Books are like balms — grabbing the right book at the right time can provide the perfect antidote for what you’re going through at that very moment. Whether you need a dose of hope, happiness, comfort, inspiration, courage…you name it, a great book has the power to ease worries and offer a safe haven to rest and recharge. After a draining week or difficult day, there are few things better than snuggling up with a good read that makes you smile. And small town romance books — with their charming settings, lovable local characters and signature heartfelt charm — are the perfect wholesome escape.
Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite books — both new and old — that feature a cozy, small town feel. Grab yourself a blanket, a steaming mug of something tasty (like this golden spice latte) and a novel that will warm your heart. Keep scrolling to discover 10 of the best small town romance books, from steamy romances to hilarious rom-coms and more. Happy reading!
If you like smart, slow-burn romantic-comedies…
Try The Long Game by Elena Armas
This swoon-worthy small-town story stars Adalyn Reyes, an executive for pro soccer team the Miami Flames. When a mishap at work goes viral online, the team’s owner — who happens to be Adalyn’s father — sends her away to live in middle-of-nowhere North Carolina where she’ll help a struggling local kids’ soccer team, the Green Warriors. She soon meets their coach, the grumpy ex-pro soccer player Cameron Caldani…who is also now her neighbor. Can Cam help Adalyn in more ways than one? A simmering and sexy rom-com packed with funny, endearing moments.
What readers are saying: “The Long Game is a slow-burning enemies-to-lovers, small-town soccer romance with good banter. I loved how Adalyn and Cameron have to work together to solve not only their differences but also help out a soccer team full of little girls who are absolutely adorable.”
If you like heartfelt, angst-filled friends-to-lovers stories…
Try Protecting You by Claire Kingsley
Set in the small town of Tilikum, Washington, this captivating tale centers on Grace Miles. Grace misses her old friendship with Asher Bailey, but growing up sometimes means growing apart. And this summer, something feels different between them. Falling for a best friend shouldn’t be complicated, but for Asher, loving Grace is anything but simple. What follows is a dramatic series of events involving Asher’s pack of wild brothers, a sassy grandmother, a gossipy small town and a feud that spans generations. For Asher, choosing love isn’t the risk, but losing his best friend is. Then, one night a kiss changes everything.
What readers are saying: “What a beautiful book. This is my first read by Claire Kingsley and I now have a new must-read author and a favorite new series. This story has everything I love in a book: small-town romance, protective brothers and friends to lovers.”
If you like stories filled with love letters and longing…
Try Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey
Idyllic settings, sweet moments, steamy chemistry…this fun rom-com has it all. Hallie Welch is hired to revamp the gardens on the Vos vineyard in Napa, California. But her teenage crush, Julian Vos, is home at his family’s vineyard while on sabbatical from his Ivy League job. Soon, Julian realizes that having Hallie working outside his window is the ultimate distraction. When their worlds clash again, they’ll have to revisit their past and decide if they have a future.
What readers are saying: “This is a sweet romance! I love the clash of personalities between Julian and Hallie. I also think Napa plays the perfect setting — very cozy small town vibes.”
If you like comedic love stories set in Scotland…
Try The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn
After losing another job, Bonnie St. James has officially lost her way. So when she and her best friend stumble upon a ‘help wanted’ post to run a coffee shop in the Scottish Highlands, they apply. Perhaps traveling to a new place is just what Bonnie needs to figure out her next move. When the friends arrive in the tiny town of Corsekelly, they fall for the gorgeous Highland landscape and friendly locals. But Bonnie finds a less-than-warm welcome in Rowan MacGregor, the rugged local handyman. As Bonnie and Rowan’s paths cross, insults — and sparks — fly. Will their passionate personalities cause them to clash further or bring them together?
What readers are saying: “I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves love, laughter, and needs a bit of an escape to a small town in the Scottish Highlands. I enjoy this author. I have read many of her books — and this one made me laugh out loud over and over!”
If you like starry-eyed stories set in memorable locales…
This charming, sweet-as-pie tale by bestselling author Sarah Adams brings readers back to the small town of Rome, Kentucky. This novel follows Annie Walker, who is determined to find her perfect match: someone who complements her calm, quiet life running the local flower shop. After a string of disastrous dates, Annie decides she needs a little practice. Enter Will Griffin, the gorgeous bodyguard who is in town providing security for starlet Amelia Rose during her upcoming wedding to Annie’s brother, Noah Walker. When Annie asks Will for dating help, he can’t refuse her. What follows is a string of “tutoring” lessons between Will and Annie, an ongoing lingering tension and a surprising chance at love.
