The 19 Best Romance Novels of 2021, According to Goodreads – Business Insider

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It’s hard to resist the easy and fun reading experience a great romance read offers. With plenty of fun tropes like enemies-to-lovers or grumpy-sunshine, there’s a love story out there to delight even the most cynical reader. 
In 2021, incredible romance novels continued to dazzle readers with unique plotlines, authentic characters, and sweet (or steamy!) love. To make this list, we turned to the most popular titles among Goodreads reviewers. On Goodreads, over 125 million readers rate, review, and share their favorite books. From complicated summer flings to fake dating schemes that turn into true love, here are the most popular romance novels from 2021, according to Goodreads reviewers. 
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.98
Alex and Poppy may have little in common, but they used to be best friends, brought together over a college road trip more than 10 years ago. While they used to celebrate their friendship by taking a trip together every summer, everything changed between them two years ago and they haven’t spoken since. Now, Poppy needs her friend back and decides to convince Alex to take one last trip with her to make everything right again.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.63
From the author of the fan-favorite “Red, White & Royal Blue,” “One Last Stop” is about August, a cynical young woman who has just moved to New York City when she meets a gorgeous girl named Jane on the Q train. When August keeps seeing Jane in the same car on the same train at all hours of the day, she realizes Jane is stuck there by some strange magic, displaced from the 1970s, and needs help getting back.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.71
Adored as a perfect Halloween romance, “The Ex Hex” is about Vivi Jones, a young witch who cast what she thought was a harmless spell on her ex-boyfriend nine years ago. Now, Rhys has returned to their Georgia town, bringing a string of cursed misfortune with him and the two must work together to save their town and break the curse before something terribly irreversible happens.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.72
Authentic and heartfelt, this romance read takes off when Naya Turner’s friends convince her to try an uncharacteristic one-night stand to distract her from terrible work news. When she meets a charming stranger named Jake, the two immediately hit it off until Jake’s complicated ties to her job and trauma from Naya’s past relationship make it difficult to fall into a new man. 
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.98
Jess Davis is a single mom who has had a challenging life full of fleeting romantic and familial relationships and had all but given up when she heard about a DNA-based matchmaking company. Willing to give it a shot, Jess is matched with the company’s founder and agrees to date the stubborn and stuck-up Dr. Pena when the company offers to pay her.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.92
This fantastical, mythological romance is about the goddess Persephone, who flees to the underworld when her mother forces an engagement to Zeus upon her. Though she believed him to be a myth, Hades sees the chance to exact his own revenge through Persephone until he finds himself getting more and more entangled in her beauty in this sweet and steamy romantic retelling.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.71
When Piper’s reckless lifestyle lands her in jail, her stepfather decides to send her and her sister to Washington to run their late father’s dive bar. Determined to show her father she can be responsible, Piper begins to reconnect with her past (and with a fascinating fisherman) as the small beach town slowly but surely captures her heart.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.60
“Act Your Age, Eve Brown” is the final book in the Brown sisters series, each a wonderful and steamy romance loved by readers for their unique and realistic characters. In this romance, chaotic Eve Brown collides with type-A Jacob Wayne when she interviews for a job at his B&B and then accidentally hits him with her car. Stuck in close quarters at the B&B, Jacob and Eve start out as enemies until the air between them shifts to something more.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.71
Vanessa Prince has been determined to live life to the fullest by traveling the globe since her mother died before the age of 30. But when her half-sister leaves her in custody of her infant niece, Vanessa is lost and slightly panicked — until her hot next-door neighbor offers to help and shows her the hope that still lies ahead in her future.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.72
Daisy Patel is a logic-driven, successful software engineer whose family won’t stop trying to set her up in an arranged marriage. Cornered, she asks her childhood crush, Liam Murphy, to be her decoy fiancé. With an incoming inheritance contingent upon being married, Liam agrees and the two begin to fake date to legitimize their fake engagement until real feelings and past hurts begin to emerge, threatening to ruin everything.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.99
Shay Goldstein has been a public radio producer for over 10 years. So when Dominic Yun, cocky and freshly graduated with a master’s degree gets hired, the two immediately clash. When Shay proposes an idea for the show called “The Ex Talk,” where two exes will offer live advice, their boss decides Shay and Dominic are perfect to host, certain their natural hate for each other will disguise the fact that they’ve never dated.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $24.84
20 years ago, now-writers Eva and Shane spent a week falling madly in love and never saw each other again. When they meet once again at a literary event, the two reconnect over shared memories, past pain, and a still undeniable connection.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.30
Dev Deshpande is the host of a “Bachelor”-style reality TV show called “Ever After,” carefully crafting love stories for the contestants despite his own lack of romantic prospects. When the disgraced Charlie Winshaw, looking to rehabilitate his image, is cast as the new star, he struggles to find a connection with any of the female contestants yet can’t deny the chemistry he has with Dev in this beloved Queer rom-com that also addresses serious issues like mental health. 
Available on Amazon, from $16
Needing to find a boyfriend to bring to her sister’s wedding in Spain, Catalina Martín absolutely does not want to say yes to her pain-in-the-butt (but undeniably gorgeous) colleague, Aaron Blackford. Readers love this enemies-to-lovers/fake-dating romance for its perfect pacing, incredible characters, and the swoon-worthy chemistry between Catalina and Aaron.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.28
Though this book was just published in September, this fake-relationship romance quickly rose in popularity amongst Goodreads reviewers with 89% of readers rating it four or five stars. This buzzy romance is about Olive Smith, a third-year Ph.D. candidate who tries to convince her best friend she’s dating someone by kissing the first man she sees, who just happens to be a young professor named Adam Carlsen. Agreeing to fake date each other, the two grow closer when a disaster threatens Olive’s career in this nerdy and adorable romance read.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.72
When advertising specialist Ben Stephens and movie star Anna Gardiner end up on the same ad campaign set, their innocent flirting turns serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency. In this rom-com full of charm, Ben and Anna get an opportunity to date for the spotlight, complicating their real-life feelings for each other.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.78
When career-driven and dedicated cruise line marketing manager Henley Evans is shortlisted for a promotion along with her arch-nemesis, Graeme Crawford-Collins, the two must draft a proposal that will boost their company’s Galápagos bookings. Forced to go on a cruise together, the thick loathing between the two slowly erodes as they explore the beautiful islands in this enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.92
Anna Sun is struggling with burnout after a video of her playing violin goes viral and her boyfriend asks for an open relationship so he can decide if he wants to make a commitment to her. Hurt, Anna sets out to have a string of meaningless one-night stands when she meets Quan Diep, with whom she fails at a one-night stand but finds something else with in this raw and real romance.
Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.64
Shortly after setting off on a sisterly road trip to a friend’s wedding, Addie and Deb are rear-ended by Addie’s insufferable ex, Dylan, and his friend, who are headed to the same wedding. With Dylan’s car totaled, Addie offers them a ride and the two can’t help but dig up their messy shared history over the 300-mile trip.
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