60 Best Romance Books That You Don’t Want To Miss

There are millions and millions of romance books out there, but with so much choice and different sub-genres, where do you even begin looking for your next favorite read? So, we’ve thought long and hard about which books deserve a place on our best romance books list and we managed to narrow it down to 60 amazing novels. Choose from classic, contemporary, humorous, hot, young adult, and historical – or just read them all!

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Best Romance Books: The Classics

best romance books: jane eyre

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre’s cruel and lonely childhood has strengthened her natural independence and spirit, which proves invaluable when she takes a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall. But after she falls in love with her sardonic employer, her discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a heart-wrenching choice.

best romance books: wuthering heights

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

After the death of Catherine’s father, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by her brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, he leaves Wuthering Heights. Only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. So, he proceeds to extract a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

best romance books: anna kerenina

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

The doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Set in nineteenth-century Russia, tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society.

best romance books: rebecca

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives – presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

best romance books: pride & prejudice

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

Mrs Bennet insists that her daughters find rich husbands and settle down. So when Charles Bingley, his sister Caroline and his friend Mr. Darcy are introduced and start living near the Bennets, she is thrilled. Bingley and Jane are taken with each other, but Elizabeth dislikes Darcy. But fate has other plans for the two of them.

best romance books:  emma

Emma – Jane Austen

Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her. The real evils, indeed, of Emma’s situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

best romance books: the thorn birds

The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough

One of the most beloved novels of all time, The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough’s sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback, returns to enthrall a new generation.

best romance books: the princess bride

The Princess Bride – William Goldman

Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you’ll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that’s home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

best romance books: gone with the wind

Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life. A sweeping story of tangled passion and courage, in the pages of, Margaret Mitchell brings to life the unforgettable characters that have captured readers for over seventy years.

best romance books: romeo and juliet

Romeo & Juliet – William Shakespeare

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud. In this death-filled setting, the movement from love at first sight to the lovers’ final union in death seems almost inevitable. And yet, this play set in an extraordinary world has become the quintessential story of young love.

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Best Romance Books: Contemporary

best romance books: normal people

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when they strike up a conversation, something life changing begins. A year later, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

best romance books: vision in white

Vision In White – Nora Roberts

Book 1 in the Bride Quartet Series

In the midst of battling bridezillas, wedding photographer Mackensie Elliot trips into the brides brother, Carter Maguire.  Mac sees Carter as the perfect distraction from her work and has what she expects to be a one-time thing. What started off as a fling, may become more.

best romance books: it ends with us

It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come to Boston and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with the gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything seems too good to be true. He may have a soft spot for Lily, but his complete aversion to relationships is concerning, even if Lily is the exception to his ‘no dating’ rule.

best romance books: me before you

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected.

books by elin hilderbrand: golden girl

Golden Girl – Elin Hilderbran

On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident. She ascends to the Beyond where she’s assigned to Martha, who grants her three ‘nudges’ to change the outcome of events on earth during one last summer.

Virgin River – Robyn Carr

Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she decides that the remote mountain town might be the perfect escape – to overcome heartbreak and reignite her nursing career. But the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. She plans to leave the place. Until some things make her change her plans to leave – an abandoned baby on her porch and the former marine Jack Sheridan.

best romance books: the wish

The Wish – Nicholas Sparks

1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. But by 2019, she is a renowned travel photographer. Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, they become close. And she finds herself telling him the story of another Christmas and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagine.

best romance books: cottage by the sea

Cottage By The Sea – Debbie Macomber

Rocked by tragedy, Annie Marlow returns to the one place she knows she can heal: the cottage by the sea where she spent many happy childhood holidays with her family. There, she meets Keaton, Mellie and Britt. Her spirit is starting her heal. Until new events threaten her new idyll life. And the opportunity of a lifetime tears her apart.

The Four Winds – Kristin Hannah

Texas, 1934. Elsa Martinelli had finally found the life she’d yearned for. A family, a home and a livelihood on a farm on the Great Plains. But when drought threatens all she and her community hold dear, Elsa’s world is shattered to the winds. Fearful of the future, she wakes to find that her husband has fled and she is forced to make the most agonizing decision of her life.

nora roberts series: born in fire

Born In Fire – Nora Roberts

Book 1 in the Irish Born Trilogy

Passions are about to flare for the Concannon sisters . . .

Margaret Mary is an opinionated glass artist with a violent temper, but when she sees Rogan Sweeney, a gallery owner, he vows to help build her career. But every time she looks at Rogan, all she can think about is her attraction to him.

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Best Romance Books: Humorous Romance

Bet Me – Jennifer Crusie

Minerva Dobbs knows that the gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey only asked her to dinner to win a bet. And Cal knows commitement is impossible – especially with someone like Minerva. When they say goodbye, they hope to never see each other again. But fate has other plans.

