'm thrilled to share something really close to my heart with you today. Picture this: a cozy evening, a warm blanket, and a book that makes your heart race just a little faster. Sounds perfect, right? Well, get ready to clear your schedule, because I've handpicked 12 of the most bingeable contemporary romance novels that are sure to captivate you from the first page to the last.

Whether you're a hopeless romantic or just in the mood for a love story that feels as real as it is enchanting, these picks are guaranteed to deliver. I've scoured my bookshelves to bring you tales of irresistible attraction, heartwarming connections, and love stories that resonate with the soul.

From the electric buzz of new love to the deep understanding of soulmates, each of these novels offers something unique and mesmerizing. Expect to meet characters that feel like friends, in stories set in places you'll wish you could visit. And the best part? You don't have to choose just one. Consider this your personal, carefully curated list for a romance reading spree that could last all weekend long (or even longer - we don't judge here!).

So, grab your favorite cup of tea (or maybe a glass of wine?), find your coziest reading nook, and let's dive into a world where love reigns supreme. These contemporary romance reads are not just books; they're gateways to stories that stay with you long after the last page is turned.

1. Beach Read by Emily Henry

front cover of beach read by emily henry
"When I watch you sleep," he said shakily, "I feel overwhelmed that you exist."

In "Beach Read," we meet January Andrews, a 29-year-old romance author struggling with her father’s recent death and a breakup. January's view of love is tainted by her father's affair, and she faces writer's block as she moves into her late dad’s secret lake house. Her neighbor, Augustus "Gus" Everett, is her college rival and a literary fiction writer. They strike a deal: January will try her hand at dark literary fiction, while Gus will attempt a romance novel. Through this swap, they help each other explore new genres, leading to a journey of self-discovery, healing, and an unexpected romance.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Opposites attract
  • Enemies-to-lovers 
  • A heartwarming journey of self-discovery and healing
  • A unique take on the life of a writer and the creative process
  • Perfect for those who enjoy stories where love helps to overcome personal challenges

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Spice level: 2 / 5

Reader FYI: This will become your new favorite romance book!

Get your copy of Beach Read

2. Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie

front cover of Addicted to You by Krista and Becca Ritchie
“We’re terrible at so many things—remembering important dates, college, making friends—but the one thing we’ve always been halfway decent at is being together.”

"Addicted to You" follows the story of Lily Calloway and Loren Hale, two best friends grappling with their own secret addictions while hiding them from their families. Lily is addicted to sex, and Loren, to alcohol. They've maintained a facade of being in a real relationship to cover their addictions. The story delves deep into the raw and harsh realities of their addictions, particularly when they find themselves on a family boat trip, creating a complex scenario where their secret lives and fake relationship become increasingly challenging to maintain.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Explores the theme of addiction in a raw and realistic manner, offering a glimpse into the lives of addicts.
  • A deep dive into the complexities of maintaining a façade while struggling with personal demons.
  • Ideal for readers who appreciate stories with intense character development and emotional depth.
  • The unique dynamic between the main characters provides a fresh perspective on the challenges of addiction.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Spice level: 2 / 5

Reader FYI: You'll fall in love with these characters and suddenly get pulled into a 10 book long series (with spin offs)!

Get your copy of Addicted to You

3. The Deal by Elle Kennedy

front cover of The Deal by Elle Kennedy
“Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don’t know how you ever lived without them.”

The Deal" is set in Briar University and revolves around Hannah Wells and Garrett Graham. Hannah, who has an unfortunate past involving sexual assault, is exceptionally good in a philosophy ethics class, catching the attention of Garrett, a hockey player struggling with his grades. Garrett, needing to maintain his grades to stay on the hockey team, convinces Hannah to tutor him. In return, he offers to help her win over her crush. However, as they start spending time together, a genuine connection forms, leading to unexpected romantic developments. Both characters navigate their traumas and challenges, bringing depth to this college romance.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • A classic college romance with a twist, featuring an enemies-to-lovers and fake relationship trope.
  • Deals with heavy themes like sexual assault, abusive relationships, and mental health, adding depth to the story.
  • The dual POV format allows insight into both Hannah's and Garrett's perspectives, enhancing the emotional depth.
  • Witty and engaging writing style, with well-developed secondary characters that enrich the narrative.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Spice Rating: 3 / 5

Reader FYI: You may become obsessed with hockey romances after reading this!

