Book List

19 Contemporary Romances You Have to Read

May 15, 2021
Shivani Annirood

It doesn’t need to be Valentine’s Day to sink into a cute, contemporary love story! Whether it’s cold outside and you need a good book to cuddle under your blanket or it’s deep in summer and you’re suntanning at the beach, these books are guaranteed to make you swoon all year round!

19 Contemporary Romances You Have to Read

1. The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch

Sky may be openly gay, but sometimes in his small town it’s easier to be invisible than it is to be himself. But that doesn’t stop Sky from planning an extravagant promposal to ask his crush, Ali, to prom. Unfortunately, before Sky can prompose, his plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic eblast. Sky is fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator. This book is witty, heartfelt, and the perfect read for any day ending in Y.

 

2. The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott

Emily always felt lucky—that is, until her mother passed away three years ago. And things get even worse the summer before her senior year, when her boyfriend breaks up with her and her dad decides to sell their house. With her best friend away for the summer, the only person Emily can talk to is Blake, a girl she barely knows.Then Emily finds her mom’s senior year summer bucket list. When Blake suggests that Emily take it on as a challenge, the two set off on a journey to complete each item on the list. AsEmily begins to feel closer to her mom again, her bond with Blake deepens, too…into something she wasn’t expecting.

 

3. Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone.

 

4. Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali

It’s officially wedding season! In this fun and fresh sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.

 

5. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on Tarek in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response. Now she’s been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When the two meet again, they clash immediately but Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there.

 

6. One Great Lie by Deb Caletti

When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with the charismatic and brilliant Luca Bruni, it’s a dream come true. Bruni’s villa on the eerie island of La Calamita is extravagant—lush beyond belief, and the other students are both inspiring and intimidating. Venice itself is beautiful, charming, and seductive, but so is Luca Bruni. As his behavior becomes increasingly unnerving, and as Charlotte begins to unearth the long-lost work of Isabella with the help of sweet, smart Italian Dante, other things begin to rise, too—secrets about the past, and secrets about the present.

 

7. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Who doesn’t love a bit of competition? Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

 

8. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

 

9. Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

 

10. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

Get ready to dive heart-first into this swoony Beauty and the Beast retelling set at an elite boarding school! Princess Jaya Rao values family above all, so when the loathsome Emerson clan targets her little sister, she vows revenge, specifically by making His Lordship Grey Emerson fall in love with her and then breaking his heart. But what happens when they grow closer than Jaya ever intended? Or when an ancient curse that plagues Grey is linked to the ruby pendant around Jaya’s neck? Are the stars trying to keep them apart or pull them closer? Don’t miss the sequel, Of Princes and Promises

 

11. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple—headstrong, driven, and determined to excel in her web development program—meets Rishi—a hopeless romantic—it’s not your typical meet-cute. Unless you count Dimple throwing her ice coffee on Rishi and running away as a meet-cute. While their parents want to arrange their marriage, Dimple just wants to focus on her program, so she calls the whole thing off. Yet, somehow, Dimple and Rishi keep finding their way back to each other in this adorable story about unexpected love. 

 

12. Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson

When Lane’s longtime crush becomes her step-brother, she needs a distraction, ASAP. So, she starts hanging out with Conner, her friend’s older brother and local bad boy. But what started as a casual friendship grows deeper, as they begin sharing their hopes, dreams, and ghosts of their pasts with each other. Can Lane untangle her feelings for both boys and face the truth of what she wants? 

 

13. Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

When Penny and Sam first meet, it’s less a meet-cute and more an awkward encounter. Somehow, they exchange phone numbers and become each other’s “emergency contact”—a lifeline for each other as they endure life changes, overcome anxieties, and share secret dreams. A series of texts become the foundation of a deeply intimate and powerful relationship. 

 

14. Stay With Me  by Mila Gray

If you’re looking for a heartwrenching love story that gives you all the feels, then grab a box of tissues and dive into Mila Gray’s Stay With Me. When Didi starts her internship at a military hospital, she meets wounded marine Noel Walker. Walker tries to keep his distance, but their chemistry is undeniable. Sometimes love is difficult, messy, and complicated. 

 

15. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Jenn Bennet’s Starry Eyes gives me HEART eyes in this super cute love-to-hate-to-love story! Zorie and Lennon used to be best friends, but after last year’s homecoming dance, they became each other’s worst enemies. When a group camping trip goes south and the duo gets stranded together in the wilderness, they have nothing but time to revisit the past, reveal hidden feelings, and try to stay alive! 

 

16. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately is an absolute must-read if you love hate-to-love, small town love story with a touch of You’ve Got Mail. Classic movie buff Bailey has a huge crush on “Alex,” a witty film geek she only knows online. But when she moves to Alex’s town, she doesn’t tell him. Instead, she gets a job at the local museum and goes head-to-head with the hot security guard, Porter. But in a perfect twist of events, the annoying Porter is actually the charming Alex…Approximately

 

17. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

We love a love story with road trips, adventure, and desserts! When Lina visits Tuscany to spend the summer with a father she barely knows, she’s less than excited. All she wants to do is go home and enjoy the summer with her friends. Then, she discovers her mom’s old journal and gets swept away in a world of secrets, new romances, and hidden bakeries. It’s a summer of love, gelato, and a cute boy who joins her adventures. 

 

18. Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

In Jenna Evans Welch’s Love & Gelato, we got a love story in Tuscany. In Love & Luck, Addie’s adventures take us to Ireland! Addie is heartbroken, miserable, not enjoying Ireland at all. Then, she discovers a quirky guidebook titled Ireland for the Heartbroken and sets off on an exciting journey that takes her to fairy-tale forests, over breathtaking green hills, and into the arms of Rowan, the cute, Irish boy that makes us all swoon! 

 

19. Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

Well you’ve travelled to Tuscany and you’ve travelled to Ireland, now let’s head to beautiful Santorini Greece in Love & Olives! This Mamma Mia!–inspired tale follows Liv, a teen girl who finds romance while trying to connect with her absent father as he hunts for the lost city of Atlantis.

Looking for more? Check out these non-contemporary books that contemporary fans will love!

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