Great romance books for beginners

Written by Silke, updated 08 Jun 2021

New to romance as a genre and unsure where to start? We have got you covered! We have compiled the best romance novels for people just starting out with the genre and who are looking for some suggestions.

  • #1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

    Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

    regency victorian love triangle clean georgian

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Pride and Prejudice is THE romance novel for readers who enjoy classic literature.

    When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever... more

  • #2 A Week to Be Wicked - Tessa Dare

    A Week to Be Wicked - Tessa Dare

    historical bad boys alpha male enemies to lovers tortured hero

    For readers who love historical settings.

    Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove's confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.

    Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be...anywhere but Spindle Cove.

    These unlikely partners have one week to

    • fake an elopement
    • convince family and friends they're in "love"
    • outrun armed robbers
    • survive their worst nightmares
    • travel four hundred miles without killing each other
    All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

    What they don't have time for is their growing attraction... more

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  • #3 Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs

    Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs

    contemporary urban fantasy fantasy abuse suspense

    For urban fantasy lovers.

    Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

    Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf... more

  • #4 Kiss an Angel - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    Kiss an Angel - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    contemporary strong heroine tortured hero enemies to lovers abuse

    Kiss an Angel is a great introduction to the romance genre featuring many of the tropes that romance reader love. And yet it is entirely special.

    Pretty, flighty Daisy Devreaux can either go to jail or marry the mystery man her father has chosen for her. Arranged marriages don't happen in the modern world, so how did the irrepressible Daisy find herself in this fix?

    Alex Markov, as humorless as he is deadly handsome, has no intention of playing the loving bridegroom to a spoiled little feather-head with champagne tastes. He drags Daisy from her uptown life to a broken down traveling circus and sets out to tame her to his ways... more

  • #5 Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

    Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

    contemporary fantasy young adult demons insta-love

    A fantastic saga for high fantasy fans.

    After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom... more

  • #6 The Deal - Elle Kennedy

    The Deal - Elle Kennedy

    athletes young adult contemporary shy heroine tortured heroine

    For young adults who like reading about college life.

    Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date... more

  • #7 Red, White & Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston

    Red, White & Royal Blue - Casey McQuiston

    funny enemies to lovers royalty m-m (gay) friends to lovers

    For readers who like comedy and political gossip.

    A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

    First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont... more

  • #8 The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

    The Kiss Quotient - Helen Hoang

    contemporary erotic romance funny multicultural disabilities & scars

    The Kiss Quotient is a great representative for modern romance books: Charming, funny, feminist and diverse. And miles away from the bodice rippers your grandmother might have read.

    Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

    It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional... more

  • #9 Proper English - K.J. Charles

    Proper English - K.J. Charles

    f-f (lesbian) historical 20th century m-m (gay) mystery

    For lovers of queer literature

    A shooting party at the Earl of Witton’s remote country house is a high treat for champion shot Patricia Merton—until unexpected guests turn the social atmosphere dangerously sour.

    That’s not Pat’s biggest problem. She’s visiting her old friend, the Earl’s heir Jimmy Yoxall—but she wants to spend a lot more time with Jimmy’s fiancée. The irrepressible Miss Fenella Carruth, with her laughing eyes and lush curves, is the most glorious woman Pat’s ever met, and it quickly becomes impossible to remember why she needs to stay at arm’s length... more

  • #10 Archer's Voice - Mia Sheridan

    Archer's Voice - Mia Sheridan

    young adult contemporary suspense strong heroine tortured hero

    A book for readers who love a good drama or need a bit of a cry.

    When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

    Archer's Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice... more

  • #11 The Foxhole Court - Nora Sakavic

    The Foxhole Court - Nora Sakavic

    contemporary young adult abuse suspense dark romance

    A slow burn romance for readers who enjoy character driven plots.

    Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He's short, he's fast, he's got a ton of potential—and he's the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

    Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn't need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

    But Neil's not the only one with secrets on the team... more

  • #12 The Beginning of Everything - Kristen Ashley

    The Beginning of Everything - Kristen Ashley

    fantasy paranormal magic erotic romance witches

    A fantasy epic for people who loved Game of Thrones but could do with some more Happily Ever After.

    Once upon a time, in a parallel universe, there existed the continent of Triton. The land was filled with beauty, but it was also splintered by war. Out of the chaos grew a conspiracy to reawaken the Beast, a fearsome creature who wrought only tragedy and devastation. The only way to stop him was to fulfill an ancient prophecy: Triton’s four strongest warriors must wed its four most powerful witches, binding all nations together and finally bringing peace to the land.

    This is the story of their unions: the quiet maiden Silence and the savage king Mars... more

  • #13 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

    Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

    historical clean strong heroine paranormal abuse

    Another literature pick. Jane Eyre is a dark gothic, but its focus on the budding romance between Jane and Mr Rochester let alone its HEA also makes it another timeless romance book.

    Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed... more

  • #14 Cinder - Marissa Meyer

    Cinder - Marissa Meyer

    science fiction young adult fantasy insta-love abuse

    A great series for sci-fi readers.

    Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

    Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction... more

  • #15 The Hating Game - Sally Thorne

    The Hating Game - Sally Thorne

    funny contemporary friends to lovers enemies to lovers strong heroine

    A workplace comedy for fans of screwball comedies.

    Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
    2) A person’s undoing
    3) Joshua Templeman

    Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

    Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship... more

  • #16 Naked in Death - J.D. Robb

    Naked in Death - J.D. Robb

    heroine sleuth mystery suspense rape abuse

    Check out the first book in this massive ongoing series when you love reading crime books.

    In a world of danger and deception, she walks the line--between seductive passion and scandalous murder...Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all--and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire--and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation... more

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