32 Best Second Chance Romance Books To Read Now

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Romance books are wonderful for all you readers who love love, but second chance romances have that extra oomph. After all, every one of these books offer their characters a second chance at love after life took them in different directions.

If you’re looking for second chance romance books that will tug at your heartstrings, check out these amazing books below. You’re bound to find a few that you’ll absolutely love.

Ghosted by J.M. Darhower

Single mother Kennedy Garfield is working to make ends meet. The last thing she needs is for Hollywood’s A-lister Jonathan Cunningham, the father of her daughter, to re-enter her life. That all changes with his next job. Set to film in New York, Kennedy is equal parts nervous that he’ll show up and fearful that he won’t, that he no longer cares. 

King of the tabloids, Jonathan has been through scandal after scandal as he struggles with his own addictions. When he learns of where the next film in the superhero franchise will be shot, he decides to revisit the girl he left behind. What he soon finds out is that he did not just leave one girl behind, he left two. 

One of the ultimate second chance romance books for all you hopeless romantics out there who are looking for a romance story with kids in tow. If you love second chance love stories, you need to add Ghosted to your list. 

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My Temptation by T.L. Swan

The moment Juliet set eyes on Henley James, she was hooked. After a successful first date that checked all her boxes, she thought their future was golden until Henley showed his true colors.

Three years later, Juliet finds herself living in the house of her dreams only to discover her sexy-as-sin neighbor is none other than Henley James. To say their reunion is tense would be an understatement. Luckily, as neighbors, there’s plenty of opportunity for mending their relationship—or tearing it to pieces.

Romance readers won’t be able to put down T.L. Swan’s new release, My Temptation. With a heartwarming story, scorching chemistry, and plenty of hilarious banter, this second-chance romance offers all the heat you’d expect from the author of the Miles High Club series.

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The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

The story takes place in a small Southern town and starts with Alix French, an 8 year-old girl from a respected family, trying to help Nick Anderson, the 10 year-old son of an abusive drunk, by treating the wounds on his back. That one act would change the course of their lives forever. When tragedy hit, their bond was tested and it did not weather the storm.

Fifteen years later and Alix is finally getting her life back on track as she finalizes her divorce. What she did not foresee was Nick. 

When he returns to town, Alix plans of pretending he doesn’t exist are quickly shattered when she learns of his own plans. And those plans don’t involve letting her slip through his fingers a second time.  

Read The Sweet Gum Tree if you’re looking for a second chance romance that will have you at a loss for words whilst simultaneously sweeping you off your feet.

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The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

Olivia and Caleb met in college…and the rest is history. That is, until things ended badly, pushing Olivia to run for the hills.

Four years pass before Olivia suddenly runs into Caleb again. Expecting an awkward and chilly interaction, Olivia’s shocked when she realizes he has no idea who she is. Turns out, he’s suffering from a severe form of amnesia after a car accident. 

With Caleb’s lack of memories, Olivia sees this as a prime time to turn back the clock and start over, maybe even fall back in love.

The only problem with this plan is Caleb’s current girlfriend Leah who has no plans of letting him go. Olivia is walking on a tightrope and one misstep can destroy everything. 

In the mood for a second chance romance with a twist that you’ll never see coming? If yes, you should think about reading The Opportunist. It will not disappoint. 

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Show Me Wonders by Riley Nash

Jackson Moreno and Oliver Shaw met each other in complete darkness. 

As the only two survivors of a tunnel collapse, the two are thrust into an impossible situation. While waiting for rescue, the pair form a deep and undeniable connection unlike any they have felt before. But when help arrives, the unimaginable happens, taking them down separate paths. 

Show Me Wonders is a hauntingly beautiful MM romance perfect for readers who love extreme forced proximity situations and unimaginable angst. As one of the best second-chance romance books, I cannot recommend this page-turner enough.

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Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

After ten years of radio silence, a chance encounter at a cafe reunites childhood friends Macy Sorensen and Elliot Petropoulos, dredging up all the sordid memories from their past. Now practically strangers, the pair find themselves wading in stormy waters as they struggle to pinpoint where it all went wrong.    

