Romance novels hold a special place in young hearts worldwide. Not surprisingly. They’re filled with drama, mystery, laughter, and sometimes even a bit of spice. It’s easy to get lost.
The best ones go further to make you feel like you’re falling in love yourself, taking you on an emotional rollercoaster that’s both personal and intimate.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best romantic novels, uncovering genres that will make your heart race, your eyes well up, and your soul steam with happiness.
These are the stories that transport you to a world of fantasy where love trumps the day.
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75 Best Free Romantic Novels in 2023
The list includes novels from different genres, so there’s something for everyone. You’ll find classic novels like Pride and Prejudice and The Notebook, as well as newer releases like The Hating Game and The Love Hypothesis.
We’ve also included novels spanning across cultures, so you can explore different perspectives on love.
#1. The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang
Stella Lane, a brilliant Mathematician. She struggles with social interactions and has never been in a romantic relationship. She hires a male escort named Michael Phan to teach her to be more physically intimate.
Michael is a kind and patient man and agrees to help Stella learn about her own body and feel more comfortable with physical touch. As they spend time together, Stella and Michael begin to develop feelings for each other. What happens next?
#2. The Hating Game – Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman can’t stand each other but are forced to work together. They are both competitive and ambitious and constantly try to one-up each other.
But as they spend more time together, they start to develop feelings for each other. However, they are both too proud to admit their feelings and continue to play a game of cat and mouse. Eventually, they realize that they can’t deny their feelings any longer. Find out what happens next.
#3. The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood
This novel tells the story of Olive Smith, a grad student in Biology and a brilliant scientist, who is socially awkward and has never been in a relationship. There’s also Adam Carlsen, an aloof and mysterious young professor in the same department.
Olive desperately needs funding for her research, and to secure it, she pretends to date Adam, who is also in a bit of a bind with his own research. They concoct a fake relationship with a clear end date, but as they spend more time together, their chemistry becomes undeniable.
#4. The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory
Alexa Munroe hires a pretend boyfriend for her best friend’s wedding.
Eventually, Alexa, a successful lawyer who is also single finds herself stuck with Drew Nichols, a pediatric surgeon who is equally single. As the weekend unfolds, their fake relationship starts to develop real feelings for each other. The connection extends to a deeper level.
This romantic novel explores themes of love, vulnerability, and the unpredictability of relationships.
#5. Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert
A contemporary romance novel by Talia Hibbert, this book follows the life and adventures of Chloe Brown, a chronically ill computer geek who decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone and live life to the fullest.
Chloe Brown is a relatable and endearing character. She is intelligent, capable, and successful, but she is also chronically ill and has never been in a romantic relationship.
She is tired of being defined by her illness, and she is determined to live a full and independent life.
Redford Morgan is a charming and mysterious character. He is handsome and fit, but he is also kind and compassionate. He is drawn to Chloe’s intelligence and vulnerability.
This romance novel revolves around two people who share a flat but never meet. Tiffy Moore is a woman in her 20s who needs a cheap place to live, so she agrees to share a flat with Leon Twomey, a night-shift worker who is only ever there when she’s at work.
They communicate through sticky notes and Post-it messages stuck around the apartment. Tiffy occupies the apartment during the evenings and weekends, while Leon stays there during the day. This quirky setup leads to an intriguing and slowly developing connection between the two.
However, they are both hesitant to act on their feelings, because they don’t want to ruin their living arrangement. Download the novel to find out more
#7. The Kiss Thief – L.J. Shen
This passionate and intense romance novel revolves around a young woman named Francesca Rossi, engaged to a renowned senator, Wolfe Keaton.
However, their engagement is not a typical love story. Keaton didn’t propose out of love; instead, he aims to use Francesca as a pawn in a political game, seeking revenge for a past betrayal. The love story between Keaton and Francesca becomes complex and their relationship progresses.
They begin to develop feelings despite their hatred for each other. Then the unexpected happens.
#8. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
First published in 1813, Pride and Prejudice is one of the best romantic novels in 2023. Centered around Elizabeth Bennet, the novel explores the nitty-gritty of social class, manners, and romance.
