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Nosy neighbors, county fairs, and small town shenanigans: Welcome to the world of small town romance books.
In the realm of romance books, the small town trope is a must for readers who love quaint towns where everyone knows everyone. Many times, you’ll find that books with the small town romance trope center around two characters getting a second chance at love, city-born natives that find love in a small town while on business, and hideaways that escape to a small town to stay hidden from the ghosts of their past.
Here you will find a variety of small town romance books. From suspenseful small town romances with thrills and twists to ones with adorable meet-cutes and laugh-out-loud antics, this curated list has a book for every fan of the trope.
Read on for the best small town romance books.
Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score
When runaway bride Naomi Witt rolls into town to come to her twin’s rescue, she does not expect to get the third degree from the town’s occupants, nor for her sister to leave her with an 11-year-old niece she never knew existed minutes after stealing her car and money.
With no money, no job, no car, and a surprise kid, Naomi knows nothing will ever be the same. And if not for Knox Morgan, a surly grump of a man who distrusts Naomi, she would be in a world of pain. Because even though he would love to book her a one-way ticket out of his life, he refuses to stand by and watch as her world falls apart.
Adorable, fun, and sweet, Things We Never Got Over is an enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance featuring a sunshine runaway bride, a grumpy business owner, a funny kid, a fake dating situation, and a small town full of gossip.
Maisy Holt has a lot on her plate. Between running The Bitterroot Inn, dealing with renovations, and raising her son, Maisy has no time for men. That is until Hunter Faraday walks through the doors.
But what happens when the past makes its way into the present and threatens everything they have built?
Sweet, emotional, and steamy, The Bitterroot Inn is the page-turning conclusion to the Jamison Valley series perfect for readers who love their small town romance books with a sprinkling of insta-lust, a resilient single mom, and a hot-as-sin stranger with secrets from his past.
Stella Bloom is the owner of Lovelight Farms and could not be happier working at a place she fell in love with as a kid. Well, maybe a smidgen happier if the Christmas tree farm was not on the brink of financial ruin, what with the family of raccoons invading the barn, the missing shipments, and the plethora of dead trees. To save the farm, Stella enters a contest run by Instagram influencer Evelyn St. James in hopes of winning the $100,000 cash prize.
Everything would be perfect if not for Stella’s slight fib on the application regarding her relationship status. To save face and ensure her Christmas farm seems like a picturesque romantic destination, Stella recruits Luka Peters, her best friend who happens to be visiting for the holidays, to stand in as her fake boyfriend. To say he gets more than he bargained for would be the understatement of the holiday.
Lovelight Farms is a heartwarming Hallmark-esque small town romance that hits all the marks on the rom-com scale. Let’s see: we have the fake dating trope, a lovely friends-to-lovers romance, and a picturesque Christmas tree farm that is not looking too picturesque.
After sixteen years of infallible obedience, Elizabeth Finch is through with playing by her mother’s rules. In a moment of pure teenage rebellion, Elizabeth sets off to an NYC club to let loose, have a couple of drinks, and dance the night away. What should have been a night of fun and laughter takes a turn for the worst when she becomes the unlikely witness to a double murder.
Twelve years later, Elizabeth Finch no longer exists, and in her place is Abigail Lowery, a reclusive woman who lives on the fringes of a small town in the Ozarks. And with a top-of-the-line defense system and a dog that could bring the largest of opponents to their knees, Abigail has unintentionally turned herself into an enigma to the residents of Bickford.
From the moment Sheriff Brooks Gleason laid eyes on their newest resident, he knew there was more to her story than she let on. Determined to learn more about the mystery that is Abigail Lowery, Brooks finagles his way into her life and, inadvertently, into the sights of the mobsters hunting her down. To say Brooks is in for a shock of his life would be the understatement of the century.
With an impossibly tense opener and adrenaline-infused sequences, The Witness is a highly addictive small town romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat with eager anticipation.
At thirty, Winslow Covington is light years ahead of many of her colleagues as Montana’s newly appointed chief of police. Though many believe nepotism played a role in her promotion, Winslow plans to show them exactly how misguided those assumptions are, starting with the eldest son of Quincy royalty: Griffin Eden.
When Griffin hooked up with Winn, the alluring woman from the bar, he had no expectations of a second meet-and-greet, especially not during brunch with the mayor and his daughter Winn – the new chief of police.
Determined to put that hot encounter behind him, Griffin does everything he can to avoid her. That is until a dead body is discovered on his property, forcing him to cross swords with Winslow and aid in the investigation of a serial killer who has the chief in their sights.
Indigo Ridge is an eerie romantic suspense must-read overflowing with murder, romance, and small town intrigue. Prepare for a wild ride filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.
Aria Saint-James had plans – plans that involved her twin and nephew. Not her sister’s boss and the bane of Aria’s existence. Brody Carmichael is the embodiment of everything Aria detests in a person, so how did she end up as his date for a wedding?
Forsaken Trail is a small town billionaire romance brimming with sexual tension, angst, and humor. As one of the best enemies-to-lovers billionaire romance books, I recommend adding it to your bookshelf.
When Shay Zucconi’s grandma leaves her the tulip farm, it comes with two stipulations:
1. Return to the small town of Friendship, Rhode Island
2. Marry within the year
Shay would have had that second one in the bag if not for her fiancé’s decision to call off the wedding. Now Shay is in a jam.
And it might just call for a marriage of convenience.
In A Jam is a small town romance with all the essentials of an unputdownable rom-com: a marriage of convenience, a grumpy dad, and a second chance for said grump to make a move on the girl he was too shy to approach. As one of the best small town romance books, you cannot go wrong with this must-read.
Wild child Piper Bellinger is no stranger to the tabloids, not with her outlandish exploits and partying lifestyle. When things go too far, ending with her behind bars, her stepdad steps in and sends her to the cozy seaside town of Westport to reconnect with her roots and find her purpose in life.
There she meets Brendan, a gruff fisherman who cannot stand Piper’s frivolous and shallow nature. But with each passing day, Brendan learns there is more to Piper than the party girl facade she wears for the rest of the world.
Schitt’s Creek meets Legally Blonde in It Happened One Summer, a hilarious romantic comedy featuring a grumpy fisherman, a bubbly socialite, and a slow-burn grumpy/sunshine trope, perfect for fans of A Simple Wild.
In this modern-day rendition of Romeo and Juliet, firefighter Levi Bailey and single mom Annika Haven defy the century-long Tilikum town feud and their family’s expectations to take a chance on each other.
Hilarious, spicy, and suspenseful, Rewriting the Stars is a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy overflowing with crazy shenanigans and humorous pranks. With a dash of mystery and a sprinkling of forbidden love, this page-turner is a must-read, especially for readers looking for small town romance books.
College graduate Bree Prescott flees from her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to the small lakeside town of Pelion, Maine for a fresh start.
While there, she meets 23-year-old recluse Archer Hale who hasn’t spoken for sixteen years after undergoing a traumatic experience.
Determined to befriend the enigmatic man, Bree sets out to help Archer rediscover his voice and shatter the walls he has lived behind since the age of seven.
Mia Sheridan weaves an unforgettable tale of friendship, forgiveness and love that will make you cry, laugh and swoon. Archer’s Voice is not a small town romance you want to miss, so make sure to add it to your TBR list.
Now the guardian of her twin sisters following her mother’s passing, Camyrn Neff is determined to make the holidays special for her sisters. Love was never supposed to enter the equation, especially since she has no plans of sticking around Wishing Tree once her sisters graduate high school. Let’s just say she did not foresee Jack Crane.
Jake’s best friend, Dylan Tucker, is not immune to the holiday lovebug either. When he wins Snow King, he cannot believe his luck when he learns that his Snow Queen is River Best, the new resident of Wishing Tree. However, if there is one thing that is a deal breaker for River, it is secrets, and Dylan is hiding a massive secret that may destroy their romance before it has even begun.
With an entire sleigh of holiday cheer and a hefty sprinkling of romance, Home Sweet Christmas is an unforgettable Christmas romance, perfect for the holiday season. As one of the best small town romance books of 2022, I recommend opening this during Christmas and luxuriating in all the winter festivities Susan Mallery brings us.
Adaline Kemper’s childhood home was not happy, nor was it safe. With help from her cousin Everly and her fiance Hayes, Addie could finally escape the house of horrors and move into Hayes’ home.
When Hayes’ brother Beckett returns to Wolf Gap in need of a place to stay, Addie finds herself with an unexpected roommate. Despite her hesitancy, Addie’s feelings on the matter gradually shift, as does her understanding of safety, security, and love.
Intensely emotional, achingly beautiful, and breathtakingly romantic, Hidden Waters is an unforgettable small town romance overflowing with angst, suspense, and passion.
Nora Stephens is an ambitious and relentless literary agent who’s used to getting what she wants – that is, until she’s roped into a reluctant getaway to the small town of Sunshine Falls with her pregnant sister.
What should have been a relaxing girls’ trip quickly becomes complicated when Nora bumps into her arch nemesis, Charlie Lastra, an editor from New York City.
Despite her attempts to escape Charlie, fate keeps throwing them together and sparks fly.
Emily Henry’s Book Lovers is an unforgettable contemporary romance story that delivers all the heart-warming feels and spine-tingling chemistry you could want. From its witty dialogue and explosive chemistry to its heartwarming moments, it’s one of the must-read small town romance books of 2022.
Successful ER doctor Alexis Montgomery is not having a good day. Stuck in a ditch after swerving to avoid hitting an animal, Alexis cannot believe her luck when a young hot guy in a truck stops and pulls her out.
Daniel Grant is a 28-year-old who wears many hats: carpenter, pseudo mayor, and family business owner. With so much on his plate, Daniel has little time for relationships, but when he meets Alexis, he cannot deny their attraction.
Despite their chemistry, the two could not be more different, and Alexis is unsure whether they could ever work in the real world.
Part of Your World is another winner from Abby Jimenez, featuring a 10-year age gap, a small town setting, and some hilarious situations. As one of the best small town contemporary romance books of 2022, you cannot go wrong with this powerfully emotional rom-com.
Following an unfortunate string of events, 38-year-old Marley returns to her childhood home, and with no job, money, or place to call her own, she desperately needs a fresh start.
When she scores a job as a gym teacher and soccer coach at her old school, she is hit with a burst of nostalgia when she bumps into past flame Jake Weston. Soon a fauxmance is born, but it is all temporary.
Or is it?
Hilarious, fun, and spicy, Rock Bottom Girl is a laugh-out-loud rom-com that delivers all those warm and fuzzy feels. Lucy Score Page-turner is undoubtedly one of the best small town romance books, so I recommend adding it to your bookshelf.
In desperate need of a nanny for his son over the summer, Cade Eaton grudgingly hires his sister-in-law’s best friend, Willa Grant. Despite the panty-dropping encounter he shared with the stunning redhead, he is determined to keep things professional. If only they could keep their eyes – and hands – off each other.
Spicy, sweet, and highly readable, Heartless is a swoon-worthy small town romance perfect for readers who love grumpy heroes, age gaps, and witty banter.
Walking down the aisle with cold feet and second thoughts is not a great way to start a marriage, but what’s she to do? Daisy has no other choice. She’s broke. Every one of her credit cards has been canceled. And the cherry on top of this delightful situation? She’s been threatened with jail time if she refuses to marry the mystery man. All she has to do is stick out the next six months with his traveling circus and then she’s free.
Humorous, witty and emotional, Kiss an Angel centers around an arranged marriage that evolves from a fake relationship into something real. Daisy and Alex’s slow burn romance will make you laugh, cry and think. It’ll undoubtedly stay on your mind for quite some time.
City girl Calla Fletcher flies out to Alaska to reconnect with her estranged father Wren after learning that his days are numbered. But when it comes time to leave the beautiful state behind, Calla finds herself pulled in two different directions: one pushing her to the bustling city of Toronto and the other to the brutally honest, rugged Alaskan pilot Jonah.
K.A. Tucker brings us a heartwarming tale of family, heartbreak and unexpected love. As one of the best contemporary small town romance books with the grumpy/sunshine trope, you would be doing a disservice to yourself by not reading The Simple Wild.
