The 21 Best Romance Novels to Read Right Now
July 26, 2019
As far as we're concerned, romance novels are fun to read during any season, but there's something about summer that makes them even more appealing. Maybe it's the hot weather, or the fact that everyone's wearing bathing suits. Who knows? The only thing for certain is that when the temperature rises, so does our desire to dig in to some steamy romance novels.
Of course, you've got your tried and true standards like Pride and Prejudice and modern classics like The Notebook, not to mention new favorites that tackle love in the digital era, like The Perfect Find and The Right Swipe. If you're curious about what book to bring to the beach, here are 21 of our current favorite romance novels. Prepare yourself to fall in love over and over again.
Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing
The Royal We
If you’re a royals fan (and even if you’re not), the story of how American Bex Porter falls in love with Nicholas, the future king of England, while studying abroad is a must-read. While some early details draw from the relationship between Kate Middleton and Prince William, Cocks and Morgan’s characters are so well-drawn, you’ll be immersed in that world and saying "Kate, who?" within pages. And yes, this was written long before Meghan Markle met Prince Harry, so maybe the authors are low-key psychic.
Courtesy of Berkley
The Wedding Date
Girl meets boy in elevator during a power outage. Boy is desperate for a date to his ex's wedding. Girl agrees to go and they have an amazing time, only to return to their busy lives with lingering thoughts of what could be. If author Jasmine Guillory's premise isn't a perfect rom-com setup, we're not sure what is.
Courtesy of HODDER & STOUGHTON
Even if you're not familiar with Erich Segal's novel—or the massive 1970 hit movie starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal—you've probably heard its most famous line: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” The story of WASP-y Harvard boy Oliver and working-class Radcliffe girl, Jenny, is as enduring as it is heartbreaking.
Courtesy of St. Martin's Griffin
Eleanor & Park
You don't need to currently be a teenager to relate to those magical feelings of first love. Rainbow Rowell's '80s teens bond over comic books and mix tapes, and you'll fall in love with them as they do with each other.
Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing
Listen, this is a very obvious choice, but it doesn’t make the novel any less romantic. Noah and Allie have now been immortalized on film by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, but it all started with this Nicholas Sparks classic.
Courtesy of CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice may have been written in 1813, but the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy is every bit as swoon-worthy now as it was centuries ago.
Courtesy of Brown Girls Books
The Perfect Find
A 40-year-old former fashion editor and "It" girl is trying to professionally reinvent herself in the digital world while also trying to fight her growing feelings for a much younger man. Tia Williams' story is both highly relatable and the perfect amount of sexy and romantic. Who could ask for a better combo?
Stranger Things' Caleb McLaughlin and Sadie Sink Take A Friendship Test
Courtesy of Avon
The Thorn Birds
Long before Fleabag's Hot Priest, there was Father Ralph in Colleen McCullough's best-seller. The epic tale of love and loss surrounding a family in the Australian Outback spans decades and is one giant soap opera in the best possible way.
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
If you first met Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky via the delightful Netflix film adaptation, you should definitely check out the full story in Jenny Han's novel—and its two sequels.
Courtesy of Vintage Books