The best romance books that made me fall in love with romance

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my journey as an author writing YA fantasy books—then the pandemic came, publishing collapsed for a moment, and I found myself at a loss of what sort of author I wanted to be. YA didn’t call to me as it once did—and I was struggling as many of us were then. Then I found romance—it healed me, brought joy and hope back into my life, and made me love writing in a new and powerful way. The Irish Goodbye is my debut adult romance, and I hope to keep writing in this genre for many years! 

I wrote...

The Irish Goodbye

By Amy Ewing,

Book cover of The Irish Goodbye

What is my book about?

Cordelia James was once at the top of her game—a renowned street photographer with gallery showings and social media fame. But after the sudden death of her father, Cordelia can barely force herself to leave her apartment. That is until she sees an ad for a summer gig at a cozy cottage on Ireland’s picturesque Inishmore island. 

The moment she steps off the boat, she literally crashes into Niall O’Connor, a grumpy local who’s just returned home to Inishmore from Dublin. Niall is nursing a broken heart and trying to patch up a broken life. It’s hate at first sight…but as with all rivalries, their hatred is about to reach a tipping point—and it will heat up their cool coastal nights. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Flatshare

Amy Ewing Why did I love this book?

This book has one of the most unique premises I’ve ever come across in any book, much less a romance—Tiffy is just out of a toxic relationship and needs a cheap apartment fast. Leon is a palliative care nurse who is working graveyard shifts and needs extra money to help his brother. They come to an agreement—without ever actually meeting each other—to split the flat: Tiffy is there while Leon works and vice versa. 

They begin to communicate through Post-it notes, and it’s honestly the most beautiful development of a relationship I’ve ever read. I was tearing through the pages to eagerly find the moment when they finally—finally!—meet in real life. An exceptional book from start to finish! 

By Beth O'Leary,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Flatshare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


'Beth O'Leary crafts novels with such wit, heart and truth' Sophie Kinsella

'Beth O'Leary is that rare, one-in-a-million talent who can make you laugh, swoon, cry and ache all in the same book' Emily Henry


Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met...

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they're crazy, but it's the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy's at work in the day, and she has the…

Book cover of Ready or Not

Amy Ewing Why did I love this book?

Cara Bastone is one of my auto-buy authors; any of her books would make this list. Her magnetic prose and fully realized characters always draw me in. In this book, Eve discovers she’s pregnant after a one-night stand.

I’m not usually a fan of pregnancy romance, but this story captured my heart and made me sob by the end. And the hero, Shep, is one of my favorite romance heroes ever! I love how Cara writes about men with big hearts who aren’t afraid to show their feelings, and Shep fits that description to a T. 

By Cara Bastone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ready or Not as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A surprise pregnancy leads to even more life-changing revelations in this “absolutely buoyant read” (Elle, The Best and Most Anticipated Romance Books of 2024, So Far).

“Bastone delivers on this truly heartwarming, funny, and real story. Come for the dog bar, stay for the special, slow-burn romcom.”—Abby Jimenez, New York Times bestselling author

Eve Hatch lives for surprises! Just kidding. She expects every tomorrow to be pretty much the same as today. She loves her cozy apartment in Brooklyn that’s close to her childhood best friend Willa, and far from her midwestern, traditional family who has never really understood her.…

Book cover of Part of Your World

Amy Ewing Why did I love this book?

This was the first book of Abby’s I read, and it was certainly not the last! I love how she creates worlds you just want to live in—I wished I could step into the pages and hang out in the quaint Minnesotan town of Wakan with Daniel and Alexis. And the banter is seriously next level—I don’t know how Abby writes dialogue so well, but this book had me cracking up and aww-ing from the first page to the last.

It’s a perfect summer read and a great small-town, age-gap romance with tons of heart! 

By Abby Jimenez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Part of Your World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A refreshingly modern fairy tale and instant New York Times bestseller that Love Hypothesis author Ali Hazelwood hails as "an uplifting, feel-good, romantic read." 

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…

Book cover of Red, White & Royal Blue

Amy Ewing Why did I love this book?

This list would not be complete without Alex and Henry’s story—this was the first M/M romance I read, and it made me feel ALL the feels. I loved the setup of the son of the US president falling for a British prince—and the hook did not disappoint.

I was so drawn in by both characters’ struggles to be seen as themselves and to love who they wanted despite the giant spotlight shining on both their lives. As soon as I finished it, I wanted to start again on page one. 

By Casey McQuiston,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Red, White & Royal Blue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* Instant NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestseller *

What happens when America's First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius--his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There's only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when…

Book cover of Drive Me Wild

Amy Ewing Why did I love this book?

Melanie is one of my favorite indie authors, and this book is full of crackling heat and delicious tension! I was fanning myself as I read it—the descriptions are luscious, and the attraction between the hero and heroine is palpable.

The pairing of a tattooed mechanic who helps a debutante on the run from her oppressive family grabbed my attention from the first page. This story has so much fantastic humor, a small town I wished was real, and a host of amazing secondary characters. 

By Melanie Harlow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Drive Me Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

You might also like...

Lightning Strike Blues

By Gayleen Froese,

Book cover of Lightning Strike Blues

Gayleen Froese Author Of Lightning Strike Blues

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Communications officer Singer-songwriter Fan of all animals Role-playing geek Nature photographer

Gayleen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

One summer night in a small prairie city, 18-year-old Gabriel Reece accidentally outs himself to his redneck brother Colin, flees on his motorcycle, and gets struck by lightning on his way out of town.

He’s strangely fine, walking away from his melted pile of bike without a scratch. There’s no time to consider his new inhuman durability before his brother disappears and his childhood home burns down. He’s become popular, too—local cops and a weird private eye are after him, wanting to know if his brother is behind a recent murder.

Answers might be in the ashes of the house…

Lightning Strike Blues

By Gayleen Froese,

What is this book about?

On Friday, Gabriel Reece gets struck by lightning while riding his motorcycle.

It's not the worst thing that happens to him that week.

Gabe walks away from a smoldering pile of metal without a scratch-or any clothes, which seem to have been vaporized. And that's weird, but he's more worried about the sudden disappearance of his brother, Colin, who ditched town the second Gabe accidentally outed himself as gay.

Gabe tries to sift through fragmented memories of his crummy childhood for clues to his sudden invincibility, but he barely has time to think before people around town start turning up…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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