Neighbors to lovers might not be the first trope I think of when discussing popular tropes in romance novels, but it is one that delivers again and again. Initially, I wasn’t sure that I’d have enough solid recs to put together a list with this theme, but I ended up being overwhelmed by the choices! There are so many great books that feature couples who start out as neighbors – often as strangers as well – who get to know each other via the close proximity. It’s the perfect catalyst for sexual tension and breaking down barriers… especially when there’s a room with an *ahem* view.
Often, these characters don’t make the best first impressions, and the heroes typically appear to be grumpy at the start. That could just be a matter of catching them on the wrong day, or it could be that they are truly in need of a little sunshine in their lives. Whatever the case, it makes for engaging, dynamic love stories.
Every book on this list has its own unique vibe and scenario. From super spicy to slow burn to closed door, there’s a little something for everyone on this list. They’re all contemporary romance novels that were 4 or 5-star reads for me. I’ve included the blurbs, links to my book reviews when available, and links to Amazon for easy addition to your collection. Happy reading!
Meet Me Halfway by Lilian T. James
Madison gave her heart to a boy at the age of sixteen, but all she got in return was a broken heart and a swollen belly.
Alone with a baby and desperate for the love she hadn’t found, she turned to a man who sealed his claim of devotion with a diamond ring.
He promised her a family. A life. A future. But his lies had only been a cover for the personal hell he introduced her to daily.
Now, at twenty-five, Madison has long since stopped believing in love. Balancing single parenthood, three jobs, and online courses, she doesn’t have the time anyway.
So when the broody neighbor living in the other side of her duplex leaves a rude note on her door, she’s not interested.
Not in his dark hair, not in his physique, and definitely not in the dimples she’s only seen a hint of. She’s one hundred percent, absolutely, not interested.
Not even a little.
**Author’s Note: This novel is for readers age 18+ and contains sensitive content that some readers might not wish to read. Please head to the author’s website for a more detailed content description.
Read the review here
Fall by Kristen Callihan
The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.
In my defense, I didn’t know he was Jax Blackwood—who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries? More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.
Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.
Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he’d be my new neighbor.
An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked–spectacularly naked–in his living room.
Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore—not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.
Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we’re quickly becoming each other’s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.
All we have to do is trust enough to fall.
Read the audiobook review here
Juniper Hill by Devney Perry
From USA Today bestselling author Devney Perry comes a small town, neighbors to lovers romance.
Memphis Ward arrives in Quincy, Montana, on the fifth worst day of her life. She needs a shower. She needs a snack. She needs some sanity. Because moving across the country with her newborn baby is by far the craziest thing she’s ever done.
But maybe it takes a little crazy to build a good life. If putting the past behind her requires a thousand miles and a new town, she’ll do it if it means a better future for her son. Even if it requires setting aside the glamour of her former life. Even if it requires working as a housekeeper at The Eloise Inn and living in an apartment above a garage.
It’s there, on the fifth worst day of her life, that she meets the handsomest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Knox Eden is a beautiful, sinful dream, a chef and her temporary landlord. With his sharp, stubbled jaw and tattooed arms, he’s raw and rugged and everything she’s never had—and never will. Because after the first worst day of her life, Memphis learned a good life requires giving up on her dreams too. And a man like Knox Eden will only ever be a dream.
Read the audiobook review here
A Favor for a Favor by Helena Hunting
From the New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and A Lie for a Lie, a new stand-alone romance about trading favors, battling wills, and winning love.
When I joined Seattle’s NHL expansion team, I thought it was the start of something great. But nothing ever goes the way you expect. Take my introduction to my new neighbor. She came rolling in on the hot mess express at midnight, making a racket while she tried to get into my team captain’s apartment. Did I mention that he’s married to a woman who definitely was not her?
Imagine my surprise when I end up with an injury that has me out of the game for weeks, and she’s the one to offer to help me. I should probably add that she’s not the captain’s mistress. She’s his sexy, pastel-haired younger sister.
So we come up with an arrangement: she rehabs me so that I can get back on the ice sooner, and she can add a professional athlete that isn’t her brother to her client list. Seems simple enough. As long as I can keep my hands to myself and my hormones in check.
