declare their contempt for one another; boy and girl realise over time that there is, in fact, more to one another than meets the eye — but has this realisation come too late? It might now be a rom-com trope, but Pride and Prejudice is one of the oldest and greatest examples of the thin line between love and hate. Elizabeth and Darcy’s romance is as honest as it is unexpected, and Austen’s characters are so vividly realised and so utterly believable that you’ll be gasping, cringing, and crying along with them.

6. Emma by Jane Austen

Austen once set out in a letter the perfect subject for a novel — “Three or four families in a country village” — and the description fits Emma well. The glue that holds these families together (and our beloved heroine) is Emma Woodhouse. Clever, rich, beautiful, and utterly deluded, she’s determined to meddle with the hearts of her neighbours, but sees no need to find a husband herself. The novel bends narration through the distorting lens of our protagonist, making for a genius coming-of-age story and a work of comic brilliance. No matter who plays them, in what adaptation , her characters never fail to be laugh-out-loud funny!

7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

The third and final instalment in our ode to romance titan Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility is a novel of lies, secrets, and seduction. Following two sisters — one wild and impulsive, the other quiet and sensible — it brilliantly portrays a world of money and status, gossip and innuendo, where rigid social convention governs the impulses of the heart. Through their parallel experiences of love and heartbreak, will these two young women learn to strike a balance between wearing your heart on your sleeve and concealing your true feelings?

8. Maurice by E.M. Forster

The brave and passionate tale of a young man’s sexual awakening, this intensely personal novel was written by Forster in 1914, when homosexual relationships were not only stigmatised, but illegal. Languishing in a drawer for fifty-seven years, Maurice was published after the author’s death, and quickly celebrated as a powerful, moving, beautifully-written love story. It chronicles the experiences of a privileged but modest young man, who comes up against unrequited love, heartbreak, and society politics on his journey to self-discovery. If you’re scouring this list for brilliant LGBT books , look no further!

9. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

As Goldman himself writes in the introduction, “dollars to donuts you’ve seen the movie”. But if you haven’t read the book that inspired the cult hit, you’ve missed a trick. A spoof fairy tale, a sharp satire, and a rocket-powered fantasy , all brilliantly disguised as a love story — there’s absolutely nothing fluffy about The Princess Bride . In fact, though there’s plenty to giggle about in the story of Buttercup and Prince Humperdink, you might also call this novel a tightly-plotted thriller. So if you’re of a nervous disposition, maybe stick to fairy tales meant for kids. 

10 . Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Reading Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles is an affecting experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Its heroine, Tess Durbyfield, is so beautifully and sympathetically drawn that you cannot help but feel crushed as the world conspires against her; betrayed by men who exploit her, a society that casts her out, and by the callousness of her religion. As the seasons change, and Tess changes with them, it’s clear that she identifies most with the natural world — and it is here that the intensity of Hardy’s imagination comes into its own. His lush and evocative descriptions, metaphors, and parallels make this tragic romance novel a poetic masterpiece. 

11. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The first and only novel by an elusive icon, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights plunges headfirst into an exploration of the violence of doomed romance. Amid the bleak and feral atmosphere of the Yorkshire moors, the novel revolves obsessively around the tempestuous course of Cathy and Heathcliff’s self-destructive love affair. A gothic novel of intense passion, betrayal, and bitter vengeance — underpinned by the quiet beauty of Brontë’s lyricism — Wuthering Heights is an iconoclastic masterpiece that has inspired film-makers, novelists, poets, and song-writers for generations.

12. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The quintessential love story that has spawned countless retellings and inspired who knows how many writers, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet —  the story of two star-crossed lovers from rival houses — wrote many of the rules of tragic romance. From iconic scenes like the balcony soliloquy, to legendary one-liners (“A plague o’ both your houses”, anyone?), and the ending that defined the romantic tragedy genre, any aspiring romance connoisseur should get this one under their belt.

13. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

A dark, twisted tale told almost exclusively as a flashback, Rebecca follows the nameless protagonist and her speedy marriage to a mysterious but charming stranger, Maxim de Winter, whom she meets on a business excursion. Things quickly become unsettling, as the protagonist learns of the troubling questions surrounding Maxim’s previous wife, Rebecca, whose spectre haunts their relationship. As Maxim’s carefully curated image — and their relationship — unravels further, the protagonist falls deeper into the shadow of Rebecca’s legacy. If you’re one who enjoys indulging in dark romance plots with thriller or mystery elements, du Maurier’s novel may be one for you. 

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Historical Romance

14. gone with the wind by margaret mitchell.

Spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara only ever had to worry about her love life, until poverty threatened to wipe out her family’s plantation. Doing everything she can to save their fortunes, Scarlett embarks on a series of unexpected adventures, traversing burning cities and bandit-filled forests. Despite her new priorities, Scarlett quickly finds that she cannot leave affairs of the heart behind completely, as she is torn between her beloved Ashley and the dashing but dangerous Rhett. A controversial presentation of Civil-War era America, Gone With the Wind explores the complexities of both romantic and platonic love. If you’ve seen the incomparable Vivien Leigh bring her to life on screen, it’s time to meet Scarlett on the page.

15. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

The Thorn Birds explores the tangled web of three generations of one Australian Outback family, carefully tracking their loves and losses over the course of 50 years. The emotional heart of the novel lies in the illicit relationship between Meggie, the daughter of the family, and Ralph, a priest in the local parish. Their attraction is dangerous, forbidden — and difficult to resist. Will they ever be together, or will the seemingly insurmountable obstacles between them keep them apart? This sweeping panorama of life in a rural sheep station from 1915 to 1969 is an Aussie cultural mainstay — it’s the best-selling book in Australian history!

16. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The story of Noah and Allie is captured in three intertwined snap-shots: their teens, their early thirties, and old age. As our mysterious, elderly narrator unpacks these nesting dolls, we gradually learn about the love affair between our protagonists. The universe appears to have conspired to keep these childhood sweethearts apart: with meddling families, possessive fiancés, and World War II thrown into the mix, will they ever find their way back together? Some might dismiss it as chick-lit, but The Notebook is a guaranteed tear-jerker — every time. Who would have thought the words "if you’re a bird, I’m a bird" could pack such an emotional punch?

17. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Popular and outgoing class president Landon doesn’t think he has much in common with the preacher’s daughter Jamie, until circumstance forces them together. A last-ditch effort to get a date to the high school dance leads to an unexpected romance in A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks’ follow-up to smash hit The Notebook. As Landon and Jamie slowly find common ground, and an appreciation for one another, A Walk to Remember proves that love can be found in surprising places. It’s a charming and sweet read, but, be warned — it’s another Sparks tear-jerker. How does he always get us?

18. Indigo by Beverly Jenkins

A member of a wealthy, free Black family, Galen Vachon has a lot to lose when he decides to become a member of the Underground railroad network, and join the effort to free enslaved Southerners. His risky lifestyle catches up with him when, attacked and injured, he is forced to seek sanctuary in the basement of a stranger. That stranger is Hester Wyatt, a former slave. Despite agreeing to nurse Galen back to health, their clashing personalities lead Hester to wonder whether she can keep her promise — not to mention the hostile forces that have started to come looking for him. Equal parts history and romance, this novel from NAACP nominee Beverly Jenkins will keep you on the edge of your seat.

19. Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

If you’re a die-hard fan of the television phenomenon Poldark , you’ll be delighted to hear that there are twelve (yes, twelve) novels to consume. A rich Cornish broth of love, rivalry, and discontent, Graham’s novels conjure up the lashing rains, the wild winds, and the crashing seas of 18th century Cornwall as his plots roar along the coastline. If you start with book one (a sensible choice) you’ll meet Ross Poldark as he returns from war in America. A Mr Darcy-come-Robin Hood hero, he rescues an urchin girl from a brawl and employs her as his maid — an act which will alter the course of his life for the next twelve books. Did I mention there are twelve?

20. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The best historical romance novels must all make great TV, because here’s another one that inspired a super sexy series. Before it became an epic costume drama, Gabaldon’s time-travelling novel introduced us to former British combat nurse, Claire Randall, and her roguish young love interest, Scotts warrior Jamie Fraser. There’s only one thing keeping this gorgeous couple apart…several centuries. On a trip to the Highlands with her husband Frank, Claire tumbles back in time to 1743, and finds herself caught between two very different lives, and two very different men. If you’re looking for a best-selling romance novel that’s got it all — passion, intrigue, danger, and time travel — Outlander is your one!

21. A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

A recent release that’s already considered vintage Allende, A Long Petal of the Sea is suffused with a vibrant sense of time and place as it traces its story through forty years of authoritarian rule in Spain. Allende’s novel begins when pregnant widow, Roser, and her brother-in-law, Victor, flee fascist Spain aboard a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda. Arriving in Chile, they immediately embroil themselves in a tangled web of characters connected by love and tragedy. A Long Petal of the Sea is a masterful historical romance novel, tinged with Allende’s hallmark magical realism . Don’t sleep on this one!

22. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

Living a quiet life and working in her family’s seafood restaurant in late 19th century England, Nan King is happy just the way she is — that is until Kitty Butler, a male impersonator and performer, whirls into her line of sight. Enchanted by her performances, Nan finally manages to meet Kitty and ends up becoming her dresser. The two head for big cities that Nan has never even dreamed of — and a passionate romance unfurls backstage that rivals the action onstage. For fans of historical fiction and lesbian romance, this rollercoaster of a novel will take you on exhilarating ride, filled with titillating insight into the raunchy underbelly of 1890s England and the thrill of forbidden love.

23. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Beginning during WWI and spanning three generations, Sebastian Faulks’ Birdsong is an epic novel about the power of war to strip everything from you, whether that be home, family, dignity — or love. With a few key couples dominating the pages in the style of Anna Karenina , we see the action through their eyes and feel their struggle to maintain hope after endless sacrifices. For those inspired by stories of love in the time of war, Birdsong evokes classics like War and Peace , wrapping wartime drama in a healthy coating of romance, intrigue, and sacrifices for the greater good.

Contemporary Romance

24. call me by your name by andré aciman.

A long, hot Italian summer provides the backdrop to an equally steamy romance in Call Me by Your Name , the story of a young man’s romance with his family’s lodger. As tender and heartfelt as it is intense and passionate, Elio and Oliver’s love affair begins awkwardly, slowly, and tacitly, before building to unprecedented heights as the summer draws to a close. A modern classic of LGBT+ literature, this exploration of first love and sexual awakening is vividly realised, and astonishingly honest. The second you’re through reading, you’re sure to be clamouring for more. Luckily for you, Aciman released a sequel last year — so you won’t have to say goodbye to Elio and Oliver just yet.

25. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

When Henry and Clare bump into one another at the local library, it’s a classic meet-cute. Except, it’s not. Because Clare and Henry have met each other before —  in fact, she’s known him her whole life. As it turns out, Henry’s a time traveler, and Clare is his future wife. A rare genetic condition causes Henry to jump uncontrollably along the timeline of Clare’s life. They decide to give things a shot after their ‘first meeting’, but, despite their deep love for one another, they face  lots of challenges along the way; after all, it’s hard to keep up a relationship when one party is constantly dropping in and out of reality. Niffenegger’s touching novel is sure to pull at your heartstrings, as she leads us to consider how free will and destiny combine to determine who we end up loving.

26. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella loves logic. The problem is, love isn’t logical. A highflying mathematician, she’s never put much thought into finding a romantic partner. But when she decides it’s finally time to settle down, Stella comes up with a characteristically pragmatic plan: she’ll hire someone to teach her how to do it. Enter Michael, a handsome escort, who usually doesn’t do repeat customers. When he agrees to give Stella lessons in love, he finds himself drawn deeper into her life; suddenly, Stella isn’t the only one who’s learning. A charming and affectionate portrayal of the love life of a neurodivergent woman, The Kiss Quotient is a breath of fresh air — we doubt you’ll have read a romance quite like this before.

27. When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

When Katie Met Cassidy is every inch the classic Nora Efron-style rom-com, with one simple difference — both our protagonists are women. Katie is a small town girl, reeling from the breakdown of her engagement. Cassidy is a high powered businesswoman, living and thriving in New York’s gay scene. A chance meeting is enough to cement their fate, and the two women are drawn uncontrollably to one another. Joyous, hilarious, and deeply sexy, Perri’s novel is not just an exploration of sexuality and gender nonconformity, but a sparkling subversion of the romantic comedy form.

28. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Will Traynor is living a lonely life. Recently left quadriplegic by a motorcycle accident, his formerly fast-paced life has ground to a halt. Enter Lou; bubbly, funny sunshine in human form. Will’s mother has hired her to help care for Will, in the hopes of lifting his perpetually dour mood, but the intrusion is not a welcome one — at least at first. Over time, the two come to understand one another a little better, though Will remains insistent on keeping Lou at arm’s length, while she struggles to understand what he’s so afraid of. Will she be able to break down his walls? You’ll shed a tear or two, but you won’t be able to resist falling in love with Me Before You.

29. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin’s best-selling romance novel is for every woman that’s been the sidekick in a lopsided friendship. In this story, it’s Rachel White: hard-working attorney, consummate good girl, and diligent maid of honour to her dazzling best friend Darcy — who happens to be marrying the man that Rachel is in love with. Yeah, that wasn’t part of the plan. ( Well , she did set them up, but what are best friends for?) Things start to spiral out of control when Rachel drunkenly confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiancé, and is both delighted and devastated to hear he feels the same way. It might be a classic romance trope , but this knotty love triangle will have you on the edge of your seat to the very end.

30. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Probably the best romance novel of 2019, Casey McQuiston’s queer, royal love story didn’t just take the New York Times bestseller list by storm, it broke the internet. A kaleidoscope of popular influences, dripping in internet lingo, Ariana Grande references, and memes aplenty, Red, White & Royal Blue is the book we were screaming for. It’s set in an alternate reality where in 2016, a Democrat became the first female president of the US, and follows First Son Alex — a twenty-something, biracial, modern-day Kennedy. The action begins at a royal wedding, when Alex is told to play nice with his childhood nemesis, the Prince of Wales. As the famous pair fake a bromance for the cameras, behind the scenes… well , you know where this is going.

31. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lucy Hutton doesn’t dislike Joshua Templeman. She doesn’t reluctantly tolerate him. She hates him. And she has to sit across from his joyless, infuriatingly handsome face every day . To be fair to Joshua, the feeling’s mutual. Lucy’s a people pleaser — the kind who wears yellow to work — and she pushes all his buttons. Now they’re up for the same promotion, and this bitter workplace rivalry is about to reach boiling point. But when tensions run high, you know what they say: there’s a thin line between love and hate. Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game is an unmissable treat for anyone who loves a rom-com about that undeniable spark between nemeses.

32. Normal People by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney was recognised as both a gifted writer and a perceptive and nuanced observer, when she released her debut novel Conversations With Friends . In Normal People, she captures the zeitgeist with the same subtlety and skill. It’s an intimate love story of deceptive simplicity: Marianne and Connell are two mismatched young people —unlikely friends, unlikely lovers — who share a profound understanding. However, as their small town lives in rural Ireland are eclipsed by the heady and confusing world of student Dublin, the ways in which they mould each other reveal a universal truth about the lasting impact that one person can have on another. Dripping with longing and regret, and steered by two deeply vulnerable characters, this novel remains immensely readable — one of the best romance novels of the 21st century.

33. Beach Read by Emily Henry

Henry’s smart and steamy page-turner, Beach Read, gave us all a sizzling slice of the summer romance we missed out on in 2020. In an effort to crack a crippling case of writer’s block, January, a hopeless romantic, and Gus, who thinks happy endings are for fairy tales, don’t swap numbers, but genres. Before the summer is out, January must write the next great work of literary fiction , while Gus has to pen a bestselling romance novel. Two writers, two beach huts, and plenty of whipcrack banter — let’s hope Henry is an author with a soft spot for happily-ever-after.

34. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Everything in Lily’s life seems to be falling into place. She’s got a new place in Boston, her own business, and she’s convinced gorgeous neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid to break his “no-dating” rule. Her old life in small-town Maine certainly seems a long way behind her. But as questions about her new relationship, and Ryle’s stubborn aversion to dating, begin to overwhelm her, Lily can’t help but wonder about Atlas Corrigan — her first love, and a link to the world she left behind. So when Atlas appears in Boston, everything she has with Ryle is suddenly thrown into question. This unforgettable tale is as heartbreaking as it is thrilling; prepare yourself for a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

35. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

A New York Times bestselling romance novel and a favorite among book clubs and celebrity book-lovers alike, The Proposal is a fun and flirty novel about a second chance at love. Guillory kicks off with a man on one knee; it’s not the usual way to start a love story, but this proposal isn’t followed by happily ever after. When Nik’s boyfriend asks her to spend the rest of her life with him, saying no isn’t the hard part (the guy can’t even spell her name right!) — it’s doing it in front of a stadium full of disappointed baseball fans. Luckily, handsome doctor Carlos is there to sweep her away from the frenzy and into an epic rebound of food, fun, and fantastic sex. But how serious can their glorified hookups get before someone slams on the brakes?

36. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Part tragic romance, part coming-of-age, part war trauma — Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a heart-wrenching, expansive look at a lot of hard truths. Little Dog, a Vietnamese refugee in the U.S. and protagonist of this semi-autobiographical novel, tries to find solace in the small comforts of his life in the working class town of Hartford, Connecticut but realizes that he wants to grow beyond his current horizons. The reader follows Little Dog as he chases the American Dream, pursues a growing romance with a farm boy who’s struggling with his family’s homophobia, and questions how to be happy in the shadow of grief and trauma. A raw, poetic, and dark experience, if you enjoy a large helping of hardship and identity crises with your romance, this might be your cup of tea.

37. Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Go to jail or marry the mystery man her father has set her up with — headstrong Daisy Devreaux chooses the latter. Her new husband, Alex Markov, is a deadpan grade-A jerk who seems to have no patience for Daisy’s bourgeois tastes and flights of fancy. But as they work on restoring a rundown traveling circus, their growing influence on each other becomes impossible to ignore. Fans of stubborn romantic leads (à la Annie and Frank from Annie Get Your Gun ), quirky settings, and the time-tested city-girl-in-the-country trope may find a winner in Kiss An Angel .

38. Vision in White by Nora Roberts

Mackensie Elliott is head of her own wedding planning business and firmly believes she’s better at capturing other people’s special days than she would be at experiencing her own. But when Mackensie hits it off with the seemingly humdrum Carter Maguire, a high school English teacher who’s definitely not her type, her friends encourage her to make the first move. What begins as a casual fling becomes something more, and Mackensie has to ask herself if she’s willing to step out from behind her cool and collected facade and seize her own happiness. Readers looking for a tentative slow burn and a strong female lead will find a perfect match in Roberts’ charming Vision in White .

Young Adult Romance

39. twilight by stephenie meyer.

It’s faced more than its fair share of backlash, derision, and parody, but it’s impossible to deny that few books have influenced the cultural zeitgeist as much as Twilight . It’s the book that led a generation of teenage girls to genuinely debate whether vampires or werewolves were hotter, and that launched an entire renaissance of paranormal romance books . No matter what the critics say, it’s the definitive high school romance turned struggle against a vampiric death cult — so why not revisit Twilight mania, and see what all the hype was about? Oh, and P.S., we’re totally team Edward.

40. Forever . . . by Judy Blume

‘Sybil Davison has a genius IQ and has been laid by at least six different guys’. So begins Judy Blume’s Forever… Is it any wonder that this YA book has been a favorite under-the-covers read ever since its release in the 70’s? This refreshingly honest presentation of teenage sexuality was deeply controversial because of its raunchy subject matter — it’s even been banned from several libraries — but it remains a classic. Katherine and Michael’s high school romance is a charming coming-of-age story that’s sure to have you laughing and cringing in equal parts.

41. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Imagine if all your high school crushes suddenly knew every embarrassing thought you’ve ever had about them. That’s what happens to Lara Jean, a sixteen-year-old girl whose life is turned upside down when letters she’s written to all the boys she’s ever loved — letters that the recipients were never supposed to see — are sent. Naturally, the fallout is chaotic. Jenny Han’s sugary sweet novel not only spent 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, it was also adapted into a blockbusting movie. If there’s one thing you should take away from this one, it’s to keep your top secret love letters under lock and key.

42. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Fans of dystopian novels (think The Hunger Games ) will find a lot to love in The Selection, the first in Kiera Cass’ Selection series. After being selected to compete for the heart of a Prince, America is forced to leave behind her home and the boy she secretly loves but cannot be with. What she doesn’t expect is to start falling for the handsome prince. With a Netflix adaptation in the works, now’s your chance to get ahead of the hype and join this YA series’ cult following before it’s cool.

43. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

An internet phenomenon that has a special place in the hearts of superfans everywhere, Rainbow Rowell’s young adult romance is as charming as it is candid. Cath is a fanfiction-writing, premiere-attending, card-carrying fangirl. Her twin sister Wren used to be the same, But now they’re in college, Wren has lost interest in geeky pursuits — she’s far too busy partying, making friends, and being cool. She’s also lost interest in Cath. Without her sister for the first time, Cath is forced to navigate the confusion and loneliness of being a freshman all alone. Will the cute guy in her creative writing class be a welcome distraction? How about her new roommate’s friendly ex-boyfriend...?

44. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Another Rainbow Rowell novel met with critical acclaim, Eleanor & Park is an urgent, breathless, gut-punch of a love story about two teen misfits and one life-changing school year. It’s 1986 when Eleanor arrives in her new town, all chaotic red hair and mismatched clothes. She takes a seat on the school bus and finds herself next to Park — quiet, understated, and impossibly cool. Carefully yet wholeheartedly, over late night phone calls and countless mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love. It’s that pure, fear-laced, heartbreaking kind of love you only experience when you’re sixteen — and trust us, your heart will melt.

45. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When Anna’s father ships her off to boarding school in Paris, she’s less than thrilled to be leaving behind her friends in Atlanta — especially that cute guy she works with at the multiplex. But all is forgiven (and cute coworkers forgotten) when she meets Etienne St. Clair. He’s charming, smart, gorgeous...and tragically taken. But hearts have a way of coming together in the City of Love. So if Anna plays her cards right, her senior year might just end with the perfect first kiss. Relive the flutters of first love in Perkins’ wonderfully cheesy tale of crushes, complications, and croissants.

46. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

It’s 1987 and a hot summer’s day in El Paso, Texas, when Ari and Dante meet at a swimming pool. On the face of things, they have nothing in common. Ari is guarded, angry, and struggling to feel like he belongs. Dante is an open-hearted know-it-all, still figuring out who he is. But, as they spend the summer learning about each other, and discovering themselves, a friendship floods the lives of these two loners like a golden light. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a tender and lyrical reminder that love in all its many forms should be open, deep, and without shame.

47. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

High school junior Simon has a lot on his mind; but when a stray email falls into the wrong hands and he’s blackmailed by class clown Martin, he’s forced to play along — or he’ll be outed as gay, along with his increasingly flirtatious pen pal. As his friend group starts to fray and the situation becomes increasingly tenuous, Simon will have to keep up with the pace of change, or risk the life he knows crashing down around his ears. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a gay romance filled with warm fuzzies, dry humor, and supportive friendships. Albertalli’s feel-good novel is still able, however, to flirt with some bigger questions about homophobia and the experience of being a closeted teen in the American South.

48. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

In this romantic retelling of a perennial Classics favorite, Homer’s Iliad , Madeline Miller casts Patroclus as the awkward but lovable ancient Grecian nerd to Achilles’ jock. As the unlikely duo fight in battle, quarrel, and form a bond that grows deeper every day, their conflicting beliefs about the Trojan War threaten to tear them apart. Miller, a classics teacher herself, takes up Homer’s thread of lyrical prose while adding her own unique style and story elements. If you’re partial to Rick Riordan (who, incidentally, gave this book a glowing review !) and his ancient mythology series, but wished they had a more mature and romantic tone, look no further than The Song of Achilles.

49. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto is trying to recover from a family tragedy, supported by his friends and his girlfriend Genevieve. But when Aaron starts spending his time almost exclusively with new boy Thomas, he quickly comes to a number of realizations that he’s not altogether thrilled with. At the same time, a slot opens up for a memory-alteration procedure at the Leteo Institute, and Aaron has the choice of wiping the things he’d rather not dwell on out of his head forever. A grittier take on young adult romance, More Happy Than Not goes deep into themes of depression, homophobia, and suicide, while exploring the scientific possibilities of the not-too-distant future .

50. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

For three years, Hazel’s life has been nothing but terminal. Diagnosed with incurable cancer at the age of thirteen, she’s never had the chance to experience the thrilling awkwardness of being a teenager. In an attempt to find kids who understand, Hazel’s mother forces her to attend a truly miserable cancer support group. Enter: Augustus Waters. A charming, and unremarkably handsome amputee with an alarming optimism for life, Gus is a much-needed plot twist in the story of Hazel Grace. Bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is a witty tour de force about the thrilling and tragic business of being alive, and a heartbreaking (but never depressing) story about a love that lasts ‘forever, within the numbered days.’

Regency Romance

51. the grand sophy by georgette heyer.

When Sophia Stanton-Lacy is dropped on her aunt’s doorstep by her diplomat father, she’s not quite what any of her extended family were expecting. Self-assured, confident, and more than a touch rebellious, the beautiful and charismatic Sophy sweeps through London like a breath of fresh air. In the opinion of her stern cousin Charles, however, that fresh air feels more like a hurricane. This witty, sophisticated tale of societal intrigue and domestic dramas has a lot to offer Austen fans, and Heyer’s pacy comedy-of-manners is served with a generous helping of heart-stopping romance.

52. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas

Annabelle needs a rich husband, and fast. Her family are in dire financial straits, and she must use every tool at her disposal to save them. There’s one major issue, however — her most tenacious suitor, entrepreneur Simon Hunt, has no interest in marrying her. As Annabelle struggles to resist his advances and keep her head in the game, Simon finds the chase even more exciting. This steamy regency romance is the first book in Kleypas’ mega-popular Wallflowers series, so once you’ve devoured this one (and we bet you will) there’s plenty left to enjoy.

53. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

A devilishly debonair womanizer is suddenly interred in an insane asylum, having suffered a stroke. The sheltered and naïve Maddy, fascinated by his scandalous reputation, is tasked with his care. Despite her Quaker upbringing and the brutality of their surroundings, the unlikely pair find themselves swept up in a passionate and intense love affair. As she grows closer to the Duke of Jervaux, Maddy begins to realise his playboy facade conceals hidden depths. New York Times bestseller Kinsale reminds us there’s often much more than meets the eye in this gripping, steamy, and desire-drenched novel.

54. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Lord of Scoundrels may be the third in its series, but we can’t resist including it on this list. One of the most well-known and well received historical romance novels of all time , this regency read has had readers seriously hot under the starched collar for 25 years. When the independent and beautiful Jessica Trent rolls into town to save her brother from the influence of the caddish Sebastian, the two engage in a fierce battle of wits. When the tension between them reaches fever pitch, they’re caught in a compromising situation at a society party. Will Sebastian do what’s right to save Jessica’s reputation, or is he really as unscrupulous as she always suspected?

Erotic Romance

55. fifty shades of grey by e. l. james.

You’ve probably already read Fifty Shades — it was the biggest selling book of the 2010’s, after all. But if the pop culture phenomenon somehow passed you by, it’s never too late to give this kinky thriller a try. The story of hunky, troubled billionaire Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, a naïve student who (quite literally) falls headfirst into his life, started out as self-published Twilight fanfiction. Who could have imagined that this steamier-than-a-sauna novel would go on to sell over 125 million copies!

56. Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

If there’s one thing more exciting than erotic fiction, it’s vintage erotic fiction. If you’re looking for retro erotica with a disarming feminist twist , look no further than Delta of Venus, a collection of 15 short stories written by Anais Nin in the 1940s. In sexy bitesize chunks, Nin regales us with stories of torrid love affairs and passionate trysts, told in what Nin herself refers to as ‘women's language, seeing sexual experience from a woman's point of view’. It’s as gorgeous as it was groundbreaking.

57. Twice In A Lifetime by Clare Lydon

Would you take a second chance at first love? This is the dilemma that Sally and Harriet face in Twice in a Lifetime . Teenage sweethearts, they broke up when Harriet moved away to college, breaking Sally’s heart. But a chance luggage mix-up at the airport brings them crashing back together. The sexual tension is heavy — but the emotional baggage is, too. Is it worth another shot? Scorching sex scenes are balanced out by genuine warmth and deeply likeable main characters in this LGBTQ+ erotic novel.

58. Rush by Maya Banks

Forbidden desire takes center stage in Rush, the first book in bestselling author Maya Banks’ Breathless trilogy, which follows the exploits of three very handsome, very successful, and very debauched business partners. Rush focuses on Gabe, who finds himself in a tight spot when he lays eyes on his best friend’s younger sister for the first time in several years. The attraction is instant. But will he get what he wants, or will outside forces intervene? Raunchy and compulsively readable, you’ll be rushing (pun intended) to find out what happens next in this erotic page-turner.

59. Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Another self-publishing success story in the vein of Fifty Shades of Grey, Sylvia Day’s Bared to You boasts a similarly devoted fan base — and a similarly intense love story. It’s often heartwarming, and always hot, but Bared to You is much more than just titillating. The story of Eva, a sexual assault survivor navigating her way to a healthy romantic life is surprisingly heartfelt. You’ll find you can’t help but root for our heroine as she finds love with the charismatic and equally complicated Gideon.

60. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Scotland’s answer to Fifty Shades of Grey , this erotic romance novel is much more than just “innocent young graduate meets gorgeous billionaire and dot, dot, dot” . Jocelyn and Braden — the innocent young graduate and gorgeous billionaire, respectively — are exquisitely written characters, engaged in a captivating and bittersweet love story. They meet when Jocelyn moves to Edinburgh and takes up an apartment in a building owned by Braden. He immediately feels an intense attraction, but, knowing Jocelyn’s past has left her guarded, Braden proposes a ‘no-strings-attached’ arrangement. Witty dialogue and steamy sex scenes ensue, but how long can the fun last before they want more than just mind-blowing passion?

Developed a taste for fiery love stories? Why not check out our guide to New Adult books and their sleek, steamy collegiate romances?

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The Best Romances of 2023

Here are the novels our columnist loved most.

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By Olivia Waite

A best books list is one of my favorite rituals. As the calendar flutters to its final pages, we glance fondly back over the highest peaks climbed in 2023.

A quicksilver voice and a balance of humor and brutality keep Samara Breger’s vampire historical A LONG TIME DEAD (Bywater Books, 412 pp., paperback, $23.95) perpetually on my mind. The new vampire Poppy’s essentially buoyant nature makes her occasional descent into blood lust all the more horrifying, and gives her ingenuity and ultimate triumph an especially gratifying charge. This has become the No. 1 book I recommend to readers new to the genre.

Mary Renault’s midcentury queer classic “The Charioteer” lurks fitfully behind the scenes of WE COULD BE SO GOOD (Avon, 384 pp., paperback, $18.99) , Cat Sebastian’s story of two reporters becoming friends and then lovers in pre-Stonewall New York.

Irascible Nick avoids reading Renault for ages, convinced that all queer stories end in heartbreak. It takes Andy, hopeful and new to his bisexuality, to show Nick that happiness is within his grasp, if he’s only brave enough to reach for it.

“The Charioteer” also comes up in THE SLEEPING SOLDIER (Independently published, 300 pp., $12.99) , Aster Glenn Gray’s thoughtful queer historical novel. Russell Krause is a Civil War Union veteran magically cursed to sleep for a hundred years; he wakes in 1965 and has to learn to adjust to a mechanized world with vastly different ideas about romance and physical affection. His guide is the college sophomore Caleb O’Connor, who is hyper-conscious of being a gay man at a time when men’s queerness was highly stigmatized.

Like Sebastian’s book, Gray’s looks both backward and forward in time, asking us to question what it means to either over-romanticize the past or condemn it as less fully human than the present.

In Cathy Yardley’s ROLE PLAYING (Montlake, 333 pp., paperback, $16.95) , our main characters meet in an online video game forum. Aiden thinks Maggie is 20 years older than he is; Maggie thinks Aiden is 20 years old. In fact, they’re both 50-ish and using “Blood Saga” to vent the pressures they can’t escape in their offline lives.

Maggie is divorced and a bit of a hermit now that her son is off to college; Aiden moved home to help when his father died. Both are lonely but prefer being alone — or at least, not being pressured to socialize in ways that feel shallow and awkward. Once they connect in real life, the friendly bond they’ve built becomes a wild, enveloping passion.

It’s rare, and welcome, to see older romance leads treated with such complexity, and Yardley absolutely nails the particular way online relationships blossom.