Beautifully crafted, vividly realistic, and heartbreakingly sweet, Love and Other Words is an unforgettable friends-to-lovers romance about forgiveness, friendship, and love. As one of the best slow-burn, second chance, friends-to-lovers romance books on the market, Christina Lauren’s standalone is guaranteed to capture your attention, especially if you enjoy stories that meander between the past and the present.

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Maestro by Auden Dar

Aurelia Ramirez Preston met her best friend while auditioning for a spot at the prestigious LaGuardia Arts high school. To the world, Chadwick David was the prodigal violinist and grandson of a world-renowned maestro. To Aurelia, Chad was everything: Her first friend, her first great love, and her first heartbreak. 

Here is their tumultuous story.

Maestro is an unforgettable contemporary romance rife with emotion, relationship hurdles, and a romance like no other. Whether you are a fan of second-chance romance books or the friends-to-lovers trope, Auden Dar delivers all of that and more in Aurelia and Chad’s story.

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Final Offer by Lauren Asher 

Release Date: January 31st

Lauren Asher returns to the world of the Dreamland Billionaires with Final Offer, the third installment to the bestselling series and an unforgettable second chance romance to give you all the feels. 

Few people know the real Callahan Kane under all the labels slapped on him by the media. One of those people happens to be Alana Castillo, his childhood best friend and the love of his life. 

After breaking her heart, Callahan swore to never return to Lake Wisteria, a promise he is forced to break following his grandfather’s death. To receive his inheritance, he must return to Lake Wisteria and live in the family lake house for the summer before selling it. 

There is just one tiny kink in his plans: Lana lives there and has no intention of letting Callahan walk back into her life and selling the property. 

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P.S. I Spook You by S.E. Harmon

Once the golden boy of the FBI, profiler Rain Christiansen is now one mistake away from being the bureau’s greatest failure, what with his paranormal sightings. Shipped to his hometown of Brickell Bay to work on a cold case, Rain is dead set on making it work with his career on the line. 

Cold case Detective Daniel McKenna is struggling with his latest case. With zero leads and minimal evidence, Danny can use all the help he can get – even if that means said help comes in the form of a profiler who also happens to be his ex.  

Spooky, fun, and romantic, P.S. I Spook You is a second-chance MM paranormal romance overflowing with twists, turns, and awkward supernatural encounters.

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RoomHate by Penelope Ward

When Amelia’s grandmother died, she left her beach house to Amelia and her childhood friend Justin. The catch is that Amelia and Justin have not spoken for years after having a falling out that left Justin with a broken heart. 

After finding her fiance cheating on her, Amelia packs her bags and heads out with her grandmother’s beach house in mind. Expecting to have the beach house to herself, Amelia is shocked to find Justin, especially when she realizes he’s not alone.

If you’re looking for second chance romance books with an enemies to lovers trope that is equally funny as it is angsty, you’ll love RoomHate.

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Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

When struggling writer Emiline hears about the bestselling debut novel from unknown author J. Colby, she grudgingly starts reading it. The story follows two childhood best friends, Emerson and Jackson, who hope to leave their impoverished rural Ohio town behind and achieve greater things. A story that mimics Emiline’s own childhood to a tee which can only mean one thing. The brilliant novelist J. Colby is none other than her best friend and first love Jace who she has not spoken to in over a decade.

Eager to read one of the best second chance romance books that features a story within a story? If you are, check out Swear on this Life. With its angst-filled slow-burn romance and swoon-worthy hero, you won’t be able to put this gem down!

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Vicious by L.J. Shen

Love the villain? Then you’ll love Vicious

Ten years have passed since Emilia LeBlanc last saw Vicious, her worst tormentor back in high school. As one of the most ruthless fictional assholes out there, Vicious is not one to hold back when it comes to treating people like dirt. Emilia has no desire to see the guy who became her worst nightmare back in high school, but when they meet again, her life will take a turn down a road she never expected. Vicious wants her back and won’t stop until he wins her over. 