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Stella Lane has no dating experience and her mother thinks its time for her to get married. She can’t handle the awkwardness of one-on-one dating. To overcome this, she hires a male escort, Michael, to teach her to be a good girlfriend. The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for her.

Red, White & Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was the American equivalent of a young royal. But he has beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, it makes the British/U.S. relation worse. So they make a truce. what begins as a fake, Instagramable friendship grows deeper and more dangerous than they could have expected. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with Henry.

Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

Caught between the joys of Singleton fun and the fear of dying alone, Bridget resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn to program the VCR.

The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

Lucy HATES Joshua. She cannot understand his joyless, uptight approach to work. Joshua clearly doesn’t understand how Lucy is so quirky and wants to be liked. Now they’re up for the same promotion and Lucy has had enough of him. But as tension reaches boiling point, the real battle has only just begun.

Can You Keep A Secret – Sophie Kinsella

Nervous flyer Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. Thinking that she’s about to die, she tells the man next to her ALL of her secrets. She survives the flight and the next morning the famous founding boss of the mega corporation she works at is visiting the UK branch. As he walks around, Emma realises that it’s the man from the plane.

The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew Nichols is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate. Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally agree to go to a wedding with a guy she only just met, but it was hard to resist Drew. It was supposed to be a fake date, but their weekend of fun in San Francisco means they can’t stop thinking about each other.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren

Hazel Camille Bradford knows that she’s a lot to take and that most men aren’t up for the challenge. Josh Im has known Hazel since college. But now, after a cheating girlfriend turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air. But they’re not dating each other. They’re just friends… right?

Welcome to Temptation – Jennifer Crusie

Sophie Dempsey wants to help her sister film a video and then get out of Temptation, Ohio. Mayor Phin Tucker wants to play pool with the police chief and keep things peaceful. But when Sophie and Phin meet, they both get more than they want. Gossip, blackmail, adultery, murder, vehicular abuse of a corpse, and slightly perverse but excellent sex: all hell breaks loose in Temptation as Sophie and Phin fall deeper and deeper in trouble… and in love.

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

Olive is always unlucky; her identical twin sister Ami is the luckiest person in the world. While she’s about to marry the man of her dreams, Olive is forced to be friends with her nemesis: the best man, Ethan. But when the entire wedding – except for Olive and Ethan – get food poisoning, there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Pretending to be newlyweds, the two take a trip to paradise.

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Best Romance Books: Hot Romance

Gentleman Sinner – Jodi Ellen Malpas

Izzy White knows of the darkness in this world. After all, she escaped it long ago. Determined not to let her past beat her, Izzy has a secure, stable life with a job she loves in nursing. But one act of kindness will completely upend everything she’s so carefully built-puttering her right back in the crosshairs of danger she’s been so desperate to avoid. And when Theo Kane shows up like a knight in shining armor, Izzy can’t help thinking she’s been saved from one threat and exposed to another.

Spellbound – Sylvia Day

Max Westin. Sex incarnate. She could smell it, feel it with his proximity. Everything about him was a little rough, a little gritty. A primitive creature. Just like she was. He held her hand a little too long, his thickly-lashed gaze clearly stating his intentions to have her. To tame her. . .

Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D. H. Lawrence

The book that became notorious for its story of the physical relationship between a working-class man and an upper-class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words. Filled with scenes of intimate beauty, it explores the emotions of a lonely woman trapped in a sterile marriage and her growing love for the robust gamekeeper of her husband’s estate.

Bound – Lorelei James

Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That’s where she meets him.

This Man – Jodi Ellen Malpas

Young interior designer Ava O’Shea has no idea what awaits her at the Manor. A run-of-the-mill consultation with a stodgy country gent seems likely, but what Ava finds instead is Jesse Ward–a devastatingly handsome, utterly confident, pleasure-seeking playboy who knows no boundaries. Ava doesn’t want to be attracted to this man, and yet she can’t control the overwhelming desire that he stirs in her. She knows that her heart will never survive him and her instinct is telling her to run, but Jesse is not willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her.

Call Me By Your Name – Andre Aciman

A sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Rush – Maya Banks

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

music for reading: fifty shades of grey

Fifty Shades of Gray – E L James

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

On Dublin Street – Samantha Young

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. He knows she has a past, one that has made her skittish about getting into a relationship, so he proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached. But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, Braden decides he won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her…down to the very soul.

sylvia day: bared to you

Bared to You – Sylvia Day

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. But I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

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Best Romance Books: Young Adult Romance

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Get your tissues ready! This book explores the funny, tragic and thrilling sides of being alive and in love. Hazel has terminal cancer, with not long left to live, but she meets Augustus Walters and her story is about to be rewritten.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

What happens when secret love letters you wrote for every boy you’ve ever been in love with gets mailed to them? Lara Jean is about to find out and her love life spins from imaginary to out of control.

