I know it may be an unpopular opinion, but I love books that make me cry. I love the rollercoaster of emotions they can take me on and the impact of an emotional punch after the fact. Sometimes that’s what it takes to help process difficult emotions or let out feelings you’ve been bottling up, and BookTok has been there for me for every recent read. But sometimes, you just need a book list full of things that are a little lighter on the drama – something that can make you smile hard enough to cause a permanent ache in your face. Sometimes, the best thing for you is a book that makes you swoon and laugh out loud, with scenes so adorable that you get the impulse to just pick it up and give it a great big hug because of all those warm, fuzzy feelings it invokes.
These are the books that I gravitate towards when love is floating in the air. Whether I’m single or in an “it’s complicated” kind of situation, it’s these stories that make me feel like love is always worth it and give me something worth romanticizing and working toward. So if you’re not in it for the flair of drama between romantic prospects (or rivals), here are ten #FluffTok romances with the BookTok romance trope stamp of approval, in all their heart-racing, internal squealing, goofy smile glory.
- The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
The Love Hypothesis took the book world by storm. I had to join the waitlist to even get a copy in my hands, but the wait was so worth it. Adam and Olive, professor and grad student, respectively, are excellent together. After an impromptu kiss devolves into a fake relationship, Adam and Olive start to spend more time together. With every unassuming interaction, each pushing them closer and closer together, Olive begins to feel more for the grumpy professor than she ever expected.
Adam and Olive epitomize the grumpy/sunshine trope. Their banter is on point the whole way through, and I felt like my face was stuck in a perma-grin throughout the entire thing between the women in STEM representation, the fake relationship trope, and a lead who is absolutely endearing in every way.
- The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
When Catalina Martin’s sister is set to get married in Spain, Lina ends up telling her family that she’s bringing her boyfriend, who doesn’t really exist. Enter Aaron Blackford, coworker and nemesis, with an offer to be her fake boyfriend. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but the more time she spends with him, the more she starts to question every interaction they have and her own feelings for the strong, brooding male she works with.
This book is chock full of some of the best tropes, and has the slowest of slow burns I’ve ever encountered, but it’s meticulous, and the payoff is worth it. It’s got the kind of soul-mate love that makes you want to root for them from page one.
- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Okay, imagine this: A mass food poisoning at a wedding spares only the best man and maid of honor, who just happen to hate each other. Add in a free trip – aka, the wedding couple’s honeymoon that never was – to sunny Hawaii and a tiny lie that spirals into a fake relationship, and you end up with Olive and Ethan’s whirlwind, lucky-in-love romance. After all, they say hate and love go hand in hand.
- Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The love story of the first son of America and an English prince should have never been possible, but if there’s one thing Alex and Henry are good at, it’s defying the odds. This enemies-to-lovers tale about two people who make history together makes me believe in love over and over again.
From forced interactions to late-night conversations across a love story that spans continents, this book has my whole heart and soul. Until I read RWRB, I could never pick a favorite book, but I’ve since changed my tune. This is pure and lovely, filled with so much joy that it evoked happy tears. Hope and optimism are in abundance, making you feel like everything will work out.
- The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
Best friends to lovers? Sign me up! These main characters are so sweet with each other, and everyone sees what’s between them. That is everybody but them. Just like the cover, Sarah Adams’ novel is fun and pastelly, and it’ll make you smile with the turn of each page. Bonus: it’s a sports romance, too!
Stella Lane has it all. She’s extremely successful in most aspects of her life, but there’s one place where she’s constantly let down: her relationships. As someone diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she’s never quite gotten into the intimate physicality of a relationship. To help teach her the ins and outs of a sexual relationship, she hires Michael Phan, an escort.
Think Pretty Woman, but with a switch in gender roles and a lot more diversity, with leads representing mixed races and people with ASD. This book is sweet and steamy in equal parts but still manages to give attention and respect to serious topics in an organic way throughout what is, at its core, a heartwarming story.
- People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Poppy and Alex have been best friends for more than a decade, but while Alex stayed in their hometown, Poppy has moved to New York. How do they manage to maintain their long-distance friendship, you ask? By taking an annual summer vacation together. Every year, the two have spent a week together in the summer – until the year it all went wrong.
Since that mysterious incident two years ago, Poppy’s whirlwind life has been less than fulfilling. But the only thing that’s changed is that Alex is no longer a part of it. In an effort to fix what once was between them, she proposes one last trip to sunny Palm Springs, where she hopes to finally get her life back on track and fix things with one of the most important people in her life.
This book is a best-friends-to-lovers, second chance, and opposites attract type story.
Written in a mix of flashbacks and real-time to give us one epic love story, this best-friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, second chance tropefest is the ideal cure to your romance woes.
- The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
This is one of the most original premises I’ve ever seen in a romance novel. Leon and Tiffy live together, but they’ve never met. They’re like two ships passing in the night, sharing an apartment, a room, and even a bed – all at times when the other is not around. The arrangement works for them, but eventually, their post-it note communications cause their lives to intertwine in a way they never expected, leading them to fall for one another in the sweetest of ways.
Honestly, this book is one of a kind in its plot and writing and is sure to make you root for this unlikely pairing.
- The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Garrett Graham and Hannah Wellsy, hockey captain and tutor, are in for more than they bargained for when they make a deal to exchange tutoring for a fake date. This one may be a little heavier on emotions and serious plot points than others on this list, but it introduces a series full of amazing couples and stories. Garrett and Hannah set the scene for all of it, and for that, they will always hold a special place in my heart!
It’s also the book that introduced me to the world of hockey romances, which is the superior genre of sports romances, in my opinion, and is full of top-notch banter.
- The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon
While this book is a play on the fake relationship trope, it’s not like the others. In this case, they’re pretending to be fake exes. Shay and Dominic work together in public radio, and they come up with the idea for a relationship talk show hosted by exes. And, of course, there’s no other option but to pretend to be exes themselves.
Plot twist: Pretending to be exes brings up some genuine feelings and, well, you know the rest. This book is a love letter to public radio, with two characters who just might end up loving each other even more than they love the public broadcasting network where they work.