The best romance novels of 2022

From romance novels about the trials of modern love to must-read romantic classics, here's our edit of the best books to sweep you off your feet.

14/06/2022
4 minutes to read
Devotion, The Redemption of Philip Thane, and A Marvellous Light, against a background of hearts

Searching for your next love story? We’ve curated our edit of the best romance books to help out. From star-crossed lovers facing impossible odds, to fantasy romances filled with magic and swoon-worthy classics, these are the most romantic books to fall in love with.

Red, White & Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

Book cover for Red, White & Royal Blue

This New York Times instant bestseller is a royal romance with a twist, featuring Alex Claremont-Diaz who becomes the USA's first son when his mum becomes president, and his relationship with Henry, the remarkably un-stuck-up Prince of Wales. What starts as a transatlantic spat grows – through a PR-focussed intervention which was only ever meant to create a fake Instagram friendship – into something deeper and more dangerous, as Alex and Henry search for the courage to be their true selves and let their love shine through.

The Love of My Life

by Rosie Walsh

Book cover for The Love of My Life

This is a romantic novel with not just one twist, but several. Emma adores her husband Leo and their daughter Ruby – she would happily do anything for them. Except tell them who she really is. Her secret might have stayed buried, except that she becomes gravely ill. And Leo, to cope with his anxiety for his wife, uses his skill as an obituary writer to explore her outstanding career as a marine biologist. What he discovers leaves him shattered: his wife is – quite literally – not the person he thought she was. Emma's mission is to prove that her love for Leo is real, and that the love of her other life is over . . .

A Taste of Gold and Iron

by Alexandra Rowland

Book cover for A Taste of Gold and Iron

Kadou, the modest prince of Arasht, has no plans to wrestle for imperial control with his sister, the queen. Yet he is in conflict with the father of queen's new child, who is a powerful ambassador at the court. Then a hunting expedition goes badly wrong, and Kadou finds himself accused of murder. The Ottoman-inspired setting is the perfect backdrop to this sensual tale of courtly intrigue, backstabbing politics and romance.

The Last Summer

by Karen Swan

Book cover for The Last Summer

Spirited Effie Gillies has always lived on the little Scottish island of St Kilda. When the island is visited by Lord Sholto, heir of the Earl of Dumfries, sparks fly between him and Effie. She shows the handsome stranger her island for a week, and then a storm hits and shatters her world. Three months later, and the islanders are being evacuated. Effie is offered a position on the Earl's estate, and now the differences between them seem impossible, especially when a terrible secret is uncovered back on the island. Based on the true story of St Kilda, this novel takes the reader back to both island life and high society in the 1930s.

My Mechanical Romance

by Alexene Farol Follmuth

Book cover for My Mechanical Romance

When Bel accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s forced into joining the robotics club. Enter Mateo Luna, perfect on paper – captain of the football team and the robotics club – who recognizes Bel as a potential asset, even if they couldn’t be more different. And as the nights of after–school work grow longer, Bel and Teo realize they've made more than just a combat–ready robot for the championship: they’ve made a connection themselves. But with graduation approaching, their differences and what they want for their futures, threatens what they’ve built together. Can they survive Nationals without breaking their robots – or their hearts?

From the globally bestselling, TikTok viral author of The Atlas Six (under the penname Olivie Blake) My Mechanical Romance is an adorable opposites-attract YA romance that explores the vulnerability of first love.

Young Mungo

by Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Young Mungo

Mungo is a Protestant and James is a Catholic, both inhabiting the hyper-masculine world of two Glasgow housing estates, split violently along sectarian lines. The two should be enemies but, finding sanctuary in the doocot James has created for his racing pigeons, they grow closer and closer. Dreaming of escape and under constant threat of discovery, Mungo and James attempt to navigate a dangerous and uncertain future together.

