Before we end 2023, there’s still time for swooning. Swooning over cute romance books, that is. As the winter weather settles in, there’s nothing like a feel-good romance for warmth and coziness. Like a good pair of fluffy socks, fluffy romances are delightful, warm, and oh-so-soft.
The cute factor of romances can come from a variety of elements, like a charming protagonist, a whimsical setting, and low stakes. These are the romances that feel like butterflies. Sparkling chemistry and bright humor add to the first-crush feeling of these romances. You may find yourself cheering on the protagonist, even as they mess up and do something completely embarrassing. The joy of the protagonist(s) is the focus of the book, with heavier topics being treated with gentleness and compassion. The plots of cute romance books tend to be low action, focusing more on the personal development between the love interests. Feel all the feels and cry the happy tears with cute romances, like a good ’90s rom-com.
Cute can mean a variety of things, including sweet or precious, but don’t let these twee illustrated covers fool you. Cute romances aren’t necessarily G-rated. While some of the titles on this list have limited or no sexual content, others are cute and sexy.
Get ready for all the blush-inducing, giggly, foot-kicking adorable romance you can handle with 2023’s cutest romance books.
Hello Stranger by Katherine Center
Portrait artist Sadie’s life is turned upside down by sudden face blindness. Unable to recognize even her best friend, Sadie relies on her other senses as she works on a big art project. In the meantime, Sadie has to deal with her weird neighbor, Joe, and her burgeoning crush on her veterinarian, and her complicated relationship with her family. Sweet and funny, this romance will leave you in happy tears.
Cleat Cute by Meryl Wilsner
Soccer teammates Grace and Phoebe have never gotten along, but when Grace is injured, Phoebe fills her spot and tries to cheer Grace up. As they slowly become friends, it’s clear that their chemistry is more than on the field. From friends to friends with benefits to maybe something more, can they stay focused long enough to keep their team winning?
Lunar Love by Laura Kung Jessen
Ready to take over the family matchmaking business, Olivia is well-versed in Chinese astrology. When a new dating app threatens their business, Olivia tackles the problem head-on by challenging the CEO, Bennett, to a matchmaking game. The catch? Whoever falls in love first loses. Steeped in Chinese culture, rom-com tropes, and deliciously described food, this book is a refreshing delight.
The Do-Over by Suzanne Park
Lily’s life is about to fall into place with her new book and her dream job, but her uncompleted college degree stops her plan in its tracks. Going back to college 10 years later is an adventure that just so happens to include Lily’s ex-boyfriend, Jake. In reconnecting with Jake, Lily rediscovers things about herself. This second-chance romance is warm and hopeful.
Faking Christmas by Kerry Winfrey
After a slight miscommunication with her boss, Laurel has to pretend that her sister’s family farm is her own. During the family holiday dinner, Laurel’s nemesis, Max, plays the part of husband. When a big snowstorm traps everyone at the farm, Laurel and Max have to think fast to keep their ruse going and everyone safe. This cozy Christmas romance brings on all the holiday feels.
Never Met a Duke Like You by Amalie Howard
The second in the Taming of the Dukes series, this hilarious historical romance takes its inspiration from the ’90s classic Clueless. As children, Versper and Aspen played together but grew estranged as they grew up. Lady Vesper spends her days playing matchmaker for her friends. Aspen, now the Duke of Greydon, has returned home, much to his mother’s chagrin. Forced together, Aspen and Vesper must work out their differences and find common ground.
That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey
Newly divorced, Garland decides to attend a summer camp for adults to let herself heal a bit. A big believer in signs from the universe, Garland is surprised to see Mason, someone she met once at the picturesque camp, and thinks they must be meant to be. Mason’s sister Stevie is Garland’s roommate, and soon they’re fast friends. Garland feels herself falling, but not for Mason. Marshmallow sweet, this summer camp romance is lighthearted and low angst.
The Déjà Glitch by Holly James
Stuck in a 24-hour time loop, Jack only has to get Gemma to actually fall in love with him to escape. For Gemma, her life is just fine as it is. Then, when she meets Jack, it’s like she’s met him before. After they kiss, it’s like she can almost remember him. Each time Jack meets Gemma, it’s another chance for reflection and growth for both of them. Whimsical and upbeat, this romance is cute as heck.
The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest
Children’s book editor Lily begins a shy email correspondence with her favorite author, thinking nothing of it. Suddenly, he stops replying, and Lily is crushed. Months later, Lily needs a date for her sister’s wedding and asks her handsome new neighbor, Nick. Unwilling to share his true identity as the emailer, Nick offers to set Lily up with a friend. As Nick and Lily become friends, their chemistry is undeniable. Charming and warm, this book reads like a mid-2000s rom-com in the best way!
To Have And To Heist by Sara Desai
Prepare to laugh with this heist rom-com! Simi is having a very bad time when her best friend Chloe is accused of stealing a valuable necklace. Jack, a mystery man, offers to help Simi. They assemble and “train” a ridiculous crew to crash a society wedding, slip past a criminal mastermind, and retrieve the necklace before the vows. This novel is all bubbly, fun, and wacky hijinks, with a swoon-worthy romance at the center.
Want more of your favorite romance tropes and cute love stories? TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations is the best way to find new books that fit every reading mood!