If you’re anything like me, you want a distraction from everything that’s going on in the world right now. Everyone gets that in a different way; when I’m moody, I want rom com comfort, but my husband always seeks out something gory and campy. Whatever you’re in the mood for, it’s probably on this list. I’ve got romances for different moods, from light and fluffy to intense and sexy.
Every book on this list is a great read in its own way, but they couldn’t be more different. Hopefully something provides you the distraction you need during this crazy time!
MOOD: 🥰 I need those warm and fuzzy feelings
Smitten by Lauren Rowe
This swoony romance features an adorably sweet rock star, the girl who makes him smitten right away, and a relationship that really does have all the feels.
I met Alessandra at a party. Tried to impress her. Was almost positive I was going to fail.
I think I said something along the lines of, “I’m a Goat called Fish who’s hung like a bull—but not really. I’m actually pretty average.” Smooth. I know. Try not to be jealous.
When she laughed—and I mean, really laughed—I knew she wasn’t like the other girls I’d been meeting on tour. Hell, she wasn’t even in the same stratosphere as those fangirls and gold-diggers.
At one point during the party, Alessandra said, “There’s nothing like a girl’s first love.” I knew she was talking about the first smash hit by my band, 22 Goats. Alessandra said it was the first song she’d heard by us and it “hit her like a ton of bricks.” Ironic, seeing as how I was having the same reaction from being in her presence.
I made it my mission to impress her. Give her the kiss of a lifetime that night. But since I’ve always been the dude with zero game, nothing went according to plan.
I’m not giving up, though. I’m going to win this girl over. I’m done sitting on the sidelines, watching the bad boy getting the girl. This time, the nice guy will finish first. Even if it’s the last thing he’ll do.
Swing and a Mishap by Tara Sivec
This rom com features a single mom and a sports star who isn’t afraid of going after he wants. There’s as much comedy as there is sexiness; as much heart as their is sexual tension.
“Hawks fans still in shock after centerfielder, Shepherd Oliver, sustained season-ending injury last night in the 5th inning of the playoffs against Chicago.”
Two years ago, I was a pretty big deal. I thought I had it all, until a blast from my past popped up on my social media feed, keeping my ego in check and reminding me how basic I am. Except sassy Wren Bennett isn’t just a blast from my past. She’s the only woman I ever saw a future with.
Even though my soul leaves my body every time she says she hates baseball and has never watched me play, a year’s-worth of messages filled with laughter and sarcasm only remind me how amazing my “pen pal” is. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how fine I look in a pair of baseball pants; I’m still 3,000 miles away, and she’s taken… or so I thought. Maybe I should have thought a little harder before I dropped her like a seeing-eye single into the outfield.
When an injury has me questioning everything about my life, I can only think of one place I need to go and one person I need to see. Home, to Summersweet Island, to get back my “pen pal.”
Now I just need to make sure single mom Wren knows I didn’t come back for a change, and I didn’t come back for a job. I’m swinging for the fences, and I’m finally coming home to make her mine. If only she’d stop insulting me and stay in one place long enough for me to tell her. She wouldn’t try to drown me with a tub of ice cream, right?
MOOD: 😍 I want to fan myself
Sex and Other Shiny Objects by Lauren Blakely
This friends to lovers romance brings ALL the sexual tension, with a premise that’s unique and interesting combined with a relationship that’s got plenty of history.
A delicious new best friends-to-lovers stand-alone romance from #1 NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely!
The second the test-the-sexy-scenes offer landed in my lap, I said yes.
After all, I’ve been damn curious about a few things I’ve read in romance novels. Do buttons truly go flying across the floor when you rip off a guy’s shirt? Is staircase nookie hella hot or does it leave you with a big old bruise mark on your back? And don’t even get me started on all that panty shredding, and whether it even works.
Time to find out as I embark on Project Romance Novel Scenes Research, at the request of my hotshot book editor bestie.
All I need is a willing scene partner. Enter Tristan, my best guy friend. The witty, tell-it-like-it-is, bearded hottie volunteers for the experiment.
He’s also the guy who gave me the most devastating, toe-curling kiss of my life ten years ago. But nothing has happened since then.
And nothing will come between my panties and our friendship now since we have a plan to keep it PG.
But once the buttons start flying, all bets are off…
Just a Taste by Crystal Kaswell
This rock star romance is STEAMY and emotional, pairing a damaged musician with the woman he falls for despite his best efforts.
She hates me… almost as much as she wants me.
I have everything I should want. Only the thrill is gone. My days are grey.
Until I meet Meg. The inexperienced college student is a breath of fresh air. Sassy, s*xy, completely unimpressed by me. She hates my cocky grin. She huffs at my one-liners. And when she asks if I have some place better to put my mouth…
I make her an offer. Her place, my place, any place, as long as I can make her groan all night long. I’m as surprised as she is when she says yes. Who would have guessed that booksmart, guarded, gorgeous as all hell Meg would want me to be her first?
