Meet 33 of 2021's Hottest Romances

Posted by Sharon on January 1, 2021


Looking for a fictional meet-cute in the new year? We've got some steamy novels for you to snuggle up with, including Casey McQuiston's long-awaited tale of sapphic romance found on a New York City subway line, numerous fake engagements, and Black love in the American Wild West.

It's not always easy finding your true love…so we're playing matchmaker! To create our list of romance must-reads, we focused on the books Goodreads members can't wait to get their hands on. How do we measure that anticipation? By taking a look at how many times a title has been added to Want to Read shelves, as well as early reader reviews.

Check out these romances below, and let us know which ones you're looking forward to reading in the comments!
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Now it's your turn! Which new romances do you think will sweep you off your feet this year?

Check out more recent articles:
36 of the Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021
45 of the Most Anticipated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels of 2021
The Most Anticipated Books of 2021

Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris No MM books again..


message 2: by valerie (new)

valerie Living for these covers!


message 3: by Briana (new)

Briana I think it's weird that While We Were Dating has such a low rating and it doesn't come out for another six months and people haven't received ARCs yet. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...


message 4: by Kenza (new)

Kenza Lovely bookcovers 💛


message 5: by Cat (new)

Cat These covers look so good! I cannot wait to read Helen Hoang's new book and I'm definitely checking out the new Christina Lauren.


message 6: by Ezinwanyi (new)

Ezinwanyi Chinyere Briana wrote: "I think it's weird that While We Were Dating has such a low rating and it doesn't come out for another six months and people haven't received ARCs yet. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...-..."

The two people who rated it a one-star have sketchy profiles.


message 7: by Sasha (new)

Sasha Ambroz Ok, seriously. No potentially interesting MM romance for the whole year? Not one?


message 8: by Patti (new)

Patti Steve wrote: "No MM books again.."

So sad. :(


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Cannot wait


message 10: by Crownoyami (new)

Crownoyami Steve wrote: "No MM books again.."
I noticed that as well.


message 11: by Anna-Maria (new)

Anna-Maria Kollia Added some of them to my tbr


message 12: by Aurora (new)

Aurora More disappointing stories


message 13: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea Humphrey If any readers are open to indie romances, there are usually a good number of MM listed under the monthly upcoming titles. I usually go to those lists rather than these to find upcoming stories.


message 14: by Aurora (new)

Aurora Are there any romances where a white woman ends up with a male of color ( Black or Indigineous or Hispanic or Asian?)


message 15: by Geo (new)

Geo Marcovici Many of them I wanna read!


message 16: by Nell (new)

Nell Briana wrote: "I think it's weird that While We Were Dating has such a low rating and it doesn't come out for another six months and people haven't received ARCs yet. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...-..."

Now it's getting 5 star ratings in response to the 1 star. All are by folks who haven't read this unpublished book. Completely skews what the real rating might be when the book is actually published!


message 17: by Desert Lumens (last edited Jan 21, 2021 04:45AM) (new)

Desert Lumens C.D. Gorri Wolf Shield Any book by C.D. Gorri is beyond amazing. Her new Guardians Of Chaos series is amazing. First book Wolf shield was superb. The second was just as phenomenal. Every book she writes will pull you in. She’s one of the best paranormal romance writers around.


message 18: by Heather Button (new)

Heather Button You’ve got to add the Evie Dunmore to this list!!!


message 19: by Chris (new)

Chris Lewis Definitely J.R. Ward's Lover Unveiled, and I am crossing my fingers that Diana Gabaldon will finish Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.


message 20: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Chelsea wrote: "If any readers are open to indie romances, there are usually a good number of MM listed under the monthly upcoming titles. I usually go to those lists rather than these to find upcoming stories."

Do you have a link to a list? I know I have Winter's Orbit and The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting on my TBR.


message 21: by S. Negrete (new)

S. Negrete Best cover of all, by far Love in Color Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola


message 22: by Ashley (new)

Ashley James OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who started the trend and why it has TAKEN OVER! I do not prefer the old school Fabio romance novel covers, but at least books like "The Soulmate Equation" look intriguing, and not cartoonish. How are we supposed to take the others seriously? Am I taking this too seriously? Trick question, I know, but they make them all look like carbon copies of each other. I'm sorry, I immediately move on when I see these cheesy animated covers.


message 23: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Valentine Well. As there are no M/M romance books, I think we can safely say that homophobia towards gay men is alive and well amongst the Goodreads staff.


message 24: by Sally (new)

Sally Buckley Tracy wrote: "Well. As there are no M/M romance books, I think we can safely say that homophobia towards gay men is alive and well amongst the Goodreads staff."

