Romance novels are written for everyone, but it’s no secret that the majority of romance readers are women. Ever since the days of Ann Radcliff and Jane Austen, romance novels have been focused mainly on women and women’s issues, and this could be why women are more drawn to the novels than men. Still, there are plenty of romance novels that feature male protagonists and relationships between men.
There is no romance novel that’s made specifically for women because they are made for anyone who wants to read them. That being said, all of the novels on this list feature strong female protagonists that many women will appreciate.
Whether you’re a woman or anyone else, there is something to enjoy about these novels for everyone. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Best Romance Novels for Women
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
Naomi’s twin sister needs help, so Naomi takes the excuse to run away from her wedding and travel to her sister. But Tina hasn’t changed, and now Naomi is left stranded with no car, no money, and an 11-year-old kid.
Knox is a man who prefers peace and solitude, but when he sees Naomi in trouble he knows he has to help. He plans to go back to his life alone after Naomi is back on track, but fate seems to have other plans.
You can read Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score here.
Worlds Apart by Jane Crittenden
When Amy was a teenager, she left England to be with her parents in New Zealand. She was pregnant and heartbroken, leaving Chris behind her.
Now, 18 years later, Chris walks into Amy’s café. Amy has always thought that Chris ignored their child and Amy herself, but now that he’s back, Amy starts to wonder if that’s really what happened, and secrets begin to reveal themselves.
You can purchase Worlds Apart by Jane Crittenden here.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
When Nora’s little sister Libby begs her to go on a sister’s trip to a small North Carolina town for a month, Nora expects it to be a dreamy experience. But she keeps running into Charlie, an editor from the city who she’s met many times under poor circumstances.
As Nora and Charlie keep meeting each other in different coincidental ways, they start to wonder if fate has plans for them. Neither of them sees themselves as stars of a romance story, but they might just have to change their outlooks.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry can be found here.
The Playlist by Morgan Elizabeth
When Zander finds out that Zoe, his sister’s best friend, is single, he knows it’s time to make a move. He enlists the help of his sister to find a way to Zoe’s heart.
Meanwhile, Zoe has just found a box of dreams from when she was a kid. When she sees that her life isn’t anything like what she imagined, she starts spiraling. But then she is invited to go on a road trip with Zander, and it just might end with the happily ever after she always wanted.
The Playlist by Morgan Elizabeth can be purchased here.
Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
Kiki is the host of a student radio show called Brown Sugar, where she talks about relationships, heartbreak, and avoiding players. But when she publicly kisses Malakai, a guy she just said to stay away from on her show, her career in radio begins to falter.
Kiki and Malakai start a fake relationship to try and save their reputations. Kiki has always been sure to stay away from guys who seem like bad news, so she knows she can’t fall for Malakai. But with all of his charm and the intimate conversations they’ve been having, Kiki might have to consider that she’s been too quick to judge.
Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola can be read here.
What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
Ava is 17, and she’s lived a life of solitude. Her father has taught her not to love anyone, and she’s stuck to that belief. But when Ava meets Jack, things start to change.
Jack is living with his brother and their parents are gone. Jack can’t bear to lose his brother to foster care, and his only other option is to find the drug money that landed their dad in prison. But when Ava’s dad starts hunting for that same money, Ava can either stay silent about it or speak up and help Jack survive.
You can find What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson here.
Layla by Colleen Hoover
Leeds is certain that he’s going to spend the rest of his life with Layla, but when she suffers from an attack and spends weeks in the hospital, she comes back different. Leeds decides to take Layla to the bed and breakfast where they met, trying to salvage their relationship and help her feel better.
But Layla’s behavior gets even stranger, and Leeds feels disconnected from her. When he meets another guest named Willow, Leeds wants to help her with her situation. But helping Willow could be detrimental for Layla, and it’s a choice that will affect all of them if Leeds goes through with it.
You can purchase Layla by Colleen Hoover here.
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
When Nikole goes to a Dodgers game with her boyfriend, she never expects that he’s going to get down on one knee on the big screen and propose. They’ve only been dating for 5 months, and he still doesn’t know how to spell her name.
After Nikole turns him down, a man named Carlos comes to her rescue as the stadium fills with angry boos. Even when Nikole goes viral (in a bad way), Carlos is there with her, and the casual relationship they’ve created might be starting to turn into something more.
You can read The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory here.
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
When Nareh’s boyfriend proposes to her in a less-than-romantic setting, she realizes it’s time to evaluate. Since Nareh is Armenian, her mom wants to help set her up with an Armenian man. So Nareh goes to Armenia on a search for love and true romance.
Then she meets Erebuni, an Armenian woman who Nareh loves spending time with. The only problem is that Nareh hasn’t told her family she’s bisexual, and she is about to go to a big family dinner. But Nareh is determined to find happiness and be her true self, following the path she wants to take.
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni can be found here.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood star who is famous for all of her incredible work and plenty of scandals. Now that she is getting older, Evelyn is ready to tell the story of her life, including the truth about all of her seven husbands.
