The 6 Best Asian Romance Books to Read Right Now

The 6 Best Asian Romance Books to Read Right Now

Asian romance novels offer readers a rich and diverse array of love stories from various cultures and time periods. Blending strong characters, unique settings, and emotionally-charged plotlines, these books stay with us long after we’ve turned the final page. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Asian romance books for readers who want to explore the beauty and depth of love stories from across Asia. Here’s our selection of must-read books that celebrate cultural richness in romance and uphold the values of love and respect in their pages.

Diverse Love Stories from Across Asia

Celebrating Cultural Richness in Romance

Asian romance novels not only offer passionate love stories but also highlight the cultural richness inherent in each region. By setting these novels in various Asian countries, authors illuminate the customs, traditions, and values that shape their characters’ lives and relationships. As a result, readers gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for diverse cultures and ways of life.

From Korea to the Philippines, India to Japan, each country brings its unique flavor to romance novels. As you explore these stories, you’ll discover the ways love transcends borders and unites us all.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the countries that serve as settings for these captivating love stories.


India is a land of vibrant colors, diverse cultures, and rich traditions. Its romance novels are no different. From the bustling streets of Mumbai to the serene backwaters of Kerala, Indian romance novels take readers on a journey through the heart of the country. The stories are often steeped in mythology and folklore, showcasing the deep spiritual roots of Indian culture. At the same time, they explore contemporary issues such as gender roles and societal expectations.


Japan’s romance novels are known for their poetic language and understated sensuality. Set against a backdrop of cherry blossoms and tranquil gardens, these stories often explore themes of duty, honor, and sacrifice. They offer a glimpse into the complex social structures of Japanese society, while also celebrating the power of love to overcome even the most daunting obstacles.

The Philippines

The Philippines is a country of contrasts, where modern skyscrapers stand alongside ancient rice terraces. Its romance novels reflect this diversity, offering stories that range from light and breezy to dark and intense. Many of these stories are set in small towns and villages, where the close-knit community plays a central role in the characters’ lives. They explore themes of family, tradition, and the struggle to find one’s place in the world.


Korean romance novels are known for their lush descriptions of nature and their exploration of the complexities of human relationships. Set against a backdrop of misty mountains and serene temples, these stories often delve into the intricacies of Korean culture, including its emphasis on filial piety and the importance of tradition. At the same time, they offer a universal message about the power of love to heal even the deepest wounds.

Exploring Various Asian Settings and Time Periods

The settings and time periods in which these novels unfold add another layer of depth and richness to the love stories. From bustling modern cities to idyllic rural landscapes, these books take readers on unforgettable journeys across Asia. And as you traverse various time periods, you’ll be transported to the past, where love blossoms amidst historical events and struggles.

These striking settings serve as more than mere backdrops. They invite readers to explore different cultures while witnessing love stories that are by turns sweet, passionate, and complex.

Contemporary Asian Romance Novels

Love in the Modern World

Contemporary Asian romance novels often focus on love stories in the context of today’s fast-paced, technologically-driven world. From office romances to long-distance relationships, these books explore the joys, challenges, and triumphs of modern love.

As you follow the characters’ journeys, you’ll see how they navigate the evolving landscape of contemporary romance. These books also touch on topical themes such as discussions around gender roles, the impact of societal expectations on relationships, and the power of communication in maintaining healthy partnerships.

“Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Book 1)

One popular contemporary Asian romance novel is “Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan. This book follows the love story of Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese woman, and Nick Young, a wealthy Singaporean man. The story explores the challenges that arise when Rachel meets Nick’s family and is introduced to the opulent world of the Singaporean elite.

“The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient

Another popular book is “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang. This novel tells the story of Stella Lane, an econometrician with Asperger’s syndrome, who hires a male escort to teach her about sex and relationships. As Stella and her escort, Michael, grow closer, they must navigate the challenges of their different backgrounds and personalities.

Navigating Relationships and Cultural Expectations

In contemporary Asian romance novels, characters often grapple with the expectations of their families and the pressures of societal norms. The result is a fascinating exploration of how love can challenge, defy, or adapt to these expectations.

“The Bride Test” by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test

One example of this is the book “The Bride Test” by Helen Hoang. This novel follows the story of Khai Diep, a Vietnamese-American man who is on the autism spectrum, and Esme Tran, a mixed-race Vietnamese woman who is hired by Khai’s mother to be his potential bride. The story explores how Khai and Esme navigate their cultural differences and expectations while falling in love.

“The Matchmaker’s List” by Sonya Lalli

The Matchmaker's List

Another book that delves into cultural expectations is “The Matchmaker’s List” by Sonya Lalli. This novel tells the story of Raina Anand, a young woman whose grandmother is determined to find her the perfect Indian husband. However, Raina has her own ideas about love and relationships, and as she navigates her grandmother’s matchmaking attempts, she must also confront her own fears and desires.