Few things are more gratifying than a witty romance, and Rachel Lynn Solomon is becoming one of my favorite authors for contemporaries that blend insightful humor with unstinting emotion. In BUSINESS OR PLEASURE (Berkley, 384 pp., paperback, $17) , a ghostwriter gives her celebrity client sex lessons while they tour a series of fan conventions, and Solomon reaches a new gold standard for writing (deliberately) terrible sex at a relationship’s outset. It’s a grand contrast to the tender scene much later, where our leads are stranded in a motel with a single available bed and they have to sleep — actually sleep — together for the first time. This book is intimate and unflinching.

Speaking of longtime favorites: Lucy Parker’s newest, CODENAME CHARMING (Avon, 384 pp., paperback, $18.99) , picks up where “Battle Royal” left off and gives us a glorious romp in which a prince’s personal assistant, Petunia De Vere, has to date the royal bodyguard Matthias to stave off rumors she’s sleeping with the prince himself. Petunia’s past includes a wealth of familial neglect, and Matthias has the kind of looks that cause small children to quite literally run away screaming; so romance takes them unawares. This is a book for when you want all the emotions at high intensity, deployed by a virtuoso at playing on the heartstrings.

I picked up Alicia Thompson’s WITH LOVE, FROM COLD WORLD (Berkley, 400 pp., paperback, $18) after hearing raves from people whose tastes tend to mesh with mine. And they were right: This tale of sparring co-workers at a winter-themed tourist attraction in Florida (Lauren: restrained and precise; Asa: charming and secretly sensitive) is one of the most perfect books I’ve read this year.

Every moment of secret yearning is put down in exactly the right place, at exactly the right speed. This exquisite book doesn’t feel like it was written: It’s as though it slowly coalesced, words drifting down like snowflakes until, suddenly, the whomping weight hits you like an avalanche.

Collins Carter, the heroine of Alexa Martin’s NEXT-DOOR NEMESIS (Berkley, 368 pp., paperback, $17) , has always had a temper, and thanks to that viral video, now everybody knows it. With her Hollywood writing career in ruins, she flees back to her parents’ home in Ohio to find her former-best-friend-turned-nemesis running for president of the H.O.A. How dare Nathaniel Adams still be hot after the way he treated her in high school? Impulsively, Collins announces she’s running against him — but the sparks from their collision ignite more than just her competitive streak.

Martin’s prose is a live wire: There are little shocks of pleasure on every page. It’s incredible how epic this contest feels, even though the stakes are extremely local. Like Jodie Slaughter and Helena Greer, Martin has a knack for layering vast emotional geographies onto cozy physical spaces.

My personal canon of romance reading contains multiple firsts: the first author I read, Johanna Lindsey; the first I read again and again, Julie Garwood; and Courtney Milan, whose books make me feel like I’m looking at the genre with new and wondering eyes, even after decades.

Her latest Wedgeford story, THE MARQUIS WHO MUSTN’T (Independently published, 370 pp., paperback, $15.99) , takes up a foundational romance structure — the hero with a secret, and the heroine who’s getting too close to unearthing it — and shines such a blinding light on it that the whole architecture permanently shifts. It is both an extremely good romance novel and an extremely effective critique of many romance novels, an impeccable embodiment of the combination of loving something — or someone — and expecting the best from them.

In a year full of very funny books, Maria Vale’s MOLLY MOLLOY AND THE ANGEL OF DEATH (Sungrazer, 273 pp., paperback, $14.99) was hands down the funniest, as sharp and stunning as a bracing slap to the face.

Death as a love interest is not unknown in the genre, but usually it’s a sexy Death, like Lee Pace from “Pushing Daisies” or the brooding Hades from the gorgeous art of “Lore Olympus.” Death as Vale depicts him is an awkward, traumatized immortal struggling to understand humanity. This book creates its own language, and the romance beats are syncopated and complex, avoiding predictability while still offering the full-throated catharsis I’m in this for. Strange, sly and absolutely unforgettable.

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The 23 best romance books of 2022, according to Goodreads

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  • Romance novels are heartwarming stories of people falling in love under all kinds of circumstances. 
  • These romance books are the most popular and highest rated of 2022. 
  • They include enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating, and romantic comedy reads.

Insider Today

Romance novels follow characters in their search for love through heartbreak, loss, and doubt. They include all kinds of romantic plots, from cute love stories with a little bit of magic to erotic romance reads that are almost too hot to handle. 

These romance books are the best and most popular of 2022 on Goodreads — the world's largest platform where over 125 million readers rate, review, and recommend their favorite books. The books on this list had to be published in 2022 and are ranked by a combination of how often they were read this year and how highly they were rated: Any book with less than 3.5 out of five stars did not make the list. 

So whether you're looking for a fun rom-com or a spicy romance novel, here are the 23 best romance books of 2022, according to Goodreads reviewers. 

23. "Icebreaker" by Hannah Grace

good books with romance

Available at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble , from $15.54

Anastasia Allen is focused on her goal of becoming an Olympic figure skater when a misunderstanding leaves her skating team and the hockey team sharing a rink. In this frenemies-to-lovers romance, Nate, the hockey team's captain, gets benched and Anatasia finds herself in need of a partner, he steps up.

22. "The Dead Romantics" by Ashley Poston

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $12.48

Florence Day has just gone through a breakup and can't get a deadline extension at her job as a ghostwriter when her father passes away, drawing her to her hometown for his funeral. But when she sees her new editor as a ghost at his funeral, they're both confused about why he's there in this paranormal contemporary romance.

21. "Something Wilder" by Christina Lauren

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $17.13

The daughter of a notorious treasure hunter, Luly Wilder now uses her father's hand-drawn maps as a tour guide in Utah while dreaming of buying back her family's ranch. But when her ex unexpectedly comes back into her life as a tour guest and their trip goes terribly wrong, Lily begins to wonder if her father's maps may lead to a real treasure after all. 

20. "You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty" by Akwaeke Emezi

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $17.19

In this story about love and joy after loss, Feyi Adekola is almost ready to ease back into dating, five years after an accident that killed the love of her life. When a whirlwind summer brings her a perfect guy, a dangerous crush threatens to complicate everything as she's forced to face how far she's willing to go for another chance at love. 

19. "The Kiss Curse" by Erin Sterling

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $13.12

In this sequel to " The Ex Hex ," Wells Penhallow has come to the magical town of Graves Glen to re-establish his family's connection to the town they once founded, now run by a powerful coven of witches. When he opens a new witchy shop just across the street from Gwyn's, it's clear this is personal — until her powers begin to fade and she and Wells must work together to find out what's happening before Gwyn's magic is gone for good. 

18. "Thank You for Listening" by Julia Whelan

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $14.39

"Thank You for Listening" follows Sewanee Chester, an audiobook narrator and former movie star, who learns that one of the most beloved audiobook narrators, the seductive and anonymous Brock McNight, wants to record a romance novel with her. Though Sewanee doesn't believe in romance novels, she feels compelled to help the book's prolific author. As she begins to form a bond with Brock, secrets are spilled in this story of self-discovery and love.

17. "Electric Idol" by Katee Robert

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble, from $9.37

"Electric Idol" is a fantasy/romance retelling of the story of Psyche and Eros, the second novel in the "Dark Olympus" series. In this book, Eros has been ordered to kill Psyche but finds he cannot go through with it. When he marries her to keep her safe, Psyche is determined to ruin Eros — until the lines of loyalty begin to blur and she realizes her heart may be with him after all.

16. "Dating Dr. Dil" by Nisha Sharma

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $11.99

Kareena Mann needs to get engaged to keep her father from selling her mother's home when she gets in an argument with Dr. Prem Verma, the host of "The Dr. Dil Show," that goes viral, ruining her chance at finding someone. But when her aunts strike a deal with Prem to fund his clinic if he can convince Kareena they're soulmates, the two realize the line between love and hate may be thinner than they thought.

15. "Funny You Should Ask" by Elissa Sussman

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $12

10 years ago, Chani Horowitz was hired to write a profile about her movie star celebrity crush, Gabe Parker, but their interview resulted in a 72-hour tabloid whirlwind. Now, Chani still can't escape that profile when she's asked to do a second interview in this page-turning romance that jumps between Chani's world now and the interview she'll never forget.

14. "Delilah Green Doesn't Care" by Ashley Herring Blake

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $13.99

In this flirty, queer rom-com, Delilah Green returns to her hometown to photograph her stepsister's wedding when she runs into one of her stepsister's stuck-up friends, Claire Sutherland. With a host of problems of her own, Claire doesn't need Delilah's button-pushing charm until they're forced together in wedding preparations and begin to see each other's real sides.

13. "Part of Your World" by Abby Jimenez

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $10.88

When Alexis Montgomery needs a tow in a small town, she meets Daniel Grant, a gorgeous, 10-years-younger carpenter whose identity is closely tied to his tight-knit town. She decides to keep her identity as a wealthy, hot-shot ER doctor in the city a secret, and her fling with Daniel becomes a sanctuary from her stressful life until reality comes crashing down and she must find a way to have both her world and his — or risk losing everything.

12. "The American Roommate Experiment" by Elena Armas

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $11.70

From the author of reader-favorite " The Spanish Love Deception ," this new romance follows Rosie Graham as she finally pursues her career as a romance writer. When Rosie suddenly needs a new place to stay, she finds herself staying with her best friend's cousin, Lucas. When Lucas offers to help Rosie get over her writer's block with a series of romantic dates, Rosie begins to wonder if the romantic inspiration is turning into real romance. 

11. "The Wedding Crasher" by Mia Sosa

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $11.89

When Solange agrees to help her wedding-planning cousin on a stranger's big day, a secret she shouldn't have heard convinces her she needs to crash the wedding and stop the groom, Dean, from making a mistake. But Dean needs a significant other to get a promotion at work, so he pretends to be in love with Solange and begs her to pretend to be his girlfriend even though they're polar opposites.

10. "The Bodyguard" by Katherine Center

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $16.99

Though Hannah Brooks may look like a harmless schoolteacher, she's actually an Executive Protection Agent, hired to protect superstar Jack Stapleton from his stalker. When he returns to his family's ranch in Texas to help his sick mother, he doesn't want his family to know about his stalker or bodyguard, so he asks Hannah to pretend to be his girlfriend in this sweet fake-dating romance.

9. "Terms and Conditions" by Lauren Asher

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $15.99

In this "Dreamland Billionaire" series sequel, Declan needs to find someone to marry to inherit his family's empire when Iris, his assistant, steps up. Though their marriage is one of convenience, their fake relationship begins to feel real, against all their rules that should have kept them from falling in love.

8. "Every Summer After" by Carley Fortune

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $10

Percy and Sam spent six summers forming a friendship and slowly falling in love until everything fell apart 10 years ago. Now, Percy is returning to the lakeshore for Sam's mother's funeral and the two find they have one weekend to fix everything or go their separate ways in this story of forgiveness and second-chance love. 

7. "Twisted Hate" by Ana Huang

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $14.99

In this third novel of the erotic, 18+ "Twisted" series , Jules Ambrose has consumed Josh Chen's thoughts, as she seems to be the only person impervious to his charm. Though the two have grown to despise each other, they arrange an enemies-with-benefits relationship with promises to not fall in love — until their pasts catch up with them in this steamy novel that can be read as a standalone from the rest of the series. 

6. "Love on the Brain" by Ali Hazelwood

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $11.24

From the author of the award-winning " Love Hypothesis ," this new "STEMinist" romance read is about Bee Königswasser, a scientist who is being forced to work with her sexy but sworn archenemy, Levi Ward. But when things start to go wrong on their project and Levi takes her side, Bee begins to wonder if there's a chance for something more between them.

5. "Hook, Line, and Sinker" by Tessa Bailey

good books with romance

  In this bestselling sequel to " It Happened One Summer ," Hannah Bellinger has managed to convince the producer at her job to move their film set to the fishing town of Westport, where her dad is from and her sister now lives. Though she's staying in Fox's spare bedroom, Hannah is determined to evade his ladykiller ways in favor of catching her producer's eye, but when her and Fox's moments turn into something more, Hannah finds she might be falling for the guy she thought was just a friend. 

4. "Things We Never Got Over" by Lucy Score

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $12.74

When Naomi meets Knox, she's stranded in his small Virginia town with no money or car after running away from her wedding, being abandoned by her estranged twin, and left with her 11-year-old niece. Though Knox only plans to help Naomi get back on her feet and out of his life, he finds he can't walk away when her challenging situation turns into real danger. 

3. "It Starts With Us" by Colleen Hoover

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $10.98

"It Starts With Us" is the highly anticipated sequel to " It Ends With Us " and continues almost a year later as Lily Bloom begins to navigate life once more after everything that happened with Ryle. In this book, readers follow Lily on her journey to a happy ending and learn more about her and Atlas' history together as teenagers. Readers everywhere love this book — check out our full review to find out why .

2. "Book Lovers" by Emily Henry

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $9.99

In this 2022 Emily Henry novel, Nora Stephens is a successful literary agent who is ready to take her story into her own hands when her sister, Libby, invites her to stay in the storybook town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. There, Nora is open to falling in love but keeps running into Charlie Lastra, a book editor from the city, in a series of not-so-meet-cutes too perfect for any romance novel. "Book Lovers" is one of our favorite beach reads of this year and you can check out our full review here .

1. "Reminders of Him" By Colleen Hoover

good books with romance

Available at Amazon , Bookshop , and Barnes & Noble , from $9.57

With nearly 600,000 ratings on Goodreads and over 530,000 4- and 5-star reviews, "Reminders of Him" is the most popular romance book of 2022 amongst Goodreads reviewers. The contemporary romance follows Kenna Rowan as she's released from prison and tries to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, though it seems everyone is trying to keep them apart. Colleen Hoover has become hugely popular on TikTok — check out more of her books here or, if you've already read every "CoHo" novel, check out our recommendations for what to read next .

good books with romance

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The Best Romance Books

Recommended by romance novelists, librarians and booksellers.

Last updated: May 15, 2024

The best romance books, recommended by people who read a lot of them. Whether you're looking for your first romance book or you're an avid fan looking for the best romances of the past year , you'll hopefully find what you're looking for here.

Romance is by far the bestselling genre in the world and in 2023 American romance writer Colleen Hoover was again the bestselling author, according to data from Publishers Weekly. It's no surprise: while tales of murdering one's landlady and trying to live with the subsequent guilt may touch on universal themes, trying to find someone to love and spend our lives with is a lot more immediate for many of us.

Historical romance | Fantasy Romance | Romantic Comedies

The Best Sci-Fi Romance Novels , recommended by Natasha Pulley

Prophet by helen macdonald & sin blaché, project hail mary by andy weir & ray porter (narrator), the wall by john lanchester, oryx and crake by margaret atwood, the bone season by samantha shannon.

Sci fi opens up new possibilities for romance stories, unconstrained by social reality. It’s an exciting time for the genre, says Natasha Pulley , bestselling author of The Mars House . Through her five contemporary favourites, she explores how human emotion – including romantic love and friendship – elevates the best sci-fi novels, creating stories with realism and depth.

Sci fi opens up new possibilities for romance stories, unconstrained by social reality. It’s an exciting time for the genre, says Natasha Pulley, bestselling author of The Mars House . Through her five contemporary favourites, she explores how human emotion – including romantic love and friendship – elevates the best sci-fi novels, creating stories with realism and depth.

The Best Romance Books with a Twist , recommended by Dani Atkins

Me before you by jojo moyes, the sight of you by holly miller, the two lives of lydia bird by josie silver, the no-show by beth o'leary, impossible by sarah lotz.

"They're not your traditional ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl in the end.’ There's normally something else underlying the plotline, which elevates it slightly from your traditional rom-com." Award-winning romance novelist Dani Atkins recommends her favourite romance novels 'with a twist.'

“They’re not your traditional ‘boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl in the end.’ There’s normally something else underlying the plotline, which elevates it slightly from your traditional rom-com.” Award-winning romance novelist Dani Atkins recommends her favourite romance novels ‘with a twist.’

The Best Fantasy Romance Books , recommended by A.K. Mulford

The jasmine throne by tasha suri, the bridge kingdom by danielle l. jensen, kingdom of the wicked by kerri maniscalco, the hurricane wars by thea guanzon, the witch collector by charissa weaks.

Fantasy romances top bestseller charts, and also dominate an enormous fandom and fan fic culture. Where did this turn towards intimacy in the fantasy epic begin, and what does it offer readers? Bestselling author A.K. Mulford guides us through the delights of romantasy novels: comforting reads, immersive worlds, and a central concern with emotional intimacy – in all its varieties.

The Best Romance Books of 2023 , recommended by Katherine D. Morgan

The fiancée farce by alexandria bellefleur, reggie and delilah’s year of falling by elise bryant, you, again by kate goldbeck, kiss and spell by celestine martin, new adult by timothy janovsky.

