Be prepared for your heart to ache and your soul to burn when you read these slow burn romance books.
This romance trope is unlike any other as slow burn romance books have the best tension and build-up between characters for the sweetest happily-ever-afters.
Don’t miss this book list of the best slow burn romance books worth reading!
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Whenever I connect with another romance book lover, sure enough we start to gush over the best slow burn romance books that we’ve read.
Because there’s just something about the emotions and building attraction that makes slow burn romance books all the more satisfying for someone who already adores happy endings.
Characteristics of Slow Burn Romance Books
There are several characteristics about slow burn romance books that make them so enjoyable to read. Most have each of these elements in their stories.
When it comes to reading slow burn romance books, it’s all about the romantic build-up. We aren’t talking instalust or instalove but instead this steady, growing attraction that just builds and builds around a beautiful storyline.
Because of the slow build-up, the main characters are given time to develop a foundation of trust and familiarity with one another. As a reader, this makes their feelings more believable to me as well.
In order to successfully build this growing attraction, slow burn romance books often have distinct meaningful moments that set the stage for the character’s connection.
These moments don’t have to be anything significant (and often aren’t!) but it’s their meaning and significance that makes them such a vital part of the story to build the slow burn feeling.
To develop these meaningful moments, there’s often something keeping the main characters in close contact with one another for their feelings to develop. This could easily be a fake relationship, an office romance, or even a neighbors-to-lovers situation.
Simmering Tension and Chemistry
Part of the romantic build-up of slow burn romance books is the growing tension and building attraction between characters that I love so much.
While the chemistry between characters may not be apparent to the hero and heroine initially, it can just ooze off the page to the reader.
As a reader, you get so invested in these main characters that you can’t put the book down until you reach that moment where the build-up finally crests over. At the same time, you also don’t want to get to that point either because then that build-up is over.
Unrequited Love & Pining
Most times the love connection between the hero and heroine in slow burn romance books creeps up gradually on both of them.
Other times one character can be pining for another who is slower to see the connection between them.
This can give some slow burn romance books a sense of unrequited love within their storyline which I love.
Because there is this ever-building connection and tension between characters, I find that slow burn romance books have some of the best characterizations.
An author really dives into each character’s emotions and motivations to understand why they may be fighting a love connection, or why they may be slow to recognize one.
I honestly fall so hard for the characters in the slow burn romance books I love.
Point of view relates to the strong characterization within slow burn romance books.
To understand what each character is feeling and how those feelings develop for another character, you’ll often find that slow burn romance books are written with a dual point of view.
I love getting into the mind and heart of both the heroine and hero to understand their vulnerabilities, feelings, and insecurities that aren’t necessarily expressed or seen from another’s point of view.
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Slow Burn Romance Books Among All the Tropes
While slow burn romance is a trope all its own, there are so many other romance tropes that lend themselves to the best slow burn romance books.
You can often find a slow burn storyline within so many of my favorite tropes including marriage of convenience, enemies to lovers, neighbors to lovers, fake relationship, forced proximity, office romance and more!
How Slow is Slow?
But how slow is slow in slow burn romance books? Well, that depends!
I’ve read slow burn romance books where it took years for the characters to develop feelings and start a relationship. On the flip side, I’ve also read books where the characters got together within weeks or months, but their story arc still felt like a slow burn romance to me.
So there really isn’t any set “time frame” in my opinion for a slow burn romance book. It’s honestly more about how the feelings develop for me in some cases.
Of course, it’s easy to contrast slow burn romance books with instalove romance books where all it takes is a meeting or moment for the main characters to fall for one another. That is not the case with slow burn romance books but both can be just as satisfying.
Who Writes the Best Slow Burn Romance Books?
So many romance book authors dabble in this trope but there are a few authors that repeatedly hit it on the head when it comes to the best slow burn romance books.
Mariana Zapata, P. Dangelico, J.T. Geissinger, and Penny Reid are all authors that really succeed with this trope in my mind. You can be sure that you’ll find a number of their best works in this book list of slow burn romance books.
Ready to dive into the best slow burn romance books worth reading?
