The most recommended sci-fi romance books

Who picked these books? Meet our 62 experts.

62 authors created a book list connected to sci-fi romance, and here are their favorite sci-fi romance books.
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What type of sci-fi romance book?


Book cover of Star King

Greta van der Rol Author Of Conspiracy

From my list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

Greta's book list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars

Greta van der Rol Why did Greta love this book?

The Star King is one of the first science fiction romances I read. It has everything I want in a space opera – politics, fast-paced action, danger, drama, angst, all mixed up with a great love story. I fell in love with the characters, especially the dishy alien alpha male. And I particularly like that the romance is between two mature people with life experience. 

By Susan Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Star King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An alien king, an Earth woman. Fated mates—Or is fate stacked against them?

Rom B’Kah is fighting for the survival of his people when a beautiful and mysterious warrior from Earth saves his life. When she vanishes without a trace, he vows to find her again.

Years after battlefield trauma sends her life into a tailspin, Jas Hamilton has given up on love. When a galactic empire makes first contact with Earth, she sets out to reclaim her lost sense of adventure—and finds it in the arms of the golden-eyed alien warrior she’s spent a lifetime trying to forget.


Book cover of Double Star

Robbie Sheerin Author Of Tales From Another Dimension: A Sci-Fi Collection

From my list on sci-fi from the 1950s.

Why am I passionate about this?

For many people, reading has been a lifesaver for their mental health. I didn't begin reading until my 20s. But I wish I had had those windows into other realities when I was younger. Having a difficult childhood molds our adult lives, and therefore we can still be haunted by childhood memories. Reading can help us see other worlds and other people, and it can ignite our imagination. Growing up in a small fishing town in Scotland is the perfect backdrop for imagination, with coastlines lined with dark, boisterous waters and castles steeped in battles, folklore, and intrigues of the past. All this has given way to my writing. 

Robbie's book list on sci-fi from the 1950s

Robbie Sheerin Why did Robbie love this book?

Double Star was particularly interesting to me due to the human aspect of prejudice and egotism, something we see every day by our fellow man.

It explores the barrier of one man’s constant pushback of what he believes is below him, or disgusting to him; aliens and political ideologies. I believe there is a fundamental goodness in all of us, and if the dust and grim of our unsavory human traits can be scrapped away, that goodness can bleed through.

The main character in Double Star must presume the identity of a man he has nothing in common with, both in life and principles, yet he plays the part perfectly. This is also a great read for non-sci-fi fans.  

By Robert A Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Double Star as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe was - as usual - in a bar, drinking away his troubles as he watched his career go down the tubes. Then a space pilot bought him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knew, he was shanghaied to Mars.

Suddenly he found himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who had been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians was at stake - failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war. And Smythe's own life was on the line - for if he wasn't assassinated,…

Book cover of Beyond Shame

Rebecca Hefner Author Of A Paradox of Fates

From my list on for fellow science dorks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I volunteered at my local library in small-town North Carolina from a very young age. One day I picked up Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, cementing my love of science. Sagan’s explanation that we’re all just a speck on the pale blue dot called Earth spoke to me and made me curious to know more. I begged my parents to let me go to Space Camp in Alabama and I went to North Carolina Governor’s School for Physics. I didn’t pursue a scientific career but I always retained my love of science. When I finally became an author in my 40s, I knew I would someday write a sci-fi time travel romance—eventually, A Paradox of Fates was born.

Rebecca's book list on for fellow science dorks

Rebecca Hefner Why did Rebecca love this book?

The first book in this series takes us on a thrilling ride in a post-apocalyptic world. The romance is steamy, so if that’s not your thing, no worries, but I love a good spicy romance so I thoroughly enjoyed this entire series. Rocha does a great job of balancing the sci-fi elements along with the romance, satisfying my love of both science and romance!

By Kit Rocha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond Shame as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book One in the Beyond Series (New Cover!)