Looking for a love story that will make you swoon, wince, whoop, and cheer? We have some suggestions for you. Guest editor Katherine D. Morgan rounds up the best romance books of  2023: five emotional and entertaining novels that will really hit you where it hurts.

The Best Romance Books To Read In Summer 2023 , recommended by Katherine D. Morgan

Behind the scenes by karelia stetz-waters, that summer feeling by bridget morrissey, do i know you by austin siegemund-broka & emily wibberley, exes and o's by amy lea.

If you're dreaming of some steamy summer loving this season, then do we have book recommendations for you. Katherine D. Morgan —bookseller, romance editor, and fan of happily-ever-afters—selects five recently published romance books to pack for the summer of 2023.

If you’re dreaming of some steamy summer loving this season, then do we have book recommendations for you. Katherine D. Morgan—bookseller, romance editor, and fan of happily-ever-afters—selects five recently published romance books to pack for the summer of 2023.

The Best Regency Romance Novels , recommended by Olivia Waite

A duke, the lady, and a baby by vanessa riley, sixpenny octavo by annick trent, the scandalous letters of v and j by felicia davin, the perfect crimes of marian hayes: a novel by cat sebastian, something fabulous by alexis hall.

Britain's Regency period has always been a popular setting for historical romances—and particularly so in the wake of the hit television adaptation of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series. We asked the author and columnist Olivia Waite to recommend five of the best Regency romance novels for those who prefer their love stories trimmed with lace.

Britain’s Regency period has always been a popular setting for historical romances—and particularly so in the wake of the hit television adaptation of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. We asked the author and columnist Olivia Waite to recommend five of the best Regency romance novels for those who prefer their love stories trimmed with lace.

The Best Romance Books of 2022 , recommended by Katherine D. Morgan

The undertaking of hart and mercy by megan bannen, vanessa jared’s got a man by laquette, delilah green doesn’t care by ashley herring blake, do you take this man by denise williams, digging up love by chandra blumberg.

If you like your novels to end happily ever after, then do we have reading recommendations for you. Guest editor Katherine D. Morgan selects five of the best romance books of 2022, and offers a quick round-up of the love stories you should be looking forward to over the next few months.

The Best Romance Audiobooks , recommended by Emily Connelly

The bride test by helen hoang and emily woo zeller (narrator), get a life, chloe brown by talia hibbert and adjoa andoh (narrator), boyfriend material by alexis hall, desire lines by elizabeth kingston & nicholas boulton (narrator), love lettering by kate clayborn & nicol zanzarella (narrator).

With Valentine's Day only days away, it's time to get in the mood for love—and what better way than listening to an audiobook about two people who at first don't get along but then fall madly in love? Emily Connelly , assistant editor of AudioFile magazine, recommends her favourite romance audiobooks.

With Valentine’s Day only days away, it’s time to get in the mood for love—and what better way than listening to an audiobook about two people who at first don’t get along but then fall madly in love? Emily Connelly, assistant editor of AudioFile magazine, recommends her favourite romance audiobooks.

Eloisa James on Her Favourite Romance Novels

It had to be you by susan elizabeth philips, lord of scoundrels by loretta chase, flowers from the storm by laura kinsale, welcome to temptation by jennifer crusie, dark lover by j r ward.

Bestselling romantic novelist Eloisa James says romance novels are all pretty feminist: even historical heroines (who couldn’t hold a job) are forthright, strong women

The Best LGBTQ+ Romance Books , recommended by Aaron Aceves

Red, white & royal blue by casey mcquiston, felix ever after by kacen callender, fifteen hundred miles from the sun: a novel by jonny garza villa, love, hate & clickbait: a novel by liz bowery.

Recently there has been a big push among queer writers to foreground stories of love and joy, says Aaron Aceves , the debut author of a YA novel about longing, lust, and the value of friendship. Here, he selects five of the best LGBTQ+ romance novels with joie de vivre— but which also aren't afraid to engage with a bit of hard reality on the way to a happy ending.

Recently there has been a big push among queer writers to foreground stories of love and joy, says Aaron Aceves, the debut author of a YA novel about longing, lust, and the value of friendship. Here, he selects five of the best LGBTQ+ romance novels with joie de vivre— but which also aren't afraid to engage with a bit of hard reality on the way to a happy ending.

We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview.

This site has an archive of more than one thousand seven hundred interviews, or eight thousand book recommendations. We publish at least two new interviews per week.

Five Books participates in the Amazon Associate program and earns money from qualifying purchases.

© Five Books 2024

25 Romance Books That Are Sexy, Smart, and Anything But Sappy

They’re a total guilty pleasure.

best romance books including the bride test, an american marriage, pride, prejudice, and other flavors, finding you feet, 99 percent mine, well met, tell me how you really feel, and more

If you buy something from the links on this page, we may earn a commission. Why Trust Us?

Filled with enough drama, witty repartee, and tension to keep you on your toes till the very end, many of the most popular romance books today are love stories that go beyond the white, cis-het lens. We're excited to see more diversity represented in the romance genre, however, there is still much more progress to be made. According to an annual independent report from the Los Angeles-based bookstore The Ripped Bodice, for every 100 books published in 2021 by leading romance publishers, fewer than 12 books were written by people of color.

We celebrate the books that allow more readers to see themselves (and their own romantic adventures and mishaps) in their pages and think that any lover of lit can take pleasure in their stories. Featuring both longtime best-sellers and new reads, these 25 romance books are definitely worth adding to your personal library.

Joy Revolution Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

At the intersection of romance books and YA novels is this charming, geeky, yet emotionally complex read from author Talia Hibbert. It follows Bradley, a star student athlete, Celene, a burgeoning social-media influencer with a conspiracy-theory TikTok account, and the long-running misunderstanding between them.

Paired together during a survival course in the woods with full scholarships on the line, these frenemies are forced to work together to overcome their struggles. Thankfully, they begin to recognize the redeeming qualities (and cuteness) of the other along the way, too.

More : The Most Romantic Movies for a Perfect Night In

William Morrow Paperbacks 99 Percent Mine: A Novel by Sally Thorne

Darcy and Tom have been friends — just friends — since they were kids. Tom and Darcy's twin brother are best friends, so their bond has always been a platonic one. When Darcy inherits a fixer-upper cottage and Tom is tasked with restoring the home to its former glory, suddenly the rules no longer apply.

St. Martin's Griffin The Girl He Used to Know: A Novel by Tracey Garvis Graves

Annika and Jonathan fell hard for one another after they met at chess club while studying at the University of Illinois. Their love seemed like it could withstand anything — until an unexpected tragedy forced them apart.

Now, 10 years later, they've reconnected. Both on different paths with the careers they always dreamed of, Annika and Jonathan need to decide if they should take their second chance at being together before it’s lost.

Atria Books It Starts With Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

Thanks to #BookTok, Colleen Hoover's 2016 romance book It Ends With Us has had a major resurgence . Now, the long-awaited sequel is here.

It Starts With Us picks up 2 years later, and this time, the story is told from the perspective of Atlas, Lily's first love and the one who came before her abusive ex-husband Ryle. While the two of them finally have a second chance at happiness together, Ryle's bitter jealousy threatens to keep them apart for good.

Knopf Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin's blockbuster novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is not your typical romance book. Instead, it is about the depth and richness of friendship love.

Protagonists Sam and Sadie are bonded in childhood by their love of gaming — years later, they design a game together which explodes into something bigger than they could've ever imagined. The book is an expansive, decades-sweeping character study that reckons with trust as the bedrock of a lasting partnership.

Algonquin Books An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage was named a top book in 2018 by the likes of Amazon, the New York Times , and NPR (it was even an Oprah's Book Club pick!). So it’s no surprise that our former parenting editor Latifah Miles names it as one of her favorite romance books as well.

She says, " An American Marriage is full of twists and turns and made me rethink the meaning of true love and how far you are willing to go for the person you have committed your life to. Where is the boundary between love and personal happiness, and how do we pick up the pieces after everything falls apart?"

Flatiron Books My Ex-Life: A Novel by Stephen McCauley

David and Julie had a short, misguided marriage, managed to part as friends, and allowed their lives to completely diverge. Decades later, they both find themselves teetering on the cusp of a midlife crisis, with Julie seeking David out for help in tutoring her daughter. Their reconnection rekindles something more complicated than romance — it’s more of a fractured friendship that’ll never quite look the way it once did.

Sweet Rose Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

Jordan Collins is a total bookworm and the founder of a floundering romance-book club. He's also desperate to save his passion project. Rex Bailey, a smart-mouthed bookstore employee, offers to join the Meet Cute Club and help Jordan revitalize the local lit community he loves so dear.

Though reluctant at first, Jordan eventually agrees to let him join the club and in doing so, gets to know Rex on a deeper level — even if he's the last guy on Earth that he'd expect to fall for.

Lake Union Publishing The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

An Amazon Charts and Washington Post best-seller surrounds the story of Amy Byler who's headed to New York City for a summer to take a much-needed break from her overworked life.

After letting loose and taking in all the city has to offer, she meets one particular man who leaves her contemplating if she should stay or go back to all that she left behind in Pennsylvania.

Avon Books Bridgerton: The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

Yes, that steamy Netflix show is a romance book adaptation. Set in Regency-era, high-society England, Daphne Bridgerton finds her reputation at stake, while the promiscuous Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, is bombarded with more marriage proposals than he can stand.

To play the court at its own gossipy game, the two join forces and fake their love affair to elevate Daphne in the public sphere and take the duke off the market for good. But with the undeniable chemistry between their feisty jabs at each other, could this faux romance turn real?

Custard Books Before You Say I Do by Clare Lydon

This romance book follows Abby, an engaged woman who is so busy with work that her fiancee has to hire a professional bridesmaid, Jordan, to help her keep things in order as the wedding fast approaches.

There's no question that when the two women meet, sparks fly, and Abby wonders if her life priorities have been completely out of whack all along.

Katherine Tegen Books Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Be forewarned: You'll want the tissues handy when you start reading this otherworldly romance book. Jack and Kate meet at a party, and it was like it was always meant to be. Neither of them has ever felt such a happy, goofy, instant bond with another person.

When Kate suddenly loses the battle with her chronic illness and dies, Jack gains the ability to travel back in time over and over again to try and relive their love story, and also change whatever he can about it so that she can live.

Riptide Publishing Finding Your Feet by Cass Lennox

You might never know where you'll meet The One. Evie Whitmore has a dance routine to learn with just hours to spare, and Tyler Davis is the one who is tasked with teaching it to her. Taken by her skill and the effortlessness of their pairing, Tyler is still healing from a past abusive relationship, but he may be ready to let someone new into his life.

This tender romance between an asexual person and a trans man is about the importance of patience and trust.

Berkley Delilah Green Doesn't Care by Ashley Herring Blake

They say you’ve got to take the bitter with the sweet, but Delilah Green is finding that it works the other way around, too. Pressured to return to her much-despised hometown to photograph her stepsister’s wedding, Delilah is dreading the whole event until she runs into Claire Sutherland. Claire, one of the bridesmaids, is dealing with grief, single parenthood, and maintaining a work-life balance ... so Delilah’s arrival after years apart completely throws her for a loop.

Although free-spirited Delilah and homebody Claire make an unexpected pairing, their relationship soon moves beyond the casual realm into the loving support they each didn’t realize they needed.

St. Martin's Griffin Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel by Casey McQuiston

Alex Claremont-Diaz's mother is president of the United States, meaning that he has to keep up a wholesome public image, so as not to rock the boat with any foreign relations. Unfortunately, he's in a bit of a quarrel with British royal Prince Henry, and the tabloids have the receipts of their altercation.

Both Alex and Henry agree to smile for the camera to keep the nations that their families lead in peace, but as they're forced to get closer, it turns out the two influential sons might be hiding their attraction for each other under the guise of rivalry.

Berkley Book Lovers by Emily Henry

To call this romance novel a bookish read may be redundant, but it feels particularly apt when we're taking about two rivals in the publishing world.

Nora Stephens is a literary agent who knows all of the tropes of every rom-com out there ... so she knows she'll never get herself snagged in one. And Charlie Lastra is a book editor who helps meet-cutes come to life on the page but takes the red pen to every scenario he finds himself IRL. Come for the irresistibly snappy banter and sexual tension in Book Lovers , but stay for the unexpectedly heartfelt connection.

Feiwel & Friends Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

This YA romance book follows two girls whose love story had a bit of a false start. The super popular Sana Khan asked out aspiring filmmaker Rachel Recht, and let's just say that it didn't go well.

Both walked away from the encounter feeling like they'd been pranked. They've managed to keep their distance — until Rachel reluctantly casts Sana as the lead in her senior film project. Perhaps take two of their romance is more successful.

Berkley The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

This romantic read is just as sexy as it is sweet. Khai and Esme live on opposite ends of the globe, and seemingly in two different realities — Esme in the world of starry-eyed romance, and Khai in a matter-of-fact, socially isolated viewpoint.

The two are paired together through an arranged courtship and must navigate through their differences to reach common ground together.

Berkley Well Met by Jen DeLuca

It turns out, these two star-crossed lovers can only express their true feelings when they're role-playing at the Renaissance Faire (!).

Bubbly, lighthearted Emily agrees to volunteer at the Faire for the summer and is under the supervision of the disgruntled Simon. It's only when they're in costume that the flirtation gets hot and heavy.

William Morrow Paperbacks Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors: A Novel by Sonali Dev

This reimagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is set in #MeToo-era San Francisco. Reversing the gender roles of the classic romance book, Dr. Trisha Raje and chef DJ Caine initially clash over their different worldviews, and both are incredibly loyal to their families. Eventually, the two reconcile to save DJ's sister.

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Melanie Yates is the senior service editor of Best Products, where she writes and reports pieces pertaining to the etiquette, dilemmas, and how-tos of gift-giving for different occasions. Previously, she was the site's senior home editor, covering all things decor- and bedding-related since 2015. Her digital byline can also be found on Bustle, House Beautiful , and Elle Decor . A longtime classical-music enthusiast, Melanie spends her off-hours enjoying performances big and small across New York City.

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30 great romance novels to swoon over.

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The "Outlander" romantic book series spurred the hugely popular Starz series.

Romance books are the most popular genre in the publishing world, and for good reason. Love stories appeal to everyone, from teenagers to great-grandparents, and romance novels offer escape with the promise of a happily ever after. In an uncertain world, that guarantee that the protagonists will end up together has made people pine for romance even more than ever. You can also choose your romance based on the spice level — closed-door romance, which leaves the physical action to your imagination, and open-door romance, which gives you the hot play-by-play in the bedroom, are both wildly popular. The best romance books create characters whose passion and devotion stay with the reader long after turning the final page.

Top Romance Books

Romance includes so many subgenres, including dark romance books, young adult romance books, romantic comedy books, romance novels for teens and fantasy romance books. The most popular romance book series of all time include Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, the 50 Shades of Grey series, Colleen Hoover ’s It Starts With Us / It Ends With Us and more.

Contemporary and classic romances have equal appeal. This list of the best romance novels of all time includes ones written as recently as two years ago and others more than a century old. It also has some of the top, best-known and most successful romance writers of all time, such as Beverly Jenkins, Jude Deveraux, Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel. The list includes gay and lesbian romances as well as ones written by authors of color. Avid romance readers will enjoy digging into this comprehensive guide to the best in romance.

30. The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (2020)

Sloan’s world stopped turning when she broke up with her fiancé — but after two years, she’s finally found a purpose when lost dog Tucker enters her life. One problem: Tucker’s owner comes looking for him, and he enters a delicious flirtation with Sloan to get the dog back. Will this love last?

Best for those looking for a fun, contemporary novel that’s part of a longer series. You can buy Abby Jimenez ’s The Happily Ever After Playlist from publisher Hachette Book Group .

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Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, 29. nine rules to break when romancing a rake by sarah maclean (2010).

The first book in the Love by Numbers series introduces Callie Hartwell, a society woman who’s always followed the rules and as a result is relegated to the sidelines. With the help of Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston, Callie begins living life to enjoy herself — and falling in love to boot.

Best for those who like feminist heroines and loads of humor. You can buy Sarah Maclean ’s Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake from publisher HarperCollins .

28. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan (2012)

Good-girl-in-glasses Minnie is just trying to live a quiet life free from scandal; she had enough of that in the past. But when shy Minnie connects with Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, sparks fly, and she threatens to uncover his secret as they fall deeper in love.

Best for those looking for a sexy historical fiction novel with a smart, sassy and seriously capable heroine. You can buy Courtney Milan ’s self-published The Duchess War on Amazon .

