The 20 Most Romantic Books Ever, According to BookBub Members

Posted on February 12, 2018 by

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re spending the week diving into the most romantic books we can get our hands on. From fantastical love stories that span centuries to heartbreaking sagas that end in tears, we’ve rounded up the novels that BookBub members most frequently described as “romantic” in their reviews. Check out the list below!


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander by Dianne Gabaldo

BookBub member review: “I avoided this book… because I really didn’t think I would enjoy it. I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction and I’m really not a big fan of romance, therefore, why would I read this book? I’d hate it, right? WRONG. Oh-so-wrong. I feel like this book left a mark on my soul. The writing is amazing. The story is amazing. Some parts had my cheeks bursting from happiness, while others (and you all know what I’m talking about) drug me down to a level of despair I have never known. I felt the pain like it was my own. It literally choked me. When a book can bring you to those places… the highs and lows; the extreme happiness and overbearing sorrow… it becomes more than just a book. It becomes part of you. This book is now part of me.”


Issued to the Bride: One Navy SEAL by Cora Seton

BookBub member review: “I really enjoyed watching this couple overcome their obstacles and manage to fall in love. They had a lot going against them.”

BookBub member review: “The best part about this romance is that there IS a story, not just a flimsy reason to write sex scenes, and the story is given a hero who is a man with a brain, a spine, and a determination to be there for the heroine. He sees the obvious issues while understanding that there’s more going on than what’s on the surface, and he deals with it rather than shrugging it off or dismissing it. He doesn’t cut and run when the heroine pushes back; he doesn’t get pouty when she doesn’t fall at his feet or drool in awe of his appearance and abilities; he doesn’t hit back with cutting words when she verbally attacks; and he’s not so focused on his own failures and struggles that he can’t function or spend most of the book pushing the heroine away because he’s so damaged.”


Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James

BookBub member review: “What can I say, this book re-awakened my love of reading. Hot and bothered is an understatement. Their love story is what most want. I wish there was more than just the three-book trilogy and the book from his perspective. I have re-read this book multiple times.



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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

BookBub member review: “Despite the well-known negative stigma that has come to this series, it really is a beautifully written romantic fantasy. It is easy to become so in love with the impossibility of these characters and the witty banter of a seemingly impossible family. I am a sucker for a good romance story, and this series was just perfect.”


Barefoot at Sunset by Roxanne St. Claire

BookBub member review: “Love, love, love this book. Mark and Emma are wonderful, well-defined characters that made for a wonderful story. It was great to see an older character find quite a twist to the life that they had set up for himself. So many books have characters in their early 20s whose lives revolve around issues of young people who have limited life experiences. This book gives those of us who are quite a bit older the chance to see that yes there can possibly be a second chance to find happiness when the individuals take a leap of faith.”


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

BookBub member review: “I would recommend this book to just about everyone. At the core, it’s a beautiful love story, but it’s also so much more. It’s a story about the meaning of life and how we choose to live it. I loved this book and even weeks after I finished it, the story is still resonating with me. I know I won’t forget Will or Louisa anytime soon.”


Reckless by Amanda Quick

BookBub member review: “Amanda Quick has long been my favorite historical romance author. Her stories easily drop you into the long ago world, though perhaps with rose-colored glasses, still, with enough historical accuracy to feel authentic. Her heroines are fun; her situations always throw her lead characters into situations that make the growing romance believable, rather than rushed or forced. Reckless is just one of many five-star reads from Amanda Quick.”


Midnight Marriage by Lucinda Brant

BookBub member review: “One of the better historical romances I have read in a while. Great plot — inventive and not too drawn out or sappy, with interesting characters. A good ‘weekend escape’ book — full of historical references and tidbits.”


Wind Chime Café by Sophie Moss

BookBub member review: “I enjoyed this book very much. PTSD is a very real issue that too many of our veterans are dealing with. In this book, we see two characters dealing with a trauma that has left them struggling to deal with some everyday situations. A Navy SEAL and a child connect and are able to help each other find ways to cope. Now throw in a sweet love story between the mother of the child and the Navy SEAL, and you’ve got yourself a good read that you don’t want to put down. I highly recommend this book.”


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

BookBub member review: “This book is, of course, one of the best books ever!! The language is lyrical and the characters are superb. Still love Mr. Darcy after all these years, and Mrs. Bennet is wonderfully irritating! I don’t know how many times I’ve read this book, but writing this review makes me want to read it again!”


