Best Contemporary Romance Books
Contemporary romance is broadly described as the time period for romance set after World War II, and is sometimes referred to as "modern romance".
Contemporary romance novels have always been a thing, but novels set in current times have a way of becoming outdated as time marches on.
The contemporary romance genre is my favorite subset of the vast romance genre. Contemporary romance novels are traditionally defined as romance books that take place within the past few decades.
1. It Ends with Us: A Novel
Author: by Colleen Hoover
Published at: Atria Books (August 2, 2016)
Instant New York Times Bestseller Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, Colleen Hoover's It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price. Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants.
She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew upshe graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn't hurt. Lily can't get him out of her head. But Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.
Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can't help but wonder what made him that way in the first place. As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corriganher first love and a link to the past she left behind.
2. The Affair: A Novel
Author: by Danielle Steel
Published at: Delacorte Press (March 2, 2021)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In this riveting novel, Danielle Steel explores a high-profile affair that reverberates throughout an entire family, from the wounded wife to her husbandtorn between two womento the wife's close-knit sisters and their mother. When Rose McCarthy's staff at Mode magazine pitches a cover shoot with Hollywood's hottest young actress, the actress's sizzling affair with a bestselling French author is exposed.
The author happens to be Rose's son-in-law, which creates a painful dilemma for her. Her daughter Nadia, a talented interior designer, has been struggling to hold her marriage together, and conceal the truth from their young daughters, her family, and the world.
But Nicolas, her straying husband, is blinded by passion for a younger womanand not only that, she is pregnant with his child. Nadia's three sisters close ranks around her, flying to Paris from Los Angeles and New York to lend support and offer their widely divergent advice.
Athena, a jovial celebrity chef with her own TV show in Los Angeles, is leery of marriage. Olivia, a stern conservative New York superior court judge, is haunted by a shocking secret of her own. Venetia, a zany fashion designer, happily married with three kids, has the gentlest, most realistic point of view.
3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel
Author: by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published at: Washington Square Press; Unabridged edition (May 29, 2018)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the author of Daisy Jones & The Sixan entrancing and wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet (PopSugar) as she reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.Why her?Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn's luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love.
4. The Return
Author: by Nicholas Sparks
Published at: Grand Central Publishing (September 29, 2020)
In the romantic tradition of Dear John, Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor - and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life in this #1 New York Times bestseller. Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina.
But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he'd inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any. Tending to his grandfather's beloved beehives, Trevor isn't prepared to fall in love with a local ...
Yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can't ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she's hiding. Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road.
5. The Wish
Author: by Nicholas Sparks
Published at: Grand Central Publishing (September 28, 2021)
From the author of The Longest Ride and The Return comes a novel about the enduring legacy of first love, and the decisions that haunt us forever. 1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina's Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind ...
Until she meets Bryce Trickett, one of the few teenagers on the island. Handsome, genuine, and newly admitted to West Point, Bryce gradually shows her how much there is to love about the wind-swept beach townand introduces her to photography, a passion that will define the rest of her life.
By 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer. She splits her time between running a successful gallery in New York and photographing remote locations around the world. But this year she is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis.
Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, she finds herself becoming close to him. As they count down the last days of the season together, she begins to tell him the story of another Christmas, decades earlierand the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.
6. Beach Read
Author: by Emily Henry
Published at: Penguin Publishing Group (May 19, 2020)
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!"Original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling..."Sally Thorne, author of The Hating GameA romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They're polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel.
She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love.Really.
7. Ugly Love: A Novel
Author: by Colleen Hoover
Published at: Atria Books (August 5, 2014)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover's heart-wrenching love story proves that attraction at first sight can be messy. When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn't even go so far as to consider themselves friends.
The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn't want love, she doesn't have time for love, so that just leaves the sex.
Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past. Don't expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can't handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered.Love gets ugly.
8. The Complete After Series Collection 5 Books Box Set by Anna Todd (After Ever Happy, After, After We Collided, After We Fell, Before)
Author: by Anna Todd
Published at: Simon & Schuster UK (January 1, 2019)
Anna Todd After Series Collection 5 Books Set Titles in the Set After, After We Collided, After Ever Happy, After We Fell and Before
9. Act Your Age, Eve Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters, 3)
Author: by Talia Hibbert
Published at: Avon (March 9, 2021)
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIn Talia Hibbert's newest rom-com, the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hardliterally. Featured on Parade, PopSugar, Marie Claire, Oprah Mag, Bustle, Shondaland, CNN.