Monique is a writer who isn’t getting what she wants out of her job, and her husband has just left her to move across the country. When Evelyn Hugo wants her to write her life story, Monique is beyond baffled.
This is the story of Evelyn’s life, talking about all of the trials and drama that ensued as well as who was really her one true love.
You can find The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid here.
The Dead Romantics by Ashely Poston
Florence is a ghostwriter for a romance author, but after a horrible breakup, Florence is having a hard time believing in love. When her editor won’t give her an extension, Florence is at a loss of what to do, but then she gets a phone call and has to return home for her father’s funeral.
Even though Florence finds comfort in being around her family, she still hates the town just as much as she always has and knows she has to leave. But then she finds the ghost of her editor in the funeral parlor, and they are both very confused.
It turns out he’s dead, and Florence is suddenly wondering if she knows anything about good love stories after all.
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston can be purchased here.
The Lotus Palace by Jeanne Lin
The Lotus Palace is a place where elite people go to drink and spend time together. Yue-ying’s mistress is part of the Lotus Palace, and Yue-ying is always there with her, standing silently in the corner.
Bai Huang is a student at the palace, and he and Yue-ying could not be more different. But when they are forced to work together to solve a deadly mystery, they become interested in each other. Their statuses won’t allow them to be together, but the two dream of a life where it’s possible.
The Lotus Palace by Jeanne Lin can be found here.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
August moved to New York City because she wanted to prove that perfect love stories and cinematic universes don’t exist. But when she sees a mysterious woman on the subway, August becomes entranced by her.
Jane is beautiful and she quickly becomes August’s subway crush. But when August finds out that Jane is from the 1970s, displaced in time, August knows she has to help her.
You can read One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston here.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
Eva Mercy and Shane Hall are two bestselling writers who meet at a literary event in New York. The thing is, people don’t know that they already know each other, having had a week-long romantic fling many years before.
Now, Eva and Shane can’t deny that the connection between them is still there. But Eva is wary of Shane and can’t forgive him for what he did, and she wants some questions answered before he leaves again.
You can purchase Seven Days in June by Tia Williams here.
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Percy made a horrible mistake back in the town of Barry’s Bay, and years later she is still trying to outrun it. But when she receives a call, Percy finds herself rushing back to the place that she’s been avoiding so she can attend the funeral of Sam’s mother.
Sam and Percy were inseparable for six years, and their friendship eventually turned into something more before falling apart. Now that Percy is back, it’s obvious that their connection is still there. But Percy needs to confront what happened in the past before they can move on and try to salvage their love story.
Find Every Summer After by Carley Fortune here.
Lease on Love by Falon Ballard
Sadie has just been passed up for a promotion that she really deserved. Now all she needs is a drink, somewhere new to live, and a one-night stand. When Sadie ends up on Jack’s doorstep, she realizes there has been a major mixup.
Jack is still grieving the death of his parents, and he has found comfort in staying home, away from other people. He lets Sadie have his spare room for a very low price, wanting to help her get back on her feet. Although Sadie and Jack are different in every way, they start to enjoy spending time together, and wonder if it might be exactly what they were looking for.
You can read Lease on Love by Falon Ballard here.
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
When Calla was 2, her mom took her out of the Alaskan wilderness with her dad and back to the city. Calla has been in the city ever since, but when her dad reaches out to tell her that he doesn’t have much time left, she knows it’s time to go back.
Calla struggles to adjust to her new life in Alaska, but she is determined to prove to Jonah, the airline pilot, that she can handle the harsh wilderness. Soon, Jonah and Calla develop an unexpected friendship, and it begins turning into something more before they know it.
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker can be found here.
One Day in December by Josie Silver
One snowy day in December, Julie is standing on the street and locks eyes with a man on a bus. Immediately she feels a connection to him but then he is gone, the bus taking him away. A year goes by and Julie doesn’t see him again, but she knows that fate will bring them together at some point.
When Julie’s best friend Sarah has a Christmas party, Sarah is ecstatic to introduce her new boyfriend, Jack, to Julie. When Julie realizes Jack is the man from the bus, she doesn’t know what to do. What follows is a story of love, fate, and the road not taken.
You can purchase One Day in December by Josie Silver here.
Halfway to You by Jennifer Gold
When Ann Fawkes was younger, she went on a Mediterranean trip where she experienced love and joy. Afterward, she wrote a bestselling book, but that was the only book she ever wrote.
Now, 40 years later, Ann lives in the San Juan Islands and hides out from the public. A podcaster named Maggie Whitaker convinces Ann to do an interview, but Ann insists that it stays off the record. As Maggie learns more about Ann’s life and love affair, Maggie realizes that their stories intersect in drastic and unexpected ways.
You can read Halfway to You by Jennifer Gold here.
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
Hannah Brooks may look like a kindergarten teacher, but she’s actually a bodyguard whose newest job is to protect Jack Stapleton, a super famous actor. Jack has been out of the public eye for a few years after tragedy struck in his life, but now he has a stalker and needs all the protection he can get.
When Jack’s mom gets sick he has to go back home, but he doesn’t want his family to know about the stalker. So despite it probably being a bad idea, Hannah pretends to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover-up. But soon, it all starts to feel a bit too real.