We keep it simple. Three rules to protect both of us.
No feelings, no secrets, no falling in love.
But some things are easier said than done.
MOOD: 😱 I want something unpredictable
You’re the Reason by J. Nathan
This college romance had me loving the hero one minute and wanting to throttle him the next. No worries, it’s not a bully romance, but it will have you wondering what is going on.
Welcome to Crestwood University…
Where smiles conceal secrets.
Gossip runs rampant.
And everyone hides the truth.
Sophia Galloway has no idea what she’s walking
into when she transfers to Crestwood University.
Returning to Texas was her only goal.
But nothing could prepare her for stepping foot
on a campus where no one is what they seem.
In a world where frat guys think they can do no wrong.
And sorority presidents think they run the show.
Sophia’s about to find out what happens when she
unknowingly crosses the wrong guy,
pisses off the wrong sorority sister,
and refuses to play by anyone else’s rules.
A life will be lost.
Lies will be told.
Hearts will be broken.
And secrets…well secrets are meant to be revealed.
Is there anyone she can trust?
Barely Breathing by Erica Marselas
A second chance romance that’s a little different than the norm, this is twisty and sexy. I am REALLY not a second chance romance kinda girl, but even I liked this one.
Buried deep under a mountain of lies, I’m struggling for air.
My life, my choices are being dictated by my father.
I was forced to give up the man I love in order to protect him and now I must marry a man who I hate.
I thought I had found a way out.I thought my time in this gilded cage was almost over.
Then one day Jaxson Holden walks back into my life, flipping it upside down.
He’s angry, I get it.
But he has no idea how much I have to lose—how much he has to lose with him coming back.
Now I need to find a way to hold on while I’m gasping for breath as my past and present collide.
Just keep breathing, River.
Just keep breathing.
MOOD: 😭 I want all the angst
The Cabin by Jasinda Wilder
If you want to have your emotions put through the wringer, this is the book for you. It’s exceptionally beautiful and ends on a high note, but it’s a rough road to get there.
International bestselling storyteller Jasinda Wilder brings you an all-new standalone novel in The Cabin–a stunning story of love, loss, and learning to love again after unimaginable heartbreak, this is a return to the style and themes of Falling Into You.
One year ago, I buried my husband.
One year ago, I held his hand and said goodbye.
Now I spend most of my days lost somewhere between trying to remember every smallest detail of our lives, and trying to forget it all. I fill my hours with work until I’m too exhausted to remember him, to feel anything at all.
One year, 365 days–and then one knock at my door changes everything. A letter from him, a last request, a secret will:
My dearest Nadia,
Trust me, my love. One last time, trust me. Sometimes the epilogue to one story is the beginning of another.
Dangerous Games by T.K. Leigh
This forbidden romance features a woman caught between two brothers. It’s not a love triangle, but it’s definitely tension-filled.
He’s the hottest new rockstar on the scene.
I was once engaged to his brother.
Can he convince me he’s worth the risk?
The voice of an angel.
The body of an Adonis.
And the man I happened to have a one-night stand with in Vegas.
No big deal, right? What happens in Vegas… Well, you know how the saying goes.
Did I mention I was once engaged to Asher’s brother?
I walked away, hoping my momentary lack of judgment would stay in the past.
I should have known it wouldn’t. Not with my luck.
Now Asher York is back in my life, and that flame I hoped would flicker and die still burns brightly.
But can I put my heart on the line, knowing this man has the power to obliterate it?
Can I allow myself to come between two brothers?
There’s only one way to find out.
Let the games begin…
MOOD: 😂 I want to laugh and smile
Single Dad Meets Juliet by Max Monroe
This single dad romance is refreshingly light and low angst. It’s got a unique storyline and a hero who will make you swoon.
Dear Internet: Am I a horrible person for wanting to sabotage my work assignment—completely wreck a dating contest—because I hate the idea of love?
I know it sounds bad, but just hear me out, okay?
I (33F) work at a local paper, and two months ago, my editor assigned me a huge project—run the upcoming, highly anticipated Bachelor Anonymous contest.
In essence, I’m supposed to help a reader-nominated bachelor find his special someone, and while I should be excited to handle something of this magnitude solo, I can’t help but get queasy over how gross it feels.
Like, how cheesy could this thing get?
Not to mention, I’m the last person who should be involved in this—my dating and relationship history is a cluster. Generally, the person in charge of these things shouldn’t fantasize about lighting the whole three-ring dating circus on fire.
Anyway, men from all over Southern California, vying for the coveted bachelor role, submitted their personal ads to my paper. The readers voted, and Single Dad Seeks Juliet won by a landslide.
