15 (More) Great Grumpy / Sunshine Romance Books

I discovered just how popular the grumpy/sunshine romance trope is when I posted my original recommendation list (found here) – and there’s a good reason for that! The opposites attract dynamic provides plenty of opportunities for sexual tension-filled friction, and the build in intimacy just feels even more satisfying once a lovable grump has exposed his marshmallow center and let love in. Some of my absolute favorite romance novels of 2021 and 2022 have featured the trope, and I find myself seeking it out regularly. So I had no trouble putting together a second list of book recs, lol!

From billionaires to athletes to regular guys and more, the heroes on this list are all in need of a little light in their life. Forced proximity and lots of sexual tension are common in many of these, though the steam levels vary. There’s a little something for everyone on this list, and they’re all 4 or 5-star contemporary romance novels that kept me hooked while I was reading. If I’ve reviewed a book, the link is included, as well as blurbs and links to Amazon for easy addition to your TBR. Happy reading!


All Downhill With You by Julie Olivia

The moment we meet, it’s all downhill.

My job is providing happiness and smiles at Honeywood Fun Park, and Emory Dawson is the frown our park didn’t ask for.

When our star roller coaster malfunctions with me on board, the manufacturer’s heir and lead engineer, Emory, vows to renovate the attraction. So instead of having a fun summer season as Marketing Manager for Honeywood, I’m now saddled with playing host.

Wonderful.

Emory is the opposite of a good time. He’s the grump that won’t stop grumping, and our arguments escalate quicker than my heart rate after a roller coaster’s fall.

He knows I can see right through his broody gaze and big ideas. Repairing the coaster? More like overhauling his own company’s reputation, regardless of whether it helps our local theme park.

But when our firm handshakes start lingering too long, or when his muscled thighs rest against mine under the table, I’m thrown for a loop.

Most roller coasters are fun, but I’d like to get off this emotional one, please.

All Downhill With You is a stand-alone romantic comedy. This book is an enemies-to-lovers, grumpy/sunshine romance with laugh-out-loud theme park moments, a cozy small town, and sizzling spice!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GSqddY


Faking Ms. Right by Claire Kingsley

“When I kissed you last night, I wasn’t pretending.”

Everly Dalton is a walking, talking, martini-drinking dating disaster. Forget kissing frogs. She can’t even get past the first date. But at work, she’s a badass—the longest-running assistant billionaire Shepherd Calloway has ever had. Her coworkers wonder how she handles the big bad wolf—and never gets bit.

Shepherd Calloway isn’t interested in being anyone’s sugar daddy. Tired of women who only want him for his money, he swears off dating, determined to focus on running his empire. Until his gold-digging ex hits him where it hurts, putting him in a difficult position.

His solution—to have Everly pose as his live-in girlfriend—is obviously crazy. But the timing is uncanny. It just so happens Everly needs a favor from her boss—a big and awkward one—and this could ensure everyone gets what they want.

Besides, Everly can totally survive a few months of faux romance.

Except there’s a problem. Shepherd is supposed to be a single-minded, unemotional robot boss. Not an actual human with a heart and morning wood. Between the awkward bed-sharing and tingly fake dates, lines are blurring. And as Everly gets to know the real Shepherd, she discovers there’s more to the man behind the bank account.

And faking it gets all too real.

Faking Ms. Right is a hot, STAND-ALONE romantic comedy.

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


Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.

Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a4oYfe


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 Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked. 

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NBEzl7


My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey

An all-new, spicy murder mystery from Tessa Bailey, New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Summer…

It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in sweet, sunny Cape Cod—just me and my beloved brother—but discovering a corpse in our rental house really throws a wrench into our tanning schedule. Now a rude, crude bounty hunter has arrived on the back of his motorcycle to catch the killer and refuses to believe I can be helpful, despite countless hours of true crime podcast listening. Not to mention a fulfilling teaching career of wrangling second graders.

A brash bounty hunter and an energetic elementary schoolteacher: the murder-solving team no one asked for, but thanks to these pesky attempts on my life, we’re stuck together, come hell or high tide.

I’m just here to do a job, not babysit an amateur sleuth. Although…it is becoming less and less of a hardship to have her around. Sure, she’s stubborn, distracting and can’t stay out of harm’s way. She’s also brave and beautiful and reminds me of the home I left behind three years ago. In other words, the painful hunger and protectiveness she is waking up in me is a threat to my peace of mind. Before I sink any deeper into this dangerous attraction, I need to solve this murder and get back on the road. But will fate take her from me before I realize the road has been leading to her all along?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3LACeWe


Blurred Lines by Jessica Prince

There was absolutely no way she was falling for her neighbor. No matter how gorgeous he was.

Aurora Keller thought she’d lucked out when she decided to put down roots in Redemption, Tennessee. She had a new business, new friends, and a picture-perfect little house. There was just one problem, and it came in the form of her six-foot-three tattooed, muscle-bound neighbor from hell, who just so happened to be her best friend’s future brother-in-law. It really wasn’t fair that Satan’s offspring was so nice to look at.

Callum Morrison wasn’t a good man. Or at least that was what he’d convinced himself. After a series of bad decisions that had resulted in the worst years of his life, all he was looking for was peace and quiet. Too bad he bought a house right next door to the one woman he wanted but could neverhave. That was enough to make any man grumpy. 

What had started as a war against two neighbors turned into something so much more.

And if they aren’t careful, the fallout could destroy them both.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3KsE3ni


One Moment Please by Amy Daws

That awkward moment when an ER doctor has to inform you that you’re pregnant…with his baby. 

Three things Lynsey Jones knows about the hot doctor: he’s grouchy, an arrogant jerk, and strangely obsessed with pie. 

Three things Dr. Josh Richardson knows: he doesn’t talk about his past, he doesn’t do relationships, and the crazy girl in the hospital cafeteria who ate a fistful of French silk pie…is annoyingly irresistible. 

After a chance meetup at a bar and a heated cab ride together, things come to a head and now instead of hating each other, they’re horizontal in a bed. 

Three months later, the weird cafeteria stalker who crept out of Josh’s house like a thief in the night, winds up as his patient in the ER after her Tinder date from hell. 

The doctor is prepared to keep it cool and professional. That is until her bloodwork reveals that she’s pregnant. 

What really throws him for a loop…is that the surprise baby…is his.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3l5Dvd5


Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Callihan comes a charming, emotional romance about redefining dreams and discovering unlikely love along the way.

Life for Emma isn’t good. The world knows her as Princess Anya on Dark Castle, but then her character gets the axe—literally. The cherry on top is finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She needs a break, and sanctuary comes in the form of Rosemont, a gorgeous estate in California promising rest and relaxation.

Then she meets the owner’s equally gorgeous grandson, ex–hockey player and current recluse Lucian Osmond, and she sees her own pain and yearning reflected in his eyes.

He’s charming when he wants to be but also secretive and gruff, with protective walls as thick as Emma’s own. Despite a growing attraction, they avoid each other.

But then there’s an impromptu nighttime skinny-dip, and Lucian’s luscious homemade tarts and cream cakes start arriving at Emma’s door, tempting her to taste life again…

In trying to stay apart, they only grow closer—and their broken pieces just might fit together and make them whole.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3b0czWG


The Last Eligible Billionaire by Pippa Grant

Emotionally unavailable doesn’t even begin to describe my new fake boyfriend. He’s cold. He’s distant. He has more defenses than a nuclear missile silo. And he’s the ultimate catch of the century. At least, according to his bank statement.

My job’s simple: Keep Hayes Rutherford’s matchmaking relatives and all interested ladies away from the cranky, grumpy, walled-off heir to my favorite movie empire, and in return, he won’t ruin my life over a teensy, tiny little misunderstanding.

But the more I sneak past Hayes’s walls and fences, the more I realize that while we might be from different worlds, we have more in common than either of us expected. The man under all the glitz, glamour, and dollar signs could be the real love of my life.

But you know what they say about fake dating a billionaire—it’s all fun and games until the scandals start.

The Last Eligible Billionaire is a swoony, laugh-out-loud romance featuring a botched wax job, a woman in over her head, a man in over his heart, and the sweetest misguided dog to ever play matchmaker…or at least make sure these two anti-love birds never have clothes when they get out of the shower.

A new stand alone romantic comedy from Pippa Grant.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vHVs7O


Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher

Declan
I’m destined to become the next CEO of my family’s media empire.
The only problem? My grandfather’s inheritance clause.
Fulfilling his dying wish of getting married and having an heir seemed impossible until my assistant volunteers for the job.
Our marriage was supposed to be the perfect solution to my biggest problem.
But the more we act in love for the public, the more unsure I feel about our contract.
Caring about Iris was never part of the deal.
Especially not when breaking her heart is inevitable.