The Paris Secret

by Karen Swan

Book cover for The Paris Secret

In a cobbled back street in Paris an apartment sleeps, full of dust and thick with secrets, including astonishing artworks that have been stashed away for decades. Successful art agent Flora is called in from London to assess the treasure trove and begins to trace their long history and mysterious concealment. Thrown in with the glamorous Vermeil family, Flora begins to suspect there are more secrets to be discovered, as brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on closing her out of his family's affairs. Meanwhile, her family life back home is thrown into chaos, distracting Flora from the heady world of art and beauty . . .

I Kissed Shara Wheeler

by Casey McQuiston

Book cover for I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Chloe Green wants to be a winner. Her moms have moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, and she has had to spend four years navigating gossips and the puritans who run Willowgrove Christian Academy. She is determined to win valedictorian, and only prom queen Shara Wheeler stands in her way. But, a month before they graduate, Shara kisses Chloe and disappears. Chloe launches an investigation with some fellow students –  quarterback Smith and bad boy Rory. Could it be there's more to Shara than meets the eye? 

Devotion

by Hannah Kent

Book cover for Devotion

This much-anticipated novel from the author of Burial Rites is set in Prussia, 1836. Teenage Hanne is a child of nature, but feels the pressure of domestic womanhood closing in on her. She yearns for the outdoors and shies away from friendship, until she meets kindred soul Thea. Hanne's family are Old Lutherans, granted passage to Australia which is their passport to freedom. On the long and dangerous ocean journey, Hanne and Thea's growing bond is put to the test.

A Marvellous Light

by Freya Marske

Book cover for A Marvellous Light

For fans of Bridgerton who'd like to welcome magic into their lives. . .

Set in an alternative Edwardian England, this is a comedy of manners, manor houses, and hedge mazes: including a magic-infused murder mystery and a delightful queer romance from debut author Freya Marske. 

Young baronet Robin Blyth thought he was taking up a minor governmental post. However, he's actually been appointed parliamentary liaison to a secret magical society. If it weren’t for this administrative error, he’d never have discovered the incredible magic underlying his world. 

But he’ll need the help of Edwin Courcey, his adversarial magical-society counterpart. Thrown together, Robin and Edwin will discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles.

Five Tuesdays in Winter

by Lily King

Book cover for Five Tuesdays in Winter

With Writers & Lovers, Lily King became one of our most acclaimed writers of contemporary fiction. And now, with Five Tuesdays in Winter, she gathers ten of her best short stories. These intimate literary stories tell of a bookseller who is filled with unspoken love for his employee, an abandoned teenage boy nurtured by a pair of housesitting students and a girl whose loss of innocence brings confident power. Romantic, hopeful, raw and occasionally surreal, these stories riff beautifully on the topic of love and romance.

The Winter of Second Chances

by Jenny Bayliss

Book cover for The Winter of Second Chances

Annie Sharpe has two fabulous grown-up sons and runs a successful restaurant with her handsome husband Max. But when there is one indiscretion too many, she decides she must escape her family life. So, Annie starts a new life as the caretaker of Saltwater Nook, a crumbling but charming beach house on the Kent coast. 

She reopens the village's seafront café, and embraces the traditions and eccentricities of her new home, while battling the owner's rugged but unreasonable nephew. Meanwhile, Max is intent on winning her back. Will she succumb to giving her first love a second chance, or step into the joys and uncertainties of a new life?

Carry On

by Rainbow Rowell

Book cover for Carry On

Loved by young adults and older ones alike, Carry On is a ghost tale, a romance, a mystery and a melodrama. Simon Snow is in his final year at the Watford School of Magicks, and he's finding it hard to relax: his girlfriend has dumped him, his best friend is annoying and he's worried about his vanished roommate and nemesis. Not to mention the resident ghosts and vampires. . .

