15 Sensational Strangers to Lovers Romance Novels

While I love the rich histories that come with second chance, friends to lovers, or brother’s best friend romances, that history can sometimes get messy. It’s often the couple’s history that ruins those books for me – who else did they date while apart? How have they hurt each other? Was miscommunication the only thing in the way? When you read a strangers to lovers romance, that all gets taken out of the equation. They’re starting fresh, getting to know each other from scratch, and learning as they go.

That sometimes means strangers to lovers romances are lighter than other love stories – there are fewer landmines from the past to run into. These book boyfriends never dated your sister, they haven’t broken your heart, and their dating history is (mostly) irrelevant. Or… it can go in the other direction. You never truly know someone until everything is out in the open, and it’s easier to hide in the moment when you don’t have a past together. So maybe these book boyfriends are committing lies of omission, leaving out important details that could change everything. And then heartache and drama follows.

That’s what intrigues me the most about strangers to lovers romances. They can be going oh so well at the start, then hit very unexpected roadblocks. Or they can start with friction before slowly smoothing out. You really never know what you’re going to get, and that makes these romances so interesting. The books on this list are all fantastic reads – I had so many great strangers to lovers romances to recommend that I’ve only left in my top picks. The vast majority of them have made my Best of the Year or Month lists, and they’re all memorable, complex romances.

Each of these contemporary romance novels was a 5-star read for me. I’ve included the blurbs, as well as links to my reviews and Amazon for easy addition to your collection. Happy reading!


The Wrong Heart by Jennifer Hartmann

When my husband died, he left my broken heart behind.

He left another heart behind, too—his.

I know it’s wrong. I shouldn’t be contacting the recipient of my husband’s heart. I don’t even expect him to reply…

But there’s a desperate, twisted part of me that hopes he will.

No names.
No personal details.

Just a conversation.

The only thing I have left of my husband is inside him.

WARNING: This book contains heavy themes, such as loss of a loved one and suicide. Please read responsibly.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XyJ3Vi


Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Verity and Regretting You delivers another breathtaking romance with a magnetic suspense that will keep you glued to the pages.

Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself. 
With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbor Samson throws a wrench in that plan. 

Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea. 

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3aDZ6mD


A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn

From USA Today bestselling author of The Highland Fling comes a brand new romantic comedy about a desperate billionaire seeking to find a fiancée. This modern day take on Pretty Woman is brilliantly clever and hilariously page-turning. 

How did you two meet?

The quintessential question asked to every couple. And the answer is usually some bubbly, lovey dovey tale of being struck in the bum by Cupid’s arrow. 

My meet cute (well not so meet cute) is slightly different. I was trolling a wealthy neighborhood in Beverly Hills, searching for someone to take me as their bride, you know, to make my arch nemesis jealous who consequently just fired me. 

He was stomping around the block like some sort of gorgeous ogre, mumbling about a business deal gone wrong and attempting to finagle his way out of it. 

And that’s when we bumped into each other. 
There were no sparks. 
Not even a hint of blossoming love. 

But next thing I knew, I was scarfing down free chips and guac, listening to this man lay out all of his problems which led to his big ask . . . he wanted me to be his Vivian Ward, you know, from Pretty Woman–minus the frisky behavior. 

We’re talking about living in a mansion, intimate double dates, and pretending we were head over heels in love . . . and engaged. Can you imagine?

The absolute audacity.

But people do crazy things when they’re desperate. And I reeked of desperation. So, I struck up a deal.

My one big mistake, though . . . big . . . HUGE? I accidentally fell for the incomparable Huxley Cane.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3pydUN4


Drive Me Wild by Melanie Harlow

Drive Me Wild, an all-new flirty and heartwarming, opposites-attract romance by USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available now!

When Blair Beaufort literally crashes into Bellamy Creek wearing a ball gown and a tiara, I should have towed her car, said goodnight, and sent her packing.

I’m a mechanic, not a hotel manager. I’ve got enough on my plate trying to keep my shop from going under, my overbearing mother off my back, and my baseball team in contention for the league championship. I don’t have time for a former debutante with zero street smarts and a cash flow problem, even if she is crazy beautiful.

Problem is, she’s stranded in my small town, and I’m hiding a protective streak underneath my grumpy exterior that runs deep. So I offer her a place to stay and keep my hands to myself.

For exactly one night.

If only she weren’t so gorgeous. So funny. So eager to please. She’s a disaster behind the wheel, but she drives me wild without even trying–at work, at home, in the back of my truck . . . I can’t get enough of the way she makes me feel.

But I know better than to think it can last. She wants a fairy tale, and I’m no prince.

So when it comes time for her to leave, there’s nothing I can do but let her go.

No matter how much it hurts to say goodbye.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32q0OEv


The Closer by Kristy Marie

What happens when you strike a deal with baseball’s most talented pitcher? You slip a plastic ring on his finger and say, “I do.”

