The Ultimate Guide to Contemporary Romance New Releases of 2021
If you’re looking for the complete list of contemporary romance new releases of 2021, this book list is designed for you!
*If you want to see the latest guide to new releases, check out my 2022 new romance books post!
I adore this genre and devoted an entire post to explaining it’s defining characteristics, as well as the best contemporary romance novels of all time. However, as romance readers we always need new romance books to add to our reading lists!
This book list of contemporary romance new releases of 2021 will be updated throughout the year to ensure you have all of the 2021 romance novel releases at your fingertips.
Plus, if I’ve read one of them, I’ll add my rating and mini review so you can easily decide if a certain contemporary romance new release is worth reading!
*Disclosure – I earn a small commission if you purchase any items through the links included below. Please consider using Bookshop.org to support indie bookstores everywhere!
Contemporary Romance New Releases of 2021
By Angie Hockman
Starting off the list of contemporary romance new releases of 2021 is a super cute rom com that also deals with the important issue of conservation. Two workplace nemeses are sent on a cruise together to come up with a new Marketing plan that may mean a promotion. As they explore the Galapagos Islands together though, their initial impressions of each other aren’t holding up to reality.
My Rating: 5 Stars I loved the cruise setting and learning about the Galapagos Islands! There is so much meat to this story, both in the growth of the characters and the conservation efforts happening in the world.
Publish Date: January 19, 2021
The Ex Talk
By Rachel Lynn Solomon
Get a peek behind the scenes in public radio in this spicy romantic comedy. Shay cannot stand newcomer Dominic, but she’s willing to put up with him to make her radio dreams come true. The only catch, this new show she pitched will require her and Dominic to pretend they’re exes. As their show takes off, Shay also realizes her fake relationship with Dominic may turn into something real.
My Rating: 5 Stars This contemporary romance novel is FULL of terrific banter and spicy moments. I adored the connection between Dominic and Shay. A delight to read!
Publish Date: January 26, 2021
First Comes Like
By Alisha Rai
There is SO MUCH going on in this novel and it all sounds amazing. Jia is a beauty influencer with big plans to conquer the industry and finally get the approval of her family. She normally ignores the endless flow of DMs to her Instagram profile, but she can’t resist striking up a convo when a celebrity reaches out! This “celebrity” turns out to be not who she thinks it is, but the real person agrees to fake date her to help both of their careers.
My Rating: 3.5 stars – Enjoyable, but didn’t stand out as a must-read
Publish Date: February 14, 2021
By Trish Doller
A novel about a second chance at love after a devastating loss. Anna decides to set off on the sailing trip she was supposed to go on with her late fiance by herself. However, a disastrous first night forces her to hire some help.
Keane is struggling with his own path when he takes the sailing job. As Keane and Anna navigate the waters, they start to discover an unexpected romance forming as well.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars – I don’t have a particular interest in sailing, but loved reading about Anna’s journey and her and Keane’s relationship.
Publish Date: March 2, 2021
Act Your Age, Eve Brown
By Talia Hibbert
Hibbert is back with another Brown sister! Eve takes center stage in this novel, bringing lots of chaos and a whirlwind of sunshine. Jacob, who runs the B&B where she’s hoping to work, is her exact opposite.
Despite his protestations, Eve takes up residence in the kitchen and gets under his skin in ways he cannot help but admire!
My Rating – 3.5 Stars My favorite of Hibbert’s books, but I didn’t connect with Eve and Jacob quite as much as other couples on this list.
Publish Date: March 9, 2021
The Dating Plan
By Sara Desai
A fake relationship for convenience turns into something more. Daisy Patel is quite happy with hating Liam Murphy for the past ten years after he stood her up at prom. However, when he offers her a deal she can’t pass up to pretend to be his fiance, she is willing to at least tolerate him.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars – This fake relationship trope is always fun, even if predictable.
Publish Date: March 16, 2021
Life’s Too Short
By Abby Jimenez
Vanessa has a successful business showcasing her travels on Instagram. She makes sure she enjoys every moment of her life, even when her sister abandons her daughter, leaving Vanessa to pick up the pieces once again. When her ridiculously hot next door neighbor steps in to help, she can’t help imagining a future life with a husband and kids, something that is never a guarantee.
My Rating: 5 Stars – This is emotional and bold and full of learning to live life to the fullest. Incredible. Easily one of my favorite books on this list of contemporary romance new releases of 2021.
Publish Date: April 6, 2021
Second First Impressions
By Sally Thorne
If you love quirky old ladies and an office romance, I’ve got the book for you!! Second First Impressions brings together a carefree rich boy and a woman doing anything necessary to become the property manager of a retirement village. Two ancient sisters who live there are searching for someone to do their every bidding. So, Ruthie decides Teddy will be perfect for the job.
It might sound easy running a few errands for two 90 year olds but these women are the definition of eccentric. Teddy finds himself working hard for the first time in his life trying to keep them happy. He also happens to be trying to impress the beautiful woman who hired him. Ruthie had no time for romance but she’s undeniably attracted to the new errand boy.
A slow burn romance that puts a spin on an office relationship paired with all the quirkiness you can expect from a pair of old ladies with no filter. This is a guaranteed delight!
Publish Date: April 13, 2021
People We Meet On Vacation
By Emily Henry
Two former friends set off on a summer vacation in an attempt to find their way back to their previous relationship. Poppy and Alex have been friends since college, but a disastrous vacation two years ago split them up for good. Poppy is surprised when Alex agrees to this last ditch attempt, but she vows to do anything necessary to get past what happened and recoup their friendship.
My Rating: 5 Stars – A heartwarming story of two friends discovering what matters most in their lives!!
Publish Date: May 11, 2021
Save For Later!