After that introduction, I’m sure you no longer want to go slow but are ready to get reading!
Don’t see your favorite slow romance book on this list? Share it in the comments below. I’d love to know what it is.
The Best Slow Burn Romance Books
King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a hot, carefree flirt who’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–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.
I absolutely adored this slow burn romance where a friendship over texting is what initially brings these two together.
Bailey wrote two amazing characters with real feelings that trusted each other enough to bare themselves, their insecurities and give the other person the opportunity to see the true them for better or worse.
This is definitely one of the best slow burn romance books worth reading to get a sense for what this trope is all about. Hook, Line and Sinker Review.
After the most bizarre first date in the history of dating, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities: professional cuddler, life coach, even orgasm meditation!
Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services? But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma.
I loved how Matt and Marie fall in love with each other as they participate in “real life” experiments and research projects to show that a person really doesn’t need a person at all to fulfill their needs.
The worst first date and worst first impressions soon morph into a friendship that becomes more in this slow burn romance.
Reid writes the best characters and I totally fell for Marie and Matt who are just perfect for one another. For anyone who thought they were friend-zoned or not relationship material – read this book!
Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but she’s hasn’t been a whiz in the dating department. Raised by her grandparents—she’s been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in.
But when she hears about GeneticAlly, a new DNA-based matchmaking company, she decides to take a chance and dip her toes back into the dating world.
How can she go wrong with science and yet something is drastically wrong when she finds out she’s been matched with GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena- the stuck-up, stubborn man she knows is not her soulmate. When GeneticAlly proposes to pay her to get to know River, she can’t turn it down and may just find her soulmate after all.
Although not a lot of time elapses in this story, I felt like River and Jess’ romance had this sweet slow burn quality to it which kept me on the edge of my seat.
I love how they are initially “matched” together despite their feelings to the contrary. This slow burn romance gives a great look at whether data can really find you the perfect mate or if, like River and Jess, it just happens when you least expect it.
If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn’t been one long enough.
Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn’t know what she’s doing half the time. How she’s made it through the last two years of her life without losing her nephews is nothing short of a miracle.
With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for. Except for a boyfriend. Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?
This neighbors to lovers story is one of my favorite slow burn romance books from Mariana Zapata who is the queen of this trope.
I love how Diana and Dallas don’t really get off on the right foot but as time goes by, they become friends and then something more. Diana’s nephews are also just the cutest and I love how she just gives her all when it comes to being a single parent. A must-read for sure!
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window.
This is honestly one of the greatest slow burn romance books I’ve ever read. O’Leary’s debut novel captured my heart and became one of my all-time favorite romance book reads.
I love how Tiffy and Leon start to fall in love with each other without even meeting first. They go old school and pass notes to one another and I just loved that aspect about this love story. All it takes is some good ‘ole paper and pen to find a close friend who then becomes more.
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The first time Rose met Jack, he proposed and she accepted. She can’t believe she accepted his marriage of convenience business arrangement but she really had no choice. Now she’s sharing a house with a man she doesn’t know and yet she finds herself falling for him all the same.
I am an absolute fan of slow burn romance books when it’s done right and Maise does it with this one. Rose and Jack were complete strangers and yet their interactions built to something extraordinary.
This book was totally deserving of its recognition as one of the 2019 Goodreads Choice Finalists for Best Romance!
This marriage of convenience story tugged on so many of my heartstrings, I know you’ll just love it.
Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his suit jacket.
Now Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation despite being a disastrous match. Only the more they keep running into each other, the more they like each other’s company.
In a New York Minute was one of my most anticipated romance books of 2022 and for good reason. I just loved this book so much and was shipping this couple so hard from their first awkward meet cute.
This is one of these perfect, slow burn romance books were they main characters keep running into each other which just fuels the flame between them.
I also have a soft spot for heroes who don’t really come across well at the first meeting, being a bit stiff and awkward and that’s totally Hayes. Oh, how I love him!!
Having finally redeemed his family name, the Duke of Westmead now needs to produce an heir. This means he must find a wife who won’t discover his secret craving to spend his nights on his knees.
