60+ Best Slow Burn Romance Books of All Time to Read in 2024

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Slow-burn stories take time, but the result is so worth it. These stories don’t rush. Instead, they let us walk alongside characters as they slowly move from maybe friends to something much more special.

It’s all about the little moments that add up, making us wait and wonder when they’ll finally realize they’re perfect for each other. This makes the moment when love finally happens feel really big and important because it took so long to get there.

In this list of Best Slow Burn Romance Books, you’ll find books proving good things do come to those who wait.

Table of Contents

1. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

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03/14/2024 10:01 am GMT

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Abuse

Lily Bloom’s move to Boston symbolizes a fresh start. Here, she meets Ryle Kincaid, a charming neurosurgeon with a no-dating rule that he’s willing to break for her. But when Atlas, her first love, comes back into her life, Lily faces old feelings and secrets.

The story switches between Lily’s past, shown through her diaries, and her current life, where she must deal with past abuse and her relationship with Ryle. Soon, she needs to make tough choices about love, loyalty, and self-worth.

“It Ends with Us” stands out for its honest look at difficult topics like domestic violence. It’s a story about the true impact of romantic relationships on personal growth and self-worth and the courage needed to face the truth.

There is no such thing as bad people. We’re all just people who sometimes do bad things.

What you might love:

  • “It Ends with Us” offers hope and healing, showing that strength can emerge from challenging situations.
  • This book tackles tough topics, sparking critical discussions on relationships and self-worth, making it a tool for empathy and understanding.
  • The novel’s characters seem real, with their flaws, strengths, and challenges shown openly, this honesty makes them relatable and refreshing.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book includes graphic violence that might upset some readers.
  • Some readers may find Lily’s choices hard to understand or agree with, leading to frustration.
  • Told from Lily’s point of view, the story sticks to her experiences, which might not suit fans of multiple perspectives.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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03/07/2024 03:15 pm GMT

Genres: Classics, Romance, Historical Fiction, Literature

Elizabeth Bennet’s life is turned upside down when Mr. Darcy, a wealthy and proud man, enters her world. At first, sparks fly for all the wrong reasons—they clash due to Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s prejudice against his snobbish ways.

But as Elizabeth deals with her family and the social ladder of the 19th century, she and Darcy’s frequent encounters are filled with misunderstandings, personal growth, and a deepening connection.

“Pride and Prejudice” mixes humor and witty conversations and shows how Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy change their minds about each other. The story is a fun peek into life and love in a different time.

A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.

What you might love:

  • Elizabeth Bennet is a strong, smart woman who cherishes her freedom and inspires many.
  • The Bennet family’s varied personalities provide humor and a sharp critique of society’s demands on families.
  • Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy grow a lot, overcoming their pride and biases and deepening their characters and romance.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel moves slowly, filled with detailed social scenes, which might feel slow to readers who like quick stories.
  • Its focus on class and marriage for advantage might not interest those seeking more modern or relatable themes.
  • Some readers may be frustrated by the characters’ actions or the plot’s misunderstandings, wishing for a quicker resolution.

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas — A Court of Thorns and Roses #1

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 11:31 pm GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Fae, Fantasy, Romance

Feyre, a young hunter supporting her family, accidentally kills a magical faerie disguised as a wolf in the woods. As a punishment for killing one of their own, Tamlin, a faerie lord, takes her to his magical land.

Their world faces danger from old curses and a coming war that threatens to destroy everything. Feyre becomes crucial in saving this land, battling to protect her love and the realm she’s grown to cherish.

Beyond its love story, it’s about Feyre finding her power and fighting for what’s right. It shows how love and courage can make a big difference, making this book an excellent pick for anyone who loves thrilling and heartfelt stories.

Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.

What you might love:

  • Characters in the story often face difficult choices, blurring the lines between right and wrong, adding complexity and realism.
  • Beyond the main characters, the novel is filled with intriguing secondary characters, each with stories and secrets that enrich the narrative.
  • The novel features a slow-building romance full of tension and passion, drawing readers into the emotional dynamics between the characters.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book openly depicts violence and dark themes, which may not suit all readers.
  • The novel has mature content that might not appeal to younger readers or those sensitive to explicit scenes.
  • The book starts slowly, introducing the story and world, which might test the patience of readers who prefer fast-paced narratives.

4. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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03/14/2024 10:01 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fiction

Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer under less-than-ideal circumstances, discovering they’re not perfect for each other but perfect for a no-strings-attached arrangement.

As Tate struggles to follow their two strict rules—no talking about the past or expecting a future—she learns about Miles’s painful history. Their journey uncovers deep emotions and past hurts, challenging them to confront fears and the hope for healing love.

“Ugly Love” captures the real, tough sides of love, going deeper than just perfect romance. The book mixes deep emotions with engaging storytelling, highlighting the beauty that can emerge from the ugliest of loves.

When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in.

What you might love:

  • The writing is beautiful and expressive, capable of conveying profound emotions in simple words.
  • The novel alternates between past and present perspectives, offering a dynamic way to uncover the story’s deeper truths.
  • Beyond the romance, the novel touches on themes of healing and overcoming past traumas, resonating with anyone who has faced personal struggles.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some readers may think the story manipulates emotions too strongly.
  • Exploring tough themes like grief and trauma may overwhelm some readers.
  • The high drama and conflict might seem too much for fans of subtle, realistic relationships.

5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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03/08/2024 05:16 pm GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Romance, LGBT

“The Song of Achilles” narrates the saga of Achilles, a demigod warrior, through the perspective of Patroclus, an exiled young prince who becomes Achilles’ closest companion and lover.

From their first meeting to the battlefields of Troy, their bond grows through prophecies, divine actions, and heroics. The story highlights the depth and complexity of their relationship as they follow their destiny.

This novel stands out because it adds a love story to the usual tales of glory and valor. It makes legendary characters feel real and relatable by showing their emotions, weaknesses, and desires, making this book compelling.

When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.

What you might love:

  • Miller makes legendary figures feel real and relatable, helping readers understand their humanity.
  • It explores themes of destiny, honor, and defining choices, encouraging readers to think deeply about these timeless topics.
  • The novel pulls readers into an accurately detailed world of Greek mythology and history, highlighting Miller’s thorough research.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The intense focus on the characters’ emotions may overwhelm those seeking a lighter story.
  • The detailed historical and mythological background could overwhelm readers less interested in Greek mythology.
  • Readers wanting more epic battles and intrigue might not find the romance between Achilles and Patroclus as engaging.

6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon — Outlander #1

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03/08/2024 11:40 pm GMT

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Time Travel

Claire Randall, a nurse from 1945, is transported back in time to 1743 Scotland after touching ancient stones in Scotland. There, she meets Jamie Fraser, a young warrior with a complex past.

Caught in the turmoil of the Scottish rebellion, Claire’s life becomes a blend of survival, allegiance, and love. Struggling to return to her time while being drawn into Jamie’s world, Claire must make choices that challenge her heart and alter the course of history.

“Outlander” stands out for its blend of history, time travel, and romance. It brings historical characters and events to life, and the growing love between Claire and Jamie explores its power over time.

Don’t be afraid. There’s the two of us now.

What you might love:

  • The story raises interesting questions about loyalty, morality, and the impact of one’s actions on the future, providing food for thought.
  • From heroes to villains, the characters in “Outlander” are well-developed, each with their own motives, flaws, and growth, making them feel real.
  • Claire Randall is a resilient and intelligent protagonist whose modern views clash with the times she finds herself in, offering a compelling narrative voice.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The authentic Scottish dialect and cultural references might confuse or not appeal to some readers.
  • Scenes of violence and sexual content in the novel might not suit or be comfortable for everyone.
  • Readers who like straightforward historical fiction or modern stories might find the time-travel confusing or unappealing.

7. Normal People by Sally Rooney

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03/14/2024 10:01 am GMT

Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Literary, Ireland, Adult

“Normal People” is about Connell and Marianne, who go from being high school classmates in a small Irish town to university students in Dublin. Despite their differences, they form a strong bond that shapes their lives.

They face challenges like feeling out of place, dealing with personal struggles, and understanding their feelings for each other. The story closely follows their ups and downs, showing how their relationship affects their path to becoming adults.

“Normal People” is a touching look at how two people can support each other and grow together. It captures the beauty and difficulty of love in a way that everyone can relate to, highlighting both the good and tough times.

Life offers up these moments of joy despite everything.

What you might love:

  • Rooney creates deeply human characters with flaws and vulnerabilities that make them relatable and real.
  • The book addresses mental health with sensitivity and insight, contributing to meaningful conversations around the topic.
  • The book explores the nuanced dynamics between Connell and Marianne, showing how relationships can evolve over time.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The complex and sometimes toxic dynamics between characters might be unsettling or unenjoyable for some.
  • Some readers may find the miscommunications and decisions made by Connell and Marianne frustrating or challenging to empathize with.
  • While insightful, the novel’s handling of mental health issues might be challenging for some readers, especially those with similar experiences.

8. The Deal by Elle Kennedy — Off-Campus #1

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03/08/2024 05:11 am GMT

Genres: Romance, New Adult, Sports, College, Contemporary

Hannah Wells finds herself making a deal with Garrett Graham, the campus hockey star, in an effort to help each other with their personal goals. Hannah needs tutoring to keep her scholarship, and Garrett needs to improve his grades to stay on the team.

Their initial arrangement sparks a deep connection as they spend time together, challenging their views of love and relationships. Their story is a heartwarming exploration of how opening up to someone can lead to unexpected happiness.