Naked in Death by J. D. Robb

BookBub member review: “Love all the J. D. Robb In Death series! This one, the very first, will get you hooked! Each book is a murder mystery on its own, but the secondary story of the main characters, Eve and Roarke, is a great, but not sappy, love story. You’ll see these two people with troubled pasts fall in love and grow along with their circle of friends… Highly recommend you read them in order so that you get to know and understand the main characters!”


Bared to You by Sylvia Day

BookBub member review: “Wow. What a book. Steamy [and] hot with a serious case of insta-love! I think every conscious woman wants a Gideon Cross of her own!”

BookBub member review: “Bared to You is a very raw and passionate read. Gideon and Eva are two fiercely independent people with deep scars from childhood trauma and abuse. They are swept up into a volatile and intense romance… one of which neither may leave unscathed.”



Mooseletoe by Tiffinie Helmer

BookBub member review: “I got such a kick out of this holiday romance! Even drunk, Bullwinkle (BW) the moose was a uniquely suited Christmas Cupid! And Reese and Holly’s sizzling chemistry and sexy attraction led to a wonderful Christmas romance that had me feeling all sorts of warm fuzzies! Now my grabby hands want to pick up BW’s other matchmaking results…”


The Chocolate Garden by Ava Miles

BookBub member review: “A very good read about learning to trust and love again. After an abusive husband, how long does it take before your heart is willing to open to a new relationship? This is a good book for anyone trying to regain their footing after a disastrous marriage. It can be done.”


The Irish Cottage by Juliet Gauvin

BookBub member review: “I enjoyed this book because it was a pleasant and realistic read. The story was simple, but I appreciate the complexity of the characters, who I found to be relatable and likable. I especially appreciate that the author chose to romanticize a healthy relationship between two characters that were compassionate, respectful, and each going through their own healing/growing process. This book represented the type of grieving process, personal growth, and relationship that are realistic and positive examples.”


The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

BookBub member review: “I sobbed on the airplane like a two-year-old when I reached the end of this book. Just big, red-eyed, ugly cry. It was embarrassing. What a wonderful, romantic, and devastating book.”

BookBub member review: “This is one of my top 10 books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t put it down. Fascinating to imagine that time travel could be possible and how you would relate to a time-traveling husband. Highly recommend it as an engrossing read.”


Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

BookBub member review: “Penny Reid is one of the favorite authors of mine and this book is the best of hers. We are introduced to Winston brothers in all their glory in this book… All the characters in this book are so amazing that you wish to meet them in person. Though being a romance, it has a tragic backdrop which makes you cry-worthy emotional in some places. And it also has the smart humor [and] wittiness [that] you always expect from Penny Reid. But all of this comes secondary to the poetic beauty that is Drew. I think after Mr. Darcy, Drew is the one I adore so ardently! I so wish to meet him in person! He is an example that intelligence can be sexier than looks. If not for anything else… you should definitely read this book for him and his swoon-worthy poetry.”


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

BookBub member review: “I hesitated to read this book because I am prone to tears… commercials can make me cry! I went against my initial thoughts and picked it up anyway, and then couldn’t put it down. John Green did an amazing job at capturing the feelings of these two teenagers as well as the friends and family involved. After I finished the book, I felt lost. Not because of the writing or the storyline itself, but because I wanted more. I felt so involved with the characters that I didn’t want to stop. Pick up the book, but make sure you pick up some tissues first!”


The Counterfeit Bride by Liberty Blake

BookBub member review: “My first read by this author and what a wonderful, emotionally satisfying, riveting read it was! I was instantly captivated from the opening scene with our main character, Cassidy, derailing an oh-so-elegant upscale wedding in Greece, and the colorful description of her attire from her Stetson down to her cowboy boots. This book had me crying one minute, laughing the next, and angrily cursing certain characters out loud. I’ve cleared a permanent space on my favorites shelf for this book, and I strongly recommend it to all fans of great storytelling featuring unforgettable characters!”


Tanner by Sarah Mayberry

BookBub member review: “Sweet and sexy story with a very interesting plot. Highly lovable characters; Evie is a sweet and saucy veterinarian student from Australia, and Tanner is tough and stoic professional bull rider and a ranch owner from Colorado. This is a great read and not your typical storyline; it’s logical and believable and a definite page-turner.”


Reviews were edited for length and clarity.

Which of these books have you read? Share in the comments!


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