Quirky meets broody in this laugh-out-loud, romantic comedy from bestselling author, Kristy Marie. 

The tattoo down his forearm reads: My power is perfected in weakness.
It inspires bad decisions in everyone who crosses his path.
Not me though, I’ve made worse decisions before breakfast.
Marrying baseball phenom Cooper Lexington for his health insurance… doesn’t even rank Top 5.
But I can’t afford to lose this marriage by falling in love.
You see, I made a promise to myself—one I plan on keeping… even if it ruins us.

The Closer is a full-length stand-alone romantic comedy. It features crossover characters from the bestselling novel, IOU.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lTvKa9


Million Dollar Marriage by Katy Evans

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans comes a hot romance about two strangers and their race to fall in love.

If someone had bet Nell a million dollars that she would be saying “I do” to a complete stranger on national television, she’d have called them crazy, but with her crushing student loan payments sending her deep into the red, she’s out of options. This should be nothing more than a business transaction—until she sets eyes on her groom, and everything changes.

The game is on the instant Luke spots Penelope “Nell” Carpenter. He’s out for the money, yes, but getting a little dirty with Nell doesn’t sound too bad either. Everyone knows he’s not the marrying kind, so it’s a good thing it’s just for show. God knows he’s the worst guy his pretty wife should pick for real.

They have nothing in common, but if they want the grand prize, they’ll have to beat out eight other couples. Proving that total opposites attract should be easy enough…as long as they don’t fall in love in the process.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nWIQ7n


The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams

Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.

Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.

As CEO of the FitMi Fitness app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.

Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3B66Qtc


Happily Letter After by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes a love story about taking chances and the surprises that come with them.

My love story all started with a letter.

Only it wasn’t from the man I’d eventually fall in love with. It was from his daughter. A sweet little girl named Birdie Maxwell who’d written to the magazine that I worked for.

You see, once a year my employer fulfilled a few wishes for readers. Only that column didn’t start up again for months.

So I fulfilled some of her wishes myself. It was harmless…so I thought. Until one day I took things too far.

While anonymously granting yet another of Birdie’s wishes, I got a look at her father. Her devastatingly handsome, single dad father.

I should have stopped playing fairy godmother then. I should have left well enough alone. But I just couldn’t help myself. I had a connection to this girl. One that had me acting irrationally.

Like when I showed up on their doorstep.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31LV20I


Boss in the Bedsheets by Kate Canterbary

Mr. Santillian,

Despite the fact I’m currently living out of your guest room and sleeping with you most nights, I am writing to announce my resignation effective two weeks from today. 

In other words, I’ll locate someone who is both obscenely overqualified and willing to devote their days to the handful of tasks you are able to wrench from your perfectionist, micromanaging grip. It may be difficult to find a Nobel laureate genius looking for basic filing work on such short notice, but I’ll do my best. 

Don’t worry about your sister’s wedding this weekend. I still plan to attend as your date, assuming you’ve finished hating me by then. 

Thank you in advance for your understanding. 

Zelda

Ms. Besh, 

Resignation not accepted. 

I’ll see you at home. 

Ash

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3f02WZO


Love to Tempt You by J. Saman

Our band’s stunning, untouched new assistant was completely off-limits. But that didn’t stop me.
A car crash. A fake story at the hospital. 
She warned me when I dragged her from the nightmare that was her life that she could very well destroy mine. 
I didn’t listen. I didn’t care.  
My Pandora. A goddess amongst mortals who opened a jar and obliterated my world with her beautiful evils. 
Because from the moment I saw her, I knew she had to be mine. Consequences be damned.

In a life where getting by is barely a thing, I didn’t expect much.
Until I crashed into him. Literally. 
Keith Dawson is a god amongst mortals. A Rockstar I’ve drooled over for longer than I can remember. 
And now the hero of my darkest tales. 
But a god this powerful always has a fatal flaw. Turns out, she died a long time ago. And there is no living up to that, right? 
So where does that leave us? Well, that’s where this story starts to get interesting.
__
Meet the sexy alpha drummer of Wild Minds and the sassy woman who knocks him to his knees in this steamy romance filled with fiery chemistry, delicious banter, and ALL the feels you crave.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YK6ZCc


Royal Games by T.K. Leigh

I was his biggest regret. He was my greatest adventure.

Every girl dreams of falling in love with a prince.

When I met Jeremy, I thought he was my prince.

Caring. Compassionate. Sensitive.

And, unfortunately for me, not attracted to women.

So here I am, thirty years old and divorced when most of my friends are just getting married. In desperate need of a restart, I set off on a road trip to learn how to love myself again.

The last thing I expected was to meet him.

Anderson North.

Mysterious. Enigmatic. Sexy as hell.

And, after a malfunction with my rental car, my new road companion.

As we travel along Route 66, I find myself experiencing a connection I never have before. We share our truths, our secrets, our fears.