Poppy Cavendish has never wanted to marry. Her only desire has been to build a successful botany business to keep her independence. But when her reputation is ruined, Westmead proposes a marriage of convenience which she cannot refuse.
If you love historical romance, this is the slow burn romance book for you. Poppy is a fantastic, strong heroine who doesn’t shirk away at her attraction to Westmead. Westmead is a hero hiding a secret about what he likes in the bedroom.
This romance was the perfect slow burn romance that starts with two near-strangers marrying first and then slowly falling in love as they come to know and understand their partner. My Review – The Duke I Tempted.
Catalina Martin is in a bind. She does NOT want to show up single at her sister’s wedding with her ex in attendance and his new fiancé. Nor does she want to take up her infuriating co-worker’s offer to travel to Spain and be her fake boyfriend. Yet she really has no choice but to take up the charade.
This book became a favorite of 2021 for good reason, and if you haven’t read it yet, get on it! It’s a wonderful, enemies to lovers, office romance but it’s the slow burn aspect that really stood out and made me fall in love with it.
This book seriously has all of my favorite romance book tropes, but it’s the slowly building love connection between Catalina and Aaron that really had my heart racing. This is one of the best slow burn romance books that’s totally worth the hype.
Grant Hendricks may be four-time Defensive Player of the Year but a recent back injury is threatening to end his career. Trying to get his head on straight he escapes to his teammate’s beach house only to find a woman and her son already living there.
P. Dangelica became one of my favorite authors because she writes the most amazing slow burn romance books. This is just one of those books where it’s the little moments that build to this amazing relationship and love story.
I sure do love a grumpy hero, so it was inevitable I would fall for Grant but it was also his sweetness toward Amanda’s son that was just so perfect. This is an amazing, forced proximity, slow burn romance that I couldn’t get enough of.
It was true. By her mid-twenties, BB’s type had been well established—and good guys need not apply. Which is exactly why she had to friend-zone Ken Easton.
The man was a former football star, smelled like fresh laundry instead of stale cigarettes, and had more ties in his closet than tattoos on his knuckles. BOR-ING.
But the more she got to know her gorgeous study buddy, the more she wondered: Why doesn’t he date? Why does he avoid human touch? Why does he hate all things fun and wonderful?
The psychology-student side of her became obsessed with getting inside Ken’s head, while the romantic side of her became obsessed with getting inside his heart.
BB Easton’s 44 Chapters About 4 Men was A-MAZING, so I of course had to delve into her follow-up books that included this rendition about her main man.
I love how it’s based on her real life, how she ended up falling for the straight-laced man after all the bad boys of her youth.
Despite being such opposites on the outside, BB and Ken come to find they truly are made for one another. Don’t pass up this incredible slow burn romance.
Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook was raised to be a Queen of Wessco. When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. What she isn’t…is married.
Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.
To Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.
Oh, this book was beautiful. I’m so grateful Chase gave us this origin story to the amazing Royally series. When they marry, neither Lenora or Edward are looking for love because its all about duty, which must come first.
I love how Edward let Lenora shine and didn’t try to take away her power or spotlight. He was a true supporter and grew to become more. I loved their slow burn love story which is a truly beautiful royal romance indeed.
At age twenty-six, Lori is becoming increasingly frustrated how her lack of experience is impacting her life. So, the successful romance book writer decides to hire a male escort to take her virginity.
One night with Ander however is not enough and she soon becomes one of his regular clients. While both Lori and Ander keep up walls to maintain a professional relationship, it’s not long before the lines blur and Lori finds herself falling for him.
Kent literally blew me away with this book. Lori is not some wallflower who instantly falls for the man she hires to take her virginity. No. She’s this practical, smart, intriguing woman who enjoys this new experience and wants to continue it but she knows what her “relationship” is and what it isn’t with Ander.
This is what made this one of the best slow burn romance books.
Lori and Ander meet week after week and have some of the most intimate experiences, and yet it’s their connection on an entirely different level that felt so real and had the greatest slow burn. My Review – Escorted.