The Soulmate Equation
By Christina Lauren
I adore online dating / matchmaking stories and this one has the added bonus of a statistics twist! Jess is a single mom and data wizard who has no interest in dating until she comes across a DNA based matchmaking service. Unfortunately, according to the results her perfect match is the stuck-up founder.
It’s not until they offer to pay her to get to know her match that she accepts. As they schmooze with investors and work through revenue making opportunities for the company, she realizes there may be a man worth knowing behind the snooty scientist.
My Rating – 4.5 Stars Christina Lauren are fully back on their game with this unique twist on online dating!
Publish Date: May 18, 2021
Rosaline Palmer Takes The Cake
By Alexis Hall
I am completely in love with mixing books and baking, as evidenced by my entire book list devoted to foodie fiction! Out of all the books on this list of contemporary romance new releases of 2021, nothing makes me happier than a baking related love story!!
Rosaline is desperately in need of some money to help keep her afloat and ensure her daughter has the life she deserves. A spot on a national baking show could be the opportunity she’s been looking for to save her dire situation. As she works her way through the competition, she’s also trying to figure out her love life.
Publish Date: May 18, 2021
The Road Trip
By Beth O’Leary
Beth O’Leary has become an auto-buy author, so I am undeniably excited for her latest addition to the contemporary romance new releases of 2021. In The Road Trip, two exes (plus two others) are forced into a car together for a cross country trip.
This novel takes place in Britain and Scotland, which is yet another reason to read! Pack up and get ready for O’Leary’s signature sense of humor and charming characters! This is a guaranteed hit!
Publish Date: June 1, 2021
Very Sincerely Yours
By Kerry Winfrey
An epistolary contemporary romance!?? Yes, please!! I adore books told through letters, emails, text, etc so I cannot wait to read this addition to the contemporary romance new releases of 2021. A woman working in a vintage toy story starts writing to a kid’s TV star and they both find themselves surprised by their connection.
As life continues, they keep writing but never meet in person. At least until their worlds suddenly collide and they’re forced to examine what they truly want from each other.
Publish Date: June 15, 2021
To Sir, With Love
By Lauren Layne
You’ve Got Mail fans will enjoy this take on a big corporation versus small business story. Gracie takes over her father’s champagne shop and finds herself up against a relentless corporate buyout. Representing the corporation is an arrogant, but admittedly handsome, businessman.
Since she doesn’t feel comfortable expressing any doubts about the business to her close family and friends, Gracie ends up voicing all of her deepest thoughts to a man she met on a dating app, but hasn’t seen in person. You can probably guess where this goes, but I for one cannot wait to read it anyway!
Publish Date: June 29, 2021
While We Were Dating
By Jasmine Guillory
A rising Hollywood starlet and an advertising professional end up working together on a new ad campaign and find themselves immediately attracted to each other. As Anna and Ben get to know each other, the initial lust turns into a deeper connection.
But, after the campaign is over, and they make their relationship public will they be able to handle the spotlight?
Publish Date: July 13, 2021
How Sweet It Is
By Dylan Newton
A horror writer and an event planner cross paths after she accidentally hurts him during a book launch. They are polar opposites but can’t deny they’re enjoying each other’s company.
Under Kate’s influence, Drake starts to dream about taking his writing in a completely different direction. And Kate may not still value her planned to perfection lifestyle quite as much as she used to…
My Rating – 4 Stars I loved the peek into event planning / writing and these two such a fun couple to read about!
Publish Date: July 13, 2021
It Happened One Summer
By Tessa Bailey
Schitt’s Creek fans – this book is for you! Tessa Bailey’s latest steamy novel is loosely based on the popular TV series. A Hollywood darling is cut off from her family’s wealth and essentially banished to a small beach town. She’s forced to run her late father’s dive bar in the hopes she’ll learn some responsibility, but immediately gets into a spat with a local sea captain.
This opposites attract romance promises all the sexual tension and steamy scenes that Tessa Bailey is amazing at writing! It is one of my contemporary romance new releases that also made my list of the best books of 2021 so far!
My Rating – 5 Stars Easily one of my favorites of 2021 and possibly all-time.
Publish Date: July 13, 2021
The Heart Principle
By Helen Hoang
A burned out violinist who also suddenly finds herself in an “open” relationship decides to embark on her own string of one-night stands. She’s planning to pick all sorts of the wrong types of men, and happens upon a tattooed motorcycle riding Quan.
It seems like exactly what she’s looking to accomplish, until the one-night stand attempt goes all askew. She finds being with him is about a whole lot more than just sex. And when a tragedy strikes, they both need to decide if this is worth pursuing for real.
This is the third book in Helen Hoang’s series, but they all can be read as standalones so its the perfect addition to my contemporary romance new releases of 2021!
Publish Date: August 31, 2021
The Love Hypothesis
By Ali Hazelwood
This is one of the romance new releases of 2021 made for enemies to lovers and fake relationship fans. You’ll get a bit of both when Olive ends up kissing the first man she sees to appease her best friend and it turns out to be a well-known jerk.
Publish Date: September 14, 2021
When Sparks Fly
By Helena Hunting
I’ll admit that friends to lovers is my favorite romance trope, so maybe it’s no surprise that this was a hit! Avery devotes all of her time to the event hotel she runs with her sisters, leaving no time to worry about a man. She’d rather hang out with her guy friends, including her roommate Declan, anyway.
After an accident occurs, Avery is forced to rely on Declan in ways she never has before. And taking care of Avery brings forth feelings Declan has pushed down for ages. If they give in to their spark, it may ruin everything they’ve built up over the years.
Publish Date: September 21, 2021
Which of these contemporary romance new releases of 2021 are you most excited to read? Share in the comments!