Best Romance Novels for New Readers to the Genre

Are you new to the romance book genre and wondering which romance novels are the best?

If you’re struggling with where to start to explore this genre when there are billions of romance book titles to choose from, I’ve got you covered.

This book list will give you the best romance novels worth reading in the most popular romance categories. Start with a category that most intrigues you and give a title a go!

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Romance books are a billion-dollar industry so it’s safe to say that there are MANY books to choose from, but if you’ve never read a romance before, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start!

That’s why the Romance Book Starter Kit is here to help.

I LOVE reading romance (and you can check out my reasons why I love romance books) so I want to help others fall in love with this genre as well. That means getting one of the best books possible into your newbie hands so that you’ll be hooked.

Nothing would be more disappointing than trying out a new genre and really not liking it and assuming that all books would be the same or similar.

The thing about the romance book genre is that there are many sub-categories within it to meet a variety of tastes and interests.

You have contemporary romance, historical romance, sports romance, erotic romance, romantic comedy, romantic suspense, new adult romance and MM romance to name a few.

Even within sub-categories are different romance tropes! So essentially the scope of what is considered a romance book is wide with the options for reading almost endless!

Even if one sub-category doesn’t interest you, there are many others to choose from.

*Check out my Ultimate Guide to the Romance Genre and Romance Tropes!

According to the Romance Writers of America, “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending….Romance novels may have any tone or style, be set in any place or time, and have varying levels of sensuality—ranging from sweet to extremely hot.”

In this Romance Book Starter Kit, I have outlined some of the most popular categories or sub-genres of romance books and given two book recommendations for each.

If the category of romance book interests you, pick one of the titles to check it out.

These recommendations are not only some of my most favorite romance books, but I chose them because they represent the category best and can give you a true picture of what other books may be like in that same category.

I cannot wait for you to dive into the romance book genre! I encourage the male new readers to check out these titles or you can also check out my list of best romance novels for men for more recommendations and all readers can join my Facebook Group, the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge for a community of readers who love the genre.

If you come to love reading romance, be sure to join the She Reads Romance Books Book Club – our virtual community of romance book lovers where we read one book each month and talk to the author who wrote it. It’s a ton of fun!

Join the She Reads Romance Books Book Club!

Happy reading and be sure to let me know what you think about any of these books after you read it in the comments below!

But First: Take the Quiz!

To help you even further, I’ve developed this fun book quiz that asks the question, If YOU were a romance book, what type would you be?!

Take the short quiz below to give you even more guidance as to what type of romance book might interest you and then pick one of the suggested titles in that category below!

Contemporary Romance Recommendations:

Contemporary romance books are those set from 1950 to the present.

After We Fall is one of the best romance books worth reading for readers checking out the romance genre.
Paradise is one of the best romance novels of all time.

Historical Romance Recommendations:

Historical romance books are set prior to 1950.

What I Did for a Duke is one of the best romance novels of all time
Devil in Winter is one of the best historical romance novels.

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Erotic Romance Recommendations:

Erotic romance are books in which the sexual relationship between characters is integral to their love story, character growth and relationship development. Removing the sexual relationship would ruin the story line of the novel.

My Personal Bad Boy is one of the best romance novels of all time.
Wicked Envy is one of the best romance novels of all time

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Sports Romance Recommendations:

Sports romance books feature athletes or sports teams as a central component to the story.

Changing the Game is one of the best sports romance books.
The Hook Up is one of the best sports romance books.

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Romantic Comedy Recommendations:

Humor is a central component to romantic comedy books. The book recommendations below fit other romance book sub-genres but are full of hilarious banter!

Dirty is one of the best rock star romance books worth reading.
The Lineup by Meghan Quinn and the book review by She Reads Romance Books

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Romantic Suspense Recommendations:

Romantic suspense books contain an aspect of suspense, thrill or mystery central to the overall plot line of the story in addition to the romance.

Something About You is a romance novel optioned for a movie on Passionflix.
Wicked Sexy is one of the best romance books for new readers.

New Adult Romance Recommendations:

New adult romance books feature characters within the 18-30 year old age range.

The Guy on the Right by Kate Stewart. A book review by romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books.
Making Faces is one of the best romance novels

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Gay/MM Romance Recommendations:

Gay or MM romance books feature romantic relationships between male characters.

Him is one of the best romance books to read for new readers to the romance genre.
Red, White and Royal Blue is one of the best romance novels of all time.

Find More:

Get Books Delivered to Your Door!

If you want new books to read every month that are delivered to straight to your door, sign up for a romance book subscription box!

Each box gives you one or more romance books and fantastic book swag. Check out all of your romance book subscription options or consider one of my favorites, The Bookworm Box, which gives back to charity with every purchase.

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Check out She Reads Romance Books' list of the best romance books a newbie reader should check out if you want to explore the romance genre.
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

Why Trust She Reads Romance Books?

Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

Join the She Reads Romance Books Book Club!

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She Reads Romance Books helps romance book lovers find their next book boyfriend because life is better with a love story.