The Redemption of Philip Thane

by Lisa Berne

Book cover for The Redemption of Philip Thane

Meet Philip Thane: an unrepentant rogue and a scoundrel. He never wanted to come to little Whittlesey to make a speech, and he certainly didn't want to be stuck in a loop, living the same day over and over again. He takes the chance though to get close to Miss Margaret Allen, who is in town to research a book. Philip is astonished to find she can resist his charms. Maybe, just maybe, it's time for Philip to take a good look at himself and win her heart the right way. A must for fans of Bridgerton.

Last Summer in the City

by Gianfranco Calligarich

Book cover for Last Summer in the City

Back in the late sixties, Leo Gazzara left Milan and his family and shifted to Rome for work. Soon he finds himself unemployed and in a haze of romantic liaisons and alcohol. The night he turns thirty, Leo meets fragile Arianna, and they drive the streets in his Alfa Romeo, then escape to the sea together. This intense love story is a newly found classic of Italian writing, with echoes of The Great Gatsby.

How to Love a Jamaican

by Alexia Arthurs

Book cover for How to Love a Jamaican

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret – Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection of short stories, How to Love a Jamaican, about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and Midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life.

Noughts & Crosses

by Malorie Blackman

Book cover for Noughts & Crosses

In the award-winning Noughts and Crosses sequence, of which this book is the first, Malorie Blackman creates a dystopian world in which the white Noughts are treated as an inferior race, while the black Crosses are born into privilege and perceived as superior in every sense.

It follows Sephy and Callum, who, despite the friendship they have shared since they were children, are fated to be bitter enemies. Sephy is a Cross, dark-skinned, beautiful and the daughter of a powerful politician, while Callum is a Nought, white and poor, existing to serve Crosses and nothing more.

But against all odds, star-crossed lovers Sephy and Callum choose each other, and this powerful story, which reverses the traditional racial stereotypes we see in our own world, follows the trials of their relationship.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

by Talia Hibbert

Book cover for Act Your Age, Eve Brown

In the gorgeously witty conclusion of the Brown Sisters series, the flightiest of the sisters explodes into the life of a tight-lipped B&B owner, who quite literally falls for her. Self-discovery and romantic comedy combine in this irresistible novel.

Symptoms of a Heartbreak

by Sona Charaipotra

Book cover for Symptoms of a Heartbreak

Indian-American Saira discovers the true fragility of the human heart, in this medical rom-com, rollercoaster of a novel. Saira is a 16-year-old genius, who starts an internship at her mother's hospital. Despite the stress of battling to be taken seriously by her peers, she can't help but fall head over heels for a cancer patient on her ward. 

Alexa, what is there to know about love?

by Brian Bilston

Book cover for Alexa, what is there to know about love?

If you’re looking for books about love for the poetry lover in your life, look no further than Brian Bilston’s poetry collection, Alexa, what is there to know about love? Full of poems about love in all its forms, from romantic love to familial love and even love on the internet, this is the perfect, witty gift book for Valentine’s Day. 

The Other Bennet Sister

by Janice Hadlow

Book cover for The Other Bennet Sister

In Jane Austen’s classic romantic novel Pride and Prejudice, Mary is the plain, pious, overlooked middle sister. But in The Other Bennet Sister, Janice Hadlow shines a light on Mary. She’s an introvert in a family of extroverts, a disappointment to her mother and with little in common with her sisters. As she watches her sisters marry, it seems Mary is destined to be single forever. But will Mary find there is hope for her after all? This life-affirming, uplifting story of a woman finding her place in the world is a wonderfully warm and witty homage to Jane Austen.

Love is For Losers

by Wibke Brueggemann

Book cover for Love is For Losers

This laugh-out-loud YA romantic novel is a life-affirming story of love and loss. As far as Phoebe is concerned, love should be avoided at all costs. She’s seen her friend Polly fall head over heels and forget about her friends, become obsessed with sex and talk constantly about the guy in question, and Phoebe definitely isn’t going to make the same mistake. But then she meets Emma . . . 