“The Deal” is a story about overcoming obstacles and finding love in the least expected places. Its blend of compelling characters, emotional depth, and humor makes it an unforgettable love story.

Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.

What you might love:

  • Its college setting feels relatable and nostalgic, drawing in current students and alumni.
  • Sharp, witty dialogue entertains readers and keeps them engaged with the characters.
  • The novel tackles deep issues, leading to meaningful growth and discussions on healing and resilience.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Although enjoyable to many, its humor and banter may not suit everyone’s taste.
  • “The Deal” includes explicit scenes and language, possibly turning off those who prefer cleaner romances.
  • The novel touches on deep issues but may not explore them deeply enough for those wanting more complexity.

9. Beach Read by Emily Henry

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03/08/2024 07:00 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

January Andrews, a romance writer, and Gus Everett, a literary fiction author, find themselves neighbors for the summer. Both are struggling with writer’s block and personal issues.

They decide to swap genres for the summer, stepping into each other’s literary worlds. This challenge leads them to explore old wounds and new beginnings, pushing them out of their comfort zones and sparking an unexpected romance.

“Beach Read” stands out with its unique premise of genre-swapping between two contrasting authors. Emily Henry blends light-hearted romance with deeper themes of grief and redemption, making it more than just a summer fling story.

If you think the story has a sad ending, it’s because it’s not over yet.

What you might love:

  • This book embodies summer, ideal for relaxing days or as a winter escape.
  • It delves into grief, healing, and forgiveness, enriching the story beyond romance.
  • January and Gus’s witty banter shines, often making readers laugh and highlighting their interactions.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s deep dive into topics like grief might surprise those expecting a lighter read from its title.
  • January and Gus’s choices and misunderstandings may frustrate readers looking for clear character actions.
  • The blend of humor and serious themes may not appeal to those who want a book with a consistent mood.

10. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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03/08/2024 03:16 am GMT

Genres: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Fiction, Queer, Young Adult

Alex Claremont-Diaz, America’s First Son, and Prince Henry of Wales start off as international rivals. After a public mishap forces them into a fake friendship for damage control, their relationship evolves.

Through witty exchanges and secret meetings, they discover a connection, challenging their beliefs and duties. As they face personal growth and political intrigue, their love story touches on themes of identity, duty, and the courage to be one’s true self.

“Red, White & Royal Blue” breaks the mold with its blend of political intrigue and LGBTQ+ romance. Its fresh take on the enemies-to-lovers trope set against a backdrop of global diplomacy sets it apart from typical romantic narratives.

That’s the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.

What you might love:

  • Amid the characters’ challenges, the novel maintains an optimistic and hopeful tone, uplifting readers.
  • The dialogue is filled with sharp wit and humor, creating delightful interactions that sparkle on the page.
  • The book celebrates LGBTQ+ love and identity, providing a heartfelt representation that many readers find meaningful and empowering.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The political setting and commentary may not attract those looking for pure escapism.
  • Contemporary slang and humor may not appeal to all and could seem outdated later.
  • The depiction of American and British cultures may seem stereotypical and not fully accurate to some.

11. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black — The Folk of the Air #1

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03/08/2024 11:51 pm GMT

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fae, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

At seven, Jude was taken to the High Court of Faerie with her sisters. Ten years later, she wants nothing more than to belong there despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and cruelest son of the High King.

Jude gets caught in palace tricks and discovers she’s good at deception and fighting. She’s determined to make her place in the court and keep her family safe, facing the faerie world’s dangers.

“The Cruel Prince” stands out for its deep plot, rich characters, and a well-built faerie world. It takes fantasy in new directions, making this book a must-read for its story and the courage of its characters.

If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.

What you might love:

  • This book keeps you hooked with surprises, twists, and clever plots. It’s exciting to guess what happens next.
  • The Faerie court’s political games and secrets bring a sophisticated edge. If you like exploring power and politics, you’ll enjoy this.
  • It dives into power, loyalty, and betrayal, showing how the line between right and wrong can blur. Its complex morals deepen the story and characters.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Jude’s choices and actions might confuse or annoy some readers.
  • The book openly deals with dark topics like violence and manipulation, which can upset some readers.
  • The title hints at it: the book has a lot of cruelty, and reading about characters being harsh to each other might be challenging.

12. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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03/09/2024 12:01 am GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance, Historical, Magic, Young Adult

“The Night Circus” is about a magical circus that becomes the setting for a competition between two young magicians, Celia and Marco. They’ve been trained since childhood to outdo each other in a contest where only one can survive.

As they work to impress with their magical creations, they fall in love, complicating everything. Their intense rivalry and love story unfold alongside other characters’ lives connected to the circus, adding depth and mystery to the tale.

This book stands out in fantasy literature for its captivating love, magic, and sacrifice story. “The Night Circus” pulls readers into a magical world, making it a must-read for those who love to be transported to another place by a story.

The truest tales require time and familiarity to become what they are.

What you might love:

  • Its vivid descriptions let readers clearly imagine the circus’s sights, sounds, and smells, bringing the story to life.
  • The characters, each with unique stories and depth, draw readers in, making them care about what happens to them.
  • The book delves into big themes like fate vs. free will, love’s power, and choice’s significance, striking a chord with many readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel’s timeline moves back and forth, confusing those who like a story that goes in order.
  • The story switches between many characters’ views, which might confuse readers who want to follow one main character.
  • The book slowly uncovers complex character relationships, frustrating readers who want simple and clear connections from the beginning.

13. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion — Don Tillman #1

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 09:30 am GMT

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Humor, Chick Lit, Adult, Fiction

Don Tillman, a genetics professor with Asperger’s syndrome, starts the “Wife Project” with a detailed questionnaire to find the perfect partner. But everything changes when he meets Rosie Jarman, who doesn’t match his list at all.

Helping Rosie find her real dad, Don realizes love doesn’t follow logic and that the right partner might not be the one he first thought. They discover surprising things about themselves and what truly matters in a partner.

“The Rosie Project” shines with its unique main character and a fresh take on love and compatibility. It mixes humor and insight, making it a memorable and engaging read about finding love unexpectedly.

Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.

What you might love:

  • Rosie, strong, independent, and smart, shares both funny and touching moments with Don.
  • Their conversations are smart, quick, and humorously dry, making Don and Rosie’s relationship more lively.
  • The novel covers universal themes such as love, friendship, and self-discovery, appealing to many readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Seeing social cues and norms through Don’s perspective may not appeal to those seeking deeper social insights.
  • Don’s literal way of seeing things drives the humor, but not everyone might find it funny due to different tastes in comedy.
  • The story’s emphasis on Don changing for love may clash with readers valuing self-acceptance over altering oneself for a relationship.

14. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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03/08/2024 05:11 am GMT

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Coming Of Age

Set over one school year in 1986, Eleanor, the new girl with chaotic family life, and Park, a half-Korean boy who loves comics and music, slowly bond over shared comic books and mixtapes on their bus rides.

Their friendship turns into love, facing challenges like bullying, family problems, and society’s rules. Yet, their relationship offers them a safe place, highlighting the deep feelings and challenges of young love.

“Eleanor & Park” stands out with its 80s backdrop, capturing the excitement of first love and the struggles of being different. It’s a moving story about finding someone who understands you during the challenging teen years.

I want everyone to meet you. You’re my favorite person of all time.

What you might love:

  • It tackles race and economic differences, promoting a story that values diversity and compassion.
  • The book highlights universal themes like acceptance, resilience, and being true to oneself, appealing to readers of all ages.
  • It delves into first love, bullying, and family issues, connecting with readers who’ve faced similar challenges or understand them.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The ending might seem unclear or unsatisfying to some, who would rather have a clear conclusion.
  • The 1980s setting is vital, but not everyone likes historical settings, making it less appealing to some.
  • The story switches between Eleanor’s and Park’s views. Those who like one narrative voice might get distracted by this.

15. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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03/08/2024 03:25 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Olive Torres is the unlucky twin, shadowed by her lucky sister Ami. But after everyone at her sister’s wedding gets food poisoning, she ends up on a free Hawaii honeymoon with Ethan, the groom’s brother—someone she can’t stand—pretending to be newlywed.

Their plan to avoid each other fails, leading to funny and romantic moments. Olive and Ethan start questioning their wrong first impressions as they share adventures that bring them closer.

“The Unhoneymooners” is known for its humor, beautiful setting, and how it twists the enemies-to-lovers story. Its fun plot and likable characters offer a new take on romantic comedies.

It’s so exhausting pretending to hate you.

What you might love:

  • The cast of family and friends adds richness to the story, offering additional layers of humor, conflict, and support.
  • Olive is a character many can relate to—imperfect, navigating life’s ups and downs, and endowed with a healthy dose of self-deprecating humor.
  • The dynamic between Olive and Ethan is electric. Their banter and the progression from animosity to affection are believable and captivating.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Readers looking for new relationship dynamics might not enjoy the common enemies-to-lovers theme.
  • The book’s particular humor and cheerful tone may not suit those who like serious or more subtle humor.
  • Some might find the romantic ending too perfect or unrealistic, preferring a more complex look at relationships.

16. Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan — Where Love Meets Destiny #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:02 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fiction

Bree Prescott moves to Pelion, Maine, for a new start and meets Archer Hale, who can’t speak due to a childhood tragedy. As they get closer, they learn from each other about the power of silence and patience.

They face old problems and the town’s judgment but see a chance for a fresh start with their love. “Archer’s Voice” tells how Bree and Archer find love and healing, overcoming silence to find their voices.

