Contemporary Romance: The 20 Best Books Like Hopeless (by Colleen Hoover)

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, a New York Times bestseller published in 2012, is an emotionally fraught with a stunningly intense romance. The book reveals details slowly — some of them feeling like a punch in the gut. 

Contemporary Romance: The 20 Best Books Like Hopeless (by Colleen Hoover)

But all of this intensity is blended with sweetness and laughter that keeps it from being too dark. The story lingers in the mind long after you’ve turned the final page which makes finding your follow-up book a bit of a challenge. 

There’s no need to worry, though, because we have the list you need — 20 books to read after you’ve finished Hopeless

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words

Lauren’s bestseller centers around a pair of childhood sweethearts, Macy and Elliot. It’s a captivating story that is both heartwarming and bittersweet. 

Adult Macy is a pediatrics resident engaged to an older man living in a perfectly safe bubble she has constructed around herself — and her heart. All of her careful planning starts to unravel when she has a chance meeting with her past. 

Readers also journey through Macy and Elliot’s younger lives as the past is revealed and the pair come to understand what happened that fateful night. Will the pair find their way to an all-consuming love?

You can find out more about the book here.

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Punk 57

To get through her senior year of high school, Ryen goes full mean girl, keeping her family at a distance and her feelings private. But when her elementary school pen pal, Misha, ghosts — Ryen doesn’t know what to do. 

Misha only cares about two things: music and his pen pal. Even though they had agreed to never meet or look each other up, Misha accidentally discovers her real identity, and he isn’t impressed with what he finds. 

Douglas creates a bully fantasy romance with an intriguing redemption arc with chemistry that sizzles off the page. The banter, teen angst, and passion will keep the pages turning until the very end. 

Get your copy on Amazon.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

Moments after midnight, Mateo and Rufus both learn they have one day left to live. In this reality, there is an app for people to make a connection on their “End Day” called “Last Friend.” Rufus and Mateo connect via the app and hope to meet up to fill their collective last day with a lifetime’s worth of adventures. 

Silvera’s critically-acclaimed novel asks you to explore your own ideas of a perfect last day while following the duo on a heartbreaking and profound journey. They Both Die at the End has landed on many best-of lists and is a BookTok favorite. 

See what TikTok is raving about here.

Archer’s Voice by Mic Sheridan

Archer's Voice

Bree Prescott hopes that a tranquil lakeside hamlet in Maine will be the home she needs, the place where she finally finds peace. Shortly after her arrival, she crosses paths with Archer Hale, a recluse who is hiding away his suffering. 

The plot centers on a woman unable to free herself from one terrible night and the man who may hold the keys to her release. It is a tale of pain and the healing power of love.

The first in a trilogy, Sheridan’s bestselling novel, includes the sentiment,  “Sometimes an understanding silence was better than a bunch of meaningless words,” which has been highlighted by nearly 3,000 kindle users!

Find your own favorite quote on Amazon.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

One True Loves: A Novel

Emma Blair marries Jesse, her high school sweetheart, and they create a life for themselves far from their hometown in Massachusetts. Together, they traverse the globe, enjoying every moment while looking for new adventures.

The grand adventure comes to a halt when Jesse’s helicopter disappears over the Pacific. In order to rebuild a life, Emma heads home to her parents’ house. Years later, she connects with Sam, and love blossoms for her once again. It seems like she is about to get a second chance at happiness — until Jesse is found. 

It is a devastatingly beautiful novel full of heart-wrenching questions. The reader must follow Emma through a difficult choice, but will you be happy with where her heart lands?

Find out who Emma picks on Kindle.

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Every Summer After

Every Summer After is a grand, nostalgic look at love and the people and decisions that leave a lasting impression on us. It is told over the span of six summers and one weekend.

Sam and Percy were inseparable for six summers, spending afternoons on the water and hot summer nights working in his family’s restaurant. Peaceful days curled up with books turned a sweet friendship into something more breathtaking before it fell apart in a spectacular fashion.

When Percy heads back to Barry’s Bay for Sam’s mother’s funeral, will they rekindle their lost love or only relive their past transgressions?

See how it all ends.

Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

Things We Never Got Over (Knockemout)

Knox avoids drama like the plague — until Naomi’s life implodes in front of him. While it is true, Naomi was running away from her wedding; she was also riding into town to rescue her twin. Unfortunately, Tina hasn’t changed much. 

Naomi’s sister takes off with her car and her money, leaving behind a niece she didn’t even know she had. Stranded in a rough town with no car, job, or home, Naomi needs all the help she can get. 

