Top Ten Tuesday – Ten of My Favorite Romance Novels
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!
This week’s TTT topic is a Freebie so with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to share a list of my favorite romance novels. These are all go-to recs for me when someone tells me they don’t really enjoy reading romance. I never used to enjoy reading romance either, but these books and others like it made a believer out of me and now I consider romance to be my favorite genre of fiction, particularly contemporary romance.
Ten of My Favorite Romance Novels
1. THE BODYGUARD by Katherine Center – “Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker. Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.”
2. THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood – The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood is quite possibly the sweetest, most adorable romance novel I’ve ever read. It checked so many boxes for me (a STEM heroine, the fake dating trope, hilarious banter, and so much more) and it just had me grinning from ear to ear pretty much the entire time I was reading.
3. LOVE AND OTHER WORDS by Christina Lauren – “Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away. But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her…Love, loss, friendship and the betrayals of the past collide.”
4. THE SIMPLE WILD by K.A. Tucker – “City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.”
5. THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams – “The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club. Welcome to the Bromance Book Club. Distraught and desperate because his marriage is in trouble, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.”
6. WELL MET by Jen DeLuca – “All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation at the local Ren Faire in a laugh-out-loud rom-com.”
7. AFTER I DO by Taylor Jenkins Reid – “When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.”
8. PART OF YOUR WORLD by Abby Jimenez – “After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable. While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people. Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?”
9. RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston – “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. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?”
10. THE THINGS WE LEAVE UNFINISHED by Rebecca Yarros – “Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia Stanton has to start over after she gave up almost everything in a brutal divorce—the New York house, the friends, and her pride. Now back home at her late great-grandmother’s estate in Colorado, she finds herself face-to-face with Noah Harrison, the bestselling author of a million books where the cover is always people nearly kissing. He’s just as arrogant in person as in interviews, and she’ll be damned if the good-looking writer of love stories thinks he’s the one to finish her grandmother’s final novel…even if the publisher swears he’s the perfect fit. Noah is at the pinnacle of his career. With book and movie deals galore, there isn’t much the “golden boy” of modern fiction hasn’t accomplished. But he can’t walk away from what might be the best book of the century—the one his idol, Scarlett Stanton, left unfinished. Coming up with a fitting ending for the legendary author is one thing, but dealing with her beautiful, stubborn, cynical great-granddaughter, Georgia, is quite another. But as they read Scarlett’s words in both the manuscript and her box of letters, they start to realize why Scarlett never finished the book—it’s based on her real-life romance with a World War II pilot, and the ending isn’t a happy one. Georgia knows all too well that love never works out, and while the chemistry and connection between her and Noah is undeniable, she’s as determined as ever to learn from her great-grandmother’s mistakes—even if it means destroying Noah’s career.”
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Great picks! I love Well Met and The Love Hypothesis, and really enjoyed The Bodyguard as well!
Amanda Kay Oaks-Christman recently posted…Top 5 Tuesday: Series I Will Finish in 2023
I have read 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 and loved them as well. That means that I will have to try the other 3. Great list Suzanne.
Thanks! I hope you enjoy the other 3 if you read them. 🙂
I’m not a big romance reader but there are several authors you’ve listed that I’d love to try, especially Jen DeLuca😁
Her Ren Faire series is definitely a fun one. 🙂
I see a lot of favorites up there! The Bromance books have been so much fun, and The Simple Wild is just so romantic.
The Simple Wild is definitely one of my favorite series. I recommend it to everyone now.
I SO love this post! I have read all but two of these books and loved them. I guess I need to put After I Do and Red, White & Royal Blue on my TBR.
Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Older Romance Series I Would Be Hyping If I Had a Booktok Account
If you read them, I hope you love them as much as I did. 🙂
I read eight of these, and seven definitely made my favorites shelf. Love & Other Words is one that I especially adored. My emotions!
I really loved that one too. It’s my favorite from CLo, which is kind of funny since it’s so different from everything else I’ve read from them.
