I feel like there’s a lot of people who struggle with where to start with romance novels or are lost about what to read next. So, I decided to do something about it. I’ve linked to my GoodReads page if you’re curious about what I’m reading this year, but I wanted to offer some recommendations for those in need of directions. They’ll be divided into two sections: The Gateway Drugs (the recommendations for newbies—these are broken down by preferences) and The General (the omg so good everyone should read them books).

Note: nonbinary/trans/genderqueer friends (and everyone else) pick which sounds best. Just broke it down by gender-identifiers to signify tone.

Gateway Drugs

Sports Fan - Male

The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

Flirting with Fire by Kate Meader

See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson

Sports Fan - Female

Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley

It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Playing to Win by Jaci Burton

Geeks - Female

A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Geeks - Male

Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

Night of Fire by Nico Rosso

Status Update by Annabeth Albert

Dark/Thriller/Suspense - Male

Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

Naked in Death by JD Robb

Dark/Thriller/Suspense - Female

The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

The Collector by Nora Roberts

History Buff - Male

His Very Own Girl by Carrie Lofty

Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

The Chief by Monica McCarty

History Buff - Female

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Other Entry Level Books

The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

General Awesomeness

Note: The full series for all of these books are amazing.

These are just starting points.

The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Silk is For Seduction by Loretta Chase

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

Something About You by Julie James

What A Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole