There are lots of different types of romance novels that you can read depending on what kind of story you are looking for.
If you love reading romance novels then you have probably come across Second Chance Romance.
In Second Chance Romance novels, two characters get a second chance at love. Perhaps it didn’t work out the first time, or they were separated by circumstances outside of their control.
Second Chance Romance novels are satisfying to read and are full of tension and chemistry between the characters.
There are many different books to choose from. This guide recommends 30 of the best Second Chance Romance novels for you to read to make you believe in Happily Ever Afters.
Best Second Chance Romance Books
Here are some of the best Second Romance Books that you should read.
This is book 1 of 6 of the Second Chance series, so if you enjoy it you will have plenty more to read. M Robinson is a bestselling author and this series is very popular with fans of the romance genre.
Julian knew that Autumn was off limits because she was his best friend’s sister.
That didn’t stop him from pursuing her, but their brief romance ended badly when he left and broke her heart.
10 years later, Julian is a successful businessman and Autumn is hired as his new publicist.
Autumn is the one that got away, and Julian is determined not to let it happen again.
But will she be able to forgive him? And will they have a happy ending the second time around?
- This book will have you laughing, crying, and swooning. The sizzling chemistry between the lead characters is enticing.
- Julian’s character is not very likable and you are left with the feeling that Autumn could do better
Linda and Thomas were lovers, but they haven’t seen each other in years.
When they cross paths at a literary festival, Linda thinks it’s a coincidence, but Thomas orchestrated it so he could see her.
Their lives moved on, but he could never let go of the woman he had loved for so many years.
As the two of them reconnect, the story switches from the present to the past and explores the history between them.
The disaster that ended their love affair all those years ago is a mystery that unfolds slowly throughout the book, only to be revealed in the final pages.
The relationship between the lead characters is complicated but intense, and you can feel the tension and longing between them even after all the time they have spent apart.
The storytelling is excellent and keeps you hooked right to the end.
- Anita Shreve is known for her moving prose and excellent narrative and this book is no different
- Some readers might not like the structure of this book because the story is not told in chronological order
Macy has her life on track – she is working hard in her job as a pediatrics resident, and she is planning her wedding to her reliable fiance.
He is older, financially stable, and a safe bet. Everything is going right, until her chance encounter with Elliot.
Elliot was Macy’s first love, and seeing him again brings back feelings that she thought were gone forever.
Can Elliot convince her to give their romance a second chance, or is the pain he caused too much for her to forgive?
The narrative switches between past and present.
The reader follows the friendship between Macy and Elliot as it develops into something more, and then falls apart.
The more you learn about the characters and their history, the more invested you become in the present day storyline.
- This book is well-written and keeps you hooked right until the very end
- Whilst the book has a happy ending, some readers weren’t happy with the big reveal that ends the book
Amanda and Dawson were High School sweethearts who were deeply in love, but unforeseen events at the end of their Senior year came between them and set them on different paths.
25 years later, the death of a mutual friend brings Amanda and Dawson back to their hometown.
Tuck was their mentor, and he was supportive of their love when they were younger.
Now he is gone, but he has left Amanda and Dawson with a set of instructions to follow.
The chemistry between them is still strong after all this time, and as they complete the list of instructions they are forced to face some hard truths and uncover facts about the past.
Can they rewrite the past? Can they have a second chance to live the life they wanted?
And will they get their happy ending?
- Nicholas Sparks is always able to create a romantic mood with his novels and builds tension between the characters
- This book is quite sad and is not ideal if you are looking for something more uplifting
Elin Hilderbrand is a very successful romance novelist who tends to focus on the area of Nantucket island.
Her books are the perfect beach reads, and this one is no different.
The main character is Dabney, a 48 year old married woman who lives in Nantucket. She is known as the local matchmaker and has helped 42 couples find love.
Her husband thinks she is meddlesome, but others call it a gift. The only match she hasn’t been able to get right is her own.
When Dabney’s first love, Clendenin, returns to the island, she is forced to come to terms with the fact that she is with the wrong man.
After all this time, her feelings for Clen are as consuming as ever. But does she have enough time to make it right?
