A Guide to New Adult Books: 20 Titles to Get You Started

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A guide to new adult books: 20 titles to get you started.

A Guide to New Adult Books: 20 Titles to Get You Started

In 2009, St. Martin’s Press announced a contest for “new adult” manuscripts — cutting-edge stories that take college-age protagonists and walk them through the gauntlet of growing up. The resulting submissions read like young adult , but aged up: hotter romances, grittier plot-lines, characters grappling with college stress, career transitions, and all manner of first times. And thus, a new genre was born.

Like YA, new adult (or NA) is fundamentally about coming of age, though it looks at what happens after the messiness of adolescence. Unlike their young adult counterparts, NA protagonists have left childhood in the rearview mirror. But that doesn’t mean they feel like full-fledged grownups just yet. As NA writer Cora Carmack puts it, “ New adult is the ‘I’m officially an adult, now what?’ phase. ”

Carmack and her fellow genre superstars tend to pen sleek, steamy collegiate romances that feel destined for the big screen. Cardigan-clad ingenues fall for tattooed heartthrobs over econ problem sets or dorm-room shenanigans — you can practically hear the TSwift-forward soundtrack.

But NA isn’t all about coed love stories. Within this vibrant genre, you’ll find edgy urban fantasies , heart-wrenching historical fiction , and soft-focus magical realism. And the books that do play the “college girl meets college boy” trope straight will make the formula feel exciting again with their compelling characters — not to mention a few love scenes guaranteed to make your blood run hot.

Feeling intrigued? Then let’s get started with these 20 wildly popular new adult books.

1. All of You by Christina Lee

Avery Michaels has never been interested in dating — which makes sense, given her mom’s string of terrible ex-boyfriends. Instead of love, she’s focused on her nursing studies, with the occasional hookup when she wants to have a little fun. But all that changes when she meets Bennett. He’s hot, tattooed — and a virgin. Unfortunately for Avery, he’s not interested in changing that last part unless she’s willing to try something truly brazen: a relationship. With steamy love scenes and likeable reads, All of You is a delectable, escapist treat.

2. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Originally a self-published hit , Beautiful Disaster wound up in Simon & Schuster’s catalogue after a stint on the New York Times Best Seller list. At its center is Abby Abernathy, a once-troubled teen hoping for a fresh start in college. Unfortunately, resident bad-boy Travis Maddox won’t make it easy for her. With his streetwise charisma and breathtaking looks, Travis threatens to tempt Abby off the virtuous path of chastity and cardigans. Will she end up falling for him, against her own better judgment?

3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This gripping World War II novel kicks off when a young British spy crash-lands right in the middle of enemy territory. When “Verity’s” plane goes down over Nazi-occupied France, her pilot — and best friend — Maddie manages to escape. But Verity isn’t so lucky: she ends up a prisoner of the Gestapo. Held in an abandoned hotel, she’s forced to write a confession detailing her part in the Allied war effort. As rigorously researched as it is emotionally devastating, Code Name Verity is a historical tour de force.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

When savvy readers think “new adult fantasy,” A Court of Thorns and Roses might just be the first book that comes to mind. This darkly sexy tale, which remixes “Beauty and the Beast” with the Scottish legend of Tam Lin, introduces us to the teenage huntress Feyre Acheron. After killing a wolf that turns out to be a faerie in disguise, she winds up as a prisoner of the High Lord Tamlin, a bestial figure who hides his green-eyed countenance behind a mask. In true fairy tale form, Feyre’s resentment of her captor warps into something like love. But before they can have their happily ever after, she must dispel that curse that shadows Tamlin and his court.

5. The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Hannah Wells and Garrett Graham make an odd pair. She’s a snarky bookworm who's never been in love, and he’s a puck-shooting bad boy who never sleeps alone. They’ve only come together thanks to a cold-blooded transaction: Hannah will tutor Garrett so he can skate by academically, moving on from studies he doesn’t care about to his pro hockey career. In exchange, he’ll make her crush jealous with a carefully calculated fake dating gambit. It’s a clear-cut, mutually beneficial deal… until an unexpected kiss changes everything.

6. Easy by Tammara Webber

This steamy collegiate romance helped define NA’s penchant for tortured protagonists, rollercoaster relationships, and grown-up grit. Easy ’s narrator, Jacqueline, has always been willing to sacrifice for her relationship — she even set aside her music school dreams to join her high-school boyfriend at an in-state college. Of course, he decides he wants to see other people. Heartbroken, Jackie can’t bring herself to go to the econ class she’s taking with her ex. Then a quiet classmate saves her from a sexual assault. A brooding figure with a deceptively sharp mind, Lucas is nothing like Jackie’s ex. With him by her side, can she find the strength to stand on her own?

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Identical twins Cath and Wren grew up together in the Simon Snow fandom — reading and rereading the series, writing fanfiction, donning elaborate costumes for midnight premieres. But now that they’re heading off to college, Wren is ready to put her fangirl days behind her in favor of new friends and college parties. That leaves Cath alone with her social anxiety — prompting a deeper retreat into the Simon Snow universe. Written by the author of Eleanor and Park , Fangirl is a charming, relatable look at mental health, family bonds, and the magic of fandom.

8. The Impact of You by Kendall Ryan

This sexy bestseller helped cement Kendall Ryan’s reputation as a NA superstar, a collegiate romance maven with a legion of devoted fans. The sizzling chemistry in The Impact of You will show you exactly why she enjoys so much hype. At first glance, Avery and Jase seem like a classic case of “opposites attract”. She’s a quiet virgin who keeps to herself, and he’s a hard-living staple of the frat party scene. But they’re bound together by the darkness of their pasts — for better or worse. You see, Avery has striven to leave her painful history behind. But Jase decides he’d rather help her through her trauma than confront his own.

9. Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

As far as NA hits go, Lily and the Octopus is a bit of an outlier. For one thing, the relationship at its heart isn’t a torrid romance between a cardigan-clad freshman and her sexy tattooed beau. Instead, this quirky, magical realist confection of a novel centers on the love between man and man’s best friend. Writer Ted Flask and his dachshund Lily have done everything together for the past twelve years. But now, she has a brain tumor, an “octopus” clinging to the back of her eye. Based on Steven Rowley’s own bond with his beloved dog, this unconventional love story is a triumph of emotional modulation, at once riotously funny and deeply sad.

10. Losing It by Cora Carmack

Bliss Edwards might have seven semesters of drama school under her belt, but she’s never had sex. That’s why she’s committed to finally “losing it” in the most efficient way possible. Unfortunately, her first one-night stand doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. When she shows up for class on the first day of her senior spring, Bliss is horrified to recognize her professor: the last time she saw him, he was naked in her bed. As her beloved Shakespeare would say, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

11. One and Only by Viv Daniels

YA stalwart Diana Peterfreund also writes sexy collegiate romances under a pen name. One and Only opens her popular Canton series, which offers all the sweeping intensity fans expect from the Viv Daniels brand. When Tess McMann earns a scholarship to the prestigious Canton College, it seems like the perfect opportunity to escape her troubled past. There, she reunites with Dylan Kingsley, an old summer love whose keen wit and smoldering grin still make her heart beat fast. There’s just one problem: Dylan has a girlfriend now. What’s worse, she happens to be Tess’s half-sister — the cherished daughter of a father who won’t give Tess the time of day.

12. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

This witty LGBT romance takes new relationship shenanigans to the world stage. The White House’s resident prince, Alex Claremont-Diaz, hasn’t always gotten along with Henry Mountchristen-Windsor, the actual prince he tussled with at a paparazzi-plagued royal wedding. That’s why he’s been forced to make nice with Henry for the cameras. But as Alex and Henry play up their “bond” in front of an adoring press, their staged friendship turns into real passion. As far as inventive NA love stories go, Red, White & Royal Blue takes the crown.

13. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

In this heart-wrenching romance, poetry slams offer Layken Cohen a refuge from her less-than-perfect senior year: she’s starting over in a whole new state after her father’s death. Luckily, her cute new neighbor Will is there to show her everything Ypsilanti, Michigan has to offer. Before long, they’re going out to poetry clubs, unable to deny their mutual attraction. When the school year starts, though, Layken is “slammed” by a nasty surprise: she walks into class only to lock eyes with her new poetry teacher — Will.

14. Social Skills by Sara Alva

Social Skills is an understated love story with nuanced characterization and a subtle, elegant literary voice. Its protagonist, Connor Owens, has a tendency to get tongue-tied, especially around cute boys. What he lacks in social skills, though, he makes up for in musical virtuosity: his violin says everything he can’t manage to express in words. That starts to change when he meets Jared, a smooth-talking football player who gets under Connor’s skin. Can things really work out between two people so different — especially if neither of them is exactly out yet?

15. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danier

This gorgeously written bestseller was one of 2016’s most anticipated titles. Sweetbitter mixes a heart-rending bildungsroman with a richly textured look at New York’s Michelin-starred restaurant scene. The result? A culinary coming-of-age tale that’s sure to hit the spot. It’s narrated by twenty-two year old Tess, who harbored dreams of New York long before she arrived from Ohio. She’s got no connections and no credentials to her name, but she manages to snag a backwaiter gig at a glitzy Manhattan restaurant. There, Tess gets a hands-on education in fine dining, unrequited love, and other rarefied tastes.

16. The Sound of Us by Ash Poston

If you like your new adult fiction with more spunk than grit, add The Sound of Us to your TBR. This spun-sugar romance is the perfect way to while away a lazy afternoon. When Junie Baltimore learns that Roman Holiday is breaking up, she couldn’t care less: pop fans throughout the country might be crying their eyes out, but she’s always been more of a rock-n-roll girl. When she runs into the band’s former lead singer on the beach, though, they turn out to have more in common than she ever expected. Now, if only the paparazzi would leave them alone…

17. Sunshine by Robin McKinley

For fans of children’s fantasy , Robin McKinley is just about a household name. In Sunshine , though, she tackles more grown-up fare, to spellbinding — and sometimes blood-draining — effect. Set in an alternate universe plagued by black magic, this darkly fascinating story centers on Rae Seddon, a pastry chef with long-submerged supernatural abilities. Unfortunately for her, tapping into those powers now is kind of do-or-die: she’s just been kidnapped by vampires . Imprisoned in an abandoned manor, Rae is forced to work with her fellow abductee, a vampire from a rival gang with a strange allure.

18. Unteachable by Leah Raeder

When Maise O’Malley meets a cute stranger at a summer carnival, she’s not looking for anything but a night of fun. Still, there’s something about Evan that she just can’t stop thinking about: it’s like he saw right through her tough-talking facade. In true NA romance fashion, the start of the school year brings a nasty shock — guess who’s teaching her film class? Maise and Evan — or rather, Mr. Wilke — have no choice but to stay away from each other. But not even saintly self-control can stop the rumors from spreading. Passionate and provocative, Unteachable offers a no-holds-barred look at a relationship with soaring highs and catastrophic lows.

19. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Any Shakespeare fans here? What about 10 Things I Hate about You ? Either way, Vinegar Girl is for you — this witty romcom reimagines The Taming of the Shrew . College dropout Kate Battista finds herself facing a challenge she never anticipated: an arranged marriage. On the verge of a major breakthrough, her biochemist father has encountered a setback: his Russian lab assistant, Pyotr, is running out of time on his student visa. To keep him in the country, Dr. Battista devises a madcap scheme: a sham marriage between his protégé and his daughter. Kate is less than thrilled with this plan, at least at first. But something about the quietly brilliant Pyotr tugs at her heartstrings. Maybe it’s the fact that he has no interest in “taming” her at all.

20. Wait for You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

One of new adult’s biggest and most versatile talents, Jennifer L. Armentrout has topped bestseller lists with her fantasy and contemporary romances alike. Wait for It falls squarely into the latter category: it’s a collegiate love story with swoon-worthy leads, whip-smart banter, and a fast-moving, thriller-inflected plot. When college freshman Avery Morgansten starts to fall for local heartthrob Cameron Hamilton, she knows she’s in trouble. She’s still haunted by a traumatic Halloween party from five years ago, and blue-eyed, dimpled distractions like Cam make it hard to keep it together. That’s before you add in the threatening phone calls she’s been fielding… Will the two keep bonding over astronomy class, or will Avery’s past keep them apart?

Have you developed a taste for swoonworthy love stories? Why not check out our roundup of the 25 hottest romance authors and their steamiest works ?

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From Regency-era passion to contemporary LGBTQ+ love stories, and ranging from mild to spicy to sizzling hot, there's something for everyone on our list of the best new romance titles—handpicked by our expert librarians and staff.  Download the list and find out what's available in accessible formats.

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Filter results below, 50 books found, always be my duchess.

Ballerina Geneviève Valery is desperate to find work and Lysander Blackstone just wants to get his work done without being pursued by the society ladies of London. A chance encounter in a dark alley may be the solution to both their problems. A retelling of fan favorite, 90's rom-com "Pretty Woman".

Cover of Always Be My Duchess

Bend Toward the Sun: A Novel

Noah is mourning a patient. Rowan is only interested in her plants at the winery and getting her PhD. But like Rowan's plants, their affection blossoms. Is it enough to overcome the problems that threaten to keep them apart?

Cover of Bend Toward the Sun: A Novel

The Best Men

One weekend in Miami: two men who are unapologetically horny for each other, last-minute wedding planning, a British period drama, and one very scandalous spreadsheet.

Cover of The Best Men

Bet on It: A Novel

All bets are on when Aja and Walker make a bingo-based sex pact. As their friendship grows, so do feelings. Will their pact keep things between them from getting out of hand?

Cover of Bet on It: A Novel

The Bodyguard: A Novel

Bodyguard Hannah is having a terrible year. Enter Hollywood heartthrob Jake Stapleton. He needs protection from his stalkers while visiting his family’s ranch—with one stipulation: they can’t know who she is and she must pose as his girlfriend instead.

Cover of The Bodyguard: A Novel

Book Lovers

Literary agent Nora never gets to be the plucky heroine of her own love story until she heads to a small Southern town for vacation and runs into brooding book editor Charlie—a plot twist she didn’t see coming.

Cover of Book Lovers

The Bride Goes Rogue

In Gilded Age New York, Katharine is tired of waiting for her potential groom to get his act together and finally propose to her, so she decides to take matters into her own hands—scandal be damned!

Cover of The Bride Goes Rogue

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris: A Novel

Sparks fly in 1899 Paris when Dominican heiress Luz Alana Heith-Benzan travels to the Paris Exposition to market her family's rum and meets Lord Evan Sinclair, a Scottish Earl and whiskey distiller. As problems arise, they realize an arranged marriage could benefit them both.

Cover of A Caribbean Heiress in Paris: A Novel

A Daring Pursuit

A feud between their families has always kept Carys and Tristan apart. When Carys, who is doing everything in her power to never get married and avoid scandal, proposes a week of indecency together, they might find they are more entwined than expected.

Cover of A Daring Pursuit

The Dark King

Tricked into marrying a faerie king on a trip to Vegas, Bryn is now a pawn in a deadly game of power and every night of passion with Caiden makes it harder for her to be certain if she wants to leave or not.

Cover of The Dark King

The Dead Romantics: A Novel

A floundering romance ghostwriter and medium, Florence Day’s belief in true love has died…along with her new editor Benji. Then he shows up in her hometown as a ghost. Turns out Benji is one broodingly handsome and irritating ghost that cannot be ignored.

Cover of The Dead Romantics: A Novel

Delilah Green Doesn't Care

Pressured into photographing her estranged stepsister’s wedding, Delilah Green returns to the small town she ran from. She plans to do the job and leave. But her plans go sideways when she runs into Claire, a single mom and her stepsister’s BFF.

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Electric Idol

After Aphrodite orders her son Eros to kill Psyche, he does the next worst thing. He marries her. A modern retelling of the famed Greek myth.

Cover of Electric Idol

Every Summer After: A Novel

Persephone and Sam had six summers to fall in love and one to ruin it all. Now, twelve years later, they have one weekend to make it right. Told between past and present, this is also a great YA crossover novel.

Cover of Every Summer After: A Novel

From Bad to Cursed

The witch families of Thistle Grove are back. When Beltane festivities are brought to a halt by dark magic, it’s up to wild child Issa Avramov and her nemesis, (wildlife superhero) Rowan Thorn to find out the cause before it’s too late.

Cover of From Bad to Cursed

Funny You Should Ask: A Novel

Chani Horowitz once wrote a career-defining profile of heartthrob Gabe Parker. Ten years later, Chani has the chance to set the record straight about that weekend—but only if she can keep her cool around the man she’s never been able to forget.

Cover of Funny You Should Ask: A Novel

Grace Under Fire

In this romantic suspense novel, Grace is just supposed to be making a quick trip to Boston on her way to Scotland. While on a walk, she gets lost, a wounded man stumbles into her arms, and she ends up firing at his shooter in self defense. Surrounded now by more questions than answers, she has ex-Navy Seal, Michael, to watch over her whether she wants him to or not.

Cover of Grace Under Fire

Heartbreaker: A Hell's Belles Novel

Matchbreaker and thief Adelaide Frampton and Henry, the crusading Duke of Clayton, race to Gretna Green together to both make and break a marriage—if they don’t kill each other first.

Cover of Heartbreaker: A Hell's Belles Novel

Honey & Spice

College student Kiki Bongo is smart, sassy, and no man’s fool as the campus relationship expert on her popular radio show, Brown Sugar. Then one kiss from her nemesis Malakai Korede, compromises her credibility. The only way to fix it? Have a fake relationship with Malakai.

Cover of Honey & Spice

Hook, Line, and Sinker: A Novel

Local fisherman and ladies man Fox Thorton has not been one to change his ways, until he meets Hannah Bellinger. Only problem is she has her eyes set on her coworker and asks for his help in getting the man’s attention.

Cover of Hook, Line, and Sinker: A Novel

The Hookup Plan

For pediatric surgeon London, a weekend hookup with her former high-school archnemesis Drew is exactly what the doctor ordered. But when he shows up for work at her hospital a few days later, London must devise rules and a plan to keep it casual. What could go wrong?

Cover of The Hookup Plan

How the Wallflower Was Won

In order to secure an inheritance and gain admission to a scholarly society, gambler Finn and bluestocking Tabitha enter a marriage of convenience.

Cover of How the Wallflower Was Won

How to Deceive A Duke

Fiona McTavish, a self taught scientist, goes to London to market her newest invention, only to get caught up in a street protest and thrown in jail. To get released she’ll need to live with the unyielding and oh-so-proper Duke of Wildeforde—the man who broke her heart.

Cover of How to Deceive A Duke

I'm So (Not) Over You

When Kian receives a text from his ex, Hudson Rivers, he doesn’t know what to expect: a declaration of undying love or an anguished apology. What Hudson needs is a favor—he wants them to pretend they’re still together while his parents are visiting.

Cover of I'm So (Not) Over You

The Kiss Curse

By-the-book Wells Penhallow learns the hard way what happens when you open up a competing witchcraft shop across from the woman who drives you crazy. Newbie witches, a talking cat, and witchy hijinks included...

Cover of The Kiss Curse

Daniel and Catie are both athletic, focused, and always at odds—until they get snowed in together and rumors start to swirl. To avoid a PR scandal, they agree to a pretend courtship. Can these two fierce competitors survive this new game they’re playing with hearts intact?

Cover of Kiss Hard

A Lady for a Duke

In this groundbreaking romance, Viola, presumed dead after Waterloo, returned to England to live as her true self. But it came with the cost of losing her best friend, the Duke of Gracewood. Now, years later, they get the chance to regain what they’ve lost.

Cover of A Lady for a Duke

A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting: A Novel

With massive debts and sisters to support, Kitty Talbot needs a husband with a fortune, and fast. When she starts circling his younger brother, Lord Radcliffe tries to put a stop to her plans, but he’s never met a woman like Kitty before… A very Austen-esque romance.