Com, Kirkus Magazine, Bookpage, USA Today, Bookish, Bookriot, and more! Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. So she's given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line.
It's time for Eve to grow up and prove herselfeven though she's not entirely sure howJacob Wayne is in control.Always. The bed and breakfast owner's on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection.
So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her carsupposedly by accident.Yeah, right.
10. Den of Vipers
Author: by K.A Knight
Published at: Independently published (July 10, 2020)
Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and DieselThe Vipers. They run this town and everyone in it. Their deals are as sordid as their business, and their reputation is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, forcing him to beg for mercy.
They are not people you mess with, yet my dad did. The old man ran up a debt with them and then sold me to cover his losses.Yes, sold me.They own me now. I'm theirs in every sense of the word.
But I've never been meek and compliant. These men, they look at me with longing. Their scarred, blood-stained hands holding me tight. They want everything I am, everything I have to give, and won't stop until they get just that.
They can own my body, but they will never have my heart.The Vipers? I'm going to make them regret the day they took me.This girl?She bites too. 18+ Reverse Harem Romance. Warning this book contains scenes and references of abuse/assault that some readers may find triggering.
Along with graphic sex scenes and violence. This is a dark book*
11. Neighbors: A Novel
Author: by Danielle Steel
Published at: Delacorte Press (January 5, 2021)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In Danielle Steel's gripping new novel, a reclusive woman opens up her home to her neighbors in the wake of a devastating earthquake, setting off events that reveal secrets, break relationships apart, and bring strangers together to forge powerful new bonds.
Meredith White was one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. But a personal tragedy cut her acting career short and alienated her from her family. For the last fifteen years, Meredith has been living alone in San Francisco with two trusted caretakers.
Then, on a muggy late summer day, a massive earthquake strikes Northern California, plunging the Bay Area into chaos. Without a moment's hesitation, Meredith invites her stunned and shaken neighbors into her mostly undamaged home as the recovery begins. These people did not even realize that movie star Meredith White was living on their street.
Now, they are sharing her mansion, as well as their most closely kept secrets. Without the walls and privacy of their own homes, one by one, new relationships are forged. For every neighbor there is a story, from the doctor whose wife and children fear him, to the beautiful young woman dating a dishonorable man, to the aspiring writer caring for a famous blind musician.
12. Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey / Fifty Shades Darker / Fifty Shades Freed)
Author: by E L James
Published at: Vintage; Box edition (June 12, 2012)
Now available as a three-volume paperback boxed set, E L James's New York Times #1 bestselling trilogy has been hailed by Entertainment Weekly as being in a class by itself. Beginning with the GoodReads Choice Award Romance Finalist Fifty Shades of Grey, the Fifty Shades Trilogy will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
This boxed set includes the following novels: FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, toobut on his own terms.
When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian's secrets and explores her own desires. FIFTY SHADES DARKER: Daunted by Christian's dark secrets and singular tastes, Ana has broken off their relationship to start a new career.
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and while Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Ana is forced to make the most important decision of her life. FIFTY SHADES FREED: Now, Ana and Christian have it alllove, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future.
13. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel
Author: by Gail Honeyman
Published at: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 5, 2018)
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA Reese Witherspoon Book Club PickBeautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!
Reese WitherspoonNo one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.
14. The Silent Wife: A gripping, emotional page-turner with a twist that will take your breath away
Author: by Kerry Fisher
Published at: Forever (November 13, 2018)
In this heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping USA Today bestseller, a woman with a seemingly perfect life finds a mysterious letter that reveals dark secrets from the past that threaten to destroy her family. Lara's life looks perfect on the surface - gorgeous doting husband, Massimo; sweet little son, Sandro; and the perfect home.
But Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can't tell anyone else, or everything he has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. Maggie is married to Massimo's brother, Nico, and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter.
She knows all of Nico's darkest secrets - or so she thinks. Then one day she discovers a letter in the attic that reveals a shocking secret about Nico's first wife. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves?
For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price.