Savor One Of The Best Slow Burn Romance Books
If you love a slow buildup of tension, lots of time spent getting to know another person, and dozens of longing glances, these slow burn romance books are for you!
You won’t find characters jumping into bed or insta-love here! This slow burn romance books list is all about the leadup to a perfectly sweet (and often steamy) payoff!
The beauty in the best slow burn romance books is that they can showcase a variety of romance tropes! You can have the buildup of enemies realizing hate has turned to love. Or maybe there are childhood friends who give in to passion years later.
As always, let me know in the comments if you have any favorite slow burn romance books that I missed!
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Best Slow Burn Romance Books
To Sir, With Love
by Lauren Layne
You’ve Got Mail fans will love this slow burn romance!! There’s a similar small business vs big corporation as well as a hidden identity element! Gracie is struggling to keep her family’s small business alive when she’s approached by a big firm with a buyout offer that she patently refuses.
The company representative keeps popping up and over time she realizes he’s not as hard to hate as she would like. Meanwhile though, she’s essentially given her heart to this mysterious online stranger with whom she shares her deepest thoughts and feelings.
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.
This is emotional and bold and full of learning to live life to the fullest. Incredible. It’s easily my favorite of Abby’s books.
The Cheat Sheet
by Sarah Adams
This is not only a fantastic addition to my friends to lovers books, but also an amazing audiobook option! The male narrator’s voice is…so sexy. Anyway!
Bree and Nathan live insanely different lives – he’s an NFL quarterback, she’s barely making ends meet as a dance studio owner. But their friendship is rock solid. At least, except for the fact that they’re hiding the fact that they’re head over heels in love with each other.
Neither is willing to admit it and risk their friendship. However, when a publicity opportunity to fake date arises, they both want to take the chance to see if this could let them admit their true feelings.
by Jen DeLuca
A renaissance faire, a bookstore, a slow burn romance! What more could you want?? This book easily jumped to the top of my list of the best contemporary romance novels. It’s one of my best novels of 2020 and also of all-time!
Emily reluctantly agrees to volunteer at a local renaissance faire and has no idea why one of the organizers, Simon, seems to hate her. The two constantly clash during prep for the event. However when the Faire starts, their new identities indulge in an unexpected flirtation.
The Soulmate Equation
by Christina Lauren
This author/best friends duo is back on their game with The Soulmate Equation! I simply adored this nerdy take on matchmaking and couldn’t get enough of the love story between the two characters.
DNADuo is a groundbreaking service that matches individuals based on their DNA. At the helm is brooding, devastatingly handsome River Pena who’s commitment to this project spans decades. On a whim, single mom Jess submits her data as part of their pre-launch testing. Neither of them expects an off-the-charts result to pop up…
by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy and Leon are strangers who agree to share an apartment since their respective job hours mean they won’t be there at the same time. Once Tiffy moves in, they start leaving each other notes to communicate about the necessities: garbage day, leftovers, etc. Soon though, the notes become longer and more personal. Is it possible to become friends with or maybe even start falling for someone you’ve never met?
Happiness For Beginners
by Katherine Center
A mid-thirties, recently divorced woman takes her brother’s ridiculous advice and signs up for a wilderness survival course. It’s even worse than Helen expected, especially when her brother’s awful best friend shows up. Between the mosquitos, freak blizzard, and blisters, she’s also forced to deal with Jake nonstop.
Over the course of their training, Helen and Jake start to find something they were looking for, that has nothing to do with making their way out of the woods.
Meet Me In The Margins
by Melissa Ferguson
This is one of those slow burn romance books where you’re not even entirely sure who you’re rooting for the entire time! This is the epitome of a book about books! Claire works at a stodgy publishing house where nonfiction and literary fiction are considered the only books worth reading. 🙄 Buttttt she’s working on writing a romance manuscript 😍
After a mishap forces her to hide her pages in a secret room, she comes back and finds a mysterious editor has written critical notes all through the margins! The gall of this person!! So begins a back and forth exchange that becomes more and more personal, but full of mystery! Who is this talented, funny, and charming editor??
I read this book so fast! It kept me engaged and delighted from the first page to the last.
Eight Perfect Hours
by Lia Louis
This unique addition to slow burn romance books list actually takes place throughout the year. Noelle gets stranded on a highway during a blizzard and ends up spending hours and hours with a stranger. Over the course of the next year, they flit in and out of each other’s lives by chance.