Cover of A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting: A Novel

Lead Me Astray

In this romance/mystery, more than just sparks fly between a new ghost, a non-binary empath, and a werewolf detective down in New Orleans.

Cover of Lead Me Astray

Lizzie Blake's Best Mistake: A Novel

When a one-night stand with Aussie Rake becomes a two-night stand followed by an unexpected pregnancy, Lizzie will have made her best mistake.

Cover of Lizzie Blake's Best Mistake: A Novel

A Merry Little Meet Cute: A Novel

Adult film star Bee is trying to change up her acting career when she’s cast as the lead in a family-friendly Christmas movie with former bad boy pop star Nolan. Things heat up when Nolan recognizes her from her ClosedDoors account—which he just happens to be a member of.

Cover of A Merry Little Meet Cute: A Novel

Much Ado About Dukes

Beatrice believes marriage is a trap. But when she finds herself without a fortune or home, the forward-thinking Duke of Blackheath proposes. Entering a marriage of convenience with her former rival is the only sensible decision, even if the duke refuses to fall in love.

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Not the Witch You Wed

Violet Maxwell is a witch who never came into her powers. Lincoln Thorne is the alpha werewolf who shattered her heart when she was just a teenager. Now as adults they need to pretend to be together, but their mutual animosity grows into something else.

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The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes: A Novel

In this Georgian Era romance, Marian has just shot her husband (he had it coming), and the only person she can turn to for help is Rob, the cheerful criminal who has been blackmailing her.  

Cover of The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes: A Novel

The Proposal Playbook

Cheery wedding planner Daisy gleefully helps her brother come up with the perfect proposal, only to come up against his friend—grumpy ex-Navy Seal Xander who doesn’t believe in love or happily ever after.

Cover of The Proposal Playbook

A Proposal They Can't Refuse: A Novel

Forced into a fake engagement by their scheming grandfathers, Puerto Rican chef Kamilah Vega and Irish American whiskey distiller Liam Kane are perfect for each other if they could just stop fighting and admit it.

Cover of A Proposal They Can't Refuse: A Novel

The Rake Gets Ravished

Mercy Kittinger is determined to do anything, including ravishing the most captivating man she’s ever met, in order to steal back the deed to her home. However, Silas Masters won't be played like that.

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The Rodeo Queen

The Closed Circuit Rodeo is back with lawman Diablo joining Rodeo Queen Sierra in the arena. While sparks instantly fly between them, their contracts clearly prohibit fraternizing. With so much at stake, is their budding romance worth the price?

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Rules of Engagement

United in tragedy, Raleigh and Adam, operatives for a top-secret organization, are thrown together for one last mission to bring down a terrorist group. Forced to untangle a web of secrets and lies, tensions mount as their suspicions of each other begin to turn into intense desire. A romantic suspense novel from politician and activist Stacey Abrams.  

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The Runaway Duchess: A Novel

Lavinia was born to be a duchess, but is desperate for a way out after her wedding to the most terrible duke in England. When Neal mistakes her for the botanist correspondent he invited to his nursery to woo, Lavinia sees her chance to escape.  

Cover of The Runaway Duchess: A Novel

When Henrietta, the only child of a country gentleman, goes to London for the Season and becomes the toast of the town, Charles, her longtime, friend-zoned neighbor must join her to head off the sudden competition. A sweet, Austen-esque romance.

Cover of The Season


Charli and Neil are melting the ice as their teams return to the hockey rink. After a drunken night, the pals return home married. With annulment not an option, Neil suggests they leverage their situation for good. Will their rocky start put an end to what could have been more?

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Ship Wrecked: A Novel

What’s worse than being abandoned by the best one-night stand of your life? Finding out you’ve been cast as each other’s love interests in a hit, fantasy TV show.  

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The Stand-Up Groomsman: A Novel

What do you get with a pink limo, fried crab claws, mochi donuts, and a karaoke-singing grandma? A laugh-out-loud romance between stand-up comedian Melvin Lee and corporate financier Vivian Liao... who also doesn’t quite know what to do with these elements.

Cover of The Stand-Up Groomsman: A Novel

Starry-Eyed Love

London does not have the time for a new relationship. She is focused on expanding her family’s hotel business, but when hunky millionaire Jackson enters her life, offering a partnership, she has to decide if it will be business or personal.

Cover of Starry-Eyed Love

The Summer Proposal

After entering an open relationship, Georgia isn't expecting hot hockey star Max to crash her blind date. With Georgia's boyfriend on the other side of the world and the likelihood of Max being traded, the two decide to date just for the summer.

Cover of The Summer Proposal

Thank You, Next

After seeing her most recent ex’s fiance say “yes to the dress”, divorce attorney Alex decides to revisit boyfriends past to find out why she’s never been “the one.” Her long time best enemy, Will, goes along for the ride.

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A Thousand Miles: A Novel

Ten years ago, BFFs Dee and Ben took a road trip and buried a time capsule. Then their friendship imploded and they haven’t talked since – until Ben shows up at Dee’s door, asking for her help in digging up the capsule. After all, what’s a thousand miles between old friends?

Cover of A Thousand Miles: A Novel

To Catch a Raven

In the Reconstruction Era South, expert thief Raven is forced to use her skills to retrieve a stolen artifact. She and new partner Braxton must pretend to be married to infiltrate the household of a vile person. Raven is resistant to love, but Braxton has plans to make her truly his.

Cover of To Catch a Raven

Would You Rather: A Novel

Best friends Noah and Mia would do anything for one another—even get married to secure a good insurance plan. When a suspicious coworker and hopeful friends start to meddle, the pair are forced to confront old feelings and baggage.

Cover of Would You Rather: A Novel

Image of Black couple snuggling in the grass

Flirty Before Age 30: 9 Sweet New Adult Romance Books

best new adult romance books

I’ll never forget the day I went to the bookstore with two of my best friends, all of us recent high school graduates, and as we walked between the shelves I suddenly found myself alone in the young adult section. Where had my friends gone? Up until that day we had spent years scouring the shelves of the YA sections of libraries and bookstores together. We’d choose stacks of YA books to bring home and end up swapping them between ourselves all year long. We even got to the point of reading the same copy of Twilight at the same time when we hung out together. I kid you not. The person sitting in the middle held the book, and we all raised our pinkies when we were ready for a page turn. I am simultaneously embarrassed and proud of our teenage selves. Those were the good old days.

This particular day, though, as we visited the bookstore post–high school, my friends seemed to have come to an unspoken understanding. The YA section no longer held the same priority for them that it once did. Setting off in search of my friends, I wandered amongst the shelves until I found them in adult fiction. How did they know it was time to move on to adult books? I still clung to my YA reads like life rafts. Back then, I wish I’d known there is an excellent in-between genre that spans these years of change between high school and full-fledged adulthood. That’s where new adult books come in. Goodreads defines new adult books as those that feature protagonists between 18 and 25 years old, or more broadly between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.

Despite growing up (do we ever really though?), I’ve always stayed constant in my love for young adult books; they’re exceptional reads at any age. However, sometimes I’m in the mood to read a book with a protagonist closer to my age. I like getting drawn into a character’s world who may be experiencing a relatable phase in life for me, whether it’s moving out from home, going back to grad school, starting your first job fresh out of college, or trying to figure out what you want to do with your life. I crave books with these themes, and new adult books deliver.

When it comes to new adult books, new adult romance books are my favorite. I love the cozy, feel-good, comfort of the new adult romance genre with its happily ever afters for characters my age. It adds an extra layer of fun to read about situations I can envision myself in. As with YA though, new adult books can be enjoyed at any age. So, if you’re looking for some sweet new adult romance books for a delightful summer read, browse below!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi cover

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

If you’re looking for a good new adult read, Korean American author Mary H.K. Choi has written multiple books that star endearing college-aged protagonists. This poignant new adult romance book follows Penny Lee as she escapes her hometown life to begin college studying writing in Austin, Texas. Sam, on the other hand, struggles to keep hold of his dream to become a movie director while living in the storage room above the cafe he works at. When Penny and Sam meet, something sparks between them. Swapping numbers, they begin a texting relationship where they feel safe sharing their deepest worries and feelings.

Conventionally Yours Book Cover

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

This queer new adult romance takes place at one of my favorite meet-cute locations: a gaming convention! It also promises enemies-to-lovers and “just one bed” tropes, which are always a plus. Popular Conrad Stewart may seem cool and collected on the outside, but deep down the turmoil of his life brews. Jewish, Neurodivergent, and brilliant gamer Alden Roth keeps his own feelings buried too. When it comes to the world of tabletop games, these two are arch-rivals, but a cross country road trip to a fan convention may be just what they need for their real feelings to show.

If the Shoe Fits Book Cover

If the Shoe Fits b y Julie Murphy

Written by Julie Murphy, bestselling author of Dumplin’ , this body positive retelling of Cinderella makes for an incredibly sweet and feel-good new adult romance. Rather than at the start of her college career, the protagonist of this novel has just graduated with her degree in shoe design. While working on the reality TV show Before Midnight that her stepmom produces, Cindy lands a spot as one of the contestants in a last minute opening. As the only plus size woman in the competition, Cindy soon finds herself growing into a body-positivity icon and finding love along the way too.

cover of Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon

For a cute and fun WLW new adult romance, check out this delightful one by Rebekah Weatherspoon. Other than her sister’s bachelorette party, Alexis Chambers has been having a rough year, and her expectations of her approaching freshman year of college are just as low. That is, until Treasure, the stunning stripper from the bachelorette party, walks into one of Alexis’s freshman classes. As she juggles classes with her job as a stripper, Trisha Hamilton discovers with pleasure she shares a class with shy baby butch Alexis from the party.

A Sign of Affection Book Cover

A Sign of Affection, Vol. 1 by Suu Morishita, Translated by Christine Dashiell

This charming new adult romance manga follows Deaf college student Yuki after her meet-cute with popular and handsome classmate Itsuomi-san on the train. Itsuomi-kun speaks three languages, but sign language isn’t one of them. As the two get to know each other, Itsuomi-kun begins to learn. Immerse yourself in this one for gorgeous art, a memorable cast of characters, and a heartwarming love story.

The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters cover

The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters

This adorable and uplifting new adult queer romance makes for the perfect summer read. As a recent high school graduate, biracial Black teen Wesley Hudson’s ready to make the most of his summer. In between working at his beloved local indie bookstore and debating what he should major in at UCLA, Wesley wonders if now’s the time to finally confess his feelings for his best friend Nico.

Trade Me by Courtney Milan cover

Trade Me by Courtney Milan

Struggling to make ends meet between her job and college classes, Tina Chen can’t help but call out her attractive billionaire classmate Blake Reynolds after he makes a snarky comment in class about money. To her surprise, Blake offers to switch places with her for one semester: she’ll get his income, car, and home, while he works her job and sends money to her family. What starts as a playful bargain turns into something so much more in one of the best new adult romance books.

An Acquired Taste Book Cover

An Acquired Taste by Kelly Cain

After graduating culinary school and working six years as a head chef now, Rowan Townsend’s expert farm-to-table cuisine has customers flocking to her mother’s restaurant. When she enter a TV chef competition, Rowan is affronted to learn her culinary school rival Knox Everheart has also entered. As the competition gets underway, Rowan may find that there are a few more sparks in the kitchen than she expected.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston Book Cover

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Take a trip to New York City with this lovely queer new adult romance written by Casey McQuiston, the bestselling author of Red, White and Royal Blue . When 23-year-old August moves to the city, she meets a gorgeous girl named Jane on the train, and her life will never be the same. August will soon learn that Jane’s no ordinary girl; she’s stuck in the future from the 1970s, and she needs August’s help!

If you’d like to learn more about new adult books, or discover more new adult romance books, take a look at what some of our other Rioters have to say about it!

best new adult romance books

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She Reads Romance Books

30 New Romance Books Coming in 2023 That Should Be on Your TBR List

At the end of every year, I make a list of the new romance books releasing in the coming year that I recommend all romance book readers put on their to-read list.

If you’re excited about all the new romance books to look forward to in 2023 as much as I am, check out my book list below. Plus, you can download my exclusive pdf of titles so you won’t forget a book to read this year!

* Disclosure : I participate in the Amazon Affiliates program so if you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Check out the epic book list of the most anticipated, new romance book releases coming in 2023 that all romance readers will want to add to their TBR list according to romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books.

Even though 2022 was a great year for new romance books with several becoming my favorite romance novels of the year , I’m already giddy about the new romance releases that are slated to release in 2023.

Will my favorite authors be releasing a new title?

What romance book tropes will be popular for 2023’s new releases?

How can I read each and every one?!

While I may not have all those answers right now, I do know that there are already 30 new romance books releasing in 2023 that are definitely on my TBR list and that I’m counting down to read.

To be honest, every year it’s a bit overwhelming just how MANY romance books get published but really that’s a good thing.

Thanks to Colleen Hoover’s books which remained on the best-sellers lists throughout 2022, I don’t see romance book publishing slowing down any time soon.

So, while I initially set out to give you 23 new romance book titles to look forward to (you know, 23 for 2023 😊), there are just too many books that caught my eye so my list is up to 30!

I didn’t think you’d mind though.

New Romance Books for 2023: What to Look Forward To

If you pick up each of the new romance books on this book list, you will be busy reading until August 2023 .

That’s eight months of reading the best romance books already set and laid out for you. You’re welcome 😉.

I’m also happy that so many of these new book releases are written by diverse authors with diverse characters and storylines.

If you like to mix and match your romance books, you’ll also find lots of variety with contemporary, historical, fantasy, sports, erotic, new adult, young adult, and queer romances to choose from with an even larger selection of romance book tropes to pick from as well including:

While the majority of these new romance books are with traditional publishers, there are a few independent authors’ works featured.

I adore indie authors and like to promote their new releases on this blog but most indie authors don’t announce their new releases until a month (or less!) before their release date.

That really limits my ability to adequately feature indie authors on this list (which I write at the end of 2022) but there are a few and that makes me happy!

Discover All the Best 2023 New Romance Book Releases

To find more new romance book releases from indie authors, be sure to bookmark my Upcoming Releases page which has all the new romance book releases I’m looking forward to reading throughout the year and is updated frequently.

I highly encourage you to also join my email list so that you’ll also receive my monthly new romance book releases posts .

These lists highlight the top 10 new romance book releases that I cannot wait to get my hands on each and every month.

Keep Track of 2023’s New Romance Book Releases

With already 30 new romance book recommendations to read in 2023 (and even more in my list of upcoming new romance book releases ), I want to make sure that you don’t forget them in the months ahead.

My solution? The Romance Book Reading Journal .

Check out the Romance Book Reading Journal - the only journal dedicated to the romance book reader.

The Romance Book Reading Journal is the perfect place for you to keep track of all of the must-read romance books you hope to devour this year.

This journal includes To Read lists and several pages to track and review your favorites.

Grab your own copy of the Journal so you never miss an upcoming release.

Download the Free Printable of Titles!

After checking out all of these book recommendations, you can also download a free printable of all of these must-read new romance book titles coming in 2023 at the end of the post.

Don’t miss it!

Ready to Get Reading in 2023?

Get your TBR list ready to add these 30 must-read new romance books releasing in 2023.

After checking out my list, be sure to share which new romance book release YOU are most excited to read in 2023 in the comments below.

New Romance Books Coming in January 2023

Highly Suscpicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Young Adult Romance Releasing January 3, 2023

Bradley Graeme  is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.   Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.) These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her. Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past.

And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

I think I’ll forever love Talia Hibbert because she gave me Act Your Age, Eve Brown which is one of my all-time favorite romance novels .

So I cannot wait to read her first young adult romance in 2023! Hibbert has this amazing ability to weave in important social issues like mental illness into her novels which I fully support 100%.

Related: Romance Books Featuring Mental Health Issues

Good Girl Fail by Roni Loren is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Good Girl Fail by Roni Loren

MMF Romance Releasing January 17, 2023

O’Neal Lory has been taught that one mistake can undo an entire life of right decisions. That it doesn’t matter if a person has been good ninety-nine percent of the time. 

So, she’s taken a lot of right steps on the straight and narrow path for eighteen years. Perfect grades. No rules broken. And definitely no boys. Until she kisses him.

Auden Blake knows he shouldn’t touch his little sister’s best friend, knows that innocent girls like her should stay far, far away from him and his roommate Lennox—especially when she could reveal their behind-closed-doors activities to his family.

But when sheltered O’Neal goes rogue, ditching her scholarship to a conservative all-girls college and showing up at Bennette State—his school—instead, it’s going to take everything Auden has to keep his and Lennox’s hands off the curious good girl whose teach me vibes could unravel them both.

OMG I’m so excited that Roni Loren is going back to her erotic roots with this new release that is sure to kick off 2023 with quite a steamy hit !

I’m all about the good girl changing her ways and I cannot wait to see where her “teach me vibes” takes all three of them.

Definitely mark this erotic romance on your TBR list this year.

Related: The Best Erotic Romance Books

Georgie All Along is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Georgie All Along by Kate Clayborn

Contemporary Romance Releasing January 24, 2023

Longtime personal assistant Georgie Mulcahy has made a career out of putting others before herself.

When an unexpected upheaval sends her away from her hectic job in L.A. and back to her hometown, Georgie must confront an uncomfortable truth: her own wants and needs have always been a disconcertingly blank page.     But then Georgie comes across her teenage diary with its simple, small-scale ideas that become a lifeline—a guidebook for getting started on a new path.     Georgie’s plans hit a snag when she comes face to face with an unexpected roommate—Levi Fanning, onetime town troublemaker and current town hermit.

But this quiet, grouchy man is more than just his reputation, and he offers to help Georgie with her quest.

As the two make their way through her wishlist, Georgie begins to realize that what she truly wants might not be in the pages of her diary after all, but right by her side—if only they can both find a way to let go of the pasts that hold them back.   I’m already half in love with Georgie just from this book blurb and I cannot wait to join her and Levi on her quest to shake things up in her life.

I can identify with her about putting others before yourself and coming to realize you have no clue what YOUR personal wants and desires are.

This will be my first Clayborn romance and I cannot wait to read it. Check out my Georgie, All Along Review .

Breaking All the Rules is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Breaking All the Rules by Amy Andrews

Age Gap Romance Releasing January 24, 2023

Beatrice Archer has always done everything she’s supposed to —worked her ass off, ignored her non-existent personal life, and kept her mouth shut. Now she’s over it.

She’s taking her life back. Starting with moving to Nowhere, Colorado to live life on her own terms. Then a much younger and delightfully attractive cop is called to deal with her flagrant disregard for appropriate clothing outside the local diner and Bea realizes there’s something missing from her little decathlon of decadence…and he might be the guy to help her out. When it comes to breaking rules, Officer Austin Cooper is surprisingly eager to assist. He’s charming, a little bit cowboy, and quite a hottie.

But Bea’s about to discover that breaking the rules has consequences. And all of the cherry pies in Colorado can’t save her from what’s coming.

January seems to be the month for female empowerment in romance books and Andrews is bringing it as well with Beatrice.

I am most excited to see the dynamic between Bea and Austin and how they grow close while getting into some needed fun.

If you’re all about strong heroines (and age gap romances ) then check this one out in 2023!

Related: The Age Gap Romance Books

Sorry Bro is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

Queer Rom-Com Releasing January 31, 2023   When Nareh Bedrossian’s non-Armenian boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her in front of a room full of drunk San Francisco tech boys, she realizes it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.   Enter her mother: armed with plenty of mom-guilt and a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked Armenian men, she convinces Nar to attend Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city.

But it’s Erebuni, a woman as immersed in the witchy arts as she is in preserving Armenian identity that catches Nar’s eye.   Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bi.

The clock is ticking on her double life when her worlds will inevitably collide, but Nar is determined to be brave and to claim her happiness: proudly Armenian, proudly bi, and proudly herself for the first time in her life.