Red White and Royal Blue is one of the top reads for the month, so, uh, no.


message 25: by Smallrain (new)

Smallrain I loathe most of the covers. I shouldn’t judge the books because of this but because there are so many books out there to read I wouldn’t consider any of these worth my time.


message 26: by Morilyn (new)

Morilyn Ashley wrote: "OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who..."

Agree totally, Ashley. Covers are sooo important & these supposedly graphic design covers put me off. It's as if there wasn't money left even for a stock photo!


message 27: by Zahra, meh. (new)

Zahra, meh. Sally wrote: "Tracy wrote: "Well. As there are no M/M romance books, I think we can safely say that homophobia towards gay men is alive and well amongst the Goodreads staff."

Red White and Royal Blue is one of the top reads for the month, so, uh, no.
"



Lol, its because the GR members love that book, it has literally NOTHING to do with the staffs and it was published in 2019, we're literally talking about 2021 releases and the fact that there are no mm books mentionedin this article; and yes, in this day and age, the lack of representation is honestly embarrassing and just plain problematic, can't get it?


message 28: by Holly (new)

Holly Bryant-Simpson The Bride Bet has been pushed out. I don't think we have a new release date yet, but it's not 9th Februray.


message 29: by Sharnett (new)

Sharnett Who is MM?


message 30: by Sharon, Goodreads employee (new)

Sharon Holly wrote: "The Bride Bet has been pushed out. I don't think we have a new release date yet, but it's not 9th Februray."

Thanks for the catch! That book did move publication dates last minute. I've swapped in another historical romance coming out in February: K.J. Charles' m/m The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting.


message 31: by Bet (new)

Bet Lantaff Ashley wrote: "OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who..."

I've thought the same thing! Then I thought it was just me. It seems like all of the covers start looking the same for a while, then they change to a different picture such as a woman and a man hugging. Next thing you know all the other books are have the same type of cover with a man and woman hugging. So glad someone else sees it too.


message 32: by Adeline (new)

Adeline Sharnett wrote: "Who is MM?"

MM is gay romance. Yea, male male romance.


message 33: by Donna (new)

Donna Ashley wrote: "OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who..."

I agree!


message 34: by Lee (new)

Lee I disagree re the covers. A lot of these are very appealing.


message 35: by Nan (new)

Nan Dixon Chris wrote: "No MM books again.."

The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting


message 36: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Disgusted that y’all support an author like L.J. Shen who scams, steals and bullies others. Check out @romancelandia on Instagram to find out the books and authors that L.J. Shen copied.


message 37: by Morilyn (new)

Morilyn Ashley wrote: "OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who..."
Yes, I move on too. They look tacky & cheap. Give me real people or very good designs, please.


message 38: by Morilyn (new)

Morilyn Smallrain wrote: "I loathe most of the covers. I shouldn’t judge the books because of this but because there are so many books out there to read I wouldn’t consider any of these worth my time."

Ditto!


message 39: by Morilyn (new)

Morilyn Elizabeth wrote: "Disgusted that y’all support an author like L.J. Shen who scams, steals and bullies others. Check out @romancelandia on Instagram to find out the books and authors that L.J. Shen copied."
Really! That's news to me; have read & enjoyed many L. J. Shen books.


message 40: by bookish (new)

bookish tanna Chris wrote: "No MM books again.."

yeah :(


Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard Sasha wrote: "Ok, seriously. No potentially interesting MM romance for the whole year? Not one?"

You missed The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting by KJ Charles, which is on the list.


message 42: by Rania (new)

Rania yousife valerie wrote: "Living for these covers!"

I AGREE , I MUST ADMIT I MIGHT BE READING THEM JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR COVERS T_T .


message 43: by Obsessive reads (new)

Obsessive reads Chris wrote: "No MM books again.."

Yess.. I was also waiting for a MM


message 44: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Ashley wrote: "OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who..."

Ashley wrote: "OK, I'm just gonna say it... What is up with romance covers for the last couple years?! What is up with the weird animated covers?!?! Everyone is head over heels about these, I don't understand who..."

I agree! I hate those "cartoon Covers."


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