Get your copy of The Deal

4. The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

front cover of The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
“We're very dismissive, as a culture, about heartbreak. We talk about it like it's funny, or silly, or cute. As if it can be cured by a pint of Haagen-Dazs and a set of flannel pajamas. But of course, a breakup is a type of grief, it's the death of not just any relationship - but the most important one in your life. There's nothing cute about it.”

The novel centers on Hannah Gates, an executive protection agent, who is hired to protect Jack Stapleton, a famous actor, from a stalker. The story unfolds with humor and heart as Hannah and Jack navigate their unexpected relationship under unique circumstances.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Character development: Both Hannah and Jack experience significant growth throughout the story.
  • Unique premise: A blend of humor and romance with the twist of a female bodyguard protecting a male celebrity.
  • Engaging narrative: The story offers a mix of fake dating and grumpy-sunshine dynamics, keeping the reader engaged.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Spice Level: 1 / 5

Reader FYI: You'll get a new book boyfriend with this MMC (male main character)

Get your copy of The Bodyguard

5. You, Again by Kate Goldbeck

front cover of You, Again by Kate Goldbeck
“Maybe there's no such thing as soulmates. Maybe there are only people who trust each other enough to begin something without being assured of the end.”

This contemporary romance features Arianna Sloane, an aspiring comedian avoiding commitment, and Josh Kestenberg, a chef who dreams of settling down. Initially antagonistic, they continuously cross paths, transitioning from enemies to friends and then to lovers. The story explores their emotional growth and changing relationship dynamics.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Evolving relationship dynamics from adversaries to lovers.
  • A mix of humor and emotional depth.
  • Strong character development and personal growth.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Spice level: 2 / 5

Reader FYI: At the start of this book, you'll wonder how it's a romance, but just trust the process. I promise it's all worth it.

Get your copy of You, Again

6. Magnolia Parks by Jessa Hastings

front cover of Magnolia Parks by Jessa Hastings
“How many loves do you get in a lifetime? I remember wondering that. How many people will look at me like he does, not just like I’m the sun but like I’m the whole god damn universe.”

"Magnolia Parks" by Jessa Hastings is a contemporary romance novel about a beautiful, affluent London socialite and Britain's most photographed bad-boy lothario, BJ Ballentine. Their story is a rollercoaster of emotions and events, suggesting that they are destined to be together despite the complications in their relationship. The narrative captures the essence of a complex yet destined romance, drawing readers into the world of high society and passionate encounters.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Intriguing characters from contrasting backgrounds.
  • A captivating story of romance and destiny.
  • Vivid depiction of high-society life.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Spice level: 1/5

Reader FYI: it's toxic, but it's fun. optimal rich people drama.

Get your copy of Magnolia Parks

7. Flawless by Elise Silver

front cover of Flawless by Elise Silver
“I want to do distinctly ungentlemanly things to Summer Hamilton.”

"Flawless" by Elsie Silver is a small-town, enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity romance. It revolves around a professional bull-rider, Rhett Eaton, and a polished law school graduate, Summer Hamilton. They're thrown into a scenario where Rhett has to clean up his image and Summer becomes his full-time supervisor, leading to a complex and spicy relationship.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Small-town setting with a rich, detailed backdrop.
  • Intense enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity dynamics.
  • Deep, engaging character development.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Spice level: 3 / 5

Reader FYI: if you've never considered a cowboy romance, nows your time. You'll quickly become obsessed and need to finish all 5 books in this Chestnut Springs series.

Get your copy of Flawless

8. Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

front cover of Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
“Should I tell you that when we're apart, your body comes back to me in dreams? That when I sleep, I see you, the dip of your waist, the freckle above your hip, and when I wake up in the morning, it feels like I've just been with you, the phantom touch of your hand on the back of my neck fresh and not imagined?"

