15 Fantastic Forced Proximity Romance Novels

When two characters are stuck together, forced to work out their differences when they would’ve otherwise run and avoided the intimacy, magic can happen. Whether they’re feuding co-workers, former lovers in need of a second chance, or semi-strangers who have found themselves living together, there are SO MANY different scenarios where forced proximity can shine. I love that these romance books often have enemies to lovers vibes, even if the reality of the situation is actually much more complex. There’s often sizzling sexual tension and fan-worthy spicy scenes, which showcase the evolving feelings between these couples. Forced closeness allows couples to break down barriers that they would’ve avoided completely if they had the choice, and I revel in the uncomfortable exchanges.

Every book on this list has its own unique vibe and scenario. From unexpected roommates to second chances to co-workers, there’s a little something for everyone on this list. They’re all sexy 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!


The Co-op by Tarah DeWitt

They say love and construction don’t mix. 
By that logic, hate and construction may as well be condemned.


LaRynn Lavigne and Deacon Leeds had one short and contentious summer fling when they were teens. 
Certainly nothing to build a foundation on. 
But a decade later, when their grandmothers have left them with shared ownership of their dilapidated Santa Cruz building, they’re thrust back together and have to figure out how to brace up the pieces. 
LaRynn has the money, but to access her trust, she has to be married. 
Deacon has the construction expertise, but lacks the funds. 
A deal is struck: Marry for however long it takes to fix up the property, collect a profit, and cut ties. 
Thrust into a home without walls, they quickly learn that it’s easy to hide behind emotional ones, even in a marriage. But, with all the exposure and pitfalls that come with living with the opposite sex (and none of the perks) they’ll also have to learn what it means to truly co-operate as a team.

The Co-op is a steamy story about restoration and renovation, and uncovering all the things that build character within ourselves. It’s about the never-ending construction project that partnership is, and finding enjoyment at every stage.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3LLA6fV


Bulldozer by P. Dangelico

What happens when a single mother is forced to live with a grumpy, ailing football star? The smolder turns red hot. 
A standalone follow-up to the best-selling, WRECKING BALL.


Amanda Shaw has pulled it together. It’s taken a couple of years, a boatload of hard work, and a ton of self-discipline, but she finally has her problems in a headlock. Her yoga studio in the city has become so successful she’s opening one near the beach, and her relationship with her ten-year-old son is improving every day. The last thing she needs is a monkey wrench thrown into her smoothly running life.

Grant Hendricks is one big monkey wrench. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year, three-time NFL sack leader, and all-around football god has officially hit rock bottom. A devastating back injury means he may have to retire and that scares him more than doctors telling him the next hit could leave him paralyzed. All he needs is a quiet place to think and his teammate’s beach house sounds like just the place. Problem is, the woman already living there.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/386jv7a


The Perfect Catch by Meghan Quinn

“Kiss me. Just this once . . . please Walker.”

Those whispered words were my undoing . . .

As the most hated player in baseball, I had two options: either clean up my image or pack my bags. Being traded wasn’t an option which only meant one thing, I had to become compliant.

That’s how I found myself sharing a small bistro table with Kate Chapman, the Chicago Bobbies newest PR Manager. Devastatingly beautiful, vastly intelligent, and incredibly cunning, she knows exactly how to handle my grumpy demeanor. 

It was supposed to be simple. Book some PR events, show up, smile for the camera, and be done. But one massive mistake on my end sends me into the trenches with Kate, forcing me to open up to her. 

Innocent glances turn into cordial encounters.
Secret touches turn into tempting invitations. 
And dangerous nights alone turn into consuming desperation.

I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want her. And I know she wants me, but there’s a no fraternizing with the players rule. Neither of us can afford to lose our jobs, but we also can’t seem to keep our hands off each other either.

Read the review here

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


Flawless by Elsie Silver

The rules were simple. Keep my hands off his daughter and stay out of trouble.

But now I’m stuck with her. There’s only one bed. And well, rules are made to be broken. 


I’m the face of professional bull riding—the golden boy. Or at least I was, until it all blew up in my face. Now my agent says I have to clean up my image, so I’m stuck with his ball-busting daughter for the rest of the season as my “full-time supervision.”

But I don’t need a goddamn babysitter, especially one with skin-tight jeans, a sexy smirk, and a mouth she can’t stop running.

A mouth I can’t stop thinking about.

Because Summer isn’t just another conquest. She sees the man behind the mask, and she doesn’t run—she pulls me closer, even when she shouldn’t.

She says this means nothing.

I say this means everything.

She says there are boundaries we shouldn’t cross. That my reputation can’t take any more hits—and neither can her damaged heart.

I say I’m going to steal it anyway.

Read the review here

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


The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

The New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners returns with a witty and effervescent novel about what happens when two people with everything on the line are thrown together by science—or is it fate? Perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and One Plus One.

