50 Romance Books to Read Based on Beloved Favorites

Posted by Hayley on January 26, 2018
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader in possession of a large library must be in want of a new book.

But not just any book will do. We know you've already read the classics and the bestsellers. We're here to help you uncover a hidden gem.

We took a look at books with fewer than 50,000 adds—for context, members have added Pride and Prejudice to their Goodreads shelves more than 3 million times—and selected only ones with a 4.0 or higher average rating. Then we broke down the results into recommendations for fans of Colleen Hoover, Jane Austen, J.R. Ward, E.L. James, and Diana Gabaldon. Add what catches your eye to your Want to Read shelf!


If you loved Colleen Hoover's Hopeless
(or contemporary love stories featuring young love and angst)

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If you loved Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
(or European romances full of awkward misunderstandings)

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If you loved J.R. Ward's Dark Lover
(or seductive stories of vampires, werewolves, and witches—oh my!)

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If you loved E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey
(or erotic tales featuring astonishingly wealthy heroes)

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If you loved Diana Gabaldon's Outlander
(or irresistible romances that transcend time and space)

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What's your favorite underrated love story? Share it with us in the comments!

Check out the complete coverage of Romance Week:
26 of the Hottest Romances of 2019
Legendary Literary Couples Live on in Countless Retellings
The Secret Lives of Romance Authors

Comments Showing 1-50 of 207 (207 new)


message 1: by Judi (new)

Judi Hendricks Five Pines by J. Heather Cross. It's more than a love story--it's like if you took 50 Shades of Grey and threw in a liberal dose of A Course in Miracles along with some really radical spirituality and added some Die Hard and set it in South Dakota. It's the first in a series of 6 and the characters are so real I feel like I've become part of their family. It's a great book--like nothing I've ever read before.


message 2: by Rosie (new)

Rosie Genova This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in suspense for a bit for the reveal. But the "recognition" scene between Bryony and her mystery man is SO worth waiting for!


message 3: by Gisele (new)

Gisele AbouJaoude The Bronze Horseman! And I am looking for something similar if anyone has some recommendations. Thanks


message 4: by LJF (new)

LJF Emma, no question. Pride and Prejudice is Austen's most well-known novel, but Emma is actually considered her best-written work.


message 5: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Turansky If you like Pride and Prejudice, then I suggest Carolyn Miller's new series: The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. I also like Julie Klassen's The Tutor's Daughter and The Secret of Pembrooke Park; and Julianne Donaldson's Edenbrooke and Blackmoore.


message 6: by Katie (new)

Katie McCloy Ava Miles has a wonderful series set in fictional Dare, CO. Those characters are like dear old friends to me, and there are 10 or 11 books so you get to spend a lot of time with the McHale family...


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

My new favorite love story is The Heart of Henry Quantum. Fun, unexpected, and a love story for San Francisco.


message 8: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Any of Georgette Meyer's Recency books. Witty dialog and wonderful command of language and characterization.


message 9: by Dana (last edited Feb 06, 2018 02:44PM) (new)

Dana Rosie wrote: "This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in suspense for a bit..." I agree! I love this book (and other Mary Stewarts) and have read them many times.


message 10: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Fontaine Moonraker's Bride by Madeleine Brent. Lovely story with lots of exciting action.


message 11: by Amf0001 (new)

Amf0001 Judi wrote: "Five Pines by J. Heather Cross. It's more than a love story--it's like if you took 50 Shades of Grey and threw in a liberal dose of A Course in Miracles along with some really radical spirituality ..."


Ok, you sold me, I'm off to order it...


message 12: by Janet (new)

Janet Murdoch Absolutely anything by Betty Neels! She wrote about 140 books and my sister and I have read and reread them so many times they are falling apart!!! Also a tiny book by R.A. MacAvoy called Tea With a Black Dragon and a super funny one called Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie. There are so many great romances out there it's hard to pick favourites!


message 13: by Me Like Reading (new)

Me Like Reading Anything by Pamela Clare! I don’t even know if this author counts in this case, but I think her books are definitely underrated love stories. Other than her romantic suspense ‘I-Team’ series and contemporary romance ‘Colorado High Country’ (both awesome series), I also like her historical romances, ‘Blakewell/Kenleigh’ trilogy and ‘Mackinnon’s Rangers’ series. Anything outside the paranormal/urban fantasy romance genre is usually a hard sell for me, so Clare deserves a Wayne’s World ‘I’m not worthy’ bow!


message 14: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Gordon Gisele wrote: "The Bronze Horseman! And I am looking for something similar if anyone has some recommendations. Thanks"
Hi Gisele. I love the Bronze Horseman too. Some of my favourites are as follows: The Hearts Invisible Furies, Into the Wilderness by Sarah Donati, the survivors club by Mary Barlogh (not quite epic but great little series) From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon, The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley, The Milliner's Secret by Natalie Meg Evans, The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay


message 15: by Julie (new)

Julie Rosie wrote: "This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in suspense for a bit..."