Graham Russell and Lucy couldn’t be more opposite from one another. Graham is a taciturn, unfeeling author while Lucy is as carefree as they come. When life throws them together in the most unlikely of situations, they couldn’t help but fall in love.
Cherry blew me away with this novel that tugged on all of my heartstrings and had me in tears. The depth of emotion felt in this novel was amazing and these two will be a couple I won’t soon forget.
Thrown together by life circumstances, it was easy to see the love that was building between them. It’s pretty hard for me to get through a Cherry book without a tissue box beside me but they are so worth it. She too writes some of the best slow burn romance books out there!
Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time. Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade until he comes along.
Christian Allister may be a special agent upholding the law, but in the New York underworld, he’s a hustler who can make anyone disappear.
One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.
Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, his frustration, his fascination. His maddest obsession.
To say that I became obsessed with this book is an understatement. I literally could not put this one down.
It’s the perfect, opposites attract, slow burn romance that is years in the making but don’t let that deter you. Christian and Gianna started off as a bit of an enemies to lovers story and yet each time they see each other, the tension between them just jumps off the page.
Initially, Gianna is married, so it felt like this forbidden romance as well but gah, these two were so incredibly hot before anything even happened. This is what slow romance books are all about.
Sophie Beckett never dreamed that she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s masquerade ball. She dances the night away with dashing Benedict Bridgerton until she has to disappear before the night is over.
Benedict can’t forget the woman he danced with that night and is determined to find her and wed her. But then he meets the maid, Sophie and begins to fall for her as well. Will he sacrifice his chance at love if he follows his heart for another?
This Cinderella-retelling is my favorite in the Bridgertons series. It’s one of the best slow burn romance books because Benedict is so torn between two women when really they are the same person!
Historical romance novels always bring great romantic tension just given the time period when overt displays of affection aren’t the norm. The fact that Sophie is below Benedict’s station only adds to this tension.
Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan.
Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning.
Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now.
This is a special slow burn romance that’s a bit one-sided as Logan as always wanted Alexis where she’s always been oblivious to his feelings. Alexis and Logan have been business partners for years so they know each other quite well.
Finally, when Alexis needs a date to her sister’s wedding, Logan gets his chance to show her he can be more than just a silent business partner, but her life partner as well.
Layne’s entire The Wedding Belles series is fantastic, but this one has the perfect slow burn romance love story.
Calla hasn’t been back to Alaska since she was two years old, but now she’s back to repair her relationship with her father before it’s too late. She just doesn’t know if she’s more at risk from the wilds of Alaska or the obnoxious charter pilot she meets.
This is another one of those slow burn romance books that starts as an enemies to lovers story. Calla and Jonah couldn’t be any more different – him the bush pilot and her the city girl – but what they have in common is Calla’s father.
While Calla hangs around Alaska to get to know her dad, feelings for the yeti start to take hold and it’s a beautiful love story set in a beautiful world.
Tucker is a fantastic writer and this book is one not to be missed. My Review – The Simple Wild.
At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter’s cheating on her–and she is left trying to decide what to do next.
Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
If Colleen Hoover is writing it, it has to be good, am I right?!
She creates just the most amazing characters and stories and this one is no different. It’s the greatest of slow burn romance books because although Sydney and Ridge are neighbors and begin spending time together, Ridge has a girlfriend, thus things stay platonic. At first.
Add in the theme of music and difference, this is a wonderful, new adult slow burn that you will enjoy reading.
Opinionated Elizabeth Bennet, one of five Bennett sisters, clashes with the proud, aristocratic Mr. Darcy and both must overcome their assumptions to discover a most precious love between them.
This is of course a classic, slow burn romance. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy may be cordial but they are anything but friendly to one another after a disastrous first meeting.
I love how both of them bend in their opinions and prejudices to finally embrace the love that simmers between them. It’s just one of the all-time greatest slow burn romance books that had to make this list!
Joellen is desperate to get noticed by her boss and CEO but she just blends in with the crowd. When she meets her new neighbor, Cameron MacGregor, a tattooed, hot rugby captain, the playboy offers to teach her how to inspire desire and get her boss’ attention.
