15 Romance Books Where the Guy Falls First or Fast

This is basically its own trope in romance novels – the (typically grumpy or broody) hero harbors deeper feelings for the heroine than he’d care to admit, the playboy is stopped in his tracks by the right girl, or the regular guy is smitten from the start. Whatever the situation, there’s something so immensely swoony about a guy who falls hard for his girl.

MANY of the books on this list are personal favorites of mine, so this kind of scenario is clearly like catnip to me, lol. Whether it’s enemies to lovers, office romance, strangers to lovers, or something more complicated, each of these books features a different situation or circumstance with heroes who only have eyes for one girl. They’re all 4 or 5-star contemporary romance novels that kept me hooked while I was reading. I’ve included the blurb, and links to Amazon for easy addition to your collection. Happy reading!

⚠️ Spoilers Below ⚠️

Many of these heroes don’t reveal their feelings until later on, so this list is for those who seek out the trope


Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend by Penny Reid

Winnifred Gobaldi and Byron Visser are not best friends.

Yes, they’ve known each other for years, but they’re not even friendly. Winnie considers them more like casual, distant acquaintances who find each other barely tolerable, especially when he’s being condescending (which is all the time).

The truth is, they have nothing in common. She’s a public school science teacher with stars in her eyes, and he’s a pretentious, joyless double PhD turned world-famous bestselling fiction author. She loves sharing her passion for promulgating women in STEM careers and building community via social media, and he eschews all socialization, virtual or otherwise. She’s looking for a side hustle to help pay down a mountain of student debt, and his financial portfolio is the stuff of fiduciary wet dreams. So why are they faking a #bestfriend relationship for millions of online spectators?

When a simple case of tit-for-tat trends between nonfriends leads to a wholly unexpected kind of pretend, nothing is simple. Sometimes, it takes a public audience to reveal the truth of private feelings, and rarely—very rarely—you should believe what you see online.

Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend is a full-length, complete standalone, adult contemporary romantic comedy.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/37AVQv0


The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or in other words, a plan that will never work.

Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to her sister’s wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the year.

That would certainly be tomorrow’s headline in the local newspaper of the small Spanish town I came from. Or the epitaph on my tombstone, seeing the turn my life had taken in the span of a phone call.

Four weeks wasn’t a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic-from NYC and all the way to Spain-for a wedding. Let alone, someone eager to play along my charade. But that didn’t mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6’4 blue eyed pain in my ass standing before me.

Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date. Right after inserting his nose in my business, calling me delusional, and calling himself my best option. See? Outrageous. Aggravating. Blood boiling. And much to my total despair, also right. Which left me with a surly and extra large dilemma in my hands. Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister’s wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences of my panic induced lie?

Like my abuela would say, que dios nos pille confesados.

The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating, SLOW-BURN romance. Perfect for those looking for a steamy slow-burn with the sweetest Happily Ever After.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xw9MBn


Those Three Little Words by Meghan Quinn

I knocked up my best friend’s sister.

Figured I would get straight to the point because how it happened is a mere snippet of the story I have to tell. The real meat and potatoes is what happened after.

Let’s start with how she decided to inform me and Pacey the news . . . together. Imagine that nightmare. I was going into what I thought was a hockey marketing meeting and then BAM! I’m going to be a dad and my best friend/teammate is attempting to imprint my face with his fist.

It wasn’t pretty.

Threats were tossed around, friendships were revoked, and then I was marched up to her apartment, suitcases in hand, and forced to live with her so I could take care of her every need. Given how much I’ve pined for the girl, you would think that wouldn’t be a hardship. Wrong.

This is my one shot to win my teammate back. Pacey is the only family I’ve got, so hooking up with his sister isn’t a mistake I can make twice . . . despite the fact that she’s pregnant with my child.

But with every mood swing, every pair of pants that doesn’t fit right, and every late night run to find the perfect donut, I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall for my best friend’s little sister. 

Especially when she kisses me…

Read the audiobook review here

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


Just My Type by Tara Sivec

Live in the best small town in the world? Check.
Have the greatest job ever working on my family’s pumpkin farm? Check.
Marry the town pharmacist and have a nice, quiet life with our son? Check-check.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did you say you were happy? LOLOLOLOL!” ~ Life

Ember Hastings never thought she’d be dragged away from White Timber and everything she loved, thrust in the middle of a big city she hated, or have her husband of nine years say, “I can’t do this anymore,” all within the span of three months, yet here she is.