Oh I so agree it is a wonderful story with the underlying magic that makes the story way above anything else. For me it was her best romance of all.


message 16: by Ann (new)

Ann Birch I'm with Elaine! I read ALL of Georgette Heyer's books about twenty years ago. Elaine's comments reminded me to go back and read them ALL again.


message 17: by Dina (new)

Dina I read some of these novels and I LOVE the options suggested! Definitely gonna check it soon :)


message 18: by Sudha (new)

Sudha Rosie wrote: "This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in suspense for a bit..."
You may want to try Susanna Kearsley - I love Mary Stewart too, and love Kearsley's Shadowy Horses, Named of the Dragon, The Rose Garden, Season of Storms


message 19: by Krista (new)

Krista James The Winston Brothers Series! I can’t find anything that I love as much.


message 20: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Gordon Krista wrote: "The Winston Brothers Series! I can’t find anything that I love as much."

I will give that series a try Krista


message 21: by AJ (new)

AJ Manwaring Rosie wrote: "This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in suspense for a bit..."

I am so with you Rosie, this is such a beautiful story! Now I need to go and reread it...it’s been at least 2 years since my last time through :)


message 22: by AJ (new)

AJ Manwaring Krista wrote: "The Winston Brothers Series! I can’t find anything that I love as much."

The wait for the rest of the series is agonising!


message 23: by Tina (last edited Feb 06, 2018 11:52PM) (new)

Tina Dear Hayley,

I´m a German bookblogger and I would like you to ask, whether I could use your first sentence: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader in possession of a large library must be in want of a new book. " to create a bookquote picture for my instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/buchnotizen/). I would take your name and this website as part of it, would that be enough?

Thank you! A have a very nice and readful (I hope this word is ok ;-)) wednesday ;-),

lovely greetings from very cold, but very sunny Germany,

Tina ;-)


message 24: by AJ (new)

AJ Manwaring Elaine wrote: "Any of Georgette Meyer's Recency books. Witty dialog and wonderful command of language and characterization."

Yes, yes, yes....I was just thinking of rereading all of these!


message 25: by Dina (new)

Dina AJ wrote: "Krista wrote: "The Winston Brothers Series! I can’t find anything that I love as much."

The wait for the rest of the series is agonising!"


Hey lovelies :) mind if I ask which books are you talking about?


message 26: by AJ (new)

AJ Manwaring ❤️☘D♡K☘❤️ wrote: "AJ wrote: "Krista wrote: "The Winston Brothers Series! I can’t find anything that I love as much."

The wait for the rest of the series is agonising!"

Hey lovelies :) mind if I ask which books are..."


It’s a fabulous series by Penny Reid https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...


message 27: by Dina (new)

Dina AJ wrote: "❤️☘D♡K☘❤️ wrote: "AJ wrote: "Krista wrote: "The Winston Brothers Series! I can’t find anything that I love as much."

The wait for the rest of the series is agonising!"

Hey lovelies :) mind if I a..."


Thanks, AJ! :) have a good one!


message 28: by Susanne (new)

Susanne Elaine wrote: "Any of Georgette Meyer's Recency books. Witty dialog and wonderful command of language and characterization."

Try Venetia. It' not witty witty, but there is a lot of humor hidden. For me it her best regency romance....


message 29: by FullMoonJuly (new)

FullMoonJuly Persuasion by Jane Austen! Always overshadowed by Pride and Prejudice, this beautiful tale of love and longing that stands the rest of time is way high up on my list! Cannot even try to count the number of times I have read this.


message 30: by Tintorabbit (new)

Tintorabbit I loved the books of Janet Chapman and Judith McNaught. It's a pity there won't be more!!


message 31: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin It's difficult to tell based off of the covers alone and clicking through all of them will take some time, but are there any queer romances listed here? I'm always disappointed when "romance" just means "a man and a woman"...


message 32: by Gloria (new)

Gloria Vellucci Many year's ago I read a book where a woman finds a dress in a trunk and puts it on and goes back in time. I forgot the name and author. I go to a used bookstore and find many old books. I have collected Judith McNaught 's books. I am also collecting Elswith /Thane. I will look for Janet Chapman, never read her books.


message 33: by Kim (new)

Kim My all time favorite is A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveroux. A wonderful love story with lots of humor.


message 34: by Norabear (new)

Norabear Caitlin wrote: "It's difficult to tell based off of the covers alone and clicking through all of them will take some time, but are there any queer romances listed here? I'm always disappointed when "romance" just ..."