J.T. Geissinger wrote the best slow burn series and this is my most favorite. I love how Cameron decides to give Joellen tips for putting herself out there to gain the attention of her boss but in the process falls for her instead.
Geissinger always pens the best characters and fantastic dialogue, and I loved how Cameron just boosts Joellen’s self-esteem time and time again. He’s a keeper in this must-read slow burn romance!
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz isn’t one to hide his disdain for Prince Henry, but when photos of an altercation at a wedding are leaked to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations, he agrees to a fake friendship with the Prince as damage control.
Only the fake relationship leads to a secret relationship that could derail his mother’s re-election campaign and upend two nations.
This book was so good that it also made my list of all-time favorite romance novels! McQuiston’s debut novel has such great writing, an amazing story, phenomenal characters and the greatest slow burn romance between a royal and First Son.
It’s another one of those slow burns where the two main characters definitely get off on the wrong foot, but when forced to spend time with one another (in this case, faking a cross-Atlantic friendship), realize they like what’s hidden underneath. My Review – Red, White & Royal Blue.
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse just back from the war, 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 will forever love Outlander and the entire series because of Jamie and Claire. Theirs is one of the most beautiful love story about two soulmates who find each other despite the difference in time.
It’s one of the best slow burn romance books because love is the last thing on Claire’s mind when she falls through the stones as a married woman. But as she spends more time with Jamie and comes to learn more about him, I can’t blame her for falling in love with him and wanting to stay in his time.
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has been the heir to spare in his Kai kingdom, which is why his only worth is to wed a human to secure a political alliance between kingdoms.
Ildiko is the niece to the Gauri king and has resigned herself to her fate of marrying the young Kai prince. Both Brishen and Ildiko see the other just as ugly in appearance as they expected on their wedding day and yet through a new-found friendship, they come to find each other more beautiful than either could imagine.
This book is not only one of the best slow burn romance books, but it’s such a great fantasy romance book as well.
Brishen and Ildiko haven’t even met each other before their wedding! Plus, they are two different species! I loved how they looked beyond each other’s appearance and grew to be good friends before even falling in love.
It’s such a great marriage of convenience love story that just pulled me in from their first meeting in the garden. Even if you aren’t a fan of fantasy romance, you’ll enjoy this one and its perfect slow burn. My Review – Radiance.
Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.
No one does story telling like Amy Harmon. This book is just so wonderfully written with an amazing, poignant story and broken characters.
Ambrose and Fern aren’t your typical hero and heroine, but they have the sweetest slow burn romance in this Beauty and the Beast tale. Just pick it up and read it. You’ll thank me!
I wanted to lose myself in the small town of Pelion, Maine. To forget everything I had left behind. For six months, each breath has been a reminder that I survived — and my dad didn’t. I’m almost safe again. But the moment I meet Archer Hale, my entire world tilts on its axis, and never rights itself again.
Until I trespass into his strange, silent, and isolated world, Archer communicates with no one. Yet in his whiskey-colored eyes, something intangible happens between us. There’s so much more to him than just his beauty, his presence, or the ways his hands communicate with me. On me. But this town is mired in secrets and betrayals, and Archer is the explosive center of it all.
This is another one of those slow burn romance books between two wounded souls who find their chance at happiness in the most unexpected way. Archer is one of those special heroes that come to hold a special place in your heart long after hitting the end.
No one is more deserving of a happily-ever-after than Archer and Bree which makes this slow burn romance all the sweeter. This is such a popular romance book and with good reason.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company.
Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job.
But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.
If you haven’t yet read The Hating Game, then this is something you must remedy, stat! It’s such a popular enemies to lovers, slow burn romance that it was made into a movie.
Thorne wrote the perfect banter and dialogue for these two colleagues that just sizzled with an undertone of tension and chemistry that was off the charts. In doing so she creates two amazing characters whom you’ll love instantly. A must read slow burn romance!
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade. She loves her job but lately it’s one big headache due to her newest colleague, Dominic Yun.
Now she’s paired with him as her co-host for the new show, The Ex Talk, posing as exes, and sharing relationship advice live on the air. The show is an instant hit but as the show’s popularity grows, so does their deception as the two start to fall for one another.