Contemporary Asian romance novels offer a unique perspective on love and relationships, exploring how they can be shaped and influenced by culture, technology, and societal norms. These stories remind us that love is a universal experience, but it can also be deeply personal and shaped by our individual experiences and backgrounds.

Historical Asian Romance Novels

Timeless Love Stories

Historical Asian romance novels whisk readers away to bygone eras where love blossoms amidst historic events, societal changes, and sweeping cultural shifts. These stories showcase passionate, beautiful, and timeless love stories that transcend time and place.

From love affairs during imperial rule or forbidden romance in wartime, these novels illustrate how love has always shaped human lives, often against incredible odds. Ultimately, they connect readers with the long-standing commonalities between all people regardless of time and place.

Delving into the Past for Passionate Tales

Exploring historical Asian romances allows readers to uncover fascinating tales of love that may have otherwise been lost to time. Not only do these stories provide a unique insight into the past, but they also evoke feelings of nostalgia and yearning for simpler times.

Take, for instance, the story of a young noblewoman who falls in love with a commoner during the Tang dynasty. Despite the strict social hierarchy of the time, their love persists, and they must navigate court intrigue and political upheaval to be together.

Or consider the tale of a samurai and a geisha in feudal Japan. Their love is forbidden by society, but they risk everything to be together, even as war rages around them.

As you immerse yourself in these historical love stories, you’ll witness how love endures and adapts in the face of even the most significant challenges. You’ll see how love can bring people together, even when everything else seems to be tearing them apart.

LGBTQ+ Asian Romance Novels

Representation Matters in Love Stories

Representation is crucial in literature and is especially important when it comes to love stories that encompass a wide range of experiences and identities. LGBTQ+ Asian romance novels give a voice to those whose stories have often been left untold, providing readers with genuine and heartfelt depictions of love and relationships within the LGBTQ+ community.

“Cinderella is Dead” by Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella Is Dead

One such novel is “Cinderella is Dead” by Kalynn Bayron. This novel is a retelling of the classic Cinderella story, but with a twist. In this version, the main character, Sophia, is a young lesbian who lives in a world where women are forced to attend a ball and be chosen by a man to be their wife. Sophia, however, has other plans and falls in love with another woman, leading her on a journey of self-discovery and rebellion against a patriarchal society.

By telling these stories, LGBTQ+ Asian romance novels allow readers from all walks of life to empathize with characters and connect on a deeper level with the beauty of love in its many forms.

Breaking Stereotypes and Embracing Love

LGBTQ+ Asian romance novels challenge stereotypes and societal norms by showcasing the full spectrum of love and relationships. These stories remind us that love is both universal and deeply personal, and that all love stories deserve to be told and celebrated.

“The Heart’s Invisible Furies” by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel

Another novel that challenges stereotypes is “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” by John Boyne. This novel follows the life of Cyril Avery, a gay man growing up in Ireland during a time when homosexuality was illegal. The novel explores Cyril’s journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance in a society that shuns him for who he is.

As you explore these novels, you’ll not only be captivated by the heartfelt relationships but also be inspired by the courage and resilience of characters who fight for their love amid adversity.

Overall, LGBTQ+ Asian romance novels are an important addition to the literary world, providing readers with representation, diversity, and powerful stories of love and acceptance.

Young Adult Asian Romance Novels

Coming-of-Age Love Stories

Young adult Asian romance novels capture the unique and often tumultuous experience of adolescence. As characters navigate their journey of self-discovery and growth, they also find themselves encountering first love, heartbreak, and the challenges life throws their way.

These coming-of-age love stories provide a relatable and empathetic look at the emotions, experiences, and decisions that young people face as they learn about love, relationships, and their place in the world.

Finding Love and Identity in Adolescence

Amidst the many challenges of adolescence, love often emerges as a guiding force that helps young people discover their values, identity, and aspirations. Young adult Asian romance novels explore this intersection between love and identity, and the impact that one can have on the other.

As you immerse yourself in these tales of young love, you’ll witness the trials and triumphs that help shape who the characters become, and perhaps even find a little inspiration along the way.

In conclusion, we hope you find the perfect Asian romance novel that enchants you and offers a window into the diverse love stories that span cultures, settings, and time periods. Happy reading!


Why do people enjoy reading Asian romance books?

Not only do these books contain a gripping and powerful romantic story but they also teach you huge amounts about Asian culture, expectations, and family dynamics.

Are Asian romance books less spicy than others?

Not necessarily, if you find an Asian romance book that is more traditional, it will likely have less sexual content than others, as is the same with English and American literature. Asian literature is not less sexual than other romance books, in fact, many modern romances written by Asian authors contain a lot of sexual content.

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Eddison Monroe
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