Aah summer, the season of sexy beach reads, indulgent romance novels, and guilt-free guilty pleasures. Let’s be honest, after a year spent practicing self-care to get us through lockdown, we all deserve to lighten it up and bring some hot girl summer into our reading list, too. If you’re looking for a few novels to slip into your beach bag, then we’ve got you covered. From a time traveling fantasy to an LGBTQ+ love story to a barbarian alien affair, here are our picks for the best summer romance books of 2021. Prepare to get hot and steamy in the sand.
The Best Summer Romance Books of 2021
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
This New York Times #1 Bestseller follows Alex and Poppy, best friends separated by distance. They reunite every summer for a week of vacation, at least until two years ago when a falling out threatens their friendship. Poppy convinces her best friend to take one last vacation in an attempt to repair the relationship. But to do so they must leave all their feelings on the table. Will they be able to find their happily ever after?
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
This highly anticipated LGBTQA+ romance follows August, a 23-year-old new to NYC, and Jane, a charming punk rocker. August quickly develops a crush on Jane, smitten by her old-school mystery. There’s just one twist. Jane is literally lost in time, displaced from the 1970s. Can August help Jane find her way through time? If you are looking for a sexy summer romance book, an FF love story, and some fun time-travelling then this is the perfect choice.
To Love and to Loathe: A Novel (The Regency Vows Book 2) by Martha Waters
This is book two in the Regency Vows series, so if you need to catch up, check out the much loved To Have and to Hoax. To Love and to Loathe follows Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, and Diana, Lady Templeton, in a marriage wager gone awry. The flirtation between Jeremy and Diana turns scandalous when Jeremy asks Diana to help him improve in the bedroom. This steamy romance novel only heats up from there. The Regency era setting is perfect for those of us who couldn’t get enough of Bridgerton. Get ready for society scandal, meddling grandmothers, and maybe even true love.
The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle
What would you do if a prince and princess moved in next door? If you’re anything like Piper, the lovely protagonist, you sneak a peek! After the (very handsome) royal bodyguard, Harrison Cole, deems her a security threat, Piper can’t seem to avoid running into him. Will she let her guard down and open up to Harrison? And will Harrison be enough to protect her when she becomes embroiled in royal scandal?
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Sutanto
This charming romance begins with a murder. Well, to be fair, an accidental murder. Meddelin Chan finds herself in a tight spot when she accidentally kills her blind date, so she calls upon her aunties to help handle the situation. Suddenly Meddelin finds herself, and the body, in the middle of a billionaire’s luxury wedding that she and her family are working. The plot thickens when Meddelin’s ex, her one great love, makes a surprise appearance. Can Meddelin handle an ex, the family business, and a dead body all in one weekend?
Ice Planet Barbarians: A SciFi Alien Romance by Ruby Dixon
Yes, you read that right, a barbarian alien romance. Hear me out: Dixon’s series has blown up on TikTok and become a full-blown viral sensation. We’re including it as a bonus on our summer romance books reading list, because even though the series blew up this season, the first installment was actually published back in 2015. The books follow a woman who was abducted by aliens and abandoned on an ice planet, and they are about as steamy as it gets (definitely only for the 18+ crowd.) Rumor has it that each book is better than the one before, so we dare you to stop reading after only one.
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