The story follows Elizabeth’s tumultuous relationship with the enigmatic Mr. Darcy, a wealthy and reserved gentleman. Their initial encounters are marked by pride and prejudice, leading to misunderstandings and misjudgments. However, as the story unfolds, both characters undergo personal growth, and their feelings for each other begin to change.
Jane Austen’s writing comprises sharp wit, astute social commentary, and memorable characters with an enduring appeal that traverses age and cultural background.
#9. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook is a contemporary romance novel published in 1996 and centered around two young lovers, Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson.
Noah is a working-class young man, and Allie is a wealthy young woman. They meet one summer and fall deeply in love, but circumstances and societal pressures tear them apart. Allie’s family disapproves of their relationship, leading to a heartbreaking separation.
#10. The Bookish Boyfriend – Tiffany Schmidt
This classic literature follows the life of Merrilee Campbell, a high school student who has a deep passion for classic literature. Merrilee finds herself in a unique and delightful situation when she transfers to a new school and discovers students there seem to resemble characters from classic novels.
As Merrilee navigates her new school, she encounters intriguing personalities who mirror those from beloved classics like “Pride and Prejudice” and “Wuthering Heights.”
Merrilee’s love for literature and her interactions with her “bookish” classmates lead to a series of romantic entanglements and unexpected adventures.
#11. The Spanish Love Deception – Elena Armas
This is a Spanish romance novel centered around a young woman named Catalina Martín who needs a date to her sister’s wedding in Spain. She hires a man named Aaron Blackford to be her fake boyfriend, to prove to her ex-boyfriend and her overbearing family that she’s moved on
The book is delightful and humorous and takes on the fake dating trope, filled with witty banter and romantic tension.
The novel characterizes humor, clever dialogue, and the sizzling chemistry between the two main characters.
#12. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren
Two sworn enemies, Olive Torres, and Ethan Thomas, are forced to go on a honeymoon together after an incident following their sibling’s marriage.
Olive is convinced that she’s unlucky, especially when it comes to winning contests and giveaways. Her twin sister, Ami, on the other hand, seems to have all the luck in the world.
When Ami’s wedding turns into a disaster due to food poisoning, the newlyweds can’t go on their honeymoon, which happens to be a prize they won.
To avoid wasting the non-refundable trip, Ami insists that Olive goes in her place, even though it means sharing the honeymoon suite with Ethan, the best man, and Olive’s nemesis.
What follows is a hilarious and heartwarming story of love and unexpected connections.
#13. Beach Read – Emily Henry
Two authors, January Andrews and Augustus Everett, agree to swap genres for a summer. January is a romance writer facing writer’s block, and Augustus is a literary writer who is struggling to connect with his readers.
In an attempt to overcome their struggles, January and Gus strike up a deal. January will try to write literary fiction, while Gus will try his hand at romance. They decide to swap genres for the summer, hoping that new experiences will inspire their creativity.
As they spend time together, the two writers become unlikely friends and confidants.
Emily combines witty dialogue and complex characters to explore themes like second chances, healing, and the blurred lines between reality and fiction.
#14. The Wedding Party
The Wedding Party is a romance novel about two friends, Maddie Forest and Theo Stephens, who are forced to spend time together when their mutual best friend gets engaged.
Maddie and Theo have a long history of bickering and arguing, but as they spend more time together, they start to realize that there might be more to their relationship than they thought.
#15. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger tells the story of Henry DeTamble, a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel involuntarily.
He meets Clare Abshire when she is six years old, and she becomes his future wife. However, their relationship is complicated by Henry’s time traveling, as he sometimes appears in her life at different points in time.
#16. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility follows the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. The Dashwood family is forced to leave their home after their father’s death, and they move to a small cottage in Devonshire.
Elinor is characterized by her “sense,” which refers to her practicality, self-control, and ability to make rational decisions. Meanwhile, Marianne embodies “sensibility” which comprises her passionate, emotional side which makes her act on her feelings.
Elinor becomes attached to Edward Ferrars, a quiet and reserved young man with a secret. Marianne falls head over heels in love with the dashing and charismatic John Willoughby.
Their romantic experiences are central to the plot and provide opportunities for Austen to explore the themes of love, heartbreak, and societal expectations.
#17. The Hating Game (Movie Tie-in Edition)
This tells the story of Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman, two co-workers who hate each other. Lucy is the office manager, and Joshua is the new marketing director. They are constantly bickering and trying to one-up each other.
#18. The Duke and I – Julia Quinn
“The Duke and I” follows the romantic story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Daphne is the eldest Bridgerton daughter, and her debut into London’s high society is met with great anticipation.
Simon, on the other hand, is a handsome and eligible bachelor who has no interest in marriage due to a traumatic childhood and a vow he made to his dying father.
Daphne is the fourth of eight Bridgerton siblings, and she is determined to find a husband. On the other hand, Simon is a wealthy and handsome duke, determined to avoid marriage.
#19. The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
The Pillars of the Earth is a historical fiction novel by Ken Follett that tells the story of the building of Kingsbridge Cathedral in England during the 12th century.
The novel follows the lives of several characters, including Tom Builder, a master mason; Aliena, a young woman who is forced to fend for herself after her father is killed; and Philip, a monk who dreams of building a great cathedral.
The novel combines plotlines on love, ambition, political intrigue, and religious conflict against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in English history.
#20. Romancing the Duke
Isolde Goodnight is a young woman who has spent her life caring for her father, a famous author of fairy tales. After her father’s passing, Izzy discovers that she has inherited a dilapidated castle, Gostley Castle, from her Godfather. Izzy sees it as her chance for a fresh start and a place where she can find a home of her own.
However, when Izzy arrives at the castle, she discovers it’s not as deserted as she thought. Ransom William Dacre Vane, the Duke of Rothbury, has been living in the castle, believing it to be his own rightful property. The duke is known as a brooding and reclusive figure with a scarred face and a heart that’s been closed off to love.
Soon, Isolde and the duke agree to a marriage of convenience, but as they spend more time together, they start to develop real feelings for each other.
#21. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
This romance series revolves around Louisa Clark and Will Traynor. Louisa is a young woman struggling to find her way in life. Will is a wealthy man who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. The two characters meet when Louisa is hired to be Will’s caretaker.
Lou is initially intimidated by the challenges of caring for Will, but she gradually develops a unique bond with him. Her bright and quirky personality clashes with Will’s initial grumpiness, but their interactions lead to unexpected changes in both of their lives.
As Lou and Will’s relationship deepens, Lou discovers that Will has made a secret decision regarding his future. She becomes determined to show him that life is worth living and embarks on a mission to give him memorable experiences and show him the beauty of the world, despite his physical limitations.
22. The Viscount Who Loved Me
Following the Bridgerton series, the novel revolves around Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest of the Bridgerton siblings, and Kate Sheffield, a young woman desiring to marry for love.
Anthony, the Viscount Bridgerton, has dashing good looks and rakish behavior. However, he has recently become determined to find a suitable wife and secure the family line’s future. His search leads him to Kate Sheffield, who is intelligent, spirited, and fiercely protective of her younger sister, Edwina.
Kate is initially skeptical of Anthony’s intentions, as she believes he is only interested in her sister for her dowry. She decides to do everything in her power to prevent Anthony from pursuing Edwina. Thus begins a battle of wits and wills between Anthony and Kate.
Soon, both find themselves drawn to each other.
#23. An Offer from a Gentleman
The novel is a loose retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale, with Sophie taking on the role of the downtrodden heroine.
Sophie Beckett is the illegitimate daughter of an earl, but she has grown up in a Cinderella-like situation, treated as a servant by her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. Despite her hardships, Sophie maintains her strength and kindness. Her life takes a turn when she attends a masquerade ball and captures the attention of Benedict Bridgerton.
#27. To Sir Phillip, With Love
Sir Phillip is a widower who lives a quiet and reserved life in the countryside with his two young children. Eloise is a spirited and independent woman who is known for her wit and strong opinions.
The novel picks up where the previous book, “Romancing Mister Bridgerton,” left off, as Eloise decides to write to Sir Phillip in the hopes of finding a new adventure and escaping her well-meaning but interfering family.