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before her daughter was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers:This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get ‘to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

“Laugh-out-loud, sweet, charming, and humorous” (Library Journal, starred review), The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

Read the audiobook review here

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


The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark

You don’t really know a guy until you’ve vacationed with him…

When Drew Wilson’s ex-boyfriend Joel “Six” Bailey asks her to go on his family trip to Hawaii with him just as her life is falling apart, she decides it’s the perfect time to give him another chance.

The hitch? The Bailey family includes Six’s rude older brother, Joshua–a hot-nerd doctor who has hated Drew since the moment they met and once suggested she’d steal the family silver.

Drew is determined to win the Baileys over and give this thing with Six a fair shot…but Joshua is making that difficult. Not simply because he is in her way at every turn, but because–as one tropical adventure leads to the next–she’s beginning to wonder if obnoxious, odious Joshua might be the brother she actually belongs with. 

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HANt07


Falling Out of Hate With You by Lauren Rowe

Book one of a duet

I’ve tried to like Adrian Savage, the mercurial frontman for Fugitive Summer, while serving as his band’s opening act on tour. We’re stuck together for three months, after all. And I’m well aware I’m lucky to be here. 

But it’s proved impossible. He’s far too rude and dismissive a guy to get along with. And way too good at getting under my skin. In fact, at this point, I think it’s fair to say I downright hate his guts.

Global thirst trap that he is, though, I’m finding it extremely difficult not to want to jump Savage’s bones, despite how much he infuriates me. I hate myself for it. But my body is going rogue on me. It doesn’t matter, though. I’m determined to resist him. 

In fact, what I’ve decided is that, as long as I’m here and stuck with him, I’m not only going to give Savage the sound tongue lashing nobody else around here has the balls to deliver, I’m going to bring that bad boy to his knees.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3q2y677


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


Out of the Blue by Kathryn Nolan

There was no way I could protect her and my heart at the same time.

Cope McDaniels is known for two things: His cocky charm and his sterling reputation for keeping high-profile clients safe. Until a security job goes bad, and he suddenly finds his career on thin ice. Cope’s newest assignment comes with serious consequences – he’ll keep his job as long as he makes no mistakes.

Cope isn’t worried…until his new client turns out to be a beautiful blast from his past.

Big wave surfer Serena Swift loves the adrenaline of her sport. And the elite athlete hates being told what to do. That goes double when the orders are coming from the sexy bodyguard-in-a-suit who broke her heart.

But she doesn’t have a choice when a mysterious threat materializes and Serena’s sponsor saddles her with the last man she’d want guarding her body. She’d rather focus on her next surf competition, not on some shadowy danger or the arrogant ex who dared to get even hotter since their breakup.

Cope can’t stop butting heads with his new client. Just like old times, Serena refuses to play it safe, even when it’s clear she’s in peril. Now the intimacy of spending every second of the day by her side is wearing away at his self-control. He can’t afford to lose focus, but everything about the woman is a constant distraction. 

Including the fact that their divorce was never finalized…

Author’s Note: One-click this scorching-hot bodyguard romance if you’re a fan of second-chance angst, sizzling sexual tension, thrilling action and mysterious danger set on the warm, sunny beaches of San Diego.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2R966mv


Next of Kin by Hannah Bonam-Young

Two bickering strangers, Chloe and Warren, are partnered by Child Protective Services to qualify for next of kin fostering of their younger siblings.

When people-pleasing Chloe learns that her birth mother has unexpectedly had another baby, she doesn’t hesitate to become a next-of-kin guardian. But when she fails to pass Child Protective Services’ financial evaluation, she is faced with a choice: see her baby sister placed in foster care or participate in CPS’ new initiative, TeamUp.
Enter Warren, a surly mechanic’s apprentice attempting to get custody of his deaf fifteen-year-old brother after failing CPS’ housing evaluation. The two strangers immediately clash but agree to live together until Warren can find housing elsewhere and Chloe can further grow her freelance career.
As their lives intertwine, Chloe and Warren both realise that they’re far more similar than they could have imagined. What started as forced begins to feel natural—and far less lonely. Chemistry soon intensifies beyond what either of them can stand, but they must each decide if what burns between them is worth risking their arrangement.

With banter, heart, and steam that will have the reader blushing, NEXT OF KIN is a true underdog story of two young adults redefining what family can look like.
Content Warnings:
For adult readers only due to explicit (consensual) sexual content, child abandonment (referenced in memory), substance abuse and addiction (referenced, not described), foster care and adoption (theme throughout), references to anxiety (brief description of a panic attack), and death of a parent (referenced in memory).

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3J0MDe8


Hard to Hold by K. Bromberg

New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, is back with a heartfelt, standalone romance and a new hero to steal your heart . . . 

The contract with Major League Soccer was supposed to help repair my damaged reputation.

