The 52 Most Popular Romances of the Past Three Years

Posted by Cybil on February 2, 2021


Ah yes, the allure of new love! Be prepared to be charmed, wooed, and—of course—seduced by these most popular romance novels of the past three years, according to Goodreads members.

These recent romances include new crushes in the form of blockbuster debuts from , , and . There's also the return of many longtime loves, including  and the writing duo . To create our list, we looked through our data to find the romance novels published since 2018 that have the most Want to Read shelvings (that's how we measure buzz).

So, here they are! Readers' most popular romance novels on Goodreads, listed from 1 to 52. Scroll over the book covers to learn more about each novel, and be sure to add the books that pique your interest to your Want to Read shelf!


#1

Rate this book
Clear rating

#2

Rate this book
Clear rating

#3

Rate this book
Clear rating

#4

Rate this book
Clear rating

#5

Rate this book
Clear rating

#6

Rate this book
Clear rating

#7

Rate this book
Clear rating

#8

Rate this book
Clear rating

#9

Rate this book
Clear rating

#10

Rate this book
Clear rating

#11

Rate this book
Clear rating

#12

Rate this book
Clear rating

#13

Rate this book
Clear rating

#14

Rate this book
Clear rating

#15

Rate this book
Clear rating

#16

Rate this book
Clear rating

#17

Rate this book
Clear rating

#18

Rate this book
Clear rating

#19

Rate this book
Clear rating

#20

Rate this book
Clear rating

#21

Rate this book
Clear rating

#22

Rate this book
Clear rating

#23

Rate this book
Clear rating

#24

Rate this book
Clear rating

#25

Rate this book
Clear rating

#26

Rate this book
Clear rating

#27

Rate this book
Clear rating

#28

Rate this book
Clear rating

#29

Rate this book
Clear rating

#30

Rate this book
Clear rating

#31

Rate this book
Clear rating

#32

Rate this book
Clear rating

#33

Rate this book
Clear rating

#34

Rate this book
Clear rating

#35

Rate this book
Clear rating

#36

Rate this book
Clear rating

#37

Rate this book
Clear rating

#38

Rate this book
Clear rating

#39

Rate this book
Clear rating

#40

Rate this book
Clear rating

#41

Rate this book
Clear rating

#42

Rate this book
Clear rating

#43

Rate this book
Clear rating

#44

Rate this book
Clear rating

#45

Rate this book
Clear rating

#46

Rate this book
Clear rating

#47

Rate this book
Clear rating

#48

Rate this book
Clear rating

#49

Rate this book
Clear rating

#50

Rate this book
Clear rating

#51

Rate this book
Clear rating

#52

Rate this book
Clear rating
What are some of your favorite recent romance novels? Let’s talk books in the comments!


Comments Showing 1-50 of 88 (88 new)


message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris The placement of Red, White and Royal Blue is just right.


message 2: by Azet (new)

Azet Strange that none of Lisa Kleypas,Tessa Dare`s or Nora Roberts aren`t in the list.


message 3: by Audrey (new)

Audrey Where are all the historicals? Why so many from the same authors?


message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Azet wrote: "Strange that none of Lisa Kleypas,Tessa Dare`s or Nora Roberts aren`t in the list."

So few historical romances!


message 5: by Jessica T. (new)

Jessica T. Where are the Historical Romances and Mass Market Romances?


message 6: by Robin P (new)

Robin P They clearly didn't foresee the Bridgerton trend!


message 7: by Axel (new)

Axel Where is the hating game on that list?!!


message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane And they both die at the end


message 9: by Ann (new)

Ann I'm surprised that Stephanie Laurens did not make the list or Nora Roberts.


message 10: by Heather Button (new)

Heather Button How on earth is The Hating Game not on this list?! What about A Rogue of One’s Own?!


message 11: by Cybil, Goodreads employee (new)

Cybil Axel wrote: "Where is the hating game on that list?!!"