- The characters were well-developed and interesting to read about
- The pacing was a little off at times as some parts of the story dragged more than others
Lily has worked hard to create the life she wanted.
She left her small hometown in Maine, graduated from college, and moved to Boston to open her own business.
The cherry on the cake is her budding romance with Ryle, a handsome neurosurgeon. It feels almost too good to be true.
But dating Ryle isn’t going as smoothly as Lily hoped.
He certainly has a soft spot for her, but he has an aversion to relationships and commitment that is making things difficult.
Even if Lily is fast becoming the only exception to the rule, she wonders what made him that way, to begin with.
Despite her feelings for Ryle, Lily can’t help thinking about her first love, Atlas. They were kindred spirits, and she never truly got over their separation.
When Atlas reappears in Lily’s life, she is forced to question everything she has built with Ryle.
- This book conveys an important message and is a powerful, emotive reading experience
- Some of the content might be quite triggering and upsetting for some readers
Anita Shreve is the queen of the second chance romance and this book is no exception.
The main character is Andrew, who returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral.
He only intended to stay for a few days, but his plans change when is reunited with his first love, Eden Close.
Eden was an adopted child with a difficult home life. She had befriended Andrew, but her seductive nature had always confused him.
One night, a tragedy struck the Close household that resulted in Mr. Close being killed and Eden being blinded, but the true events of that night remained a mystery.
It has been 17 years since they last saw each other, but he is still captivated by Eden.
As they spend time together, he learns more about what happened that night and the truth shocks him.
- This book is a slow burn that captures the atmosphere of a stifling hot summer in a small town
- The characters are difficult to relate to which makes you less invested in their story
Kya Clark lives in the marshes on the outskirts of a quiet fishing village. Abandoned by her parents and forced to fend for herself, she grows up wild and free.
She walks barefoot and knows more about the ways of the marsh creatures than she does about the people of the town.
When local golden boy, Chase Andrews, is found dead, everyone points their finger at the marsh girl.
They all knew he was drawn to her and would sneak away to visit her on the marsh.
Kya is put on trial and must learn to open up to the people that mistreated her in order to prove her innocence.
But before she met Chase, there was Tate. Her childhood friend and her first love.
Will he still be there for her while her life is put under a microscope? Will he have faith in her, or will he abandon her like everyone else?
- This book is beautifully written with moving metaphors and emotive narratives
- The North Carolina dialect can be quite hard to follow at times
Johnathon Cunningham is a Hollywood heartthrob and the star of the latest superhero franchise. He struggles to adjust to the sudden rise to fame, and his issue with addiction is only the most recent scandal the paparazzi are chasing him about.
Kennedy Garfield is a single mother who works at a grocery store, doing her best to provide for her five year old daughter.
The two characters are living totally different lives, but they are tied together by a shared past.
Once upon a time, they were High School sweethearts who fell in love, bonding over their interest in comic books.
Kennedy always knew that Johnathon was something special, but when they ran away together to pursue their dreams it didn’t quite go to plan and she was left heartbroken.
Now Johnathon is determined to make amends.
He will meet his daughter, and be reunited with the woman he left behind. But is it too late to make things right?
- The story is well paced and the characters are interesting
- The sections set in the past were not as gripping as the sections sent in the present
Matt and Grace are college roommates in New York City. Their friendship develops into something more, and they fall in love.
When Matt accepts a 3 month internship in a different country, they lose touch.
Grace assumes that he has moved on and found someone else, and eventually hears that Matt has gotten married.
15 years later, a chance encounter in New York City reunites them.
But a lot has happened in 15 years. There are lies to be uncovered and secrets that need to be told.
When everything’s out in the open, will Matt and Grace be able to try again? Or will their difficult past get in the way of their happy future?
- The characters are messy and complicated which makes them relatable
- The pace is mostly good but the ending feels a little rushed
Helena Hunting is a New York Times bestselling author. A Lie For a Lie is a comedic second-chance romance that is lighthearted and uplifting.
Rook Bowman is a famous hockey player in Chicago and a certified ladies’ man.
He takes a trip to Alaska for some peace and quiet and ends up having a steamy romance with Lainey.