The novel stands out for exploring love without words, showing how deep connections go beyond speech. Archer’s silence and Bree’s response highlight love’s ability to break through any barrier.

Sometimes an understanding silence was better than a bunch of meaningless words.

What you might love:

  • The novel explores overcoming adversity, silence, and isolation in an uplifting and hopeful way.
  • The small-town setting adds a layer to the story, creating a sense of community and intimacy that enriches the narrative.
  • The love story between Archer and Bree is tender, slowly building into a deep connection that’s both believable and heartwarming.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel’s focus on trauma and loss might overwhelm those looking for lighter reads.
  • The idea that love can heal all wounds may seem clichéd or too simple for some readers.
  • Some might find Archer and Bree’s relationship too perfect or unrealistic, preferring more complex dynamics.

17. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 03:25 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

The story of “Love and Other Words” moves between the past and present, focusing on Macy Sorensen and Elliot Petropoulos. They bond deeply as teenagers through books and secret meetings. But a devastating event tears them apart.

Eleven years later, a chance encounter forces them to confront their feelings and the unsaid words that have loomed over their separation. As they face their way back to each other, they must decide if their love can withstand the truths of their past.

“Love and Other Words” looks into how the characters feel and shows how love can last over time. The way the story goes back and forth between then and now makes it really interesting and shows how true love can endure the test of time.

Well, you’re more, too. You’re my best everything.

What you might love:

  • The story inspires by focusing on characters healing and growing over time, providing hope and closure.
  • Macy and Elliot, the main characters, grow and face relatable challenges, making their story engaging.
  • The story alternates between past and present, adding suspense and emotion as it reveals the characters’ history.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Focusing on first love might not appeal to those interested in other types of relationships.
  • Combining uplifting and sad scenes might not fit readers looking for entirely happy stories.
  • Switching between past and present might confuse some readers, making the story hard to follow.

18. The Right Move by Liz Tomforde — Windy City #2

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03/14/2024 10:02 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Sports, Contemporary, Adult, Basketball

“The Right Move” tells the story of Ryan, the new captain of Chicago’s NBA team, the Devils, and Indy Ivers, his sister’s best friend who suddenly becomes his roommate.

At first, Ryan sees Indy as a distraction, but as they deal with Ryan’s career pressures and their growing relationship, they find humor, emotion, and the need to deal with their pasts for a hopeful future.

This book shows how love can survive challenges and take us on unexpected journeys. It blends sports, romance, and growth, making it a must-read for those who enjoy stories of overcoming obstacles with the power of love.

Sometimes the quietest love is the loudest.

What you might love:

  • Combining best friend’s brother, roommate dynamics, and fake dating, this novel packs all the beloved romantic tropes.
  • With themes touching on infertility, previous relationship issues, and personal growth, it resonates on a deeply emotional level.
  • Despite its deeper themes, the novel maintains a light-hearted tone with plenty of humor through the dynamic between its ‘grumpy/sunshine’ characters.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Not all readers are fans of sports-centric stories, so the basketball theme might not appeal to everyone.
  • Some readers might get frustrated with the protagonists’ decisions or find their development lacking in certain aspects.
  • The focus on characters’ past relationships and issues might not be what some readers are looking for in their current read.

19. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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03/08/2024 03:25 am GMT

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman work together as executive assistants and couldn’t be more opposite. They constantly try to outdo each other with games and challenges fueled by mutual dislike.

But as their competition goes on, they start to question if there’s a thin line between hate and love, especially when a job promotion is at stake. This forces them to face their actual feelings during their witty confrontations.

“The Hating Game” is known for its lively banter and connection between Lucy and Joshua. The book’s fresh perspective on workplace relationships and the development of love amidst corporate challenges makes it different from typical romance novels.

Watching you pretend to hate the nickname is the best part of my day.

What you might love:

  • The workplace rivalry adds an entertaining backdrop and relatable context for many readers.
  • Lucy and Joshua’s exchanges are clever, funny, and often filled with an underlying tension that keeps you hooked.
  • Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman are well-developed characters with distinctive personalities, making them memorable and relatable.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s humor, often sarcastic, may not match everyone’s taste.
  • The focus on looks and attraction could disappoint readers who want more emphasis on emotional depth.
  • Workplace competition as the central theme might not attract those seeking a calmer or different backdrop.

20. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary — The Flatshare #1

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03/08/2024 03:25 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their solution: share the flat and never meet. They start to build a connection through notes without seeing each other.

As their lives collide, Tiffy and Leon must go through their pasts, present relationships, and the challenges of their unusual living arrangement. Their story is a delightful journey of getting to know someone in reverse, from intimate details to face-to-face meetings.

“The Flatshare” shows how unusual situations can lead to deep connections. It’s an optimistic story with likable characters and witty dialogue, proving love can emerge from the most unexpected beginnings.

It was never home until you were there, Tiffy.

What you might love:

  • Even with challenges, the story stays optimistic, offering an uplifting and heartwarming experience.
  • The book tackles deep issues like emotional abuse and wrongful imprisonment, adding depth to the story.
  • It introduces a range of supportive and intriguing side characters, enhancing the narrative and protagonists’ experiences.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The concept of sharing a bed with a stranger might seem too unrealistic for some readers.
  • Those seeking stories beyond just romance might view the book as too focused on just two characters’ relationships.
  • Some might argue the book lightly touches on serious issues like emotional abuse and wrongful imprisonment, needing deeper examination.

21. Persuasion by Jane Austen

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03/07/2024 03:16 pm GMT

Genres: Classics, Romance, Historical Fiction, Literature

Anne Elliot, at 27, is considered a spinster by society’s standards. Eight years ago, she was persuaded to reject Wentworth’s proposal due to his lack of fortune. When they meet again, Wentworth is now successful and uninterested in Anne.

Their reunion pushed Anne to reassess their past and her feelings and hope for second chances as they both navigate social norms and their own emotions. This story highlights the struggles of overcoming past decisions and the hope of rekindling love.

“Persuasion” is a must-read for its themes of love, regret, and integrity. Jane Austen’s last completed novel showcases her talent for complex characters and emotions, offering a timeless story about the power of following your heart.

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you.

What you might love:

  • The novel dives into how persuasion impacts decisions, encouraging readers to consider others’ influence on their choices.
  • With universal themes of love, regret, and redemption, “Persuasion” remains a meaningful and touching story for today’s readers.
  • A 27-year-old with a mature outlook on love and second chances makes it relatable for those who understand love’s complexities as they age.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The quiet, subtle romance in “Persuasion” may disappoint those wanting a bolder love story.
  • Anne Elliot’s passive behavior might annoy readers who like stronger, more decisive characters.
  • Austen’s complex, formal language may be complicated for readers not used to 19th-century English.

22. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli — Creekwood #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:02 am GMT

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Fiction, Queer

Simon Spier is a high school junior keeping his gay identity a secret. His carefully controlled life spirals when an email falls into the wrong hands, threatening to expose his secret to the entire school.

Faced with blackmail, Simon must step out of his comfort zone, manage his relationships, and muster the courage to live his truth while trying to uncover the identity of the mysterious boy he’s fallen for online.

“Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” is an authentic portrayal of a teen’s coming-of-age journey that offers a refreshing perspective on love and identity—highlighting the importance of being true to oneself and the value of empathy and understanding.

Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever.

What you might love:

  • The book’s humor lightens its deep emotions, making it both meaningful and fun to read.
  • It centers on acceptance—of oneself and by others—a message that touches readers of all ages.
  • It also centers on complex friendships and family ties, showing how relationships grow and change.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Critics find the book’s ending too simple and not reflective of real-life complexities.
  • The story’s focus on high school might not attract those seeking mature or varied age views.
  • Its reliance on social media and technology may deter readers from wanting less digital focus.

23. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:02 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Sports, Contemporary, New Adult

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing too much—she works two jobs and helps Aiden Graves, a quiet pro football player, for no pay. Tired, she plans to quit and follow her dreams. But Aiden surprises her with an offer: a marriage for immigration reasons.

As Vanessa and Aiden pretend to be married, their fake relationship starts turning real. They begin to truly understand and care for each other, challenging what they thought they knew about love.

This book stands out by turning a familiar story into a touching journey of growth and love. It’s a must-read for romance lovers who enjoy stories filled with slow-building tension and emotion.

I’m starting to understand that you can always make time for the things that matter.

What you might love:

  • Vanessa is portrayed as strong, independent, and determined, resonating with readers who appreciate strong female protagonists.
  • Both main characters are well-developed, with backgrounds and personalities that are explored deeply, making them feel real and relatable.
  • Beyond the romance, the book highlights the importance of friendship and support systems, adding a heartwarming dimension to the story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Sports fans might enjoy the backdrop, but it may bore non-sports fans.
  • While some appreciate the emotional depth, others may want a lighter read.
  • Aiden’s stubbornness could annoy readers looking for dynamic interactions early on.

24. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas — Spanish Love Deception #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:02 am GMT

Genres: Contemporary, Chick Lit, New Adult, Fiction

Catalina Martin is in a bind—she needs a date for her sister’s wedding in Spain to avoid the pitying looks of her family and prove to her ex that she’s moved on. Her solution? Her tall, handsome, and infuriating colleague Aaron Blackford offers to play the part.

Catalina and Aaron go from office rivals to a pretend couple in Spain, mixing tension, laughs, and secret longings. As the wedding gets closer, their pretend relationship soon starts to become real, making them face their fears and consider true love.

“The Spanish Love Deception” stands out with its lively setting, witty humor, and gradual romance that genuinely shows how unpredictable love can be. It mixes deep emotions with fun moments, making readers cheer for Catalina and Aaron’s journey to love.

