Whether you’re stressed out, looking for a great beach read, or just want a break, romance books can provide the ultimate escape from real life.
But which new romance books are actually worth reading this year?
In this post I’ve shared my pick of the best new romance books for 2023, offering five-star reads brimming with enticing new love, blossoming relationships, and yes, some steamy plots.
Some of these romances are debuts, while others are new releases from bestselling authors including Elena Armas, Emily Henry, Carley Fortune, and Christina Lauren.
Read on to find new favourite romances to enjoy on the beach this summer, before bed to unwind, as audiobooks, while running errands, or to liven up your commute…
The best romance books for 2023 to escape into a love story
Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams
Read Practice Makes Perfect for… a chemistry-filled romance about a small-town sweetheart and an emotionally unavailable bad boy from the author of The Cheat Sheet and When in Rome.
In this new romance novel for 2023, Annie Walker isn’t asking for much: just someone who perfectly complements her happy, quiet life running the local flower shop in Rome, Kentucky.
But everyone knows everyone in her hometown, and the dating prospects are getting fewer by the day. Maybe Annie only needs a little practice… and she has the perfect person in mind to be her tutor.
Will Griffin is the town’s sexy, tattooed, and stoic bodyguard… and it’s not long until Annie reconsiders what her dream guy is really like.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Read Happy Place for… Emily Henry’s new beach read for 2023, overflowing with summer vibes and sharing the story of a relationship that isn’t exactly what it seems.
Happy Place is sure to be a new romance bestseller for 2023. Why? It’s Emily Henry’s latest book, simple as that. This romance is about a seemingly perfect couple who broke up months ago but pretend to still be together for their annual vacation with their best friends in Maine.
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
In this fun new romance, Ali Hazelwood delivers her usual nerdy STEM vibes as rival physicists collide in a vortex of academic feuds and fake dating set-ups.
By day, Elsie Hannaway is an adjunct professor in the theoretical physics department. On other days, Elsie boosts her dwindling bank balance by offering her services as a fake girlfriend.
It’s working out well for her – or it was, until the annoyingly attractive older brother of her favourite client turns out to be the cold-hearted physicist who ruined her mentor’s career.
Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
Read Yours Truly for… a new slow-burn romance for 2023 about terrible first impressions, hilarious second chances, and an unexpectedly perfect match.
Dr Briana Ortiz’s life is far from perfect. While she’s waiting on her divorce to be finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and the promotion she’s desperate for is probably going to the new guy who’s scaling the ladder faster than she ever could: Dr. Jacob Maddox.
But when Jacob writes her a letter that’s actually kind and considerate, Briana realizes that she might have got things wrong about him. When he offers to give Briana the best gift imaginable, she confirms it.
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
Read Romantic Comedy for… a smart and fun story of a TV sketch writer whose uneventful love life is about to change in the most unexpected way.
Although Sally Milz is a successful writer for The Night Owls, a late-night live comedy show that airs every Saturday, she hasn’t quite figured out how to write her own story, especially when it comes to love.
Channeling her annoyance into her work, her new sketch pokes fun at how all of the average-looking, dorky guys on the show seem to get romantically involved with beautiful and accomplished women.
Sally is convinced that the same would rarely happen for a woman. That is, until she meets Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who seems to be interested in… her.
Vacation Wars by Meghan Quinn
Read Vacation Wars for… Megan Quinn’s new romance about sun-kissed days in Santorini, rekindled romance, and complicated family dynamics.
Tessa is thrilled to spend the weeks before her sister’s wedding at their family’s favorite vacation spot: Santorini.
She knows to expect sandy beaches, stonewashed houses, and attractive men, but Tessa’s idea of a girls’ trip comes to a halt when she remembers the deal she made back in high school. Years ago, Tessa promised to find her soulmate before her sister’s wedding, or else.
As she dodges suitors, Tessa finds an ally her still-gorgeous childhood crush, Myles, who just so happens to work at the resort. And despite his own family conflict, the pair realize that their past feelings may have a future.
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
Read The True Love Experiment for… the new romance novel from the bestselling romance writer duo Christina Lauren for 2023. (Preorder for May 16 2023.)
If you loved Christina Lauren’s bestseller The Soulmate Equation, you’ll remember Felicity “Fizzy” Chen.
Fizzy has built an incredible career as a bestselling romance novelist, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she’s completely lost sight of her own need for love, excitement, and passion.
Enter Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father. Sparks fly when Fizzy and Connor join forces to craft the perfect Hollywood love story – if only they can get the chemistry between them to simmer down.
Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune
Read Meet Me at the Lake for… the anticipated new romance for 2023 by Carley Fortune, bestselling author of Every Summer After, offering warm summer days and rekindled love. (Preorder for May 2 2023.)
At thirty-two, Fern Brookbanks isn’t where she thought she’d be in life. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home running her mother’s lakeside resort. And she’s wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter.
Despite spending just twenty-four hours with Will in her early twenties, Fern has never forgotten the undeniable connection she found with this idealistic artist… a man who promised to meet her one year later, but never showed up. At least, not until nine years later, with a suitcase in tow.
Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander
Read Love Buzz for… a thoughtful, laugh-out-loud funny debut that asks if the life we’re living is a life we love.
In this witty new romance book for 2023, Serena Khan has cultivated a beautiful and stable life that would make her mother proud. In a few weeks, her college alumni magazine will feature her as a “Life at Thirty” success story.
Everything seems perfect, until a chance romantic encounter during a wild night at a bachelorette party sends Serena Khan’s immaculate life into chaos.
Julian is charming, handsome, and definitely not part of the plan. As Serena tries to track him down again after that first night, she must quickly decide if the pursuit of real passion is worth risking the life she always thought she wanted.
A Perfect Vintage by Chelsea Fagan
Read A Perfect Vintage for… a relaxed getaway to a French country estate with good food, sun, and an abundance of sparkling wine. (Preorder for June 2023)
In this refreshing new beach read for 2023, Lea Mortimer seems to have everything under control.
As a sought-after consultant specializing in transforming dilapidated French country estates into boutique hotels, she relishes her freedom as a single, child-free woman. But the families she works for? They’re not always so easy to deal with.
The author, Chelsea Fagan, is also the founder of The Financial Diet, the largest women’s personal finance media company. I loved the unique spin she brought to this fiction debut.
Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen
Read Lunar Love for… an enemies-to-lovers debut rom-com filled with astrology.
Another new romance book about a smart business owner navigating unexpected love? Yes, please. In Lunar Love, Olivia Huang Christenson is both excited and terrified to be taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business.
But when she finds herself head-to-head against the business of L.A.’s most eligible bachelor, Bennett O’Brien, she realises the extent of the situation she’s got herself in.
The Long Game by Elena Armas
Read The Long Game for… the new romance from the author of The Spanish Love Deception, featuring a small-town love story with Ted Lasso vibes. (Preorder for September 5 2023.)
In this new book by Elena Armas, disgraced soccer exec Adalyn Reyes finds herself in middle-of-nowhere North Carolina, tasked with turning around the struggling local soccer team.
Her plans crumble upon discovering that the players are nine-year-old kids, but she does have one option… convincing Cameron Caldani, a mysterious goalkeeping prodigy who lives in the town, to help her out.