All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted was a life beyond--beyond her stifling role as a prim and proper councilman’s daughter, and beyond the walls of the patriarchal city of Eden, the only remnants of safety in a world destroyed by solar storms decades earlier. But when she’s banished for violating the prohibition against immorality, she’s unprepared for the lawless world outside the city’s walls.

The sectors surrounding Eden house those abandoned to fend for themselves--men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at…

Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

By Patrick G. Cox, Janet Angelo (editor),

Book cover of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Ned Farrier Master Mariner: Call of the Cape

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

On the expertise I claim only a deep interest in history, leadership, and social history. After some thirty-six years in the fire and emergency services I can, I think, claim to have seen the best and the worst of human behaviour and condition. History, particularly naval history, has always been one of my interests and the Battle of Jutland is a truly fascinating study in the importance of communication between the leader and every level between him/her and the people performing whatever task is required.  In my own career, on a very much smaller scale, this is a lesson every officer learns very quickly.

Patrick's book list on the Battle of Jutland

What is my book about?

Captain Heron finds himself embroiled in a conflict that threatens to bring down the world order he is sworn to defend when a secretive Consortium seeks to undermine the World Treaty Organisation and the democracies it represents as he oversees the building and commissioning of a new starship.

When the Consortium employs an assassin from the Pantheon, it becomes personal.

Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

By Patrick G. Cox, Janet Angelo (editor),

What is this book about?

The year is 2202, and the recently widowed Captain James Heron is appointed to stand by his next command, the starship NECS Vanguard, while she is being built. He and his team soon discover that they are battling the Consortium, a shadowy corporate group that seeks to steal the specs for the ship’s new super weapon. The Consortium hires the Pantheon, a mysterious espionage agency, to do their dirty work as they lay plans to take down the Fleet and gain supreme power on an intergalactic scale. When Pantheon Agent Bast and her team kidnap Felicity Rowanberg, a Fleet agent…

Book cover of Shark Heart: A Love Story

Bobby Palmer Author Of Small Hours

From my list on talking animals for grown ups.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a British author who has always had a fascination with magical realism and novels that blend the serious with the strange. For that reason, though I write literary fiction for adults, I take so much of my inspiration from children’s literature. There’s something so simple about how kids’ books stitch the extraordinary into the every day without having to overexplain things. I now live not far from the forest that inspired A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, and my latest novel is set in and inspired by this part of rural England–with all the mystery and magic that a trip into the woods entails.

Bobby's book list on talking animals for grown ups

Bobby Palmer Why did Bobby love this book?

Not strictly a book about talking animals, in that the animal that talks is actually a human when the story begins. Lewis and Wren are going about their unassuming married life when Lewis is told by a doctor that he has one year until he turns into a great white shark.

A wacky premise that delivers so much more than expected, this beautiful, tender fable about love and mortality is packed with lovesick ocean creatures and mothers masquerading as Komodo dragons.

By Emily Habeck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shark Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Book cover of Towing Jehovah

Jass Richards Author Of The Blasphemy Tour

From my list on that dare to make fun of religion and/or gods.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was raised to be a Roman Catholic. I was not raised to think very deeply, but I did anyway. Eventually.  When I was around fifteen, I started asking questions that irritated my parents. They referred me to our priest. Who basically patted me on the head and showed me the door. When the Pope said 'no contraception,' the shit really hit the fan. I haven't looked back. And I'm quite vocal about it because, damn it, religious beliefs and religions do damage, not the least of which involves hurting and killing people. (As for being funny, that's just icing on the cake.)

Jass' book list on that dare to make fun of religion and/or gods

Jass Richards Why did Jass love this book?

I confess I'm more attracted to Morrow's themes than his actual writing, but still. Towing Jehovah is premised on God having died and his corpse needs to be towed to the Arctic for preservation. It's part of a trilogy (the second and third books are titled Blameless in Abaddon and The Eternal Footman); to be honest, I don't remember reading the other two, but I must have...  Also worth mentioning is Morrow's Bible Stories for AdultsAll irreverent. All funny in a dark way.

By James Morrow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On his 50th birthday, Anthony Van Horne meets the despondent angel Raphael, who tells him that God is dead, his body in the sea; and that Van Horne must captain the supertanker that will now tow the two-mile-long divine corpse northwards through the Atlantic. By the author of "City of Truth".

Book cover of Ice Planet Barbarians

Avalon Griffin Author Of Unbound by Shadows

From my list on romance for empowering escapism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading romance because I wanted to drown myself in stories of women stepping into their power and getting everything they wanted. Romance is a genre often looked down upon because of the happy-ever-afters, but I think that’s part of why it can be so deliciously subversive. Most (but not all) romance novels are centered on women, their voices, their sexuality, their desires, and their victories. In a world that’s often cruel, escaping into a world where dreams and fantasies are possible can be liberating. I started writing romance because I wanted to be a part of these stories and craft a world for others to escape into.

Avalon's book list on romance for empowering escapism

Avalon Griffin Why did Avalon love this book?

No, this isn't the title of a B-movie—it's the fun, sexy, and surprisingly sweet start of a series with wonderful world-building and likable characters.

This book is about how a group of human women abducted by evil aliens crash-land on a planet full of hunky, endearing aliens and the adventures they share.

I loved how the aliens cherished and celebrated the women in this story instead of reviling their humanity, as I've seen in other sci-fi stories. The spicy scenes are hot, and the heroine is a natural leader who doesn't passively wait around to be rescued.

This is a dual-POV story, and the alien hero's confusion over human quirks is quite funny. Escapism at its best!

By Ruby Dixon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ice Planet Barbarians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You'd think being abducted by aliens would be the worst thing that could happen to me. And you'd be wrong. Because now, the aliens are having ship trouble, and they've left their cargo of human women - including me - on an ice planet.

And the only native inhabitant I've met? He's big, horned, blue, and really, really has a thing for me...

Book cover of The High Ground

Michael R. Johnston Author Of The Widening Gyre

From my list on multi-cultural space operas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved stories of space, and especially space operas, since I was a child watching Star Trek reruns with my dad. I love the ways very different cultures can work together toward a common goal, but also the many ways those cultures can butt into each other and cause friction. While you can certainly tell stories about that kind of thing on Earth, science fiction lets you tell it writ large, without smacking any particular human group over the head with their differences. I love the way you can tell a story about humans today by focusing on struggles between alien cultures that aren’t a part of our everyday experience. 

Michael's book list on multi-cultural space operas

Michael R. Johnston Why did Michael love this book?

In most space opera novels, humans are the absolute best. Whether they began the government they belong to, or came to it later, they’re special in a way that makes the universe better. Melinda Snodgrass’ The High Ground is different. In her series, humans went into space, met aliens, and conquered nearly everyone they met. Now the aristocrats of the Solar League spend their time on balls and dancing, while in the dark, a new menace approaches. This is an action series, but the heart of the story is the relationship between Mercedes, eldest daughter of the Emperor, and Tracy, the common-born son of a tailor, thrust together by circumstance and torn apart by the realities of their society.  It’s a great series, full of adventure, political infighting, and humans—some of them, anyway—learning to be better people. 

By Melinda Snodgrass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The High Ground as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Solar League, those without choice seek the High Ground … As humanity progresses through the stars, in some ways, it has regressed.The Solar League, under the control of its aristocracy, has conquered many races it has encountered, placing such aliens on the bottom rung of a social order with class and marriage being all important.

As the Emperor’s daughter, Mercedes becomes the first woman to join the Solar Leagues elite military training center, the High Ground. She has everything she could dream of … except a say in her life.

However, Mercedes, along with Tracy, the common born…

Book cover of Betrayal

Kay Camden Author Of Unquiet

From my list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ll admit I’m a terribly picky reader. My specific taste doesn’t seem to fit in one genre and is sometimes hard to nail down—literary prose with genre tropes, softly-integrated worldbuilding, adventure that leaves room for reflection, and a love story subplot that’s more mental than physical. I love anti-heroes and angst and stories that get a bit dark—but not too dark. When I find it, I’m hooked and obsessed, and I feel like I’m twelve years old again, reading late into the night with a flashlight under the covers. That exprience is what I’m always hunting for, and what I attempt to recreate in my own writing. 