Find The Bodyguard by Katherine Center here.
Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Ari Abrams is a TV meteorologist who loves her job, but her boss won’t give Ari the mentorship that she wants. Her boss is too focused on her relationship with her ex-husband to get much done, and Ari is running out of optimism.
After a Holiday party goes south, Ari and a sports reporter named Russell decide to fix the situation with their boss. They begin involving themselves in her relationship, trying to put it back together, but their meddling takes a turn when Ari and Russell begin falling for each other.
Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon can be purchased here.
Tiffy needs a place to live, so she answers a flatshare ad. Leon works night shifts, so he’ll take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy will have it during nights and weekends. If all goes according to plan, they will never even meet.
The two start writing notes to each other about small things that need to get done, but soon the notes get more personal. They become good friends, and soon Tiffy finds herself falling for Leon despite the fact that they’ve never met.
You can find The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary here.
Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
Alina has known she is going to marry her best friend Tomasz since she was 9 years old. Now that Alina is 15, she is engaged and her dream is getting ready to come true; once Tomasz returns from college, they’ll be married. But the Nazi soldiers are at the Polish border, and soon they have infiltrated Alina’s town.
As Alina tries to navigate around the soldiers constantly patrolling her parents’ farm, Tomasz disappears. Now Alina is worrying about Tomasz, anxiously awaiting to hear from him while trying to avoid the violence where she lives.
Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer can be read here.
Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist
Tillie is dazzled by Biltmore, the place where she has recently arrived, and she is determined to become Lady Vanderbilt’s lady’s maid. When Tillie meets mountain-man Mack, there is immediate chemistry between them and she wants to teach him how to fit into refined society, but this might ruin her chances of getting her dream job.
And when Mack and Tillie become involved in a cover-up at the orphanage, things start to get even more complicated.
Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist can be found here.
Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise
When Calvin asks Minerva to go to dinner with him to win a bet, she knows there won’t be a happily ever after. When they leave the dinner, they mutually agree that they won’t have to see each other again.
But Minerva and Calvin do end up meeting again, and soon they are dealing with a ton of chaos and find themselves wondering if true love is really possible.
You can purchase Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise here.
The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali
Roya is a teenager living in 1953 Tehran, and she finds peace at the neighborhood stationery shop. The owner of the shop decides to introduce her to Bahman, another loyal customer who Roya quickly develops a liking to.
A few months later, it’s the night before their marriage and Roya is going to meet Bahman. But Bahman never shows up, and Roya is left heartbroken. She moves on to a new life, and 60 years later, she finds Bahman again. Finally, she has the chance to find out what really happened and why he left her all those years ago.
You can read The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali here.
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Ella is an American who, at 24, has achieved her dream of studying at Oxford. While she’s there, she gets a job helping out for an upcoming presidential campaign, but some local smart-mouth named Jamie ruins her shirt on her first day.
When Ella’s English class starts, she is surprised to find that Jamie is her professor. She doesn’t like him at first, but after sharing a drink with him, she finds that they have a connection she wasn’t expecting.
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan can be found here.
Virgin River by Robyn Carr
Melinda Monroe is a recently widowed woman who takes a job as a nurse practitioner in a small town with beautiful scenery. When she arrives, it’s nothing like what she expected. Her cabin is run down and the roads are treacherous, and Melinda decides it might not be what she was looking for after all.
But as she’s about to leave, Melinda finds an abandoned baby on her porch that changes her plans. Then she meets Jack Sheridan and knows that she made the right choice.
Virgin River by Robyn Carr can be read here.
An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan
Flora and Joel are engaged, planning a small wedding on a Scottish Island. But some people aren’t happy about being excluded, and their wedding is in danger of getting ruined. Then a woman named Olivia shows up wanting to have an extravagant wedding the same night as Flora and Joel’s.
Flora knows that everyone deserves their happily-ever-after, but she can’t help but feel like her dream wedding is being crashed, and she hopes that it will all turn out okay.
An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan can be purchased here.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark takes a job working for Will Traynor, a man who has recently been in an accident and was left in a wheelchair. Will’s life has always been full of travel and excitement, and he fears that he’ll never get to experience that again after the accident.
When Louisa learns that Will has drastic plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life can still be good even after everything that happened to him.
You can read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes here.
What are the five most popular romance novels?
Here are the 5 most sold romance novels in order:
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (150 million copies sold)
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (120 million copies sold)
3. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (105 million copies sold)
4. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (30 million copies sold)
5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (25 million copies sold)
How do I find a good romance novel?
There are plenty of places online (like this list!) that will give you good romance novels to read. You can try searching for things you like (forbidden love, LGBTQ, historical, etc.) and there are tons of options on places like Goodreads and Amazon. Looking at reviews is also a great way to find out if the book will be worth your while before you start reading it.
- All Holly Jackson Books In Order (Thrilling Mysteries) - June 8, 2023
- All Jane Harper Books In Order (Crime Mysteries & Thrillers) - June 8, 2023
- All Pamela Kelley Books In Order – Reading Guide - June 5, 2023