Then I discovered that I’d made a deal with the devil: the player I’m supposed to recruit is none other than the bad boy, star Premier League footballer, Rush McKenzie. 

British. Tattooed. Sexy. A man currently at the center of a huge scandal.

The goal? To convince him to stay in the States.

But what’s wrong with a little fun in the meantime? No strings. No sweet nothings. Just a way to pass the time while we’re both struggling to prove our true selves to the world. 

If someone found out our relationship was anything more than professional, it would only serve to prove all our critics right. 

***
I never should have agreed to take the fall. 

But I did and I’m a man of my word. 

Even if it means risking everything I’ve worked for.

The only bright side is Lennox Kincade. 

Gorgeous. Defiant. Rumor-tainted. Totally off-limits.

Sharing a house with the gorgeous sports agent should have been a fun distraction from the turmoil. Someone to help pass the time while the tensions back home die down. 

But what started as nothing, ends up as something I never saw coming.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/37eMD7T


Loathe Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter

Don’t fall for your enemy…especially when he’s your new roommate.

Dean Evans is the worst.

Not only does the devil in disguise steal my pie on a regular basis, he also lives in the apartment right. Next. Door.

I see him all the time. At the mailboxes. In the elevator.

Every single morning.

It’s exhausting because he’s exhausting.

Now, after setting his apartment on fire, he’s my roommate…and he’s the worst at that too.

I don’t know what possessed me to let him stay with me. Pity, perhaps?

I do know that I won’t be falling for his charm.

Or that panty-dropping smirk.

His quick wit.

That body he works so hard for.

Nope. Not falling for any of it…least of all him.

There might be a fine line between love and hate, but I know exactly where I stand.

Read the review here

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/32CyDnj


An Unexpected Paradise by Chelsea Curto

Beautiful palm trees. Warm ocean water. Idyllic sunsets. Sounds like heaven, right?

Not when you’re head-strong Jo Bowen and forced to attend a work trip with your obnoxious-yet-attractive coworker, Jack Lancaster. How can she survive four days in the Florida Keys with the grouchy man she wants to throttle more often than not?

When her toxic ex-boyfriend arrives at the same conference, Jack doesn’t hesitate to jump in and act as her current love interest. Jo discovers there might be more to her infuriating nemesis than meets the eye. Maybe it’s the island air, or maybe it’s the time they spend together, but soon their mutual hatred morphs into attraction. How can it not when Jack looks at her like she’s the only woman in the world?

It’s easy to pretend they’re a happy couple in front of strangers. With the real world looming beyond their temporary paradise, Jack and Jo must confront their feelings and new opportunities. They will either find themselves on the path of happiness… or the path of destruction.

An Unexpected Paradise is a steamy romantic comedy featuring coworkers-to-lovers (with a hint of enemies-to-lovers sprinkled in), forced proximity, and fake dating. The cast includes a fiery, headstrong woman, a churlish yet thoughtful man and an awesome group of friends. You can expect laugh-out-loud banter, spicy moments, and a new swoon-worthy book boyfriend. It is a standalone novel.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fB6J41


The Potter by Kristy Marie

From bestselling author Kristy Marie comes a brand new witty standalone about a grumpy doctor and his hopeful patient who find love in the unlikeliest of places… the exam room. 

A brilliant surgeon.
A master sculptor.
The media touted Dr. Potter as a savior dressed in a crisp suit.
I think he’s a vicious madman of jerk-sized proportions.
But fate is a wicked tease.
Only Dr. Potter can give me what I need.
A fresh start.
A new identity.
But he refused, leaving me to take matters into my own hands by accepting a job as his partner’s new secretary.
Dr. Potter can’t turn down my case forever.
Or at least I thought so until I found him on the floor.
Broken.
Angry.
With a venomous warning… I failed to heed.

The Potter is a standalone grumpy-sunshine rom-dramedy.

Read the review here

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


Unsuitable by Samantha Towle

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Towle comes a sexy, suspenseful romantic standalone novel…

Daisy Smith has spent eighteen months of her life paying for a crime she didn’t commit. Now out of prison, she has only one focus—to get back custody of her younger brother, Jesse, who is deep in the foster care system. Desperate to rebuild her life and show the system that she is responsible enough to care for Jesse, she takes on the only job available to her—working as a maid at the Matis Estate.

On day one of her new job, Daisy meets Kastor Matis, the only son of the owners and her new boss. An enigmatic, handsome Greek god of a man, Kas is closed off, cold, and…well, kind of a bastard.

The more time Daisy spends around Kas, she starts to see there might be more to him than just his cold, bastard ways. He may actually have a heart beating in that frozen chest of his. But Kas has secrets, too. Secrets that he’s determined to keep.

Secrets make Daisy curious.

And you know what curiosity can do…

Read the audiobook review here

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


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

15 Sweet Cinnamon Roll Heroes in Romance Novels

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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