Get Swept Away with These 15 New Travel Romances

Posted by Sharon on July 19, 2021

Haven't had a chance to pull out that passport in over a year? Yeah, we feel you. Luckily for all of us, these 15 new romances published since January really put the "escape" in "escapism."

Each novel features a protagonist or two stepping outside of their comfort zones and finding both love and adventure far away from home. So if you're longing for a summer getaway, add these fictional flights of fancy to your Want to Read shelf and enjoy some new scenery without ever leaving your couch!

Where are we going? The Scottish Highlands

Birdy Finch, walking human disaster with a quintessentially rom-com name, finds herself in her worst predicament yet when she takes a job at a luxury Scottish hotel impersonating her best friend (and world-class sommelier) Heather. How hard can it be to recommend wine? Very hard, it turns out. Especially with a hot chef distracting her at every turn. 

Come for Birdy's Fleabag-esque shenanigans; stay for the lush descriptions of food, wine, and the Scottish countryside.

Where are we going? Charleston, South Carolina

Stop us if you've heard this one before: A New York City career woman on the verge of a major life change has to head back to her home in the South. Don't worry, though. Preslaysa Williams' destination romance covers a lot of new ground with a love story between a wedding dress designer and a military vet turned bridal boutique owner.

Come for the Charleston setting; stay for the chaste romance that also tackles cultural appropriation, chronic illness, and widowerhood.

Where are we going? The Galapagos Islands

All aboard this enemies-to-lovers romance that features the safest cruise you'll take all season! Henley Evans and Graeme Crawford-Collins are locked in an epic office rivalry—despite never having met in person. When they both come up for the same promotion, their boss sends them on a survival-of-the-fittest-style nautical journey to Darwin's famous islands.

Come for the indignities of forced workplace merriment; stay for the sun, sand, and iguanas.

Where are we going? Key West

High school sweethearts Annamaría Navarro and Alejandro Miranda always planned to see the world together, until a family tragedy forced her to stay behind while he took off for other shores (yeah, we'd be pretty mad about that, too). Years later, he's back home to recuperate after an on-the-job accident. Will Annamaría give him a second chance? Or have these two lovebirds missed the boat on love?

Come for the clear blue waters; stay for the characters' Cuban American families.

Where are we going? On a transatlantic sea voyage

Alyssa Cole's latest romance puts the fantasy in "fantasy vacation," offering a sapphic Anastasia retelling in the universe of Cole's Runaway Royals series (think a world just like ours but with some additional made-up countries). Beznaria Chetchevaliere has the unenviable task of locating the lost heir of the Ibaranian kingdom, who just might be a down-on-her-luck people pleaser living in...New Jersey?

Come for the "there's only one bed" hijinks; stay for Cole's lovable characters.

Where are we going? Palm Springs, Nashville, San Francisco, Tuscany, and more destinations

College besties and longtime travel buddies Poppy and Alex haven't spoken since their disastrous trip to Croatia two years ago. Poppy is determined to salvage their friendship with one last perfect vacation in Palm Springs, but desert heat, broken air-conditioning, and their very complicated past might foil her plans.

Come for flashbacks to Alex and Poppy's trips of yore that will scratch that travel itch; stay for mutual pining and millennials finding themselves.

Where are we going? Spain

When a little white lie takes on a life of its own, Catalina Martín needs to find a date to a family destination wedding—fast. Enter one Aaron Blackford, Superman look-alike and Lina's least favorite colleague. This slow-burn debut romance draws high praise from fans of Mariana Zapata and The Hating Game.

Come for the fake-dating setup; stay for declarations of love by way of fish tacos.

Where are we going? Belize

A flight attendant ready to hang up her wings and the sexy ex-pilot she loves to hate find themselves stranded at a luxury resort for a weekend of rum punch and tropical hilarity.

Come for the fruity cocktails and rom-com misunderstandings; stay for the realistic portrayal of airline life, as author Lacie Waldon pulls double duty as a flight attendant herself.