This is yet another enemies to lovers, office romance that has the best slow burn romance story. I absolutely loved the fantastic story, amazingly diverse cast of characters and great writing!
As Shay and Dominic fake a relationship for the sake of their radio show, you also get a great look into the world of public radio and how they deal with themes of love and loss as they slowly fall for one another. My Review – The Ex Talk.
Cam DeSantis’ life is a mess so she has no choice but to take the job offered by the insufferable NFL quarterback to be a nanny to his nephew. Calvin Shaw’s only focus is to win a Super Bowl but unfortunately the woman now living in his house is proving to be quite the distraction.
I devoured this slow burn romance but the entire series captured my heart. I loved the reclusive quarterback who seemed hardened at heart only to find his match with Cam.
It’s one of those great slow burn romance books that uses forced proximity to push the two characters together.
Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.
But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.
For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me may be Zapata’s most popular romance book which just so happens to be a wonderful slow burn romance.
While Vanessa and Aiden are no strangers to one another, they really don’t know each other when he asks her to become his wife to prevent his deportation.
This is truly a slow burn romance with the love between both characters developing as they make their way through their fake marriage. And when I say slow, I mean this is literally a slow, slow burn but well worth the wait.
Theo may be considered a geek since he’s in the college’s marching band, but he knows what women want. What does he want? Laney. His hot shot football roommate might also have his eye on her but he’s not going down without a fight.
I absolutely adored these two characters who are fun and original. It’s the sweetest of slow burn romance books because both Theo and Laney are a bit shy when it comes to relationships given their past.
Stewart’s writing was so superb in conveying Theo’s struggle with his growing feelings for Laney while also trying to protect his own heart from making the same mistakes of the past if those feelings weren’t reciprocated.
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.
Can you have a slow burn romance while you’re trying to just SURVIVE and not perish in the snow-covered wilderness? Yes, you can!
OMG this book was so gripping you just are not sure whether or not they are going to make it. Yet despite their trials and tribulations, they have these poignant moments of connection that sets the foundation of a love that blossoms despite adversity.
The book was truly fantastic, but you can also fangirl over Idris Alba (and Kate Winslet!) in The Mountain Between Us movie!
Gwenllian of Ruardean is the Welsh daughter of a powerful Marcher lord who’s more comfortable training as a knight and leading her men than wearing a dress and acting as lady of the manor.
When she rescues and nurses Ranulf, King Edward I’s favorite killer, back to health, their lives become forever entwined.
I picked up this book on a recommendation and I’m so glad that I read it. It features unique characters with inner struggles, a slow burn passion, and marriage of convenience story set in medieval times!
Gwenellian is no wilting wallflower and Ranulf is equally compelling, but you wouldn’t think they would be a love match given their paths in live. Just goes to show how wrong I was in this devouring slow burn romance!
Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago.
However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous—local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy.
Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself.
Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee.
Reid somehow weaved a beautiful romance between Ashley and Drew while Ashley and her brothers are struggling with their mother’s impending passing. It’s amazing how I could feel Ashley’s sorrow and yet also see the growing connection between her and Drew.
Reid laid perfect crumbs to their developing feelings while at the same time acknowledging their struggle with whether their connection was really happening or if it was really appropriate at such a strong emotional time. I loved it!
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction.
Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves one thing. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.
I love how this book starts with a bit of instant attraction between two struggling characters that are set on keeping their neighbors with benefits relationship separate from any feelings.
Of course, that never works out as planned, but this slow burn romance book not only looked at how love gets in the way but at how it can also truly help heal.
Marley is jobless and broke so she’s moved back home into her parents house, back to the small town she wanted to leave behind. To try and get her life back on track she’s taken a temporary teaching job and is now coach of the girls soccer team.
Having no idea what she’s doing, she agrees to a fake relationship with the former bad boy from her teenage years who will teach her how to coach in exchange for her teaching him how to be in a relationship.
This book was honestly all about Marley for me. I love romance novels with older heroines and I just loved everything about her story and where she was in life.
