I am a sucker for these modern rom com novels. Contemporary romance is the genre I go to when I want something easy, fun and heartwarming to read.
This list ranges from gentle heart warming reads to steamy romances, so take your pic and happy reading!
Best Contemporary Romance
The Wedding Party, by Jasmine Guillory
Jasmine Guillory is your go to girl for contemporary multi-racial romances! This book is the most recent I’ve read from her. Like a lot of novels in this genre, her characters in every novel are all part of the same world. This couple happens to be the two best friends of someone from a different novel of hers. So all the novels are stand alone, but if you read them in order, you’ll end up seeing how they all connect.
This is an enemies to lovers romance. Maddie and Theo are both best friends with Alexa, but they’ve always hated each other. After a mistaken kiss, however, they can’t seem to take their hands off each other. There’s a lot of secret sex in closets in this book. The whole I’m in denial that I love him thing might drive you crazy, but it has nice ending. I wouldn’t call it a perfect five stars, but I would definitely read again!
The Flatshare, by Beth O'Leary
This book, oh my god this book! This is O’Leary’s debut novel and she hooked me good. I will read any novel this woman comes out with. They are that good.
The premise of this novel is that these two live in the same flat, but never actually meet and somehow fall in love. Leon works nights and weekends and needs some extra cash, so he rents out his one-bed flat to Tiff who works during the day monday to friday. They communicate through a series of post-it notes on everything in the flat.
This is such an adorably heartwarming and romantic novel with a happy ending. I love it so damn much! This is a gentle read, with good old fashioned romance.
Pride, Prejudice, & Other Flavors, by Sonali Dev
If you couldn’t tell by the obvious title, this is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It’s not an exact play by play though. I would say it’s artfully done. It does take just as long for Trisha and DJ to actually like each other as it does for Elizabeth Bennett to warm up to Darcy though, so if you’re looking for a more involved romance I would find it elsewhere. I did rate it five stars though, so ultimately a great book if you’re interested!
Let’s talk about some plot. Dr. Trisha Raje is the most successful neurosurgeon out there. She’s very accomplished in her career, but no so much with her family with whom she’s been estranged for the past 15 years. She goes to a dinner promoting her brother’s political career and meets the chef, DJ (Darcy) Caine. Trisha comes off as arrogant and DJ comes off as rude, so they leave with mutual dislike. But their lives intertwine and they keep seeing each other. And if you know Pride and Prejudice, you know they get past their differences and end up together in the end.
What originally attracted me to this story was the fact that it was a book meant for foodies, and let me tell you it did not disappoint!
Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston
The majority of this book I read in one sitting. It was an addicting read, definitely worth the five stars. First son, Alex Claremont falls in love with his nemesis, Prince Henry of the British Royal Family.
It starts off with photos being leaked to the tabloids that would threaten American/British relations. The solution was for Alex to create a fake friendship with Henry. That fake friendship turned into a very real secret relationship. These two were ridiculously adorable until the end and I loved every second. Please do yourself a favor and read this book!
The Road Trip, by Beth O'Leary
More Beth O’Leary because she writes five star novels every single time! Addie and her sister are about to embark on a road trip to Scotland for their friend’s wedding. Right after they set off, who slams into the back of their car, but Addie’s ex Dylan who she hasn’t spoken to since their breakup years ago. He’s also going to the same wedding, so now they are forced to take a road trip together with all the unresolved feelings all the way to Scotland.
This novel is set up so it alternates from the past to the present. We get to see how their relationship starts and how it all comes to a head at the end. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It’s almost like a thriller in that way, so if you want some suspense in your contemporary romance, this is the book for you.
Boyfriend Material, by Alexis Hall
More amazing LGBTQIA romance! Luc is a guy in the public eye who’s got to get his image straight. Oliver is a guy who he never really liked and had nothing in common with, but would be perfect boyfriend material to get his image more respectable for the press. They strike a deal to fake date for a while.
It turns out though that Oliver is actually a really great guy and Luc doesn’t want to let him go. Here we go with the whole I’m in denial that I love this person thing again! Still five stars in my book though. Even better if you listen to it on audio so you can get all those british accents.
The Queer Principles of Kitt Webb, by Cat Sebastian
How about some quirky, historical queer romance? Kitt Webb is a coffeehouse owner, but also secretly infamous highwayman who got out of the game after he lost his best friend during a robbery. Percy, otherwise known as Lord Holland needs someone to do a job for him, so he attempts to hire Kitt for the job. Turns out it’s not that easy.
They end up spending a lot of time together and their attraction is tangible. It turns to romance quickly. There are some sex scenes in this novel that are quite graphic, so if you’re not into that, I would go for one of the other LGBTQIA romances I reviewed above.
I only had one problem with this book which is the reason it didn’t get five stars. The plot was a little confusing at points and some things felt unresolved. I loved the story though and the romance between Kitt and Percy. Their happy ending is also quite literally adorable.
The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics, by Olivia Waite
I have to add a lesbian romance to this list as well! I think this is the book everyone seems to recommend if you want to branch into this subgenre. I can see why though. It’s got bad ass women in science trying to rebel against the patriarchy with some amazing romance on the side.
Burned by her former lover when she marries a man to secure her inheritance, Lucy Muchelney strikes out to London to offer to edit Oleron, a groundbreaking French astronomy text. She goes to the Countess of Moth, Catherine St. Day and their attraction is immediately apparent. So while Lucy spends her day translating the complicated astronomical text, she spends her nights with Catherine.
Their romance is beautiful and this storyline is fantastic. There’s also a twist at the end that is slightly predictable, but is so perfect! I highly recommend this read.
Twenty One Truths About Love, by Matthew Dicks
At first glance, you might look at the format of this book and be like really?? The novel is entirely made up of lists. That’s right lists. However, it is most definitely worth the read! It’ll be quick too, since there’s a lot less words to each page.
The lists delve into the mind of Dan. Dan worries a lot about his finances, his wife and soon to be baby. He’s willing to do anything to make his wife happy which will lead him into some precarious situations. This unconventional novel is quirky, funny, and downright heartwarming. Read this for something different, and something quick.
The Royal We, by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Here’s another terrific British Royal contemporary romance for you! American college student Bex decides to try out Oxford, when she meets and falls for none other than Prince Nicholas himself, heir to the throne. She doesn’t really know what she’s getting herself into though, with the tabloids always after them, hot ex-girlfriend’s in the way and complicated royal family drama.
This is very much a fast-paced, one drama after the next type novel. It starts off too on the eve of Bex and Nick’s wedding, a wedding that might not happen after Nick finds out what Bex did. I listened to the audiobook which I highly recommend as well!
The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane is an economist with Asperger’s and is perfectly happy in her logic filled life. But that life has very little dating. She wants to enter the realm, but thinks she needs practice first, practice with a professional. So she hires an escort, Michael Phan. They soon both realize they want more. This is definitely a steamy romance if that’s your cup of tea.
I loved this book from the start. Helen Hoang is a master at romance writing! I’ve read all three novels she’s written so far and loved them all. She’s filling in a gap in the romance genre by writing about romances for people on the spectrum.
Best Contemporary Romance
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