#28. The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After
The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After is a collection of second epilogues for the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. The epilogues follow the eight Bridgerton siblings as they navigate their lives after marriage.
#29. The Princess Bride
This romance novel is framed as a story within a story. The story opens with the adventures of Westley, a young farm boy, and Buttercup, a beautiful farm girl. Westley leaves Buttercup to seek his fortune but is reportedly killed by pirates. Heartbroken, Buttercup reluctantly agrees to marry the wealthy and odious Prince Humperdinck.
The plot takes off when Buttercup is kidnapped by a group of colorful characters, including a charming swordsman named Inigo Montoya, a giant named Fezzik, and a cunning mastermind known as Vizzini. Westley now revealed to be the Dread Pirate Roberts, also joins the pursuit to rescue Buttercup from her forced marriage.
Claire Randall, a British nurse is reunited with her husband, Frank Randall, after serving as a combat nurse in World War II. They embark on a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands in 1945 to reconnect after years of separation during the war.
During their visit to the ancient stone circle of Craigh na Dun, Claire is mysteriously transported back in time to 1743. In this unfamiliar and perilous world, she encounters Scottish clansmen, and redcoats, and finds herself in the midst of political turmoil and intrigue during the Jacobite Rising. Claire is forced to rely on her medical skills and adapt to survive in this dangerous time.
#31. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Stardust is a fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman that tells the story of Tristran Thorn, a young man who journeys to the magical land of Faerie to retrieve a fallen star for the woman he loves.
#32. Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
This novel explores the story of three mothers in Monterey, California. Set in a seaside town in Australia, it revolves around the lives of several women whose children attend the same kindergarten and whose lives are turned upside down when one of their children is accused of a serious crime.
#33. Gone With the Wind
Gone With the Wind features the life of Scarlett O’Hara, a headstrong and vivacious Southern belle, and her experiences as she navigates the challenges of love, war, and societal change.
At the heart of the novel is Scarlett’s tumultuous relationship with Rhett Butler, a charming and roguish Rhett’s relationship with Scarlett is a central focus of the novel and is known for its passion, tension, and complexity.
#34. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
“Pride and Prejudice” is set in rural England during the early 19th century and primarily follows the Bennet family, particularly the second eldest daughter, Elizabeth Bennet.
The Bennets are a family of modest means, and Mrs. Bennet is eager to find suitable husbands for her five daughters to secure their futures.
The story is set in the early 19th century in the English countryside and follows the life of Anne Elliot, the second daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, a vain and foolish baronet. Due to her father’s extravagant spending and mismanagement of the family’s finances, Anne’s family is forced to rent out their ancestral home, Kellynch Hall, and move to Bath.
Eight years before the novel begins, Anne was briefly engaged to Captain Frederick Wentworth, a naval officer with little fortune at the time. However, Anne was persuaded by her trusted friend, Lady Russell, to break off the engagement due to concerns about Captain Wentworth’s lack of social standing and financial prospects.
#36. Talk Nerdy to Me by Christina Lauren
This novel is about a woman named Eliza who is a huge fan of Star Wars and other geeky things. She meets a man named Curtis who is also a fan of geeky things, and they start dating.
A story about a young woman named Emma who tries to play matchmaker for her friends but often misunderstands their feelings.
#38. Mansfield Park
Follows the life of Fanny Price, a young girl sent to live with her wealthy relatives and her experiences in their upper-class society.
#39. Northanger Abbey
A tale of a young woman named Catherine Morland who gets caught up in her own imagination and fantasies.
#40. Little Women
This novel chronicles the lives of the four March sisters as they grow up and face challenges during the Civil War.
#41. The Secret Garden
A story about a lonely girl named Mary who discovers a hidden, magical garden on her uncle’s estate.
#41. Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables explores the adventures of Anne Shirley, an imaginative orphan who finds a home on Prince Edward Island.
#42. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
This story follows the humorous twist on Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice,” featuring zombies in the mix.
#43. The Hunger Games
One of the best romantic novels in 2023, this genre follows Katniss Everdeen as she participates in a dystopian fight-to-the-death competition.
The start of the vampire-themed romance series featuring Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.
