15 Sweet Cinnamon Roll Heroes in Romance Novels

Grumpy/sunshine romances and alphahole heroes often steal the spotlight, but cinnamon roll heroes know how to bring the swoon! There’s nothing quite like a nice guy, a good guy hero who is warm and loving. Whether he’s mellowed out after becoming a single dad or has always been upbeat and kind, cinnamon roll heroes are just sweethearts! They can make the perfect complement to a grumpy heroine, or be the kind of loving, supportive man that a hurting heroine needs in her life. They come in many different varieties, and can sometimes be hidden behind a quiet, contemplative exterior. They are genuine, excellent book boyfriends – the kind of guy many women would love to partner up with in real life.

Every book on this list has its own unique vibe and scenario. From single dads to friends to co-workers to roommates, there’s a little something for everyone on this list. They’re all steamy contemporary romance novels that were 4 or 5-star reads for me. I’ve included the blurbs, links to my book reviews, and links to Amazon for easy addition to your collection. Happy reading!


Mixed Signals by B.K. Borison

Layla Dupree has given up on love.

She’s waded through all of the fish in the sea, each one more disappointing than the last. Apparently owning the bakery at Inglewild’s most romantic destination does not help one’s love life—despite her best efforts. All she wants is a partner who gives her butterflies, not someone who ghosts her at dinner and leaves her with the check.

Good thing Caleb Alvarez has the perfect solution.

After saving Layla from another date gone bad, he has a simple proposition: One month of no-strings dating. He’ll do his best to renew her faith in men while she rates his dating game. It’s a win-win situation. All the benefits of dating, without the added pressure of feelings and unmet expectations.

But there’s one ingredient they haven’t considered. The chemistry between them is red hot and the urge to take things to the next level is more tempting than Layla’s double fudge mocha brownies.

Will the heat between them boil over? Or will it be another case of mixed signals?

Mixed Signals is a sweet and steamy small-town romance. Our story features a bashful man who can rock a Hawaiian shirt, a hopeful and dreamy bakery owner, enough sweets to give you a cavity, and your favorite Inglewild residents. Mixed Signals is a standalone romance and the third book in the Lovelight series, a collection of interconnected novels.

Read the review here

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


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


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


Finding Gene Kelly by Torie Jean

When five-year-old Evie O’Shea married her next-door neighbor in the wedding of the century, she had no idea she was swearing an oath to love the man who would grow into the bane of her existence until the end of time. Or that in ten years time, she’d start a long and winding journey to an eventual endometriosis diagnosis.

Now, aged twenty-six, Evie O’Shea lives in Paris, balancing precariously close to her Charlotte Lucas birthday. A burden to her parents, with no prospects and no money, Evie’s humdrum life needs a shake-up.

Enter Liam Kelly, the man Evie married at the age of five and promptly divorced at seven when he had the audacity to throw a muddy football at her while she was reading Eloise in Paris. Clad in a Henley and equipped with toned forearms and eye crinkles that rival Gene Kelly himself, Evie is determined to keep her ultimate temptation at a distance while she flails wildly navigating life, love, and endometriosis on the banks of the Seine.

But when a family announcement shakes up Evie’s world weeks before her brother’s wedding, Evie seeks Liam’s help to get through the wedding with some semblance of sanity intact.

Her request? Fake date.

Making a deal with the Devil always comes with a cost, though, and when Liam’s conditions which include elaborate backstories and practice dates, reignite passions her disease smothered long ago, Evie has to learn to fight for her dreams and break free from her life measured in ibuprofen pills and heating pad settings. Or else risk being alive but never truly living.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3f2cOWY


Smitten by Lauren Rowe

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.

Smitten is an all-new standalone friends to lovers romance!  

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39sit1E


The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas

From the author of the Goodreads Choice Award winner The Spanish Love Deception, the eagerly anticipated follow-up featuring Rosie Graham and Lucas Martín, who are forced to share a New York apartment.

Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.

Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

Read the audiobook review here

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


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


Spare Me by Tara Sivec 

Ryan Hutton has spent his entire life being the shy, nerdy, rule-following nice guy on Summersweet Island. He’s the high school bowling coach and algebra teacher who’s always predictable, and he’s always been fine with that… until a sexy, nut job of a stranger gives him the best kiss of his life in his favorite pizza place, and he suddenly doesn’t like being the quiet, obedient nice guy anymore. 

When Danica Brewster first set foot on this beautiful island a few days ago, she just wanted a place to call home, far, far away from her family. A place where she could be wild and free without their judgment. When she finds out her new roommate is the stranger she kissed for free pizza, Danica knows this is a complication she definitely doesn’t need in her life right now.

But the memory of that kiss is making them both act out of character. Ryan and Danny soon realize you can’t ignore your problems and hope they’ll go away. Those problems will just come back with a vengeance, tossing everything into the gutter. 

It doesn’t make sense for a nerd to fall in love with a nut job, but with the magic of Summersweet Island, anything is possible… especially if you have enough balls.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PP9XNV


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


The Fiction Between Us by Julie Olivia

Some fairytales may be real, but ours is strictly fiction.

I’ve been Queen Bee at our theme park for ten glorious, uncomplicated years. I’m far better at creating fictional magic than real life miracles. So when Landon Arden, my best friend’s twin brother and my old high school bully, starts to work at Honeywood, I’m wishing for some gift from above to fix this mess.

Cue a worse situation.

After Landon falls on stage during one of our shows, the guests mistake him for a character in the park: Ranger Randy.