She misses her family, she misses the farm, and she misses having a backbone and caring whether or not the stain on her shirt is chocolate or sh*t. She works from home doing transcription. Does she really need to shower or leave the house?

Baker Matthews has been bringing everyone down lately with his grouchy attitude. His job is stressful and sometimes depressing, but he wouldn’t change anything about it. When a glitch with the transcription company he’s using mistakenly sends him notes he wasn’t supposed to see, Baker finds himself laughing out loud for the first time in months.

He’s never met a woman who says whatever she’s thinking and doesn’t fawn all over him when she finds out what he does for a living. Until Ember Hastings comes barreling into his life, calling him Sh*t Mouth and asking if he has any balls.

But she wants to keep this professional. She made him pinky swear, and you don’t mess around with pinky swears. Baker will have to get creative if he wants to prove to Ember that he’s just her type.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gNRnq7


The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lVT7js


Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time—in bed and out—and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost. 

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3h7UMRf


Breaking the Speed Limit by Melanie Moreland

Single, but unsettled, Stefano Borelli, spends his days creating masterpieces loved by his clients. Surrounded by family and friends, his loneliness still plagues him. Until she bursts into his life. A stubborn woman with too much baggage, too much to say, and a child in tow.

Far too much trouble.

Except, he likes her spark. The way she refuses to listen. How beautiful she is with her son. How right she feels in his arms.

The way she makes him feel whole.

Can he convince her to give love a second chance?

Author’s note: Do you love men to whisper sweet words in Italian? Be prepared to swoon for Stefano.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/36PYjS2


Cream and Punishment by Susannah Nix

She’s not just my ex-girlfriend. She’s my new coworker. 

I knew Lucy Dillard was The One the first time I met her. Yes, I’m enough of a sap to believe in love at first sight. When I fell for Lucy, I fell hard. Everything was great between us—until the moment she dumped me.

Now I just want to forget about her. Instead, I’m stuck staring at her face all day. But I need this job, so I’ll find a way to be civil and professional.

There’s just one small problem: I’m nowhere close to being over her.

First, we were lovers. Then enemies. Now we’re trying to work together. 

I didn’t set out to break Tanner King’s heart, but you know what they say about the road to hell.

I’ve got too many responsibilities and no room in my life for love. I can deal with Tanner’s resentment until he starts working at the desk directly across from mine. Obviously, a truce of some kind is required. We’re both grownups. We can handle this situation like professionals.

There’s only one thing threatening this fragile peace we’ve negotiated: all these inconvenient feelings I apparently still have for him.

Cream and Punishment is book #2 in the King Family series set in the small town of Crowder, Texas, home of the King’s Creamery ice cream company. Each book is a standalone, full-length contemporary romance that follows one of the six King siblings as they find and fight for love.

Read the review here

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


Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mhP7cs


Attachment Theory by Kayley Loring

An actor, a model, and a younger man walk into a therapist’s office… They’re all Dylan Brodie. It’s only funny if you aren’t the single mom therapist he can’t stop flirting with.

Dear Mr. Brodie,

I hope this email finds you well.
Your well-being and personal growth are of the utmost importance to me, as a therapist.
As such, I have decided it is in your best interest to continue individual therapy with another practitioner.
This is due to the potential for boundaries being crossed between us.
Attached is a list of colleagues I would recommend for you.

Sincerely,
Scarlett Shepard, MS, MFT

Dear Scarlett,

Cool.
Consider our sessions terminated.
Now I can tell you how beautiful you are and how attracted I am to you.
Let’s start crossing boundaries over dinner tonight.
You’ll say it would be unethical, and I’ll point out that we’ve only had a few sessions.
You’ll cite the age difference, and I’ll tell you how hot it is that you’re six years older than me.
You’ll say you’re a mom, and I’ll remind you that I think your son is awesome.
We don’t have to discuss my former attachments to former co-stars ever again.
This is due to the fact that clearly my only personality issue is that I’m irresistible.

Yours in well-being and personal growth,
Dylan Brodie, W.M.H.T.A.T.Y.E.H. (Way More Handsome and Talented Actor Than Your Ex-Husband)

***This is a 74,000 word standalone novel with crossover characters from Funny Business as well as Sleeper and Charmer***

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uBc2Uo


Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

Beach Read meets The Flatshare in this warmly funny and delightfully sharp debut rom-com about a down-on-her-luck young woman who turns an innocent mix-up between a dating app and a roommate app into a new chance at love.

She wasn’t looking for love until it landed on her doorstep.