But add in a fake relationship with a boy from her past and some hilarious banter and it was truly a great slow burn romance book.
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident.
Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
Grab the tissue box for this slow burn romance book as you are going to need it. If you’ve watched the movie, then you know what happens, but if not, this is a wonderful love story between a nurse and her quadriplegic patient.
Despite Will’s anger at life and his accident, Louisa is able to root herself into his life and both learn that love can be found in the least likely of places and moments.
Tess has moved to the wild woods of Tennessee after the death of her husband where she meets a famous street artist, survivalists living in the wild and small-town folk who aren’t keen on outsiders.
I absolutely loved this book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips which is a complete departure from her beloved Chicago Stars series.
This book just grabbed me from the start and never let go. She weaved in grief, loss, prejudice, ignorance, fear, hope, love and so many other themes and emotions into this slow burn romance book in such a beautiful way. I highly recommend it! My Review – Dance Away With Me.
When Bishop joined Seattle’s NHL expansion team, he thought it was the start of something great. But nothing ever goes the way you expect. Now he’s nursing an injury that has him out of the game for weeks.
Stevie has had one heck of a day when she runs into grumpy NHL star Bishop in the hallway. Despite his attitude, Stevie agrees to rehab Bishop’s groin injury in exchange for a favor of her own. Seems simple enough to gain the notoriety of working with a professional athlete. As long as they can keep their hands to themselves.
I loved how this slow burn romance kicks off with the worst case of mistaken identities and wrong assumptions but leads to a really sweet and funny, enemies to lovers story.
The frustration and tension between Stevie and Bishop while she helps him rehab a groin injury made this a book I could not put down! My Review – A Favor for a Favor.
Bianca can’t stand the arrogant bastard who struts into her restaurant’s kitchen and she can’t believe the offer he makes her. In order to secure his inheritance, Jackson must find a wife, so he’s offered Bianca a lucrative deal that can’t refuse.
Geissinger does it again with this slow burn romance featuring a wounded billionaire and a marriage of convenience. Jackson may first come off as rude and arrogant but there is so much more to this man beneath the surface.
Marriage of convenience stories really make the best slow burn romance books and this is one that I highly recommend.
When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.
It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.
Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So, she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the passionate man he’d once been.
Zapata first captivated me with a football player and she did it again with a soccer player. I love how this story plays on a former crush. Don’t we always build up our crushes in our mind to be the most perfect partner.
I don’t blame Sal in her devastation that Kulti is anything but the person she thought or at least no longer is. But that doesn’t prevent true feelings from growing in this must read slow burn romance that’s perfect for sports romance fans.
The day my mother was slain, she told me to swallow my words, to push them down deep, and I haven’t spoken a word since. I’m no longer captive to my mother’s curse but I’m still invisible to those around me.
The Gifted are hunted in our lands and so I keep my words close. But there is one who hears my words and demands my devotion, my duty and perhaps my love.
Harmon can do no wrong in my eyes and she again captivated me in this unforgettable, fantasy world. It’s truly one of the best slow burn romance books as Lark and Tiras grew to be more than just captive and captor within the castle walls.
I can’t recommend this book enough for the beautiful writing, amazing world building, and strong characters who slowly find love between each other when it was missing for so long from both of their lives. My Review – The Bird and the Sword.
Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. He knows she has a past, one that has made her skittish about getting into a relationship, so he proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.
But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, Braden decides he won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her…down to the very soul.
Nothing makes a better slow burn romance book than one with a reluctant heroine. This book is one of Young’s most popular reads because it has the most wonderful build up to a romance between Jocelyn and Braden.
Jocelyn is hurting from a tragic event in her past and is guarding her heart from future heartbreak. But I love how it only took one moment for Braden to want to get to know her better and make her his.
If you haven’t yet read this wonderful slow burn romance set in Scotland, then get on it!
As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. But when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant hired to keep him out of trouble.
Lena’s not willing to take any crap from her boss and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry.
But when Jimmy pushes her too far, he just might lose the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Can he convince his stubborn assistant to risk it all and let her heart take the lead?