For Real by Alexis Hall is m/m.


message 35: by Rosie (new)

Rosie Genova Sudha wrote: "Rosie wrote: "This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in susp..."

Yes, I love her!


message 36: by Judi (new)

Judi Hendricks Amf0001 wrote: "Judi wrote: "Five Pines by J. Heather Cross. It's more than a love story--it's like if you took 50 Shades of Grey and threw in a liberal dose of A Course in Miracles along with some really radical ..."

If you like it, let me know! I know how to get the other 5 novels in the series.


message 37: by Susie (new)

Susie Scott Susan Elizabeth Phillips books. Usually make laugh out loud and cry


message 38: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Norabear wrote: "Caitlin wrote: "It's difficult to tell based off of the covers alone and clicking through all of them will take some time, but are there any queer romances listed here? I'm always disappointed when..."

Thank you! Unfortunately I'm not into BDSM, but I'm glad to see at least one queer romance on here. FWIW, I recently enjoyed An Unnatural Vice by K.J. Charles - Victorian M/M Romance with a heaping pile of murder mystery!


message 39: by Anita (new)

Anita Beasley Hi Gisele - try Seldom Come By by Sherryl Caulfield - a trilogy like The Bronze Horseman - historical/drama/romance/wartorn/scenic set in Newfoundland and Canada. Sure you will enjoy it.


message 40: by Anita (new)

Anita Beasley Wendy wrote: "Gisele wrote: "The Bronze Horseman! And I am looking for something similar if anyone has some recommendations. Thanks"
Hi Gisele. I love the Bronze Horseman too. Some of my favourites are as follow..."

Yes to Into the Wilderness, great series. On the war front like The Bronze Horseman is The Nightingale By Kirstin Hannah and I also liked Seldom Come By (The Iceberg Trilogy) by Sherryl Caulfield. The first book is set against the backdrop of WWI, with a beautiful love story that starts in Newfoundland Canada.


message 41: by Tracie (new)

Tracie Chadwick Rosie wrote: "This may sound like a weird choice, but for me it's Mary Stewart's Touch Not the Cat. I absolutely adore the psychic connection between the lovers and Stewart keeps the reader in suspense for a bit..."

I totally agree!


message 42: by Joy (last edited Feb 07, 2018 06:58PM) (new)

Joy Tremblay My favourite romance is in the fantasy series Tales from Taihandria, by P.J. Merchant and H. Crane, the first book of which is called Daram. The setting is not dissimilar to Gabaldon’s Outlander books, in that the heroes, two members of a rock band, are transported to another world, and have adventures, where they encounter a princess and her ‘tricky slave’, and it is the burgeoning romances between these couples that has something of a modernized feel akin to Austen’s couples in Pride & Prejudice. The story continues in the 2nd book of the series, Varashti, and the adventures that ensue in this colourful world of magic and music are a delight as the romance develops. A great fantasy with great romance!


message 43: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie How can Loretta Chase not be here with Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer?! Her Regency novels are right up there for witty dialogue and great characters


message 44: by Tina (new)

Tina Haigler The Beast of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #1) by Lily Blackwood The Beast of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood is the first book in the Highland Warrior series and it is AMAZING! I loved the second book The Rebel of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #2) by Lily Blackwood The Rebel of Clan Kincaid just as much as the first. I can't wait for the third book The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #3) by Lily Blackwood The Warrior of Clan Kincaid to come out in July. I'm so excited! :)


message 45: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Vivid by Beverly Jenkins


message 46: by S.t.m. (new)

S.t.m. Caitlin wrote: "Norabear wrote: "Caitlin wrote: "It's difficult to tell based off of the covers alone and clicking through all of them will take some time, but are there any queer romances listed here? I'm always ..."

'Him' by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy is one of the first books on the list and it's one of my favourite m/m romances.


message 47: by Marissa (new)

Marissa Hello. If you love romance, I recommend Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux books. They are totally amazing! Linda Howard is also good, if you want romance thrillers, that is. Who agrees with me?


message 48: by Gail (new)

Gail Weisse Persuasion, Jane Austen


message 49: by Jaime (new)

Jaime Caitlin wrote: "It's difficult to tell based off of the covers alone and clicking through all of them will take some time, but are there any queer romances listed here? I'm always disappointed when "romance" just ..."

A Seditious Affair by K.J. Charles is the second book in a Regency m/m trilogy. It can probably be read alone, but the whole series is excellent and well worth reading. As is everything else by K.J. Charles.

Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price is the first book in a modern paranormal m/m romance ongoing series that I also recommend.

(If you're looking for more, you might want to check out the M/M Romance Group.)


message 50: by Mimi, Goodreads employee (new)

Mimi Why isn't Lisa Kleypas on this list?!


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