If you thought romance novels were just for women, think again, and I’ve got the best romance novels for men in this book list to prove it.
Romance readers are buying print books at an increasing rate with romance contributing to two-thirds of the overall gains for adult fiction in 2022 and men would be wise to see what all the fuss is about.
Clearly, there’s something about this genre that women love, and with 18% of men reading romance (according to a survey conducted by Romance Writers of America), they are starting to catch on to the appeal as well.
And with men like Philadelphia Phillies star, Bryce Harper, sharing that he reads romance books, here’s hoping that more men will pick up a title or two.
As if Harper’s endorsement isn’t reason enough why romance novels are for men as well, you can also check out my reasons why you should read romance.
If male readers can get over the unfortunate stigma that is still attached to romance novels that they are somehow considered “less than” in the literary world, I think they’ll find a lot to draw them to the genre.
If nothing else, it will be great for more people to read about male heroes who aren’t afraid to show their vulnerability, who learn how to deal with their past, and who learn to communicate with their partner in and outside the bedroom.
To help more men venture into romance, I’ve created this book list of what I think are some great romance novels for men.
I believe more recent, contemporary romance books make the best recommendations versus anything classic (with one exception) to represent what the genre has to offer these days. Of course, any romance novel is great for men readers but these are my top picks.
Readers can also check out my list of Best Romance Novels for New Readers for more suggestions of romance novels for me.
*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Best Romance Novels for Men
The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O.
When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage.
But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
I’m not sure that I could create a book list of romance novels for men and not include this title since it’s about men reading romance novels!
Lyssa Kay Adams’ entire Bromance Book Club series is the perfect choice for men to experience the genre as each book has a different romance trope.
I particularly like this first book because it deals with a married couple on the verge of divorce.
Plus, how can you resist a book that has a book summary intro line that plays on the movie Fight Club? 😊
Related: Best Book Clubs to Join
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to intimacy and seduction.
If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it.
But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest night of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.
This romance book is definitely one of my favorites and if it also made Bryce Harper a fan of Elle Kennedy and her entire Off-Campus series then this is absolutely a must-read romance novel for men.
You get a great mix of hockey, bromance among teammates, and a fantastic fake relationship story all in one that makes this book hard to put down.
Related: Best Hockey Romance Books
Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song—written by world-famous superstar Jonesy—but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since.
Now she’s living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom.
But when her longtime manager Pippa sends Jane to London to regroup, she’s seated next to an intriguing stranger on the flight—the other Tom Hardy, an elegantly handsome Oxford professor of literature.
Jane is instantly smitten by Tom, and soon, truly inspired. But it’s not Jane’s past alone that haunts her second chance at stardom, and at love. Is Tom all that he seems? And can Jane emerge from the shadow of Jonesy’s earlier hit, and into the light of her own?
If there was ever a romance novel that I could get my husband to read, this would be it simply because he had a major crush on Susanna Hoffs as a teen and was a huge Bangles fan because of her. 😊
Any men who are Bangles fans like him will want to grab her debut novel, but will also find an intriguing story about second chances.
Easton Wylder, All-Star catcher for the Austin Aces, has had two constants his entire life: his love for the game of baseball and his need to keep his secret hidden. Both define the man he is.
Scout Dalton is trying to make a name for herself. She can step out from behind her father’s shadow by getting Easton back on the field. But working together turns into flirting and flirting leads to fine lines being crossed that if caught, could be devastating to her career.
When an unexpected twist of fate leaves Easton reeling, he’s left questioning the loyalty of everyone around him. Including the woman who shares his bed.
With his career in limbo, his decision to make an unexpected change leads him to doubt everything – Scout’s love, family loyalties, and whether he can conquer the one obstacle he’s never been able to overcome—his secret.
He may be a man pushed to his limits, but he’s hell-bent on proving his worth—no matter the cost.
The Player Duet is two baseball romances in one featuring an injured Major Leaguer and the physical therapist assigned to get him back on the field.
I love how this book starts off with a hilarious misunderstanding since Easton wasn’t expecting a woman to be rehabbing his shoulder.
He’s set to return to his starting position as catcher in the big leagues and Scout is determined to win a contract with his professional team. So, it’s also an intriguing office romance with forbidden love story that I think would make this an interesting romance novel for men.
Plus, of course there is a lot of baseball between rehabbing, trading, and clubhouse pranks, but there is so much more to the story that I think will appeal to a male audience. My review of The Player Duet.
Related: Best Sports Romance Books
Eight weeks of forced proximity is a long time to hate someone you’re trying not to love.
Sebastian Stremmel is a trauma surgeon so he has enough to deal with without Sara Shapiro, the noisy new reconstructive surgeon, starting a heated “debate” that left an exam room left in shambles.
Now he and Sara have landed themselves in eight weeks of hospital-mandated conflict resolution counseling.
Only now being forced to fight fair leads them to playing dirty when no one’s looking.
I think the enemies to lovers trope is the perfect segway into romance novels for men as the banter and tension between the characters in them make them really engaging.
This grumpy sunshine romance is the perfect enemies to lovers story between two troubled souls who were exactly what each other needed.
Plus if anyone’s ever been frustrated by a colleague or been forced into anger management sessions, this romance novel would be perfect for you.
I was born to play and bred to win. My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own. With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known. Two birds, one ball.
Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card. For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach’s daughter.
Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.
A lot of romance readers are having their husbands read Kate Stewart’s Ravenhood series with them which is fantastic, but I’m recommending The Guy in the Middle as the best romance novel for men from her list of amazing books.
This is one of my favorite romance books of all time because of the perfect story, intriguing characters, and the problems they have to overcome.