Because it was all you were willing to give me. And I’d rather have you hating me than not have you at all.

What you might love:

  • The portrayal of close-knit family relationships adds depth to the story, making it more than just a romance.
  • The novel features a cast of well-developed secondary characters who add humor, conflict, and support to the narrative.
  • The novel transports readers to Spain for part of the story, offering a vibrant and colorful backdrop that adds to the romance.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s portrayal of Spanish culture may seem stereotypical to some.
  • The romance-heavy plot might disappoint readers wanting varied stories.
  • Misunderstandings and poor communication frustrate those who like clear dialogue and fast solutions.

25. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 05:20 am GMT

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, New Adult, Coming Of Age

Cath Avery, a shy fanfiction writer, starts college with her outgoing twin, Wren. While Wren dives into new experiences, Cath faces her social anxiety, an unsympathetic roommate, and a professor who doubts fanfiction’s value.

Despite these hurdles, Cath finds joy in writing and gradually embraces new friendships and romance, pushing her boundaries. Her story reflects the struggles and triumphs of growing up and finding oneself.

“Fangirl” is a touching tale of youth, the comfort of fandom, and the power of stories. It celebrates how imaginary worlds can teach us about love, bravery, and discovering our voice.

But you’re so helpless sometimes. It’s like watching a kitten with its head trapped in a Kleenex box.

What you might love:

  • Cath’s anxiety and her twin sister’s struggles are portrayed with sensitivity, contributing to important conversations about mental health.
  • “Fangirl” celebrates fan culture, particularly the world of fanfiction, appealing to anyone who has ever been deeply invested in a fictional universe.
  • The story explores complex family relationships, offering a nuanced look at the bonds between siblings and the struggles of dealing with family issues.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some might find the novel’s Simon Snow excerpts and fanfiction elements distracting.
  • Readers seeking stories beyond young adult themes might not enjoy the college setting.
  • First love and romantic uncertainty may not interest those wanting more mature relationships in books.

26. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 05:20 am GMT

Genres: Sports, Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fiction

Jasmine Santos has spent years in the shadows of figure skating, never quite reaching the spotlight, despite her dedication until Ivan Lukov, her rival, offers her a year-long partnership. This opportunity promises to change her career trajectory.

Starting as a professional deal, Jasmine and Ivan’s relationship deepens. They tackle their past issues, competition stress, and the task of turning rivalry into teamwork, all while their feelings for each other grow.

Mariana Zapata goes beyond typical sports romance, exploring athletes’ mental and emotional strength. The story’s figure skating backdrop and gradual romance between the two highlight personal growth, making it a unique and engaging read.

Because I’m okay with you having ten other people be your favorite. But you’re always going to be my favorite person.

What you might love:

  • It explores complex family ties, showcasing the support and challenges in close-knit families.
  • Jasmine and Ivan’s playful banter adds humor and depth, drawing readers into their relationship.
  • The book vividly portrays the ice skating world, showing the sport’s demands and athletes’ dedication.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The focus on dialogue and thoughts over action may seem slow to some readers.
  • Readers might find the training and character interactions repetitive throughout the book.
  • Telling the story only from Jasmine’s view might not satisfy those who like multiple perspectives.

27. The Gravity of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry — Elements #4

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:03 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fiction

Graham Russell, a reserved writer with a painful past, meets Lucy Palmer, a lively and kind person who loves to spread joy. Despite their differences, they find a special connection during a tough time.

Lucy teaches Graham to express his feelings, and Graham shows Lucy how to be strong during hard times. Together, they discover that love can appear where you least expect it and brighten their lives.

“The Gravity of Us” stands out for its honest look at deep emotions like sadness and the healing power of love. It shows that love is about happiness and a force that can help one overcome challenges.

If you need to fall, fall into me.

What you might love:

  • The characters are beautifully flawed, making their stories and struggles relatable and real.
  • Central themes of healing and forgiveness offer hope and inspiration to readers facing their own challenges.
  • The book delves into family relationships with sensitivity, exploring the impact of family on personal development.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The exploration of grief and loss, though powerful, might be difficult for readers looking for escapism.
  • The level of drama and conflict in the characters’ lives might be too intense for readers looking for more subdued storytelling.
  • While the characters’ flaws make them realistic, some readers might prefer more straightforward or less complex protagonists.

28. Binding 13 by Chloe Walsh — Boys of Tommen #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:03 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Sports, High School, Young Adult

The story centers on Shannon dealing with her family’s dysfunction and her own internal struggles, and Johnny, a gifted rugby player, faces the shadows of a dark past that haunts him. Their worlds collide in an unexpected twist of fate.

Shannon and Johnny grow closer, confronting their fears together. Their bond is based on understanding and support, showing them how trust and acceptance can heal. They face life’s challenges, drawing strength from their connection with hopes for the future.

“Binding 13” shows the healing power of love and helps us find ourselves. It tells a gripping story about overcoming hardships with someone else’s support, making it an essential and insightful read.

If this is love, then it’s you. You are love.

What you might love:

  • The novel explores complex family relationships, adding another layer of depth to the narrative.
  • The protagonist is strong and relatable, inspiring readers with her resilience and determination.
  • The chemistry between the main characters is electric, making their relationship one of the most compelling aspects of the story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel includes mature language and content that all readers might not appreciate.
  • The detailed emphasis on rugby might not interest readers who are not fans of sports or sports-themed stories.
  • The story is told from a first-person perspective, which might not appeal to those who prefer multiple viewpoints to get a broader narrative scope.

29. Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 05:21 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Sports, Contemporary, New Adult

Sal Casillas dreams of being a soccer star. A dream that brings her face to face with the legendary Reiner Kulti, now her team’s coach. At first, she struggles with his tough coaching style, which doesn’t meet her expectations.

However, as they spend more time together, an unlikely friendship forms, evolving into a slow-building romance. Together, they confront their pasts, fears, and the challenge of a relationship scrutinized by the public eye, all while chasing soccer championships.

“Kulti” is an ode to perseverance, the beauty of soccer, and the complexity of mentor-mentee relationships turning into something more. It’s a heartfelt story that celebrates the power of dreams and love’s ability to inspire greatness.

You are my equal, my partner, my teammate, my best friend.

What you might love:

  • Cultural backgrounds enrich the narrative, adding authenticity and depth to the characters’ identities.
  • Sal is portrayed as a strong, independent, and dedicated athlete, inspiring readers with her perseverance and passion.
  • The evolving relationship between Sal and Kulti, transitioning from mentorship to something more, is both unique and compelling.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Kulti’s subtle, internal antagonist role may disappoint fans of clear, external conflicts.
  • Detailed soccer training and game descriptions might bore readers who are not keen on sports details.
  • The story unfolds only through Sal’s eyes, possibly letting down those who prefer multiple viewpoints.

30. One Day in December by Josie Silver

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 05:20 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Christmas, Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Holiday

Laurie doesn’t believe in love at first sight until she experiences it when she sees a man from her bus window on a snowy December day. Their eyes meet, but before anything can happen, the bus drives away.

She spends a year looking for him, only to find him introduced as her best friend’s boyfriend, Jack. The novel unfolds over the next decade, capturing Laurie and Jack’s journey through love, heartbreak, and friendship.

Their story is marked by missed connections and the pursuit of happiness, challenging the notion of soulmates and destiny. The book offers a realistic view of love’s complicated journeys, moving beyond fairy-tale stories into love’s complexities and timing.

Sometimes you just meet the right person at the wrong time.

What you might love:

  • The novel spans over a decade, offering a rich, evolving view of the characters’ lives, relationships, and personal growth.
  • Despite the twists and turns, the novel concludes on a satisfying note, leaving readers with a sense of closure and fulfillment.
  • The novel features enchanting holiday scenes that make it a perfect read for the festive season, adding to its charm and warmth.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Holiday scenes, though charming to some, could seem too sentimental or clichéd to others.
  • Character decisions might confuse or annoy readers, weakening their story connection.
  • First-person narration restricts the view to the protagonists’ perspectives, not appealing to everyone.

31. Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:03 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, Humor, Adult

Marley Cicero hits rock bottom and returns to her small hometown as a last resort. Tasked with coaching the high school girls’ soccer team, she faces her past, including her high school nemesis and a former crush, now a grown-up and the school’s football coach.

As Marley confronts her insecurities, embarrassing family dynamics, and professional challenges, she also stumbles into a romance that might just be her path to redemption and happiness. Along the way, she learns about life, love, and facing one’s fears.

“Rock Bottom Girl” celebrates accepting our flaws and finding love and success on our own terms. With a mix of humor, romance, and life lessons, it’s a memorable read for those seeking a story with laughs, love, and inspiration.

Losing is never the end of the world. Losing is where the learning starts.

What you might love:

  • The protagonist’s growth and newfound confidence offer an empowering and compelling journey.
  • The focus on second chances in both love and life again underlines the story’s hopeful and uplifting essence.
  • The novel emphasizes the role of community and friendships in overcoming challenges, showing the power of support systems.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The soccer coaching part may not grab readers uninterested in sports.
  • Focusing on high school settings and dynamics may not attract those seeking adult themes.
  • The small town setting could seem clichéd to those wanting more unique or urban stories.

32. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker — Wild #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:03 am GMT

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, New Adult, Chick Lit

Calla Fletcher returns to Alaska to reconnect with her ailing father, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a child. In the rugged and remote wild, she meets Jonah, a gruff yet charming bush pilot who challenges her city-girl lifestyle.