#45. Fifty Shades of Grey
An erotic romance novel exploring the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
#46. The Fault in Our Stars
A heartwarming yet tragic love story between two teenagers, Hazel and Gus, both dealing with cancer.
#47. Me Before You
Me Before You explores the deep connection between Louisa Clark and Will Traynor, a man paralyzed in an accident.
#48.The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Follows Eddie, who meets five individuals in the afterlife who change his perspective on life.
#49. The Book Thief
Narrated by Death, it tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl in Nazi Germany, and her love for books.
#50. Where the Crawdads Sing
Follows the life of Kya Clark, the “Marsh Girl,” and a murder mystery in a quiet town.
#51. The Secret Life of Bees
A coming-of-age story about a young girl named Lily Owens and her journey to find her mother’s past.
#52. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides
“The Silent Patient” is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Alicia Berenson, a talented painter who seemingly has it all until she shoots her husband and then stops speaking. She becomes known as “The Silent Patient.” The novel is a gripping exploration of the mystery behind her actions and the therapist’s determination to uncover the truth.
#53. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
“Gone Girl” is a psychological thriller that follows the disappearance of Amy Dunne on her fifth wedding anniversary. The novel alternates between the perspectives of Amy and her husband, Nick, and takes the reader through a complex web of deceit, manipulation, and unexpected twists.
#54. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
“The Girl on the Train” is a psychological thriller centered around Rachel Watson, a woman who observes a couple on her daily train commute. When the woman she’s been watching goes missing, Rachel becomes entangled in the investigation. The novel explores themes of memory, obsession, and unreliable narrators.
#55. The Kite Runner
Explores the complicated relationship between Amir and Hassan against the backdrop of Afghanistan’s history.
#56. A Thousand Splendid Suns
A tale of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, whose lives intersect during a tumultuous period.
#57. The Alchemist
Follows Santiago’s journey to find his Personal Legend, guided by omens and the pursuit of dreams.
#58. Tuesdays with Morrie
A memoir about Mitch Albom’s meetings with his former professor, Morrie Schwartz, as he faces a terminal illness.
#59. The Road
A post-apocalyptic story of a father and son’s survival journey through a desolate world.
#60. The Help
Set in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era, it explores the lives of African American maids and their white employers.
#61. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander solve a cold-case mystery.
#62. Gone Girl
A psychological thriller about a husband and wife with dark secrets.
#63. The Girl on the Train
A psychological suspense novel featuring the intertwined lives of three women.
#64. The Woman in the Window
A psychological thriller about an agoraphobic woman who witnesses a crime.
#65. Where the Forest Meets the Stars
A heartwarming tale of an ornithologist, a child, and an unexpected bond in the wilderness.
#66. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Follows the romantic misadventures of Lara Jean Covey after her secret love letters are sent.
#67. The Summer I Turned Pretty
A young adult series about a girl named Belly and her summers at the beach house.
#68. The Kissing Booth
A contemporary young adult romance centered around Elle Evans and her relationship with Noah Flynn.
#69. The Selection
A dystopian series in which girls compete for the heart of a prince in a televised competition.
#70. The Divergent Series
A dystopian trilogy that follows Tris Prior’s journey in a society divided into factions.
#71. The Hunger Games Trilogy
Follows Katniss Everdeen’s fight for survival and rebellion in a dystopian world.
#72. Twilight Saga
A vampire-themed romance series featuring Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.
#73. Fifty Shades Trilogy
An erotic romance series that explores the relationship between Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.
Romance novels are a pure delight. From contemporary, to historical, this compilation of 75 free novels will help you engage time.
FAQS – Best Free Romantic Novels in 2023
You can usually check out ebooks, audiobooks, and physical books on websites e.g. Project Gutenberg, Freebooksy, Feedbooks, Wattpad, and Scribd app.
If you want to read novels offline for free, you can download them to your device. Also, many public libraries allow you to download ebooks and audiobooks to your device.
There are a number of apps that you can use to read romance novels for free: Wattpad,
There is no definitive answer to this question, as different people have different opinions on who the queen of romance novels is. However, some of the most popular contenders include Jane Austen, Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Jodi Picoult, and Sarah J. Maas. In general, the queen of novels is the one whom you enjoy reading most.