27. The Secret by Julie Garwood (2011)

In Highlands’ Lairds Book 1, Englishwoman Judith visits the Scottish Highlands to assist a friend giving birth, but she has a secret purpose: tracking down the dad she’s never known. Her new love with Iain Maitland is threatened by her father’s past.

Best for historical fiction buffs who adore dashing heroes. You can buy Julie Garwood’s The Secret from publisher Penguin Random House .

Colleen Hoover's romance novels have made the New York Times bestseller list and rank among the best ... [+] romance books.

26. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (2016)

Book TikTok sensation Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us fictionalizes her parents’ story with a tale about all-consuming love and abuse that tests protagonist Lily. Will she choose handsome but coldly calculating surgeon Ryle or return to her first love?

Best for those who love reading the latest book sensation and who can handle domestic abuse triggers. You can buy Colleen Hoover ’s It Ends With Us from publisher Simon & Schuster .

25. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall (2020)

Alexis Hall is known for sexy contemporary gay British romance, and this romcom showcases their exceptional talent. Luc grew up in the spotlight thanks to his rock star parents, and a recent public embarrassment forces him to right his reputation by pretending to date respectable, straitlaced Oliver. Of course, they fall in love for real.

Best for fake dating trope fans who love pop culture and cute covers. You can buy Alexis Hall ’s Boyfriend Material from publisher SourceBooks .

24. The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun (2021)

Another warm, witty gay romance novel about Dev Deshpande, the producer of a hugely popular TV dating show who finally finds love himself with Charlie Winshaw. The new star of the program is supposed to be wooing ladies but instead is sparking with Dev.

Best for fans of The Bachelor and other dating shows who love fun behind-the-scenes entertainment. You can buy Alison Cochrun ’s The Charm Offensive from publisher Simon & Schuster .

23. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (2017)

The first Girl Meets Duke book, The Duchess Deal follows brooding war hero the Duke of Ashbury as he searches for a wife to give him a much-needed heir. He finds seamstress Emma and offers her a business deal: a marriage in name but not in heart. Yet it doesn’t work out that way.

Best for historical fiction junkies who enjoy strong heroines. You can buy Tessa Dare ’s The Duchess Deal from publisher HarperCollins .

22. Incense and Sensibility by Sonali Dev (2021)

This list could easily be populated just by spins on Jane Austen books, but this Rajes Book 3 is the best: Gubernatorial hopeful Yash’s rosy worldview is upended when a friend is critically injured following a hate crime. To control his ensuing panic attacks, he begins working with a former flame — and sparks quickly reignite.

Best for Austen fans who want to try something new. You can buy Sonali Dev ’s Incense and Sensibility from publisher HarperCollins .

Author Danielle Steel, who wrote "Heartbeat," is interviewed during an appearance on the Today show ... [+] in New York.

23. Heartbeat by Danielle Steel (1992)

Danielle Steel has sold 1 billion books for a reason. Her timeless characters and exquisite plotting make her one of the best, and Heartbeat is a masterpiece. Bill and Adrian meet as their lives are falling apart, and they’re determined to rebuild together, despite the obstacles.

Best for those looking for a light read that’s well written and insightful. You can buy Danielle Steel ’s Heartbeat from publisher Simon & Schuster .

20. A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera (2022)

In Las Leonas No. 1, Luz Alana sets sail from Santo Domingo in 1889 to expand her family’s rum business following her father’s death — but of course, everyone she meets is reluctant to work with a woman. With the help of a Scottish earl who’s alarmingly friendly, she may still meet her goals.

Best for those looking for a fresh twist on the historical fiction genre. You can buy Adriana Herrera's A Caribbean Heiress in Paris from publisher HarperCollins .

19. The Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux (1981)

The Montgomery/Taggert series follows the irresistible Montgomery men, who break more than a few hearts. Gavin Montgomery marries Judith, and though they have instant chemistry, he is already in love with someone else. Judith is furious yet can’t stop her passion for him.

Best for royal romance fans who live for epic love stories (and some heartbreak). You can buy Jude Deveraux ’s The Velvet Promise from publisher Simon & Schuster .

18. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (2018)

Stella is brilliant at math but struggles with relationships. She is on the autistic spectrum, and she feels insecure about her lack of experience. The solution? Hiring an attractive escort, Michael, to teach her about sex. Of course, things don’t stay purely business for long in this erotic read.

Best for people looking for an open-door romance and a realistic look at neurodiversity. You can buy Helen Hoang ’s The Kiss Quotient from publisher Penguin Random House .

17. Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas (2007)

Set in the 19 th century, this slow-burner brings back rogue Cam Rohan, the alluring gentleman’s club manager, who finds himself surprisingly attracted to the straight-as-an-arrow Amelia. They team to find her lost brother and develop a passionate attachment.

Best for those who like social heft to their historical romances. You can buy Lisa Kleypas ’s Mine Till Midnight from publisher Macmillan .

16. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole (2017)

Alyssa Cole’s critically acclaimed historical fiction Loyal League series kicks off with a bang. Formerly enslaved woman Elle, who has a photographic memory, becomes a spy for the North during the Civil War, and her attraction to fellow undercover agent Malcolm McCall soon becomes undeniable.

Best for those who enjoy smartly written fiction that makes a greater point and love forbidden romance. You can buy Alyssa Cole ’s An Extraordinary Union from publisher Kensington Publishing .

15. Wolfsong by T.J. Klune (2016)

Wolfsong leads off the Green Creek series, featuring the tortured love story of Joe, a shapeshifter, and Ox, the boy next door. Their relationship in this fantasy is tried by murder, betrayal and family loyalties.

Best for those looking for a well-written gay romance (Klune is a Lambda Literary Award winner) with loads of heart in a fantastical setting. You can buy T.J. Klune ’s Wolfsong from publisher Macmillan .

The Netflix series "Virgin River" is based on the hugely popular romance novels by Robyn Carr.

14. Virgin River by Robyn Carr (2007)

No one weaves a story quite like Robyn Carr, and Virgin River is the best of her considerable catalog. Young widow Melinda moves to mountain town Virgin River to regroup and work as a midwife. She finds an abandoned baby, which leads to a surprising connection with the dreamy Jack.

Best for those who love classic romance tropes and well-drawn characters. You can buy Robyn Carr ’s Virgin River from publisher HarperCollins .

13. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011)

She’s a witch, he’s a vampire, and never the two shall meet … except Diana and Matthew can’t seem to stay away from each other, and their chemistry is undeniable, despite the ancient warnings that witches and vampires shouldn’t mix. This hot series, which dabbles in historical fiction too, became an AMC series .

Best for those reading fantasy for the first time or who love a slow burn. You can buy Deborah Harkness ’s A Discovery of Witches from publisher Penguin Random House .

12. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (2019)

This is the first and best of Talia Hibbert’s absolutely delightful series about the Brown sisters. Chloe Brown, a chronically ill computer nerd from a wealthy background, is inspired to live life to the fullest after a near-death experience — and she enlists her sexy but guarded neighbor to help her.

Best for those looking for fantastic disability rep and rakish leading men. You can buy Talia Hibbert ’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown from publisher HarperCollins .

11. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory (2018)

Jasmine Guillory creates relatable characters you could see yourself hanging out with in real life. Her debut novel sets the standard with a fake relationship between Alexa and Drew that turns all too real by the end of their wedding date weekend.

Best for fans of contemporary novels who love reading about smart, accomplished women. You can buy Jasmine Guillory ’s The Wedding Date from publisher Penguin Random House .

10. Vision in White by Nora Roberts (2009)

The first book in arguably Nora Roberts’ best series, The Bride Quartet, Vision in White follows four childhood besties who run a wedding planning company and what happens when one of them meets her happily ever after when she’s least expecting it.

Best for fans of books that elevate friendship along with romance and who like the fun details of weddings. You can buy Nora Roberts ’ Vision in White from publisher Penguin Random House .

Armie Hammer, right, presents the rising star award-actor to Timothee Chalamet for "Call Me by Your ... [+] Name," based on the popular romance novel.

9. Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman (2007)

This Lambda Literary Award honoree tells the story of a teenage boy and a young man being tutored by the boy’s father who become unexpectedly entwined one hot summer. As their mutual obsession grows, so does the feeling that they can never be honest about it.

Best for anyone who loved the movie with Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer and fans of forbidden love. You can buy André Aciman 's Call Me by Your Name from publisher Macmillan .

8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)

The Brontës didn’t actually invent pining, but between Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights , they might as well have. Governess Jane has overcome a troubled childhood to work for Mr. Rochester. As their mutual attraction spikes, Jane wonders about the secrets he’s hiding at Thornfield Hill.

Best for those who enjoy classic novels and the yearning of a doomed couple. You can buy Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre from publisher Penguin Classics .

7. Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins (2016)

The first book in the popular Old West Series, Forbidden follows the love story between Rhine, a Black man passing for white out in 1800s frontier land, and Eddy, a Black women he saves from death and can’t stop thinking of, even though their love is taboo by standards of the day.

Best for those who want historical fiction that doesn’t gloss over social realities and who enjoy feisty heroines. You can buy Beverly Jenkins ’ Forbidden from publisher HarperCollins .

6. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (2000)

Julia Quinn’s swoonworthy Bridgertons series, also a smash on Netflix, begins with this tale of a fake relationship between dapper duke Simon and Daphne Bridgerton, whose faux romance begins turning Daphne inside out the longer it goes on.

Best for those who adore will-they-or-won’t-they setups and a good fake relationship. You can buy Julia Quinn ’s The Duke and I from publisher HarperCollins .

5. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (2019)

In an excellent twist on the enemies-to-lovers trope, Alex is the high-achieving youngest son of the first female U.S. president, who sparks an international incident when he and England’s most eligible prince knock over a cake at the wedding of the century. But what if their hate masks something more?

Best for those who like to examine serious social questions along with enjoying hot bedroom scenes and laugh-out-loud character shenanigans. You can buy Casey McQuiston 's Red, White & Royal Blue from publisher Macmillan .

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, winners of Best Kiss for "The Notebook" at the 2005 MTV Movie ... [+] Awards.

4. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (1996)

Is love everlasting? The Notebook argues that it is. It follows the passionate love affair between Noah and Allie, who come together and are torn apart by things beyond their control, which become more poignant as they age. The Notebook is also a hit movie starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

Best for anyone who needs a good cry. You can buy Nicholas Sparks ’ The Notebook from publisher Hachette .

3. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer (1993)

The tale of two perfectly matched outsiders who take a little too long to realize their feelings for one another in the early 1940s, Morning Glory explores the power of second chances for Elly, a widowed mother, and Will, a drifter with a troubled past.

Best for those who love traditional romances and historical fiction with a World War II setting. You can buy LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory from publisher Penguin Random House .

An actor reads Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, England to ... [+] celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication in 2013.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

Elizabeth Bennett is one of five daughters who need to marry well or risk the family standing. She butts heads over and over with the stubborn Mr. Darcy, but they soon realize their seeming mutual disdain is really a smoldering passion.

Best for those who enjoy classic novels and courtship tales with clever female protagonists. You can buy Jane Austen ’s Pride and Prejudice from publisher Penguin Random House .

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (1991)

When British combat nurse Claire and her husband head to Scotland for a second honeymoon after World War II ends, she just wants to reconnect. Instead, she winds up in 1743 Scottish highlands and falls in love with warrior Jamie — a very different and very passionate relationship. Outlander is also a hit Starz series.

Best for those who love time travel, historical fiction and very long novels. You can buy Diana Gabaldon ’s Outlander from publisher Penguin Random House .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best dark romance book.

The most popular dark romance book of all time is Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. It follows a plotline similar to many dark romances — the relatively naïve Anastasia Steele becomes involved in an erotic but increasingly dark romance with demanding businessman Christian Grey. Published in 2011, it spawned two sequels.

You can buy E.L. James ’ Fifty Shades of Grey from publisher Bloom Books .

What Is The Best Young Adult Romance Book?

Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before , published in 2014, follows Laura Jean as she first pines over her sister’s boyfriend and then enters a fake relationship with the most popular kid in school to throw her true crush off the scent. The sweet, relatable book is also a Netflix trilogy.

You can buy Jenny Han ’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before from publisher Simon & Schuster .

What Is The Best Romantic Comedy Book?

The office romance The Hating Game by Sally Thorne has every delectable ingredient of a perfect rom-com. The 2016 novel features a hate-to-love couple, a swoon-worthy lead and a fun work setting, where Lucy and Joshua are assistants to the CEOs of a publishing company.

Things go off the rails, and under the covers, when they’re up for the same promotion. You can buy Sally Thorne ’s The Hating Game , which is also a Netflix movie, from publisher HarperCollins .

What Is The Best Romance Book For Teens?

The best romance book for teens is Heartstopper by Alice Osman. The 2020 graphic novel and its sequels follow the sweet, slowly blooming romance between big man on campus Nick and sensitive, quiet Charlie. Also one of the best gay romance novels, it inspired a hit Netflix show .

You can buy Alice Osman ’s Heartstopper series from publisher Scholastic .

What Is The Best Fantasy Romance Book?

Bestselling author Sarah J. Maas is the master of fantasy and romance, and you can’t beat her 2015 novel A Court of Thorns and Roses , a retelling of Beauty and the Beast . The steamy story follows Feyre, who is kidnapped by the faerie Tamlin, whom she grows to love.

They fight together for the future of the faerie lands in an epic fantasy showdown. You can buy Sarah J. Maas ’s A Court of Thorns and Roses from publisher Bloomsbury .

What Is The Best Gay/Lesbian Romance Novel?

Malinda Lo’s outstanding 2021 novel Last Night at the Telegraph Club is one of the best lesbian romance novels. It follows the sexual awakening of Chinese American teen Lily in the 1950s as she falls in love with Kath and fights against her father’s possible deportation.

You can buy Malinda Lo ’s Last Night at the Telegraph Club from publisher Penguin Random House .

What Is The Best Historical Fiction Romance Novel?

Beverly Jenkins is one of the queens of historical fiction romance novels, and none is better than 2019’s Rebel , from the Women Who Dare series. It follows Valinda Lacy’s mission to help educate the newly emancipated in New Orleans after the Civil War, and her blooming romance with Captain Drake LeVeq that results from it.

You can buy Beverly Jenkins ’ Rebel from publisher HarperCollins .

Bottom Line

Whether you prefer sweet and sultry romances or steamy open-door books, you can find something to make your pulse race on this list of top romance books. And you won’t want to put the novel down after you start.

Toni Fitzgerald

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The 24 Best Romance Novels for Getting Swept Away

Love at the first page.

a collage of romance novels in a roundup of the best romance novels 2023

Every product on this page was chosen by a Harper's BAZAAR editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Memorable love stories all start with the same basic ingredients: two people and an undeniable connection. The best romance novels turn these simple foundations into narratives that take your breath away—and maybe make you fall a little in love yourself.

From fresh new books by Ashley Poston and Akwaeke Emezi, to time-honored classics like Pride and Prejudice , there's no shame in falling head over heels for a good love story. Read on for 24 best romance novels so engrossing, you’ll feel like you're getting swept away with the starring couple.

Seven Days in June

Seven Days in June

Eva Mercy and Shane Hall rule their respective corners of the publishing world (erotic supernatural romance for her, gut-wrenching, award-bait fiction for him). Their chemistry is palpable when they meet onstage at a Brooklyn literary event, but there's something the onlookers to their discussion don't know: for a week fifteen years ago, they were each other's first loves. Can they—and should they—let history repeat itself?

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel

A person's first romance after losing their spouse or partner is a delicate, tender, fraught experience, to say the least. Feyi, a widow of five years whose husband died in an accident, senses this and still doesn't want anything serious. Then she has one surprise connection that leads her to a nearly-perfect boyfriend—and his father, who she feels even more of a magnetic pull toward. You Made a Fool of Death... isn't afraid to get messy in exploration of grief and how love can come after, making it a memorable read.

Book Lovers

Book Lovers

All Emily Henry romances sizzle from the very first page. But our love for her latest isn't just recency bias talking. This story, about a competitive literary publicist and a surly books editor who end up in the same storybook town for a summer, pays homage to some of fiction's greatest rom-coms and a delight from start to finish.

Sorry, Bro

After Nareh Bedrossian turns down her non-Armenian boyfriend's marriage proposal, she immerses herself in San Francisco's Armenian community (at the urging of her mother, who's pointed out plenty of potential suitors). But it's a new friendship with an Armenian woman named Erebuni that makes Nareh's heart flutter—and leads her to embrace parts of her identity she hadn't before.