After getting passed over for an overdue—and much-needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night stand. When one drink turns into one too many, Sadie mixes up a long-ignored dating app for a roommate-finding app and finds herself on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone. Too bad she’s more attracted to his impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.

Jack, still grieving the unexpected death of his parents, has learned to find comfort in video games and movie marathons instead of friends. So while he doesn’t know just what to make of the vivaciously verbose Sadie, he’s willing to offer her his spare bedroom while she gets back on her feet. And with the rent unbeatably low, Sadie can finally pursue her floristry side hustle full-time. The two are polar opposites, but as Sadie’s presence begins to turn the brownstone into a home, they both start to realize they may have just made the deal of a lifetime.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30dwdNi


Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready

New Year’s Resolution:
Have a baby
Preferably with Josh Lewenthal

Meet Gemma Jacobs. She’s driven, energetic, and a positive thinker. She has a great career working for famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, she lives in a cute studio apartment in Manhattan, and her family is supportive and loving (albeit a little kooky). Her life is perfect. Absolutely wonderful.

Except for one tiny little thing.

After a decade of disastrous relationships and an infertility diagnosis, Gemma doesn’t want a Mr. Right (or even a Mr. Right Now), she just wants a baby.

And all she needs is an egg, some sperm, and IVF.

So Gemma makes a New Year’s resolution: have a baby.

Josh Lewenthal is a laid back, relaxed, find-the-humor-in-life kind of guy. The polar opposite of Gemma. He’s also her brother’s best friend. For the past twenty years Josh has attended every Jacobs’ family birthday, holiday, and event – he’s always around.

Gemma knows him. He’s nice (enough), he’s funny (-ish), he’s healthy (she thinks) and he didn’t burn any ants with a magnifying glass as a kid. Which, in Gemma’s mind, makes him the perfect option for a sperm donor.

So Gemma wants to make a deal. An unemotional, businesslike arrangement. No commitments, just a baby.

To Gemma’s surprise, Josh agrees.

They have nothing in common, except their agreement to make a baby and their desire to keep things businesslike.

But the thing about baby-making…it’s hard to keep it businesslike, it’s nearly impossible to keep it unemotional, and it’s definitely impossible to keep your heart out of the mix. Because when you’re making a baby together, things have a way of starting to feel like you’re making other things too – like a life, and a family, and love. And when the baby-making ends, you wish that everything else didn’t have to end too.

Read the audiobook review here

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


Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score

Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?

House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.

The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.

As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35UHm8i


A Brush With Love by Mazey Eddings

Nine out of ten dentists agree, Mazey Eddings’s rom-com A Brush with Love makes your smile brighter!*

*not scientifically proven


Harper is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes (literally) into Dan. Harper would rather endure a Novocaine-free root canal than face any distractions, even one this adorable. A first-year dental student with a family legacy to contend with, Dan doesn’t have the same passion for pulling teeth that Harper does. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper’s rules. So with the greatest of intentions and the poorest of follow-throughs, the two set out to be “just friends.” But as they get to know each other better, Harper fears that trading fillings for feelings may make her lose control and can’t risk her carefully ordered life coming undone, no matter how drool-worthy Dan is.

Blood, gore, and extra-long roots? No problem. The idea of falling in love? Torture.

Read the audiobook review here

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


Savage Hearts by J.T. Geissinger

Savage (adjective):
1) Not domesticated; wild and untamed
2) A brutal or vicious person
3) Malek Antonov

When my older sister calls out of the blue to announce she’s getting married, it’s a shock. She’s not the settling-down kind, and we haven’t spoken in almost three years.

Even more of a shock? Sloane wants me to visit her and meet her new fiancé. Curious, I decide to take her up on the offer.

I should’ve known something was wrong when she wouldn’t tell me where I’d be going. I should’ve known things were odd when she sent a private jet to pick me up. But there’s no way in hell I could’ve ever guessed what would happen when I finally meet her fiancé.

Declan O’Donnell.
Head of the Irish Mob.
Target of a savage Bratva assassin who wants revenge for the murder of his brother.

Now, I’m thousands of miles from home, I’m smack in the middle of a mafia war, and I’ve got a Russian assassin who’s decided he likes the looks of me.

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
They never met Malek Antonov.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39SUTMA


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

15 Sexy Sports Romance Novels

15 Great Grumpy / Sunshine Romance Novels

15 HOT & Steamy Fling to More Romance Books

15 of My Favorite Enemies to Lovers Romance Books


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