Reading lists

New romance books to read in 2024

Reading romance is the ultimate form of escapism. Here are the best new books to look out for this year.

Katie Russell

We read to escape to another world – one without real life’s complications and anxieties. That might explain why so many of us enjoy romance books, with their perfectly formed characters, off-the-charts chemistry, grand gestures, and happily-ever-afters. You might be happily in love, lovesick, or out in the dating trenches, but whatever your relationship status, there’s something undeniably fun about being whisked away for a few hundred pages.

While we all have our tried-and-true love stories we turn to for escapism, there are plenty of new romance books coming out in 2024 that will make for perfect beach reads. Whether you’re looking for enemies-to-lovers books, a second-chance romance, historical romance, or a good love triangle, we’ve got you covered with our selection below.

Best romance books of 2024

Daphne is heartbroken when her fiancé leaves her for his best friend Petra. She moves in with the only person who can understand: Petra’s ex, Miles. The pair bond over their shared heartbreak and come up with a plan to make their exes jealous – but the line between fact and fiction soon grows blurry…

Funny Story is full of the emotional depth, chemistry, and quick-witted dialogue you’d expect from Emily Henry. Read the first chapter here.

Key tropes: fake dating, friends to lovers, forced proximity.

One wild summer, Lucy has a holiday romance with Felix. Little does she know that Felix is her best friend’s younger brother. Every year since, Lucy has returned and tried (and failed) to resist Felix’s charms. Now, with her best friend in crisis, Lucy returns and vows this summer will be different. But Felix’s light-hearted flirting has been replaced by something more sincere, and now Lucy is in trouble…

Key tropes: summer romance, forced proximity, forbidden love.

Anna Walsh trades in her high-flying New York career for a tiny Irish town to help her friends set up a luxury coastal retreat. The locals are not happy, and they’re not the only obstacle to Anna’s new life: Joey Armstrong, the one who got away, is back. Marian Keyes’ latest novel is full of humour and heart; it’s the literary equivalent of a warm hug.

Key tropes: small town, new beginnings, second-chance romance.

Desperate for a date to bring to her first love’s wedding, Meghna asks her parents to arrange a match, which is how she meets the handsome (but commitment-phobic) Karthik. The pair strike a deal: they’ll pretend to be engaged for three months, so Meghna has a wedding plus-one and Karthik can avoid his mother’s set-ups. But what happens when real feelings get in the way?

Key tropes: fake dating, opposites attract, slow-burn romance.

Still reeling from her husband asking for a divorce, Garland Moore joins her friends at a summer camp. There, she runs into Mason, a handsome man she knew years ago. But it’s through sun-soaked afternoons and moonlit evenings with Mason’s beautiful sister Stevie that she uncovers parts of herself she never knew existed. Is this just a whirlwind summer romance, or could it be the real deal?

Key tropes: summer romance, new beginnings, forced proximity.

It’s a scorching summer and all eyes are on Athens for the Olympics. Zeke is the star athlete for Team GB; Olivia is a law intern for the Games. Sparks fly when they meet, but the pair wonder whether love will hold them back – or push them to win. This is an uplifting, escapist read about overcoming insecurities and the transformational power of love.

Key tropes: sports romance, enemies to lovers, summer love.

Del moved to the sun-drenched South of France three years ago and found a new lease of life, including a new love interest, Fabien. But when he’s called away for summer and newcomer Zacharie brings trouble, Del must bring the community together to complete the lavender harvest. This is a joyful read about friendship, love, and finding your happily-ever-after.

Key tropes: summer love, holiday romance, small town.

Delphie is in the waiting room for the afterlife when she meets a handsome stranger. They have an instant connection – until someone realises there has been a mistake and takes the stranger back down to Earth. Delphie is then offered a deal: she can return to Earth if she finds the man and makes him fall in love with her. The only catch? She has just 10 days – and he has no memory of ever meeting her.

Key tropes: cosy fantasy, new beginnings, second-chance romance.

The bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians returns with a standalone novel exploring the intrigue and romantic dilemmas of high society. Rufus Leung Gresham, future Earl of Greshamsbury, has been given strict instructions from his mother: seduce a woman with money who can settle his debts. But now Rufus is torn between a blue-blooded heiress, a venture capital billionaire, and the girl next door he’s been best friends with for years.

Key tropes: billionaire romance, forbidden love.

In this feel-good romance, photographer Cass flies to Dominica to capture images of a rare stone carving, accompanied by Ranulph, an attractive older journalist. As they grow closer and get more involved in the local community, Cass falls head over heels for Ranulph. But surely, given their age gap and his apparent disinterest, he doesn’t feel the same way…right?

Key tropes: summer love, friends to lovers, holiday romance.

This queer historical romance from the author of More Than a Best Friend is perfect for fans of Bridgerton. The shy Viscount James Demeroven and Bobby Mason, a resentful and ambitious second-born, despise each other. But when an extortionist targets their families, they have no choice but to work together. Soon they discover that there’s a thin line between love and hate.

Key tropes: enemies to lovers, historical romance, opposites attract.

When Amerie Price bumps into her ex-boyfriend, she pretends to date the handsome stranger she just met: an astronaut called Vincent. Then the pair realise they could help each other more long-term. For the three months leading up to Vincent’s next mission, Amerie will pretend to date him to keep his well-meaning family at bay. In exchange, Amerie can live rent-free in his home and save her business. Their fake relationship has a time limit, but love doesn’t play by the rules.

Key tropes: fake dating, forced proximity.

The author of the heartbreaking bestseller Eleanor & Park is back with a tender romance about first loves. Slow Dance tracks the decades of Shiloh and Cary’s friendship, as they grow from inseparable teenagers to adults leading very different lives. This is a romantic, poignant novel, with realistic, flawed characters, about the endurance of love in all its forms.

Key tropes: slow burn, friends to lovers, second-chance romance.

Fashion influencer Melanie Karlsen swaps her beloved Boston for a rural fishing village, hoping to get social media content that will save her business. There, she is mistaken for grumpy fisherman Evan Whaler’s fiancée. They strike a deal: Melanie will pose as his partner in exchange for Evan’s help with her brand. But over hikes and campfires, Melanie finds it harder to resist Evan and her new rural way of life.

Key tropes: small town, enemies to lovers, fake dating.

In this epic love story, Finn and Liv share a night of passion before he returns to LA, and she stays in Cornwall. He vows to return every year, and if they are both single, they’ll spend the summer together. Seven years later, Liv falls for a new man in town, Tom. But can she let go of her first love? Paige Toon has a well-earned reputation as “queen of the tear-jerker”, and Seven Summers is no exception.

Key tropes: love triangle, first love, second-chance romance.

Six young tenants in a London house-share have interconnected, messy love lives. There’s Ralph, who’s in love with his new housemate Jem – a woman currently dating his best friend Smith. Across the hall, Karl and Siobhan’s domestic bliss is rocked by their upstairs neighbour Cheri. Everything reaches an explosive climax the night Ralph throws a party. Lisa Jewell’s bestselling first novel has been re-rereleased to mark 25 years since its initial publication.

Key tropes: forced proximity, love triangle.

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