The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners

Olive and Ethan may arrive in Maui looking like newlyweds, but in reality, they're the beneficiaries of an all-inclusive honeymoon forfeited by a food poisoned bride and groom. Olive and Ethan are also the opposite of lovers; they're nemeses. But they can't let a good vacation go to waste—and spending enough time in paradise together could change everything they thought they felt.

The Complete Novels (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

The Complete Novels (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

It isn't a complete romance list without at least one of the classics, and this volume has all of Austen's beloved novels. Emma, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility laid the groundwork for many romances' plot points and character archetypes—and they're worth adoring in their own right.


Speaking of Austen's lasting influence, this modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice absolutely shimmers. England's sprawling estates are swapped for suburban Cincinnati and whip-smart observations on nineteenth century society are exchanged for the twenty-first. Yet all the while, Eligible has the same crackling energy and inevitable conclusion that originally made readers fall in love.

Honey and Spice: A Novel

Honey and Spice: A Novel

In a crowded field of campus romances, Honey & Spice stands out. Kiki Banjo considers herself an expert in avoiding relationship "mess" and advises the women in Whitewell University's African-Caribbean Society to do the same in her hit campus radio show. Then she stumbles into her own mess by kissing a known player, Malakai Korede, necessitating a faux relationship to undo the damage. This juicy set-up only gets more funny and earnest from there. (And for more of Babalola's singular voice, her short story collection can't be missed.)

Nora Goes Off Script

Nora Goes Off Script

Screenwriter Nora Hamilton has turned her own heartbreak—separation from her husband—into a hotly anticipated script tied to an even hotter actor, Leo Vance. She doesn't say no to the movie shooting at her family home, nor to Vance's ask to stay in her house after filming wraps. What happens when the two are left alone together for a full week is more gripping than any screenplay Nora's written.

The Dead Romantics

The Dead Romantics

Florence Day is a romance novelist's ghostwriter who also happens to speak to ghosts. She's also given up on finding love for herself, until a tragic trip back to her family's hometown introduces her to a spirit with unresolved conflicts in the real world: Her handsome but hard-to-please editor. This story may invoke the supernatural, but it's grounded in emotions that feel one hundred percent real.

Every Summer After

Every Summer After

In Every Summer After , home is a place and a collection of memories Persephone Fraser hardly wants to revisit. Then fate steps in, and tragic circumstances take Persephone back to the lakeshore home of her childhood and the man who defined six summers of her life. There may be more summers together if she can face how and why their deep friendship fell apart in the first place.

Atria Books In Five Years: A Novel

In Five Years: A Novel

Dannie Kohan begins her story with everything she thought she wanted: She's aced a high-pressure job interview and her swoony boyfriend just proposed. Then she wakes up five years in the future—with a different man in her bed and a different life in front of her. When Dannie goes back to her present, she interrogates her future and finds a powerful form of love she (and you) hardly anticipated.

Avon Books Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel

Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel

A near-death experience has convinced Chloe Brown she needs to live a little more. But she can't check off her list of what she needs to experience—riding a motorcycle, traveling the world with a single bag, getting up to bad behavior—without the help of a heartthrob who isn't who he seems. This romance is sweet and filled with humor—and, refreshingly, it puts chronic illness and size-inclusive representation front and center.

The Song of Achilles: A Novel

The Song of Achilles: A Novel

Madeline Miller took on retelling The Iliad, one of the world's greatest epics, with outstanding (and somewhat TikTok famous) results. The tale of Patroclus and Achilles ends in tragedy, but Miller's keen attention to detail and lyrical prose makes the inevitable heartbreak a feeling worth savoring.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

A romance that combines witchcraft, a prickly-yet-sensitive love interest, and the making of a found family? The enchantment that Mika Moon casts on her journey to tutor young witches in a mysterious school will last after you finish reading. It's quirky, cute, and ultimately cozy—the romance novel equivalent of a knit blanket.

Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel

Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel

Casey McQuiston's debut romance, between a fictional US president's son and his counterpart in the British royal family, was an instant sensation in 2019. First son Alex and Prince of Wales Henry begin their romance as rivals on a PR tour to maintain US/British relations—and as they become more invested in each other than in faux diplomacy, the rising stakes never stop feeling dangerously fun. Heads up: There's still plenty of time to read it before the movie adaptation arrives on Amazon.

The Flatshare: A Novel

The Flatshare: A Novel

This romance takes one of the genre's most memed-about tropes—two wary people, one bed—and somehow turns it into the charming conceit of an entire story. Getting specific: Tiffany and Leon share an apartment, with one sleeping in it during the day and the other taking ownership at night and on weekends. Their strange brand of proximity starts out of financial necessity, but soon, they can't help but get closer in more ways.

One True Loves: A Novel

One True Loves: A Novel

Before there was Daisy Jones and the Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, author Taylor Jenkins Reid released this devastating love story. Her heroine, Emma, is a woman who falls in love, loses her husband, and dares to fall in love again—but her husband's shocking reappearance after her a new engagement forces an ultimatum revealing where her heart really is.

Bringing Down the Duke

Bringing Down the Duke

Annabelle Archer arrives at Oxford in 1879 on a mission: persuade powerful men to back the women's suffrage movement, guaranteeing her spot at the university at the same time. But the man whose support and influence she needs most is also the most cold, conniving...and attractive. Sparks fly and can't-put-down plotting ensues.

The Wedding Date

The Wedding Date

Here's another instance when what's old (the fake dating plot) feels brand new. This time, an arrangement for a last-minute wedding date leads to a long-distance relationship—and that's just where the charming story begins.

Halie LeSavage is the fashion commerce editor at Harper's BAZAAR . Her style reporting covers everything from reviewing the best designer products to profiling emerging brands and designers. Previously, she was the founding retail writer at Morning Brew and a fashion associate at Glamour .

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Hot Stuff: Spring 2024 romance novels bring sibling bonds to the forefront

EW reviews five of our favorite romance novels of spring 2024

Maureen Lee Lenker is a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly with over seven years of experience in the entertainment industry. An award-winning journalist, she's written for Turner Classic Movies, Ms. Magazine , The Hollywood Reporter , and more. She's worked at EW for six years covering film, TV, theater, music, and books. The author of EW's quarterly romance review column, "Hot Stuff," Maureen holds Master's degrees from both the University of Southern California and the University of Oxford. Her debut novel, It Happened One Fight , is now available. Follow her for all things related to classic Hollywood, musicals, the romance genre, and Bruce Springsteen.

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Siblings are our first best friends — and sometimes our first rivals.

The romance novels of spring 2024 bring sibling bonds to their forefront. Whether it's a heroine who is extremely protective of her sibling, two protagonists haunted by the death of a sibling, or the support system that comes from sisterhood, each of the love stories we've chosen to review this season delve into the ways those relationships shape and buoy the love in our life.

Here are our five favorite romance novels of spring 2024.

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

If you are tapped into romancelandia with an IV drip, you’ve probably heard of Yulin Kuang. The TV writer is adapting Emily Henry’s Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation for the big screen, but she's making her fiction debut with How to End a Love Story . It's a tale that feels cut from the same cloth as Henry’s stories, albeit peppered with even more angst. Don’t be fooled by the pink cartoon cover of Kuang’s book; this is a heavy read, not a lighthearted escape. That’s not to say it’s not beautiful and heartrending. Helen Zhang and Grant Shepard share a tragic past — her younger sister committed suicide in high school by stepping in front of Grant’s car. Helen and Grant are forced back into each other’s orbit when he’s hired as a writer on a TV adaptation of her best-selling novels. Once they move past the shock and knee-jerk resentment, they realize there’s a simmering mutual attraction between them. But to make it something real, they’ll have to be willing to overcome the guilt of their pasts. Kuang deals very frankly with the collateral damage of suicide, including how Grant, Helen, and their families have never healed from the trauma of the accident. While Grant has struggled to find his voice amidst his crippling anxiety, Helen has shoved herself into a box of people-pleasing, particularly looking to make her parents happy. Their relationship untethers them from the expectations they and others have placed upon them, but they run the risk of getting pulled under without that familiar rope to hold on to. At times, it can be a bit challenging to see what makes Grant and Helen a good fit beyond their sexual chemistry. But by the book's conclusion, Kuang sweeps readers up in their unlikely romance. She writes with a brisk, bruising emotion, innately understanding how tragedy can overtake our lives if we don’t fight to get out from under it. How to End a Love Story is a tale of grief and how love does not stop the pain of loss, but can help us to reframe it. 

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Grade: B+

The Kiss Countdown by Etta Easton

Etta Easton makes her debut with this delightful novel about an astronaut and an event planner who's fake relationship becomes something real. Amerie Price is having a hard time — her mom is sick, she's lost her job, and she might lose her apartment. A chance meeting at a coffee shop with astronaut Vincent Rogers offers her an unusual solution: a rent-free room in his house if she agrees to pretend to be his partner in front of his family until his next mission (to the moon). But the second they start sharing a living space, Amerie can't stop thinking about Vincent's caring attentiveness and rippling muscles. Soon, remembering that it's all pretend becomes more challenging than the charade itself. Easton delivers a sparkling fake dating rom-com that is both delectably tropey and utterly believable. Vincent is a fascinating hero, a passionate student of the cosmos who is trying to make peace with his family's fear surrounding his career choices. Amerie has spent a lot of time bending herself into a pretzel to please others, and it's refreshing to see her putting herself first in her relationship with Vincent. The Kiss Countdown is a tribute to unexpected romantic connections, crackling chemistry, and the value of family.

Wake Me Most Wickedly by Felicia Grossman

Felicia Grossman returns to her Once Upon the East End series with this gender-bent retelling of Snow White . To repay the brother who raised him, Solomon Weiss is determined to make good, working hard for money, influence, and respectability. But when Sol crosses paths with pawnshop owner Hannah, he's irresistibly drawn to her, even if she can only imagine herself as a villain in his story. Grossman's tales are creative and smart in the ways they invoke the fairy tales she spins them from (in this case, her use of apples, mirrors, and her twist on the seven dwarves are all quite clever). But what is so moving and engrossing about her novels is how she reclaims not only fairy tales but history itself. Using the history of antisemitism against Jewish pawnbrokers (one of the few professions permitted to them in the 19th century), Grossman crafts a gripping tale of a woman who has swallowed the prejudices of society as surely as a poisonous potion. In her own eyes, Hannah cannot escape the shadow of her crimes, which are the innocent mistakes of a young woman criminalized by a prejudiced populace. But it's Sol’s kindness and care that helps her to understand that she deserves happiness and a second chance. Both Hannah and Sol have complicated relationships with their siblings, and Grossman offers a compelling view of the lengths they will go to for the siblings they love. But while Hannah’s sister wants her to find love, Sol’s brother has internalized antisemitism to a dangerous degree. The portrait of sibling dynamics adds extra depth to the love story at the novel’s center. Wake Me Most Wickedly is an outright invigorating yarn, a tale of back alley wheeling and dealing and daring rooftop escapes. Beyond its mere charms as a gripping romance, it heightens Grossman’s revolutionary storytelling. It’s not only that she’s centering Jewish stories within the trappings of Western fairy tales, but it’s how she’s subverting and exposing historical reality. In taking the Jewish stereotype of the pawnbroker and making her a complex heroine, Grossman is asking readers to examine long-established caricatures — and offering those historically besmirched their chance at redemption and happy endings.  

The Other Side of Disappearing by Kate Clayborn

Kensington Books

The arrival of a new Kate Clayborn book is the only thing that can make me actually excited about the prospect of being emotionally devastated. Her latest, The Other Side of Disappearing, delivers her usual bruising authenticity and signature ability to combine a deeply romantic love story with a tale that explores the snarled and wounded corners of our hearts. Here, she also adds a page-turning mystery to the mix. Hairstylist Jess Greene has spent the last decade of her life raising her half-sister, Tegan, after her mother disappears with her latest beau. But when Tegan discovers that their mother ran off with Lynton Baltimore, the man who was the subject of a hit true crime podcast, she pulls Jess into a quest to find their absent parent, sending them on a road trip destined to bring them heartbreak and answers in equal measure. Handsome, wholesome podcast producer Adam Hawkins complicates Jess' life further, as she finds herself drawn to his corn-fed brawn and innate decency. As a world of hurt and selfishness swirls around them, the two find unexpected refuge in each other. Jess hasn't let anyone into her heart in years, fearing abandonment, but Adam makes it easy with his upright honesty and deep sense of care. The Other Side of Disappearing is, in so many ways, a novel about heartbreak. It's about the shattered pieces left in the wake of someone's disappearance and the fragile loved ones left with no choice but to attempt to put themselves back together. Clayborn writes of how someone can sneak into your heart, wiggling their way into the crevices and sinews of your body and soul when you least expect it. There's a soulfulness to her work, a beauty in how she grants her everyday characters dignity and depth. The Other Side of Disappearing is a cathartic, emotionally attuned novel about the double-edged sword of emotional boundaries — and the trust required to open the gates to one's heart. In Clayborn’s novel, heartbreak really does feel good in a place like this. 

Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle

G.P. Putnam's Sons

Sarah Hogle's whimsical, charming novels have a new member in their bookish family with Old Flames and New Fortunes, a tale of second chances and light magic. Romina Tempest is a floral fortunist, meaning she uses the language of flowers and floral arrangements to help manifest love in her customers' lives. But her track record when it comes to romance isn’t exactly blooming. And things go from bad to worse when she discovers that the future stepbrother of the friend she's pretending to date is none other than the boy who got away: Alex King, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life. When Alex and Romina re-enter each other’s orbit, there's plenty of hijinks and bursts of enchantment. But the real magic comes in their mutual sensitivity, as they uncover all the wounds etched in their hearts during the years they spent apart. Neither of them ever really stopped loving the other. Hogle's books are as spritely as a perfect spring day, packed with genuine heartache, deep romanticism, and a fanciful sense of humor. Old Flames and New Fortunes grants us two lovers whose greatest lesson is that the true magic of love lies within our own vulnerable hearts.

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Related content:

  • Hot Stuff: The 8 best romance novels of winter 2024
  • Snow White gets gender-bent (and Jewish!) in Felicia Grossman's next fairy tale-inspired romance
  • Hot Stuff: The 10 best romance novels of 2023

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12 Must-Read New Romance Books Out in May 2024

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P.N. Hinton

Born into a family of readers, P.N. gained a love reading as a sort of herd mentality. This love of reading has remained a life long passion, resulting in an English Degree from The University of Houston in Houston, Texas. She normally reads three to four books at any given time, in the futile Sisyphean hope of whittling down her ever growing to be read pile of no specific genre.

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I had this mentality even when I was in college. One may think that, as an English major, I wouldn’t want to read at all in the summer, but I read as much, if not more. I could read what I wanted rather than what was assigned. Even when I was taking summer courses, I always took core classes rather than ones for my major, since it allotted me that freedom in my reading choices. 

As an adult, May still has anticipatory energy, although the reason for it varies from year to year. This year, it’s because of all the new romances headed our way. I’ve been good about sticking to my book budget so far. This month may break that streak.

Even more exciting is that the new romance books out in May 2024 offer a plethora of tropes. There’s horromance , second chances , historicals , and friends to lovers — to name just a few. So, without further delay, onto the books!

New Romance Books of May 2024

cover of The 7-10 Split

The 7-10 Split by Karmen Lee

Back in high school, Ava and Grace were the best of friends. Then they shared a kiss, which shattered their friendship and changed things for them forever. Presently, the two women still actively avoid one another, even while working at the same high school. All that changes when they’re both tasked with coaching the inaugural bowling team and have to work together for the success of their students. This proximity will also force the two women to reconcile with the feelings that are still present between the two of them.

cover of Here for the Wrong Reasons

Here for the Wrong Reasons by Annabel Paulsen and Lydia Wang

Krystin and Lauren are contestants on the dating reality show  Hopelessly Devoted.  But they’re there for very different reasons. Lauren is looking to get a follower boost for her social media account. Meanwhile, Krystin is hoping to find her forever partner. Neither expected their instant mutual attraction or that they could find happily ever after in a fellow “rival.”

cover of Waiting for Friday Night

Waiting for Friday Night by Synithia Williams

Former pro footballer Quinton is looking forward to a new career teaching and coaching. When Shania, one of his players, tells him he is her biological father, he’s thrown for a loop. But he is also determined to be there for his daughter no matter what. Halle never expected to come face to face with the handsome anonymous sperm donor and had planned on raising her daughter alone. And she knows how fast gossip travels in a small town. However, she can’t deny her attraction to Quinton or the appeal of finally having the family unit she has always dreamed of.

cover of You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

When baseball player Eddie and reporter Max are forced to work together for a series of articles, neither is happy. Still, they resolve to make the best of it, soon finding unexpected love and companionship in one another. However, 1960s America is not a welcoming place for same-sex relationships, and while Max is willing to come out, Eddie fears the effect it will have on his career. Will they be able to face the world together, or will their love affair end before it starts?