The Hate Game is too old for inclusion here, we only looked at the past three years. Thanks!


message 12: by Ella (new)

Ella Dawson Where on earth are the mass market paperbacks?


nick (the infinite limits of love) Don't y'all have statisticians to tell you what good data looks like?? This data collection is rubbish lol.


message 14: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Oberbeck I think a better measure would be to look at the ROMANCE (emphasis since not all of these are) books people actually read. I have a lot that I want to read, but I might never get to. Meanwhile there’s a lot of good books that have been read and shared and deserve the hype. Maybe overall user ratings would be a better data source. Also, where’s the HR?? There’s like one. Also also, I can’t take seriously any list that still includes authors that have been proven to be shit human beings **cough cough LJ Shen**.


message 15: by JenReadsRomance (new)

JenReadsRomance I have some thoughts over on twitter, but God save us from these terrible lists.

https://twitter.com/JenReadsRomance/s...


message 16: by MJ (new)

MJ Your criteria for how you arrived at this list is beyond ridiculous. Not that I don't agree with some of the choices but using 'want to read' as the basis of the voting? Oh c'mon.


message 17: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Crow Chris wrote: "The placement of Red, White and Royal Blue is just right." :)


message 18: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Sad not to see LGBT represented


message 19: by Christen (last edited Feb 02, 2021 12:29PM) (new)

Christen All I see is mostly RomComs or want to be RomComs. Which is fine; I have read a lot of these. But this list is not representative of the WHOLE Romance genre. This info is based on "Want to Read," which is not great data, and one could argue not data.


message 20: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Yall picked a stupid way to see which books are buzzing. I have like 2000 books on my tbr and I will probably only read a super small fraction of those.


message 21: by Sally (new)

Sally Buckley Pamela wrote: "Sad not to see LGBT represented"

literally the top book is lgbt...


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica H From everything I have seen In Five Years is not even properly placed in the romance genre. Some publishers marketing department has hijacked this list


message 23: by Clare (new)

Clare Nicholas Sparks is NOT romance.


message 24: by Lee (new)

Lee Jessica wrote: "From everything I have seen In Five Years is not even properly placed in the romance genre. Some publishers marketing department has hijacked this list"

Yes, I've read it and I wouldn't really call it romance but yes, it seems to be marketed as one. (Good book though.)


message 25: by Lilly (new)

Lilly Frazier You know, none of my favorite books were on here, and almost all of them are romance novels! But anyway, if anyone wants a good book to hold their attention even when you stop reading, read The Fault in Our Stars and An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (Um, this is a bisexual book, so if you aren't cool with that, well then you're too judgemental, but whatever) and you know, even though it's not really romance, but while you're at it, go ahead and read Turtles All the Way Down.


message 26: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia I haven't read any of these books, nor are any of them on the TBR. Where is JR Ward? A NY Times Bestselling author!


message 27: by Tina (last edited Feb 08, 2021 07:10AM) (new)

Tina A list that looks at only the last three years of course is going to skew toward the recent rom-com /illustrated cover trend or books.

A list that looks at "popularity" amongst of all GR readers of books shelved a romance is going to skew toward those books that are designed to appeal to the casual non-romance reader who will pick up a buzzy book but otherwise would not read anything else romance.

Honestly it reminds me of one time a magazine compiled a list of best hip hop/rap artists and put Drake at the top.


message 28: by Katherine (last edited Feb 08, 2021 08:38AM) (new)

Katherine Hayward Pérez The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. Finding Love at Mermaid Terrace: an utterly heartwarming, feel good spring romance by Kate Forster and the Cottonbloom series by Laura Trentham.

The Kiss Quotient is good as is In Five Years. Sex and the City is another favourite of mine.

All my book reviews and more are on my blog:
https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.com


message 29: by Shruti (new)

Shruti Chris wrote: "The placement of Red, White and Royal Blue is just right."

