We chose the 10 best romance books of 2023. See the full list.
Falling in love with love has never been easier. Here are some of my favorite recent romance novels — including steamy historicals, cutting-edge contemporaries and paranormals packed with supernatural creatures. I’ll be updating this list all year, so check back for more recommendations.
I want a romance novel that revels in everyday lives.
We Could Be So Good, by Cat Sebastian
This midcentury queer historical about two New York reporters who meet at work and fall in love is a book where the small, everyday decisions — to feed a stray cat, to offer a friend a spare room, to bring home flowers with the groceries — loom large because they’re how we connect with others. The reader is welcomed into a pair of lives as they become one shared world.
Forever Your Rogue, by Erin Langston
To avoid losing custody of her children, the widow Cora Dane needs to come up with an aristocratic fiancé, stat. Fortunately, her best friend’s brother is an earl’s heir. And so we meet Nathaniel Travers, the rake who reforms himself in one of the most utterly gorgeous character transformations historical romance has offered up in a long time.
Vampires and lesbians, please.
A Long Time Dead, by Samara Breger
Poppy, a Victorian sex worker, awakens in a cobwebbed manor to find herself a creature out of a nightmare. Her only companion, Roisin, is a traumatized, stern vampire who has firm rules about drinking from humans (never) and sleeping with Poppy (also never, she protests a little too vehemently). I had to keep putting down “A Long Time Dead” to yell about how sublime and funny it was, to dwell on the way Breger’s sleekly poetic style melted down into brutal abstraction when Poppy’s bloodlust took over.
I want a charming, slow-burn tale.
The Neighbor Favor, by Kristina Forest
Nick’s epic fantasy novel with Black elves floundered when his publisher shut its doors. Now he has a huge new contract to finish the series — if only he weren’t so distracted by his gorgeous new neighbor Lily, a book editor.
Can we turn up the heat? I’d like some sizzle.
Chick Magnet, by Emma Barry
In this enemies-to-lovers tale, Nic — who’s Instagram-famous for her backyard chicken flock — moves next door to Will, a grumpy veterinarian. Nic is mired in her past; Will can’t see beyond his own fear of the future — but together they find a way to exist in the present.
I want something sweet and scary.
I like elves! Give me a thoughtful fantasy with a romantic twist.
Her Good Side, by Rebekah Weatherspoon
From lesbian vampire sororities to contemporary Black professionals’ group chats, nobody writes friend groups quite like Rebekah Weatherspoon. Those skills are front and center in her first Y.A. romance, “Her Good Side,” which follows two friends who decide to pretend-date to bolster their confidence for real relationships. This book preserves all the thrills of teenage drama (gossip and crushes and shifting loyalties!) but keeps the worst disasters at bay, just like any well-built roller coaster would.