There is a reason Knox avoids complicated romantic relationships and prefers the company of his dog. However, Knox can’t seem to walk away and leave Naomi to handle her rapidly disintegrating life on her own. 

Find out if Naomi and Knox find true love. 

​​The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose

The Perfect Marriage: a completely gripping psychological suspense

A thrilling bestseller with tantalizing twists at every turn, Rose’s debut novel has been optioned for development as either a film or a TV series!

Sarah Morgan is a successful defense attorney and named partner at her D.C. firm. Life is right on track. Her husband, Adam, has a life that isn’t going quite as swell. He’s a struggling writer who has seen little success and is unhappy with his lack of connection with his busy wife.

At the couple’s lake house, Adam has a passionate affair. But one morning, his lover is found brutally stabbed to death. Now, Sarah must defend her husband, a man accused of murdering his mistress. 

Pick up a copy on Amazon.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

We Were Liars is a sophisticated novel by a New York Times bestselling author. Lockhart is also a National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree. The novel itself has received oodles of critical acclaim and has even won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction.

It’s a story that centers around a distinguished family, a private island, a damaged girl, and a passionate boy. You’ll turn page after page on a journey with four friends (the liars) whose friendship turns destructive. 

It’s an ending most won’t see coming. 

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

Birthday Girl

New York Times Bestselling author, Penelope Douglas, pens a new story of forbidden love  — a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18 and up.

The story follows Jordan and her relationship with her boyfriend’s dad, Pike.  Jordan has had a hard life with virtually no family or friends. All she really wants is a life of her own and someone to be happy with. Pike wants the same thing.

This age-gap romance is a slow burn full of sexual tension and strong characters. 

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

Nastya relocates to a new town to hide her troubled history and keep everyone away after an unimaginable catastrophe leaves her a shell of the girl she once was. But her carefully laid plans quickly fall apart as she finds herself drawn to the town loner. 

By the time he is seventeen years old, every person Josh has ever loved has been stolen from his life. Everyone in town gives him plenty of space — since his name basically means death. But the new girl in town can’t seem to leave him alone. Josh begins to doubt whether he will ever understand the secrets she has been keeping or even whether he wants to as their inescapable attraction grows stronger.

A lonely kid, an emotionally vulnerable girl, and the miracle of second chances are the subjects of the deep, passionate, and masterfully portrayed tale The Sea of Tranquility.

Get your copy on Amazon.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

The Ex Hex: A Novel (The Graves Glen Series, 1)

A shiver-inducing love story replete with witches and wishes. This quirky, spicy romance about a massive post-breakup hex will cast a strong spell over you!

In the lovely little town of Graves Glen, Vivienne is experiencing heartbreak. She also happens to be a witch who cures her blues with a little bit of booze and a little bit of magic. It’s all fun and games until her hottie ex-boyfriend, Rhys, resurfaces years later.

This second-chance romantic comedy is jam-packed with supernatural catastrophes, a ghost or two, a kitty obsessed with treats, and lots and lots of spicy-sweet sexiness

Don’t let the spell wear off — read The Ex Hex today!

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Never by J .A. Redmerski (2013-07-02)

A #1 Amazon best-selling author, Redmerski gives readers a spicy Adult Contemporary fiction book full of endless wows! 

Camryn has always been an out-of-the-box thinker who wanted something more than the same old life. She thought she had things on track, but she feels a little lost when circumstances have her moving in with her best friend. Suddenly, Camryn finds herself boarding a Greyhound bus and trekking out to find herself. 

When Camryn’s path leads her to Andrew, she is drawn in by his own set of dark secrets. But Camryn isn’t interested in love or allowing herself to be vulnerable with anyone ever again. Will Andrew’s daring and their undeniable connection pull them together? 

Will the secrets be too much to bear?

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer: A Novel (Bellinger Sisters, 1)

TikTok-favorite Tessa Bailey offers a spicy rom-com about a Hollywood darling and a sexy small-towner that readers find as adorable as it is steamy. 

Because of Piper’s reputation as a wild chile, paparazzi are constantly chasing her down. When Piper gets into some trouble after drinking too much champagne at an unruly rooftop party, her stepfather has had enough. He sends Piper and her sister to Washington to manage their late father’s dive bar.

Piper almost immediately meets the large, bearded sea captain, Brendan, who believes she won’t survive a week outside of Beverly Hills. Although the gruff fisherman and the fun-loving socialite are complete opposites, there is an undeniable spark between them.

