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20 Grumpy Sunshine Trope Books You’ll Adore

Enjoy the grumpy sunshine trope with these delightful romance books

Find out if opposites truly attract with this list of grumpy sunshine trope romance books! I personally adore this trope because I know there are guaranteed fireworks and fantastic banter with these type of personalities. 

My favorite part about the grumpy sunshine trope, though, is seeing how the two characters ultimately complement each other and help the other grow or fill in gaps.

I captured a wide variety of examples from all sorts of different types of romance novels, so I hope you’ll find one you love! There are contemporary romance options first, followed by a few historical romance books!

As a bonus, some of these are available on Kindle Unlimited, so you can read for free with a subscription! (You can currently get 2 months for only $4.99!!)

This list of grumpy sunshine trope romance books will make you fall in love with opposites who attract!


*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any grumpy sunshine trope romance books purchased through the links below. Please consider Bookshop.org if you want to support indie bookstores everywhere!


Grumpy Sunshine Trope Romance Books



twisted love

Twisted Love

by Ana Huang

This novel opened my eyes to the “morally grey” man and wow did I fall in love! If you haven’t gone down the “bad boy” road yet, this is the perfect introduction.

Ava – the best friend’s little sister. Alex – the older brother’s best friend. A classic forbidden romance with an extra dose of grumpy/sunshine! Alex is a beautiful face haunted by tragedy in his past, so he never lets anything but his gruff, ruthless side show. When he is tasked with caring for Ava, something about her slowly gets under his skin in a remarkable way. Amazon | Bookshop.org





battle royal

Battle Royal

by Lucy Parker

If you want your grumpy sunshine trope with a literal dose of cupcakes and rainbows, this book is for you! Battle Royal has everything I could possibly want: a competition that suspiciously mimics the all time best Great British Bake Off, a royal wedding cake, and rival bakers turned lovers!

These two actually developed a real foundation to turn their enmity into something more. And I ate up every minute of it 😉 For more books featuring bakers, chefs, and bakeries, check out my list of novels about foodAmazon | Bookshop.org





nobody puts romcoms

Nobody Puts Rom Coms In A Corner

by Kathyrn Freeman

The main character is a die hard rom com fanatic and is waiting patiently for her own leading man to find her and sweep her off her feet. It certainly will not be her new roommate, the surly, quiet carpenter, Harry.

But when a drunken night leads them to recreate a famous scene and the video goes viral, they find themselves recreating more and more lovey-dovey moments.

The grumpy/sunshine pairing is one of my favorites because I love to see the characters open themselves up to love in ways they weren’t expecting! This was definitely a little cheesy, but everything I want in a romance! | Amazon






by the book

By The Book

by Jasmine Guillory

A bookish grumpy sunshine trope!! What more could you want?? When Izzy takes an opportunity to get a huge win for her publishing house, she finds herself staying with a smoking hot celebrity…trying to get him to write his memoir. Beau turns out to be a much harder sell than she imagined. But as she gets him to open up and reveal why he’s struggling to write, their connection turns far from professional.

I couldn’t put this down!! I never knew how far publishers and editors have to go sometimes to get authors to submit their work, so that factor alone was fascinating. In addition, the juxtaposition of cheerful, upbeat, encouraging Izzy against withdrawn, isolated Beau was a delight. They constantly bumped heads, but ultimately were incredible for each other! | Amazon





things we never

Things We Never Got Over

by Lucy Score

This sensational romance took over the book world in 2022! Knox is beloved as the solitary hero of your dreams! He is perfectly happy living alone, but just can’t help assisting a literal damsel in distress when her life blows up in front of him. 

Naomi is left with nothing…except an unexpected 11 year old niece to take care of…when her twin takes her car and all her money. She’s in an unfamiliar town with new responsibilities and no help, until Knox steps in. He doesn’t do drama or high maintenance, but Naomi is getting under his skin in a way he can’t ignore! | Amazon (Available on Kindle Unlimited for Free!)








by Hannah Grace

A rare reverse grumpy sunshine trope option with a stoic, focused female and the guy trying desperately to win her over! This became a TikTok sensation in 2022! It’s a college romance featuring an ice skater and hockey player at odds with each other when their rink time is limited.

Anastasia’s life is working toward the Olympics, but her chances are threatened when her partner’s future is uncertain. Nate is looking for any way to get closer to her, so he agrees to help. Can the two survive their animosity and attraction? Amazon







by Elsie Silver

 If cowboys are your thing, you’ll definitely want to give Heartless a read. It will have you longing to ride off into the sunset with a hot guy in a big hat and calloused hands.

Willa takes a short term job as a nanny for single dad and rancher, Cade. She can’t seem to grab his attention until a late night game turns steamy. All of a sudden they can’t get enough of each other, but there’s a ticking clock on her job and she’s finding the city life she came from may not be home anymore. | Amazon | Bookshop.org





The Simple Wild

by K.A. Tucker

I simply adored this Alaskan adventure! Calla is a city girl through and through who’s willing to brave the Alaskan wilderness to get to know her estranged father. Unfortunately, that means crossing paths with surly Jonah who doesn’t want anything to do with her.

