The best contemporary romance books set in Manhattan

Jacqueline Friedland Author Of That's Not a Thing
By Jacqueline Friedland

The Books I Picked & Why

One Day in December

By Josie Silver

Book cover of One Day in December

Why this book?

I live a very busy life with four children, two dogs, an awesome husband, and a career of my own. If a book doesn’t pull me in right from the start, I tend to give up on it fairly quickly. This book sucks you in right away and keeps you turning the pages with fervor. It’s a complicated story about friendship, romance, and a young woman who thinks she has everything figured out, until she doesn’t, but then she does, and then she doesn’t. You get the gist.

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In Five Years

By Rebecca Serle

Book cover of In Five Years

Why this book?

This book absolutely shattered me. Imagine going to sleep one night and waking up in the morning to a whole new existence. That’s what happens to the protagonist in this book. It’s five years later, and she’s living with the wrong man, having no clue how she ended up where she is. With NYC as a fabulous background to this captivating story, she has to figure out how to make sense of her whole new world. The only thing grounding her in reality is the city she’s always known. 

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The Lies That Bind

By Emily Giffin

Book cover of The Lies That Bind

Why this book?

The night before September 11, 2001, I was in New York City, and my now-husband proposed to me. We woke up the next morning to a whole new world. Any book set in Manhattan that relates to September 11th instantly speaks to me. This romance story is one you will never see coming, and I can’t recommend it more highly.

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The Rosie Effect

By Graeme Simsion

Book cover of The Rosie Effect

Why this book?

You’ve probably read The Rosie Project, but have you read the prequel? I’ve always been a sucker for back story and what happened before the moment a movie or novel starts. Well, that’s what you get in The Rosie Effect. And even better, its setting in the vibrant and thrilling New York City only adds to the romance and excitement in this beautiful romantic comedy.

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The Spanish Love Deception

By Elena Armas

Book cover of The Spanish Love Deception

Why this book?

As someone who spent a number of years working in a big office in New York City (and kinda hating it), the “big city office atmosphere” in this story really spoke to me. Luckily, there is at least a brief vacation where the characters escape the grind. Best of all, when they return to the city, they can appreciate what’s romantic about it in so many new and wonderful ways.

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