The best romance books with longing so intense, you’ll swoon

The Books I Picked & Why

When He Was Wicked: Bridgerton

By Julia Quinn

Book cover of When He Was Wicked: Bridgerton

Why this book?

Long before Bridgerton graced screens around the world, I loved this Julia Quinn novel (the sixth in her Bridgerton series) about a man who falls hard for a woman he can never have: his cousin’s wife. Michael is head over heels for Francesca and positively loathes himself for it. His angst is so palpable, it made my chest ache. It’s a slow, hot burn—and totally worth the wait.

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The Summer I Turned Pretty

By Jenny Han

Book cover of The Summer I Turned Pretty

Why this book?

They say you never forget your first crush, and this young adult romance perfectly captures the headiness and angst of falling in love (at any age). Jenny Han pours emotion onto the page, and the love triangle between Belly and the Fisher brothers makes for the best kind of romantic tension. I devoured the whole series.

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Again the Magic

By Lisa Kleypas

Book cover of Again the Magic

Why this book?

If you’re a historical romance fan, you already know there’s something special about Lisa Kleypas’s writing, and this book is one of my favorites. Aline and McKenna are from vastly different worlds, and they’re so in love it hurts. The only way they can protect each other seems to be to push each other away, but the longing is always there, simmering beneath the surface. Magic, indeed.

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The Hating Game

By Sally Thorne

Book cover of The Hating Game

Why this book?

Lucy and Josh have so much chemistry that it manifests as anger, frustration, and, yes, hate. But don’t be fooled. Sally Thorne’s writing is witty, charming, and sexy too. (Case in point: the elevator scene.) After reading this book, you’ll want an office nemesis just so you can play the game—and drive Human Resources a little crazy in the process.

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One Day in December

By Josie Silver

Book cover of One Day in December

Why this book?

I always scoffed at the notion of love at first sight, but this story just might have made a believer out of me. Laurie falls for Jack in an instant, but their road to a happy ever after is long and twisted, funny and poignant. One chapter could wreck me and the next would have me sighing happily. So much pining…but guaranteed to leave you smiling.

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