7 Novels to Read If You're Looking for Romance, Experts Say
Suggest one of these titles for your next book club read, or pick one out to enjoy yourself.
Sometimes we look for love in all the wrong places. But if you like to read, you know that one of the best spots to find romance is within the pages of a book. The romance genre has a famously dedicated fanbase, and it's become even more popular thanks to the rise of readers on social media platforms. If you find yourself in the mood to be swept off your feet, experts and "bookstagrammers" (the name for book bloggers on Instagram) recommend checking out one of these seven titles. Read on to find out which novels they recommend for those seeking romance.
READ THIS NEXT: The 10 Best Audiobooks for Your Next Road Trip.
Disclosure: This post is not supported by affiliate partnerships. Any products linked here are strictly for editorial purposes and will not garner a commission.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown, Talia Hibbert
There's just something about watching two characters go from hating each other to loving each other. You'll see that enemies-to-lovers trope in Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, a novel that is as amusing as it is romantic. The story is centered on Chloe, who is chronically ill and determined to make the most of her life. She enlists the help of bad boy Red Morgan to do so, and both characters learn quite a bit about themselves and each other in the process. The book blogger behind As Told by Zaheerah calls the novel "good fun," adding that the multilayered story was unexpected.
"It had some great moments and characters who are hilarious," the post reviewing the novel reads. "It's a great pick-me-up, and I'll recommend it to anyone who wants a quick romantic read, especially if you're into steamier moments."
Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
An oldie but a goodie, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is one that romance seekers shouldn't miss. The nine-book saga follows the story of British nurse Claire Beauchamp in the aftermath of World War II. In the first novel, Claire accidentally travels back in time to 18th-century Scotland, leaving her fiancé, Frank, bewildered. A love triangle develops when Claire captures the attention of the dashing Scotsman Jamie Fraser. You truly can't go wrong with the series, which has withstood the test of time for a reason. You can even see it adapted on the small screen, as Starz debuted the television series Outlander in Aug. 2014.
"Outlander is a beautifully written romance that is historically accurate and will have you swooning for Jamie," the book blogger behind Nad's Book Nook, writes. Another blogger, @Zoebooklover, adds that the novel slowly draws the reader in.
"I am a sucker for marriage of convenience, friends to lovers and slow burn romance. This did it perfectly," the bookstagrammer writes. "Claire was very feisty and I loved how intense and passionate her and Jamie were."
READ THIS NEXT: The Book You Should Read Based on Your Zodiac Sign, Astrologers Say.
Ghosts, Dolly Alderton
The term "ghosting" is one that most of us are now familiar with—unfortunately often from personal experience. Someone "ghosts" in a relationship when they cut off contact without warning, effectively disappearing and avoiding any future interactions. That issue is exactly what Dolly Alderton explores in her 2020 novel Ghosts. Anyone who's been left confused and looking for answers following a ghosting—and even those who haven't–will be interested in how the story's main character, Nina, deals with the online dating world. This may not be your typical loved-up novel, but it's certainly an educational one for the digital age.
"Ghosts is the perfect commentary on modern love and dating in novel form," bookstagrammer @daisreads writes. "I sped through Ghosts, the laugh out loud moments and downright cringe but relatable takes on online dating, but I'm so excited to read it again."
Weather Girl, Rachel Lynn Solomon
You'll find a sweet and endearing romance in Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon, which also weaves in a narrative about mental health.
As the title suggests, the main character, Ari Abrams, is a weather girl with a miserable boss, and her coworker, sportscaster Russell Barringer, is dealing with a miserable manager of his own. The love story unfolds when Russell and Ari start chatting and devise a plan to get their bosses—who were previously married—to rekindle the flame. You'll be rooting for this diverse cast of characters who are both honest and real, according to a review on All About Romance (AAR).
"There isn't much to dislike here; the book itself is terribly cute, the romance wonderful and spicy, the grumps become friends and then realize the error of their ways," the review reads. "Weather Girl showers its readers with warmth and sweetness, ultimately providing them with many a sunny day."
It Ends with Us, Colleen Hoover
Any good love story or romcom has its ups and downs; it's pivotal to the genre. But one book has played into this and truly taken social media on an emotional journey—It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. The story follows Lily Bloom, a florist who finds herself captivated by Ryle Kincaid, a successful neurosurgeon. The love affair is one that seems perfect, if only for a little while.
Bookstagrammers go back and forth on this one, and Hoover has her fair share of critics to rival her enormous fanbase. It's a cautionary tale that the book community dubbed "intense" and "emotional," but it also addresses issues of abuse and trauma, which readers should be aware of before picking up a copy. If you find this story is for you, you can also delve into the sequel, It Starts with Us.
For more recommendations delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller
Another book that has received rave reviews on social media, especially on BookTok, is Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. The novel reframes the events of Homer's The Illiad, with Patroclus as the narrator of the epic. It's a surprising story of the evolving romance between Patroclus and Achilles, which "blurs the line between history and fantasy," the book blogger behind Muse with Me writes.
"While the events of The Iliad are important to this story, much of the story leading up to it is from numerous other mythological sources," the blogger states. "They're all woven together perfectly here, into a moving tale of gods and mortals, inescapable destiny, and passionate love."
If you're seeking something different but engaging and "pure," Song of Achilles is a solid choice, especially for those who like coming-of-age love stories.
Love and Others Words, Christina Lauren
Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren is a unique love story of Mary and Elliot, former friends turned lovers turned strangers. You won't be able to put this sweet story down, as both the main characters grapple with themselves and what led them to lose each other.
"If you asked me for my favorite romance novels, Love and Other Words would easily make the list," the blogger behind Read By Tiffany writes in her review. "I love how both characters are simply meant for each other and how our two main characters know each other better than anyone else in the world. I love how this book proves that once again childhood-friends-to-lovers and second-chance-romance are superior."