I completely agree. Red, White and Royal Blue is the best !!


message 30: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Hongisto Diane wrote: "And they both die at the end"
Who dies?


message 31: by Tina (new)

Tina Great! Now there are even more titles on my endless wants-to-read list...


message 32: by Nicole-Rose (new)

Nicole-Rose Tina wrote: "A list that looks at only the last three years of course is going to skew toward the recent rom-com /illustrated cover trend or books."

I didn't even notice this "illustrated cover" trend, but now that you brought it to my attention, you're so right. It's literally EVERYWHERE. Thanks for mentioning it! :)


message 33: by Sandi (new)

Sandi Jones I thought I'd find some historical romances on this list to add to my TBR shelf, but alas...


message 34: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I loved In Five Years but it is in no ways a romance. To be a romance it has to have a happily ever after, it also has to have an actual romance in it. There are people dating in this book but it is not romance. The book is about friendship and love between two best friends. I feel like this book was marketed completely incorrectly.


message 35: by Sue (new)

Sue Why on earth would you look at the books on the 'want to read' shelf instead of the books people actually read? The 'want to read' shelf is where books go to die.


message 36: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Y’all need to do your research. You included plagiarizer author L.J. Shen in this list so I’m disappointed in your list and author choice. The Kiss Thief is a copy cat of Judith McNaught’s Whitney My Love. Besides, go to Instagram and look up @romancelandia, you’ll see a lot more of work that L.J. Shen copied.


message 37: by Rez (new)

Rez Delnava Melissa wrote: "Diane wrote: "And they both die at the end"
Who dies?"


That's the title. They Both Die at the End It's a YA queer romance.

And on that note, I have to complain about the entire lack of a YA Romance list! There have been so many good ones!


message 38: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Ayesha at Last is really good!


message 39: by CamC. (new)

CamC. Chris wrote: "The placement of Red, White and Royal Blue is just right."

agreed


message 40: by Mia (new)

Mia Not on board with the placements 😬 and where’s The Hating Game? Where is the historical fiction? Argh!


message 41: by Shauki (new)

Shauki Al-Gareeb Lilly wrote: "You know, none of my favorite books were on here, and almost all of them are romance novels! But anyway, if anyone wants a good book to hold their attention even when you stop reading, read [book:T..."

This article is called The 52 Most Popular Romances of the Past Three Years


message 42: by Lenni (new)

Lenni Jones Oooh I really need to read Well Met - I've heard so many good things about it!


message 43: by Keri (new)

Keri I have read two of the books on the list, with 3 more being on my TBR. I agree that this is list is very weird as to what is the best romance. None of these would have made my top 50 or even my top 200 really...except for the one historical. I liked that one.


message 44: by Judy (new)

Judy Azet wrote: "Strange that none of Lisa Kleypas,Tessa Dare`s or Nora Roberts aren`t in the list."

I agree!


message 45: by Bill (new)

Bill Chamberlain Chris wrote: "The placement of Red, White and Royal Blue is just right."

While I LOVED Red, White, and Royal Blue, not sure why this book gets all the love when there are so many other really good queer romances out there by writers like: TJ Klune, Keira Andrews, Cat Sebastian, Mackenzi Lee, Darryl Banner, Adam Silvera, Alex de Campi . . . .


message 46: by Mary (new)

Mary Audrey wrote: "Where are all the historicals? Why so many from the same authors?"

Yes!


message 47: by Mary (new)

Mary Keri wrote: "I have read two of the books on the list, with 3 more being on my TBR. I agree that this is list is very weird as to what is the best romance. None of these would have made my top 50 or even my top..."

Yes.


message 48: by Mary (new)

Mary Mia wrote: "Not on board with the placements 😬 and where’s The Hating Game? Where is the historical fiction? Argh!"

Yes.


message 49: by Kelley (new)

Kelley O'Brien Look how many lesbian romance books there are! Just kidding, there aren't any.


message 50: by Ciara (new)

Ciara Quinn Bizarre, repetitive list. I had been hoping for some inspiration in this but there's not much here. And no variety!


« previous 1
back to top