Get ready to laugh and swoon, because the Amazon Books Editors’ Best Romances of the Year steer strongly toward romantic comedies. I mean, who doesn’t want to read with a smile on their face?
But all the strong feelings are here too—the heartbreak and the heart mending. Throw in loyal friends, aggravating bosses, bad guys, hackers, and a werewolf or two, and you have 20 great books that will keep you smiling and sighing and flipping pages like mad to find out what happens.
Here are eight of our favorites from our top 20 Best Romances list. We hope you find lots to love as well.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Professor Dani Brown asks for a sign that will point her to her next bed buddy, but she still ignores the very, very, (very!) obvious sign that Zafir Ansari is the one for her…even after he literally carries her out of a school building during a poison gas emergency. But that’s only the beginning of the drama, as Dani and Zafir begin to fake a relationship in a very public way. With her spot-on observations of modern living and all the complications that genuine relationships bring, Hibbert is one of the funniest romance writers in the field today. I can’t wait to read Eve Brown’s story next in Act Your Age, Eve Brown.
The Duke Who Didn't by Courtney Milan
Set in 1891 in the surprisingly (and delightfully) multicultural English town of Wedgeford, Milan’s latest historical novel sets a duke in disguise on the mission of wooing a clear-headed and determined young woman. Only problem is, he’s been in disguise for years, he secretly owns the town she lives in, and her father doesn’t seem to like him…at all. But most important, she doesn’t believe he’s serious about her. The courtship between these two friends-who-really-want-to-be-lovers is swoonworthy, and Milan’s wit and smart social observations should bring this to the top of TBR piles everywhere.
Roommaid by Sariah Wilson
Tyler needs a live-in housekeeper and dog walker, and though former trust-fund-baby Madison isn’t good at being either one, she manages to snag the job and a free place to live—and luckily Tyler isn’t around to see as she learns on the job. This contemporary romance keeps the reader (mostly) out of the bedroom as Maggie and Tyler gravitate toward each other (and Tyler’s cute dog Pigeon), and is an excellent match for those who enjoy Sophie Kinsella and Jill Mansell.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Romance writer January Andrews has delivered top-selling books like clockwork, but her father’s death has knocked her for a loop. She’s not the only one with writer’s block. Her new neighbor, a literary writer beloved by critics, suffers the same ailment. Competitive and slightly disdainful of the other’s style, they make a bet and agree to swap writing projects: he’ll write the beach read, and she’ll write the literary masterpiece, and may the best writer win. But as romance begins to bloom, they might both be winners. A beach read perfect for any time of the year.
First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn
While you wait for the romantic adventures of the eight Bridgerton siblings to come to Netflix in late December 2020, you can throw yourself into the madcap antics of the previous generation of Bridgertons with First Comes Scandal. Neighbors since they were children, Georgiana and Nicholas don’t think about each other that way…until a marriage of convenience (which is very inconvenient to both of them) gets their thoughts spinning in a different direction. This is classic—which is to say awesome—Julia Quinn, with people you laugh with and root for.
The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
The author of last year’s heart-wrenching and delightful The Friend Zone wows readers again with a tender and unexpected romance. After a loose dog jumps through Sloan’s car’s sun roof, she spends weeks trying to contact its owner before deciding the dog is now hers. Then Jason returns from two weeks off the grid to discover a strange woman has claimed his beloved dog. As Sloan and Jason first work out ownership and then work out that they like each other, other pressures in their lives force them to reconsider what’s truly important. Jimenez hits another one out of the ballpark with The Happy Ever After Playlist.
Brothersong by TJ Klune
Fun fact: TJ Klune has grabbed spots on our lists of Best Romances of the Year, Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the Year, and Best Young Adult Books of the Year—and each category is for a different book. Talk about talented! Not to mention a really nice guy. Brothersong continues the saga (though it can be read as a standalone if you can’t wait) of what our hero Carter describes as “the gayest pack in the entire world.” Pack of werewolves, that is. When Carter sets off after Gavin, a loner werewolf, to try to bring him back to the pack, there are lots of feelings and tortured loyalties, yet steadfast brotherly love is what keeps Carter going even during the toughest moments. Get ready for a heart-twisting story that will wring you out in the best way.
Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
Adams’ The Bromance Book Club was my No. 1 pick as the best romance of the year in 2019, and she continues to bring the laughs to the rest of the series. The Bromance Book Club finally inducts former hacktivist Noah to help him express his long-silent love for Alexis, but between a jealous cat, a surprise half-sibling, and unresolved issues from Noah’s past, the relationship doesn’t have a smooth runway. Luckily the Bromance Book Club has advice—and, we learn, knows all the words to “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.
The road to true love is rocky, surprising, and sometimes absurd—but that’s exactly what makes these best romances of the year so fun to read.