"Red, White & Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston is a contemporary queer romance novel. The story follows Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, as he unexpectedly falls in love with Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor, the Prince of England. Initially, Alex and Henry are forced to fake a friendship for public relations, but this arrangement evolves into a deep romantic relationship. The novel explores themes of authenticity, balancing public duty with private desires, and the value of independence over conformity.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • The unique and engaging plot of a romance between the First Son of the U.S. and the English Prince.
  • Exploration of themes like self-discovery, duty, and love in the public eye.
  • A heartwarming portrayal of LGBTQ+ romance.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Spice level: 2 / 5

Reader FYI: the most delicious queer romcom you'll read all year (and then you can go watch the movie adaptation on amazon prime).

Get your copy of Red, White, & Royal Blue

9. Throttled by Lauren Asher

front cover of Throttled by Lauren Asher
“Because I already called dibs on you.” His intense gaze makes me shudder. “You can’t call dibs on people. You sound like a B-list rom-com.” “But I fuck like an A-list porno.”

"Throttled" by Lauren Asher is part of the Dirty Air series and focuses on the romance between Noah Slade, a professional Formula 1 racer, and Maya Alatorre, his teammate's sister. The story delves into the high-stakes world of F1 racing, with a backdrop of family history, secrets, and personal struggles. Maya, fresh out of university, joins her brother in the racing season and falls for Noah. Their relationship, filled with passion and challenges, unfolds amidst the glamorous yet demanding world of Formula 1 racing.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • Exciting Formula 1 racing backdrop.
  • Forbidden romance between main characters.
  • Deep character exploration and emotional depth.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Spice level: 3/5

Reader FYI: if you're an F1 girlie, this is a must read.

Get your copy of Throttled

10. Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

front cover of Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
“You could be my entire world,” he whispers in my ear before moving to my collarbone. “If you let me.”

"Love, Theoretically" by Ali Hazelwood is a romantic comedy set in the academic world. The story centers on Elsie Hannaway, a theoretical physicist and adjunct professor, who juggles multiple jobs to make ends meet. Elsie gets entangled in a complex situation involving a rival physicist, Jack Smith, who she initially dislikes but eventually develops feelings for. The novel explores Elsie's struggles in academia as a woman and her journey towards self-acceptance and finding love.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • An engaging setting in the world of academia.
  • The complex dynamics of a rivals-to-lovers romance.
  • Exploration of themes like self-discovery and professional challenges.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Spice level: 3 / 5

Reader FYI: you'll want to immediately re-read this one after you finish. it's that good.

Get your copy of Love, Theoretically

11. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

front cover of 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
“He takes my mug from my hand and takes a slow sip. Every guy watches him do it. They understand what their boss is telling them. Speculation is now in expressions and I wire my jaw shut to stop it from dropping open.”

"99 Percent Mine" by Sally Thorne is a romantic comedy about Darcy Barrett, who has long harbored a crush on Tom Valeska, her twin brother's best friend. Tom returns to town to renovate the cottage inherited by Darcy and her brother, presenting Darcy with a chance to act on her feelings. The story unfolds as Darcy attempts to navigate her emotions and familial relationships, exploring themes of love, loyalty, and personal growth.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • A classic unrequited love trope with a twist (brother’s best friend)
  • Dynamic and complex characters navigating emotional challenges.
  • A blend of humor, romance, and self-discovery.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Spice level: 2 / 5

Reader FYI: ask yourself, is it possible to top a friends to lovers romance in a forced proximity setting?

Get your copy of 99 Percent Mine

12. The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

front cover of The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
“I want you to call me for help—without an apology already on the tip of your tongue. I want to feel like I can kiss you again by your car at the end of the night.” He swallowed. “I want you in my bed.”

"The Soulmate Equation" by Christina Lauren is a romantic novel about Jessica Davis, a single mother and statistician, who gets matched with Dr. River Peña through a genetics-based matchmaking platform called GeneticAlly. Initially skeptical, their relationship blossoms as they participate in a study to validate the company's matchmaking algorithm. The story delves into themes of trust, family, and the intersection of science and love, exploring whether a perfect match can truly be determined by genetics.

What makes this book bingeable:

  • A unique blend of romance and science.
  • The evolving relationship between two contrasting characters.
  • Exploring the concept of fate versus choice in love.

My rating and spice level:

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Spice level: 2 / 5

Reader FYI: beware - you may wish you had access to the GeneticAlly platform after reading Jessica and River's romance.

Get your copy of The Soulmate Equation
Jan 3, 2024

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