Lainey is nothing like the other women he has dated. She is nerdy and wholesome and easy to be around. And she is also very beautiful.
Lainey and Rook spend a month in Alaska together, but when Rook leaves in a hurry for a family emergency he realizes he has no way to contact Lainey.
A year later, Rook and Lainey cross paths again. He wants a second chance, but will she be able to forgive him for abandoning her?
And what will Rook think when he finds out that Lainey has been keeping secrets?
- The characters are fun and likable which makes the book enjoyable to read
- Some of the plot points felt very convenient and a little unrealistic
This is a second chance romance with a magical theme that also falls into the comedy genre.
It is a very fun read from bestselling author Rachel Hawkins writing as Erin Sterling.
When Vivienne Jones gets her heart broken, she decides to put a curse on her ex-boyfriend. Nothing too serious, just a few days of mishaps and inconveniences – or so she thought.
When her ex-boyfriend, Rhys, returns to town, it becomes clear that Vivienne’s ex-hex is worse than she had planned.
With one calamity after another, her curse is turning the annual fall festival into a disaster.
Vivienne and Rhys must work together to restore order and keep the town safe.
But will they be able to ignore their sizzling chemistry long enough to stay focused on the task at hand?
- This is a funny, charming book with a cozy autumnal vibe
- The ending is quite cheesy which might not suit all readers
Again The Magic is an intense romance novel by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas.
Lady Aline Marsden is expected to marry someone from her own social class, but she is drawn to John McKenna.
Their love is forbidden but their passion is undeniable and they risk everything to be together. When their love affair is exposed they are torn apart.
McKenna believes that Aline betrayed him and he plans to seek revenge on the woman that broke his heart.
He doesn’t realize that Aline only gave up on their love to save his life.
When he returns as a powerful man the chemistry between them is just as strong as before, but will they be able to find the truth and get over the past in order to be together?
- All of the characters are interesting and complex, and their interactions are well-written
- There is a subplot involving two other characters which is interesting but makes the book feel a little overcrowded
When Constance marries Clifford she becomes Lady Chatterley.
Shortly afterward, Clifford leaves to fight in the war.
He returns a hero but is paralyzed from the waist down due to his injuries. She becomes his carer, and her life is very different from how she imagined it.
When a nurse is hired, Constance finds herself with more free time again.
She takes to walking the grounds and forms a friendship with the gamekeeper.
Oliver Mellor is a diligent, working-class man with a gruff demeanor, but there is a tenderness to him underneath the surface.
Constance and Olive begin a passionate affair and fall deeply in love, but when their secret is discovered and Constance discovers she is pregnant, he is sent away.
They spend months apart with no way to contact each other, but she never gives up hope.
When she receives word of his possible location she decides to look for him, but will he still feel the same way about her? Was she right to give up everything to be with him?
- This is a gripping love story and a social commentary on class prejudice in the 1920s
- The language is not modern and might not be to everyone’s tastes
Christian is a young man with a plan for his life, and he won’t let anything get in the way. Not even an unplanned pregnancy.
He walks away from his girlfriend and cuts her out of his life, determined to pursue his dream to become an attorney and eventually a partner in his father’s law firm.
Abandoning Elizabeth was the biggest mistake of his life, and Christian has regretted it every day since.
Five years later, he plucks up the courage to find her again. He wants to make things right.
But Elizabeth has spent five years struggling as a single mother and wants to protect her daughter from being let down by Christian.
Letting him back into their lives is sure to end in heartbreak and disappointment.
Will Elizabeth be able to heal from her wounds and bring herself to forgive Christian? Or are some wounds just too deep?
- This is a very emotive story with complex characters and an interesting storyline
- The characters are well-written but they don’t really grow or change over the course of the novel
Liam and Josie were high school sweethearts. Liam was going to play football in college then they would settle down and get married, but that’s not what happened.
Instead, Liam left town to pursue a career in music. 10 years later he is a successful rockstar, but he has never forgotten about Josie.
Now he’s back to try and win her heart again, but has he left it too late?
When he re-enters Josie’s life, he finds out a secret she has been hiding from him for a decade.
Will they be able to forgive each other and give their love another try?