Kay's book list on a perfect blend of fantasy/adventure/romance

Kay Camden Why did Kay love this book?

Unrelenting action and snappy dialogue made this book an instant fav. It contains some of the best things: betrayal, revenge, a mouthy and haunted anti-hero and heroine, spaceships, and sexual tension from page one. The way this book blends all those things—and yes, this is sci-fi, not fantasy—makes a wildly entertaining start to a perfect series. I’ve never loved characters and their banter more. This perfect team both hates and loves each other and won't stop getting up no matter how many times they're knocked down. Impossibly high stakes and a plot that pits hero against heroine until their alliance becomes the key to a universe-sized revolution. What an amazing book. I devoured the whole series and can’t wait for the finale. 

By Pippa DaCosta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WARNING. Rated: R. Restricted. Contains space battles, killer AI, intergalactic ass-kicking. Read at your own risk.

She is programmed to kill.
He’ll do anything to survive.

Ex-con Captain Caleb Shepperd believes being good is overrated. All he wants is to smuggle illegal cargo through the nine systems and live a prosperous (likely short) life on the wrong side of the law.

But there's a problem with that plan. The priceless synthetic stowaway on his ship is a distraction he doesn't need.

Torn between selling her and tossing her out the airlock, Shepperd fails to realize the synth is a killer,…

Book cover of Ensnared

J.D. Astra Author Of Brutal Rival

From J.D.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Smut connoisseur Fantasy devourer 3-Star chef Dungeon master

J.D.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

J.D. Astra Why did J.D. love this book?

Set aside the fact that this book is a romance between a human woman and a spidertaur man, the world-building is incredible. There’s a fully fleshed-out alien civilization whose anatomy and environment were considered when crafting their culture. It was incredibly well done.

The book is beautifully written, with expressive prose and descriptive settings. The smut (if you don’t have arachnophobia) will make you fan yourself, and it doesn’t feel forced as you might expect.

It’s a HEA three-book series that’s complete and definitely binge-worthy. I demolished the series in three days.

There’s promise of expanded universe content coming soon, and I’m here for it. Tiffany Roberts is my favorite author duo right now for good reason.

Book cover of Broken

Katarina Vance Author Of Dead Heat

From my list on zombie apocalypse romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved zombie movies since I was a kid and first saw Return of the Living Dead during a slumber party. Since then I’ve watched as many as I could, along with shows like The Walking Dead and Z Nation. The changes in the publishing industry over the past few years have given me something even better – hundreds of amazing books about romance and survival in the zombie apocalypse to read. The five books on my list are the very best of those that eventually inspired me to write my own books. I hope you like them!

Katarina's book list on zombie apocalypse romance

Katarina Vance Why did Katarina love this book?

These are short, but the author crams so much into each book it feels like they’re twice as long. Frankie and Yorke are seriously flawed as characters, but their flaws tend to complement one another’s. It’s those flaws that drive most of their actions in the book, so even when they do something stupid you know exactly why they did them, and it’s not just a random TSTL thing thrown in to move the story along. The chemistry is hot but the romance is a slow burn because they’ve got so many issues to work out. There’s gripping action to keep things moving, plenty of zombie fighting, and psycho survivors trying to ruin the apocalypse for everyone.

By Imogen Keeper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A deadly flu raging across the planet. A woman with zero intention of surviving the apocalypse. A man who will never let her die.

When 99% of the population dies of an ungodly flu, those who survived are desperate, capable of anything, plunged into a world without laws, and no one to enforce them anyway.

Frankie has zero survival skills, but with the world burning around her, she discovers an untapped well of hope inside herself, and the strength to find other survivors. For good or bad, they must now rebuild.

Yorke, a lone soldier, never needed anyone ... until…