This was a fun, fateful romance – I loved seeing how Noelle and Sam kept meeting and rooting for them to get together! A great option for anyone who wants a cozy cover but prefers their stories to play out over a period of time.
The Fastest Way To Fall
By Denise Williams
I made my husband get the Authentic Books box for me for Christmas when I saw this book was going to be included! I adored Denise Williams, How To Fail At Flirting, so I had high expectations. And it lived up to them!!
Britta is a journalist who takes on an assignment to review a new fitness app. When she’s connected with a coach, they both quickly realize there’s more going on than just health advice.
Wes is one of the app’s owners and decides to take on a client to reconnect with why he started the app way back when. He knows he’s crossing a line with his trainee, but he’s willing to take the risk to pursue this woman he might be falling for.
Sunrise By The Sea
by Jenny Colgan
An under-the-radar delightful addition to Jenny Colgan’s catalog! This story is the third one to take place on Mount Polbearne so I loved seeing plenty of familiar faces pop in and out.
Marisa is one of the newest residents of the little island, using the remote location to retreat into her grief after losing her beloved grandfather. But the solace and quiet are wildly interrupted by the piano teacher next door. The bear of a man speaks little English and she cannot overcome crippling anxiety. As Marisa slowly works through her grief and anxiety, she finds herself pulled into the affairs of the island and the man next door.
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! A slow burn romance book at its absolute finest!
Save these slow burn romance books for later!
Historical Romance Slow Burn Romance Books
The Viscount Who Loved Me
by Julia Quinn
You can’t have a historical romance book list without the Bridgertons! This series is truly phenomenal so thankfully there is a slow burn romance that fits perfectly here!
Anthony is seeking out a wife who will serve as a viscountess and mother to his children, but nothing more. He knows he’s destined to follow in his deceased father’s footsteps, so he wants nothing to do with an actual love match.
His sights are set on the diamond of the season, Edwina, but in order to win her hand he must first get past her older sister Kate. Since Kate’s opinion of him is atrociously low, they butt heads constantly. But both can’t deny there is a fiery spark beneath their arguments…
The Making of a Highlander
by Elisa Braden
Two strong personalities who both need something from each other clash over and over in this Scottish romp! Englishman John Huxley is being pressured on all sides to settle down, but he’s wary of every woman sent his way. Fiery Scottswoman Annie finds herself in need of lessons to help win over a Lord to save her friend.
When John is challenged to win the Highland Games, he enlists Annie’s help in return for teaching her how to be an English lady. Neither of them are willing participants, but at some point will their hostility turn into something else?
Ravishing The Heiress
by Sherry Thomas
It all starts with a marriage of convenience. Millicent gets a title and Earl Fitzhugh receives a much needed infusion of money. Since Millicent is quite young, they agree to wait eight years to consummate their marriage – solely to produce an heir. After that, they will live separate lives. Doesn’t this just sound like the perfect setting for slow burn romance books!?
Eight years is quite a long time, though. Millicent and the Earl spend those long hours getting to know each other and developing a friendship. Everything is leading up until that fateful night, when they will confront what’s been building all this time!
Young Adult Slow Burn Romance Books
Today, Tonight, Tomorrow
by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Two teens who competed against each other their entire high school career end up teaming up in the senior scavenger hunt. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair are known enemies – always fighting for top grades, school elections, and ultimately valedictorian. However, they’re forced to get to know each other when a group of classmates team up to take them down.
This novel was so cute! I loved the banter between Rowan and Neil and how their feelings changed as they got to know more about each others’ lives.
One True Loves
by Elise Bryant
One True Loves takes the slow burn romance books idea and compresses it down into the length of a Mediterranean Cruise. Lenore and Alex are recently graduated teens on the verge of college, but their outlook couldn’t be more different. Lenore is headed to NYU – full of creativity but not exactly certain what that looks like. Alex meanwhile has the next 10 years of his life mapped out.
As they visit gorgeous destinations over the course of the cruise, these two couldn’t be more different young adults are forced to explore if they actually enjoy spending time together.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han
It doesn’t get much better for slow burn romance books than this YA fake dating novel! Lara Jean prefers to write letters to her boy crushes rather than actually share her feelings.
Her worst nightmare comes true when the five letters she’s written over the years are delivered. Since her older sister, Margot, is at college and her younger sister Kitty, needs to be mothered, she’s on her own dealing with the fallout.
She ends up teaming up with Peter to create a fake relationship that will help out them both. Naturally, real, confusing feelings start to develop so she must step away from her romance books and face a real potential relationship.
Which of these slow burn romance books catch your attention?