For a bully love story with a second chance romance, take a peek at Vicious . . . you’ll find there’s a thin line between love and hate.

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Where There’s A Will by Jessie Walker

Will Foster is drowning. Lost in a web of grief, Will returns to the one place that has haunted him for the last decade, the tiny Pennsylvania town of Shiloh. Home to the childhood best friend that broke his heart, Will is not sure what to expect upon his arrival. 

But with his life in tatters, anything is better than going back to Philly, even if that means facing Waylon McAllister and the painful memories of their past.   

Emotional, angsty, and raw, Where There’s A Will is a powerful MM enemies-to-lovers romance that tells a story of loss, hope, and love. If you’re looking for second chance romance books that will tug at your heartstrings, I recommend adding Jessie Walker’s outstanding debut to your shelf.

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All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Quinn and Graham walked into each other’s lives as their own worlds were falling apart. Nothing about them should have made sense, but a twist of fate sent them careening into their very own happily-ever-afters. But their perfect love is soon put to the test – a test that may end with them falling out of each other’s lives.

Heartbreaking, emotional, and honest, All Your Perfects is a poignant second chance romance that will take you on a journey of pain, self-destruction, love, hope, and healing. Colleen Hoover delivers an unforgettable read that is certainly one of her best books yet. 

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Appealed by Emma Chase

When Kennedy Randolph learns that her ex friend from childhood is the opposing attorney on her next case, she is determined to destroy him in the courtroom. After suffering years of humiliation at the hands of the popular clique he left her for, she is ready to serve out her own form of retribution.

When Brent Mason realizes the highly successful prosecutor on the case is none other than the childhood girl next door, he’s shocked and insanely attracted to this confident woman. The only problem – she’s most certainly not on the same page.

If you’re looking for a childhood friend’s second chance romance with an enemies to lovers trope that is equally funny as it is angsty, you should check out Appealed.

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Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry

Greyson East had all of Eleanor’s firsts: her first kiss, first boyfriend, first love and first heartbreak. When Eleanor interviews for a nanny gig, she is shocked to find out that the dad is none other than Greyson East, except this man is no longer the boy she fondly remembers. 

When dealt a bad hand in life, some boats sink and others float. In Greyson’s case, his boat lays in ruins in the deepest trench of the ocean. Cold and detached, Grey has shut everyone out and refuses to shed the armoured skin he now gleans. When his high school flame reappears as the new nanny, he makes her promise to keep their past in the past, but the past rarely stays buried. 

For a second-chance love story between high school sweethearts who were taken down separate paths only to meet up years later, read Eleanor & Grey

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A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole

Rune and Poppy have the type of love that never dies, and it all begins with a friendship, a jar, and a thousand boy kisses. 

For a breathtakingly beautiful yet heartbreakingly tragic romance, I recommend A Thousand Boy Kisses as it is one of the best sad second chance romance books. If it is an ugly cry you are looking for, then it is an ugly cry you will get.  

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Marriage Games by C.D. Reiss

Heiress and President of a publishing house, Diana Steinbeck just asked her husband for a divorce, unknowingly setting in motion a game she never expected to play. A game that will test her boundaries and force her to let go of her inhibitions.

With their marriage crumbling before his eyes, Adam Steinbeck decides it’s time to take action before it’s too late. Adam’s plan of action involves taking Diana to a remote cabin for 30 days where he can shed the persona he has been wearing for the past five years and show her what’s underneath. The only problem? It may be too late. 

Marriage Games is a steamy BDSM second chance romance where a couple explores each other in an entirely new way that will either make them closer than ever or irrevocably fracture their marriage. 

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You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle 

In the matter of months, Naomi Westfield is to become Mrs. Naomi Rose. Except there’s one problem. She can’t stand her fiance. 

Between shelling out 10K on a subpar wedding dress and dealing with her future fire-breathing monster-in-law, Naomi is at her wits’ end. But no matter how much she wants to call the wedding off, she can’t. 