This book caught my attention because I’m honestly interested in learning about Armenian culture through the events Nar and Erebuni attend.

There has been a need for more queer romance books about bi characters so I’m glad that Voskuni is filling that void with this must-read romance for 2023.

Related: Best Lesbian Romance Books

New Romance Books Coming in February 2023

Radiant Sin by Katee Robert is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Radiant Sin by Katee Robert

Fake Relationship Romance Releasing February 7, 2023

As a disgraced member of a fallen house, Cassandra Gataki has seen firsthand what comes from trusting the venomous Thirteen.

But when the maddeningly gorgeous and kind Apollo asks her to go undercover as his plus-one at a week-long party hosted by a dangerous new power player…Cassandra reluctantly agrees to have his back.

On one condition: when it’s all over, and Apollo has what he needs to protect Olympus, she and her sister will be allowed to leave. For good.

Apollo may be the city’s official spymaster, but it’s his ability to inspire others that keeps him at the top.

Despite what the rest of Olympus says, there’s no one he trusts more than Cassandra. Yet even as their fake relationship takes a wicked turn for the scaldingly hot, a very real danger surfaces… threatening not only Cassandra and Apollo, but the very heart of Olympus itself.

I have been loving every book in Robert’s Neon Gods/Dark Olympus series and you can’t keep me away from reading Radiant Sin because I adore fake relationship romances !

You can bet that this is going to be one hot and steamy romance because that’s what Robert does best and I’m all for it.

Read this one and then check out book five in the series, Cruel Seduction , when it releases in August!

Related: Best Fake Relationship Romance Books , Neon Gods Series: The Ultimate Guide

Secretly Yours is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

Opposites Attract Romance Releasing February 7, 2023

Hallie Welch fell hard for Julian Vos at fourteen, after they almost kissed in the dark vineyards of his family’s winery. Now the prodigal hottie has returned to their small Napa town.

When Hallie is hired to revamp the gardens on the Vos estate, she wonders if she’ll finally get that smooch.

But the grumpy professor isn’t the teenager she remembers and their polar opposite personalities clash spectacularly.

One wine-fueled girls’ night later, Hallie can’t shake the sense that she did something reckless—and then she remembers the drunken secret admirer letter she left for Julian.

On sabbatical from his ivy league job, Julian plans write a novel. But having Hallie gardening right outside his window is the ultimate distraction.

He can’t focus on anything else until he finds an anonymous letter sent by a woman from his past.

Even as Julian wonders about this admirer, he’s sucked further into Hallie’s orbit. And there’s something so familiar about her… and her very presence is turning his world upside down.

I became a Tessa Bailey fan for life after reading It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line and Sinker so anything she writes is going to make my must-read list.

She does the whole grumpy-sunshine , opposites attract tropes so well and I cannot wait to see the twist she puts on it with these two friends from the past collide again.

Related: Best Grumpy Sunshine Trope Books

End of Story is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

End of Story by Kylie Scott

Opposites Attract Romance Releasing February 14, 2023 When Susie Bowen inherits a charming fixer-upper from her aunt, she’s excited to start living her best HGTV life.

But when she opens the door to find that her contractor is none other than her ex’s best friend, Lars—the same man who witnessed their humiliating public breakup six months ago—she isn’t exactly eager to have anyone around whose alliance is with the enemy.

But beggars can’t be choosers, and the sooner the repairs are done, the sooner she can get back to embracing singledom. Things go from awkward to unbelievable when Lars discovers a divorce certificate hidden in a wall and dated ten years in the future—with both their names on it. It couldn’t possibly be real…could it?

As Susie and Lars work to unravel the document’s origins, the impossibility of a spark between them suddenly doesn’t seem so far-fetched. But would a relationship between them be doomed before it’s even begun?

This romance sounds so intriguing! I’ve loved Kylie Scott’s writing in the past so I’m super excited to see what this new romance brings.

A home renovation, a mystery, and growing chemistry sounds like a fun and perfect combination for this must-read romance of 2023.

Hail Mary is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Hail Mary by Kandi Steiner

Enemies to Lovers Sports Romance Releasing February 15, 2023

Leo Hernandez is North Boston University’s star running back, notorious bachelor, and my new roommate.

I used to think I loved him. But that was before I hated him.

He doesn’t remember who I am, or how he made my life miserable for years. And before I unknowingly moved across the street from him, I couldn’t have cared less.

I was living my life despite him and what happened that summer, chasing my dream of becoming a tattoo artist.

Living across from him and watching him parade his one-night-stands in and out only reminds me of how he broke my heart.

But with rent this cheap and so close to the tattoo shop, I’ve learned to ignore him until this summer. Because when a water and mold disaster leaves me with no choice but to vacate my house, I have nowhere to go. And Leo Hernandez offers me a deal I can’t refuse.

Live at The Pit with him and the guys, free of charge, until my landlord fixes this mess.

Ignoring him was easy when I lived across the street, but now impossible.

This book made my list of most anticipated romance books of 2023 before it even had a cover and full book blurb.

This is such a great sports romance series set in college and I am so excited that we get one last final book!

I LOVED Blind Side and I have a feeling this enemies to lovers romance is going to be just as hot and steamy!

Plus you can read this one on Kindle Unlimited so don’t miss it. Check out my review of Hail Mary .

Related: Best Sports Romance Books , Best College Romance Books , Best Enemies to Lovers Books

Things We Hide From the Light is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score

Small Town Romance Releasing February 21, 2023

Nash Morgan was always known as the good Morgan brother, with a smile and a wink for everyone.

But now, this chief of police is recovering from being shot and his Southern charm has been overshadowed by panic attacks and nightmares.

He feels like a broody shell of the man he once was. Nash isn’t about to let anyone in his life know he’s struggling.

But his new next-door neighbor, smart and hot Lina, sees his shadows. As a rule, she’s not a fan of physical contact unless she initiates it, but for some reason Nash’s touch is different. He feels it too.

The physical connection between them is incendiary, grounding him and making her wonder if exploring it is worth the risk. Too bad Lina’s got secrets of her own, and if Nash finds out the real reason she’s in town, he’ll never forgive her. Besides, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever.

A hot, short-term fling with a local cop? Absolutely. Sign her up. A relationship with a man who expects her to plant roots? No freaking way.

But once Nash decides to make Lina his, he’s not about to be dissuaded…even if it means facing the danger that nearly ended him.

Um can I have this book NOW???!!! Pretty please?! 😊

I completely fell for Nash after reading Score’s Things We Never Got Over and I cannot wait for this follow-up novel.

I can already tell that Nash and Lina are going to have amazing chemistry and I’m really intrigued by their past and hopeful future.

Things We Never Got Over which scored a 2022 Goodreads Awards nomination and I have a feeling this 2023 new romance book release will too! Check out my review of Things We Hide From the Light .

The New Guy by Sarina Bowen is one of the most anticipated new romance book releases of 2023. See all that's new in romance on She Reads Romance Books.

The New Guy by Sarina Bowen

MM Hockey Romance Releasing February 28, 2023

My name is Hudson Newgate, but my teammates call me New Guy.

That was my nickname in Chicago, too. And Vancouver. That’s what happens when you keep getting traded. Brooklyn is my last chance, especially after my poor performance last season.

But I can make this work. The new guy knows to keep his head down and shoot the puck. The new guy puts the game first.

What he doesn’t do is hook up with the other new guy—a hot athletic trainer who lives in my building. Gavin needs this job with my team. He’s a single dad with responsibilities.

We can’t be a couple. My arrogant agent–who’s also my father–will lose his mind if I’m dating a dude. And my team needs me to score goals, not whip up a media circus.

Too bad Gavin and I are terrible at resisting each other…

If Sarina Bowen is writing an MM romance then you better believe it’s going to be on my most anticipated book list!

The fact that it’s also a hockey romance just makes it pure gold and I cannot wait to meet Hudson and Gavin.

Related: Best MM Romance Books , Best Hockey Romance Books

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Check out the epic book list of the most anticipated, new romance book releases coming in 2023 that all romance readers will want to add to their TBR list according to romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books.

New Romance Books Coming in April 2023

The Do Over is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

The Do Over by Suzanne Park

Second Chance Romance Releasing April 4, 2023

Lily Lee is a bestselling author of the How to Be a Supernova At Work series, and her editor wants her to strike while the iron’s hot with a new book, How to Land the Perfect Job. 

But when Lily is offered a coveted position at a top firm, the employer background check reveals she’s short a few college credits and never actually completed her degree. Unbelievably, her worst nightmare has come true.

Lily returns to her alma mater, reliving her senior year of college ten years later. She enrolls in classes, gets invited to frat parties, eats most of her meals with “dining dollars,” and to make things even more weird and chaotic, she discovers that her computer science TA is her old college boyfriend, Jake Cho.

As Lily and Jake reconnect, she sees that her ex has done well for himself: the handsome, charming grad student appears to have his life together while Lily’s so close to losing her dream job opportunity and her book deal.  

Things aren’t so simple the second time around.

I am loving the set-up of this second chance romance ! As much as I loved college, I  honestly can’t imagine going back ten years later to finish my senior year but I will go along for the ride with Lily.

I hope that this book has some great comedy and some heavy steam 😊.

Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books , Best College Romance Books

Something Spectacular by Alexis Hall is one of the most anticipated new romance book releases for 2023. Check out the entire list of 2023 new romance book releases you must read this year from She Reads Romance Books.

Something Spectacular by Alexis Hall

Historical Romance Releasing April 11, 2023

Peggy Delancey’s not at all ready to move on from her former flame, Arabella Tarleton. But Belle has her own plans for a love match, and she needs Peggy’s help to make those plans a reality.

Still hung up on her feelings and unable to deny Belle what she wants, Peggy reluctantly agrees to help her woo the famous and flamboyant opera singer Orfeo.

She certainly doesn’t expect to find common ground with a celebrated soprano, but when Peggy and Orfeo meet, a whole new flame is ignited that she can’t ignore.

Peggy finds an immediate kinship with Orfeo, a castrato who’s just as nonconforming as she is—and just as affected by their instant connection.

They’ve never been able to find their place in the world, but as the pair walks the line between friendship, flirtation, and something more, they may just find their place with each other.

Something Fabulous was one of my favorites of 2022 because it was such a clever and fun historical romance that I didn’t expect from Hall.

I love that this is another queer romance but featuring a leading lady and the opera twist is awesome.

Be sure to mark this new romance book release on your TBR list for 2023!

Related: Best Historical Romance Novels, Best Gay Romance Novels , Best Lesbian Romance Books

Romantic Comedy is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Contemporary Romance Releasing April 11, 2023

Sally Milz is a sketch writer for The Night Owls, a late-night live comedy show that airs every Saturday. 

With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather. But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actress who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women.

Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman. Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show.

Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying.

But this isn’t a romantic comedy—it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her . . . right? The premise of this new romance book for 2023 has me conjuring up images of Scarlett Johansson and her husband Colin Jost and how they first met on Saturday Night Live.

I like how Sittenfeld is using such a fun angle to explore societal expectations and gender relations while bringing two people together in love.

I can’t wait to read some of the sketches they write together too. This will be my first Sittenfeld romance and I cannot wait to read it this year. Related: Best Romcom Books

The Fiance Farce is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

The Fiance Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur

Sapphic Romance Releasing April 18, 2023

Tansy Adams’ greatest love is her family’s bookstore, passed down from her late father. But when it comes to actual romance… Tansy can’t get past the first chapter.

Tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a bestselling book.

They’ll never actually meet, so what’s the harm in a little fib? Yet when real-life Gemma crosses Tansy’s path, her white lie nearly does her in.

Gemma van Dalen is a wild child, the outcast of her wealthy family, and now the latest heir to Van Dalen Publishing. But the title comes with one tiny condition: she must be married in order to inherit.

When Gemma discovers a beautiful stranger has been pretending to date her for months, she decides to take the charade one step further—and announces their engagement.

Gemma needs a wife to meet the terms of her grandfather’s will and Tansy needs money to save her struggling bookstore. A marriage could be mutually beneficial, if they can fool everyone into thinking it’s a love match.

Unexpected sparks fly as Tansy and Gemma play the role of affectionate fiancées, and suddenly the line between convenient arrangement and real feelings begins to blur.

But the scheming Van Dalen family won’t give up the company without a fight, and Gemma and Tansy’s newfound happiness might get caught in the fallout.

Do I want to read a steamy sapphic rom-com about a quiet bookseller and a romance novel cover model who agree to a modern-day marriage of convenience? Why yes, yes I do! 😊

I’ve totally fallen for Bellefleur’s writing with her past sapphic romances so I’m totally on board with this new release for 2023.

The only problem is I have to wait until April to read it! Be sure to add this to your TBR list as well.

 Related: Best Lesbian Romance Books , Best Marriage of Convenience Romance Books

Bewitched is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Bewitched by Laura Thalassa

Fantasy Romance Releasing April 18, 2023

At age twenty, Selene Bowers desperately hopes to be accepted into Henbane Coven, an academy for young witches.

Since one of the requirements for entry is to connect with her powers via a quest through the wilderness, Selene books a trip to South America.

When a nefarious supernatural force tries to drag her plane from the sky, Selene’s magic awakens to save her life―at a cost. Using her powers devours her memories, one by one.

Worse, when Selene braves the jungle and discovers the source of the attack, she finds herself awakening an ancient evil, Memnon the Cursed, who mistakes Selene for his long-gone wife. The wife who betrayed him.

Selene manages to escape and begin her studies at Henbane, but when Memnon turns up at the coven and witches are found slain across campus, Selene becomes entangled in a dangerous plot.

Accused of ending these witches on the basis of her memory loss, Selene must rely on Memnon’s help for answers―and his plans for her will change everything.

I’m SO ready for a new fantasy romance and if Thalassa is writing it, I’m on it.

There is so much to uncover about this new fantasy romance about a witch that is kicking off a brand-new series.

If you love fantasy, witch romances or just Thalassa’s writing, don’t miss this new romance in 2023!

Related: Best Witch Romance Books , Best Fantasy Romance Books

Happy Place is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Second Chance Romance Releasing April 25, 2023

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.   They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.   Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade.   Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other.

Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts.

Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show.

After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

Emily Henry has this way with words and with creating amazing characters that it is a no-brainer that I would include her new romance book for 2023 on this list.

I’m not sure anyone can top Poppy and Alex for me, but I hope that Harriet and Wyn do or come close.

You can check out the first sneak-peak of this new romance here which will definitely be having you one-click this title this year. Check out my review of Happy Place .

Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books , Emily Henry Books in Order

New Romance Books Coming in May 2023

Fourth Wing is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Fantasy Romance Releasing May 2, 2023

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history.

Now, the commanding general―also known as her tough-as-talons mother―has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders. But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, the end of your life is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them. With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would take out Violet to better their own chances of success.

The rest would end her just for being her mother’s daughter―like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant. She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise. Yet, with every day that passes, the battle outside grows more dangerous, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the ledger of those lost continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret. This fantasy romance sounds SO good! I’m ALL about the dragons in this one and the dog-eat-dog world of Basgiath College.

This new romance book has a distinct enemies-to-lovers vibe and I cannot wait.

Related: Best Enemies to Lovers Fantasy Romance Books

Meet Me At the Lake is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Second Chance Romance Releasing May 2, 2023

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in the city.

The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t. At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort—something she vowed never to do.

The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin. She needs a plan—a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips.

Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago.

Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.  But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?

So full disclosure, I didn’t finish Fortune’s 2022 popular hit, Every Summer After , because I saw where it was leading and I didn’t like that kind of storyline.

BUT, this new romance book I can totally get behind. I love romances where a connection is made in just one day but then it’s years later when we finally see the characters make their way back to one another.

I really hope I’m not devasted by what Will is hiding and that this book turns out to be one of my favorite romance novels for 2023.

Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books

Practice Makes Perfect is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams

Fake Relationship Romance Releasing May 2, 2023

Annie Walker is on a quest to find her perfect match – someone who nicely compliments her happy, quiet life running her flower shop in Rome, Kentucky.

Unfortunately, she worries her goal might be too far out of reach when she overhears her date saying she is ‘so unbelievably boring’.

Is it too late to become flirtatious and fun like the leading ladies in her favorite romance movies? Maybe she only needs a little practice…and Annie has the perfect person in mind to become her tutor: Will Griffin. Will – the flirtatious, tattooed, and absolutely gorgeous bodyguard – is temporarily back in Rome, providing security for Amelia Rose as excitement grows for her upcoming marriage to Noah Walker.

Will wants no part in changing the sweet and lovely Annie, but he can’t bring himself to say no to her request, so he officially agrees to teach her how to be the next leading lady of Rome, Kentucky, and find the love of her life-even if he doesn’t believe in love himself.

Between faking a relationship so the meddling town doesn’t catch on to what’s really happening on their practice dates, and tutoring lessons that convince Annie to add passion to her list of must-haves in a mate, it doesn’t take long for the lines of their friendship to blur.

I have not yet read Adams’ prior romance, When in Rome , but I don’t think that’s an issue before reading this fake relationship romance featuring a hot bodyguard .

I mean Adams had me at tattooed hottie who’s willing to teach Annie a thing or two about lust and passion. It’s always fun when the quiet ones let loose.

Sign me up for this new romance of 2023!

Related: Best Relationship Coach Romance Books , Best Fake Relationship Romance Books

The True Love Experiment is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren

Contemporary Romance Releasing May 16, 2023 Felicity “Fizzy” Chen is lost. Sure, she’s got an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist with a slew of bestsellers under her belt, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t been practicing what she’s preached. Fizzy hasn’t ever really been in love. Lust? Definitely. But that swoon-worthy, can’t-stop-thinking-about-him, all-encompassing feeling? Nope. Nothing. What happens when the optimism she’s spent her career encouraging in readers starts to feel like a lie? Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father, loves his work in large part because it allows him to live near his daughter.

But when his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting his job on the line, Connor is out of his element.

Desperate to find his romantic lead, a chance run-in with an exasperated Fizzy offers Connor the perfect solution.

What if he could show the queen of romance herself falling head-over-heels for all the world to see? Fizzy gives him a hard pass—unless he agrees to cast the contestants according to a list of romance archetypes.

When he says yes, and production on The True Love Experiment begins, Connor wonders if that perfect match will ever be in the cue cards for him, too.

Christina Lauren have wowed me with so many of their romance novels that it’s a given that their latest release will make it on this list. I just can’t get enough of their books because each one is so unique!

I adore romance books about romance novelists but I also like the reality TV show angle to this one -especially with an eye to romance archetypes. I cannot wait to see what they come up with.

I’m also eager for the woman who writes about love to finally find it for herself. This is a must-read romance for 2023 in my book.

New Romance Books Coming in June 2023

Love Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Enemies to Lovers Romance Releasing June 13, 2023

The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure.

By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.   Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere.

And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.   Elsie is prepared for an all-out battle of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him?

Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?

I’m so excited that Ali Hazelwood is writing another enemies-to-lovers romance because she wrote that trope so well in The Love Hypothesis .

I can identify with Elsie who has two different “day jobs” and I love that one of hers is serving as a fake girlfriend. I want to hear some horror stories about that job as well as see how it gets her in a pickle with Jack.

This looks to be a fun, new romance for 2023!

Related: Best Enemies to Lovers Books , Ali Hazelwood Books in Order

Business or Pleasure is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Soloman

Relationship Coach Romance Releasing June 20, 2023

Chandler Cohen has never felt more like the ghost in “ghostwriter” until she attends a signing for a book she wrote—and the author doesn’t even recognize her.

The evening turns more promising when she meets a charming man at the bar and immediately connects with him.

But when all their tension culminates in a spectacularly awkward hookup, she decides this is one night better off forgotten.   Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Her next project is ghostwriting a memoir for Finn Walsh, a C-list actor best known for playing a lovable nerd on a cult classic werewolf show who now makes a living appearing at fan conventions across the country.