I liked that both Lance and Harper may seem like they have it all together but they actually have significant struggles they have to face and burdens they’re carrying. Plus with the football and boxing angle, it’s sure to grab any guy’s interest. Check out my review of The Guy in the Middle.
When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home. Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer en route to her wedding.
But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the middle of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization.
Without food or shelter, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.
Considering the premise of this book is about two people stranded in the snowy wilderness, you can bet that this book will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s the perfect blend of suspense and a slow burn love story which I think would appeal to male readers, making this a sure pick as a romance novel for men.
These two characters are just trying to survive and yet they have these poignant moments of connection that set the foundation of a love that grows despite their adversity. Read it and then watch The Mountain Between Us movie featuring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba!
Maxim comes from a wealthy family whose money is from the oil pipelines he wants nothing to do with. But going against the family, he’ll have to strike out on his own. Build his own empire.
He just didn’t factor Lennix Hunter into his plans. The spitfire he met at a pipeline protest and who later stole his heart. Only he lied to her and now it could cost them everything.
Kennedy Ryan’s romance novels always have that something extra in her work. Not only is this book well written, poignant, and with strong characters, but it also dives into the politics of the oil industry and encroachment on Native American lands.
Kennedy Ryan makes you think as well as feel in this romance, making it a great romance novel pick for men.
The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure.
By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.
Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere.
And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.
Elsie is prepared for an all-out battle of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him?
Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?
I’d recommend any Ali Hazelwood romance novel for men because they feature great characters in the world of STEM and tackle interesting topics such as gender discrimination, office politics, and career advancement.
You can’t go wrong with her debut novel, The Love Hypothesis, but I also really enjoyed Love, Theoretically for its story about advancement in academia, physics, and the vulnerability of really putting your true self out there for someone to see. It’s a must-read and you can find out why in my review of Love, Theoretically.
King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a hot, carefree flirt who’s a guaranteed good time and that’s exactly how he prefers it.
Until he meets Hannah Bellinger.
She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends?
Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom.
She’s still nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead.
There is honestly so much to love about this book from the great writing, fantastic character development, and emotional storyline that tugs on your heartstrings.
Plus, there’s also no ridiculous drama or miscommunication, just two adults with real feelings that trusted each other enough to bare themselves and their insecurities and give the other person the opportunity to see the true them for better or worse.
It’s also rare that the hero is the one with the most vulnerability and is the one trying to overcome a reputation that’s followed him for so long.
You can read this as a standalone romance novel for men, but the first book in the series, It Happened One Summer, is just as fantastic and perfect for anyone who loved Alexis on Schitt’s Creek. My review of Hook, Line and Sinker.
Related: Best Friends to Lovers Books
I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London. That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever.
He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant man who looks down his nose at me.
I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.
If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes.
Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart. Let the battle begin.
I loved every book in Callihan’s VIP series, but there is just something about the surly band manager that made this one so perfect.
Scotty is stoic, keeping anything personal close to the vest, but Sophie slowly works herself into his heart and it’s beautiful. The way he slowly opens up to her and bares his vulnerabilities is what made this book stand out as a great pick for a romance novel for men to enjoy.
Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides.
Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York.
When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati.
What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love.
They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can’t deny their chemistry-or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since.
Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva’s not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal.
But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered.
This is one of my picks for the best romance novels for men because it is an example of a great second chance romance. For Shane and Eva, it only took one week to fall for one another and forge a bond that never went away despite going their separate ways.
I loved seeing them reunite twenty years later but adored all of the flashbacks to their amazing beginning.
It also didn’t sink too deep into the issues surrounding both main characters. You got just enough to understand their mental and physical health struggles but it wasn’t too heavy that it detracted from what was their story back to each other.
Related: Best Second Chance Romance Books
The first letter arrived the day my husband was buried. It was postmarked from the state penitentiary, and contained a single sentence: I’ll wait forever if I have to.
It was signed by Dante, a man I didn’t know. Out of simple curiosity, I wrote back to ask him what exactly he was waiting for. His reply? You.
I told the mystery man he had the wrong girl. He said he didn’t. I said we’d never met, but he said I was wrong.
We went back and forth for a year, exchanging letters every week that grew increasingly more intimate.
Then one day, the letters stopped. When I found out why, it was already too late. Dante was at my doorstep.
And nothing on earth could have prepared me for what happened next.
I think this romance novel would really appeal to men because it is so unique, a bit dark, and full of twists.
It is a non-traditional romance (without giving away any spoilers), but is a great representation of Geissinger’s writing that just makes you go WHAT?! 😊 Check out my review of Pen Pal.
Related: Best Paranormal Romance Books
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse just back from the front lines, reunites with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone circle.
Suddenly, she’s thrust back in time to 1743 and a Scotland torn by war where she meets a young Highland warrior.
James Fraser, a young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
I know that Diana Gabaldon wouldn’t classify Outlander as a romance, but what I think many readers love about this book and the entire Outlander series is the relationship between Jamie and Claire.
While their relationship is such a wonderful love story, you get so much more in this book. It bridges historical fiction, time travel, suspense, and romance all into one epic journey that will have you binge-reading the entire series.
It’s an especially great romance novel for men who love history.
Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure.
Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.
The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing.
And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need.
He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.
Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance.
And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred.
Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
This is the perfect romance novel for men who liked Game of Thrones or fantasy TV shows like The Witcher. The entire From Blood and Ash series is consuming as Armentrout weaves a really captivating story about kingdoms, legends and Gods, and an unlikely woman who can save everyone from tyranny.
The love story between Poppy and Casteel is epic but it’s wrapped within a really engaging fantasy story as well. Read it (and the entire series) before watching the From Blood and Ash TV series! Check out my review of From Blood and Ash.
Related: Best Fantasy Romance Books
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