The 20 Best Romance Novels of All Time, According to Dedicated Readers

How many can you check off?

best romance novels
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Things are about to get steamy in here. In honor of , just revealed the most popular romance novels of all time based on their 80 million members' ratings, reviews, and "shelved" books they've read or want to read. With both library classics ( can't be beat) and brand-new reads (have you picked up yet?), there's a little : historical, paranormal, heartwarming, and of course steamy.

Check out these 20 top picks from the critics who matter the most, the readers themselves.

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1 It Ends with Us
Colleen Hoover .com
$16.00
$10.87 (32% off)

beat out age-old classics to top the list with this 2016 bestseller. New to Boston, small-town girl Lily manages to get gorgeous neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid to break his "no dating" rule. But his stubborn ways — and the arrival of an old love — make her wonder how he became that way in the first place. 

2 Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell .com
$17.99

If you've never read this 900-plus-page Civil War saga (or watched ), it's never too late. Scarlett O'Hara, her "perfect knight" Ashley Wilkes, and the scandalous yet dashing Rhett Butler stand the test of time. Readers have devoured more than 30 million copies of this Pulitzer Prize winner since 1936. 

3 Me Before You
Jojo Moyes .com
$16.00
$10.94 (32% off)

Jojo Moyes' sob-inducing story about a young caretaker who falls in love with her quadriplegic charge recently , with Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke playing protagonist Louisa Clarke opposite Sam Claflin as Will Traynor. 

4 Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen .com
$9.99

This 1813 book (so old it's free if you have a Kindle!) is basically the O.G. when it comes to romance novels. If you've already read it and loved it, check out Curtis Sittenfeld's reinterpretation , which sets Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy in modern-day Cincinnati. 

5 The Thorn Birds
Colleen McCullough .com
$7.19

This sweeping multigenerational tale of life on a sheep station in the Outback often gets as "an Australian Gone With the Wind," but the romance primarily focuses on an illicit affair between Maggie, a resident on the remote ranch, and a handsome priest.

6 Outlander
Diana Gabaldon .com
$9.99

Yep, before it became an epic costume drama on , this time-traveling romance novel introduced the world to Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, and her Scottish warrior love interest ... who's living in 1743. 

7 The Hating Game
Sally Thorne .com
$14.99
$10.19 (32% off)

Another relatively new entry, this 2016 debut novel from Sally Thorne details the bitter rivalry between coworkers Lucy Hutton and her sworn nemesis Joshua Templeman as they compete for the same promotion. You can probably guess what happens next ... 

8 Dark Lover
J. R .Ward .com
$7.99

Yes, a vampire romance novel made the top 10 — and it's a lot darker (and sexier) than Twilight. The first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series sets up the paranormal plot: "The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago ... Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes."

9 Fallen Too Far
Abbi Glines .com
$13.47

On the lighter side of things, enter a classic beach read set on the Florida shore. Good girl Blaire comes from a farm in Alabama. Bad boy Rush is the rich son of a famous rock star. Forced together, things only start to heat up. 

10 Bared to You
Sylvia Day .com
$16.00
$11.00 (31% off)

Rounding out the top 10 is the first entry in Sylvia Day's Crossfire series. Big city newbie Eva Tramell literally falls at the feet of billionaire tycoon Gideon Cross, kickstarting a steamy romance that reveals secrets from both their dark pasts. Sound familiar? There's a reason called it the "soap opera version of ."

11 Beautiful Disaster
Jamie McGuire .com
$16.99
$12.00 (29% off)

When tattooed campus bad boy Travis Maddox tricks goodie two-shoes Abby Abernathy into a month-long bet, both parties don't know what they're in for — and the stakes couldn't be higher. 

12 This Man
Jodi Ellen Malpas .com
$12.71

Ava O'Shea is an accomplished interior designer presented with an intriguing new project at "The Manor," and her boss is none other than handsome yet controlling playboy Jesse Ward. 

13 Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë .com
$8.94

The second-oldest book on the list, this 1847 novel tells the tale of courageous governess and heroine Jane Eyre and her brooding employer with a terrible secret, Mr. Rochester. The first-person narrative set a new standard for what romance could be — no wonder readers still love it more than 170 years later. 

14 Vision In White
Nora Roberts .com
$7.99

The prolific Nora Roberts has penned more than 200 romance novels, but this one earned top marks from her fans as the first installment in The Bride Quartet. Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is one of four friends who operate a wedding planning company. When a day on the job introduces her to sweet and stable English teacher Carter Maguire, their casual fling might lead to her own happy ending.

15 Tangled
Emma Chase .com
$15.00
$12.00 (20% off)

Told from a male POV, our somewhat crass narrator Drew Evans is (you guessed it) a rich, smooth-talking businessman who's suddenly flummoxed by the arrival of a new associate at his father's investment banking firm. Safe to say sparks fly. 

16 The Notebook
Nicholas Sparks .com
$8.99

Say it ain't so, but we first watched *that* rain scene 15 years ago. Revisit Noah and Allie in the 1996 book about a South Carolina socialite separated from her summer love before their letters (and later notebooks) bring them back together. 

17 Wallbanger
Alice Clayton .com
$14.29

Like the title implies, Caroline learns, uh, more than a bit about her next-door neighbor Simon by the noises she hears through her paper-thin walls. Fed up by the loud awakenings, she marches over there herself to kick off a funny yet steamy read. 

18 Beautiful Bastard
Christina Lauren .com
$16.00
$10.69 (33% off)

published online as Twilight fanfiction, this devilish office romance got picked up for publication after readers couldn't get enough of demanding boss Bennett Ryan and his whip-smart assistant Chloe Mills.

19 The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion .com
$16.99
$12.24 (28% off)

Don Tillman knows everything about genetics, but the science-minded professor understands next to nothing about dating. His solution: the Wife Project, a specially designed survey designed to find him the perfect spouse. But when Rosie Jarman asks him to find her biological father, Don might just have to throw his perfect experiment out the window. 

20 The Kiss Quotient
Helen Hoang .com
$15.00
$10.20 (32% off)

More nerdy storylines for the win! In this 2018 novel from Helen Hoang, Stella Lane is the genius mathematician who puts herself in remedial romance — by hiring escort Michael Phan to teach her the ins and outs of sex. Bonus: You can already  coming out this May.

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