Chandler knows him better from their one-night stand of hilarious mishaps.   Chandler’s determined to keep their partnership as professional as possible, but when she admits to Finn their night together wasn’t as mind-blowing as he thought it was, he’s distraught.

He intrigues her enough that they strike a deal: when they’re not working on his book, Chandler will school Finn in the art of satisfaction.

As they grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, they must figure out which is more important, business or pleasure—or if there’s a way for them to have both.

This book sounds so amazing!! I adore books about writers AND I adore books that play on the relationship coach trope and this one incorporates both. Yippee!

I can only think of a few romance books where it’s the male lead who needs the instructional help in the bedroom and I’m all for another one.

Definitely add this new romance book release to your to-read list in 2023 as I have no doubt that Soloman will write a great one.

Related: Best Relationship Coach Books

New Romance Books Coming in July 2023

The Duchess Effect is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

The Duchess Effect by Tracey Livesay

Royal Romance Releasing July 11, 2023

Against all odds, American rapper, Danielle “Duchess” Nelson and brilliant reclusive royal Prince Jameson have fallen in love!

They’ve decided to take their relationship public and find a way to make their two worlds coexist. On their terms.

Unfortunately, falling in love was the easy part as their increasing popularity comes with a price.

Dani looks forward to signing the deal with a major cosmetics company but the company wants to take advantage of their fame and involve Jameson in Mela-Skin’s marketing campaign.

After stepping up for the royal family, Jameson yearns to retreat back into academia. But he’s fired when his university raises concerns about his newfound notoriety.

And suddenly the queen, initially against the relationship, backtracks, seeing their cooperation when the family is embroiled in yet another scandal.

Dani and Jameson truly love each other. But under the scrutiny of the international spotlight, when the doubts, compromises, and secrets begin to take their toll, will their love be enough?

I enjoyed Livesay’s most anticipated 2021 release ,  American Royalty , so of course I’m looking forward to reading the sequel to get more of Duchess and Prince Jameson.

I adore romance novels that follow couples AFTER they initially get together and it looks like Duchess and Prince Jameson have their work cut out for themselves given the media attention and lack of support from the Crown.

And can we just take a moment to appreciate this book cover?! OMG, it’s gorgeous!

Related: Best Royal Romance Books

Hello Stranger is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Contemporary Romance Releasing July 11, 2023

Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break.

Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition.

It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say.

Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces. As she struggles to cope—and hang onto her artistic dreams—she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby.

That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date.

But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness. Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building.

He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more? As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places—and people— you least expect.

Ok, wow, we’ve got a lot to digest in this new romance book but I trust Center to bring it all together and give me all the feels in the process.

I’m intrigued by Sadie’s post-operative condition and how not being able to see faces influences her feelings for not one but two men.

We base so much on the physical but what happens when that is taken out of the love equation? I can’t wait to find out in Sadie’s case.

A Soul of Ash and Blood is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

A Soul of Ash and Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Fantasy Romance Releasing July 18, 2023

Jennifer L. Armentrout revisits the first novel in her phenomenal Blood and Ash series. But this time…it’s Hawke’s turn to tell the story. Filled with new scenes, insights, and a few surprises, A Soul of Ash and Blood is a must-read for fans of From Blood and Ash and the love story of Poppy and Hawke.

OMG, OMG, OMG!!! I love Armentrout’s From Blood and Ash series so much and I am so excited that she’s taking us back to the very beginning and giving us Hawke’s point of view. Gah!

Poppy and Hawke’s connection is so epic, wonderful, hot….it’s all the adjectives and this should be a must-read for any reader who’s fallen for this series as hard as I have.

Related: Best Romance Series to Binge Read , Best Fantasy Romance Books

The Summer Girl is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

The Summer Girl by Elle Kennedy

Friends to Lovers Romance Releasing July 18, 2023

College student Cassie Soul hasn’t spent an entire summer in Avalon Bay in years, not since her parents divorced and her mother spitefully whisked her away to Boston.

Now that her grandmother is selling the boardwalk hotel that’s been in their family for five decades, Cassie returns to the quaint beach town, excited to spend time with family, ring in her twenty-first birthday…and maybe find herself a summer fling.

She’s ready for breathless, heart-pounding passion. And on her first night in town, she finds the perfect candidate: Tate Bartlett, Avalon Bay’s fun-loving golden boy. Tate, sailing instructor and lovable player, is no stranger to flings. In fact, he’s always down for a good time. But…maybe not this time?

The moment he meets Cassie, he knows she’s not the girl you play games with, and the last thing he wants to do is risk breaking her heart. So, despite his attraction to her, he turns her down.

But that awkward hiccup doesn’t stop a friendship from developing between the two. Tate even helps Cassie find that fling she’s so set on finding. Only it isn’t long before he’s wondering if he made a huge mistake. As Cassie and Tate walk the line between friends and lovers, they’re about to discover that their situation is the least complicated part of this equation. Because Avalon Bay is full of secrets—and their relationship might not survive when one secret in particular comes to light.

Elle Kennedy is my go-to new adult romance writer and I’m loving the different characters in her Avalon Bay series .

Tate already piqued my interest in Bad Girl Reputation , and I cannot wait to see how he navigates his feelings for Cassie in this one.

This will make a great summer read for 2023 so check it out!

Related: Best Friends to Lover Romance Books

New Romance Books Coming in August 2023

Kiss the Girl is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

Kiss the Girl by Zoraida Cordova

Rock Star Romance Releasing August 1, 2023 Ariel del Mar is one of the most famous singers in the world. She and her sisters―together, known as the band Siren Seven―have been a pop culture phenomenon since they were kids.

On stage, wearing her iconic red wig and sequined costumes, staring out at a sea of fans, is where she shines. Anyone would think she’s the girl who has everything. But lately, she wants more.

Siren Seven is wrapping up their farewell tour, and Ariel can’t wait to spend the summer just living a normal life―part of a world she’s only ever seen from the outside.

But her father, the head of Atlantica Records, has other plans: begin her breakout solo career immediately, starting with a splashy announcement on a morning talk show. The night before, Ariel and her sisters sneak out of their Manhattan penthouse for a night of incognito fun at a rock concert in Brooklyn.

It’s there that Ariel crosses paths with Eric Reyes, dreamy lead singer of an up-and-coming band.

Unaware of her true identity, Eric spontaneously invites her on the road for the summer. And for the first time in her life, Ariel disobeys her father―and goes with him. Caught between the world she longs for and the one she’s left behind, can Ariel follow her dreams, fall in love, and, somehow, find her own voice?

First off, I have to say that whoever wrote this book blurb is AMAZING. I mean the number of connections to The Little Mermaid is just spot on and only makes me want to read this modern take the classic tale more.

I love that Disney knows that romance is where it’s at and therefore launched its Meant to Be Collection of modern romance books based on their iconic movies.

I am so excited that Cordova made Ariel and Eric rock stars and cannot wait to see what else she has in store for this story and what role her “Ursala” character will play.

Related: Best Rock Star Romance Books

From Cold War With Love is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

From Cold World, With Love by Alicia Thompson

Office Romance Releasing August 1, 2023

Lauren Fox is the bookkeeper for Cold World, a tourist destination that’s always a winter wonderland despite being located in humid Orlando, Florida.

Sure, it’s ranked way below any of the trademarked amusement parks and maybe foot traffic could be better. But it’s a fun place to work, even if “fun” isn’t exactly Lauren’s middle name.  Her coworker Asa Williamson, on the other hand, is all about finding ways to enliven his days at Cold World—whether that means organizing the Secret Santa or teasing Lauren. 

When the owner asks Lauren and Asa to propose something to raise more revenue, their rivalry heats up as they compete to come up with the best idea.

But the situation is more dire than they thought, and it might take these polar opposites working together to save the day.

If Asa thought Lauren didn’t know how to enjoy herself, he’s surprised by how much he enjoys spending time together. And if Lauren thought Asa wasn’t serious about anything, she’s surprised by how seriously he seems to take her.  As Lauren and Asa work to save their beloved wintery spot, they realize the real attraction might be the heat generating between them.

There are so many tropes to love in this new romance for 2023 which is why it made my list.

You’ve got office romance, opposites attract, grumpy sunshine and a bit of enemies to lovers. Whew – I’m down for them all!

Related: Best Office Romance Books , Best Grumpy Sunshine Books

The Love Plot is one of the most anticipated, new romance book releases of 2023. See the entire list of must-read new romance books for 2023 on romance book blog, She Reads Romance Books.

The Love Plot by Samantha Young

Fake Relationship Romance Releasing August 29, 2023 Star Shine Meadows is all about freedom, thanks to the hippie parents who raised her.

Juggling her jobs as a professional costume character actor and a line sitter, she believes in no expectations, no stressful ambitions, and no-strings-attached relationships.

So when she meets a birthday girl’s grumpy uncle while working a princess party, she can’t help but needle him. She’ll never see him again, and honestly, he’s pretty hot. Rafe Whitman may be a veterinarian with a great bedside manner, but that doesn’t mean his patience extends to anyone with opposable thumbs.

His family will not stop nagging him about finding “the one,” so when he runs into obnoxiously cheery Star again, he makes her an offer: He’ll pay her more than she would make doing her odd jobs if she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at family gatherings.

She can stop sitting in line waiting for someone else’s new phone, and he’ll get his family off his back. When the tension between them heats to a breaking point, Star’s desire for “no strings” is tested against Rafe’s staunch stability. They say opposites attract, after all…

Samantha Young is bringing all the tropes in this one too! Grumpy sunshine , opposites attract, fake relationship – this is going to be so good.

Sometimes it seems that people with opposite personalities are just too opposite to find common ground let alone love, but if this hippie and grump can do it then I want to enjoy the ride along with them.

Related: Best Fake Relationship Romance Books , Best Romcom Books

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2 thoughts on “30 New Romance Books Coming in 2023 That Should Be on Your TBR List”

Ali Hazelwood did not write the Spanish Love Deception, that was Elena Armas. Ali wrote the equally good The Love Hypothesis. I loved them both!

haha, thank you! I meant The Love Hypothesis. Both great books! 🙂

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30 Best Romance Novels for Adults

Romance books probably make up 40% of my brain at this point because of the love I have for them. Ever since I started reading adult romance novels, I have been changed. The romance genre slowly became my favourite, surpassing my love for fantasy.

It doesn't matter what you're in the mood for or what emotion you're going through, romance books have you covered. There is always a great book to read. And that is the energy I'm bringing to this list.

This is a list of the best romance novels for adults including several kinds of romances. No matter what you're looking for, you will find a recommendation here. It is also a great place to start if you are new to adult romance.

Steam levels explanation: 🔥 None – no explicit scenes. 🔥 Low – one or two steamy scenes. 🔥 Average – few detailed explicit scenes. 🔥 High – good amount of/regular detailed steamy scenes.

1. The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary

2. marriage for one by ella maise, 3. the cybernetic tea shop by meredith katz, 4. drag me up by r. m. virtues, 5. the bromance book club by lyssa kay adams, 6. the seven husbands of evelyn hugo by taylor jenkins reid, 7. juniper hill by devney perry, 8. you deserve each other by sarah hogle, 9. true love by jude deveraux, 10. battle royal by lucy parker, 11. the love game by emma hart, 12. where rainbows end by cecelia ahern, 13. josh and hazel's guide to not dating by cecelia ahern, 14. the predator by runyx, 15. long shot by kennedy ryan, 16. the forever night stand by katie golding, 17. act your age, eve brown by talia hibbert, 18. smut by karina halle, 19. hold me by courtney milan, 20. boyfriend material by alexis hall, 21. the gravity of us by brittainy c. cherry, 22. something wonderful by judith mcnaught, 23. this is how you lose the time war by amal el-mohtar, max gladstone, 24. restore me by j. l. seegars, 25. heidi's guide to four letter words by tara sivec and andi ardnt, 26. let's talk about love by claire kann, 27. rafe: a buff male nanny by rebekah weatherspoon, 28. tempest by beverly jenkins, 29. gild by raven kennedy, 30. the kiss quotient by helen hoang, more romance novels for adults, want more adult romance book recommendations.

the flatshare book cover

Tiffy and Leon share a flat Tiffy and Leon share a bed Tiffy and Leon have never met…   Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.  But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

Quick selling points:

Steam level: Low.

Trigger warnings: Emotional abuse.

marriage for one book cover

Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You'd think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You'd think he must be madly in love.  Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You'd think I'd laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.  It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I'd imagined for myself.  I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.  It wasn't long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn't talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own.  One second he was no one. The next he became everything.  One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine.  One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.  After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?

Steam level: Average.

the cybernetic tea shop by meredith katz

Clara Gutierrez is a highly-skilled technician specializing in the popular 'Raise' AI companions. Her childhood in a migrant worker family has left her uncomfortable with lingering in any one place, so she sticks around just long enough to replenish her funds before she moves on, her only constant companion Joanie, a fierce, energetic Raise hummingbird. Sal is a fully autonomous robot, the creation of which was declared illegal ages earlier due to ethical concerns. She is older than the law, however, at best out of place in society and at worst hated. Her old master is long dead, but she continues to run the tea shop her master had owned, lost in memories of the past, slowly breaking down, and aiming to fulfill her master's dream for the shop. When Clara stops by Sal's shop for lunch, she doesn't expect to find a real robot there, let alone one who might need her help. But as they begin to spend time together and learn more about each other, they both start to wrestle with the concept of moving on…

Steam level: None.

Trigger warnings: Grief, vandalism.

drag me up book cover

They say he’s a myth... And Hades prefers it that way. He may do all the work, and Zeus may get all the credit, but at least it allows Hades to preserve the one thing he truly cares to have: his solitude. The mere mention of the Wraith of Khaos Falls is enough to keep order, and he is rarely forced to leave the shadows of Casino Asphodel. She belongs in the spotlight... And Persephone clawed her way out of Demeter’s shadow to reach it. Now she’s lead in Calliope’s Cirque production but not without great cost, and there is not enough money in the world to pay off the debt accrued for the simple mistake of trusting Zeus. Though it’s easier to ignore the bars when she still has room to fly. Landing a residency at the legendary Casino Asphodel is everything she trained for. Meeting a man she’d been convinced didn’t exist? She could never be prepared for that. Hades isn’t prepared for her either, but it’s soon evident they’re a force when together. He gives her a soft place to land, and she makes him want to reach for the stars. But when Zeus ups the stakes, they must be willing to go all in, even if it means coming down from the sky. Or stepping into the light.

Check out my review of Drag Me Up.

Steam level: High.

Trigger warnings: bomb blast, mentions of stalking/harassment, manipulative familial relationships, violence.

the bromance book club book cover

The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club. Nashville Legends' second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major-league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.  Welcome to the Bromance Book Club. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner-hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Trigger warnings: Bullying, emesis, fatphobia.

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse, cheating, homophobia, biphobia, alcoholism, mentions of suicide.

juniper hill by devney perry

Memphis Ward arrives in Quincy, Montana, on the fifth worst day of her life. She needs a shower. She needs a snack. She needs some sanity. Because moving across the country with her newborn baby is by far the craziest thing she’s ever done. But maybe it takes a little crazy to build a good life. If putting the past behind her requires a thousand miles and a new town, she’ll do it if it means a better future for her son. Even if it requires setting aside the glamour of her former life. Even if it requires working as a housekeeper at The Eloise Inn and living in an apartment above a garage. It’s there, on the fifth worst day of her life, that she meets the handsomest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Knox Eden is a beautiful, sinful dream, a chef and her temporary landlord. With his sharp, stubbled jaw and tattooed arms, he’s raw and rugged and everything she’s never had—and never will. Because after the first worst day of her life, Memphis learned a good life requires giving up on her dreams too. And a man like Knox Eden will only ever be a dream.

Trigger warnings: Threats, running away, kidnapping.

you deserve each other book cover

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut. Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They're preparing for their lavish wedding that's three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him. Naomi wants out, but there's a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare. But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they're finally being themselves--and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

Trigger warnings: Fatmisia & body shaming, toxic mother-daughter relationship, cheating mentioned.

true love book cover

Just as Alix Madsen is finishing up architectural school, Adelaide Kingsley dies and wills her, for one year, the use of a charming nineteenth-century Nantucket house. The elderly woman’s relationship to the Madsen family is a mystery to the spirited Alix—fresh from a romantic breakup—but for reasons of her own Alix accepts the quirky bequest, in part because it gives her time to plan her best friend’s storybook wedding. But unseen forces move behind the scenes, creaking Kingsley House’s ancient floorboards. It seems that Adelaide Kingsley had a rather specific task for Alix: to solve the strange disappearance of one of the Kingsley women, Valentina, more than two hundred years ago. If that wasn’t troubling enough, Alix must deal with the arrogant (and extremely good-looking) architect Jared Montgomery, who is living in the property’s guesthouse. Unbeknown to Alix, Jared has been charged with looking after her while she lives on the island—an easy task for him, considering the undeniable chemistry between the two. But Jared harbors secrets of his own, which, if revealed, may drive a wedge between the pair. With a glorious Nantucket wedding on the horizon, sparks fly, and the ghosts of the past begin to reveal themselves—some of them literally. Finding their lives inextricably entwined with the turbulent fortunes of their ancestors, Alix and Jared discover that only by righting the wrongs of the past can they hope to be together.

Trigger warnings: Death.

battle royal book cover

Ready… Four years ago, Sylvie Fairchild charmed the world as a contestant on the hit baking show, Operation Cake. Her ingenious, colorful creations captivated viewers and intrigued all but one of the judges, Dominic De Vere, the hottest pastry chef in London. When her glittery unicorn cake went spectacularly sideways, Dominic was quick to vote her off the show. Since then, Sylvie has managed to use her fame to help fulfill her dream of opening a bakery, Sugar Fair. The toast of Instagram, Sugar Fair has captured the attention of the Operation Cake producers…and a princess. Set… Dominic is His Majesty the King’s favorite baker, the go-to for sweet-toothed A-List celebrities, and a veritable British institution. He’s brilliant, talented, hard-working. And an icy, starchy grouch. Learning that the irksome Sylvie will be joining him on the Operation Cake judging panel is enough to make the famously dour baker even more grim. Her fantastical baking is only slightly more troublesome than the fact that he can’t stop thinking about her pink-streaked hair and irrepressible dimple. Match… When Dominic and Sylvie learn they will be fighting for the once in a lifetime opportunity to bake a cake for the upcoming wedding of Princess Rose, the flour begins to fly as they’re both determined to come out on top. The bride adores Sylvie’s quirky style. The palace wants Dominic’s classic perfection. In this royal battle, can there be room for two?

the love game by emma chase

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him. Her challenge? Play the player. Until life changes the rules of the game. Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he's everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, why doesn't she say no? She doesn't know either. Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her - and he'd do anything to have her, hence why he's agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it's the only way he'll get what he wants. Sex. But, as Braden discovers, there's more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined - and he can't help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes. Maddie finds Braden isn't just a walking erection - he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don't exactly hurt. That means trouble - but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren't so alike anymore. And maybe, just maybe, they're exactly what each other needs.

where rainbows end book cover

From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family move from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good. Rosie's lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland. Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles - or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love?

josh and hazel's guide to not dating book cover

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun. Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

the predator by RuNyx book cover

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object in the field of death? In the dark underbelly of the mob, Tristan Caine has been an anomaly. As the only non-blooded member in the high circle of the Tenebrae Outfit, he is an enigma to all - his skills unparalleled, his morality questionable, and his motives unknown. He is lethal and he knows it.  As does Morana Vitalio, the genius extraordinaire daughter of the rival family. What Caine does with weapons, Morana does with computers. When a twenty-year old mystery resurfaces, Morana infiltrates Caine's house, intent on killing him, unaware of a tie that binds them together. Hate, heat, and history clash together with unexpected sparks.  But something bigger, something worse is happening in their world. And despite their animosity, only they can fight it down.

long shot book cover

A Standalone FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA... Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl? You don't. My fairy tale is upside down. A happily never after. I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud. I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold. Now there's a new player in the game, August West.  One of the NBA's brightest stars. Fine. Forbidden.  He wants me. I want him. But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go. *Some aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Trigger warnings: Violent domestic abuse, emotional manipulation, sexual assault, weapons, rape.

