What’s better than a story that sweeps you off your feet?
Romance novels explore themes that are universal to the human experience — love, loss and companionship. And the best authors know how to weave in enough intrigue and suspense to make their stories addictive.
Best romance novels of all time
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Who could forget the timeless story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet who, after a bumpy start, come to realize their undying love for each other? Pride and Prejudice is a classic for a reason, with a charming, albeit stubborn, heroine and a dashing male lead.
The Promise By Danielle Steel
Steel is a prolific writer who’s penned more than 140 titles in the fiction and romance genres. While she’s never received much critical acclaim and is often dismissed as a writer of “beach reads,” Steel has sold more than 650 million copies worldwide and is the fourth bestselling fiction author of all time. The Promise is one of her best works. It follows the story of a young couple, architect Michael Hillyard and artist Nancy McAllister, who vow to never be apart.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams brought the film adaptation of The Notebook to life, cementing it’s place as the ultimate girls-night tearjerker. But have you read the book? It’s a beautifully-told tale of true love’s timelessness that made its author, Nicholas Sparks, famous.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
One of the bestselling books of all time, Gone with the Wind is the classic story of Scarlett O’Hara, the original Southern Belle, set against the American Civil war and Restoration era. It’s considered to have been one the first stories to include elements of erotica, and it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
This heady, erotic book broke all records for self-publishing when it was released. It’s not exactly regarded as well-written literature, but the fantasy aspect is unmatched, and E.L. James boasts legions of dedicated fans who can’t get enough of the dramatic adventures of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Julia Quinn is well-regarded within the romance genre, and the Duke and I is one of her all-time bestsellers. The story of Daphne and Simon is the first book from the wildly popular Bridgerton Series and is considered a romance staple.
Best newly released romance novels
The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury by Marc Levy
French author Marc Levy has sold over 40 million books, and his newest novel, The Strange Journey of Alice Pendelbury, has just been translated into English. It follows the journey of Alice Pendelbury and her neighbor, Mr. Daldry, from Britain to Turkey. Full of charming oddities and fantastical descriptions, this novel and its characters will stick with you long after the ending.
Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah
Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, Where the Forest Meets the Stars follows the story of Joanna Teale, a bird researcher throwing herself into work after the death of her mother, Gabriel Nash, her reclusive and mysterious neighbor, and Ursa, a strange child who shows up barefoot and dirty, claiming to be on a mission from the stars.
What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon
A novel that blends past with present, What the Wind Knows follows the story of Anne Gallagher to 1920s Ireland on the brink of a war for independence. She meets Dr. Thomas Smith, and as her life becomes intertwined with both his life and her own history, Anne’s left to decide if what she’s found is worth giving up the time she comes from and the life she knows.
The Magnolia Inn by Carolyn Brown
After failing to rescue her alcoholic mother, Jolene Broussard throws all of her energy into rescuing the inn her aunt and uncle left her. There’s just one problem — Tucker Malone, the stubborn and brooding owner of the other half. The Magnolia Inn is a textbook romance novel, full of charm and with an addictive quality that makes it hard to put down.
Best romance novel for young adults
The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
The intensely romantic, paranormal story of human Bella Swan and vampire Edward Cullen take the reader on a breathless journey of self-discovery. Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn are must-reads for romance lovers.
A Shade Of Vampire by Bella Forrest
If you read the Twilight Saga and need more vampire stories, then this series, written from the perspective of a 17-year-old girl named Sofia Claremont, is the next title you should pick up. It begins as Sofia is kidnapped and bundled off to The Shade, an island where the sun never shines. Her one chance for survival is to win the heart of Derek Novak, the dark royal prince.
Inception: A Dark Paranormal Romance by Bianca Scardoni
Inception is the first book in a saga full of intense characters and unexpected twists. It’s a perfect choice for teens and young adults looking for a gothic series to follow the Twilight novels.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
This groundbreaking novel explores love, mortality, compassion and friendship through the emotional romance of two seriously ill teenagers, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. A New York Times bestselling title, The Fault in our Stars was made into a movie released in 2016.
Best LGBTI romance novels
A Gentleman’s Position: A Society of Gentlemen Novel by K.J. Charles
K.J. Charles is a master at deconstructing the complicated social rules and norms in Regency England, when gay men and women had to keep their sexuality hidden out of fear for personal safety. This is the heated story of Lord Richard Vane and his valet, David Cyprian, who must overcome incredible obstacles to be together.
Roller Girl by Vanessa North
Roller Girl is the story of Tina Durham, who’s trying to pull herself together after a recent divorce. When she meets Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario, she immediately gets swept up with unexpected feelings. Now she has to decide whether she is ready to face her fears and commit to a new relationship.
Hostage Moon by A.J. Quinn
Hostage Moon is a thrilling mystery-romance novel that follows the story of high-flying multi-millionaire CEO Hunter Roswell, who is being stalked by a serial killer. The woman put onto the case, former FBI profiler Sara Wilder, must get close to Hunter to solve the mystery.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Sarah Waters is a critically-acclaimed novelist, and Fingersmith is one of her most popular novels. Set in the 1860s in a place of questionable character, the Borough, and best described as a thriller-romance, this book is a real page-turner with all the satisfaction of a passionate love story.
How did we choose these products?
To create our list of the best romantic novels, we conducted online research, choosing the most popular classics and new books in this genre.
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