Looking for Love in All the Haunted Places book cover

Looking for Love in All the Haunted Places by Claire Kann

When parapsychologist Lucky hears about the haunted Hennessee House, it seems to be just the career boost she needs. There she meets Maverick Phillips and experiences an instant attraction and connection to him. However, Hennessee House is also desperate for her attention and isn’t willing to share her attention. Will Lucky be able to juggle both her love for Maverick and Hennessee House? Or will she be forced to choose between love or her career?

cover of Blood on the Tide

Blood on the Tide by Katee Robert

When Lizzie rescues selkie Maeve from captivity, she promises to help her find her stolen skin, provided Maeve helps her recover her family heirloom from the dangerous Cŵn Annwn. Having no other choice, Maeve reluctantly agrees and soon finds herself having to protect her heart from the alluring vampire, knowing any relationship would be short-lived. However, neither can’t deny their attraction and, faced with the brutality of the Cŵn Annwn, may find that love is worth fighting for.

cover of A Little Kissing Between Friends

A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins

After a lifetime of platonic friendship, Cyn and Jucee start to wonder if their feelings for each other run deeper. At the same time, they’re well aware of the ripple effects a break-up would have in their professional and personal lives. Is the possibility of a happily ever after worth the risk of destroying what they already have?

cover of A Gamble at Sunset

A Gamble at Sunset by Vanessa Riley

When Georgina and Mark are caught in a compromising position, the two fabricate a fake courtship to save their respective reputations. Between private voice lessons and playing the part of a besotted couple, the two begin to wonder if their scandalous introduction set them up for an unexpected lifetime of happiness.

cover of The Ride of Her Life

The Ride of Her Life by Jennifer Dugan

When Molly inherits a dilapidated barn from her aunt, she wonders if this is an unexpected boon. If she can sell the land the barn is on, then it would give her money to pay off her student loans and start her wedding planner business. The only thing possibly standing in her way is her aunt’s loyal and attractive friend Shani. Soon Molly has to decide whether she is willing to change the course of her life for a chance at love.

cover of Second Night Stand

Second Night Stand by Karelia and Fay Stetz-Waters

Prima ballerina Lillian and burlesque dancer Izzy are complete opposites in all ways, including their preferred dance styles. They’re also rivals in one of America’s most popular reality competitions. All of this doesn’t stop the two women from being drawn to one another and wondering if it is worth risking everything for love.

cover of Lavash at First Sight

Lavash at First Sight by Taleen Voskuni

When Ellie’s family asks her to attend PakCon, a food packaging convention, on their behalf, she agrees, needing the break from her frustrating work environment. There she meets Vanya, and the two share an instant attraction. What neither is aware of is that their parents are bitter business rivals. Ellie and Vanya are left trying to balance their love and loyalty for their family against the love they’re developing for one another.

cover of The Problem With Players

The Problem with Players by Brittainy Cherry

When Avery’s ex-boyfriend Nathan is assigned to be her new assistant coach, it throws her world into a tailspin. After all, she’s made it a habit to never look back, especially with past relationships. She expected him to be as hard-working and handsome as ever. What she didn’t expect was that he was also interested in revisiting their history and giving them a second chance to make it right.

This is just a sampling of what May will bring. Hopefully, you were able to find one or more that piqued your interest and get your preorders in. I know we all know how helpful those are, especially to authors of color, but it always bears repeating. Until next time, happy reading, and stay hydrated!

As always, you can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index , carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.

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New romance books to read in 2024

Reading romance is the ultimate form of escapism. Here are the best new books to look out for this year.

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We read to escape to another world – one without real life’s complications and anxieties. That might explain why so many of us enjoy romance books, with their perfectly formed characters, off-the-charts chemistry, grand gestures, and happily-ever-afters. You might be happily in love, lovesick, or out in the dating trenches, but whatever your relationship status, there’s something undeniably fun about being whisked away for a few hundred pages.

While we all have our tried-and-true love stories we turn to for escapism , there are plenty of new romance books coming out in 2024 that will make for perfect beach reads. Whether you’re looking for enemies-to-lovers books, a second-chance romance, historical romance, or a good love triangle, we’ve got you covered with our selection below.

Best romance books of 2024

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Daphne is heartbroken when her fiancé leaves her for his best friend Petra. She moves in with the only person who can understand: Petra’s ex, Miles. The pair bond over their shared heartbreak and come up with a plan to make their exes jealous – but the line between fact and fiction soon grows blurry…

Funny Story is full of the emotional depth, chemistry, and quick-witted dialogue you’d expect from Emily Henry. Read the first chapter here.

Key tropes: fake dating, friends to lovers, forced proximity.

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

One wild summer, Lucy has a holiday romance with Felix. Little does she know that Felix is her best friend’s younger brother. Every year since, Lucy has returned and tried (and failed) to resist Felix’s charms. Now, with her best friend in crisis, Lucy returns and vows this summer will be different. But Felix’s light-hearted flirting has been replaced by something more sincere, and now Lucy is in trouble…

Key tropes: summer romance, forced proximity, forbidden love.

My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes

Anna Walsh trades in her high-flying New York career for a tiny Irish town to help her friends set up a luxury coastal retreat. The locals are not happy, and they’re not the only obstacle to Anna’s new life: Joey Armstrong, the one who got away, is back. Marian Keyes’ latest novel is full of humour and heart; it’s the literary equivalent of a warm hug .

Key tropes: small town, new beginnings, second-chance romance.

Say You’ll Be My Jaan by Naina Kumar

Desperate for a date to bring to her first love’s wedding, Meghna asks her parents to arrange a match, which is how she meets the handsome (but commitment-phobic) Karthik. The pair strike a deal: they’ll pretend to be engaged for three months, so Meghna has a wedding plus-one and Karthik can avoid his mother’s set-ups. But what happens when real feelings get in the way?

Key tropes: fake dating, opposites attract, slow-burn romance.

That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey

Still reeling from her husband asking for a divorce, Garland Moore joins her friends at a summer camp. There, she runs into Mason, a handsome man she knew years ago. But it’s through sun-soaked afternoons and moonlit evenings with Mason’s beautiful sister Stevie that she uncovers parts of herself she never knew existed. Is this just a whirlwind summer romance, or could it be the real deal?

Key tropes: summer romance, new beginnings, forced proximity.

Let the Games Begin by Rufaro Faith Mazarura

It’s a scorching summer and all eyes are on Athens for the Olympics. Zeke is the star athlete for Team GB; Olivia is a law intern for the Games. Sparks fly when they meet, but the pair wonder whether love will hold them back – or push them to win. This is an uplifting, escapist read about overcoming insecurities and the transformational power of love.

Key tropes: sports romance, enemies to lovers, summer love.

Love in Provence by Jo Thomas

Del moved to the sun-drenched South of France three years ago and found a new lease of life, including a new love interest, Fabien. But when he’s called away for summer and newcomer Zacharie brings trouble, Del must bring the community together to complete the lavender harvest. This is a joyful read about friendship, love, and finding your happily-ever-after.

Key tropes: summer love, holiday romance, small town.

The Love of My Afterlife by Kirsty Greenwood

Delphie is in the waiting room for the afterlife when she meets a handsome stranger. They have an instant connection – until someone realises there has been a mistake and takes the stranger back down to Earth. Delphie is then offered a deal: she can return to Earth if she finds the man and makes him fall in love with her. The only catch? She has just 10 days – and he has no memory of ever meeting her.

Key tropes: cosy fantasy , new beginnings, second-chance romance.

Lies & Weddings by Kevin Kwan

The bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians returns with a standalone novel exploring the intrigue and romantic dilemmas of high society. Rufus Leung Gresham, future Earl of Greshamsbury, has been given strict instructions from his mother: seduce a woman with money who can settle his debts. But now Rufus is torn between a blue-blooded heiress, a venture capital billionaire, and the girl next door he’s been best friends with for years.

Key tropes: billionaire romance, forbidden love.

Island in the Sun by Katie Fforde

In this feel-good romance, photographer Cass flies to Dominica to capture images of a rare stone carving, accompanied by Ranulph, an attractive older journalist. As they grow closer and get more involved in the local community, Cass falls head over heels for Ranulph. But surely, given their age gap and his apparent disinterest, he doesn’t feel the same way…right?

Key tropes: summer love, friends to lovers, holiday romance.

You’re the Problem, It’s You by Emma R. Alban

This queer historical romance from the author of More Than a Best Friend is perfect for fans of Bridgerton . The shy Viscount James Demeroven and Bobby Mason, a resentful and ambitious second-born, despise each other. But when an extortionist targets their families, they have no choice but to work together. Soon they discover that there’s a thin line between love and hate.

Key tropes: enemies to lovers, historical romance, opposites attract.

The Kiss Countdown by Etta Easton

When Amerie Price bumps into her ex-boyfriend, she pretends to date the handsome stranger she just met: an astronaut called Vincent. Then the pair realise they could help each other more long-term. For the three months leading up to Vincent’s next mission, Amerie will pretend to date him to keep his well-meaning family at bay. In exchange, Amerie can live rent-free in his home and save her business. Their fake relationship has a time limit, but love doesn’t play by the rules.

Key tropes: fake dating, forced proximity.

Slow Dance by Rainbow Rowell

The author of the heartbreaking bestseller Eleanor & Park is back with a tender romance about first loves. Slow Dance tracks the decades of Shiloh and Cary’s friendship, as they grow from inseparable teenagers to adults leading very different lives. This is a romantic, poignant novel, with realistic, flawed characters, about the endurance of love in all its forms.

Key tropes: slow burn, friends to lovers, second-chance romance.

The Catch by Amy Lea

Fashion influencer Melanie Karlsen swaps her beloved Boston for a rural fishing village, hoping to get social media content that will save her business. There, she is mistaken for grumpy fisherman Evan Whaler’s fiancée. They strike a deal: Melanie will pose as his partner in exchange for Evan’s help with her brand. But over hikes and campfires, Melanie finds it harder to resist Evan and her new rural way of life.

Key tropes: small town, enemies to lovers, fake dating.

Seven Summers by Paige Toon

In this epic love story, Finn and Liv share a night of passion before he returns to LA, and she stays in Cornwall. He vows to return every year, and if they are both single, they’ll spend the summer together. Seven years later, Liv falls for a new man in town, Tom. But can she let go of her first love? Paige Toon has a well-earned reputation as “queen of the tear-jerker ”, and Seven Summers is no exception.

Key tropes: love triangle, first love, second-chance romance.

Ralph’s Party by Lisa Jewell

Six young tenants in a London house-share have interconnected, messy love lives. There’s Ralph, who’s in love with his new housemate Jem – a woman currently dating his best friend Smith. Across the hall, Karl and Siobhan’s domestic bliss is rocked by their upstairs neighbour Cheri. Everything reaches an explosive climax the night Ralph throws a party. Lisa Jewell’s bestselling first novel has been re-rereleased to mark 25 years since its initial publication.

Key tropes: forced proximity, love triangle.

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The top 10 most popular BookTok books trending right now

These are the books TikTok can’t stop talking about this month

Three book covers, side-by-side on a pink and yellow background.

Updated May 11, 2024

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed's editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

Authors now turn to BookTok to engage with their readers and help their books become a social media sensation. With the hashtag holding over 100 billion views, BookTok is a force to be reckoned with in the publishing industry. It’s all a title needs these days to be catapulted to bestseller status, from new releases and hidden gems to older books coming back into the spotlight and experiencing a surprise surge in sales. All of it, of course, being driven by TikTok users.

What is BookTok?

You’re not limited to only the most popular titles on BookTok though. The hashtag has subsections based on specific genres so you can go as niche as you like. To find book recs or get involved in the community of your favorite genre, search by the key term. Some of the more well-known ones include:

Horror BookTok

Spicy BookTok (Rated R romance)

Queer BookTok


Fantasy BookTok

BookTok is the perfect place to get out of a reading slump or find your next favorite read. As with the nature of TikTok though, popular titles on the app are ever-changing. That’s why we round up the top 10 trending titles taking over BookTok each month. Settle in to discover your next read.

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The top 10 books trending on booktok this may, 1. a court of mist and fury by sarah j. maas.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: YA fantasy, Romance, Romantasy

Described as "sexy" and "action-packed", the book follows Feyre, a human huntress who is resurrected as a fae after she sacrifices herself to save Tamlin, a High Fae and lord of the Spring Court (the land of beautiful forests), whom she loves. She struggles to navigate her new powers, the politics of the fae world, and her future with Tamlin, especially with Rhysand in the picture, a half-Fae and powerful lord of the Night Court (the land of beautiful nights), with whom she has a bargain she must uphold.

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Romantasy lovers and enemies to lovers trope fans will enjoy this bestselling series.

2. The Women by Kristin Hannah

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The Women by Kristin Hannah

Genre: Historical Fiction

The book is an epic, impactful read on the women during the Vietnam War, the ones who were erased from history, the ones whose stories were forgotten. It centers on Frankie and documents 20 years of her life, from her time serving in the Vietnam War as a nurse to her return home, where she discovers that instead of a hero’s welcome, her community and her own family refuse to acknowledge her. Ashamed. Embarrassed. They want to forget Vietnam, avoid it. Unable to reconcile their treatment of her with the horrors she has witnessed, Frankie is caught in between, overwhelmed with anger and betrayal and unable to save herself.

Product image of The Women by Kristin Hannah

An impactful read on the women during the Vietnam War that history wants to forget.

3. Twisted Love by Ana Huang

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Twisted Love by Ana Huang

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Twisted Love is an 18+ “opposites attract” romance with its fair share of trigger warnings, including morally gray characters and a possessive hero. It’s steamy, it’s suspenseful, it’s fan-yourself-worthy. Alex Volkov is the dark, strong, handsome type. You know the one—haunted by his tragic past and driven by revenge. Then he falls for his best friend’s sister and that icy exterior begins to show cracks. For the free-spirited Ava Chen, Alex just may be her downfall. She is similarly haunted by a childhood she can't remember. She knows the two of them aren’t supposed to be in love. Because their love just might burn down everything they’ve built and hold dear.

Product image of Twisted Love by Ana Huang

It’s steamy, it’s suspenseful, it’s fan-yourself-worthy.

4. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

good books with romance

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Harrowing, and bleak from start to end, the book follows Jude’s tragic life over the decades and his attempts to free himself from his inner demons, framed by his evolving friendships with three friends as they navigate life after college graduation. From abuse, trauma, depression, and self-harm, Jude’s story is relentlessly dark and Yanagihara doesn’t shy away from depicting every detail. Though not a happy tale by any means, it is one that will stay with you.

Product image of A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Droves of BookTok readers were absolutely emotionally wrecked after reading this and now they want you to be, too.

5. Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

good books with romance

Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Dystopia

The reason why Tender is the Flesh is so horrifying to readers is because it reimagines our world in a way that feels believable, that feels like it can happen, a story of atrocity that careens toward a chilling ending. When a virus turns all animal meat poisonous to humans, the government legalizes and industrializes cannibalism to fulfill the demand for meat in society. Now, humans are the chickens, the pigs, the cows, bred and factory-farmed for consumption, their body parts cooked and presented in spices.

Marcos Tejo works at a meat processing plant, doing everything from breeding to packaging humans. It’s horrifying but he bites his tongue and deals with it to survive. Until one day, he’s given a quality live specimen as a gift. Though interacting with the “meat” is frowned upon, the time spent with her awakens the dormant fragments of Marcos’ own humanity. But is he so different than everyone else?

Product image of Tender Is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

A disturbing story that careens toward a chilling ending.

6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

good books with romance

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA fantasy

The book is set in the same universe as Shadow and Bone and follows a crew of six dangerous outcasts coming together to pull off a deadly heist — if they don’t end up killing each other first, that is. Told from the POVs of eight different characters, the book is praised by reviewers for its rich world-building, spectacular adventure, and engaging group dynamics. With a whopping 31 million TikTok posts mentioning the title, I believe them.

Product image of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows is set in the same universe as Shadow and Bone and has a whopping 31 million TikToks under its title.

7. Covenant by LySandra Vuong

good books with romance

Covenant by LySandra Vuong

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, LGBTQ+

Ezra, a powerful exorcist who no longer believes in God, is tasked to protect Sunny, a mysterious boy, from demons. Despite the bickering and personality clash, the two are drawn to each other. Now it’s up to Ezra to find his conviction before it’s too late and they both end up suffering the consequences.

