The 15 Best New Adult Romance Novels

Written by Silke, updated 25 May 2023

New Adult (noun): 1) Romance books in which the protagonists are between 18-15. 2) New adult romantic fiction tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices... We have compiled a list of our favorite New Adult books with these themes.

  • #1 Elements of Chemistry - Penny Reid

    Elements of Chemistry - Penny Reid

    contemporary billionaire new adult virgin heroine sports

    One week.
    Private beach.
    Invisible girl.
    Jerk-faced bully.
    What’s the worst that could happen?
    Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner... more

  • #2 Lick - Kylie Scott

    Lick - Kylie Scott

    funny contemporary erotic romance billionaire cheating

    Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

    Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

    One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll’s favourite son is sure to be a wild ride... more

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  • #3 It Ends with Us - Colleen Hoover

    It Ends with Us - Colleen Hoover

    new adult contemporary cruel hero / bully angst love triangle

    Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

    Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing... more

  • #4 Thoughtless - S.C. Stephens

    Thoughtless - S.C. Stephens

    young adult contemporary tortured hero abuse alpha male

    For almost two years now, Kiera's boyfriend, Denny, has been everything she's ever wanted: loving, tender and endlessly devoted to her. When they head off to a new city to start their lives together, Denny at his dream job and Kiera at a top-notch university, everything seems perfect. Then an unforeseen obligation forces the happy couple apart.

    Feeling lonely, confused, and in need of comfort, Kiera turns to an unexpected source—a local rock star named Kellan Kyle. At first, he's purely a friend that she can lean on, but as her loneliness grows, so does their relationship. And then one night everything changes...and none of them will ever be the same... more

  • #5 Bright Side - Kim Holden

    Bright Side - Kim Holden

    contemporary friends to lovers young adult love triangle tortured heroine

    Secrets. Everyone has one. Some are bigger than others. And when secrets are revealed, Some will heal you ... And some will end you.

    Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks... more

  • #6 Fallen Too Far - Abbi Glines

    Fallen Too Far - Abbi Glines

    young adult contemporary billionaire pregnancy friends to lovers

    She is only nineteen. She is his new stepfather’s daughter. She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother. But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no... more

  • #7 Hopeless - Colleen Hoover

    Hopeless - Colleen Hoover

    contemporary erotic romance abduction virgin heroine tortured heroine

    Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

    That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

    Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her... more

  • #8 The Score - Elle Kennedy

    The Score - Elle Kennedy

    athletes funny new adult contemporary sports

    Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands... more

  • #9 Sweet Fall - Tillie Cole

    Sweet Fall - Tillie Cole

    athletes contemporary friends to lovers forbidden love alpha male

    Lexington "Lexi" Hart is a senior at the University of Alabama. Surrounded by her best friends, her loving family and having fulfilled her life-long dream of making the Crimson Tide cheer squad, everything is going exactly as she always dreamed it would. But beneath her happy exterior, demons lurk, threatening to jeopardize everything Lexi has worked to achieve.

    When events in her life become too much to cope with, Lexi finds herself spiraling down into the realm of her biggest fear. Lexi falls hard, victim once again to the only thing that can destroy her and, on the way, finds herself falling straight into the dangerous tattooed arms of a guy from the wrong side of the tracks... more

  • #10 Him - Sarina Bowen,Elle Kennedy

    Him - Sarina Bowen,Elle Kennedy

    athletes funny m-m (gay) young adult contemporary

    They don’t play for the same team. Or do they? Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

    Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize... more

  • #11 Bully - Penelope Douglas

    Bully - Penelope Douglas

    young adult contemporary virgin heroine enemies to lovers friends to lovers

    My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. We're neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

    So I left. I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared... more

  • #12 Kyland - Mia Sheridan

    Kyland - Mia Sheridan

    contemporary friends to lovers second chances virgin heroine shy heroine

    Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going. Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

    They're both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything... more

  • #13 The Edge of Never - J.A. Redmerski

    The Edge of Never - J.A. Redmerski

    contemporary insta-love strong heroine alpha male bad boys

    Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart. Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind... more

  • #14 Dirty Rowdy Thing - Christina Lauren

    Dirty Rowdy Thing - Christina Lauren

    funny contemporary bdsm alpha male erotic romance

    Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other...which would explain why their marriage lasted only twelve hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman—or just what he needs... more

  • #15 Paper Princess - Erin Watt

    Paper Princess - Erin Watt

    young adult contemporary funny new adult fighters

    Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.  Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

    Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. He might be right. Wealth. Excess. Deception... more