It has become a battle of wills and Naomi refuses to be the losing party in this game of marital chicken. All she has to do is pull off a prank so obscene that it’ll send Nicholas running for the hills.

You Deserve Each Other is a humorous enemies-to-lovers romance that will have you cracking up. As one of the best romantic comedy books with a snarky heroine and witty banter, I recommend adding Sarah Hogle’s debut standalone to your list.

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Ruckus by L.J. Shen

No matter how much time passes, Dean Cole is unable to forget about Rosie LeBlanc, better known as the “little LeBlanc.” As one of the infamous hotholes, Dean had his own share of mistakes; one being how he dated Rosie’s older sister back in high school knowing he was with the wrong sister. But this time, he has his sights set on Rosie and has no plan of letting her go. 

Read Ruckus if you want to read a second chance romance with a hothole that is every bit as extreme and intense as you would think.

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Retrieval by Aly Martinez

A deteriorating marriage plagued by heartbreak after heartbreak is pushed to its breaking point, ending in divorce. Two year later, Elisabeth and Roman are divorced, but neither have been able to move on.

When their paths cross once again, they are forced to communicate with each other in a way they were unable to when married. But to make it a second time, they must determine how to properly deal with the obstacles life sends their way.

If you’re on the market for heart-wrenching second chance romance books that will tug at your heartstrings, read Retrieval.

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Bitter Heat by Mia Knight

A chance encounter brings together Jasmine Hennessy and her ex-husband James Roth after five years of radio silence. When Roth finds Jasmine visiting his mom, he decides it’s time to bring Jasmine back into the fold as he exacts his revenge on the people who ruined his life seven years prior.

Looking for an angsty second chance love story with a dark and steamy romance that will knock your socks off? If yes, check out Bitter Heat

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Worth It by Linda Kage

Six years after the disastrous night that tore apart Knox Parker and Felicity Bainbridge, their paths cross once again in the most unexpected of places.

Knox’s attraction to Felicity never disappeared over the years and she is just as attracted to him now as she was six years ago.

But Knox has no plans of getting back together with Felicity.

The question is, did fate get the memo?

Read Worth It if you’re in the mood for a forbidden second chance romance between two individuals from opposite sides of the tracks.

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The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward

After a twist of fate, Raven finds herself employed at the same place she never thought she’d see again: the house where she fell in love with the boy born with a silver spoon.

Unbeknownst to her, Gavin Masterton is returning home soon and when he finds his summer love working as the new head housekeeper, everything will change. 

Read The Day He Came Back if you’re looking for a slow-burn second chance romance books that will pull you in before you know it. 

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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

The day Lily Bloom delivers her father’s eulogy is the day she hightails it out of her hometown in Maine to the bustling city of Boston. There, she jumps on starting her own business and ends up meeting a certain neurosurgeon, Ryle Kincaid, who makes her heart race and her knees weak.

Ryle Kincaid is sweet, compassionate and stubborn with a touch of arrogance. He also seems to be breaking all the rules when it comes to Lily. Still, Ryle’s severe reluctance to enter a relationship gives Lily pause, but her worries fade as their relationship flourishes.

Everything changes once Atlas Corrigan comes back into the picture. As one thing after another falls apart, tensions continue to rise and trust is slowly lost.

Looking for a thought-provoking story with a gut-wrenching romance that will most likely bring you to tears? Check out It Ends With Us for an unforgettable second chance romance.

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People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Poppy and Alex could not be more different: Poppy is a spontaneous blogger with wanderlust, and Alex is a reserved homebody with a reading addiction. When they cross paths their freshman year of college, the two head off in separate directions with no plans of ever meeting again. But fate had other plans. 

Over the next decade, Alex and Poppy make their friendship work despite the distance and always, without fail, plan a weeklong summer vacation. Everything was perfect until their last trip… Two years ago. 

Witty, steamy, and emotional, People We Meet on Vacation is a laugh-out-loud friends-to-lovers rom-com that will have fans swooning. For maximum enjoyment, reserve this banter-filled romance for your next vacation. It is the perfect beach read. 

