Contemporary romance is my happy place. What can I say?! I love love, and I’m a complete sucker for a “Happily Ever After.” Lucky for me, 2018 has been a phenomenal year for contemporary romance authors and readers. Here are some of the best, rounding out the year. These are the best romance novels of 2018.
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Charlie Grant’s family is all getting together for her older sister’s wedding – one last gathering at their childhood home that is going to be sold. She sets some important life decisions aside as she focuses on making the weekend perfect. Of course, nothing goes as planned. Charlie learns the hard way that living in the past can lead to not really living at all. Save the Date is a great coming-of-age story with a fun family dynamic, a beautiful mess of a wedding weekend as the premise, and a dash of romance.
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Zorie and Lennon are neighbors who used to do everything together. After last year’s homecoming, everything changed and the distance between them grew when they probably needed each other most. When a camping trip goes wrong, Zorie and Lennon are forced to spend a couple days together alone in the Northern California wilderness. Starry Eyes weaves a tale of former-best-friends-turned-enemies-turned-lovers with family and friend drama scattered throughout.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Stella Lane excels at STEM but is terribly unaware when it comes to romance. Suffering from a developmental disorder, she is socially awkward and turns to a hired escort – Michael – for lessons in love. Michael has his own complications, though. Soon enough, these two are making real connections and have to decide if their relationship should remain simply professional. The Kiss Quotient is a sweet but steamy debut novel with diverse, complex characters and an authentic and original plot.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Alexa and Drew have an interesting first encounter that leads to her agreeing to attend his ex’s wedding as his date. After having a great time, they go their separate ways but realize their chemistry was strong. They dive into a long-distance fling that leaves them wondering if they could handle something more. The Wedding Date is a charming and sexy fake dating story about two people with an adorable meet-cute trying to navigate a relationship that was never planned.
The Problem with Him by Rachel Higginson
Wyatt and Kaya have worked side by side in the award-winning restaurant, Lilou. When he gets promoted to executive chef and she becomes his sous chef, a newfound animosity and competitiveness grows between them. But then a different opportunity for Kaya sparks a change in their dynamic, making it hard to decide whether their relationship or career aspirations are more important. The Problem with Him is a sultry and driven enemies-to-lovers story about two chefs with high aspirations and strong personalities.
All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Quinn and Graham have a relationship that seemed fated. They have a whirlwind romance that’s picture perfect in the past but crumbling in the present. Faced with very real issues in their marriage, it’s hard to believe they were ever as blissfully happy as they used to be. All Your Perfects is a gut-wrenching and genuine story about how a couple’s relationship changes after being faced with infertility.
Not So Nice Guy by R.S. Grey
In Jim-and-Pam style, Ian has always liked Sam, and Sam has always had feelings for Ian too, but is afraid of ruining their friendship. Years of repressed feelings are hard to hide though, when their co-workers realize they haven’t actually been dating all along and all bets are off. Not So Nice Guy is a hilarious friends-to-lovers story between two school teachers that are utterly sweet while bringing the smolder.
The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Calla’s estranged father is on his deathbed so she packs her bags and heads back to Alaska for the first time in a very long while. On the way, she meets Jonah, a pilot for her father’s Alaskan airline, and the dislike forms immediately. While trying to embrace small-town Alaska, revelations and relationships are forged while Calla reclaims a piece of her past. The Simple Wild delivers all the feels! This story is heartbreaking and beautiful with immense character growth.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Hazel Bradford is a handful. In college, she left an impression on her good friend Josh. Years later the two reconnect. Although they are complete opposites, their friendship blossoms in a colorful and hilarious story as they begin double-dating while picking dates for one another. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is a comical and uplifting story about modern-day dating and opposites attracting.
From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
Jasmine Santos is a hard-working figure skater with a fading career, and Ivan Lukov is the golden boy of the sport. When they partner together, things start off a little rocky thanks to their strong personalities and lifelong dislike of each other. But as the training and competing progresses, their relationship does too. From Lukov with Love is a story of self-discovery entwined in an incredible slow burn, enemies-to-lovers sports romance.
Kiss the Girl: The Naughty Princess Club by Tara Sivec
Ariel Waters is a struggling antiques dealer who is drowning in debt and lack of confidence following a divorce. She is forced to seek help from the obnoxiously charming Eric Sailor when she is out of luck, homeless and nearly broke. Kiss the Girl is a comedic and sexy hate-to-love story with touches of The Little Mermaid and a sassy, quirky heroine in a less-than-ideal situation.
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Ava is a talented interior designer, and Caleb is a Scotsman who has no interest in love. Following a funeral in Arizona, Ava just wants to get home to Boston. She has the displeasure of an encounter with a rude Caleb, and she can’t seem to escape him when their flight gets grounded in Chicago. Fight or Flight is a witty and sizzling enemies-to-lovers story full of great banter and heat with touches of heartwarming moments.
The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon
Mercedes, Cora and Noah have been friends since they were kids who all grew up in less-than-ideal homes. When Mercedes makes one large denial to Cora, everything changes. She gave up the guy for the sake of their friendship. Then tragedy strikes and relationships need to be reassessed in the midst of sorrow. The Smallest Part is a beautiful story of friendship, sacrifice and heartbreak with a perfectly flawed cast of characters.
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I loved The Not So Nice Guy! Those are all great book choices – I need to catch up!
R.S. Grey is always an author I can depend on for a fun romance! I hope you enjoy the others if you decide to check them out!
Such an amazing list. I couldn’t agree more, Kelly!