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the forever night stand book cover

It's no fun being a good girl... Until you find the perfect bad boy. Luke Kelly is a legend in the music industry. The Grammy-winning producer has amassed four gold records, a fortune that could buy and sell most of Malibu, and an arsenal of luxury sex toys. But he can’t seem to find a relationship that goes more than skin deep.  Ari Reed has life color-coded on her bullet planner. For the book publicist, risks are calculated, and one-night stands happen absolutely never. But when a steamy stumble into Luke’s bedroom lasts an entire weekend, the last thing she expects is him asking her to stay... Forever.

Trigger warnings: Mention of death of a parent.

act your age, eve brown book cover

In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally. Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding ( someone  had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It's time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she's not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car— supposedly  by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to  help . Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

Trigger warnings: Ableism, car accident, child neglect (past), parental abandonment (past).

smut by karina halle book cover

What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets? All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree, and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career. What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project, but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s a brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also may find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there. When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot, but at least there’s make-up sex now. But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed? Or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

hold me by courtney milan

Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn’t know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can’t afford. He’s done his best to keep her at arm’s length, and he’s succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she’s even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn’t sent so much as a picture to the commenter she’s interacted with for eighteen months—not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day, they’ll meet and see what happens. But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria’s commenter. They’ve already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they’ve been secretly falling in love…

Trigger warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, death of a sibling, suicide, transphobia.

boyfriend material book cover

Wanted: One (fake) boyfriend Practically perfect in every way Luc O'Donnell is tangentially--and reluctantly--famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he's never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad's making a comeback, Luc's back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything. To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship...and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He's a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he's never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened. But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that's when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don't ever want to let them go.

the gravity of us by brittainy c. cherry book cover

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another. I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed. Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another. Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend. Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever. Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

Trigger warnings: grief.

something wonderful book cover

The tempestuous marriage of Alexandra Lawrence, an innocent country girl, and Jordan Townsende, the rich and powerful Duke of Hawthorne, is about to face its ultimate test of tender loyalty. Swept into the endlessly fascinating world of London society, free-spirited Alexandra becomes ensnared in a tangled web of jealousy and revenge, stormy pride and overwhelming passion. But behind her husband's cold, arrogant mask, there lives a tender, vital, sensual man...the man Alexandra married. Now, she will fight for his very life...and the rapturous bond they alone can share.

this is how you lose the time war book cover

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads:  Burn before reading.  Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There's still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.

Read my review of This is How You Lose the Time War.

Trigger warnings: Animal killing, gore, rape (mentioned), self-harm, suicide (mentioned), torture, war/violence.

Restore Me by J. L. Seegars book cover

Sloane Dominic Alexander is my late husband's best friend and the last man on Earth that I should want. He's arrogant, dismissive, and up until recently has only ever used those dark eyes of his to look right through me. For the last ten years, he's taken a sick pleasure in making me feel paper thin, like my entire existence is of no consequence to him at all. But now, things are different. After one drunken night, and a surprisingly sexy act of heroism, he's started to be...nice. Treating me like something other than the physical embodiment of his annoyance, which would be nice if it didn't make me feel all the things I swore to never feel for another man after my husband died. Dominic Sloane Kent is going to be my undoing. What's worse: I think I'm going to enjoy being unravelled by the gold flecks in her hazel eyes and the adorable little way she scrunches her nose up when we're arguing, which we've done a lot of over the past decade. She thinks it's because I hate her, and I've always let her think that because the alternative is...untenable. But something is changing between us, and I don't know how to stop myself from breaking every promise I've ever made to myself regarding my best friend's wife. Promises that include never telling her that there's a long list of things I feel about her, but hate isn't one of them.

Trigger warnings: Grief.

Read my review of Restore Me by J. L. Seegars.

Heidi's Guide to Four Letter Words book cover

Nothing good ever comes from drinking a box of wine alone. So when I decided to entertain my drunken self by setting up some hand-me-down podcasting equipment and reading the steamy parts from romance novels, I never thought anyone would actually listen. The fact that I admitted my huge crush on my sexy next door neighbor made the whole thing even more mortifying. But sometimes life surprises you, and that’s how my podcast, Heidi’s Discount Erotica, was born. Now I, Heidi Larsen, a sweet former kindergarten teacher in Waconia, Minnesota, lead a scandalous double life reading erotic novels to the listening world. And with each episode, I find myself embracing my new alter ego more and more. Now I’m starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin and do things I never would have dreamed of - like kissing my neighbor. Look out, Waconia, because Heidi’s on the loose! She’s in your ears, in your hearts, and down your pants...wait, that didn’t sound as good as it did in my head. Well, you get the picture, don’tcha know!

Read my review of Heidi's Guide to Four Letter Words.

let's talk about love book cover

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting--working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating--no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done. But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!). When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

Trigger warnings: Ableist language, alcohol, acephobia, anxiety, assault, bullying, manipulation, microagressions, racism, sexism, sexual harrassment.

rafe by rebekah weatherspoon

All Dr. Sloan Copeland needed was someone to watch her kids. What she found was the man of her dreams… After a nasty divorce and a thousand mile move, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her twin daughters are finally getting the hang of their new life in Los Angeles. When their live-in nanny bails with no warning, Sloan is left scrambling to find a competent caretaker to wrangle her smart, sensitive girls. Nothing less will do. Enter Rafe Whitcomb. He's all of those things, not to mention good-natured and one heck of a whiz in the kitchen. He's also tall, and handsome, and bearded, and ripped, and tatted, wrist to neck.  It doesn't take long for the Copelands to invite Rafe into their home. Just as quickly, both Sloan and Rafe find themselves succumbing to a heady mutual attraction, neither of them wants to deny. With every minute they spend under the same roof, this working mom can't help but wonder if Rafe can handle all her needs...

Trigger warnings: Emotionally abusive relationship recounted, physical assault.

tempest by beverly jenkins book cover

What kind of mail-order bride greets her intended with a bullet instead of a kiss? One like Regan Carmichael—an independent spirit equally at home in denims and dresses. Shooting Dr. Colton Lee in the shoulder is an honest error, but soon Regan wonders if her entire plan to marry a man she’s never met is a mistake. Colton, who buried his heart along with his first wife, insists he only wants someone to care for his daughter. Yet Regan is drawn to the unmistakable desire in his gaze. Regan’s far from the docile bride Colton was expecting. Still, few women would brave the wilds of Wyoming Territory for an uncertain future with a widower and his child. The thought of having a bold, forthright woman like Regan in his life—and in his arms—begins to inspire a new dream. And despite his family’s disapproval and an unseen enemy, he’ll risk all to make this match a real union of body and soul.

Trigger warnings: Shooting, grief, racism, sexism.

Gild by Raven Kennedy book cover

The fae abandoned this world to us. And the ones with power rule. Gold. Gold floors, gold walls, gold furniture, gold clothes. In Highbell, in the castle built into the frozen mountains, everything is made of gold. Even me. King Midas rescued me. Dug me out of the slums and placed me on a pedestal. I’m called his precious. His favored. I’m the woman he Gold-Touched to show everyone that I belong to him. To show how powerful he is. He gave me protection, and I gave him my heart. And even though I don’t leave the confines of the palace, I’m safe. Until war comes to the kingdom and a deal is struck. Suddenly, my trust is broken. My love is challenged. And I realize that everything I thought I knew about Midas might be wrong. Because these bars I’m kept in, no matter how gilded, are still just a cage. But the monsters on the other side might make me wish I’d never left. The myth of King Midas reimagined. This compelling adult fantasy series is as addictive as it is unexpected. With romance, intrigue, and danger, the gilded world of Orea will grip you from the very first page.

Trigger warnings: graphic violence, captivity, kidnapping, non-consensual sex (rape).

the kiss quotient book cover

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position... Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

Trigger warnings: Ableism (including Internal), anxiety, emotional abuse, rape, profanity, sexism, sexual assault, slut shaming, stalking (mentioned).

Listen, it was SO HARD for me to stop the list at 30. So I'm sneaking in a few more adult romance recommendations as a bonus.

Check out my other romance book lists!

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Are you a romance book lover or are you to romance? Do you have any favourite tropes or plot devices? Are you going to read any of the books that I mentioned above? Do you have any romance novels for adults to add to this list? Tell me in the comments!

stay wordy, Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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The 25 Best Erotic Novels to Curl Up With

Spice up your to-read list.

selection of the best erotic novels including Call Me By Your Name and Forever

Thanks to TikTok’s community of book lovers, a.k.a. BookTok, erotic novels have gone mainstream. Readers, especially fans of spicy stories, have taken to the platform to share their new favorite BDSM books and discuss fan theories (you may even run into smutty character fan art). If BookTok’s spicy obsession has proved anything, it's that flipping through several hundred pages of sexy prose is fun and nothing to be embarrassed about. So, please come (no pun intended) with us into a whole new world of erotic novels with stunning sex. 

Erotica often gets labeled a "guilty pleasure," and while, I mean, yes—there are many campy books to read, some of which are on this list—there are plenty of erotic novels that overlap with genre and literary fiction. Some of these books have inspired Golden Globe-nominated shows, after all (hi, Outlander !). In other words, erotic novels are fun, they're sexy, and they can be prestigious. I mean, where else could you find hot billionaires, rugged war heroes, professors that don't mind giving you a "D" (jokes!), or actors who are just as hot on the screen as they are off? Nowhere but NSFW stories! 

Whether you’re a newbie looking to dip your feet into one of the hottest genres on the planet, or a returning reader in search of a new title to pore over, this list has something hot for everyone. Because everyone has a different comfort level on the subject, we’ve arranged this list according to spice level: Mild, meaning plot-driven stories with a few sex scenes thrown in; Medium, a happy middle ground between plot and sex; and Hot, the steamiest of stories for when you couldn’t care less about what actually happens. So without further ado, here are some of the best erotic novels that will leave you seriously blushing and maybe, just maybe, needing a cold shower afterward.

Mild-Level Erotic Novels

These are the kind of books that make for the perfect introduction into erotica. These books either have plenty of PG-rated (compared to the rest of the stories on this list) smut, or have less than a handful of sexy scenes. The sex scenes may even be of the fade-to-black type, which leaves all the steaminess to your imagination. All in all, though, each erotic novel below is filled with thoughtful prose and a great love story that will make your heart flutter. 

The year is 1497, and Scottish Jennifer Merrick finds herself agreeing to marry a much older man to please her father. But that never happens, because Jennifer and her step-sister Brenna are taken by Englishman Lord Royce Westmoreland (known as the Black Wolf) as a hostage. They should be enemies, but something keeps drawing them closer.

A hot professor by the name of Gabriel Emerson falls in love with his graduate student Julia Mitchell, even though it's forbidden. (Does this trope ever get old? The answer is no.) Hardcore fans deem it as the professor and student version of  Fifty Shades of Grey , albeit with a lot less sex scenes, so you know we had to spread the word. 

To quote Roxane Gay's blurb, "This book truly is as charming as it is sexy." And not just because of the bedroom scenes (of which there are many, but lean on the "fade to black" kind), but because of the nuance with which the love story—between a black woman and white man who meet in an elevator—is told.

Where would this list be without a historical romance book ? Isolde Ophelia Goodnight (yes, that's her name) is a 26-year-old woman who has never been kissed. Deciding that there is no such thing as fairy tales, she decides to give up love, but life has a couple of surprises for her. Let's just say, it all starts with a Duke and an empty castle. 

Call Me by Your Name is so much more than an "erotic novel" (though there's plenty of eroticism). It's a coming-of-age story filled with beautiful prose and, more than that, it's a reflection on the all-consuming power of love and attraction. The movie is great, but the book is a masterpiece.

Arguably the best thing about the Netflix series  Bridgerton  was how it started out like a lush, innocent romp through estates and high society and marriageable men and women and then, out of now, BAM! Some of the steamiest sex scenes we've ever seen on TV. So why not read the series of Bridgerton books that inspired those scenes, and start here:  The Duke and I  is about a naïve young woman who gets married off to a tempestuous Duke who loves her and, in return, teaches her the ways of love.

What is it about stories that revolve around sex and Paris? Two great tastes that go great together. Here, a moody Russian artist in 1920s Paris is in pursuit of inspiration and finds it in a gorgeous young American visiting the city. The two women have a hot and heavy romance, and the resulting art from her new muse pushes the artist to creative heights. But a looming world war and a stock market crash threaten to cut the party short. 

Best-selling erotica novelist Eva meets reclusive literary author Shane meet at an event and sparks fly. Little does their literary circle know, though, that the two previously spent one sexy week together during their teenage years. Now as adults, their chemistry is hotter than ever but Eva isn’t sure she can trust Shane after her teen heartbreak.  

This classic love story from Judy Blume (yes,  Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret  and  Superfudge  Judy Blume) is a raw coming-of-age story about first love, complete with all of the awkward and beautiful sexual moments that come with it.

Medium-Level Erotic Novels

You can think of these medium-level spice stories as the bridge between sexy romance novels and full-on smut. In each of these erotic novels, there’s a healthy balance between plot and sex. Here, spicy scenes don’t carry the story, but they certainly don’t hurt it either. If you’re like me and love an amazing story and characters mixed with a generous amount of smut, these are the books for you.  

Stella Lane, who's on the autism spectrum, wants to get better at all things physical so she can find the husband her parents expect her to have. Since it's the 21st century, she hires escort Michael Phan, a Vietnamese and Swedish sex god of sorts who agrees to help Stella out. We're not one for spoilers, but the steaminess of this book will definitely fog up some windows.

Actress Caidence Harris has just landed a role in a new police drama and to say she's thrilled is an understatement, especially when she gets to work with mega A-lister Robyn Ward. Caidence wants to be more than just friends with her co-star, but Robyn doesn't seem to want the same...or so Caidence thought.

If you thought Outlander the show was sexy, you have no idea what's coming. The  Outlander  novels are about a time-traveling nurse who finds herself in 18th-century Scotland, where she falls for a Highlander. The catch? She's definitely married and her husband is living in the future.

This book had me at " Schitt's Creek- inspired rom-com. " It follows Hollywood socialite Piper whose out-of-control partying lands her in prison and subsequently cut off financially by her father. He ships her and her sister off to Washington, where she meets a sexy, surly fisherman named Brendan. He thinks she won't last in their small coastal town for more than a week, and she's determined to prove him wrong. If you're a fan of the "grumpy guy meets sunshine girl," you're going to want to pick this one up. 

TikTok (and myself) are obsessed with the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, but to label it as pure smut would be a huge discredit to Maas's incredible storytelling, world-building, and character development. The fourth installment focuses on the eldest Acheron sister, Nesta, who, let's just say has turned cold since the events of the last few books, and Cassian, the Fae general who may be the only one who can thaw her icy attitude. This book is definitely the steamiest of the series so far with plenty of hot-as-hell sex scenes, but its story is so much more than that. Hence why we've given it a "Medium" rating.  

Hot-Level Erotic Novels

Be prepared to get all hot and bothered while reading these books. These are the type of stories not for the faint of heart—books where any kind of plot takes the backseat to intense, spicy sex. They explore all kinds of fantasies and kinks with language that would make your grandma faint. We wouldn’t blame you if you were a bit too embarrassed to pull these out on your subway ride…or if you read them with one hand (wink, wink).  

We're talking three wealthy brothers (Gabe, Jace, and Ash) who can get anything and anyone with the snap of their fingers—except Mia Crestwell, their best friend's little sister. But, when they run into Crestwell and discover she's not the girl they used to know, all bets are off and it's game on. 

Get this: a psychologist goes on tour with one of the hottest bands in the world and has to keep it professional. As they travel across the country, she starts to fall for the lead singer, and one thing leads to another. Get ready to blush, like, a lot.  

Sexual fantasies are unique and individual and this is a book that understands that. Per Night Shift's Amazon description: "Your mission: In a sketchy and sexy world filled with tissues, gallons of lube , sex toys, tiger print, and swinger parties, help Taryn choose her way as she learns what happens in this small, unexpectedly kinky town. From butt plugs to cross-dressing truckers to being held-up at gunpoint over dildos , experience this fun and sexy journey along with Taryn, as she goes from shy and sweet to skilled and empowered—but how she gets there is up to you!" So. In. 

If you like your erotic fantasy with an extra dose of fantasy, the vampire-heavy Black Dagger Brotherhood series is can't-miss. The series is regularly name-dropped in lists of books with the hottest sex scenes and this  New York Times  best-selling series has 19 entries and counting to keep your blood flowing primarily below the waist.

Best-selling author Sylvia Day's series takes you through a complicated web of 20-something Eva Tramell and billionaire Gideon Cross' love lives. Their relationship begins as an "office" romance—they work in the same building—and develops into an emotional roller coaster as both characters deal with past sexual abuse and secrets they've buried.

Alayna Withers is recovering from a "love disorder" that involves stalking charges (so many questions). She's finally getting her life together when she meets her new boss—a dashing man who could cause Alayna to revert to her old habits. Next book club read?

You know how we said there are plenty of campy reads in the erotica genre? This one definitely falls into that category. In case you missed the premise during your TikTok scroll (BookTok is obsessed with this one!), it follows a group of women who have been abducted by big, blue, attractive (?) aliens who take them to their icy home planet. Am I embarrassed to have this on my to-read list? Yes, but I'm going to have a hell of time enjoying it. 

If you were weirdly obsessed with Greek mythology growing up (I blame the Percy Jackson series), this is the much more adult way to get your fix. Katee Robert, who writes some of BookTok's favorite fantasy romances, tackles the myth of Hades and Persophone in Neon Gods . Basically, this story puts a modern spin on the love story of the God of the underworld and the Goddess of spring with the addition of lots of sex, which means we'll be adding this to our carts immediately.  

Don't let the cutesy rom-com cover fool you. This book will introduce you to your new book boyfriend: Nate, captain of his town's hockey team who also happens to have an insanely dirty mouth. When Nate meets the hard-working figure skater Anastasia, sparks fly and the two find themselves stuck together in more ways than one. This one is an especially fun read when you're in need of a lighthearted, sexy romance. 

You know when a book has a content warning in its description, it's going to be seriously hot. This story follows Alex, a.k.a. a super hot alphahole with a tragic past. The only thing that can thaw his icy heart, of course, is his best friend's sister, Ava. This one has the makings of a classic smutty romance: a morally-gray male main character, a bed-sharing scene, and the opposites-attract trope. 

In my opinion, the enemies-to-lovers trope is the best trope in romances. There's something about a couple hating each other that turns into the fiercest chemistry. The characters of Restore Me definitely fall into that category. Sloane, a widow, suddenly starts to see her late husband's best friend in a new light after years of hating him. Meanwhile, Dominic has secretly been pining after Sloane the entire time. Eventually, these two collide in a hugely sexy way. 

Brooke Knappenberger is the Editorial Fellow at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.

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Nudity, but make it fashion.

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best new adult romance books

Best Romance Books 2022

There’s no better time to cozy up with swoony romance books than now, and with the holidays coming, it’s the perfect time to also gift romance to the hopeless romantic in your life. With paranormal romances, mythology as you’ve never seen it before, love in academia and the workplace, and romances that won’t leave your mind, our best romance books of 2022 are ten great books for romance fans!

The American Roommate Experiment: A Novel

The American Roommate Experiment: A Novel

Paperback $15.99 $18.00

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Elena Armas

In Stock Online

Did  The Spanish Love Deception  knock your socks off? Have you been waiting a couple of years for something new by Elena Armas? We have! Rosie and Lucas get their own spotlight this time around. For all your swoon-worthy anticipations, this book is for you. With love, of course. Lots of love.