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Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward

High school senior Greta Hansen has no idea what to expect from her new year long roommate, Elec O’Rourke, a stepbrother she’s never met until now.

Broody and arrogant, Elec sends mixed signals from the moment he moves in to the moment he abruptly leaves.

Fast forward seven years and they meet once again.

This time, they’re not letting go…  

If you enjoy second chance bully romance books with a taboo premise (step-sibling romance), then you should take a look at Stepbrother Dearest.

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Written with Regret by Aly Martinez

Caven Hunt was about to close on a billion dollar high tech business deal when he finds a newborn baby girl on his doorstep who he later learns is his daughter.

Four years later, Caven’s world is turned upside down when the mother of his daughter makes a surprise appearance at Rosie’s fourth birthday party. Furious she would show up with no warning, Caven is suspicious of her motives and intentions. 

Even though Hadley simply wants to get to know her daughter, Caven’s pent up animosity blinds him and leads to some tense interactions. When Hadley opens up about their shared past, Caven begins to see Hadley in a different light, but will that be enough to change his mind about her.

Read Written with Regret if you’re searching for an unconventional second chance romance that is not as it seems.

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Broken Knight by L.J. Shen

Knight Cole is the golden boy: charismatic, athletic, popular, wealthy, loved, attractive. At a young age, Knight took up the position of Luna Rexroth’s knight. They were a package deal. When it comes to Luna, Knight’s protective side always shined through the brightest. That is, until she decides to attend an out-of-state college. 

Luna Rexroth is Knight’s opposite in almost every way: quiet, gentle, charitable, shy, passive, kind. When Luna was two-years-old, her mother left and took Luna’s voice with her. For her entire life, Knight acted as a shield between her and the rest of the world. Post-college Luna, however, no longer needs that protection.

Read Broken Knight if you’re looking for a book that will take you on an angsty rollercoaster ride with a cast of well-written characters.

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Torn Apart by K Webster and Nikki Ash

Torn Apart is the story of four people who are intertwined in an intricate web of attraction, lust and new sexual dynamics that leave them more confused than ever. 

We have the dean’s gay gamer son Ashton, his beautiful best friend Mia who is secretly in love with said best friend and the arrogant hockey star Brayden who has a rocky past with the new young hockey coach Drew who left the NHL under mysterious circumstances. Once their lives become entangled, they will be forced down a path of self-discovery that will leave them vulnerable and uncertain of their unconventional relationship.  

If you’re looking for a second chance romance that will leave you with the worst book-hangover ever, read Torn Apart.

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Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Fern Taylor is used to being invisible and overlooked. The only person who has ever really taken the time to see her is Bailey, her best friend and cousin. But when Fern’s roped into penning love letters as her friend Rita to the town’s golden boy, she realizes that she does want to be seen. 

Ambrose Young is the gorgeous star wrestler with a full scholarship to college and a bright future. But what no one knows is that he’s drowning under the pressure to retain his winning streak. And when the need to escape lands him and his four best friends in the military during 9/11, he suffers a devastating tragedy that leaves him mentally and physically scarred.

Making Faces is a heartbreaking story of loss, forgiveness, friendship, self-discovery and learning to love oneself. Amy Harmon will break your heart and leave you in an emotional state of despair after finishing this heavy masterpiece. 

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When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann

After a wedding prank gone wrong, twenty-six-year-old Parker Cruise decides it’s time to cut the cord and leaves home at last, moving across the street into her grandfather’s old farmhouse. While enjoying her newfound freedom one night, she hears noise from outside and suspects it’s her mom coming over to check on her. In a moment of hilarity, Parker fakes a very loud orgasm only to realize seconds later that it’s not her mom, but a wayward dog and his smoking hot owner who just so happens to be her neighbor. 

Her very married neighbor Gus Westman. 

If you’re looking for second chance romance books with an insane plot twist, you should check out When Life Happened. This is not the conventional second chance romance, but it’s a second chance in a sense.

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