Queue the amazing love story between a rock star and his assistant in this must read, slow burn romance book that will tug on your heart strings.
This slow burn romance has an enemies to lovers vibe going for it as well since Jimmy and Lena don’t start off on the best foot given Lena is tasked to be his watchdog.
Of course, he doesn’t make it easy for Lena and yet the more time they spend together, it becomes apparent that they are more alike than they think and the perfect match for one another.
This is such a great book, in a terrific rock star romance series and most of the best slow burn romance books to read.
Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.
Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?
This is one of those perfect slow burn romance books between friends who love you despite your quirks.
Hazel and Josh may be complete opposites but that doesn’t stop them from trying to set each other up and organizing double dates when they reconnect with one another. I love how that makes them dating together yet NOT dating each other in this sweet and hilarious slow burn romance.
Brig Knightly is painfully single while the rest of his brothers have already paired off into coupledom bliss. He’s tried to find the one but he’s plagued by that wretched curse.
Luckily the town has started a new pen pal program and he’s hit it off with his mysterious writer. The only problem – he’s been hanging out with Ruth Barber, his new work neighbor, and he’s getting that swoony feeling for both women.
Meghan Quinn writes the best banter and the most hilarious romance books in my opinion and I just couldn’t get enough of Brig in this wonderful, friends to lovers romance.
Brig is one of those hopeless romantics who really wants to fall in love. Only now he seems to be falling for two different people. Or is he?
Definitely read this if you love slow burn romance books with unrequited love where it takes some time for a friend to realize what’s in front of him. My Review- That Swoony Feeling.
Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308. Now she’s tasked to work with FBI Special Agent Jack Pallas on a high-profile case when she’d rather be anywhere than in a room with Pallas.
Jack still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and nearly ruining his career, but now he has to put their rocky past behind them and not succumb to the sizzling tension that is growing between them.
I love James’ romance books that bring a bit of suspense with the heat between her characters. This book has the best enemies-to-lovers vibe given their history which makes the slow burn romance that blossoms between them all the hotter!
It’s a wonderful slow burn romance book deserving of this list.
Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an a**hole. He has no interest in relationships, not interested in dating and not interested in being a couple. He’s never given any thought to what he wants in a girlfriend, because he’s never had any intention of having one.
So why does he keep thinking about Violet DeLuca? Sweet, quiet Violet—his opposite in every sense of the word. The light to his dark, even her name sounds like rays of sunshine and happiness. And that pisses him off, too.
Interested in a new adult, slow burn romance book? Then this is the one to start with! It’s a wonderful, opposites attract story that was my favorite in the How to Date a Douchebag series.
Zeke is one type of book boyfriend that I adore, as even his friends think he’s a complete douche and yet it’s the quiet tutor who brings him to his knees. I loved how Violet was no shrinking violet when it came to the curmudgeon. Theirs is definitely one of my favorite slow burn romance books.
I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”
Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true. The author, a Reed Eastwood, who must be the most romantic man who’s ever lived, right?
But I actually find out that he’s anything but that. Thanks to a twist of fate, Reed’s my new boss. That’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.
But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.
I find that I love Keeland and Ward’s romance books that come with a twist and I loved the one that came in Hate Notes. Charlotte had a preconceived notion about Reed that totally missed the mark when she meets the man in person.
Now working for him, she’s given an opportunity to understand who he is and in turn, it softens his heart that slowly warms to hers. If you love Ward and Keeland’s works, you won’t want to miss this slow burn romance book from the duo.
Izzy may have grown up with romantic stories of love but she’s long since given up on finding love and romance for herself. With barely a roof over her head, she learns she has inherited a dilapidated castle which happens to have a Duke already living in it.
This was the first book that made me a Dare fan and I can’t wait for you to read it.
Even if you’re not typically a fan of historical romance novels, this is one of those amazing slow burn romance books you can’t miss. I loved the forced proximity storyline where Izzy and Ransom live together within the same dilapidated castle.
And despite Ransom being cutting with his words and such a grump, these two lost souls end up falling for one another and I could not put this down until they got their happily-ever-after! My Review – Romancing the Duke.