Product image of Covenant by LySandra Vuong

Covenant is a supernatural action comic that explores religion, faith, and queer romance.

8. Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

good books with romance

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

Bree Prescott moves to a sleepy Maine town, hoping to find peace from the memories of that one traumatic night she can’t forget. Here, her life intertwines with the town outcast: Archer Hale, a mute, brooding, isolated man with a traumatic past of his own. It is Bree who will make him feel safe again, who will give him back his voice. And it is he who will free her from her demons.

Product image of Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan

Archer's Voice's high ratings and praise prove the power of a good love story.

9. Powerless by Lauren Roberts

good books with romance

Powerless by Lauren Roberts

Genre: YA Fantasy, Romantasy

The story follows our two leads in the kingdom of Illya, which is divided into the Elites (those with powers) and the Ordinaries (those who are powerless). Our main character, Paedyn Gray, guessed it—one of the powerless. An Ordinary, part of the group that was banished by the king to preserve an Elite society. To survive, Paedyn blends in with the Elites, pretending she is one of them, until she inadvertently saves an Illya prince. As a result, she is thrown into the Purging Trials, an unforgiving competition where Elites must show off their powers—powers Paedyn doesn’t have. It’s either be killed in the Trials or be killed by the prince when he discovers the truth about her. The prince she is falling in love with.

Product image of Powerless by Lauren Roberts

If you're a fan of the ACOTAR series and The Hunger Games, this title is perfect for you.

10. Binding 13 by Rebecca Ross

good books with romance

Binding 13 by Chloe Walsh

Genre: Romance

If your thing is jock x shy girl and opposites attract, BookTok promises this book will ruin you. Binding 13 , the first of a duology, is a slow-burn high school sports romance. Rugby star Johnny must stay laser-focused on his promising rugby career. Until he isn’t. Until the sad, bruised new girl enters the picture. Shannon has been through the wringer: heavily bullied in her previous school and by her own father, she only wants a clean slate at her new school. Until she meets Johnny. Until she realizes they just might be soulmates. She is damaged. But he is determined to love her despite everything he has to lose. And isn’t that what we all want?

With their hearts slowly binding, Shannon and Johnny must learn how to trust and open up again.

Product image of Binding 13 by Chloe Walsh

BookTok promises this book will ruin you.

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Yulin kuang on debut novel, “great suffering” in romance and emily henry adaptations.

The writer-director, whose 'How to End a Love Story' was recently selected as a Reese's Book Club Pick, is set to adapt bestsellers 'People We Meet on Vacation' and 'Beach Read.'

By Lexy Perez

Associate Editor

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How to End a Love Story book and Yulin Kuang headshot

Yulin Kuang knows she hit the literary jackpot.

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While it can be assumed adapting those stories might come with added pressure, Kuang understands fans’ anxiety over whether the adaptations will be up to par.

“I come from fandom… I can put myself in the shoes of somebody who has loved these books and care so much about seeing them done justice. Then at the same time, I have to put up this barrier, where I can no longer really look at fandom spaces in that way anymore. Because I think if I do, it’ll get too in my head. I do believe that the primary goal of adaptation is not just to please the book fans. It’s to bring new audiences to the source material,” Kuang tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Having what she describes as “the best letter of reference” by adapting Henry’s books, Kuang ventured into writing her own novel as a means of creating an original story while being “in the weeds” of adapting other stories. The driving question: “What kind of story would I tell if I didn’t have to ask anybody for permission to do it first?”

Kuang spoke with THR about writing her first novel, why “great suffering” makes for the best romance stories, the book-to-screen Hollywood landscape and finding a kinship with Henry.

You’ve been selected as the May Reese’s book club pick. What was your reaction to learning your book was selected?

It was very exciting. I’m just kind of excited to see what happens tomorrow. I’m such a fan of Reese Witherspoon, and I think what she’s done with her book club is brilliant. And so it’s very flattering to be able to say that I am one of the picks.

You have a career in screenwriting and directing but at what point did you decide you wanted to write a novel? And why was now the right time to work on something like this?

There’s the saying to write what you know, and it’s easy to assume Helen and Grant being screenwriters could be influenced by you personally. What elements of yourself, if any, did you incorporate with them?

Well, I knew I wanted it to be about a screenwriter and a novelist mostly because I was very busy at the time, and I wanted to do something that would require basically no research. It was a very good vehicle to explore my feelings about adaptation, which I really loved. The setup of it, which is that these two characters are united by a shared wound, I would say, is what they have that came quite late. I was interested in the concept of shared wounds because I had spent a lot of time reading Emily [Henry’s] words and thinking about how the things that I resonated with in her work were the things on the bluer, grief side, the spectrum of human emotions. And so, what shared wounds do I have with Emily Henry? Who hurt her and did they hurt me? So I knew I wanted kind of a vehicle to explore that. And then, in terms of the accident that kind of unites these two people, I wanted to look at suicide from the lens of the people who are left behind. I’ve known a lot of people who have had serious mental health struggles; I have struggled myself. I wanted to see what would happen in a worst-case scenario and what the aftermath is.

So my first TV writers room experience was kind of unusual in that I had done the short film called I Ship It , which I then sold as a web series to the CW Seed, which was their digital streaming platform, and it won a Streamy Award. They came back to me and they said, “Do you want to do this as a TV show?” And I was like, “Oh my God, yes.” I was 27 years old, and I have my own TV show. It premiered to the second lowest ratings the CW has ever had and was promptly pulled from the schedule. I remember feeling like both failure and also like, “Wow, I feel lucky that this even got on the air at all.” Like I feel like I maybe got something there. So I did feel kind of that extreme imposter syndrome process that I think I kind of gave to Helen because her first TV writers room experience is an adaptation of her own work. Then Grant comes at it from, I would say, where I feel much more comfortable in my career at this point. It was like getting to have my two selves kind of in conversation with each other in that way.

Then as a couple, apart from their swoonworthy romance moments, their backstory and connection is heavy and there’s a mention that they trauma bond together. Can you talk about what you wanted to explore with them as a couple?

As a couple, I wanted to see how two people with a shared wound would kind of gravitate and repel each other in ways. I feel like trauma bond is such like a cute little term that’s in the vernacular now and it becomes easy to dismiss it but it is a bond right? It is something that’s very real because these two people understand each other in a way that nobody else might. So that was what I wanted to explore with the two of them. I love a love story that has some sort of like fated quality to it, and I think they are very tied by fate.

In true romance novel fashion, this novel does not stray from the spiciness and steamy scenes. As a first-time romance author, did you feel pressure in delivering those kinds of scenes?  

Did you always know that you wanted to lean toward a happily ever after ending for this book given the emotion and heaviness of it?

Oh, yeah. I have always loved the happily ever afters of romance as a genre. I think there was a period of time where we were getting a lot of rom-com movies that ended ambiguously and I was like, “You fucking cowards.” I think it’s so easy to leave these characters in their dark night of the soul and be like, “No, I think they’re gonna be okay.” I think that’s easier than to try and construct a happy ending for them that is earned and deserved. I think when that happily ever after feels earned, it’s so,so satisfying. I knew going into this that it was gonna have a happily ever after, but I also wasn’t necessarily trying to chase a rom-com vibe. I think I associate a certain level of warmth and charm with rom-coms and I think in Hollywood, any love story that ends happily gets slapped with a rom-com label. But I think in publishing, there’s a real understanding that even if a love story ends happily, it doesn’t have to be necessarily a comedic journey on our way there. And so I think I was reaching for something that felt I would say more aligned with like the Brontë sensibility than the Austen sensibility. I think Jane Austen has a very rom-com sensibility. I think Emily Henry has an inherently rom-com sensibility. It’s such a shining example of what the genre is capable of.

One of the notes I kept getting from my editor, she would scroll in the margins “What does it smell like?” As a screenwriter, I never think about smell. We can have a very economical approach to storytelling and screenplays, and anything that doesn’t move the story forward, we kind of just delete it. I think in the book scenes have a way of flowing into thoughts then flow into a memory and so there was a lot more of that kind of flow. I do think you can get a little bit more lost in books because they’re so internal. I think that the internal quality of a book lends itself to stories that hinge on backstory, a lot. I wouldn’t have told this story in a screenplay first because so much of that first scene is rooted in the tension between these two people, knowing their backstory and their inner monologues. In a movie or TV show, I would show what happened first so that we know that that is the context. So where I started was different because of what I can do in a book versus an entirely only visual.

Most films and television shows are adapted from books maybe now more than ever. As someone who is involved in the adaptation process in this current industry, what have you learned or observed about the book-to-Hollywood landscape?

We’re also in a time when there seems to be a desire for rom-coms and romance stories. As a director, screenwriter and now romance author, what is the recipe that you think makes for that perfect romance story?

So I think in Hollywood, the rom-com can get flattened into romance and comedy. I think the thing that publishing understands so much is that you have to take people on a journey that is more dimensional than that. I think great suffering is necessary to make for a good romance because love hurts, baby! (Laughs.) So much song and art about it, that I think we have to remember that in order to tell a compelling love story. I think that there’s a spectrum of that hurt. I think that we absolutely need the soft escapism that Hallmark provides. Then, at the same time, I also want something that’s like a shiv and a knife twist but still gives me a happily ever after.

Do you envision adapting How to End a Love Story for screen? If so, in what way and would you be the one to adapt it or would you prefer to give the reigns to someone else?

You’re in the great company of having an association with Emily Henry, who has quite frankly taken over the romance genre and fans are eager for these adaptations. Do you feel pressure at all in delivering something fans would be happy with? What is your approach with adapting these stories?

After reading Emily Henry’s books, were there any specific scenes or moments you were looking forward to the most in bringing to life?

Not so much specific moments. I really enjoy writing Gus in Beach Read. I have this theory that an Emily Henry hero is a Yulin Kuang heroine. I spent a lot more time like thinking about this woman’s words, and the thing that I am drawn to in her work, they tend to be like the heroes that are more aloof, withdrawn, cold. So I really enjoyed diving in there. And just coming from fandom, I’m always interested in the parts that aren’t as fully explored in the canon and so to dive in a little bit in areas where I’m like, “Ooh, could we have gone…”[or] “What happened in this corner of the story?” That’s always really fun to me.

I’m sure you’re asked this a lot, but I have to ask: There has been speculation that Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri are being cast as two of the romantic leads. Can you comment on that speculation?

I am so excited that people are excited, no bad ideas here. What I can say is that we’re still quite early in the development process, so we’re not having those conversations yet.

It was announced that you have a three-book deal. Have you started working on book two yet, and do you know what it will be about? What kind of stories do you want to continue telling?

Are you still going to write romance?

I’m open. I love a genre bender. But I think there’s something in my like genetic code that will always be drawn to kissing stories. I remember when I was younger, I watched A Few Good Men for the first time and I stayed up in bed that night, just rewriting the scene so I could make Tom Cruise and Demi Moore kiss. So that’s always gonna be me.

What do you hope that people take away from this novel?

So I’m always very reluctant to tell people what I hope they take away with it because I do kind of feel like once the art is out in the world, the intentions of the artist don’t really matter. What they take away from the text, that’s between them and the book. I don’t want to be prescriptive. I think my favorite moments in literature are when it feels like the author has put some sort of emotional truth into the text. And they’re like anyone else. It feels like I sent this message in a bottle out there, and somebody I intended to find it has found it. So I hope that there are moments like that. I hope it makes people feel less alone, and I hope that it finds its intended audience.

How to End a Love Story is available now.

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Rebel Rising: A Memoir by Rebel Wilson

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    With paranormal romances, mythology as you've never seen it before, love in academia and the workplace, and romances that won't leave your mind, our best romance books of 2022 are ten great books for romance fans! Paperback $18.00. ADD TO CART.

  14. 30 Great Romance Novels To Swoon Over

    The best romance book for teens is Heartstopper by Alice Osman. The 2020 graphic novel and its sequels follow the sweet, slowly blooming romance between big man on campus Nick and sensitive, quiet ...

  15. The 24 Best Romance Novels

    Read on for 24 best romance novels so engrossing, you'll feel like you're getting swept away with the starring couple. 1. Seven Days in June. 1. Seven Days in June. Now 25% Off.

  16. Amazon Best Sellers: Best Romance

    1 offer from $12.99. #5. Meant For Her: A enemies to lovers, single mother, sports romance (Meant for Series Book 2) Natasha Madison. 750. Kindle Edition. 1 offer from $4.99. #6. King of Wrath: An Arranged Marriage Romance (Kings of Sin Book 1)

  17. Romance Books

    by Hannah Nicole Maehrer. QUICK ADD. Leather & Lark (Ruinous Love Trilogy #2) by Brynne Weaver. QUICK ADD. The Striker (B&N Exclusive Edition) by Ana Huang. Discover your new favorite romance book at Barnes & Noble. Shop romance best sellers, new releases, bookseller recommendations and more!

  18. Best Romance 2023

    Rate it: Open Preview. WINNER 157,687 votes. Happy Place. by. Emily Henry (Goodreads Author) Emily Henry clocks her third straight victory in the category with this tale of a couple who have broken up but don't want to harsh the vibe on an upcoming trip with friends. The result is a clever variation on the old fake-dating trope.

  19. 20 Best Romance Book Series to Read in 2024

    3. Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. Series starter: Once Upon a Broken Heart. What you're in for: Fairy-tale twists and turns and a wicked heartthrob love interest. For those ...

  20. 25 of the Best Romance Book Series For Your Reading Pleasure

    Here are 25 of the best romance book series for you to read immediately. As a bit of background, romance takes an interconnecting universe approach to book series. While there are plenty of standalone romance books, many authors write series where each book focuses on a different couple. Sometimes the books go through a family until each member ...

  21. The best romance novels of spring 2024

    Hot stuff: The 5 best winter romance novels to keep the season of love going. Hot Stuff: Fall romance novels offer hot monks, witchcraft, reality TV, and Keanu Reeves.

  22. The 30 Best Selling Romance Novelists of All Time

    Debbie Macomber. With over 200 million copies of her books in print — and more on the way — Debbie Macomber has more than earned her spot as one of the world's bestselling novelists. Specializing in romance and women's fiction, Debbie Macomber's writing is wholesome, charming, and homey. She is best known for her Cedar Cove series ...

  23. 12 Must-Read New Romance Books Out in May 2024

    I've been good about sticking to my book budget so far. This month may break that streak. Even more exciting is that the new romance books out in May 2024 offer a plethora of tropes. There's horromance, second chances, historicals, and friends to lovers — to name just a few. So, without further delay, onto the books!

  24. New romance books to read in 2024

    While we all have our tried-and-true love stories we turn to for escapism, there are plenty of new romance books coming out in 2024 that will make for perfect beach reads. Whether you're looking for enemies-to-lovers books, a second-chance romance, historical romance, or a good love triangle, we've got you covered with our selection below.

  25. 100 Books Everyone Should Read

    1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1878). Ah, Anna Karenina. Lusty love affair or best romance of all time? Most critics pin it as one of most iconic literary love stories, and for good reason.

  26. The 25 Best New Book Releases This Week: May 14-20, 2024

    Here are the best new books in every genre coming out the week of May 14-20, 2024. When you look at my roundups, you won't just find the perfect book to read. You'll also find great books to ...

  27. The top 10 most popular BookTok books trending right now

    Genre: Contemporary Romance . 2014-2015 books must be having a moment because so many books from this time have been trending on BookTok! Archer's Voice comes highly recommended in the community if you're in the market for a contemporary romance without the fantasy. Let's crunch the numbers: The title alone has nearly 10 million posts on ...

  28. Yulin Kuang on Adapting Emily Henry Books, Debut Novel, Steamy Romance

    Yulin Kuang on Debut Novel, "Great Suffering" in Romance and Emily Henry Adaptations. The writer-director, whose 'How to End a Love Story' was recently selected as a Reese's Book Club Pick, is ...

  29. Best Romance 2020

    Open Preview. WINNER 70,896 votes. From Blood and Ash. by. Jennifer L. Armentrout (Goodreads Author) This year's Goodreads Choice Award for Romance comes from the exhilarating perimeters of the genre, where romance intersects with dark fantasy and paranormal intrigue. Veteran author Jennifer L. Armentrout tells the story of Poppy, a.k.a.

  30. The 20 Best Reads for Upcoming Travels: Discover New Books for Summer

    New York Times best-selling author Tia Williams' latest book is a No. 1 pick on Amazon. In A Love Song for Ricki Wilde, misfit Ricki Wilde moves to Harlem to open a flower shop where a mysterious ...