Recently, I put together a post with some of my favorite historical romances. So I feel that it’s only fair I create a similar post for contemporary. Now, I will admit that I don’t read nearly as much contemporary as I do historical, but I can put together a list of ten. Many of these are by the same authors, but I’ve tried to create a bit of diversity.
As before, these are listed in no particular oder. I enjoyed them all.
1. MY STUBBORN HEART by Becky Wade
This is one of the first contemporary romances that I really got invested into. It might have something to do with the historical elements Becky Wade throws in. Like the antique shop scene! I love it. And most of the story take place at an old house the MCs are restoring.
But really. This book is adorable. A hockey player and an antique furniture enthusiast. Who would have thought? Bring them together as you have amazing tension. They both have reasons to be reluctant, but the sparks are undeniable. Very naturally written chemistry.
2. MY FOOLISH HEART by Susan May Warren
Similar title, but very different story. I just loved the premise when I saw it in my church library. I was immediately intrigued and this story did not let me down. Next door neighbors fall for each other, except she has experienced trauma that prevents her from leaving her home, and he’s getting advice on flirting with his neighbor from a radio host who, turns out, is his neighbor.
So many great themes throughout the novel, especially regarding perception and honesty. This one is very quirky and fun. A lighthearted read with good depth.
3. NANTUCKET LOVE STORIES by Denise Hunter
You’ve probably seen The Convenient Groom on Hallmark Channel, but did you know it was a book? Of course… the book is better. And different. Hallmark changed a few things.
I’ve read three out of four in the series (still haven’t gotten around to Driftwood Lane). And like so many other series, I read them out of order, starting with The Convenient Groom, then Surrender Bay, followed by Seaside Letters. But since the books are stand alone for the most part, you can theoretically read them in whatever order you like. For arranged marriages, book #2. For best friends with the hope of more, book #1. And for longstanding crushes, book #3. I can’t speak for book #4. Forgive me.
4. PORTER FAMILY NOVELS by Becky Wade
Once again, I have yet to finish this series, but I can tell you, books 2 & 3 come with my highest recommendation. If you haven’t already figured this out, I really like Becky Wade.
Books fall into categories of sorts. Meant to be Mine is an estranged spouses story. After getting married in Las Vegas on a whim and regretting it the next day, Ty and Celia haven’t seen each other since that fateful weekend, but neither have they gotten divorced. And little does Ty know, there’s a daughter to consider. So good!
A Love Like Ours is more of a friends with the hope of more type of story. It’s been years, but from the first moment, you can tell Jake and Lyndie need each other – just one problem, Jake’s experiences overseas killed his faith and left him with some gnarly scars. And Lyndie, well, she might have to put her heart on hold until Jake can work things out with God.
5. CHAPEL SPRINGS ROMANCES by Denise Hunter
Starting to figure out who my favorite contemporary authors are yet?
Once again… I haven’t finished the series, but I’ve read a couple of these. But this one is fun. Hunter keeps it within the family for this series, following the McKinley siblings through the ups and downs of their loves and marriages. There’s a little bit of everything from divorcees reuniting to unplanned pregnancies. All of it coming together in heartfelt inspirational romance.
6. WHEN I FALL IN LOVE by Susan May Warren
Now, I’m well aware that this is an entire series, but I’ve only read this one and part of another one.
Anyways. This one broke my heart a little bit. There’s some pretty deep issues on both sides including illness and fearfulness. But as you go through the book, you’ll start shouting, “Get over yourselves and just be together!” It’s one of those. And I love those. Because you know deep down, they can find it in themselves to put their reservations aside and make it work because they’re just so darn good together. But what would fiction be worth if the author didn’t drag things out a bit?
7. ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck
A roommate lent me this on in college. I hadn’t read a prince story since The Princess by Lori Wick, so I was intrigued. And it just became a Hallmark movie, so there. I think that speaks for itself.
Though I did not picture Megan Park as Susanna. And for the record… her family owns a restaurant. And I pictured the setting as much more… “east coast beachy.”
But this one was plenty adorable and the whole thing with the tree is so very sweet.
8. SUMMER HABOR NOVELS by Denise Hunter
Clearly, I read a lot of Denise Hunter when I’m in the mood for contemporary. Anyways. Just a Kiss was my personal favorite from this series with The Goodbye Bride at a close second. Actually, The Goodbye Bride was really funny. I haven’t read many amnesia stories, but this one was fun. Imagine your ex-fiancee shows up on your doorstep but doesn’t remember that she’s your ex. And then, Just a Kiss was another friends with the hope of more story. They kissed and now it’s awkward is the best sort of way.
Read any of them, you’ll love them.
9. TRUE TO YOU by Becky Wade
There are more books in this series and I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m looking forward to reading them. I saw True to You in my Amazon recommendations and couldn’t resist. I downloaded a kindle preview and then felt compelled to buy the book. I needed to know how it ended… with the romance, adoption research… all that jazz.
This one was so good for my historical soul. Nora (what an amazing name). She runs a historical village. Eek. I want one. And then there’s her Navy Seal crush. Any Downton Abbey fans might enjoy this one too. Nora is a big fan of period dramas and tea.
10. SWEETBRIAR COTTAGE by Denise Hunter
I really should read more widely, but I just love these authors.
This one is a recent release (2017), so I stumbled across it when the author began her Facebook promotion.
This one reads differently than most, in than it goes back and forth between the past and the present as spouses Noah and Josephine are snowed in and left to contemplate what went wrong in their relationship, and could they still make it work?
More serious than some of her other books, but definitely worth reading.
So there you have it. I don’t read as much contemporary as I do historical, but these were all absolutely amazing. There’s a few on my “to be read” list, I may list some additions to my current ten, and if some of you have suggestions, please let me know. But for now, these are the books that come with my highest approval. Which is saying something, because I’m a picky reader.