Where are we going? A sailing trip through the Caribbean

A woman still grieving the death of her fiancé decides to embark, solo, on the epic sailing adventure they'd always planned to take. But a dangerous night early on nearly capsizes her plans, leading her to hire a professional sailor as co-captain. Can close quarters and teamwork lead to a second shot at love? Winds look favorable.

Come for the island hopping; stay for the emotional depiction of loss and fresh starts.

Where are we going? London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and more destinations

After ending a long-term relationship, dependable, risk-averse Noni Blake decides it's high time to put herself first and go on a "pleasure quest" (think the R-rated version of a bucket list). Her Eat, Play, Love adventures take her to several European cities and into the arms of several different lovers.

Come for sexy Viking tattoo artists and big-city life; stay for the bisexual representation and body positivity.

Where are we going? New Zealand 

Harper Ryland is a food stylist, which has to be one of the coolest rom-com jobs available. She's also on a self-imposed man ban after a tough breakup, which makes it particularly easy for her to turn down Manny Gomes when they clash at a wedding. But when Manny shows up again at Harper's first big international gig and offers to help after her assistant flaked out? Well, Harper might just allow herself a cheat day or two.

Come for the mouthwatering descriptions of food; stay for the sizzling chemistry.

Where are we going? Hollywood and the French Riviera

Actress Win Tagore and millionaire playboy Leo Milanowski's relationship is the stuff of A-list gossip legend. Too bad it's all fake, staged for the benefit of her career and to distract from his family dysfunction. Seven years into their arrangement, Win and Leo suddenly find the behind-the-scenes friendship they've developed on the verge of collapsing. Will these two call it quits for good? Or up the ante by taking a real shot at romance?

Come for the jet-setting lifestyle; stay for the critique of our collective celebrity obsession.

Where are we going? Northumberland, England

A working vacation where the vacation takes place in a small English town and the work involves a job at a bookstore specializing in Shakespeare? Sounds like a dream trip for most Goodreaders! The lucky traveler in this romance is one Evie Starling, who trades in the bustle of Chicago for an extended overseas holiday.

Come for the rolling hillsides; stay for the hunky farmer love interest and charming villagers.

Where are we going? Saba Island

Homebody Marin Cole allows herself to be talked into a weeklong tropical adventure with her wild-child sister Sadie, only to get stranded with a sexy stranger when Sadie misses their flight. Sounds like a classic rom-com setup, right? But this novel plumbs additional depths in its exploration of Marin and Sadie's relationship. Warning: Stock up on tissues before you embark.

Come for the luxurious spa vibes; stay for the celebration of sisterly bonds.

Where are we going? Maine and London

Here's a two-for-one destination deal for fans of The Flatshare: Thirty-somethings Cassie and James swap homes for a few months, sight unseen. She gets to work on her next children's book series in his swanky central London apartment; he gets to unwind from a stressful job at her island cottage with...alpacas?

Come for the fish-out-of-water scenarios; stay for the long-distance romance that blooms via emails and text messages.

Have you picked up a good travel romance lately? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
Red-Hot Romance Reading for July
A Reading List for Exhausted and Fed-Up Women
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of July

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill Would be nice to see an MM romance here--just one!

message 2: by Fiona (new)

Fiona What is MM romance?

message 3: by Suden (new)

Suden Käpälä "What is MM romance?"
I'm guessing, 'male-male'? Not sure though.

message 4: by Giulia (new)

Giulia Skye Bill wrote: "Would be nice to see an MM romance here--just one!"

Hi Bill, check out my fellow VIVIAN finalist - Philip William Stover.

message 5: by Giulia (new)

Giulia Skye Lovely to see another VIVIAN finalist on this list - Nicola Marsh! I loved New Zealand when I travelled there so will definitely be reading that one!

message 6: by Anthony (new)

Anthony English CL rules.

message 7: by Tara (new)

Tara Veith Karina Halle’s One Hot Italian Summer has great travel vibes.

message 8: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Yes, Karina Halle should always be mentioned when it comes to travel romance. So many great ones to choose from!

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