The Butterfly Room

by Lucinda Riley

Book cover for The Butterfly Room

Lucinda Riley's spellbinding multi-generational romance novel has been nominated for the Romantic Thriller Award at the 2020 Romantic Novel Awards.

Posy Montague is approaching her seventieth birthday and still lives in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood. But the house is crumbling around her, and the time has come to sell it. Then her first love, who broke her heart fifty years ago, comes back into her life. And he is hiding a devastating secret . . .

The Man Who Didn't Call

by Rosie Walsh

Book cover for The Man Who Didn't Call

The million-copy bestselling romantic novel The Man Who Didn't Call is the love story you won't want to miss.

Imagine you meet the man of your dreams, spend a magical week together and fall head over heels in love. You're sure he feels the same, but then he leaves for a long-booked holiday – and never calls. Your friends tell you to forget him, but you're sure something's wrong. And maybe it is. Maybe he found out the truth . . .

Miss You

by Kate Eberlen

Book cover for Miss You

Perfect for fans of One Day, Miss You is the story of Tess and Gus, who are meant to be. They just haven’t met properly yet . . . Both on holiday in Florence, their paths cross for just one day. Over the next sixteen years, life and chance keeps them apart, but will fate eventually bring them together?

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

Book cover for Pride and Prejudice

Probably Jane Austen’s best-loved and most romantic novel, this witty satirical look at society has a love story at its heart that has been charming readers for over 200 years. Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennett is determined to marry for love, not money, but will she and Mr. Darcy be able to put aside their judgements of each other and realise they are the perfect match?

The Spanish Promise

by Karen Swan

Book cover for The Spanish Promise

This sizzling novel set in sunny Madrid is full of secrets and romance. When one of Spain's richest men leaves his fortune to a woman his family has never heard of, they're shocked and confused. Charlotte Fairfax is recruited to travel to Madrid to investigate, and though it's only a week before her wedding, she's sure she'll have time. But things aren't as straightforward as they seem, and as Charlotte digs into the family's history she discovers a dark secret of two people torn apart by conflict.

Wuthering Heights

by Emily Bronte

Book cover for Wuthering Heights

A dark, haunting tale of passionate and destructive love, Wuthering Heights is one of the great romantic novels of the nineteenth century. Cathy and Heathcliff form an intense bond, but despite their love Cathy marries a rich suitor. But neither can forget the other, and while Cathy becomes increasingly unhappy, Heathcliff is driven by a lust for revenge that will echo through generations.

Call Me By Your Name

by Andre Aciman

Book cover for Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name is a coming of age story and a novel about the power of first love. In 1980s Italy, seventeen year old Elio’s quiet summer is turned upside down with the arrival of his father’s postdoc student Oliver. Aciman writes beautifully and powerfully on love found and lost.

Jane Eyre

by Charlotte Bronte

Book cover for Jane Eyre

When orphan Jane Eyre takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with the brooding master of the house. An enduring love story and undisputed classic, Jane Eyre is full of passion, mystery, tragedy, and a strong-willed and beloved heroine.

Alex and Eliza

by Melissa de la Cruz

Book cover for Alex and Eliza

This YA romantic novel is based on the story that inspired the acclaimed musical Hamilton. The Schulyers, one of the country’s founding families, are preparing for their grand ball, and Eliza can barely hide her excitement when she hears of the arrival of General George Washington’s right-hand man. When they meet, an epic love story begins.

Our Souls at Night

by Kent Haruf

Book cover for Our Souls at Night

Kent Haruf’s final novel is a beautiful and affecting love story which warms the heart. Addie Moore and Louis Waters have been neighbours for years, now both widowed and living alone. One evening Addie pays Louis a visit, and slowly happiness seeps back into their lives.

The Notebook

by Nicholas Sparks

Book cover for The Notebook

Adapted into the hugely popular film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to shed a tear at the ending of Nicholas Sparks’ first novel. This is one of the most-loved romance novels in recent history and is a love story you won't forget.