I was a huge fan of this book not just for the romance, but for the relationships Calla built with her father and the people in the town. The rest of this series is wonderful too, so you can live with them for a long time! | Amazon





the highland fling

The Highland Fling

by Meghan Quinn

I’m a sucker for any books set in Scotland and this one certainly did not disappoint! Two American friends take a chance on a summer job running a coffee shop in a small Scottish town. Over the course of a few months, they both realize they’re finding themselves, new relationships, and purpose that they never expected.

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the characters in this book! I loved the discrepancies between the Americans and the close knit community.  |  Amazon (Available on Kindle Unlimited For Free)





always only

Always Only You

by Chloe Liese

A rare reverse grumpy sunshine trope story! In Always Only You, the grump is the female! Although I’m not a fan of all of Chloe Liese’s novels in the Bergman brothers series, I can’t resist an author turning a trope on it’s head.

Frankie is the stoic one who takes her role as part of the professional hockey team’s management very seriously. Ren is one of the Bergman brothers who is perpetually happy and immediately fell for the girl he can’t have. As one of the players, any relationship with a co-worker is off limits. 

I love the idea of the hockey player as the supportive, nerdy, all around great guy in this one! It’s a pleasant break from the cocky jocks we’re used to seeing | Amazon  | Bookshop.org





act like it

Act Like It

by Lucy Parker

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man? Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all? | Amazon




by a thread

By A Thread

by Lucy Score

Lucy Score is one of my favorite romance authors, so I couldn’t resist including a second grumpy sunshine trope novel on this list! I love that the cover of this book literally says “A Grumpy Boss Romantic Comedy” Tells you everything you need to know!

An energetic new hire gets under Dominic’s skin, so he’s determined to get her to quit. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize he’s no match for her charm! | Amazon (Available for Free on Kindle Unlimited!)







soulmate equation

The Soulmate Equation

by Christina Lauren

I simply adored this nerdy take on matchmaking and couldn’t get enough of the love story between the two characters. Who wouldn’t love the grumpy sunshine trope + science!

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… | Amazon | Bookshop.org








the chase

The Chase

by Elle Kennedy

If you want a standalone grumpy sunshine trope novel, Elle Kennedy’s got you covered! Summer is forced to move in with her brother and his hockey teammates, including Fitzy who wants nothing to do with her.

Fitzy is a video game nerd who can’t handle drama and has made it clear he thinks she’s flighty and annoying. But there’s no denying there’s chemistry between these two. Can these two polar opposites make something meaningful together? | Amazon 







by Mariana Zapata

Sal has idolized Reiner Kulti since she started playing soccer and spent years imagining their happily-after-ever, something I’m sure most teenage girls like me used to do with celebrities! That illusion is shattered when he becomes her coach decades later.

The man he’s become is so different that Sal is forced to redefine everything she thought she knew about him. He’s surly and short tempered and barely says a word to the players. But there’s a side to him that he’s not showing anyone but her. This version may be exactly what she’s looking for… | Free On Kindle Unlimited  | Buy On Bookshop.org



the fine print

The Fine Print

by Lauren Asher

The Fine Print is the first book in the Dreamland Billionaires series, which has been on my radar for a while now. The books focus on brothers who are heirs to a theme park, think Disney! I personally love the idea of a grumpy sunshine trope book set against the backdrop of running an amusement corporation like Disney.

The Fine Print definitely delivered! Buttoned-up Rowan has his reasons for demanding excellence from his employees, but new hire Zahra is making her own rules.  | Free on Kindle Unlimited 



Historical Grumpy Sunshine Trope Romances



dearest rogue

Dearest Rogue

by Elizabeth Hoyt

Get ready for a bodyguard romance! This grumpy sunshine trope takes on the classic bodyguard / charge scenario! Lady Phoebe Batton is also a rare, visually challenged main character. I love to see that representation!

Due to her partial blindness, Phoebe’s brother insists she have a guard at all times. Enter Captain James, who assumes he’ll have an easy job until she’s targeted by kidnappers! When they retreat to a safe place, the forced time together has them seeing sides of each other they never would have otherwise. | Amazon | Bookshop.org




countess conspiracy

The Countess Conspiracy

by Christina Milan

A scientific rake!? Reverse grumpy sunshine trope? Yes, please! Sebastian is a rare man, a notorious scoundrel but also an accomplished scientific theorist. Violet knows the truth about him though – she’s the one behind his brilliant mind. When Sebastian threatens to break up their ruse, she’ll do whatever it takes to save it.

In this case, that might mean opening up her heart to this unacceptable man. | Amazon Bookshop.org





the duchess deal

The Duchess Deal

by Tessa Dare

Get lost in a historical fiction version of the grumpy sunshine trope with this romance novel! A relationship of convenience, similar to the beginnings of Daphne and Simon, will draw you into The Duchess Deal! The Duke of Ashbury has returned from war and finds he has a new assignment – making an heir.

When a seamstress literally appears in his library in a wedding gown, his problem is solved. They agree to a façade of a marriage, in which her sole role is provide an heir. But Emma has terms of her own, that involve actually getting to know each other… Amazon Bookshop.org



Which of these grumpy sunshine trope books are you planning to read first?

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