The problem isn’t when our manager asks him to perform as the bearded, tight tush, short shorts-wearing hero. No, my fairytale comes crashing down when we’re told that Queen Bee and Ranger Randy must appear as a couple.

Fine. Whatever. Ten years ago, my teenage crush for Landon may have been real, but I can fake a happy ending with Ranger Randy. I can sign autographs with him, have his arm around my waist, hold his hand, and… kiss him on stage?

I tell myself it’s all for show. We’re just characters in a theme park. And I won’t fall for true love’s kiss, even if I do want to try it one more time…

The Fiction Between Us is a stand-alone romantic comedy. This tale features fake dating (with a twist!), a grumpy/sunshine duo with a happy-go-lucky hero, lots of laugh-out-loud theme park shenanigans, and sizzling spice!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3QFi68w


Funny Feelings by Tarah DeWitt

When falling in love is the punchline…

Farley Jones is being forced to date Meyer Harrigan, the man she has come to love, in order to make all of her stand-up dreams come true.

It’s agony— a tragedy, even. In lieu of flowers, please send cash…

Meyer and his daughter Hazel have been everything to her since they came into her life three years ago. So, all joking aside, the stakes are especially high when it’s not only her career, but both of those relationships on the line.

A former stand-up star himself, Meyer has been vital to the trajectory of her career since he began managing her… Since he became her closest and most treasured friend, in the process.

This friendship is the only reason why, when the biggest opportunity of Farley’s career includes thrusting him back into the spotlight to stir up publicity, he agrees— in spite of his grumpiness, his protectiveness over Hazel, and his disdain for public attention.

It doesn’t take long for their act to bring all those other funny feelings out into the open, and, like most matters of the heart, it quickly begins to feel like anything but a joke.

Funny Feelings is a swoony story about friendship, love, and looking for the laugh in life. It touches on the creative spirit and all that comes with sharing that gift, and how oftentimes the comedians in our lives are the most sensitive, or struggling. It features two friends, one incredible little girl, and a kaleidoscope of feelings along the way.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3PPco40


Single Dad Seeks Juliet by Max Monroe

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?

Read the review here

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


Always Only You by Chloe Liese

Get ready for an emotional ride filled with laughter, longing, and a sweet slow-burn in this sports romance about love’s power not in spite of difference, but because of it.

Ren

The moment I met her, I knew Frankie Zeferino was someone worth waiting for. Deadpan delivery, secret heart of gold, and a rare one-dimpled smile that makes my knees weak, Frankie has been forbidden since the day she and I became coworkers, meaning waiting has been the name of my game—besides, hockey, that is.

I’m a player on the team, she’s on staff, and as long as we work together, dating is off-limits. But patience has always been my virtue. Frankie won’t be here forever—she’s headed for bigger, better things. I just hope that when she leaves the team and I tell her how I feel, she won’t want to leave me behind, too.

Frankie

I’ve had a problem at work since the day Ren Bergman joined the team: a six foot three hunk of happy with a sunshine smile. I’m a grumbly grump and his ridiculously good nature drives me nuts, but even I can’t entirely ignore that hot tamale of a ginger with icy eyes, the perfect playoff beard, and a body built for sin that he’s annoyingly modest about.

Before I got wise, I would have tripped over myself to get a guy like Ren, but with my diagnosis, I’ve learned what I am to most people in my life—a problem, not a person. Now, opening my heart to anyone, no matter how sweet, is the last thing I’m prepared to do.

Always Only You is an opposites-attract, forbidden love sports romance about a nerdy, late-blooming hockey star, and his tough cookie coworker who keeps both her soft side and her autism diagnosis* to herself. Complete with a meddling secretary, tantric yoga torture, and a scorching slow burn, this standalone is the second 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.

*This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.

Read the review here

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


America’s Geekheart by Pippa Grant 

Remember that time you accidentally sexted your boss?

Yeah. I just basically did the equivalent. Except worse. Now my millions of social media followers are reading and sharing the rude, smartass message I meant to send privately to my little sister as a joke…and I’m officially public enemy number one.

I’m Beck Ryder. Former boy bander. Underwear model. Fashion mogul. And I buried my entire leg in my mouth—not just my foot—modern internet style, and publicly insulted my sister’s neighbor.

Sarah Dempsey.

Also known as the woman of my dreams, who loves geeky TV shows, baseball, and giraffes, who’s just as turned on by food as I am, and who has a huge secret that I didn’t see coming.

Now it’s time to grovel and apologize publicly on social media and hope that those same followers who helped start the raging shitstorm will help calm the waters.

Because Sarah doesn’t want the spotlight. For very good reasons that I can’t tell you right now and trying to convince her to be my fake girlfriend to fix this mess and make me look like less of a jackass is worse than taking a kick to the nuts by Jackie Chan.

And I thought modeling underwear made me feel naked.

Trying to start a relationship in the era of the Twitterazzi isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

America’s Geekheart is a rockin’ fun romantic comedy featuring a billionaire fashion mogul who got his start modeling underwear, the geeky girl next door with a secret the size of California, and more superstitions and secrets than you can shake a baseball bat at. It stands alone with no cheating or cliffhangers.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3L1h6ZL


Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon 

A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this electrifying romance from the author of The Ex Talk.

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.

In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34gOM56


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

15 Sexy Office Rival Romance Books

15 Sexy Single Mom Romance Novels

15 Sweet & Spicy Small Town Romance Books

15 Sexy Fake Relationship Romance Books

15 Sexy Office Romance Books

15 Low Angst Romantic Comedy Novels

15 Sexy Single Dad Romance Books

15 (More) Great Grumpy / Sunshine Romance Books


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