Book Lovers

Book Lovers

Paperback $17.00

Emily Henry

With a summer of travel, self-discovery, sisterhood, and fellow publishing professionals surprisingly connecting after a rocky start, consider this your most swoon-worthy read of the season! Books, reading, book lovers and tsundoku are all words that send our hearts a flutter.

Court of the Vampire Queen (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Court of the Vampire Queen (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Paperback $14.99 $16.99

Katee Robert

That feeling when you can’t take your eyes off someone. That feeling transferred to reading a romance that features vampires. Need we say more? Look deeply as you turn the pages, and turn the pages, and turn the pages.

The Dead Romantics

The Dead Romantics

Ashley Poston

We swoon for a tale about the book world. How could we not? Look at the website you’re visiting! And, after dipping into Ashley Poston’s adult debut you will fall in love with this book as well. Poston’s got our number. We’ve got Poston’s  The Dead Romantics ; two perfect matches made for readers like you.

Drunk on Love

Drunk on Love

Paperback $13.99 $17.00

Jasmine Guillory

If you’ve been keeping score this year, then you’ll be delighted to see this is Jasmine Guillory’s SECOND novel in 2022! ( By The Book  wooed us in the Spring). What could be more delicious than a family that owns a winery? This book. As sweet as that first sip, or kiss, or both. We’re woozy.

It Starts with Us: A Novel

It Starts with Us: A Novel

Paperback $13.99 $17.99

Colleen Hoover

If every ending has a new beginning then here’s what you’ve been waiting for. In this exciting follow up to  It Ends With Us,  readers will be thrilled to get to hear from Atlas’s side of the story, just two years after the events of the epilogue of the beloved story. Alternating between Lily’s and Atlas’s perspective, get ready for yet another incredibly emotional read from Colleen Hoover.  

A Light in the Flame (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Flesh and Fire Series #2)

A Light in the Flame (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Flesh and Fire Series #2)

Hardcover $26.99 $31.99

Jennifer L. Armentrout

What was started in  A Shadow in the Ember  ignites in Jennifer Armentrout’s next Flesh and Fire series title. Get as close as you would like. While the book itself won’t burn, we can’t vouch for the read. And we mean that in a good way. Have fun!

Love on the Brain

Love on the Brain

Ali Hazelwood

Our reading glasses immediately steamed up after hearing about this follow-up to the 2021 hit  The Love Hypothesis . It’s flirty, fun and full of the side of academics they don’t teach you about in school. *Winking emoji*


Hardcover $20.99 $29.99

Nora Roberts

Chemistry between characters and people is tricky business. And yet, Nora Roberts has THE formula.

Queen of Myth and Monsters (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Adrian X Isolde Series #2)

Queen of Myth and Monsters (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Adrian X Isolde Series #2)

Paperback $14.99 $17.99

Scarlett St. Clair

Scarlett St. Clair introduced us to Adrian and Isolde in  King of Battle and Blood . You’ve been hungry for more of their story ever since. Danger, myths, monsters and insatiable romance awaits.

best new adult romance books

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The best contemporary romance novels, per goodreads and a ‘booktuber’, social links for victoria giardina.

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Best Contemporary Romance Books

Let’s be real — a lighthearted romance book paired with a beautifully illustrated cover is a divine duo.

That said, we rounded up the 36 best contemporary romance novels, according to what Goodreads exclusively shared with the New York Post and a ‘BookTuber.’

Steph Bohrer , a 21-year-old student at Arizona State University, has more than 215,000 subscribers on YouTube where she posts videos on book recommendations, buying books and even relating Taylor Swift songs to some of her favorite paperbacks and hardcovers .

“I started my YouTube during quarantine,” Bohrer told the The Post. “I was so bored, was reading so much and had nobody to talk about my books with. So, the new thing is to film yourself talking and people received the videos well.”

She’ll typically finish a new read in two days — sometimes in one sitting if she’s “really into it.”

“When I was younger, I was so anti-reading — I thought it was boring and I hated reading books for school,” she said. “I started reading on Wattpad on my phone, and then started reading young-adult romance books and started an excessive amount. Now, I can’t imagine not reading.”

Below, find the 36 best contemporary romance novel recommendations — including much-clamored-about books and unique titles with exceptional storylines. That’s right, no more hunting down titles or falling into a what-do-I-read slump.

With each book, there’s a brief explanation to skim and shop your next five-star rating.

Best Contemporary Romance Books of 2023, per Goodreads

1. “people we meet on vacation” by emily henry.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Sometimes, we need a cute vacation-themed romance to dive into. The relationship of Poppy and Alex is one of Goodreads’ most-read, and it’s about one trip away that changes everything.

“I read this book when I was in Hawaii and it’s about girl and boy best friends who go on vacation every year,” Bohrer adds. “You’re reading until you find out why they don’t talk anymore.”

2. “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

As one of our personal favorites, “The Love Hypothesis” has developed much acclaim for its professor-and-student trope, with a love for science that’s adored by academics. Not to mention, the witty banter and flirtatious scenes make this one a treat to read.

3. “The Spanish Love Deception” by Elena Armas

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

If we’re being honest, we’re in the middle of this read and are already obsessed. Not to mention, it’s one Goodreads and Bohrer recommend.

“This book is so fun and cute,” Bohrer adds. “It’s an enemies-to-lovers, wholesome read . The characters work together and she needs a date to a wedding, even though they don’t get along. The ‘fake dating’ slowly turns into a real relationship.”

4. “One Last Stop” by Casey McQuiston

"One Last Stop" by Casey McQuiston

A cherished rom-com, “One Last Stop” homes in on twenty-three-year-old who’s new to NYC and sees a gorgeous girl on a subway train. It’s a unique contemporary novel that’ll have you swooning in no time.

5. “It Happened One Summer” by Tessa Bailey

"It Happened One Summer" by Tessa Bailey

Piper, who’s deemed the “wild child” who drinks a bit too much champagne, falls into the lap of a small-town boy who couldn’t be more opposite of her when she’s prompted to run her late father’s dive bar. Steamy, sexy and fun, you’ll want to soar through these pages.

6. “The Ex Hex” by Erin Sterling

"The Ex Hex" by Erin Sterling

If you’re a lover of all things spooky and romantic, pick up “The Ex Hex.” It’s a lovey-dovey tale of Vivienne Jones, who casts a spell on her horrible ex-boyfriend. And then, it’s all mystery and magic from there.

7. “The Soulmate Equation” by Christina Lauren

"The Soulmate Equation" by Christina Lauren

As a statistics nerd, protagonist Jess Davis ends up hearing about GeneticAlly, a trending DNA-based matchmaking company which, after her friend urges her, is seemingly the answer to her single-ridden life. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, especially when she’s matched with someone to a 98% accuracy.

8. “Reminders of Him” by Colleen Hoover

"Reminders of Him" by Colleen Hoover

Meet Hoover’s newest book that everyone is talking about. It’s a story about a troubled young mother who tries to reconnect with her four-year-old daughter. And, interestingly, the only person who hasn’t shut the door on her is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner who has the few remaining ties to her daughter.

9. “Seven Days In June” by Tia Williams

"Seven Days In June" by Tia Williams

“Seven Days In June” made the cut as one of Reese’s Book Club picks and a Goodreads choice. A Brooklynite single mom and bestselling erotica writer unexpectedly meets Shane at a literary event. After spending one week crazy in love, it’s a story you won’t want to skip on to discover what happens next.

10. “Act Your Age, Eve Brown” by Talia Hibbert

"Act Your Age, Eve Brown" by Talia Hibbert

Cute and fit for any romance lover, “Act Your Age, Eve Brown” surrounds Eve, a certified hot-mess and Jacob, the owner of an understaffed bed and breakfast. When Eve tries to melt Jacob’s frosty exterior of stress and closed-off-ness, it becomes impeccably good.

Best Contemporary Romance Books of 2023, per a ‘BookTuber’:

1. “ the song of achilles” by madeline miller.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

“This is a Greek mythology retelling of the story of Achilles,” Bohrer said. “I wasn’t into Greek mythology at all but this book is so well written and it’s a romance about Patroclus and Achilles that’s accurate to the myth. It’s tragic but so good.”

2. “ Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

“It’s told in a past and present perspective of why this boy Miles is so anti-love,” she said. “It shows his first relationship in the past and a girl falling in love with him in the present. It’s a great story of everything that happened in his life and what changed him.”

Plus, Colleen Hoover is her favorite author and “ Ugly Love ” is her favorite of her books.

3. “ The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

“’ The Hating Game ‘ is one of my favorite books,” she said. “It’s enemies-to-lovers: the boy is grumpy and mean and the girl is all sunshine and happiness, and they just don’t get along. You see their forced proximity and how they eventually realize they have more in common than they thought.”

4. The Addicted Series Box Set by Krista Ritchie

The Addicted Series Box Set

“This is my favorite series of all time with 10 books,” she said. “There are three couples — six best friends — and they’re famous. And, it’s more than just romance because the character development is so strong.”

5. “ Archer’s Voice” by Mia Sheridan

Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

“This boy named Archer goes through something really traumatic to the point where he can’t speak anymore,” she said. “He meets this girl named Bree and they have some trauma they go through together. It’s a story of fate finding love after being through a lot.”

6. “A Thousand Boy Kisses” by Tillie Cole

A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

“I can’t say anything without spoiling this book, but it’s a young-adult book about this girl who goes through something tragic, cuts off her childhood best friend and ends up figuring out the issue at hand together,” she said.

7. “ The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“I recently finished this book and it was amazing,” she said. “It’s the life story of one of the biggest actresses in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, and everything she goes through — love, loss, and relationships with family and friends — makes you learn so much from her story.”

8. “ Confess” by Colleen Hoover

Confess by Colleen Hoover

“ This book is about a girl who moves to a new town, needs a job and meets a boy who was hiring — almost like fate,” she said. “They’re both hiding a lot and there’s a plot twist in there, too.”

9. “ Bright Side” by Kim Holden

Bright Side by Kim Holden

“’ Bright Side ‘ is about a girl who is so optimistic and everyone loves her,” she said. “She meets this boy and she’s closed-off to him because he sees the ‘real’ her and she doesn’t want people to know she’s not actually happy all the time — and she has a lot of secrets.”

10. “ All Your Perfects” by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

“’ All Your Perfects ‘ is told from a past, present and future perspective,” she said. “It’s about a couple falling in love for the first time and then eight years into their marriage, their relationship is falling apart. So, you’re seeing them fall in love, fall out of love and their hardships with infertility.”

11. “ The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

“’ The Unhoneymooners ‘ is about this girl and boy whose siblings are getting married — they’re the best man and maid of honor at a wedding — and they’ve never gotten along,” she said. “The bride and groom get food poisoning and they’re forced to take on their prepaid honeymoon and it’s fun seeing them spend the week together.”

12. “ The Deal” by Ellie Kennedy

The Deal by Ellie Kennedy

“’ The Deal ‘ is a hockey romance about a super popular guy and super smart girl needing each other to cope with some trauma,” she said. “Garrett plays hockey, Hannah ends up tutoring him, and he realizes what she’s been through all along.” 

13. “ November 9″ by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

“Fallyn and Ben decide to meet up every November 9 because they live on opposite sides of the country, but they have an instant connection when they meet,” she said. “You follow every November 9 of them meeting up and how their relationship develops over that time.”

14. “ Beach Read” by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry

“’ Beach Read ‘ is about this girl who moves to her dad’s beach house after he passes away, after finding out what he’s been hiding for all of her life,” she said. “She’s a writer and goes there to write her book, but soon realizes her college rival — who’s also a writer — lives next door.”

15. “ The Summer of Broken Rules” by K.L. Walther

The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther

“’ The Summer of Broken Rules takes place in Martha’s Vineyard and I loved the summer-inspired scenery,” she said. “It’s about this girl whose sister passed away, goes on a family vacation with her aunts and cousins for the first time without her sister, and she meets this boy there.”

16. “ Most of All You” by Mia Sheridan

Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

“’ Most of All You ‘ is about a boy with a tragic past who’s hesitant about dating,” Bohrer said. “He meets this girl who’s detached from reality and has also been through a lot. And, he sees something in her that nobody else sees.”

She describes it as “two broken people finding comfort in each other.”

17. “ Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“’ Red White & Royal Blue ‘ is about the First Son of the United States and the Prince of England,” she said. “They have a public fight and their parents make them go on ‘fake friend dates’ so the public thinks they’re civil. The character discovers more about his sexuality and it’s a great romance of two high-profile people.”

18. “ It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

“This is a really popular one,” she said. “Lily meets this boy and as things go wrong, she reads diary entries from when she dated her first love. It’s an impactful story .”

19. “ Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“’ Daisy Jones & The Six ‘ is about a girl in a band and you’re going to have to read it — it’s hard not to spoil it,” she said.

20. “ The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” by Mariana Zapata

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

“This is about the assistant to an NFL football player who has worked for the athlete her whole life,” she said. “But, he’s so mean to her, she quits, and then he begs her to come back at her doorstep. She ends up having to move in with him and it’s a forced-proximity story of a developing relationship .”

21. “ Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

“Sky has lived a sheltered life: no phone, no Internet, and no access to the outside world,” she said. “She meets this boy and they have an instant friendship. There’s an instant plot twist and everything she thought about her life is a complete lie.”

22. “ Maybe Someday” by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

“’ Maybe Someday ‘ is about this girl who finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with her best friend,” she said. “She has nowhere to go so she moves in with her neighbor. The relationship theme is ‘maybe someday we can be together, but not right now,’ once a new guy comes into the picture.”

23. “ The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

“In this book , the main character’s parents pressure her into starting a family of her own, but she wants to focus on her career,” she said. “She has Asperger’s, a form of Autism, so she’s not comfortable being in a relationship with someone. So, she hires a male escort to teach her about being in a relationship — and you find out why he’s escorting in the first place.”

24. “ The Problem With Forever” by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Mallory grew up in a foster home with this boy who always protected her,” she said. “They end up getting separated and she finds the boy she grew up with in her last period class.”

25. “ The Simple Wild” by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

“The main character finds out her dad is dying and she hasn’t seen him since she was little because he lives in Alaska,” she said. “Her father owns an airline company and the girl bonds with a pilot about her dad’s sickness.”

26. “ Heart Bones” by Colleen Hoover

Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

“After her mom passed away, the main character ends up moving in with her dad, who she’s really never met,” she said. “She meets her stepsister, becomes immersed in a new friend group, and meets a boy — and there’s a plot twist that summer .”

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Wlw romance books, new adult, preferably friends to lovers and with a decent amount of spice

best new adult romance books

I’m in the mood for a good friends to lovers story but I can’t find anything outside the YA zone, which I’m not very fond of for love stories because of teens 😃 so I’ve been wondering if anyone knows any new adult books. I’d like:

Friends to lovers, or anything is fine but please don’t recommend me enemies to lovers (unless it’s really good and well done)

Lots of romance ofc, NOT DARK ROMANCE

Fantasy is fine too but I’d prefer stand alones, I can’t commit to a series (although I could do a duology)

A decent amount of spice, but not too much it turns into porn with plot

Not teenagers as main characters please, I’m tired of reading teen dramas, so please only books where they’re at least 18

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Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

In the Event of Love by Courtney Kae

The Perks of Loving a Wallflower by Erica Ridley

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The Best Romance Novels of 2021 (So Far)

best new adult romance books

For many of us, 2021 feels like a year dedicated to recovery mode, the aftermath of something life-changing and unpredictable where we now have the opportunity to start to pick up the pieces from the year before. Of course the publishing industry, like so many others, was negatively impacted in 2020, but one of the few genres that continued to carve out a path forward (like it always has) was romance.

In some ways, it shouldn’t be surprising that the romance genre still found a way to thrive during the coronavirus pandemic and its lingering effects on our world. The essential tenets of the genre — a central love story and an emotionally satisfying resolution (typically referred to in shorthand as a HEA, for Happily Ever After, or HFN, for Happy For Now) — are grounded in hope and happiness. In a world of uncertainty, readers have clung to books that will give them the promise of their basic premise, and this year featured so many that served as a light in the darkness. (This list will be updated on a monthly basis.)

For the Love of April French

For the Love of April French is a romance that seems like a dichotomy at first glance; how can a book about BDSM and kink manage to also be one of the sweetest stories ever written? But that’s what makes Aimes’s work so perfect here. It’s effortlessly inclusive and insightful, accessible for those who may not be very familiar with the kink lifestyle, illustrates an emotionally mature relationship between two people who have realistic and relatable struggles, and ultimately reminds us of what the romance genre is capable of — which, actually, is just about anything. April French starts off as a character who is relationship-avoidant, and most of the time she’s just the last fling for someone else right before they meet the One. But when she strikes up a conversation with Dennis Martin at her local kink club and they end up spending one incredible night together, keeping it casual might not necessarily be in the cards anymore. Can April let down her guard to let herself have the love and commitment she hasn’t even known she’s been craving all along?


MacLean kicks off a brand-new series with a bang — and a bold, assertive heroine who embraces her scandalous reputation proudly and without shame. Lady Sesily Talbot is used to possessing a certain notoriety, but now, she’s using it to her advantage. As a key member of a clandestine girl gang whose main mission is to take down unrepentantly terrible men, she’s wielding her wiles in ways that the majority of people in society circles would never expect. The only hiccup? The return of Caleb Calhoun, the American who broke her heart years ago and has somehow made his way into her orbit again. Of course, we know these two are destined to collide eventually, but how it happens is in particularly incendiary fashion. MacLean is a master at weaving passion and vulnerability equally in her characters, and Bombshell serves as proof that when it comes to historical romance, she’s one of the best for all these reasons and then some.

The Dating Playbook

Remember that news headline about the three women who discovered they were dating the same guy, ditched him, and then proceeded to go on a road trip together ? It almost sounds like a plotline lifted straight out of a romance novel — and, it turns out, Rochon wrote it before reality unexpectedly imitated art. Her Boyfriend Project series revolves around a group of ladies who, after realizing they’ve all been dating the same loser, dump him publicly (and in front of lots of cell phones) and ultimately become best friends. The Dating Playbook , the second of that series, is truly as much about the relationship between these women as it is the evolution of its main love story, too, which makes it such a joyful reading experience. Taylor Powell is killing it as a personal trainer, but financially, the situation is critical. Former football player Jamar Dixon might be her knight in Under Armour, although he doesn’t want anyone to know about their sessions — so clearly the solution is for them to pretend they’re a couple, right? With smoking hot chemistry, next to no angst, and a friend group that is literally squad goals, Rochon has written another winner.

Heartbreak for Hire

If Charlie’s Angels were actually a breakup agency, you’ve already got a partial sense of Hartl’s charming, hilarious, and devastatingly hot adult romance debut. Brinkley Saunders is part of a company that offers a specialized service to jilted exes, unhappy professionals, or anyone with an ax to grind against someone who’s wronged them: revenge. It’s not a totally glamorous job, but it pays the bills, and it’s something to do while she works on nailing down her longtime dream of having her own art gallery where she can show off her paintings. Everything seems to be going to plan, until Brinkley’s boss decides that their heartbreak agency could use a little more male energy — and when Brinkley comes face-to-face with her new co-worker, she discovers that Mark is someone she was hired to carry out revenge against once upon a time. What’s more? She came way too close to breaking one of her major rules that night: Never sleep with a target. Turns out that Brinkley’s attraction to Mark has never really gone away, either, but beneath the playful banter and bickering, there’s a lot of trust that needs to be rebuilt between them on both an emotional and physical level. Hartl skillfully manages to merge a romance with a story of learning to love and prioritize one’s self, all while tackling relatable workplace issues head-on, and the end result is a rom-com that really needs the adaptation treatment ASAP.