Read the review on Goodreads here
Eloise and the Grump Next Door by Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor
I’m not sure which is worse–the lawyer handling my grandmother’s estate or the attack pelican living on the screened-in porch. Just kidding–I’ll take the pelican any day.
After graduation, I thought I’d be off to grad school, doing research on my favorite poet. Instead, I’m renovating my late grandmother’s home and posting about the process on Instagram. Talk about a detour …
But here I am. Turning Gran’s beach house into a bed and breakfast–a process that would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with the grumpy lawyer living next door. It doesn’t help that the night Jake and I met, I got a little tipsy, and he had to carry me back to my hotel.
But the longer I stay on Oakley Island, the more I feel a connection to my childhood and to my grandmother. This isn’t the life I dreamed of, but dreams can change. Especially when new dreams include a future with Jake. On the outside, he might be pricklier than a puffer fish, but I catch glimpses of a delicious, cinnamon roll center.
Did I mention the tattoos he hides underneath those crisp button-down shirts? Yowza.
When I’m suddenly presented with the academic opportunity of my dreams (former dreams?), my picturesque life on Oakley starts to unravel.
A part of me wants to stay. If only a certain tattooed grump didn’t seem so determined to send me away …
Eloise and The Grump Next Door is a grumpy sunshine, closed door romantic comedy. The Oakley Island Romcom series follows three very different sisters as they renovate the house they inherited and find love on the island along the way. Each book will have sizzling chemistry but no spice.
Read the review here
Melt for You by J.T. Geissinger
A wallflower gets seduction tips from a playboy athlete—until love changes the rules.
Socially awkward Joellen Bixby has a date every Saturday—with her cat, a pint of ice cream, and fantasies of the way-too-handsome Michael Maddox. She’d give anything to win over the unattainable CEO of her firm, but how can she when she blends in so well with her cubicle? The answer may be closer than she thinks.
Cameron McGregor is a cocky, tattooed Scottish rugby captain who just moved in next door. He’s not Jo’s type—at all—but the notorious playboy is offering to teach the wallflower everything he knows about inspiring desire. Though a lot of women have rumpled Cam’s kilt, Jo is special. Far from the ugly duckling she thinks she is, in Cam’s eyes she’s sharp, funny, and effortlessly sexy. Now, thanks to him, Jo is blooming with confidence and has the man of her dreams within reach.
Unfortunately for Cam, he’s just helped to push the woman of his dreams into the arms of another man—and now he’s in the fight of his life to keep this beauty from getting away.
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
Doctor Heartless by J. Saman
He’s cruel. Insufferably attractive. And broken beyond redemption.
After the nightmare I just ran from, those details should have made him the perfect storm of do not touch. Except I didn’t know any of this—other than the attractive part—when I met him.
Our story started on a lie.
He pretended to be someone else, and I didn’t ask a lot of questions. Nor did I try to stop him when he snuck out of my hotel room in the wee hours of the morning. I was determined to start my new life on an uptick and a wild one-night with a hot stranger felt like just the ticket.
Only I should have known something that good wouldn’t end that easy.
On my first night in my new house, our paths cross again when I discover he’s my new neighbor. No longer the charming man I met in the bar, he’s a grump, completely unfriendly, and utterly intolerable. As if this couldn’t get any worse, I quickly learn I’m also his daughter’s new teacher.
A wonderful daughter I can’t help but fall in love with.
Something I refuse to do with him. Our button-pushing back and forth never fails to get under my skin. If anything, his sudden off-limits status makes resisting this devil of a single dad that much easier.
Regardless of the temptation he presents. How searing his heated gaze is when I catch him staring. Or how breathless our stolen moments leave us.
After all, this is the fresh start I so desperately need, and I will not let anything get in my way.
No. I can’t give in to Doctor Heartless. No matter how hard he tries to change my mind.
DOCTOR HEARTLESS is a 95k word deliciously STEAMY, grumpy/sunshine, enemies-to-lovers romance that will hit you straight in the feels! It is a standalone in the bestselling Boston’s Billionaire Bachelors series featuring Boston’s hottest billionaire doctors and the women they fall head over heels for!