Can I give this man a piece of my heart after having it broken?
Can I learn to trust again after having that trust betrayed?
When he reveals his deepest secret, can I look beyond the lies and toward the only thing that matters?

I’ve always dreamed of finding my very own Prince Charming.

Maybe my prince is Anderson North.

Royal Games is a stand-alone heartwarming road trip romance with a royal twist. Pick up your copy today and strap in for the adventure of a lifetime.

Read the review here

Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/30shE6m


The Stopover by TL Swan

A memorable night of passion refuses to stay just a memory in this sizzling and scandalous romance from bestselling author T L Swan.

I was upgraded to first class on a flight from London to New York.

The food, champagne, and service were impeccable. 

The blue-eyed man sitting next to me, even better. 

He was suave and intelligent. 

We talked and laughed, and something clicked. 

Fate took over and the plane was grounded, and we had an unexpected stopover for the night.

With no plans, we made our own. 

We danced and laughed our way around Boston and had a night of crazy passion that no woman would ever forget. 

That was twelve months ago, and I haven’t heard from him—until today. 

I started a new job and met the CEO. You can imagine my surprise to see those naughty blue eyes dance with delight when he saw me across the mahogany desk. 

But I’m not that carefree girl anymore. My life has changed, I have responsibilities. 

I just got an email. 

He wants to see me in his office for a private meeting at 8:00 a.m. 

Naughty blue eyes have no place in the workplace. 

What kind of private meeting does he have in mind?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3pubiO4


The Love Interest by Kayley Loring

Dear Fiona,

I hope this letter finds you well—and by well, I mean significantly less infuriated than you were yesterday. I’ve wanted to continue our conversation from the night we met, but there are so many things I can’t say or do, now that I’m your professor.

As an anonymous letter writer, I can give you some idea of what I have planned for us, once the year is over. As an author, I can share my work in progress with you. Not for you to critique but to show you how much you mean to me.

When you’re done reading this page, destroy it—and then write me back. Don’t sign the letter. Don’t put a return address on the envelope. Mail it from a random mailbox. 

Yours in problem solving,
Me

P.S. I still think you’re wasting your talent on that historical romance novel.
P.P.S. I really wanted to push you up against the door and kiss your beautiful, angry face. I will. One day.

***

Dear Emmett,

Your handwriting is almost as terrible as your mood swings, and it would have been my instinct to destroy that letter even if you hadn’t ordered me to.

If you show me your work in progress, I will critique it.

I am currently still too infuriated to write about all the other feelings I have for you.

Expect another letter soon.

Your problem and your solution,
Me

P.S. I still think an overpaid, overrated, overly handsome bestselling author of thrillers has no business teaching creative writing at a prestigious New York university.
P.P.S. To my great horror, I really wanted you to push me up against that door and kiss my angry face too. I understand now that your appalling way of treating me in class has been overcompensation, but I don’t forgive you for it. I’ll kiss you again anyway. One day.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3x17K9A


Revved to the Maxx by Melanie Moreland

Maxx Reynolds needs help.

His shop, house, and life are all in a state of disarray.

In desperation, he turns to the internet to hire a new employee, 
thinking it will make his life easier

What he expects is a fellow named Charly.

What he gets is a quirky, sassy, red-head named
Charlynn who runs circles around him.

And she’s all woman.

He can’t stand her.

He can’t keep his hands off her either. 

Read the review here 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jHuTqk


Catch by Deborah Bladon

What would you do if you discovered your new boss in his office with no pants, a magnum of champagne, and a glitter cannon?
Asking for a friend.

I found something that belongs to Keats Morgan, the notorious bad boy sports agent. So I do the right thing.

I return it.

You’d think the man would be happy to have it back. 

He’s not.

Instead, he proceeds to fire his assistant right in front of me. 

He looks to me to step in as a replacement, but I want nothing to do with the jerk.

Keats is gorgeous and charming as hell. It’s his arrogant attitude that makes me turn around and almost walk out the door. 

The problem? I desperately need a job. Any job. 

And Keats is offering me an incredible one.

I agree to his terms before I realize there’s a catch, and it’s a big one.

Author’s Note: This standalone novel features a gorgeous boss and the assistant who turns his upside-down world right side up. Toss in a cute sidekick named Dudley, a trio of professional baseball players, and a twisty road to a happy ending. You’re in for a swoony read with a dash of heart.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Jpiaf4


Want more romance recommendations? Check out some of my other lists!

15 of My Favorite Enemies to Lovers Romance Books


15 Second Chance Romances (That I Actually Liked)


All About the Ladies: 15 Heroine-Driven Romances


15 Sexy Forbidden Romances


15 of My Favorite Fake Relationship Romances


15 of My Favorite Romance Series


The Guys Your Mom Warned You About: 15 Bad Boys & Playboys


15 Superb Sports Romances


15 Sexual Tension-Filled Rom Coms


Love at the Office: 15 Workplace Romances


15 Unexpected Roommate Romances


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