- The characters are interesting and you can feel that they have a genuine connection
- The story is a little predictable at times
Zach was Presley’s first love, and he breaks her heart when he leaves town.
She moves on with her life – finds a husband and becomes a mother – and her life looks good from the outside.
But she isn’t truly happy, and when financial difficulties cause her husband to take his own life she is left alone as a single mother.
She moves back to her hometown to pick up the pieces of her life.
Zach has also moved back home, and Presley comes face to face with the man who broke her heart all those years ago.
Can she open herself up to love again?
- This is an emotive story and you can feel the connection between the characters
- The main character, Presley, is not particularly likable or relatable
Piper Calloway has a successful career as Vice President of her father’s company.
She lives in a penthouse apartment with her friends and is enjoying the single life.
Her only problems – being the only woman in a male-dominated office and having to work alongside her narcissistic ex-fiance.
When a new security guard starts working at the building, things get more complicated for Piper.
Kyle Miller is handsome, aloof, and also happens to be the first love of her life.
She hasn’t seen him since they were counselors at summer camp together.
Seeing him again re-ignites her old feelings for Kyle, but he is distant and avoidant.
Can she crack his icy exterior and get him to admit that he still cares for her? Or will their romance stay a thing of the past?
- This is a slow-burn romance that builds up a tantalizing tension between the characters
- The present day storyline is slowed down by the number of flashbacks to the past
When Raven falls for the son of her employer, she knows it won’t end well. Gavin is the man of her dreams, and despite his family’s disapproval, they fall in love.
After a summer of intense passion, Raven suddenly breaks off their relationship without explaining why.
They go their separate ways, leading separate lives, but Raven never forgets about Gavin.
10 years later, Raven takes a job in the same place she was working when she met Gavin.
Their paths cross, and all of the old feelings come flooding back.
But Gavin struggles to forgive the woman who broke his heart all those years ago. Will the truth come out? And when it does, will they be able to try again?
- Both of the main characters are very likable and there is a great cast of supporting characters as well
- The storyline was not particularly eventful or exciting
Millie and Logan fell in love at first sight.
He was a bad-boy biker and she was a wild, free spirit.
But Millie put Logan in an impossible situation and he was forced to walk away from the relationship, leaving both of them heartbroken.
Twenty years later, a chance encounter brings Millie and Logan back into each other’s lives.
Logan is still captivated by Millie, but she seems to be a ghost of her old self.
He wants to get closer and find out what she has been through, but he is afraid of getting his heart broken again.
When he discovers the truth of what happened all those years ago, will they be able to open their hearts to each other again?
- This book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, with lots of twists and turns
- This is a heart-wrenching book that some readers might find upsetting
Matthew Farrell is a working-class man from the wrong side of town and Meredith Bancroft is a rich girl who spends her days at the country club.
But their differences don’t stop them from falling in love, and in each other, they find a passion and a connection like nothing they could have imagined.
They get married, despite her family’s protestations, but it ends in disaster.
Years later, Matt has become a successful businessman and is planning a hostile takeover of the Bancroft family business – revenge for the way they treated him and for ruining his marriage.
Meredith and Matt are reunited under difficult circumstances, and old feelings resurface as well as painful memories of betrayal.
Can they overcome their suspicions of each other and rebuild their connection, or is there too much uncertainty between them?
- This book is told in three sections which follow Meredith at different ages, giving you a good insight into her life
- This is a very long book and some readers might find that it takes too long to get through
Kimba and Ezra were best friends as children, and their families were very close.
As teenagers, their friendship became something more as they shared a romantic connection.
This was short-lived, as events beyond their control forced them apart.
Years later, they meet again, but Ezra is in a relationship with the mother of his child.
Kimba always felt that a part of Ezra still belonged to her, and seeing him with someone else hurt so much more than she expected.
Will she get a second chance with Ezra? And when they reconnect, will the time pass and the secrets between them get in the way of their love?
- The characters are exciting and they contrast well – Kimba is firey and strong whereas Ezra is more calm and gentle. There is a great plot twist that sends the story in an unexpected direction
- This book has some political themes that some readers may not enjoy
Persephone and Sam were best friends and spent 6 perfect summers together at Barry’s Bay.
