Most of us love the satisfying HEA (happy ever after) endings that are often the resolution of many romance books. During these uncertain times, having some sort of escape or a hopeful story to uplift us is just the thing we need. Here are some of the best romance books released in 2021 that you’ll want to add to your TBR list.

The Soulmate Equation

By Christina Lauren

“A sexy, science-filled, and surprising romance full of warmth and wit.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before her daughter was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get ‘to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

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soulmate equation by christina lauren
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You Loved Me Once

By Corinne Michaels

From New York Times Bestselling author Corinne Michaels comes a heartbreakingly beautiful standalone story about letting love in.

I’m losing myself trying to save everyone else…

As a doctor, I walk a dangerously delicate balance of being compassionate but not overly invested. The same is true in my personal life–love is a luxury I can’t afford.

It isn’t until Dr. Westin Grant breaks down all my walls and offers me a future, I find myself wondering if I’m brave enough to risk my heart.

When who I was and who I’ve tried to become collide during my clinical trial, the fate of one patient changes everything.

In a single moment, everything I’ve worked for is jeopardized. My integrity, my career, and even my relationship with Westin.

He loved me once, I just hope he can love me always …

you loved me once by corinne michaels best romance novels 2021
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The Devil Wears Black

By L.J. Shen

An Amazon Charts bestseller.

From USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a second-chance romance about love, loss, finding yourself, and getting lost in the right person.

Maddie Goldbloom stitched up a plan to ensure everything in her life was perfect—from a career in fashion to a chic NYC apartment to a pediatrician boyfriend.

When her ex, Chase Black, storms back into her life with an outrageous request, her immediate reaction is to refuse him. But he only wants to fulfill his father’s last wish. So even though he’s the man who broke her heart, playing his fiancée shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means she gets to watch the arrogant devil squirm a bit.

What ensues is a chain of events that detonates Maddie’s life—and when Chase’s walls come down, they both are forced to face reality.

They say keep your enemies close. But what if your enemy is also the man you love?

best romance novels 2021 the devil wears black
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The Wedding Game

By Meghan Quinn

Luna Rossi is a veritable crafting genius—she can bedazzle and bead so hard her Etsy site is one of the hottest in the world. So it’s only natural that Luna would convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete on The Wedding Game, a “do-it-yourself” TV show, for the title of Top DIY Wedding Expert.

As a jaded divorce lawyer, Alec Baxter scoffs at weddings and romance. But when his recently engaged brother begs him to participate in The Wedding Game, Alec grudgingly picks up a glue gun and prepares for some family bonding.

Both fierce competitors, Luna and Alec clash on national TV as harsh words and glitter fly with abandon. But as they bicker over color swatches and mood boards, they find themselves fighting something else: their growing mutual attraction. While Luna is torn between family loyalty and her own feelings, Alec wonders if he might have been wrong about love and marriage all along…

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People We Meet on Vacation

By Emily Henry

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

best romance novels of 2021 people we meet on vacation by emily henry
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Neon Gods

By Katee Robert

He was supposed to be a myth.
But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell…he was, quite simply, mine.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses. But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.

With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth…a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed.

Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her—for a price. Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…

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Marrying Mr. Wrong

By Claire Kingsley

An adorkable hot mess who throws a cocky charmer completely off his game. Plus a salty dad playing matchmaker, laugh-out-loud banter, a couch scene that will melt your Kindle, and the swooniest of swoony happy endings.

Marrying Mr. Wrong can be read as a stand alone.

I never should have gone commando in that dress.

I’m almost positive the rest of it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been dangling off a hotel balcony with my lady parts in the breeze. And of course the one person to witness my mortification had to be HIM. Camden Cox.

Sure, today he’s gorgeous and wealthy, and fine, I can admit he has a great sense of humor. But once upon a time, he was the boy who loved to make my life miserable.

He no longer pulls my pigtails, but I know his type. He wants one thing, and one thing only. A chance to get in my pants.

Nope. Not happening. Not even with that sexy southern drawl.

But I’m Sophie Abbott, and if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s making a mess.

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The Dating Plan

By Sara Desai

Even with a step-by-step plan, these fake fiancés might accidentally fall for each other in this hilarious, heartfelt romantic comedy from the author of The Marriage Game.

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancé.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

romance books to read this year the dating plan
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Yes & I Love You

By Roni Loren

New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren brings the heat in this complex story of:

  • A woman battling her anxiety
  • A man who seems too good to be true
  • A sizzling connection built over sweltering New Orleans nights
  • And an emotional climax that’ll have them both baring it all

Everyone knows Miz Poppy, the vibrant reviewer whose commentary brightens the New Orleans nightlife. But no one knows Hollyn Tate, the real face behind the media star…or the anxiety that keeps her isolated. All her life, Hollyn’s tried to hide her true self behind an online façade, but when her boss tells her she needs to reveal the truth to the world or lose her job, she’s forced to rely on an unexpected source to help face her fears.

Enter Jasper Deares: actor, improve star, and way, way out of her league.

Hollyn thinks Jasper must be joking when he offers private lessons to help overcome her fears. Getting up on a stage? Hello, worst nightmare. But Jasper’s infectious charm has her saying yes despite herself. They’re only supposed to be playing a few improv games, but as the lessons run longer and the lines grow blurrier, Hollyn can’t help but wonder if she’s acting at all…or if a relationship with Jasper might help give her the confidence she needs to say yes to every imperfect part of herself.

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Reel

By Kennedy Ryan

Award-Winning Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Kennedy Ryan launches a brand new series with a Hollywood tale of wild ambition, artistic obsession, and unrelenting love.

One moment in the spotlight.

For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine.
I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night.
Canon Holt.
Famous film director.
Fascinating. Talented. Fine.
Before I could catch my breath, everything changed.
I went from backstage Broadway to center stage Hollywood.
From being unknown, to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips.
Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic, catapulting me into another stratosphere.

But stars shine brightest in the dead of night.
Forbidden attraction, scandal and circumstances beyond my control jeopardize my dream.
Could this one shot—the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime—cost me everything?

reel by kennedy ryan best romance books 2021
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One Last Stop

By Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

“A dazzling romance, filled with plenty of humor and heart.” – Time Magazine, “The 21 Most Anticipated Books of 2021”

“Dreamy, other worldly, smart, swoony, thoughtful, hilarious – all in all, exactly what you’d expect from Casey McQuiston!” – Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and Party for Two

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The Heart Principle

By Helen Hoang

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

the heart principle helen hoang best romance novels 2021
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If you want more romance novels to add to your TBR, why not check out the best-selling romance novels of all time?