Best Romance of 2021

A M/M historical trilogy concludes, a Victorian epistolary romance addresses colonialism, and a sassy, sexy romantic comedy explores geek culture and racism. The best romance novels of 2021.

Albert, Annabeth. Sailor Proof. Carina Adores. ISBN 9781335984920.

Albert combines humor, angst, sexiness, and the one-bed trope in this first book of a new LGBTQ+ military romance series.

Charles, KJ. Subtle Blood. Self-published. ISBN 9781912688197.

Charles fills the final installment in her M/M historical “Will Darling Adventures” trilogy with daring exploits in addition to the series’s characteristic wit, sexiness, humor, and heart.

Daria, Alexis. A Lot Like Adiós. Avon. ISBN 9780062959966.

This sparkling and steamy second- chance M/F romance features two bisexual leads and is a must-read for those who love contemporary queer, family-focused romances.

Glass, Seressia. The Love Con. Berkley. ISBN 9780593199053.

This sassy, sexy romantic comedy explores geek culture and racism in that community. The plot yields well-written surprises and emotional depth.

Hibbert, Talia. Act Your Age, Eve Brown. Avon. ISBN 9780062941275.

Through Jacob and Eve, both autistic characters, Hibbert explores themes of self-discovery and belonging with her trademark humor and sensitivity, providing plenty of heat as her characters begin to understand each other.

Jalaluddin, Uzma. Hana Khan Carries On. Berkley. ISBN 9780593336366.

Packed with emotion, this romance is also a coming-of-age story about a first- generation immigrant. The novel is intricately plotted, with dramatic, often heart-wrenching scenes that build to a satisfying, realistic conclusion.

Milan, Courtney. The Devil Comes Courting. Self-published. ISBN 9781666276176.

Themes of colonialism, racism, and gaslighting are discussed thoughtfully and with nuance in this Victorian epistolary romance. The protagonists provide each other with gentle support and encouragement as they process loss, heal from trauma, and discover connections.

Ridley, Erica. The Perks of Loving a Wallflower. Forever. ISBN 9781538719541.

This clever novel, the second in Ridley’s “The Wild Wynchesters” series, will delight readers looking for queer historical romances.

Sharma, Annika. Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words. Sourcebooks Casablanca. ISBN 9781492665403.

Featuring tropes such as forbidden love and friends-to-lovers, this novel stars likable characters from different backgrounds and cultures: Kiran moves from rural India to New York City, where she meets Nash, who is white. Both are sympathetically and realistically rendered.

Weatherspoon, Rebekah. A Thorn in the Saddle. Kensington. ISBN 9781496725424.

In the latest hot and sweet “Cowboys of California” series installment, Weatherspoon discusses Lily-Grace’s vitiligo and Jesse’s therapy sessions with subtlety and care and doesn’t give Jesse an easy out for his faults.

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