The Kissing Booth – Beth Reekles

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school carnival, she doesn’t expect to be sitting in it. And she’s never even been kissed before. She also doesn’t expect bad boy Noah – who is also her best friend’s older brother – to be her first kiss. Suddenly, Elle’s life is turned upside down. Is their romance going to bring happiness or heartbreak?

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor is the new girl in town. With her mismatched clothes and messy red hair, she couldn’t stand out more if she tried. Then she sits next to Park on a bus. He’s quiet, cool and knows that to fly under the radar is how to get by. Slowly, over late-night conversations and mix-tapes, Eleanor and Park fall in love.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-years-old and not-so-openly gay Simon wants to keep drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, Simon’s secret is at risk. Now he has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone and not mess up his chance with the most adorable guy he’s met.

The Selection – Kiera Cass

Prepare to be swept up into the fairy tale romance with swoon-worthy characters and beautiful, fancy dresses. For thirty-five girls, the Selection is a chance of escaping the system and marry the handsome Prince Maxon. But that’s not the life that America Singer wants and yet, now, she has no choice but to compete.

The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon

Twelves hours away from her families’ deportation to Jamaica, Natasha meets Daniel. Its love at first sight for Natasha when she sees him on a busy street in New York. She doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, but every choice she’s ever made lead her to Daniel. And Daniel thinks that fate has something extraordinary in store for both of them.

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas

Feyre is a huntress, but killing the wrong wolf changes her life forever. She’s taken away from her family by a man in a jewelled mask named Tamlin. As her feelings for Tamlin turn from hostility to passion, Fayre learns the land of the faerie are much more dangerous than she realized.

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

Maddy is allergic to the world – stepping outside the sterile rooms of her house could kill her. But then the new handsome neighbour, Olly, moves next door. And Maddy is ready to risk everything for a chance to fall in love.

Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis

A love story between two teens who can’t get within six feet of each other without risking their lives. Stella needs a lung transplant, so she needs to avoid infections at all costs, but when she meets Will, six feet doesn’t feel like safety anymore. It feels like a punishment.

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Best Romance Books: Historical

bridgerton book series: the duke and i

The Duke And I – Julia Quinn

Bridgerton Book 1

Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister – the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth – it’s all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems the duke has declared her desirable. And yet, despite their courtship being a sham, somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke.

bridgerton book series: the viscount who loved me

The Viscount Who Loved Me – Julia Quinn

Bridgerton Book 2

London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry – he’s even chosen a wife. The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his dreams. And Kate fears that her own heart is vulnerable to the most wicked rogue’s charms.

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Outlander Book 1

It’s the year 1946, just after World War 2. So combat nurse Claire heads to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. The plan is for it to be a second honeymoon, to reignite the love. But suddenly, Claire is no longer in 1946. It’s now 1743. Whilst trying to escape Black Jack Randall, she finds herself captured by a gang of Scottish outlaws. Her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant Scot warrior.

The Notebook – Nicolas Sparks

At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle…

The Devil In Winter – Lisa Kleypas

Desperate to escape her scheming relatives, Evangeline Jenner has sought the help of the most infamous scoundrel in London. A marriage of convenience is the only solution. No one could have ever paired the two together. And Evie is a woman of hidden strength and Sebastian desires her more than any woman he’s ever known.

Secrets Of A Summer Night – Lisa Kleypas

Annabelle Peyton could have her pick of suitors, if only she had a dowry. Her family is on the brink of disaster and the only way she can save them is to marry a wealthy man. Unfortunately, her most persistent admirer is the brash Simon Hunt, who wants her as his misteress.

Mine Till Midnight – Lisa Kleypas

When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to the intricacies of the ton. And on top of that, she feels an attraction for the dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Honor’s Splendor – Julie Garwood

In the feuding English court, gentle Lady Madelyne suffered the cruel whims of her ruthless brother, Baron Louddon. Then, in vengeance for a bitter crime, Baron Duncan of Wexton—the Wolf—unleashed his warriors against Louddon. Exquisite Madelyne was the prize he catured…but when he gazed upon the proud beauty, he pledged to protect her with his life. In his rough-hewn castle, Duncan proved true to his honor. But when at last their noble passion conquered them both, she surrendered with all her soul. Now, for love, Madelyne would stand fast…as bravely as her Lord, the powerful Wolf who fought for…Honor’s Splendour.

Whitney, My Love – Judith McNaught

A saucy spitfire who has grown into a ravishing young woman, Whitney Stone returns from her triumphant time in Paris society to England. She plans on marrying her childhood sweetheart, only to discover she has been bargained away by her bankrupt father to the arrogant and alluring Clayton Westmoreland, the Duke of Claymore. Outraged, she defies her new lord. But even as his smoldering passion seduces her into a gathering storm of desire, Whitney cannot—will not—relinquish her dream of perfect love. 

The Duchess Deal – Tessa Dare

Girl Meets Duke Book 1

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

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Which of these is your personal best romance book ever? Let us know!

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