In Alaska’s wild, Calla grows personally, finally understands her father’s life choices, and falls for the land and its people. She and Jonah find love, learning about forgiveness and what home really means against Alaska’s stunning backdrop.

“The Simple Wild” stands out for its vivid Alaskan scenes and life in the wilderness. It combines a moving story of family reconciliation and romance while discovering the unexpected paths to finding where we belong.

I might take risks, but they’re always worth it.

What you might love:

  • The story deeply explores forgiveness, healing, and facing the past, engaging readers with its meaningful impact.
  • Calla’s struggle to survive and adapt in the wild adds excitement and showcases her resilience and determination.
  • It also reveals rural Alaskan life, highlighting its challenges and close community, offering educational and exciting cultural insights.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Its focus on forgiveness and the past may not suit those wanting simple romance or adventure.
  • The novel centers on character growth and emotions, possibly lacking the action some readers seek.
  • Exploring family, loss, and forgiveness, the story’s emotional depth might be too intense for those looking for lighter reads.

33. The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:44 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

Georgia Stanton must finish her grandmother’s last novel, uncovering a love story between a WWII pilot and his lover. She sees similarities to her life, especially when meeting Noah Harrison, her grandmother’s muse’s grandson.

Together, Georgia and Noah uncover the novel’s mysteries, facing their fears and family secrets. They learn about love’s power and its lasting effect through time.

“The Things We Leave Unfinished” combines past and present stories, highlighting the depth of love and family bonds. Its emotional storytelling and dual narrative make it unique and impactful.

Sometimes the only way to keep what you need is to let go of what you want.

What you might love:

  • It explores family ties, forgiveness, and understanding, highlighting the bonds that unite us.
  • This story dives deep into love’s complexities and the pain of loss, touching anyone who’s known heartache.
  • The novel skillfully weaves together two stories from different eras, engaging readers as they discover how these tales intertwine.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Delving into complex family dynamics may not interest readers who prefer simpler or more idealized family stories.
  • Switching between two timelines in the novel might confuse or not appeal to readers who like straightforward stories.
  • The novel’s emphasis on loss and heartache might be tough for readers facing similar issues or who find these themes triggering.

34. Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 05:30 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Sports, Fiction

Diana Casillas has taken on the responsibility of raising her two young nephews and is now facing the challenges of guardianship with determination and love. Her world shifts when she meets her new neighbor, Dallas Walker, a man with his own complicated past.

Initially clashing, their interactions gradually evolve from neighborly coexistence to a connection. As Diana and Dallas slowly open up to each other, they confront their fears, vulnerabilities, and the complexities of blending lives and families.

“Wait for It” is a must-read for its authentic portrayal of developing love. It emphasizes the importance of timing, trust, and understanding in relationships, showing the beauty of love that’s worth the wait.

You can’t always wait for someone else to do the right thing when you can do it yourself.

What you might love:

  • The story highlights the family’s values, both by birth and choice, adding warmth and depth.
  • “Wait for It” covers emotions from joy to grief deeply, letting readers connect strongly with the story.
  • Diana’s neighbors and friends showcase community and friendship’s beauty, bringing more positivity to the story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The detailed focus on daily life details may bore those who seek action or drama.
  • Focusing heavily on family and home life may not attract fans of fantasy or adventure.
  • Relying on the protagonist’s thoughts to move the story may not suit fans of dialogue-based stories.

35. Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey — Bellinger Sisters #2

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:48 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Fox Thornton, a charming fisherman, meets Hannah Bellinger, a determined music executive, in his small town. Their friendship starts purely platonic when Hannah seeks Fox’s advice on love.

But as they get to know each other better, their bond grows stronger, and their friendship deepens, challenging their initial intentions and leading them to confront their true feelings.

This book stands out for its heartfelt look at building love from friendship. “Hook, Line, and Sinker” combines humor, emotional growth, and a beautiful setting, creating a story that’s ideal for those who love slow-building romances.

You can’t live life worrying about what people will think. You’ll wake up one day, look at a calendar, and count the days you could have spent being happy.

What you might love:

  • Tessa Bailey’s humor lights up the dialogue, making readers laugh and keeping them engaged.
  • The story delves into personal growth and healing, deeply changing the characters beyond just romance.
  • Though often humorous, the book also tackles deep emotions and vulnerabilities, deeply affecting readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Not everyone might like the focus on emotional growth, preferring lighter reads.
  • The explicit romance scenes may not suit those who prefer less detailed romance.
  • Some may not enjoy the witty dialogue, preferring more direct conversations instead.

36. Beard Science by Penny Reid — Winston Brothers #3

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:50 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Humor, Fiction, Adult

Jennifer Sylvester, the Banana Cake Queen of Tennessee, wants a new life away from her current one. She convinces Cletus Winston, the clever member of the biker Winston brothers, to help her find a husband, but things don’t go as planned.

Their effort to find Jennifer a husband turns into a journey where they discover themselves and their attraction to each other. In Green Valley’s quirky world, Jennifer and Cletus find that love can surprise you.

“Beard Science” stands out for its witty dialogue, character development, and the unique setting of Green Valley. The book mixes humor with heartfelt moments—making the story of Jennifer and Cletus refreshing.

You’re my beginning, middle, and end.

What you might love:

  • The clever banter in the dialogue entertains and strengthens the characters’ relationships.
  • Being part of the Winston Brothers series, the book can stand alone or offer more for those fans of the series.
  • The main characters experience significant growth, making their story more than romance but also about personal discovery and finding their place.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The slow romance build-up may frustrate readers looking for quick connections.
  • Readers who like urban or exotic settings might not enjoy the small-town backdrop.
  • Those who prefer detailed descriptions or actions might not like the focus on dialogue and banter.

37. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 03:26 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Stella Lane, a brilliant economist with Asperger’s, excels in mathematics but struggles with social interactions and intimacy. To improve her dating experiences, she hires Michael Phan, a charming escort, to teach her the complexities of relationships and intimacy.

What starts as a practical arrangement evolves into a deep, mutual connection. Stella and Michael cope with their feelings and societal expectations, finding the true meaning of love and acceptance.

Their journey is a tender exploration of how vulnerabilities can lead to strengths and how love can transcend barriers. Its unique characters, engaging plot, and sensitive portrayal of relationships make “The Kiss Quotient” a compelling read.

All the things that make you different make you perfect.

What you might love:

  • The story emphasizes healthy relationships and consent, presenting a positive model for romantic dynamics.
  • The novel celebrates diversity, with characters from different backgrounds and experiences, enriching the story with varied perspectives.
  • Beyond romance, the book addresses important themes such as acceptance, self-love, and the value of being true to oneself, making it thought-provoking.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The depth of emotional exploration in the book might be overwhelming for those who favor lighter reads.
  • The novel contains explicit romantic scenes that might not suit readers who prefer more subdued or fade-to-black romance.
  • Some readers might find certain decisions made by the characters frustrating or hard to relate to, impacting their connection to the story.

38. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:53 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Abuse

Nastya Kashnikov seeks to escape her past and the tragedy that silenced her, leading her to a new school and a new identity. Here, she meets Josh Bennett, a boy who has faced his own losses, with every person he loved taken from his life.

Together, they form an unlikely bond, finding solace and understanding in each other. As their relationship deepens, they confront their pasts and the secrets they hold, they discover the possibility of healing and the capacity to love amidst despair.

“The Sea of Tranquility” addresses profound themes with sensitivity and grace, an emotional journey that challenges, comforts, and ultimately uplifts, making it an unforgettable read.

There are so many things that can break you if there’s nothing to hold you together.

What you might love:

  • The story focuses on healing and recovery, providing hope and possibility despite despair.
  • Apart from romance, it highlights the crucial role of friendship and connection in personal growth and healing.
  • Even with the characters’ struggles, the novel conveys a hopeful message, appealing to those seeking reading during tough times.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Delving into dark themes and trauma could unsettle or trigger some readers.
  • The novel’s intense focus on trauma and emotional recovery might overwhelm readers looking for lighter themes.
  • The emphasis on characters’ inner conflicts and psychology may not attract those who prefer action and plot-driven stories.

39. Vicious by L.J. Shen — Sinners of Saint #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:53 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Dark, High School

Emilia LeBlanc finds herself crossing paths with Vicious, the man who made her teenage years a living hell. Years later, their paths cross again, but the stakes are higher this time.

Vicious, a wealthy and influential lawyer, offers Emilia a job she can’t refuse, pulling her back into his world. As they navigate their intense and twisted relationship, both must confront their pasts and the dark secrets that bind them.

“Vicious” stands out for its portrayal of flawed, multifaceted characters and its intense depiction of their evolving relationship. Through a journey of painful revelations and undeniable chemistry, they discover that love can emerge from the deepest hatred.

I loved her when I hated her. And I loved her when I didn’t want anything to do with her.

What you might love:

  • The sharp and witty dialogue enhances character interactions and speeds up the story.
  • Emilia, the female lead, is strong and resilient, adding an empowering element to the narrative.
  • The redemption arc adds hope and depth to the characters’ growth, making it engaging and deep.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Graphic scenes, both sexual and violent, may not suit all readers.
  • Some might find the novel’s focus on manipulation and power dynamics in relationships troubling or unappealing.
  • Not everyone may find the redemption arcs believable or satisfying, especially if they can’t connect with the characters’ reasons.

40. Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:53 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fiction, College

Grace and Matt share an unforgettable college romance, only to be separated by life’s unpredictable tides. Fifteen years later, a chance sighting in a crowded subway station offers them a second opportunity.

