Sharing is caring!

Explore the best new contemporary romance novels for adults with strong female leads as well as steamy, dark, and hilarious stories.

PIN ME for later

contemporary romance books

Hilarious & Steamy Contemporary Romance Novels To Read

* Disclaimer: Some links on AsianaCircus.com are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase we may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

If you’re looking for the most exciting new romance novels then you’re at the right place because we collected the most hilarious, spicy, and moving romance books you won’t be able to put down.

Thanks to these brilliant romance books you’ll be able to travel around the world and beyond while getting to know new enchanting and touching stories. However, you’ll also find here contemporary dark romance books with steamy scenes.

RELATED: Best Romance Fantasy Books Of All Time

If you prefer your romance fiction with a touch of magic you’ll also find here new fantasy romance books, romantic magical realism novels, as well as cross-cultural romance books that’ll surely put a spell on you.

So, get ready to go on some of the most romantic and fun adventures of your life while getting lost in new, laugh-out-loud funny, and cheeky stories you’ll never forget.

14. Asking for a Friend by Kara H.L. Chen

Asking for a Friend Kara H.L. Chen, contemporary romance book

Buy it HERE
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA
Publishing Date: July 23, 2024

Fans of Emma Lord and Gloria Chao will love Asking for a Friend by Kara H.L. Chen, set to release on July 23, 2024. This YA rom-com is about Juliana Zhao, a confident teen who prides herself on her expertise in love and aims to win the Asian Americans in Business Competition to restore her family’s reputation.

When Juliana’s partner drops out, she’s forced to team up with her childhood frenemy, Garrett Tsai. Garrett’s nonconformist attitude clashes with Juliana’s ambitions, leading to a rocky start for their dating advice column project.

As they bicker their way through the project, Juliana starts to see love and success aren’t as black and white as she thought.

In the heat of the competition, she confronts her fear of failing and begins to question all those sacrifices she’s made to fit the perfect daughter mold. Kara H.L.

If you’re in the mood for a book with a sharp, relatable heroine, a swoon-worthy romance, and themes that dig into cultural identity and personal growth, Asking for a Friend is your next read.

13| Good Girl Fail Book by Roni Loren

Good Girl Fail by Roni Loren - romance fiction novels for adults

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Loving on the Edge and the Say Anything series comes a new steamy standalone MMF romance that proves good girls can have fun too…especially when she’s their good girl.

O’Neal Lory has been taught that one mistake can undo an entire life of right decisions. That it doesn’t matter if a person has been good ninety-nine percent of the time.

One misstep, one snap judgment, can derail everything. So, she’s taken a lot of right steps on the straight and narrow path. Eighteen years of them, in fact. Perfect grades. No rules broken. And definitely no boys.

Until she kisses him.

Auden Blake knows he shouldn’t touch his little sister’s best friend, knows that innocent girls like her should stay far, far away from him and his roommate Lennox—especially when she could reveal their behind-closed-doors activities to his family.

But when sheltered O’Neal goes rogue, ditching her scholarship to a conservative all-girls college and showing up at Bennette State—his school—instead, it’s going to take everything Auden has to keep his and Lennox’s hands off the curious good girl whose teach me vibes could unravel them both.

Good Girl Fail is a full-length standalone MMF romance with lots of steam, two heroes who like to share and get a little bossy, and a good girl heroine who’s about to break every rule that’s ever been placed upon her.

Good Girl Fail is one of the steamiest new contemporary romance novels for adults who are looking for spicy romance books.

12| The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore

The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore - New Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

In this brilliant debut novel full of heart and warmth, three very different sisters–and their free-spirited mother–must grapple with life, responsibilities, and family secrets.

Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard’s love affair was the stuff of legend–but, ultimately, doomed. When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen, and Sasha, to run wild.

Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness.

Rachel is desperate to return to London but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home. Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn.

Wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core.

The Garnett Girls, the captivating debut novel from Georgina Moore, asks whether children can ever be free of the mistakes of their parents.

The Garnett Girls is one of the most beautiful contemporary fiction books filled with romance, secrets, and sisterly love.

11| Promise Me by Jill Mansell

Promise Me Jill Mansell - New Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

A witty, heartwarming story of love, life and second chances set in the idyllic Cotswolds, from the glorious Jill Mansell.

One minute Lou is happily employed, with a perfect flat. The next, her home and job have gone. Suddenly she has to start over.

The last thing Lou wants is to move to a tiny Cotswolds village. She certainly doesn’t intend to work for curmudgeonly eighty-year-old Edgar Allsopp. But Edgar is about to make her the kind of promise nobody could ignore. In return, she secretly vows to help him fall in love with life again.

Foxwell is also home to Remy, whose charm and charisma are proving hard to ignore. But Lou hasn’t recovered from the last time she fell for a charmer. She needs a distraction – and luckily one’s about to turn up.

Secrets never stay hidden for long in Foxwell, nor are promises always kept. And no one could guess what lies ahead…

Promise Me is one of the most feel-good and moving new contemporary romance novels for adults who love atmospheric and slow-burn romances.

10| The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero-Lacruz

The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero-Lacruz - New Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

In a lush world inspired by the history and folklore of South America, a sweeping epic fantasy of colonialism, ancient magic, and two young women’s quest for belonging unfolds.

Reina is desperate.

Stuck living on the edges of society, her only salvation lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never known. But the journey is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.

Attacked by creatures that stalk the region, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.

Eva Kesare is unwanted.

Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries her best to be perfect and to hide her oddities. But Eva is hiding a secret: magic calls to her.

Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet, it’s hard to deny power when it has always been denied to you. Eva is walking a dangerous path, one that gets stranger every day. And, in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.

The Sun and the Void is the perfect choice for readers who are looking for new historical fantasy romance novels with thrilling LGBTQ+ stories.

9| Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score

Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score - New Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

Nash Morgan was always known as the good Morgan brother, with a smile and a wink for everyone. But now, this chief of police is recovering from being shot and his Southern charm has been overshadowed by panic attacks and nightmares.

He feels like a broody shell of the man he once was. Nash isn’t about to let anyone in his life know he’s struggling. But his new next-door neighbor, smart and sexy Lina, sees his shadows.

As a rule, she’s not a fan of physical contact unless she initiates it, but for some reason Nash’s touch is different. He feels it too.

The physical connection between them is incendiary, grounding him and making her wonder if exploring it is worth the risk.

Too bad Lina’s got secrets of her own, and if Nash finds out the real reason she’s in town, he’ll never forgive her. Besides, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever.

A hot, short-term fling with a local cop? Absolutely. Sign her up. A relationship with a man who expects her to plant roots? No freaking way.

Once she gets what she’s after, she has no intention of sticking around. But Knockemout has a way of getting under people’s skin. And once Nash decides to make Lina his, he’s not about to be dissuaded…even if it means facing the danger that nearly killed him.

This heartwarming novel is especially a great choice for those readers who are looking for single mom romance books.

Things We Hide From the Light is one of the most popular new contemporary romance fiction book series with a touching romance story.

8| The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer - top Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

Years ago, a reclusive mega-bestselling children’s author quit writing under mysterious circumstances. Suddenly he resurfaces with a brand-new book and a one-of-a-kind competition, offering a prize that will change the winner’s life in this absorbing and whimsical novel.

“Meg Shaffer’s beautiful novel is part Willy Wonka, part magical realism, and wholly moving.”–JODI PICOULT

Make a wish. . . .

Lucy Hart knows better than anyone what it’s like to grow up without parents who loved her. In a childhood marked by neglect and loneliness, Lucy found her solace in books, namely the Clock Island series by Jack Masterson.

Now a twenty-six-year-old teacher’s aide, she is able to share her love of reading with bright, young students, especially seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, left orphaned after the tragic death of his parents.

Lucy would give anything to adopt Christopher, but even the idea of becoming a family seems like an impossible dream without proper funds and stability.

But be careful what you wish for. . . .

Just when Lucy is about to give up, Jack Masterson announces he’s finally written a new book. Even better, he’s holding a contest on his private island where four hand-picked readers will compete to win the only copy.

At age thirteen, Lucy fled her unhappy home and showed up on Jack Masterson’s doorstep, hoping to live with her favorite author. Thirteen years later, a sky-blue envelope arrives with Lucy’s name on it, postmarked “Clock Island.”

For Lucy, a chance to read the first Clock Island book in years is a prize worth fighting for, but the possibility of winning, selling the manuscript, and securing a better future for her and Christopher means everything.

