Even if your bookcases are filled with the kind of Pulitzer-winning, critically acclaimed titles that appeal to the loftiest of book clubs, you might find yourself turning to more... frivolous fare during the summer months. When you're lying on a beach or beside the pool, you need a good, steamy affair to complete your escape — and the most popular romance novels of 2018 include tales for every taste.
Whether your preference for love stories leans towards bodice-rippers or literary rom-coms or those involving spies or paranormal paramours, you're guaranteed to find exactly what you need. From books that are getting serious buzz on Goodreads to New York Times bestsellers to highly-rated Amazon picks, the options on this list are among the most popular this year for a reason. Some are straight-up sexy (or maybe even a little trashy), others are suspenseful, still others are surprisingly thoughtful. All of them are endlessly entertaining; as in, you're going to have to stop yourself from devouring an entire book in one sitting. (Then again, if you go the speed-reading route, you might have time to read them all before the summer is over!)
Just make sure you keep your reading material away from certain prying eyes, because these books are definitely not the type to be included on any elementary school summer reading lists.
1. 'Too Wilde To Wed'
"Too Wilde To Wed" by Eloisa James
Most Revolutionary War romances take place in America, but this New York Times bestseller unfolds in England, where Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde has returned from fighting to discover that the fiancée who left him (Diana) is living in the "ducal" home as a governess. Awk-ward!
2. Wicked And The Wallflower
"Wicked and the Wallflower" by Sarah MacLean
Another historical romance involving dukes and duchesses, the first book in "The Bareknuckle Bastards" series is the story of a "feisty lady in need of a marriage and the bastard son of a duke," according to Goodreads, and is sure to appeal to royal gossip addicts.
3. "Pas De Deux"
"Pas De Deux" by Lynn Turner
If modern-day love affairs are more your style, this steamy story of a behind-the-scenes affair will do the trick: Mina Allende is a black prima ballerina starring in a Broadway musical who falls for her "genius" director, Zachary Coen. (The name of the musical? "Lady in Red," of course.)
5. "Luck Of The Draw"
"Luck of the Draw" by Kate Clayborn
When "cutthroat corporate attorney" Zoe Ferris wins the lotto, she quits her job... but she can't shake the guilt she feels over the way her firm treated Aiden O'Leary's family in a wrongful death case. As she attempts to make amends, something unexpected develops between them... but is the relationship doomed? A bit heavier than most romance novels, but still heavy on the hot stuff.
6. "Where Death Meets The Devil"
"Where Death Meets the Devil" by L.J. Hayward
Maybe you're the type who likes your romance with a side of suspense? This fast-paced story of an uptight soldier who can't fight his attraction to a lawless assassin is perfect for "fans of M/M romances and wild thrill rides," according to Goodreads.
7. "The Kiss Quotient"
8. "Love And Other Words"
9. "A Scandalous Deal"
"A Scandalous Deal" by Joanna Shupe
Set in 1890's New York, the challenges faced by the Gilded Era heroine of this story as she tries to break into architecture aren't all that different from what professional women today deal with. (Luckily there's a handsome stranger to help take her mind off things.)
9. "Hello Stranger"
"Hello Stranger" by Lisa Kleypas
Another tale of a woman ahead of her time, this historical romance (because you can never have too many historical romances) pairs the only female physician in England with a former Scotland Yard detective. If "Regency one-night stands" are your thing, Goodreads says this is right up your alley.