Jessica Walker and Grayson Parkerson were young and in love once. But in the face of Grayson’s parents’ constant disapproval, she chooses to leave him before he’s forced to choose between her and his family.
Years later, a life-changing event brings Jessica back to Willow Creek to recover and mend her life back together. Seeing Gray was not in the books, but nothing could have prepared her for the feelings that came rushing back the second she locked eyes with the now single dad.
Read Return to Us if you’re looking for a second chance small town romance between a single dad and a survivor trying to mend the pieces of her life back together.
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
Up-and-coming photographer Delilah Green had no plans of ever returning to her hometown Bright Falls until her step-sister Astrid wrangles her into being the photographer for her wedding. Bumping into people from her past is unavoidable, but nothing could have prepared her for the grown-up version of Astrid’s best friend, Claire Sutherland.
Sparks fly, and soon the pair strike up a friends-with-benefits arrangement that blossoms into more than they ever saw coming.
Steamy and humorous, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a charming contemporary romance that tells its readers a story of family, love, friendship, parenthood, and healing.
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.
For years, 16-year-old Oxnard Matheson has struggled with feelings of self-worth, loneliness, and abandonment after his deadbeat father left him and his mother behind without a backwards glance.
It isn’t until the Bennett’s move into the house at the end of the lane that Ox and his mom finally feel a sense of family and belonging.
Because the day that Ox happens upon the little blonde tornado known as Joe Bennett on the side of the road is the day that forever alters his future.
Sensual, emotional, and heartwarming, Wolfsong is a beautiful MM werewolf romance that will blow you away. Prepare to smile, cry, swoon, and laugh-out-loud while reading this stunning story of family, friendship, and unconditional love.
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 celebrity romance books for all you hopeless romantics out there who are looking for a romance story with kids in tow. If you love small town romance books, you need to add Ghosted to your list.
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 struck, their bond was put to the test 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’s plans to pretend 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.
Sweet, heartbreaking, and angsty, The Sweet Gum Tree is a beautiful friends-to-lovers romance that will take you on a journey filled with ups and downs. And if you love sad small town romance books that leave you at a loss for words, Katherine Allred’s captivating book should definitely be added to your bookshelf.
After losing the love of her life, Elizabeth is doing her best to move on and mend the pieces of her life back together. It helps that she has her daughter Emma who keeps her from completely falling apart. After staying with her mom for an extended period, Elizabeth knows it’s time to return home. Once back, she finds not much has changed since she left. Well, besides the small town’s newest resident, Tristan Cole.
Cold, cruel and callous, people tend to steer clear of the aloof recluse. But Elizabeth can sense a kindred spirit hidden beneath that asshole exterior and refuses to allow him to push her away.
Emotional, touching and heartbreaking, The Air He Breathes is a captivating small town romance perfect for fans of Mia Sheridan and Emma Scott.
When Summer Jenkins hears of a big Hollywood production coming to her small Southern town, she is anything but thrilled. But when she catches a break and is offered a job helping the movie scout learn more about the town, it’s an offer she can’t refuse.
Everything is going great until Mr. Hollywood heartthrob Cole Masten struts into town, managing to push every single one of Summer’s buttons along the way.
Fun, exciting and steamy, Hollywood Dirt is a small town celebrity romance that will have you falling head over heels for Cole Masten.
Five years ago, Kenna Rowan made a fatal mistake that resulted in the death of the man she loved and her behind bars. The day her sentence ends, Kenna returns to the town where everything went wrong in hopes of reuniting with her four-year-old daughter and earning a spot in her life. But those in her daughter’s life are not so quick to forget her mistakes nor allow her a place in her daughter’s circle.
Enter Ledger Ward, a local bar owner who finds himself unwittingly sympathetic to Kenna’s situation. Despite a rocky start, Ledger can look beyond her past mistakes and, against all odds, falls for her infallible determination and insurmountable strength, forcing him into a terrible position littered with obstacles.
Reminders of Him is a profound love story that takes its readers on an emotional journey of forgiveness, redemption, absolution, and self-love. As one of the best small town romance books of 2022, Colleen Hoover knows what she is doing, and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next.