But first, Lucy must contend with ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome (and grumpy) Hugo Reese, illustrator of the Clock Island books and Jack’s only friend.

Meanwhile, Jack “the Mastermind” Masterson is plotting the ultimate twist ending that could change all their lives forever.

. . . You might just get it.

The Wishing Game is one of the most enchanting new contemporary romance novels for adults who love books about books and magical realism romances.

7| The Love Wager by Lynn Painter

The Love Wager by Lynn Painter - best Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

Hallie Piper is turning over a new leaf. After belly-crawling out of a hotel room (hello, rock bottom), she decides it’s time to become a full-on adult.

She gets a new apartment, a new haircut, and a new wardrobe, but when she logs into the dating app that she has determined will find her new love, she sees none other than Jack, the guy whose room she’d snuck out of.

Through the app, and after the joint agreement that they are absolutely not interested in each other, Jack and Hallie become partners in their respective searches for The One.

They text each other about their dates, often scheduling them at the same restaurant so that if things don’t go well, the two of them can get tacos afterward.

Spoiler: they get a lot of tacos together.

Discouraged by the lack of prospects, Jack and Hallie make a wager to see who can find true love first, but when they agree to be fake dates for a weekend wedding, all bets are off.

As they pretend to be a couple, lines become blurred and they each struggle to remember why the other was a bad idea to begin with.

The Love Wager is one of the funniest new contemporary romance novels for adults with a unique story and a hilarious pretend couple.

RELATED: Best Sports Romance Books

6| Happy Place by Emily Henry

Happy Place by Emily Henry - New romance fiction books

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade.

Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place.

They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses).

After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

Happy Place is one of the most feel-good and fun new contemporary romance novels that’s perfect for those who are looking for a swoon-worthy chik-lit that’ll make them laugh out loud.

RELATED: Best Single Dad Romance Books

5| The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer

The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer - Romance Fiction books

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

Mikki Brammer’s The Collected Regrets of Clover is a big-hearted and life-affirming debut about a death doula who, in caring for others at the end of their life, has forgotten how to live her own, for readers of The Midnight Library.

What’s the point of giving someone a beautiful death if you can’t give yourself a beautiful life?

From the day she watched her kindergarten teacher drop dead during a dramatic telling of Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a stronger connection with the dying than she has with the living.

After the beloved grandfather who raised her dies alone while she is traveling, Clover becomes a death doula in New York City, dedicating her life to ushering people peacefully through their end-of-life process.

Clover spends so much time with the dying that she has no life of her own, until the final wishes of a feisty old woman send Clover on a trip across the country to uncover a forgotten love story––and perhaps, her own happy ending.

As she finds herself struggling to navigate the uncharted roads of romance and friendship, Clover is forced to examine what she really wants, and whether she’ll have the courage to go after it.

Probing, clever, and hopeful, The Collected Regrets of Clover turns the normally taboo subject of death into a reason to celebrate life.

The Collected Regrets of Clover is one of the most charming contemporary romance fiction novels with serious themes that deal with death and family.

RELATED: Best Jane Austen-Inspired Books

4| Breaking All the Rules by Amy Andrews

Breaking All the Rules Amy Andrews - New Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

Sometimes you gotta toss your whole life into a burning dumpster to find what’s most important…

Beatrice Archer has always done everything she’s supposed to —worked her ass off, ignored her non-existent personal life, and kept her mouth shut.

 

Now she’s over it. The rat race, respectability…the underwire bras. She’s taking her life back. Starting with moving to Nowhere, Colorado to live life on her own terms.

Now Bea gives exactly zero forks. Beer for breakfast. Sugar for everything else. Baggy sweats and soft cotton undies FTW.

Then a much younger and delightfully attractive cop is called to deal with her flagrant disregard for appropriate clothing outside the local diner (some folks just don’t appreciate bunny slippers) and Bea realizes there’s something missing from her little decathlon of decadence… and he might be the guy to help her out.

When it comes to breaking rules, Officer Austin Cooper is surprisingly eager to assist. He’s charming, a little bit cowboy, and a whole lot sexy.

But Bea’s about to discover that breaking the rules has consequences. And all of the cherry pies in Colorado can’t save her from what’s coming…

Breaking All the Rules is one of the most hilarious contemporary romance fiction novels for adults and is a great choice for those who are looking for funny romance fictions.

RELATED: New Thriller Romance Books To Read

3| Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Hello Stranger by Katherine Center - best Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

Sadie Montogmery has had good breaks and bad breaks in her life, but as a struggling artist, all she needs is one lucky break. Things seem to be going her way when she lands one of the coveted finalist spots in a portrait competition.

It happens to coincide with a surgery she needs to have. Minor, they say. Less than a week in the hospital they say. Nothing about you will change, they say. Upon recovery, it begins to dawn on Sadie that she can see everything around her, but she can no longer see faces.

Temporary, they say. Lots of people deal with this, they say. As she struggles to cope―and hang onto her artistic dreams―she finds solace in her fourteen-year-old dog, Peanut.

Thankfully, she can still see animal faces. When Peanut gets sick, she rushes him to the emergency vet nearby. That’s when she meets veterinarian Dr. Addison. And she’s pleasantly surprised when he asks her on a date. But she doesn’t want anyone to know about her face blindness.

Least of all Joe, her obnoxious neighbor who always wears a bowling jacket and seems to know everyone in the building. He’s always there at the most embarrassing but convenient times, and soon, they develop a sort of friendship. But could it be something more?

As Sadie tries to save her career, confront her haunting past, and handle falling in love with two different guys she realizes that happiness can be found in the places―and people― you least expect.

Hello Stranger is one of the most anticipated contemporary romance novels for adults who love stories with love triangles.

RELATED: Best New Mafia Romance Books

2| While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai

While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai - Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

This YA debut from powerhouse romance author Alisha Rai tackles undocumented immigration against the backdrop of viral online fame, fake dating, and a love triangle. A must-read for fans of Nicola Yoon or Sandhya Menon.

If Sonia Patil had her way, she’d be attending her local comic con instead of covering a shift for her boss’s daughter.

Since Sonia’s mom was deported and her sister, who never claimed deferred status under DACA, had to forgo college to support them, Sonia’s had her hands full with work, school, and pretending everything is okay at home.

Then Sonia, in homemade superhero cosplay, stumbles into saving her crush James’s life.

When a video of the daring rescue goes viral, she—or, rather, a mysterious masked savior—is thrust into the spotlight. Now she’s hiding from TikTok detectives while trying to connect with James.

And while she’s drawn to his friendly but oblivious nature, she can’t deny her escalating chemistry with another awkwardly charming boy.

Juggling crushes and a secret identity might just take superpowers. Will Sonia be able to hide in plain sight forever?

While You Were Dreaming is one of the most charming new Young adult contemporary romance novels for adults who love superhero stories and feel-good stories.

RELATED: Best Vampire Romance Books for Adults

1| Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron

Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron - New Contemporary Romance Novels

Buy It Here

Synopsis:

The highly acclaimed author of Accidentally Engaged delivers a delightful rom-com of one woman trying to shed her perfect image at a destination wedding with hilariousand movingresults, perfect for fans of Abby Jimenez and Jasmine Guillory.

Jana Suleiman has never really fit in—everyone always sees her as too aloof, too cool, too perfect. The one time she stepped out of her comfort zone she ended up with a broken heart and a baby on the way. Aaaand lesson learned.

Now she’s a bridesmaid for a destination wedding in Serengeti National Park, and almost everyone she knows will be there. Her five-year-old daughter. Her mom. Her friends.

Even her potential new boss. And of course (because who doesn’t love surprises!) her gorgeous-but-not-to-be-trusted ex.

Fortunately, Anil Malek is a great dad, even if Jana hasn’t quite forgiven him for lying to her all those years ago.

Determined to show he has no effect on her whatsoever, she and the bridesmaids concoct a go-wild list to get Jana through the week.

Sing karaoke? Sure. Perform their high school dance routine in front of strangers? Okay. But the more she lets down her guard, the less protection she has against her attraction to Anil.

And Jana soon realizes it’s one thing to walk on the wild side . . . and quite another to fall for her ex all over again.

Jana Goes Wild is a perfect choice for those who love fiction travel books and are looking for contemporary romance novels that’ll take them on a feel-good adventure.

PIN ME for later

THANK YOU FOR READING!