It Happened One Summer

For those who are still mourning the end of Schitt’s Creek — and also wanted Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) to get her own happily-ever-after by series’s end — Bailey’s rom-com scratches that itch and then some. It Happened One Summer is packed full with the trademarks she’s best known for as an author, including scorchingly steamy romantic tension and a hero who could get his own Ph.D. in dirty talk. Hollywood “It” girl Piper Bellinger has always been known for making headlines, but when her latest flavor of the month breaks her heart, she decides to throw a slightly illegal rooftop party — which is the last straw where her stepfather’s patience with her antics is concerned. Being banished to a beach town in the Pacific Northwest is punishment enough, but Piper and her sister have also been charged with renovating the dive bar that used to belong to their late father, a local hero in Westport. The first time Piper runs into big and burly sea captain Brendan, it’s loathing at first sight — although keeping her distance is easier said than done in a small town like this, and as they encounter one another more and more, the two start to become real proof of the “opposites attract” concept in action. The only question that lingers is whether this will just be a sexy summer fling or possibly something more.

Incense and Sensibility

The latest installment in the Rajes series (each of which takes a Jane Austen title and completely flips it on its head) is quite possibly its most moving and profound, tackling themes of grief and trauma for characters that must embrace self-discovery and understanding before they can heal — and ultimately, reconnect with one another for an utterly sweeping slow burn of a romance. Yash Raje is driven by the dream of becoming California’s first Indian governor, and he’s prioritized that goal over just about everything else in his life. After he survives an attack on his life at a rally, Yash begins to lose hold of the composure he thought he possessed — but if his emotional struggles get out, it could be a PR nightmare. Enter India Dashwood, close family friend and best friend to Yash’s sister, who’s professionally qualified to help this ambitious man manage his stress levels. But Yash and India have their own shared secret, too: a brief night of intimacy and passion between them ten years ago, one that Yash can’t help but remember the second India walks back into his life again. Their journey to a happy ending is one filled with angst and emotion, and Dev’s reimagining transcends the classic novel to become its own iconic text in the process.

The Queen Principles of Kit Webb

Some historical romance novels are truly exemplary not just because of the deserved happy ending they offer their characters, but the established systems in place they masterfully interrogate in the process. Sebastian’s trade debut, The Queer Principles of Kit Webb , manages to be so many different things at once: a charming and mesmerizing romance, a comedic heist novel that perfectly encapsulates the Be Gay Do Crimes slogan, and a story that wrestles on the page with class difference and the inherent privilege that comes with wealth and possessions. Percy, Lord Holland is seeking a way to bring about his own father’s downfall, but in order to do that, he needs to hire someone skilled in procuring items in a most illegal manner. Enter: Kit Webb, a mostly retired highwayman who owns a coffee shop and has no interest in returning to his former line of work, thank you very much — but he does begrudgingly agree to teach Percy how to pull off the job. Too bad all of those sparring and thieving lessons will only bring them closer together, to a point where Kit comes to the very distressing conclusion that he can’t sit idly by while Percy risks his life — not while he himself is beginning to possess very real feelings for this nobleman and aspiring highway robber.

Neon Gods

Mythological and fairy-tale retellings are almost a dime a dozen in romance, but the truth is there’s a reason these iconic legends are mined over and over again — with each revamping as memorable as the last. One of the undeniable standouts of 2021, however, goes to Katee Robert’s modern and very sexy reinterpretation of the Hades and Persephone story in Neon Gods , the first in her planned Dark Olympus series. In this world, the gods in question are merely avatars for powerful people, with each holding control over a certain territory. There has been a tentative peace between those who have taken the titles of Zeus and Hades for some time — at least until society princess Persephone Dimitriou, confronted by the possibility of an arranged marriage to the current Zeus, flees to the forbidden undercity. Finding herself the unwitting guest of the mysterious Hades is one thing; pretending to be his in order to thwart Zeus might be more than she’s entirely prepared for. The two strike a bargain with mutual vengeance in mind, but in binding themselves together against a common enemy, they’ll find true partnership (and love) where they least expect it.

Seven Days in June

Eva Mercy is a single mother and successful author of a best-selling Twilight -esque paranormal romance series, but she’s feeling burned out on her current career trajectory and wants to pursue other stories for a change. When she unexpectedly encounters literary darling and famous recluse Shane Hall at a writers’ event, the two are practically propelled back in time to the wild week of infatuation they had when they were teenagers, a love affair that was forced to end almost as instantaneously as it began. Meanwhile, the rest of the world doesn’t know that they’ve been using one another as inspiration for each other’s books for years. Second-chance romances are a tough needle to thread; the writer has to weave both past and present together, crafting two different love stories that are equally believable in pursuit of that inevitable happily-ever-after that occurs by the final page. Seven Days in June is about the intoxicating, all-consuming power of first love, of young love, but it’s also about the deepening and complicated love between two people who run into each other years later, hearts still tender and bruised, and recognize that their feelings for one another have become something even stronger with time.

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes isn’t just a romance novel about rock music; it’s a book that literally sings, with lyrical prose that will keep you turning page after page well into the night. Antonia “Toni” Bennett (and yes, she’s heard all the jokes) grew up with mostly just a guitar for company. When a 12-year-old Toni meets 13-year-old Sebastian Quick, they make a pact to escape their small town together — but when he turns 18 he bails out by himself and leaves her behind. Years later, Toni is still living her dream as a performer, even if she’s only playing in local Philadelphia bars and laying in backup tracks on other artists’ albums. Getting the chance to try out for a spot in the Lillys, one of the hottest new girl bands out there, is a dream opportunity — until she runs into her old childhood friend Seb and realizes he’s one of the people who could either make or break her dream. Never mind the fact that she’s never fully forgiven him for abandoning her all those years ago, either. Whether you want an agonizingly good slow-burn romance, an ode to indie rock, or some amalgam of the two, this novel is as impossible to get out of your head as any earworm — but you should definitely read it with the music that was written specifically to accompany the book!

Happy Endings

Lam’s debut romance is a genuine gift and a reminder of the fact that romances can be just as much about second chances as they are about falling in love for the very first time. Trixie Nguyen is a refreshing, sex-positive heroine who makes a living selling adult toys. She genuinely adores her job instructing women about how to make sex a more pleasurable experience. Making a fresh start in Washington, D.C., after a bad breakup feels like the best next step — but then she comes face-to-face with Andre Walker, her ex, tending bar at her very first pop-up event! As if that weren’t enough, it turns out Andre originally dumped her via a Post-It note, which is obviously going to demand some serious groveling. At first, Trixie and Andre decide not to pick up where they left off but to try something new: being friends with benefits. The only problem is that they’re reminded all too quickly of just how well they work together, both in and out of the bedroom, and soon the benefits start to outweigh the desire to keep their situation strictly friendly. When Trixie sets her sights on a new co-op initiative in the neighborhood, Andre’s concerned it’ll threaten the legacy of his late mother’s restaurant, and the two are left with a decision to make between business and pleasure — as well as the real possibility of starting over together.

People We Meet on Vacation

In a landscape that can’t even technically be described as post-pandemic yet, where many of us are longing for the ability to escape the quarantine of our homes and simply go places , there’s something about Henry’s latest romance that offers both immense satisfaction and an intense hunger for travel and making lasting memories with the people we love. Poppy and Alex have arguably nothing in common, but they’ve been best friends for years, and they celebrate their long-distance dynamic in a very specific way: every summer, they take a vacation together. Or they did until two years ago, when one fateful summer night changed everything between them, and they haven’t spoken since. Now, Poppy’s navigating feelings of millennial ennui at her job, but she does remember the last time she was truly happy: on a trip with Alex. Convincing her former BFF to take one more trip with her is almost the easy part; realizing there’s still one huge secret that’s been hanging over their entire friendship is what could drive them apart forever. In her follow-up to the equally compelling Beach Read , Henry has solidified a name for herself as an author with the ability to write romances that burst with both humor and emotional yearning.

Hot Copy, by Ruby Barrett

Office romances can be a tricky tightrope to navigate, especially between two characters where the playing field isn’t entirely level, but Barrett’s rom-com debut is a refreshing take on navigating romance in the workplace and confronting the obvious power dynamic issues with realism and care. Corinne Blunt is used to people having preconceived notions about her ice-queen status, but she’s only gotten to the executive level by operating in a certain light. Of course she’s always had some level of awareness around it, but when she overhears someone laughing at a co-worker giving her an especially rude nickname, she decides to wield her authority against the assumed offender: new intern Wesley Chambers. To Corinne’s chagrin, however, Wesley is all too happy to work hard and try to prove himself to his new boss, and the warmth he exudes soon proves strong and sincere enough to melt the ice she’s built up around her heart too. This book exemplifies all of the best parts of the genre, with sweetness and steaminess abounding in equal measure.

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Danan’s follow-up to her sparkling, sexy debut The Roommate (released in September of last year) is more introspective and emotional than its predecessor, but with that same captivating prose that made her first release so successful even in the height of a difficult publishing landscape. Naomi Grant, the best friend and ex of The Roommate ’s Josh, has been poised to make the jump from sex worker to sex educator since the start-up they co-founded together hit big. The only problem is that due to her background, she’s having trouble finding gigs as a lecturer. Enter Ethan Cohen, a rabbi who has been tasked with attracting a younger generation to his synagogue and only three months to do it. When the two team up for a seminar about intimacy in the millennial world, crafting a syllabus that revolves around love and sex proves to be the spark that lights the match of their burning attraction for one another. This book tackles issues of religion and romance in a way that makes them simpatico, not opposing forces, and Naomi is a lead with nuance who owns her past without shame, while Ethan never expresses judgment or condemnation towards her at any turn.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

Hibbert’s dazzling Brown Sisters series comes to a close with the newest release featuring likely the wildest sister, but the good news is Hibbert really wraps things up on a high note. Eve Brown can’t seem to get anything right no matter how hard she tries — and when her latest antics ruin an expensive wedding, her parents finally put their foot down. She needs to get her act together, even if she doesn’t know how to do that yet. Interviewing for an open chef position at a bed and breakfast seems like the right move, but then she accidentally runs over the owner with her car. Oops! Jacob Wayne’s used to being in control of everything, but with a broken arm and a business that needs him, he’ll have to rely on the last person he wanted to help out around the place. These two characters are a true case of opposites attracting, and even though they get off on the wrong foot, the heat between them is smoldering.

Accidentally Engaged

Accidentally Engaged does what all good romance novels do best: It’s full of emotion, fun, and family, with that ultimately satisfying HEA that will settle in your stomach like a home-cooked meal. Reena Manji isn’t the biggest fan of her family shoving themselves into every detail of her life, but she can focus on her baking, something reliable and delicate to put her efforts into. When her father conveniently moves his newest employee, Nadim, in across the hall from her, it feels like a very obvious setup situation. But he cuts a nice figure and he enjoys her bread, two things in his favor. When her career takes an unexpected downturn, Nadim even agrees to fake an engagement with her so she can enter a couples contest. They might be playing at pretending to be a match, but when the secret gets out, what will happen when her family catches wind?

Honey Girl

Honey Girl isn’t your typical romance novel — at least not in its more strictly defined terms — but it’s one of the most powerful coming-of-age stories debuting this year and it should be required reading for any millennial who finds themselves buckling under the weight of expectation. Wielding her newly earned Ph.D., Grace Porter decides to go on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s not the type of person who would party hard and get drunkenly married to a woman she doesn’t even know … and yet that’s exactly what she does. Deciding to throw caution to the wind, Grace jets off to New York to spend time with a wife who might as well be a stranger, and over one memorable summer, begins to fall for her. The question is: Is Grace actually running to someone, or running away from something else?

Love at First

Clayborn writes romances that are engaging, heart wrenching, and so ultimately satisfying that you won’t want to put the book down. When he was a teenager, Will Sterling encountered the girl of his dreams on an apartment building balcony, but she never even knew he was there. Sixteen years later, he’s back, dealing with the unexpected surprise of his uncle’s passing and the inheritance of a new apartment he never wanted. But he doesn’t expect he’ll run right into his dream girl from all those years ago, or that she’ll want nothing to do with him now. Nora Clarke is definitely taken aback by her handsome new neighbor, but when she learns his plans to rent out the apartment, she tasks herself with preserving the building’s community, throwing a wrench in at every turn. That might be easier said than done when every second she spends in Will’s company forces her to acknowledge their connection.

The Ex Talk

Solomon’s a YA author, but in her adult rom-com debut, she pens a love letter to radio — as well as anyone who can’t ever get enough of NPR in their earbuds. Shay Goldstein has been a producer at a Seattle public radio station for almost ten years, but her latest struggle occurs in one tall, handsome coworker named Dominic Yun, who name-drops his master’s degree in journalism at every opportunity and thinks he knows it all. But the station is in dire straits and needs an infusion of new programming, and when Shay casually suggests a show hosted by exes who used to date each other, their boss jumps at the idea. Unfortunately, he also decides Shay and Dominic should be the hosts. The only problem? They’ve never dated. Not only are they going to have to fake a past relationship, they’ll have to fake a break up too, and over the course of their research, the two begin to wonder if maybe they might be falling for each other for real.


What do you do when your long-standing professional enemy is also someone you’ve never laid eyes on … until now? That’s the premise of Hockman’s charming contemporary romance, about an overworked heroine named Henley Evans who gets the chance to prove herself when she’s up for her dream promotion at the cruise line where she works. However, there’s one other person in contention for the same role: the company’s social media manager, Graeme Crawford-Collins. Their boss informs them they’ll need to draft a proposal to prove why they’re the best candidate for the gig — and what better place to do that than on location in the Galapagos Islands, on one of the company’s very own cruise ships? The first time she lays eyes on Graeme IRL, Henley’s shocked to discover he’s nothing like what she imagined, and when they’re forced to work together, she realizes that her loathing for him may not be completely hate-based after all. Hockman’s debut is smart, witty, and charming, with steamy on-page chemistry that will make you want to take a dip even in winter.

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The 29 best young adult romance books to read in 2022

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Though young adult romances usually feature teenagers falling in love for the first time amid a host of high school problems, you definitely don't have to be in high school to cherish YA romance books and swoon over adorable love stories. 

In the best YA romances, characters face relatable problems, fall in love, and discover more about themselves, all of which can resonate with readers of all ages. These YA romance recommendations come from Goodreads reviewers, bestseller lists, and our personal favorites so whether you're looking for a funny rivals-to-lovers story or a queer YA rom-com, here are the best YA romances to read in 2022.

The best young adult romance books in 2022:

"excuse me while i ugly cry" by joya goffney.

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.89

Quinn keeps lists of absolutely everything (including all the boys she'd like to kiss) so when her journal goes missing and one of her lists is anonymously posted online, she finds herself blackmailed into facing seven of her greatest fears, or else her whole journal will be published. Quinn must race to track down the blackmailer while slowly facing her fears in this adorable enemies-to-lovers romance .

"Last Night at the Telegraph Club" by Malinda Lo

best new adult romance books

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.49

In 1954 San Francisco Chinatown, Red-Scare paranoia threatens the safety of Chinese Americans, yet Lily and Kathleen walk into the sanctuary of the Telegraph Club — a neon-lit gay bar — nonetheless. This coming-of-age story is vivid and lyrical as Lily and Kathleen risk everything to let their love see the light of day. 

"TJ Powar Has Something to Prove" by Jesmeen Kaur Deo

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.65

When TJ Powar becomes the punchline of a meme, she decides to stop shaving and waxing to prove she can still be beautiful even with body hair. In this rivals-to-lovers YA romance, TJ is determined to prove her point against a boy equally determined to prove her wrong, but must first believe in her beauty and herself.

"Ophelia After All" by Racquel Marie

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.99

Ophelia has always known she was interested in boys — until she finds herself thinking about Talia Sanchez and begins to doubt her formerly sound image of herself. As the end of high school nears, changes happen in her friend group, and she discovers her queerness, Ophelia begins to feel like her life is unraveling and must reconcile the idea she once had of herself with the person she is becoming. 

"I Kissed Shara Wheeler" by Casey McQuiston

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.14

In "I Kissed Shara Wheeler," Chloe Green is intent on beating prom queen Shara Wheeler in their rivalry for valedictorian when Shara kisses her, her quarterback boyfriend, and her bad-boy neighbor before disappearing. With only cryptic clues to guide her, Chloe must find Shara to beat her once and for all as secrets are revealed, rules are broken, and love begins to blossom. We interviewed Casey McQuiston about their latest queer rom-com, which you can check out here.  

"Better Than the Movies" by Lynn Painter

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.49

Wes has always been Liz's annoying next-door neighbor ever since they were kids, but when her longtime crush moves back to town, she needs Wes' help to get the perfect movie-like prom moment she's always dreamed of. As the two start scheming, Liz finds she likes spending time with Wes more than she expected and is forced to reconsider what her actual "happily ever after" moment might look like. 

"Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating" by Adiba Jaigirdar

best new adult romance books

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $13.99

When popular girl Hani Khan comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can't be bi if she's only dated boys. Hani hurriedly blurts out that she's dating a girl and turns to academic overachiever Ishu Dey, hoping she will agree to pretend to be her girlfriend in exchange for helping Ishu become more popular. 

"Counting Down with You" by Tashie Bhuiyan

best new adult romance books

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.99

When Karina's parents go to Bangladesh for four weeks, a simple lie keeps those 28 days from being anything but quiet. When tutoring the school's notorious bad boy turns into a fake relationship, Karina knows her parent's return means everything can return back to normal, even if she isn't sure she wants it to. 

"Everything, Everything" by Nicola Yoon

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $8.99

Maddy is a teenage girl who's been confined to her house since she was four due to a severe immunodeficiency disease that could prove fatal if exposed to anything outdoors. Maddy  accepts her fate until a cute boy named Olly moves in next door and makes her crave everything the outside world has to offer — especially him.

"The Selection" by Kiera Cass

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.48

In "The Selection," 35 girls are given the opportunity to vie for the prince's heart and live a magical and rich life of royalty. America doesn't want to compete, as she's secretly in love with a boy already, but she enters for the chance to give her family a better life. When America is chosen as one of the lucky 35, she's whisked away to compete for the prince — a young man much more endearing than America previously believed.

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

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.56

"To All the Boys I've Loved Before" is an adorable and now-iconic young adult romance about Lara Jean, who has written a letter to every one of her crushes over the years and hid them in a box under her bed. Lara Jean's world is turned upside down when the letters somehow reach the boys and they confront her about what she's written.

"The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $6.10

n this tear-jerker of a YA love story, Hazel meets Augustus at her cancer support group as she lives with a terminal diagnosis. After agreeing to read each other's favorite novels, the two begin an epic and heartbreaking relationship that is achingly honest under the loom of Hazel's dark future, sure to bring tears to any readers' eyes.

You can find more John Green books here .

"Red, White, and Royal Blue" by Casey McQuinston

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.97

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry are longtime nemeses who tolerate each other for public appearances. When photos of a confrontation between them threaten the presidential campaign and spark doubt between American and British relations, Alex and Henry's PR teams decide the two will fake a friendship for the tabloids, a stunt that ultimately brings them closer together.

"Felix Ever After" by Karen Callender

best new adult romance books

Felix is a teen who has never been in love, fearing his identity — Black, queer, and trans — gets in the way of him finding his true love story. When a cyber bully takes things too far, Felix plots revenge and accidentally ends up in a complicated love triangle that forces him to embrace his identity and discover his self-worth.

"More Than Just a Pretty Face" by Syed M. Masood

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.99

"More Than Just a Pretty Face" is a YA rom-com about Danyal, a boy who may not be the smartest kid in class, but dreams of being a chef and wants to impress his crush, Kaval, and her family. When Danyal gets the chance to compete in an academic championship, he studies with Bisma and finds that the more time he spends with her, the happier he is.

"Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell

best new adult romance books

Set in 1986, Eleanor and Park are two very different quirky teenagers who bond as they listen to music together on the bus. Finding solace in each other, Eleanor and Park's friendship grows deeper in this book that fully captures the feeling of first teenage love.

