THE BEST ROMANCE NOVELS IN 2023
There is no best list of all books worthy of placement, and no agreed-upon definition of “best”. But for what it’s worth, these are the top 10 romance novels of 2023 in my opinion. Arranged alphabetically by title.
Literary agent Nora finds herself working closely with editor Charlie on her client’s new book, while on vacation in Sunshine Falls, South Caroline, with her little sister Libby. Nora doesn’t want to be there, or to be working with Charlie, but she’ll do almost anything for her clients and absolutely anything for Libby, who she’s taken care of since their mom died. The banter and longing between Nora and Charlie makes this book absolutely unputdownable, and I don’t even want to tell you how many times I’ve picked it back up.
2. BY THE BOOK BY JASMINE GUILLORY
In this loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Isabelle is 25 and still an assistant, desperate to be an editor. Beau is supposed to be writing his memoir, but he’s been holed up in Santa Barbara for a year and won’t talk to anyone. So Izzy shows up at his door and offers her help — and he says she can stay. Their working relationship is charming and feels so real, as she coaxes his story out of him and they both fall totally in love. If you like the sex to stay behind closed doors, this is the one for you.
3. DATING DR. DILL BY NISHA SHARMA
Kareena wants a love match, but the only way she can keep her late mother’s house is if she gets engaged ASAP. Prem is a heart doctor who doesn’t believe in love, but needs investors for his new clinic. They have a fight during his show that puts his funding in danger, so he agrees to play the part of her fiancé to get them both the cash they need. Fake dating is so common that it often feels silly or forced, but this book never felt anything but real — and it handles grief nicely, too. Who can resist a Taming of the Shrew retelling?
4. FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK BY ELISSA SUSSMAN
I love a dual timeline book, and this one takes us back and forth between Chani’s legendary interview with actor Gabe, which launched both of their careers and prompted a lot of rumors about whether they hooked up, and ten years later, when Chani is asked to interview him again and all of their feelings from the first time bubble up to the surface. It includes the article she wrote the first time and an assortment of the internet speculation surrounding it.
5. THE DEAD ROMANTICS BY ASHLEY POSTON
Florence is a ghostwriter who can talk to ghosts. She writes romance novels for a famous (and retired) author, but she is late delivering the last book on the contract because she no longer believes in love. Then her editor leaves, and her replacement, Ben, gives Florence 24 hours to turn in the manuscript. But Florence’s father dies suddenly and she goes home, where she runs into the last ghost she expected: Ben, who has been hit by a car. I never expected to love a ghost romance this much.
6. D’VAUGHN AND KRIS PLAN A WEDDING BY CHENCIA C. HIGGINS
I was surprised to fall this hard for a reality show romance, especially a wedding reality show! D’Vaughn and Kris are paired up on the show Instant I Do, where they have six weeks to complete a series of wedding planning tasks with their families, who they have to convince that their engagement is real. Of course, they fall in love for real, forcing them to decide whether to take the prize money or say “I do.”