They would sit and read together on lazy afternoons, take a boat out onto the water, and even work together in Sam’s family’s restaurant.
Their friendship developed into a romance, but then everything fell apart.
10 years later, Persephone is living a very different life.
She lives in the city, enjoying a fun social life with her friends but never letting anyone get too close.
When she receives a call that Sam’s mother has died, she returns to Barry’s Bay for the funeral.
When Persephone and Sam are reunited it feels as if they’ve never been apart.
For 10 years, she has been punishing herself for the mistakes she made that tore them apart.
But is their love strong enough to overcome the past?
- This book will take you through a range of emotions from laughing to crying
- This book has quite a low pace that is consistent and steady throughout so it is a slow burn rather than an exciting page-turner
This is part of the ‘Hearts’ series which is a popular romance series exploring different tropes and themes.
Paper Hearts comes after Torn Hearts, so you might want to read that one first.
Torn hearts gives you the first part of the love story between Jensen and Mia, and Paper Hearts is their second chance at making their relationship work.
Five years after Jensen broke Mia’s heart, he has a chance to win her back.
She is hesitant, as she is worried about getting hurt again, but Jensen is determined to do everything he can to regain her trust.
The story is mainly told from Mia’s perspective, but the reader gets an insight into Jensen’s point of view through his weekly column which makes for an interesting contrast.
- There is a great cast of characters, both lead and supporting, which make this book enjoyable to read
- The pace builds throughout the book but the ending feels anticlimactic
Alex and Poppy are total opposites, but somehow they are best friends.
Poppy is an adventurous wild child and Alex is a quiet bookworm, but when they car-share on the way home from college they form a strong bond.
After college, Alex stays in their hometown and Poppy moves to New York City.
Once a year for 10 years, they take a vacation and spend a week together.
One summer, their friendship becomes something more. They have a holiday romance, but when it goes wrong it ruins their friendship.
Two years later, they still haven’t spoken to each other. Poppy has tried to move on, but she knows that being with Alex is what makes her truly happy.
She convinces him to take one more vacation with her to try and fix what they had. Is a week enough time to get things back on track?
- This is not only a second chance romance but also a friends-to-lovers story that is very heartwarming
- The story is quite predictable
Addie and her sister are taking a road trip to the North of Scotland to attend a friend’s wedding.
Everything is going perfectly until they are involved in a car crash.
Their car is okay, but the car that went into the back of them has been totaled.
It was driven by Dylan, Addie’s ex-boyfriend, who she hasn’t spoken to since their messy break-up two years ago.
Dylan was also on his way to the wedding with a friend, so Addie reluctantly offers to take them in her car.
The four of them squeeze into the car that is now overcrowded with luggage and embark on an awkward journey. Will they get to the wedding on time?
Will they be able to avoid talking about what happened between them? And will being around each other reignite their old feelings?
- The characters are interesting and there are some funny moments along the way
- The book switches between past and present which interrupts the flow of the story
Eva and Shane spent one week of passion together twenty years ago. Now, Eva is a single mother living in New York and is a bestselling author.
While attending a literary event, she unexpectedly bumps into Shane. He is also an author, and he is in New York for the event.
When Eva and Shane reconnect the chemistry between them is undeniable – everyone around them can sense it, but only they know about their steamy past.
They have another secret – they have been writing to each other for years through their published books.
As they spend time together, Eva wonders whether she can learn to trust the man who broke her heart, or whether she wants him to leave New York and get out of her life for good.
- The characters are likable and their love story is addictive and passionate
- There are some themes that some readers may find triggering or upsetting
Jane Eyre is an orphan who has had a difficult childhood. She becomes a teacher at her former school, then accepts a job as a governess.
She is to live and work in Thornfield Hall, caring for the daughter of Edward Rochester.
Rochester is a bachelor, and Adele is the result of a brief love affair with a woman in France.
Jane finds herself drawn to Rochester despite his troubled spirit and inconsistent temperament.
She doesn’t believe that he would ever be interested in a lowly governess, but he falls in love with Jane and asks her to marry him.
On the morning of the wedding disaster strikes and Jane leaves Thornfield Hall heartbroken.