"Five Feet Apart" by Rachael Lippincott

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.57

Both living with cystic fibrosis, Will and Stella must keep five feet apart or literally risk death. With Stella on the transplant list and Will desperate to escape the hospital, getting near each other could mean spreading fatal infections. But when simple conversations turn to so much more, the teens must weigh all the consequences.

"A Court of Thorns and Roses" by Sarah J. Maas

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.80

Originally a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, a huntress, Feyre, is dragged to a magical kingdom after killing a protected wolf. Closely guarded, Feyre begins to understand and fall for her captor in this high fantasy, steamy young adult romance series.

"Fat Chance, Charlie Vega" by Crystal Maldonado

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.95

Charlie Vega is a lot of things — smart, beautiful, ambitious — but everyone only sees her as "fat". When a cute boy asks her out, Charlie discovers she's actually his second choice in a cute and relatable YA romance of representation, friendship, and complicated crushes.

"Only Mostly Devastated" by Sophie Gonzales

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.30

"Only Mostly Devastated" is an adorable boy-meets-boy "Grease" spin-off. Ollie and Will have a whirlwind summer fling that ends when Will stops texting him back. When Ollie starts at his new school, he runs into Will and discovers Will isn't the same sweet guy he portrayed himself as over the summer. 

"The Stars and the Blackness Between Them" by Junauda Petrus

best new adult romance books

Audre and Mabel come from two very different backgrounds but meet when Audre comes over for dinner after arriving from Trinidad to live with her father. The two fall quickly and hopelessly for each other, but when a looming illness becomes a much more prevalent problem, the two face an uncertain future together.

"A Phớ Love Story" by Loan Le

best new adult romance books

In this cute and quirky rom-com, Bao and Linh work in their respective parents' competing, neighboring pho restaurants. When a friendly competition brings them closer together, the sparks fly despite fears of their relationship surviving between feuding families.

"Love from A to Z" by S.K. Ali

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.95

When Zayneb is suspended from school for confronting her Islamaphobic teacher, she is sent to spend two weeks with her aunt to relax. On her flight, Zayneb meets Adam, a boy diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and the two embark on a powerful and moving love story of determination and destiny.

"These Violent Delights" by Chloe Gong

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.98

In this "Romeo and Juliet" retelling set in 1926 Shanghai, Juliette and Roma belong to rival gangs with a growing vengeance. When a river monster and a mysterious illness threaten the city, the two must put aside their grudges and work together in a captivating read of fantasy, mystery, and romance.

"Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" by Benjamin Alire Saenz

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.99

In a YA romance that makes it feel easy to fall in love, Aristotle and Dante are two teenage "loners" with unique views and experiences. When they meet at a pool and begin to spend more time together, they find safety in each other and navigate their way through a complex world.

"Happily Ever Afters" by Elisa Bryant

best new adult romance books

Tessa Johnson loves writing romance stories, but when she gets accepted into a prestigious writing program she's suddenly plagued with writer's block. When her best friend suggests she finds some real-life inspiration, Tessa sets off on a novel-inspired quest for a happily ever after.

"The Henna Wars" by Adiba Jaigirdar

best new adult romance books

When Nishat came out to her parents, they told her she could be anything she wants — except a lesbian. As a distraction, Nishat pours herself into her school's competition to create a successful business. Also choosing to create a henna business is Flavia — Nishat's crush — who might be appropriating Nishat's culture with her art.

"Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.73

When Yadriel sets out to free the spirit of his murdered cousin, he accidentally summons the wrong ghost. Caught in a quest to help the paranormal Julian and free his cousin, Yadriel is thrown into a heartfelt and emotional whirlwind of romance, identity, and family in this young adult read.

"Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda" by Becky Albertalli

best new adult romance books

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.88

Simon is still in the closet, sharing his secrets only over email to his anonymous crush. When one of his flirty emails falls into the wrong hands, Simon finds himself being blackmailed into playing wingman for the class clown. This YA romance is a fun and relatable read as Simon tries to figure out how to embrace his identity before he's pushed out of the closet. 

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42 Best Romance Novels We Couldn't Put Down in 2020

They each got us through an overwhelming year, one happy ending at a time.

best new adult romance books

"I feel on a fundamental level this genre has the power to show people whether or not they are worthy of being loved," novelist Alyssa Cole told OprahMag.com in April. "And even if everything else in their life or story that they wanted to achieve doesn't actually happen, the happily ever after is actually finding someone to weather the good and bad things with."

From their vibrantly illustrated covers to the stories of enemies-turned-lovers, summer love , erotic entanglements , and historical romps , reading about love never gets old. So to help you keep your to-be-read pile stacked for years to come, we did some digging to bring you a diverse set of the steamiest, best romance novels of 2020. Look ahead for picks like Lisa Kleypas' continuation of The Ravenals series, Abby Jimenez's The Happy Ever After Playlist , and more.

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Following a dramatic breakup, soap opera star Jasmine returns home to New York City to film a bilingual romantic comedy. She's playing opposite an alluring (but struggling) telenovela star Ashton. With both of their careers on the line, they take their rehearsals off-set to develop some on-screen chemistry—but the passion quickly becomes very real.

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

With the resurgence of his rock star father's career, Luc is thrust back into the public eye and in need of a major image rehab. Enter scandal-free Barrister Oliver, whose picture perfect persona makes him an ideal fake boyfriend. And maybe a real one, too?

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

For the sixth book in Kleypas' The Ravenals series, the clever Lady Cassandra Ravenel is pursued by Tom Severin, a cold and wealthy businessman. And though he's determined to be with her, the chase isn't as easy as he thinks.  

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The widowed Sloan Malone's life finally seems to be turning around when she finds an adorable pup named Tucker. That is, until the canine's alluring, musician owner calls and wants his dog back. 

Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel

Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel

Rosie and Dominic appear to be the same picture perfect high school sweethearts they were 10 years ago. But the truth is they've hit a rough patch in their relationship and head to marriage boot camp. They seem to be on the road to rebuilding their romance, but a long-kept secret soon comes to light. 

Inappropriate by Vi Keeland

After being fired from her job for a vacation video that displayed "inappropriate behavior," Ireland writes an angry letter to the company's millionaire CEO—not expecting a response back. What results is a sexy romance that quickly finds Ireland getting whisked away.

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

A lawyer named Laurie is left distraught after her boyfriend of 10 years abruptly ends things. On-top of everything, his new girlfriend is pregnant. To avoid humiliation, Laurie pretends to be in-love with the office playboy. Soon, their fake feelings turn into something more.

Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera

You'll instantly fall for this ultimate feel-good romance  between Desta Joy and Elias that gives you  all  the summertime feels. When Desta travels to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for work — a country that comes with emotional familial ties—he meets Elias, the  literal  perfect man who's working towards a future where he can finally be himself.

Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

20 years after being torn apart from her childhood crush, powerful political campaign manager Kimba Allen meets Ezra Stern again and there's no denying their instant chemistry—he might just be her soul mate. But health struggles and a little bit of baggage complicate their sizzling new relationship.

Well Played by Jen DeLuca

Renaissance Faire worker Stacey is jolted when her close friends become engaged. Stacey then vows to find "The One," and it looks like it could be her summertime fling Dex MacLean after he sends her a heartfelt email. But when she eventually meets up with "Dex" in person, he's not exactly who she had in mind.

Release Date:  September 22

Never Kiss a Duke by Megan Frampton

After losing his inheritance, Sebastian, Duke of Hasford, finds a job at a gambling den owned by Miss Ivy. And while the two vow to keep their relationship strictly professional, resistance gives way to passion. And as soon as you wrap up this read, you can get ready for the sequel,  Tall, Duke, and Dangerous , which has a release date of October 27.

Ties That Tether by Jane Igharo

When she was 12 years old, Azere made a promise to her dying father that she'd marry a Nigerian man. In the years since, her mother has heavily enforced that promise in an effort to preserve their culture. But when Azere finally finds love, there's one problem: he's white.

Release Date:  September 29

How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

With her department at her university at risk, professor Naya Turner is convinced to go on a carefree night on the town. She then meets Jake, who's supposed to be a casual fling but slowly turns into more. Things get complicated when it turns out dating Jake could threaten her career. 

Whiteout by Adriana Anders

Isolated at a remote research station in Antarctica, Angel Smith and glaciologist Ford Cooper must work together to survive in the unforgiving climate of the arctic. But as they fight for their lives, an undeniable connection grows.

The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

Proudly single lawyer Liya Thakkar walks out on her parents when they try to set her up with a potential husband. But when the same guy ends up being her company's latest hire, it seems that fate has other plans.

Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday

In the first novel in the Matchmaker Bay series, Evie returns to the small beach town after inheriting her Aunt's Mermaid Inn. Her arrival marks her reunion with police chief Sawyer Collins, who broke her heart 10 years before.

A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Celebrity chef Evie Buchanan is on the brink of her big break when a fall leaves with her no recollection of who she was. In an effort to jog her memory, her assistant reaches out to old friends. Enter rodeo champion Zach Pleasant, who comes with  a lot  of history.

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

17-year-old Saoirse Clarke and Ruby set out to have a no strings attached summer romance filled with some of film's most clichéd movie montage dates. But by summer's end, real feelings have developed, and their vow to avoid broken hearts is threatened.  

This Is Forever by Natasha Madison

The fourth book in the "This Is" series follows single mom Caroline, as she unexpectedly falls for her son's magnetic new hockey coach.

The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

In the follow-up to  The Royal We , Rebecca Porter and her new husband Prince Nicholas enter into self-imposed exile following their scandalous wedding. But soon, a crisis forces them to return to London, and they're forced to deal with the fallout from their big day.

Release Date:  July 7

Headshot of McKenzie Jean-Philippe

McKenzie Jean-Philippe is the editorial assistant at OprahMag.com covering pop culture, TV, movies, celebrity, and lifestyle. She loves a great Oprah viral moment and all things Netflix—but come summertime, Big Brother has her heart. On a day off you'll find her curled up with a new juicy romance novel.

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14 great new romance books you should read

From steamy baking competitions and mercenary librarians to fresh takes on historical romance

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There is nothing quite so delicious as a good romance novel.

Whenever the world is a bit Too Much, life is overly stressful, and my Twitter timeline is on fire, I turn to romance novels as a way to relax and heal my soul. The wide variety of subgenres, the emotional highs and lows of falling in love, larger-than-life characters, steamy love scenes, and a guaranteed happy ending provide a perfect balance of satisfying storytelling and escapism, and they have been the only reason I have read anything over the past few years.

And so to encourage everyone to read more romance, I have compiled this list of romance novels that, in this humble bookseller’s opinion, are well worth picking up for your next read!

Cover art for Act Your Age, Eve Brown, featuring a couple embracing with musical notes behind them

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Most love stories don’t start with somebody getting hit by a car (they’re fine), but Talia Hibbert is an author who can weave utterly magical romances from even the wildest of storylines. Her most recent romantic comedy follows Eve, a human embodiment of sunny chaos, and Jacob, an icy uptight perfectionist, as they begrudgingly work together to save the Jacob’s B&B, delivering heated attraction, hilarious hijinks, and a screamingly adorable romance. Featuring two neurodiverse protagonists, excellent body diversity, and sparkling dialogue, Act Your Age, Eve Brown is a book to hug to yourself and savor.

Cover art for Battle Royal, featuring a woman and a man holding cupcakes

Battle Royal by Lucy Parker

If you’ve ever wished that the Great British Bake Off had more sexual tension, then I have the perfect book for you. A sunshine-and-rainbows baking show contestant and the dour, grumpy judge who eliminated her from the competition square off to win a coveted baking commission for a royal wedding—what could possibly go wrong?!

Battle Royal is a perfect introduction to Lucy Parker, who made her name with her equally-wonderful London Celebrities series. It is a delicious, delirious confection guaranteed to make you smile, with top-shelf banter and a rich emotional journey that will leave your mouth watering for more.

Cover art of Bombshell, with a woman in a red dress standing at the base of a staircase

Bombshell by Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean was my introduction to the romance genre, and I love each of her books more than the last. There are any number of starting points for her books, but Bombshell is the first book in her newest series: Hell’s Belles, which follows a Victorian girl gang who are “hell-bent on smashing the patriarchy in all corners of London, from glittering ballrooms to dark alleys.” Yes please, I’ll take a million.

Bombshell follows Lady Sesily Talbot, London’s most scandalous debutante, and Caleb Calhoun, an American businessman (ahem, smuggler), who have been dancing around each other for years, never quite succumbing to their mutual attraction. Until now… *dun dun dun.*

Cover art of Deal with the Devil, with a woman standing on a pile of books against a destroyed landscape

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

For those of you who prefer a little bit of science fiction with your romance, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Kit Rocha. This sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal romance and erotica duo has written nearly 20 books set in a post-apocalyptic world (so plenty of backlist!), and Deal with the Devil begins their newest Mercenary Librarians series. That’s right—Mercenary. Librarians.

In a near-future crumbling America, knowledge is key, and information broker Nina is determined to use her own to save those in need. This dangerous mission sets her on a collision course with Knox, the battle-weary leader of a rogue squad of super-soldiers fighting to survive. What follows is an action-packed dystopian adventure that will keep you turning the pages way past your bedtime and send you to the bookstore to buy Book 2 as soon as you’re done!

Cover art for The Duke Who Didn’t, depicting a man and woman in an embrace.

The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan

As much as I love action and angst and adventure, sometimes I just need a sweet, small-town love story to read. The Duke Who Didn’t provides that in spades. A tiny village in the English countryside with a large Asian community, a yearly festival, a no-nonsense miss who lives her life by lists, and a charming, mischievous duke who may or may not own the whole village…what more could you want?

The historical romance genre has a (well-earned) reputation for being overwhelmingly white. Courtney Milan is one of the many authors pushing back against the misconception that people of color in historical romance is somehow “historically inaccurate,” and she has done amazing work to address diversity and inclusion in the romance genre. Throw in complex characters, effervescent banter, and enticing romance, and you’ve got the whole package.

Cover art for A Heart of Blood and Ashes, depicting a bare-chested man in barbarian attire against a black background.

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

I will admit that romantic fantasy is a subgenre that I have the least experience with, but the few that I have read have been utterly enjoyable. This first book in Milla Vane’s Gathering of Dragons series is absolutely bonkers in the best possible way: it’s got ripped barbarians, gorgeous princesses, scorching hot love scenes, magic, monsters, enough politicking to put Game of Thrones to shame, and…dinosaurs??

Listen, you’ll just have to trust me, I don’t know what else I can tell you except that A Heart of Blood and Ashes is so much fun and a fabulous read, and it has made me want to read more romantic fantasy!

best new adult romance books

I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson

Whatever Kian Andrews expects when his ex-boyfriend Hudson texts him after months of radio silence, it is not a request to pretend to still be dating for the benefit of Hudson’s parents, and it is certainly not being maneuvered into being Hudson’s plus-one for the Georgia wedding of the season. As the tagline promises, fake boyfriends don’t always equal fake feelings, and as Kian and Hudson navigate their renewed (pretend) relationship, they also have to contend with their own unresolved feelings for one another.

This debut adult romance is fast-paced, hilarious, and heartfelt, and a snappy update on the timeless fake dating trope. Kosoko Jackson is definitely one to watch, and while you’re waiting for his second adult romance, make sure to check out his Young Adult novels as well!

best new adult romance books

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai is a romance queen that I would gladly follow into battle. Her heroines are whole, complex women who have fully-formed lives and personalities and ambitions, and their love interests are decent, sensitive heroes who drink their Respect Women Juice regularly. She also writes stellar romance, as an employee at the Taco Bell drive-thru once found out when my car stereo auto-played my audiobook mid-sex scene. It was A Time.

First Comes Like is the final book in her Modern Love trilogy, but you don’t need to have read the first two to fully fall in love with Jia, makeup expert and internet influencer, and Dev, Bollywood star and Hollywood hopeful. Rai manages to skillfully pack so much into her books about family, belief, self-respect, tradition, mental health, and more, and I cannot wait for you to read them.

best new adult romance books

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Recently-divorced Dahlia Woodson is determined to reinvent herself and make a mark as a contestant on America’s favorite cooking show. How unfortunate that her first move on the show is to fall flat on her face and shower the set with a tray of fish tacos, and that the competitor behind her is distractingly attractive.

London Parker, after announcing their pronouns on national television, is determined to not let the anxiety, the trolls, or the clumsy contestant in front of them throw them off their cooking game. But love, of course, has other plans, and Dahlia and London’s simmering attraction soon blooms into a full-blown, steamy, shenanigan-filled relationship outside of the kitchen. But do they have the right ingredients for a happily-ever-after? (Spoiler alert: They do!)

best new adult romance books

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian writes utterly delightful queer historical romances, and this one is no exception. Kit Webb, a reluctantly reformed highwayman who has left his thieving days behind him, is recruited for One Last Job by Percy, Lord Holland, a dapper dandy in need of a good old-fashioned heist. What follows is a delectable romp through shady coffee houses and opulent ballrooms, full of adventure, sparkling wit, and un petit Eat the Rich. I cannot recommend it enough.

best new adult romance books

The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham

The historical romance genre is inundated with rakes: dissolute, handsome ne’er-do-wells whose hard-partying lifestyle is (usually) tempered by their love for the novel’s heroine. I love reading about a devilish rake meeting his romantic match as much as anyone, but it is undeniable that the trope is deeply entangled in outdated binary gender roles. Men are allowed to be unrepentant rakes, but women almost never are. Thank goodness for Scarlett Peckham.

Seraphina Arden is a “ruined” woman who has embraced her scandalous reputation on a quest for women’s equality. She writes radical pamphlets and lives her life precisely the way she wants, complete with wine-soaked nights, handsome lovers, and all. Adam Anderson is a wholesome, widowed Scottish architect, with two young children to raise, a business to protect, and a strong aversion to scandal. Their casual, summer affair soon blossoms into something more, and soon Seraphina and Adam both have to grapple with the secrets of their pasts and how their ambitions and desires for the future might ruin their future together. Sexy, heartbreaking, and empowering, I need the second book in the series immediately.

best new adult romance books

Smut Peddler Series by Various Artists, Iron Circus Comics

For those who like their romance a bit more… graphic (get it?!)...may I present the Smut Peddler series? These comics anthologies are very NSFW, and are some of the most diverse and inclusive romance and erotica I have ever read. An incredible array of amazing artists contributes to these collections, which are all super diverse and queer and kink-affirming and again, I cannot stress this enough, very NSFW.

After their initial two anthologies, every subsequent Smut Peddler has been themed, with the most recent being Smut Peddler: Sordid Past (erotic comics set in the past) and Smut Peddler: Silver (all featuring characters over 40.) There is truly something for everyone in a Smut Peddler , so go ahead and grab yourself one or five.

best new adult romance books

The Viscount Made Me Do It by Diana Quincy

This is an engaging historical romance with a slight tinge of mystery. It features Hanna Zaydan, a London bonesetter of Arab descent, slowly falling for her viscount client, who unbeknownst to her believes she holds a clue to who murdered his parents many years ago…

Diana Quincy is an exciting new voice in the historical romance scene, and her writing is captivating and her romances are sizzling. Perfect to pick up for your next read!

best new adult romance books

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria

Soap opera darling Jasmine and telenovela heartthrob Ashton are both at professional crossroads, and soon both land leading roles in a new bilingual romantic comedy for the largest streaming service in the country. The entire production—and their careers—hinges on Jasmine and Ashton producing sizzling, believable chemistry, but a disastrous first impression and awkward rehearsals threaten to doom the show from the beginning. WHATEVER SHALL THEY DO?? Well, obviously they rehearse in private, digging beneath cool, professional exteriors to the smoldering attraction beneath, with deliciously explosive results. This book is smart, sexy, and one of my absolute favorites.

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