It may be a relatively new literary category, but there’s a wealth of great new adult stories to be read. We can confidently say that these are the best of the best new adult romance novels.
These contemporary romance novels differ from their adult and YA counterparts in that they feature the lives and stories of twentysomethings just joining the work force and figuring out who they are as independent adults.
These romance books many times also feature contemplations of mental health, financial insecurity, and… well… “adulting,” as it were. While they’re very much romance novels, they’re moreso novels that capture what it’s like to be a, well, new adult, in modern times.
That’s not to say that the way these novels approach sex, sexuality, and emotional growth isn’t just as important. Each of the new adult books below have beautifully-written scenes of emotion, passion, and intimacy. They’ll make your heart race, soar, and stutter. They will also strengthen your belief in love and deep connections with others.
New adult books reflect what it’s like to be a twentysomething trying to make it in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world. They marry all of the best aspects of YA novels (relatable protagonists and journeys of self-discovery, just to name a couple) with more adult themes and situations. They’re truly the best of both worlds.
Whether you’re new to the genre or you’re just looking for new books to add to your to-read pile, these are the best new adult romance novels that absolutely everyone should read (at least once).
‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuisiton
You know how you can tell that this is one of the best new adult romance novels? By the fact that every Hypable writer who has read Red, White & Royal Blue hasn’t been able to stop screaming about it. This book is one of our favorites of the year, if not of all time. Equal parts heart-wrenching and triumphant, this book follows two young men as they try to make their ways in the world. It’s a beautiful queer romance that’s not to be missed.
‘Until the Last Star Fades’ by Jacquelyn Middleton
It’s no secret how much we love Jacquelyn Middleton’s Until the Last Star Fades. It’s a beautiful story of love in all of its forms and just precious our relationships with others are. This novel’s main couple will make you feel a wide range of emotions, causing your heart to sink and soar repeatedly. In addition to these heart-pounding depictions of love, the novel also does an excellent job discussing mental health and the importance of addressing it head on. Until the Last Star Fades will always be one of our favorite romance titles and we’ll be suggesting it to everyone for years to come.
‘The Deal’ by Elle Kennedy
When it comes to the best new adult romance books, this is one of the ones we’ve seen being vehemently recommended most often. Like most great rom-coms and love stories, this one starts with a bargain (trading much-needed tutoring for a bit of arm candy to make another guy jealous) and ends with one of the best whirlwind romances you’ll ever read. Though this one takes place with college-aged lovers (and therefore speaks to the younger end of twentysomething readers), it has a lot of heart to it.
‘My Oxford Year’ by Julia Whelan
Fans of books set in the United Kingdom won’t be able to put this one down. Caught between two potential futures, the main protagonist of My Oxford Year is someone that many readers can easily relate to. And the romance? It will surely take your breath away and give you all of the feels. Plus, it’s hard not to love the book’s charming and lovely British setting. This story is a touching one that’ll stick with you long after you’ve finished it.
‘The Bookish Life of Nina Hill’ by Abbi Waxman
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is the perfect new adult romance book for bookworms. Why? Because it’s about romance and love in many forms: romantic, friendship, familial, and even just for storytelling. This novel may not be as steamy as others (and may “fade to black” the few times that it seems like an intimate scene is inevitable, it’s wonderfully sweet and heartfelt. That and it’s really hard not to relate to a protagonist who’s busiest on her free nights because those are reserved for devouring a good book.
‘The Year We Fell Down’ by Sarina Bowen
Like The Deal by Elle Kennedy, this is one of the most highly recommended new adult romance novels. Centering upon two individuals whose injuries are keeping them from playing hockey, this story has its fair share of swoon-worthy and awkward moments. Though the main couple may seem like they couldn’t be more different, it’s their differences that allows them to see that they’re more alike than they thought. The protagonists may still be in college, but there’s a lot here that even later twentysomethings can relate to.
What new adult romance novels have *you* read and loved?
Filled with swoon-worthy moments and a whole lot of heart, Jacquelyn Middleton’s Say Hello, Kiss Goodbye is a steamy, intoxicating romance that you won’t be able to get enough of.
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