As they reconnect, they must go past the years they spent apart, their personal changes, and lingering feelings that never faded. Their journey, told from both points of view, explores why they separated and how they can rekindle their love.

“Before We Were Strangers” looks at how time affects love. The book uses a dual timeline to show the power of first love and the possibility of reigniting an old flame, giving a hopeful message that it’s never too late to reconnect with the one who got away.

It was like the universe was teasing us; we saw each other just a second too late.

What you might love:

  • The novel explores the complexities of relationships, including the ups and downs of love, friendship, and family ties.
  • At its heart, this novel presents a deeply moving love story that spans years, capturing the essence of lost and rekindled love.
  • The narrative evokes a strong sense of nostalgia, reminiscing about young love and the passage of time, which many readers find deeply relatable.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The deeply emotional exploration might be overwhelming for readers looking for a lighter, more casual read.
  • The shifting between past and present can be confusing or less appealing to readers who favor a linear storyline.
  • Not everyone enjoys the second chance romance theme, preferring first-time love stories or different romantic dynamics.

41. Dating-ish by Penny Reid — Knitting in the City #6

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:53 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Fiction, Humor, Adult

Marie Harris is fed up with the dreary world of dating when she embarks on a research project about alternative forms of companionship, including professional cuddlers and robotic love.

Her path crosses with Professor Matt Simmons, who is conducting similar research. Initially, their interactions are awkward and filled with misunderstandings, but as they spend more time together, a unique friendship forms.

This friendship slowly transforms into something deeper, challenging their perceptions of love and intimacy. “Dating-ish” is a journey through the trials of finding love and the lengths to which people will go to find their version of happily ever after.

Only you get to decide how you stand, what you stand for, and when you do it.

What you might love:

  • The ending is both satisfying and heartwarming, tying up the story in a way that leaves readers content and happy.
  • The novel explores the concept of human needs versus artificial intelligence and robotics fascinatingly and originally.
  • Marie, the lead character, is relatable, with her struggles and journey of self-discovery resonating with many readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The intense emotional depth and self-reflection may overwhelm readers looking for a lighter read.
  • The slow development of the romance and its tension might frustrate readers who like quick romantic conclusions.
  • The story’s slow pace, driven by internal thoughts and monologues, may not suit those who prefer faster narratives.

42. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh — The Wrath and the Dawn #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:53 pm GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Retellings, Fiction, Fantasy

Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, who is known for taking a new bride each night only to have her executed at dawn. Driven by a desire to avenge her best friend’s death, Shahrzad plans to kill Khalid.

As she survives past dawn, Shahrzad discovers palace secrets and the curse haunting Khalid. Their initial feelings of hatred become love and change everything, challenging their beliefs and altering their destinies.

“The Wrath & the Dawn” captivates readers with its vivid setting and characters. It’s a tale that stands out for its complex story and the powerful connection between Shahrzad and Khalid, appealing to readers looking for stories of love that defy the odds.

My soul sees its equal in you.

What you might love:

  • Love, redemption, and the importance of stories drive the story. It explores changing fate and the effects of empathy and forgiveness.
  • Shahrzad, the brave and determined protagonist, vows to avenge her best friend’s death, showing strength and intelligence on her journey.
  • The novel plunges readers into a Middle Eastern-inspired world, describing its scenery, traditions, and food, providing an educational, cultural adventure.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The story is full of many side characters, which could confuse readers wanting a more straightforward story.
  • The book ends openly, leading to a sequel, which may put off those who prefer complete, standalone stories.
  • The story shows characters, like the king, as morally complex. This might bother readers who like clear heroes and villains.

43. The Slow Burn by Kristen Ashley — Moonlight and Motor Oil #2

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 12:53 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Chick Lit, Erotic

Upon returning to his hometown, Tobias immediately knows that Adeline Forrester is the one for him. Facing the challenge of Addie being his brother’s girlfriend’s sister, their journey unfolds in the middle of familial connections and personal growth.

Their relationship, starting from a friendship, slowly blooms into a special connection. The story captures their mutual healing, personal growth, and challenges together, showcasing how love can grow stronger and more meaningful over time.

“The Slow Burn” is a story of individuals overcoming their pasts, underscored by themes of resilience, redemption, and the strength of true love. Making it a compelling read for anyone seeking a story with depth, realism, and heart.

Love from afar is a lot different than love from up close.

What you might love:

  • The protagonist stands out as strong and independent, traits many readers admire in a main character.
  • The novel delves into healing and personal growth, appealing to readers who value deep story development.
  • Ashley’s vivid descriptions make the settings and scenes come alive, drawing readers into the world she has crafted.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The focus on healing and growth might not attract readers looking for lighter topics.
  • Ashley’s immersive but lengthy descriptions may overwhelm those who prefer brevity.
  • Exploring deep emotional healing might be too intense for readers wanting lighter content.

44. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert — The Brown Sisters #3

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03/08/2024 04:00 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Eve Brown’s life is a series of mishaps and disappointments, at least in the eyes of her family. In a bid to prove herself, she ends up in a quaint English village, crashing into the orderly life of B&B owner Jacob Wayne.

What starts as a chaotic interaction soon blossoms into a slow-burn romance filled with humor, heartache, and healing. As Eve and Jacob overcome personal barriers, they discover the true meaning of love and acceptance.

This book stands out for its heartwarming take on love’s healing and transformation power. It shows romance that grows from imperfection and vulnerability, making it an exciting read.

You’re not just my sunshine; you’re the sun.

What you might love:

  • The cozy bed-and-breakfast setting adds charm and enhances the story’s warm feel.
  • The main characters experience significant personal growth, turning their story into a journey of self-discovery and improvement.
  • The novel is praised for its diversity, showcasing characters with different backgrounds, identities, and neurodiversity, adding depth to the story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The tasteful, steamy scenes may not suit readers who like less explicit romance.
  • Some might doubt how accurately or deeply the book represents neurodiversity despite its inclusive praise.
  • Contemporary language and slang could distract or turn off readers who enjoy traditional or timeless stories.

45. The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun — The Charm Offensive #1

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03/08/2024 04:01 am GMT

Genres: Romance, LGBT, Contemporary, Queer, Fiction, Adult

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales and happily-ever-afters, crafting perfect love stories for “Ever After,” a hit dating show.

When Charlie Winshaw, the show’s latest prince charming, struggles with the show’s artificiality due to his anxiety and disillusionment with love, Dev finds himself drawn to help.

As the two men navigate the chaotic world of reality TV, they discover an unexpected connection, challenging their perceptions of love and happiness.

“The Charm Offensive” is a romance that entertains and enlightens, addressing important themes like mental health, LGBTQ+ representation, and the courage to be one’s true self. Its candid look at the struggles of its characters makes it a unique narrative.

I don’t think happily ever after is something that happens to you, Dev. I think it’s something you choose to do for yourself.

What you might love:

  • Cochrun blends humor with serious themes, adding light and laughter to the story.
  • The novel deeply moves readers, focusing on love, acceptance, and self-love themes.
  • The book meaningfully represents LGBTQ+ characters, sensitively exploring their identities and relationships.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel’s deep emotions might overwhelm those wanting lighter, feel-good content.
  • Exploring mental health in detail might exceed what some expect from a romance novel.
  • Tackling many themes—romance, mental health, self-discovery—could seem too complex or crowded for some readers.

46. Wolf Marked by Veronica Douglas — Magic Side: Wolf Bound #1

Buy on Amazon
03/07/2024 09:36 pm GMT

Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Magic

Alex Blackwood is marked by magic and burdened with a destiny she understands little about. When she finds herself in the middle of the dangerous politics of werewolves and magicians, her only ally is Marcus, a powerful werewolf with secrets of his own.

Together, they navigate a path of betrayal and hidden agendas. As their fates become more connected, they uncover truths that challenge their beliefs and pave the way for a love that defies the rules of their world.

“Wolf Marked” explores themes of destiny, power, and the complex nature of trust and loyalty in a world divided by supernatural forces. The story, detailed setting, and slow-building romance make it an unmissable read.

Sometimes you ran so fast, you wound up tripping over your own feet and landing on your face. That was me in a nutshell.

What you might love:

  • It centers on friendship and loyalty, giving the story an emotional layer many will love.
  • The book shares an inspiring message: embrace who you are and your power, something many readers will find motivating.
  • The novel features complex and lively characters. You’ll get pulled into the heroes’ adventures, feeling their pain and celebrating their wins.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book covers mature themes, not fitting for all, especially young readers.
  • “Wolf Marked” starts a series, a downside for fans of single, standalone books or those unsure about starting a series.
  • The characters are deeply detailed, which can make it hard for some to connect with or remember the many complex figures.

47. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez — The Friend Zone #1

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03/08/2024 03:50 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult

In “The Friend Zone,” we meet Kristen and Josh, two people who couldn’t be more perfect for each other if they tried. But there’s a catch—Kristen is facing a medical issue that she believes will make her future with Josh impossible.

Despite the laughter and undeniable bond, Kristen keeps Josh at arm’s length, believing she’s doing him a favor. But as they grow closer, both must confront their fears and the possibility that love might just be worth the risk.

“The Friend Zone” shows that love is not just about the easy moments but also about standing together in the tough ones. It’s a heartfelt reminder of the unpredictability of life and the beauty of finding someone who stands by you through it all.

It’s just that you’re perfect, and my heart hurts.

What you might love:

  • The book addresses current issues, giving the story depth that modern readers will appreciate.
  • Abby Jimenez fills the story with humor, making readers laugh with witty conversations and funny moments.
  • The dialogue is crisp and feels natural, enhancing the characters and making the story more enjoyable with its clever exchanges.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The humor may not appeal to everyone, as what’s funny varies by personal taste.
  • The book has mature content and language, not suiting those who prefer PG-rated material.
  • Some character choices may frustrate readers who find them unrealistic or disagree with them.

48. The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

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03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that changes their lives forever. Their intense connection sparks a love story that spans years and continents as they pursue their separate dreams and face life’s inevitable challenges.

“The Light We Lost” is a moving tale of love found, lost, and the haunting power of the one that got away. Through Lucy’s eyes, readers experience the joy, heartbreak, and difficult choices that come with true love, especially when fate intervenes.

This novel is a must-read because it beautifully illustrates the impact of love and choice on our lives. “The Light We Lost” invites readers to reflect on their own “what ifs” and the profound effects of love that lasts a lifetime.

I hope you find a love like that–one that is all-consuming and powerful that makes you feel like you’re going slightly mad.

What you might love:

  • The book tackles big questions about destiny, choice, and the paths we take in life, sparking thoughtful reflection among its readers.
  • The novel’s ability to elicit strong emotions, from joy to heartbreak, is a testament to its power and has left a lasting impression on many readers.
  • The exploration of sacrifice and personal growth throughout the characters’ journeys offers inspiring messages about what it means to love someone truly.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s intense emotions might overwhelm those looking for a lighter read.
  • Character choices may frustrate readers who find them hard to agree with or understand.
  • Its mature themes and emotional depth may not suit younger readers or those wanting a simple romance.

49. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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03/08/2024 03:51 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

After a chance reunion, Hazel, a free spirit who embraces her quirkiness, and Josh, the definition of calm and collected, decide to start setting up a series of blind dates for each other, firmly maintaining their platonic status.

As each date disastrously fails to lead to romance for them but brings them closer together, they start to question the possibility that their perfect match might have been in front of them all along.

“Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating” stands out for its male and female friendship without rushing into romance. Its humor and charming characters offer a new, joyful perspective on love, highlighting the importance of understanding and acceptance.

“Are you listening?”
“You are perfect for me.”

What you might love:

  • The book’s overall tone is upbeat and positive, making it a great escape from everyday stresses.
  • The strong foundation of friendship before romance makes their relationship more compelling and believable.
  • Josh and Hazel’s dating adventures and misadventures are entertaining and highly relatable, adding a layer of realism to the story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Hazel’s quirky personality may seem too over-the-top for some readers.
  • Some readers might not enjoy the modern dating scenes if they’re not into current dating trends.
  • The use of familiar rom-com tropes might come off as cliché to those looking for original romance stories.

50. Radiance by Grace Draven — Wraith Kings #1

Buy on Amazon
03/09/2024 12:36 am GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal, Adult, Magic

Ildiko, a human noble, and Brishen, a Kai prince, are both far from thrilled with their arranged marriage. Initially, they can hardly stand the sight of one another, each finding the other’s appearance strange and unsettling.

Yet, as they begin to work together, juggling their responsibilities and facing court politics, something remarkable happens. Their initial dislike turns into a deep, respectful friendship, and from there, it blossoms into a love that neither expected.

“Radiance” is a story that shows how true love goes beyond looks, focusing on connection, respect, and inner beauty. It stands out for its message that love can overcome differences.

Though she wasn’t easy on the eyes, she was easy on his soul.

What you might love:

  • The relationship is built on mutual respect and understanding, which is refreshing and compelling.
  • The novel’s premise of a marriage between two individuals from vastly different species is intriguing and refreshingly original.
  • The book explores the exchange of cultures between Ildiko and Brishen’s people, adding depth and richness to the world-building.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s exploration of beauty standards can be profound but might not interest everyone.
  • The political intrigue within the novel is intricate and might confuse or bore readers not interested in such details.
  • The unusual pairing of the protagonists, belonging to different species, might not appeal to those who prefer traditional romantic setups.

51. Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

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03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult, Fiction

Iris Taylor, seeking a fresh start, lands a job at a tattoo parlor owned by the brooding and mysterious Dex Locke. Despite their initial clashes, Iris and Dex’s relationship evolves from disdain to a deep, undeniable connection.

Through a series of challenges and personal growth, they slowly uncover the depth of their feelings for each other. “Under Locke” is a journey of overcoming past scars and opening up to love, set in a world of loyalty and passion.

“Under Locke” excels in its slow-burn romance, carefully developing Iris and Dex’s relationship. The book goes deep into their pasts and emotions, making their love story feel real and deserved.

You’ve gotta be the best thing I never knew I wanted.

What you might love:

  • Iris shows strength, resilience, and growth, inspiring readers as a compelling character.
  • Dex starts as challenging and intimidating but reveals a softer, caring side that wins readers’ hearts.
  • The biker gang culture provides a unique and intriguing setting, attracting readers with its mix of danger and camaraderie.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Violence in biker gang life could upset readers sensitive to such themes.
  • High angst and drama might overwhelm those who prefer lighter, uplifting stories.
  • Tough characters in the biker gang setting might not attract those who like softer, more relatable characters.

52. The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

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03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

Solène, a sophisticated art gallery owner, finds herself unexpectedly drawn to Hayes, the much younger lead singer of her daughter’s favorite boy band. What starts as a chance encounter quickly evolves into a passionate and complex relationship.

As they navigate the challenges of their significant age difference, public scrutiny, and personal sacrifices, Solène and Hayes jump on a whirlwind journey of self-discovery and love.

“The Idea of You” stands out for its elegant portrayal of a romance that defies age conventions. It offers a fresh and provocative look at love and desire, questioning societal norms and the true meaning of happiness.

Love, she said, was not always perfect, and not exactly how you expected it to be. But when it descended upon you, there was no controlling it.

What you might love:

  • The novel explores an age-gap relationship deeply, questioning societal views and highlighting its unique aspects.
  • The book gives a fascinating look into celebrity life, fame, and music, creating a glamorous yet insightful setting.
  • The story delves into themes of identity and belonging, deeply connecting with readers as they reflect on their place in the world.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s mature content may not fit all readers, especially the younger ones.
  • Some readers might not like the main characters’ complex flaws, preferring simpler, more perfect heroes.
  • Frequent references to modern culture, art, and music could confuse or turn off those not familiar with them.

53. Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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03/07/2024 12:15 pm GMT

Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

At the cusp of turning 29, Hannah Martin’s life is at a crossroads. After a night out with friends, she is faced with a decision: go home with her best friend or leave with her high school sweetheart.

The story then splits into two parallel universes, each exploring the consequences of her choice. As both paths unfold, Hannah faces love, friendship, and the search for happiness, leading readers on a journey that examines the impact of decisions and choices.

“Maybe in Another Life” stands out for its unique story setup, showing two different paths from a single choice. This approach lets readers see how choices change outcomes, questioning if one destiny exists and showing how decisions shape our lives.

That’s what you do when you want something. You don’t look for reasons why it won’t work. You look for reasons why it will.

What you might love:

  • The book warmly shows how important it is to have friends who support you.
  • It bravely tackles the tough moral choices people make, making the story more real and exciting.
  • Many readers will find Hannah relatable as they follow her challenging journey of finding herself.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some readers may want the characters to be more complex and developed.
  • Readers seeking a light read may not enjoy the deep dive into fate versus free will.
  • The novel’s parallel storylines, showing different outcomes, might confuse or frustrate those who like a simple story.

54. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 05:31 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Young Adult

Set in 1999, “Attachments” follows Lincoln, an IT guy who falls for Beth, a movie critic, by reading her emails at work. As part of his job, Lincoln monitors employee emails for a newspaper and becomes captivated by the exchanges between Beth and her friend.

Torn between his growing feelings and the guilt of reading her private conversations, Lincoln’s dilemma intensifies when he realizes he’s falling in love with someone he’s never met.

“Attachments” shines with its mix of humor and emotion, examining romance and privacy in the early internet era. It creates a memorable romantic comedy with relatable characters and a unique take on forming connections, making it a standout read.

From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.

What you might love:

  • The office setting feels real and relatable, well showing workplace friendships and dynamics.
  • The story asks important questions about privacy, spying, and online boundaries, encouraging readers to think and talk.
  • It looks into how the early internet and email affected personal connections and privacy, appealing to those curious about the start of the digital age.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Tech-savvy readers may see the portrayal of the early internet as too simple or old-fashioned.
  • Some readers might not like the unusual workplace romance theme, preferring simpler love stories.
  • Reading emails without permission as a plot point might bother some readers, taking away from the romance.

55. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore — A League of Extraordinary Women #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Historical Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Annabelle Archer, a bright scholarship student at Oxford, joins the suffragette movement and is tasked with recruiting the support of Sebastian Devereux, the powerful Duke of Montgomery.

An unexpected attraction blooms between them as Annabelle navigates the complexities of high society to win the Duke’s backing. Their growing connection faces societal expectations and personal convictions, leading both to question what they truly desire.

“Bringing Down the Duke” is a tale of love, empowerment, and change, blending historical richness with emotional depth. It’s a story that is thought-provoking and heartwarming, showcasing the power of love and courage in the face of societal norms.

Perhaps this is not a question of staying out of trouble, Your Grace. Perhaps this is about deciding on which side of history you want to be.

What you might love:

  • Annabelle Archer, the strong and smart protagonist, fights for women’s rights, inspiring and relating to many readers.
  • The vivid and detailed descriptions bring the historical setting, costumes, and manners to life, immersing readers in the period.
  • The novel highlights the suffragette movement and women’s fight for the vote, connecting with readers passionate about gender equality.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Using language and dialogue that fits the period may seem awkward or not genuine to some readers.
  • The romance’s power dynamics, based on the era, may not please readers who like more balanced relationships.
  • Some readers may not like the book’s strong feminist themes if they prefer traditional romances without political or social themes.

56. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang — The Kiss Quotient #2

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Khai Diep, who believes he’s incapable of love due to his autism, finds his world turned upside down when Esme Tran, a woman from Vietnam, is brought to America by his mother as a potential bride.

Esme, determined to secure a better future for her family, takes on this unexpected journey only to find herself developing real feelings for Khai. Together, they try to navigate the challenges of understanding each other and confronting their pasts.

“The Bride Test” is a touching and insightful romance that explores themes of love, family, and the complexities of human connection. This novel brings together two unlikely hearts in a story filled with discovery, understanding, and emotional growth.

Everyone deserved to love and be loved back. Everyone.

What you might love:

  • Both main characters undergo significant personal growth, making their journey satisfying and inspiring to follow.
  • The portrayal of family, with its complexities and unconditional love, adds a significant and touching layer to the story.
  • The representation of autism through the character of Khai is done with sensitivity and insight, offering valuable representation that many appreciate.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Complex family dynamics may not attract readers who like simpler stories.
  • The plot’s focus on communication problems may frustrate some readers.
  • Readers seeking familiar settings might not fully engage with the Vietnamese cultural aspects.

57. Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

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03/08/2024 05:41 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Military, Fiction, New Adult

Ruby Santos volunteers to correspond with a soldier deployed overseas, initiating an exchange with Aaron Hall that starts as a simple act of kindness. As their letters and emails transcend continents, their friendship deepens into something more.

The novel captures the slow-building romance between Ruby and Aaron, highlighting their emotional journey from friends to lovers. Their story is proof of the strength of communication and the importance of genuinely knowing someone before falling in love.

“Dear Aaron” stands out for its use of letters and emails to build the characters’ relationship. This unique storytelling lets readers see the growth of their connection and emotions in real time, making it different from other slow-burn romances.

You can’t be that overprotective if you didn’t love someone.

What you might love:

  • Ruby is strong, independent, and kind, making her an inspiring and likable hero.
  • The book respectfully depicts military life through Aaron, showing soldiers’ sacrifices and challenges.
  • Much of the story unfolds through emails and instant messages, giving a close look at the characters’ thoughts and feelings and making their bond feel real.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Not everyone might like the military aspects of the story, especially those not into military-themed stories.
  • Some readers may see the story as predictable, especially if they know common romance novel tropes.
  • Telling the story through emails and messages might not interest those who prefer traditional storytelling.

58. You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 04:30 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Fiction, Chick Lit

Naomi and Nicholas seem like the perfect couple, but with their wedding approaching, they’re both having second thoughts. Rather than confront their feelings, they decided to do a series of pranks and sabotage to get the other to call off the wedding first.

However, their competitive antics lead them to an unexpected self-discovery and a rekindling of their relationship. “You Deserve Each Other” is a story of love, laughter, and the work it takes to make a relationship thrive.

What sets this book apart is its focus on a couple already in a relationship, struggling to find their way back to each other. Its mix of humor, genuine emotion, and unique take on romantic reconciliation makes it a standout read.

Of course I love you, Naomi. I never stopped.

What you might love:

  • The humor in the book is not just funny but also relatable, reflecting the absurdities of love and cohabitation.
  • The book delves into the complexities and struggles of long-term relationships in a way that’s both humorous and heartbreakingly real.
  • The story emphasizes personal growth and the importance of communication in relationships, leading to a gratifying redemption arc for both characters.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Readers may feel the secondary characters lack depth or desire more scenes beyond the main relationship.
  • Miscommunication drives the plot, which may annoy readers who like clear, honest talks between characters.
  • The characters’ flaws and reluctance to fix their relationship could bother readers who want likable characters from the start.

59. The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Shay Goldstein has been at her Seattle radio station for a decade, often butting heads with newcomer Dominic Yun. Their rivalry turns into an unusual partnership when they co-host “The Ex Talk,” a show where they pretend to be exes giving love advice.

As “The Ex Talk” becomes popular, Shay and Dominic’s pretend relationship causes real-life drama. They must deal with their fake past and genuine feelings, blurring the lines between their public personas and private lives, pushing them to face their true emotions.

“The Ex Talk” is unique for its concept of co-hosts faking a past relationship, adding a new layer to the romance genre. It mixes the media dynamics with personal connections, making it a refreshing and insightful read.

I didn’t want to go off the rails, but I wanted to get close enough to see what was on the other side of them.

What you might love:

  • The book is laced with witty humor and sharp dialogue, ensuring that the read is romantic and entertaining.
  • “The Ex Talk” doesn’t shy away from heavier themes like grief and loss, giving the narrative an emotional depth.
  • The novel includes diverse characters and touches on issues of identity and representation, resonating with a wide range of readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The protagonists’ questionable or immature choices could annoy readers who value ethical actions.
  • Readers wanting a light, easy read may not enjoy the focus on the characters’ growth and self-discovery.
  • Some might not like the mix of workplace competition with romance, preferring a story without professional conflicts.

60. Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Buy on Amazon
03/08/2024 04:31 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult

Meg Mackworth, a talented calligrapher, has a unique talent for hiding secret messages in her work. When Reid Sutherland, whose wedding program Meg once designed, discovers a hidden message predicting the end of his engagement, he confronts her.

This leads to an unlikely partnership as they explore New York City’s hidden signs and messages together. Along the way, Meg and Reid’s initial skepticism turns into a deep connection, challenging them to open up and embrace their feelings.

“Love Lettering” is a tale of discovery, both of the city’s secrets and of one another’s hearts. This book is a must-read for its enchanting narrative that celebrates the beauty of noticing the small details in life and in love.

The point is . . . sometimes fighting isn’t about leaving, it’s about staying.

What you might love:

  • It uncovers themes of unexpected connections and finding hidden beauty everywhere.
  • Meg’s passion and growth make her a character that many readers will find relatable and cheer for.
  • The story blends typography and lettering with the plot, adding a design element that design enthusiasts will love.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Readers not interested in New York City might not enjoy its key role in the story.
  • Extensive inner monologues and reflections might bore readers who like more dialogue and action.
  • Those not fascinated by typography or design might not be interested in the focus on hand-lettering.

61. The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai — Modern Love #1

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Adult, Chick Lit

Rhiannon Hunter, who runs a successful dating app, finds her life changing when she meets Samson Lima, a former pro football player she once had a fling with, in a professional situation. Their reunion brings up old feelings and challenges.

Together, they tackle issues from their past and the complexities of dating in a digital age, learning about trust, forgiveness, and real connection. Their story shows the importance of overcoming fears to embrace love, even from unexpected sources.

“The Right Swipe” stands out by delving into digital dating’s challenges, offering a mix of romance and commentary on how social media affects relationships. With relatable characters and a fresh perspective, this novel offers a modern take on love.

It’s not a weakness to take care of yourself. Asking for and taking what you need to function should never be considered a weakness.

What you might love:

  • Beyond the laughs, the novel tackles emotional vulnerability and healing, adding a rich layer to the story.
  • Themes of empowerment, resilience, and the importance of standing up for oneself resonate throughout the story.
  • The novel addresses important issues like consent, sexism, and the challenges of the modern workplace, adding thought-provoking depth.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Readers unfamiliar or uninterested in online dating may not engage with the main theme.
  • Tackling themes like consent and workplace sexism may surprise some readers with its intensity for a romance novel.
  • The focus on a romance with a former pro athlete might not attract those who are not sports fans or prefer different romance settings.

62. In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer

Buy on Amazon
03/14/2024 10:32 am GMT

Genres: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

The story kicks off with Franny Doyle’s disastrous dress mishap on her way to an important meeting, leading to a viral moment captured by a stranger, Hayes Montgomery III.

From this embarrassing encounter, a surprising connection blooms between them. As they continue with their bustling lives in New York, Franny and Hayes discover the beauty of chance encounters and the power of helping each other overcome personal obstacles.

“In a New York Minute” centers on love, friendship, and the serendipitous moments that bring people together. It brings New York City’s energy to life, showing how it shapes the characters and their relationships, giving a new twist to city romances.

That dichotomy is New York to me in a nutshell. Everything changes and somehow it still stays the same.

What you might love:

  • Beyond romance, the novel celebrates the power of friendship, showcasing supportive and meaningful relationships.
  • The story emphasizes the importance of personal growth, resilience, and self-discovery, resonating with readers personally.
  • It captures the essence of modern dating and relationships, including the impact of social media, in a way that’s insightful and engaging.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The reliance on a meet-cute scenario to drive the story might seem cliché to some.
  • Readers not enamored with New York City might find its prominent role less appealing.
  • The emphasis on modern dating, including social media, might not interest those nostalgic for more traditional courtship stories.

Final Thoughts

Slow-burn romances capture the beauty of love’s gradual awakening, whether it’s the subtle change in how characters look at each other, the deepening of their conversations, or the eventual acknowledgment of their feelings.

These stories have invited us to slow down, savor the anticipation, and cherish the journey as much as the destination. They’ve reminded us that love takes time to unfold in its most profound form, revealing its true strength in big and small moments.

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Erika Maniquiz is a certified teacher and librarian with a Library and Information Science degree. She cherishes the calm moments reading books as much as the dynamic discussions she has in her classroom. Beyond her career, she is a fan of Kdrama and loves Kpop's lively beats.