What readers are saying: “Sarah Adams is my all-time favorite comfort author, I absolutely adore every book of hers that I’ve read and this time was no different! I cannot remember the last time i had this much fun while reading a book.”
If you like whimsical, wintry happily-ever-afters…
Try Lovelight Farms by B.K Borison
In this heartfelt holiday story, Stella enters a contest with Instagram-famous influencer Evelyn St. James in an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid. To make the farm seem like a romantic holiday destination, she lied on her contest application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with a boyfriend. Now, she needs someone to play along with her charade. Thankfully, she has her best guy friend Luka Peter, who somehow agrees to ‘date’ her for the time being. But this fake dating tryst might be the best gift either of them has ever received…as long as they don’t mess it up along the way.
What readers are saying: “This book had many of my favorite elements, like friends to lovers, small town romance and great side characters. Plus, it’s perfect for the holiday season. It takes place on a Christmas tree farm and has so many cute moments. I will be reading the rest of the books in this series!”
If you like magical stories that read like modern day fairy tales…
Try Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Brimming with warmth and joy, this novel by bestselling author Abby Jimenez sparkles. Alexis Montgomery is driving back to Minneapolis when her car breaks down in the small town of Wakan. Then, she meets Daniel Grant, a handsome carpenter who’s 10 years younger than her. They are opposites yet their chemistry is fierce. This confuses Alexis because her parents expect her to continue the legacy of becoming a surgeon — and to marry a man who is also a surgeon. As she spends more time in the town that Daniel loves, she learns what she really wants out of life. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis choose between her world and his?
What readers are saying: “There were many magical moments in this novel and all of those happened in the small town of Wakan. There seemed to be some sort of ‘true love’ mystical bond between Alexis, the town, and Daniel. After all, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be!”
If you like swoon-worthy stories about fake dating…
Try Make a Scene by Mimi Grace
Small town charm, electric chemistry and delicious food descriptions abound in this cute saga! Retta Majors is not having a great day. Her ex is now engaged to her cousin and she has decided to attend the wedding with her perfect boyfriend. The only hitch? She doesn’t have one. Meanwhile, Duncan Gilmore is living his dream as the owner of a boxing gym and he’s focusing on its success. That is until the beautiful baker next door to his gym makes him a very odd offer and he accepts. Duncan agrees to be Retta’s fake wedding date to for a weekend. But soon, the lines between fake and real blur for both of them and real feelings surface.
What readers are saying: “A breath of fresh air. I loved the set up and the characters. I loved the side plot with the hero’s parents. It was a really refreshing take on the fake relationship trope with a couple of kind funny people who are really nice to each other.”
If you like beautifully set romantic stories…
Try Temptation Ridge by Robyn Carr
Award-winning author Robyn Carr is beloved for her sweet and swoon-worthy stories — and this special reissued novel delivers all her signature heartfelt charm. After spending five years as her mother’s caregiver, Shelby McIntyre sets out for an adventure. She travels to picturesque Virgin River, and she meets handsome, rugged Luke Riordan, a Black Hawk pilot. The two couldn’t be more opposite, but they realize that love may be all they need.
What readers are saying: “A fantastic addition to the series. I would say this one is easily as good as (if not better than) book one of Virgin River. I was up all night reading it, couldn’t put it down! The main romance of this book is Luke and Shelby, and I just loved them from beginning to end.”
If you like quirky, high-stakes adventure stories…
Hilarious hijinks, delightful small town drama and unexpected romance…this book has it all! Freelance editor Jess Reid finds comfort in her hometown of Redford. But her life takes a turn with the sudden passing of Jasper Wilhelm, the town’s eccentric benefactor. Jasper’s nephew Carter Barclay comes to town to oversee plans for his fortune. There’s a catch: The townspeople can compete in a series of games in order to win Jasper’s fortune. As tensions escalate, Jess and Carter join together in an unexpected partnership, hoping at least one will take home the grand prize and maybe each other’s hearts.
What readers are saying: “Incredibly wholesome and full of characters I found myself cheering on throughout! Do yourself a favor and give this book a try if you enjoy slow burning novels of close knit towns, tender romance, witty banter, and reconciled relationships.”
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