Enter Mr. Bachelor Anonymous (40M), the single dad Romeo seeking his Juliet.
Blah, blah, blah, right? Wrong.
You guys—and I cannot stress this enough—this guy is the ultimate man in a six-foot-three, chiseled-muscle, freaking Adonis package with aquamarine eyes that would haunt the dreams of an insomniac.
He’s a former Navy SEAL, successful business owner, motocross-riding, charming, supportive, funny-as-heck single dad, and the more time I spend with him, the more I want to bring this contest thing crumbling to the ground for an entirely different reason.
Real talk: I think I’m falling for him.
Me, the woman who despises love, might be falling for the completely off-limits Bachelor who I’m ironically assigned to help find love, while five other women think they’re the only contestants competing for his heart.
So, Internet. Am I scum? Or is all fair in love and war?
The Bookworm’s Guide to Dating by Emma Hart
This best friend’s little sister romance is playful and fun, featuring a heroine who is sassy and a hero whose longtime crush causes all kinds of trouble.
What I wanted for my birthday: Books.
What I got for my birthday: my brother’s best friend playing matchmaker.
Let it be known that I, Kinsley Lane, am one hundred percent against being set up with somebody.
And I’m one thousand percent sure that Josh Carter is not the man to find me a boyfriend.
I mean, if I’m so great, why isn’t he the one dating me? (For the record, I don’t know the answer. That’s just what the guy on the internet asked.)
Still, I’ll humor him. If I go on his little dates, he’ll teach my bookish, introverted self how not to be totally, completely, utterly, unforgivably awkward on every single one of them.
And all I have to do is fall in love with one of the lovely gentlemen he’s serving up for me on a silver platter–all of whom fit my very specific guidelines.
It would be.
If only I could stop falling for Josh.
MOOD: 😈 I want something a little dark and suspenseful
Darkest Sin by J. Saman
This action-packed romance features an antihero with a dark side and the woman who intrigues him enough to throw his world off balance.
USA Today bestselling author J. Saman delivers a gritty, dark romantic suspense standalone about a woman running from her deadly ex and the sexy assassin sworn to protect her.
Everyone has an ex who haunts them.
Mine shot me in the arm and told me to run or he’d kill everyone I ever loved. And then he’d kill me.
Years later, he’s made good on that promise. I’m the only one left.
He’s got his sights set on finding me, and my options on places to hide are quickly running out.
Until I meet a gorgeous assassin with an agenda of his own…putting not only my life, but my heart in danger.
With piercing green eyes and irresistible confidence, Gavin tells me not to be afraid. Promises he’s on my side. Swears he’s here to protect me instead of doing what he does best…kill.
The desire to trust him is tempting. The passion between us, even more so.
But when everything I thought I knew is suddenly flipped upside down, and all that’s dangerous and forbidden comes to light, I have to make a choice.
Continue to run and hide…
Or risk it all, including the man who somehow captured my heart.
Prince of Hearts by L.A. Cotton
The first half of a new adult mafia duet, this Romeo and Juliet-inspired romance features a couple who fall hard and fast, despite everything that works against them.
A new angsty college mafia romance from bestselling author of the Rixon Raiders series.
Arianne Capizola is her father’s daughter.
Humble. Hardworking. Honest.
She’d rather spend her days helping at the local shelter than brushing shoulders with her vain and entitled classmates.
Niccolò Marchetti is his father’s son.
Dark. Dangerous. Deceitful.
He’d rather spend his days getting bloody in the ring than attending class and keeping up pretences.
When their paths cross at Montague University neither of them are willing to drop the walls they’ve spent so long building. But he can’t resist the girl with stars in her eyes, and she can’t forget the guy who saved her that night.
There’s only one catch.
Nicco isn’t Arianne’s knight-in-shining-armor, he’s the son of her father’s greatest enemy.
He is the enemy.
And their families are at war.
*Prince of Hearts in the first book in Nicco and Ari’s duet. Due to mature content that some readers may find distressing, this book is recommended for readers 18+
MOOD: 💋 I want all the sexual tension
Hard to Handle by K. Bromberg
This second chance romance is intense and sexy, angsty and complicated. It grew on me with every page, and turns the sexy up a notch.
New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg is back with an all new second-chance, standalone hockey romance.
At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency.
Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox
Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.
If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.
But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated. But I know better than to cross that line.
I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.
Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.
Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.
And time is running out.
Enter Dekker Kincade.
Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.
I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.
But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.
I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.
Managed by Kristen Callihan
One of my all-time favorites, this slow burn romance crackles with tension. It’s light one minute and angsty the next, but the relationship is 100% compelling throughout.
It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.
I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.
That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.
I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.
If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.
Let the battle begin…