Jane is taken in by a kind clergyman and his sisters and takes up a teaching position in her village.
She settles into her new life, but when she hears that Rochester is in trouble she rushes to his aide.
Will they be able to overcome their past difficulties and try again?
- This is a classic love story that has been popular for many years
- Some readers may struggle with the old-fashioned language
Talia and Foster were in love for over two years, then he shocked her and broke her heart by marrying her best friend.
7 years later with the ink barely dry on his divorce papers, he is back in town and asking for her help.
Talia has never been able to move on from their love or his betrayal.
She knows that his reason for being in town is an excuse, a ploy to spend time with her so he can win her back.
She is determined to refuse, but he’s not going down without a fight.
- Foster works hard to get Talia back which makes this a great second chance romance
- Whilst Foster loves Talia, it doesn’t make sense that she would take him back after what he did, and we never really get a good enough reason for her choice to forgive him
This was Sally Rooney’s debut novel and has now been turned into a hit television series.
Connell and Marianne go to the same school, but they couldn’t be more different.
Connell plays sports, is popular with his classmates, and comes from a working-class family.
Marianne is distant, aloof, and struggles to make friends.
Connell’s mother works as a housekeeper at Marianne’s house, and Connell drives to pick her up when she finishes work.
Over time, he and Marianne form an unlikely friendship that turns into a romance, but they keep it a secret from their classmates.
A year later, both Marianne and Connell are students at the same college.
Marianne is blossoming in her new surroundings, but Connell is overwhelmed with life in the city and the pressures of studying.
They still feel drawn to each other, but a lack of communication and difficult circumstances make it difficult for them to be together.
In their final year of college, Marianne and Connell finally manage to reconnect and give their romance another try.
But will they be able to make it work this time? Or will life drive them apart?
- This is a moving story that explores the complexities of life and relationships
- Sally Rooney has a unique, abstract style of writing that not all readers will get on with
How To Choose A Second Chance Romance Book
If you are struggling to decide which Second Chance Romance book you want to read, have a look at this advice.
There are different styles of Second Chance Romance books that you can read.
Some have a classic romance feel which is more straightforward, some focus more on drama, and others on comedy.
There are classic books or modern books, some with a happy ending and others with a sad ending.
Make sure you choose a style that you think you will enjoy.
When choosing a book to read it is usually a good idea to consider the characters.
You are more likely to enjoy a book if you can connect to the characters and find at least one of them relatable in some way.
It could be their personal circumstances or it could be their character traits, but if you find yourself drawn to a particular character then this is a good sign.
Some people prefer to read short books that are quick to get through. Others like longer books that gradually build momentum.
Make sure you think about the length of the book when you are choosing which one to read.
You may also want to consider whether the book you have chosen is part of a series – if you enjoy it then there will be more to read and you can continue to follow the story of the characters.
If you are still struggling to choose a book then you could read some of the reviews left by people who have already read it.
This will help you to figure out whether you are likely to enjoy the book. It might be that they found it too sad but you enjoy sad books, or they could leave a positive review which makes you more inclined to read the book.
Just keep an eye out for any reviews that might contain spoilers!
Reading a Second Chance Romance book can restore your faith in love.
It also makes a nice change from the classic scenario of two people meeting and falling in love and everything working out.
Sometimes love is not that simple and there are obstacles that you have to overcome, or the timing isn’t right.
The dynamic between the two main characters is often more complicated in a Second Chance romance novel, as there is a history between them.
This makes the book even more interesting to read.
All of these books have a second chance romance, and they explore the theme in different ways.
There are some different styles included on the list, so everyone should be able to find something that they enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about Second Chance Romance novels.
What Is A Second Chance Romance?
A second chance romance is when two characters get a second chance at love.
They have usually crossed paths before, and for whatever reason, the romance didn’t work out, but they are reunited and get to try again.
What Are The Common Tropes Of Second Chance Romance Books?
There are many different themes used but some of the common ones are reunited High School Sweethearts, secret baby, and the one that got away.
Do Second Chance Romance Books Have Happy Endings?
A lot of second chance romance books have happy endings, as the couple reunites and makes it work. Not all of them do- sometimes it is not meant to be or life gets in the way.