Read the review here
What If You & Me by Roni Loren
New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren blends heat and heart in this emotionally charged story of:
- A frightened woman longing to break free
- A wounded man searching for his purpose
- An unexpected friendship turned sizzling hot connection
- And an emotional climax that’ll have them both learning to let go
The world can be a scary place. At least, that’s what Andi Lockley’s anxiety wants her to believe. It doesn’t help that she narrowly escaped a dangerous man years ago, or that every relationship since has been colored with that lingering fear. But things are better now—she’s channeling everything into her career as a horror novelist and true crime podcaster, and her next book may be the breakthrough she needs.
If only her grumpy new neighbor would stop stomping around at all hours of the night.
Former firefighter Hill Dawson can’t sleep. After losing part of his leg in a rescue gone wrong, he’s now stuck in limbo. He needs to figure out what he’s supposed to do with his life, and he can’t let himself get distracted by the pretty redhead next door. But when someone breaks into Andi’s place, Hill can’t stop himself from rushing in to play the hero. Soon, a tentative bond forms between the unlikely pair. But what starts out as a neighborly exchange quickly turns into the chance for so much more…if Andi can learn to put aside her fear and trust in herself—and love—again.
Read the review here
Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez
A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist. When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn’t expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn’t just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn’t want to take anything for granted. But after her half sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from “daily adventure” to “next-level bad” (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she’d be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua. Now she’s feeling things she’s vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.
Read the review here
Love at First by Kate Clayborn
A sparkling and tender novel from the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, full of bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love that fans of Christina Lauren, Sarah Hogle, and Emily Henry will adore.
Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .
No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .
Read the review here
Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us!
Moving, passionate, and unforgettable, Colleen Hoover’s novel follows two young adults from completely different backgrounds embarking on a tentative romance, unaware of what the future holds.
After a childhood filled with poverty and neglect, Beyah Grim finally has her hard-earned ticket out of Kentucky with a full ride to Penn State. But two months before she’s finally free to change her life for the better, an unexpected death leaves her homeless and forced to spend the remainder of her summer in Texas with a father she barely knows.
Devastated and anxious for the summer to go by quickly, Beyah has no time or patience for Samson, the wealthy, brooding guy next door. Yet, the connection between them is too intense to ignore. But with their upcoming futures sending them to opposite ends of the country, the two decide to maintain only a casual summer fling. Too bad neither has any idea that a rip current is about to drag both their hearts out to sea.
Read the review here
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
Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.
Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.
Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.
To Hate Adam Connor by Ella Maise
So you may ask, who is Adam Connor? He is the recently divorced, Academy Award-winning actor who just moved in next door with his kid. He also happens to be an exquisite male specimen and the most infuriating sly bastard I’ve ever come across.
Let’s be honest here, wouldn’t you wanna take a peek over the wall to catch a glimpse of him, hopefully when he is naked? Wouldn’t you melt away after watching him work out as his five-year-old kid cheered him on? Do I even have to mention those abs, or those arm muscles? Oh, wait, you would never spy on him? Sure…
While I was being thoughtful by not breaking and entering and was actually considering going over to offer him a shoulder—or maybe a boob or two—to cry on (y’know, because of his divorce), instead he had me thrown in jail after a small incident. Jail, people! He was supposed to grant me countless orgasms as a thank you, not a jail cell.
After that day, I was mentally plotting ways to strangle him instead of jumping his bones to make sweet love. So what if my body did more than just shiver when he whispered dirty little things in my ear? I can’t be held responsible for that. And when was the last time he’d kissed anyone anyway? Who’d enjoy a kiss with a side of heart attack?
Even if he and his son were the best things since sliced bread—and I’m not saying he was—I couldn’t fall for him. No matter what promises he whispered on my skin, my curse wouldn’t let us be. I wasn’t a damsel in distress—I could save myself, thank you very much—but deep inside, I still hoped Adam Connor would be the hero of my story.
Want more romance recommendations? Check out some of my other lists!
15 Playboy/Manwhore Tamed Romance Novels
15 Fantastic Forced Proximity Romance Novels
15 Sweet Cinnamon Roll Heroes in Romance Novels
15 Sexy Office Rival Romance Books
15 Sexy Single Mom Romance Novels
15 Sexy Fake Relationship 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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