See if you agree with BookTok!

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel (1) (The Ten Tiny Breaths Series)

Kacey’s life is destroyed by a car accident, so she flees to Florida, where she meets a seductive man who tries to win her broken heart. With his adorable dimples and mesmerizing blue eyes, Trent effortlessly walks the line between good guy and bad boy.

Trent is desperate to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart, even if it means disclosing an explosive truth that may destroy both of their worlds. Kacey is hardened by her sad past and determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their connection is unmistakable.

Bestselling author K.A. Tucker writes a captivating story with an edge that is full of steamy romance and building tension.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuistun

One Last Stop

American author Casey McQuiston’s LGBT romance book, One Last Stop, was published in 2021. The protagonist of the book August is a cynical sort-of detective who falls in love with Jane, a punk Lesbian from the 70s who has been transported through time. One problem, Jane is stuck on the subway.

It’s a passionate love story that transitions into a romantic summer dream steam. One Last Stop was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards for best romance novel of 2021, where it placed 3rd. The book was also ranked sixth among the top ten romance novels of 2021 by Bookpage.

See if you agree with all the rave reviews.

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You Trilogy)

A tear-jerking love story that has touched the hearts of over 20 million people, Me Before You is the work of a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Louisa is a typical young woman who hardly ventures outside of her small community and has an incredibly typical life. She accepts a position working for Will Traynor, a local Lord of the Manor type who is now wheelchair-bound due to an accident. Will has always led a life filled with adventure travel and extreme sports — until the accident left him unable to even care for himself.

Louisa refuses to treat Will with kid gloves even though he is abrasive and irritable, but eventually, his happiness matters more to her than she could ever have imagined. She goes all out to prove to Will that life is still worthwhile after learning that he has shocking plans for his own life.

Grab your tissues and your copy on Amazon.

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis

A slightly awkward Ph.D. applicant and a hotshot young professor are paired in Hazelwood’s first romantic comedy. A wide range of readers who enjoy the genre should be delighted with this seductive contemporary romance!

While Olive doesn’t believe in happily ever after, her best friend Anh is a hopeless romantic. But Anh refuses to act on her crush because of “girl code” — since Olive briefly dated the object of Anh’s desire. 

To prove to Anh that Olive has no feelings for Jeremy, she impulsively kisses Adam, an often irritable professor. Olive convinces Adam to fake date her to further alleviate Anh’s guilt over Jeremy. 

However, as their chemistry and attraction intensify, their connection transcends mere pretense. 

But will their fake romance turn into something more substantial?

Vain by Fisher Amelie

Vain: Book One of The Seven Deadly Series

Book one of seven, Vain, is the story of Sophie Price and how she went from being envied by all to being the one no one could stand to have around. The antagonist is a self-described “friend-using, drug-abusing, sex addict” who doesn’t wish to be misunderstood. 

It’s a story about one of the most widespread weaknesses — vanity. It asks questions about whether it is a natural trait of humanity or something pushed on us by society. It’s not your typical love story, but it is a worthwhile and contemplative read.

Grab your copy of Vain on Amazon.

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

Poppy and Alex are opposites attract — sunshine and rain. They are everything opposite in nearly every single way. Henry’s story follows them through a decade or more of summer vacations. 

Poppy’s quirkiness and outgoing nature is so different from Alex’s grumpy demeanor and penchant for staying inside with a good book. But their differences don’t stop them from being best friends. All is great…until it isn’t. Poppy has to talk Alex into one last vacation, hoping to salvage their damaged friendship.  

It is a will they or won’t they romance that is sure to please. 


What should I read after Hopeless by Colleen Hoover?

We recommend any of the 20 books above to serve as a good follow-up to Hopeless. However, Colleen Hoover has a large catalog of books, including It Ends With Us which has over 1 billion tags on TikTok.

What is Colleen Hoover’s saddest book?

Hoover considers All Your Perfects as her saddest book, but she loved the characters so much that she tied them into the Hopeless series.

What is Colleen Hoover’s most romantic book?

Since the author is known for writing “twisty” romances, the most romantic book is a bit subjective. However, according to Good Read reviews, It Ends With Us and Reminders of Him are the two top contenders for the title.

What is Colleen Hoover’s bestselling novel?

Hoover has sold over 20 million books in total, and It Ends With Us is her bestselling novel so far.

What are Colleen Hoover’s fans called?

Hoover has attracted a lot of voracious fans who call themselves CoHorts.

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Dara Brewton