Part of your world is my new favorite, it was so heartwarming, can’t wait for happy place
Vero The Moon Phoenix recently posted…January Wrap Up • Top Ten Tuesday
I really loved Part of Your World. It’s my favorite from Jimenez.
I’ve loved Katherine Center, Christina Lauren, Jen DeLuca, Ali Hazelwood and Lyssa Kay Adams. I really thought about reading After I Do and may still read it.
Anne – Books of My Heart recently posted…🎧 Don’t Open the Door by Allison Brennan @Allison_Brennan @amymcnarrator @HarlequinAudio @HarperAudio #LoveAudiobooks
It’s a good one. It was the last TJR backlist book I needed to read and ended up being one of my favorites from her.
I’ve heard so many good things about The Love Hypothesis.
Lydia recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Confessions
It’s a fun one. 🙂
Yes to The Bodyguard, The Love Hypothesis, Love and Other Words, The Simple Wild, Well Met and RWRB!! I still need to read the rest of them, but I’m sure I’ll also love those 🙂
I hope you do end up loving all the rest. 🙂
I so adored the Simple Wild and Red, White and Royal Blue!
Sophie recently posted…Fourteen books that would make amazing movies or TV shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
They’re both so good!
I like the cover of The Things We Leave Unfinished.
Cindy Davis recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday-Ten Authors I plan to try in 2023
Isn’t it beautiful? It’s one of my favorite romance covers.
Great list! I loved The Bodyguard, The Love Hypothesis and Well Met, too. Three of my favorite books. 😀
Lark recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday
I’m one of those who rarely reads romance. I did like THE UNHONEYMOONERS, though, and I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Center. I’ll have to check out some of these authors when I’m in the mood for (reading) love 🙂
Susan (Bloggin’ ’bout Books) recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Want to Try in 2023
Center is one of my all time favorite authors. I recommend her books to everyone, haha.
What great choices! I love Well Met (the entire series, really) and The Love Hypothesis! I’ve got The Bodyguard on my TBR and can’t wait to get to it! Love your topic choice this week. Romance is my favorite!
Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl recently posted…Top Ten New-to-Me Authors Whose Books I Want to Try In 2023
I hope you love The Bodyguard. Katherine Center is one of my favorite authors!
I am not a big romance genre reader but I appreciate seeing what other people read to see if it is something that would interest me. Not saying I don’t read them, and a lot of the books I do read even of different genres end up having a “romance” aspect to them, they just aren’t ones I pick out.
Yeah, I think a lot of other genres still incorporate a bit of romance. I could easily do a whole new post just about my favorite fantasy reads that have romance in them. 🙂
I don’t read all that many romance novels these days, although I used to at one time. Though I’m very tempted by The Bodyguard and the Bromance Club, which sounds funny and poignant – I’m a sucker for second chance romances. Thank you so much sharing these, Suzanne:)).
Loved The Bodyguard, The Love Hypothesis, The Simple Wild, and The Bromance Book Club, too! I’ll have to look up the others. Great list, Suzanne!
Rachel @Waves of Fiction recently posted…Audiobook Review: Exiles by Jane Harper
All but one of these are on my shelf. Love and Other Words is one of my all time favorite romances💜
Jonetta | Blue Mood Café recently posted…Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann @SuzBrockmann @PLawlorAudio @reneeraudman @BrilliancePub
Thanks for the recommendations! I don’t read a lot of romance, but I’m always looking to get out of my comfort zone.
Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…Best Middle Grade Book Releases 2023
I don’t read a lot of contemporary romance, but I really enjoyed both Well Met and Red, White & Royal Blue!
Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard recently posted…Sunday Post, 2/05/2023
I see several favorites up there. The Things We Leave Unfinished – what a heartbreaker that was, but I absolutely loved it. The Simple Wild and Love & Other Words are also favorites. Red, White & Royal Blue and Part of Your World were good. And I Still need to read After I Do.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #324 | February 5, 2023