The best romance novels with brilliant, brainy heroines

Who am I?

After a long career in other forms of writing including but not limited to journalism, TV writing, nonfiction book authoring, I began writing contemporary romance novels two years ago and I haven’t gotten off the couch or closed my laptop since then. I write sweet, spicy books about quirky heroines and the men who can’t live without them. When I’m not writing, I’m perfecting the right ratio of coffee to milk, hustling my 2 rescue dogs around the neighborhood, or running up a hill in search of a view. 


I wrote...

Playing for You: A Sports Romance

By Stacy Travis,

Book cover of Playing for You: A Sports Romance

What is my book about?

You know the fantasy about the gorgeous soccer star who picks you from a crowded room and leaves you with an epic kiss? That’s my life, except I’m an awkward introvert and he’s my opposite in every way.

When my boss sends me in his place to a professional sports banquet, I find the only empty seat next to Donovan Taylor, the San Francisco Strikers’ resident hottie with a bad reputation. I promptly embarrass myself because I have no idea who he is. Then he kisses me and asks me out. Donovan is nothing like the player I expected. As my feelings grow, I start finding it impossible to pretend I’m only in this for a promotion. Sure, he’s hiding secrets, but they won’t be enough to break us. Will they?

The books I picked & why

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A Perfect Equation

By Elizabeth Everett,

Book cover of A Perfect Equation

Why this book?

Who says math can’t be sexy? This is the second book in the Secret Scientists of Love series, and the enemies to lovers journey of Letty and Grey hits all the right notes with swoony banter and hot chemistry. I love the friendships between the brainy female scientists at their secret lab and the humor—Everett always brings the humor in big, satisfying doses.


Remedial Rocket Science: A Romantic Comedy

By Susannah Nix,

Book cover of Remedial Rocket Science: A Romantic Comedy

Why this book?

Computer nerd meets billionaire! Nothing better than a college one-night-stand who comes back into Melody’s life as the boss’s son and her lingering flame. Smart women (in STEM, no less) will always be catnip for me as a reader because I love the inner conflict between hard-fought career goals and wanderings of the heart. In this book, watching Melody hold her ground in the face of wayward Jeremy made my heart happy—she’s funny, smart, and willing to put her heart on the line when it matters. And for his part, Jeremy’s the guy you love to hate until you just fall for him completely. This is the first book in the Chemistry Lessons series and each subsequent book delivers as well.


Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance

By Penny Reid,

Book cover of Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance

Why this book?

All of the women in Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series are spitfires, but I have a soft spot for Janie and her habit of rattling off encyclopedic facts at inopportune times and solving problems in her head as a way of avoiding too much reality. Grumbly, protective Quinn is her perfect match and readers are especially lucky because their romance unfolds over not one, but two novels.


The Love Hypothesis

By Ali Hazelwood,

Book cover of The Love Hypothesis

Why this book?

Medical researchers, nerdy humor, mistaken cues, and missed romantic opportunities—sign me up! I love this book for its smart heroine, but also for its humor and the reminder that brainy STEM women deserve to be main characters. Hazelwood’s book is funny, human, quirky, swoony, and delicious from page one.


The Kiss Quotient

By Helen Hoang,

Book cover of The Kiss Quotient

Why this book?

Stella is a beautifully smart character who approaches love the way she approaches econometrics, which means she has everything to learn from her fake date/escort who becomes very real in short order. Hoang’s book is sweet, steamy, and hilarious, as Stella opens her mind to everything she’s been missing. I love seeing the cautious scientist in Stella gradually open up to Michael, who aces the family dynamic and wins her fiercely-guarded heart.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, billionaires, and women in mathematics?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, billionaires, and women in mathematics.

Romantic Love Explore 417 books about romantic love
Billionaires Explore 21 books about billionaires
Women In Mathematics Explore 11 books about women in mathematics

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like If I Never Met You, The Unhoneymooners, and Dating Mr. Darcy if you like this list.