Iris
My plan to marry Declan was simple in theory.
Move in together. Throw a wedding. Have a baby.
We set rules to prevent any kind of issues.
Ones that were never meant to be broken, no matter how much Declan tempts me.
But what happens when our fake relationship bleeds into our real one?
Falling in love was never an option.
At least not for me.

Terms and Conditions is the second book in a series of interconnected standalones following three billionaire brothers.

Read the review here

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


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


Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.

I would know. I’m coming home with a brand-new ring on my finger.

My wife? Ryan Bell.
We’re polar opposites.
She’s sunshine and happiness.
I’m grumpy and scarred—literally.

We could get it annulled and no one would be the wiser.
Only problem? We posted about it online, and it’s already making headlines.

I can’t afford to get that kind of attention and tank my career, and Ryan needs my help too.

We make a plan: stay married for one year, play our roles, and divorce amicably at the end. No harm, no foul.

Besides, there’s no way the beauty is going to fall for the beast…

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GU1lkZ


Everything for You by Chloe Liese

Gear up for an all-the-feels, steamy slow-burn in this enemies-to-lovers sports romance about fighting for love when life’s taught you it’s a losing game.

Gavin

We’ve been teammates for two years, but it feels like a lifetime that Oliver Bergman’s been on my last nerve. A demanding captain and veteran player, I’m feared and friendless, while he’s the beloved rising star, all sunshine smiles and upbeat team spirit. To make matters worse, he’s obscenely attractive. In short: he’s genetically designed to get under my skin.

Avoiding Oliver has been my survival tactic on and off the field. But when Coach drops the bomb that we’re now co-captains, avoiding him becomes impossible, and keeping the truth from him–let alone my distance–is harder than ever.

Oliver

Life was great until soccer legend Gavin Hayes joined the team and proved he’s nothing like the guy I grew up idolizing. Instead, he’s a giant–albeit gorgeous–grump who lives to rain on my parade. I’ve sworn off pranks since entering the public eye, so rather than settle our differences the Bergman way, I’ve had to settle for killing Gavin with kindness. There’s just one problem: killing him with kindness is killing me.

To make matters worse, Coach gives us an ultimatum: put an end to our enmity or say goodbye to being captains. I’m prepared to be miserable while we meet her demands and make nice, but the last thing I expect is to discover an explosive attraction we can’t help but act on, and worse yet, to realize the man hiding beneath Gavin’s gruff exterior is all I’ve ever wanted.

Everything for You is a grumpy-sunshine, enemies-to-lovers, age gap sports romance about an upbeat rising soccer star with anxiety and his curmudgeonly veteran teammate who lives with chronic pain. Complete with nosy senior citizens, nosier siblings, and a meddling coach, this standalone slow burn is the fifth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Mm1YX2


See Me After Class by Meghan Quinn

From USA Today bestselling author of A NOT SO MEET CUTE comes a brand-new romantic comedy about a grumpy English teacher who is tested by the new, sunshine teacher in his department. Mr. Darcy vibes with a Pride and Prejudice epic ending. Incredibly steamy and hilarious.

“Did you have relations with my brother . . .”

Good question. I’d like to preface this by saying it was never my intention to ever get involved in a workplace romance, let alone get involved with the most surly, agitating, and pompous man I’ve ever met who just so happens to be my new friend’s brother.

My intentions were to show students how English and reading books could actually be fun and make a new life for myself in the suburbs of Chicago.

But so far, I’ve managed to be called into the principal’s office. Coerced into participating in the teacher’s badminton league. And instigated into passionate fights with Arlo Turner over education and decorum while losing my underwear at the same time.

Known as Mr. Turns Me On, he’s the reason I might get fired from my first ever teaching job.

Read the review here

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2Iu8iQM


Want more grumpy/sunshine romance? Check out my original list here!


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

15 Fiery Forbidden Romance Novels

15 Sexy Single Mom Romance Novels

15 of My Favorite New Adult & College Romance Books

15 Marvelous Marriage of Convenience Romance Books

15 Romance Books Where the Guy Falls First or Fast

15 Bossy Billionaire Romance Books


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