The first thing someone asks me when they find out I love reading is what my favorite book is. Guys, I’ve read such a large number and variety of books that I can’t decide on just one! So here is a whole list of some of my favorite clean romance books. There are so many fun genres to explore, and I hope one of my favorites can become one of yours.
A bit about me
Hi! I’m Emily Campbell. I’m a full-time mom of two young kids and a reader extraordinaire. I built this blog to be a resource for readers wanting to know what is in their books. There have been many times I’ve picked up the latest and greatest on a book list, only to be disappointed with the amount of language, graphic violence, or inappropriate sexual content.
I love reading, but I also try to be selective of what media consume. Plenty of things in books do not need a permanent place in my mind. The Book Nanny is here to help you look inside your book. I break down the language, violence, and adult content so you can enjoy the reading process instead of getting an unpleasant surprise.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Booksio and Amazon. If you click on a link and decide to buy something, I make a small commission for referring you. This helps me make a few cents for doing what I love.
1. The Lady and The Mountain Man by Misty M. Beller
Leah Townsend can’t find the right guy. First, she discovers that her fiancé plans to kill her after their wedding. So Leah accepts a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing rancher in the Montana territory and moves across the country. When she arrives, Leah discovers that the man she was supposed to marry was killed as she traveled, leaving behind his little sister and a bitter older brother.
This book is a Christian historical western romance. The Lady and The Mountain Man knocked it out of the park. I enjoyed reading it and blew through the rest of the books in this twelve-book clean romance series. I appreciated how the author uses Leah’s relationship with God in the book and how it transforms. Religion isn’t waved around or pushed on the reader, but it’s used just enough to enhance the story. If you are a fan of the Love Comes Softly books, you will enjoy this one. Get your copy today.
2. The Quarterback and the Ballerina by Anne-Marie Meyer and Maggie Dallen
Collette just wanted one thing. To be the perfect ballerina, just like her mom. But she is tired of constantly trying to fit into the mold everyone is trying to force her into. So she dances along in the dark while the rest of the school sleeps. Ethan is working overtime to be the star quarterback, perfect student, and great son. To top it off, Coach says the football team needs to learn discipline by dancing with a bunch of prissy prima donnas. Together they discover what they truly desire and how to make it happen.
The Quarterback and the Ballerina is super relatable. I loved seeing them grow together as a couple and lift each other up. This High-school romance focuses on finding your self-worth and works through Collette’s body image issues. This is the beginning of a series featuring more ballerinas and football players. This was a refreshing read. I love how it took a clique and breathed new life into it. Add a copy to your library!
3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
This is the story of Princess Anidora-Kilandra Tatianna Isilee, a crown princess who learned how to speak to birds from her Aunt. Years later, this knowledge helps her when the title of Crown Princess is taken. She works as a goose girl while trying to stop a war.
The Goose Girl is a masterpiece fairy tale retelling the classic Grimm tale. I love how she finds her hidden talents and then uses those to help her defeat the bad guys and love the country she has learned to call her own. The Goose Girl sent me down a fairy tale kick that lasted for years! I love how magic is handled in this book and you won’t want to miss the rest of the series Enna Burning, River Secrets, and Forest Born.
4. Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
Keturah follows a deer deep into the king’s forest and gets lost. She realizes getting out is hopeless and almost dies. When Death comes for her, she discovers that he is a young, handsome man, even if he is a bit somber and stern. Keturah tells Lord Death a story and convinces him to give her twenty-four hours. She is given one day to find her true love, or she will die. Keturah searches frantically in her village while everyone prepares for an unexpected visit.
I loved this clean romance. Keturah and Lord Death has a fairytale-like feel combined with a unique take on magic and death. I was entranced by it and couldn’t put it down. Since then, I’ve reread it multiple times because it is just that good. Don’t forget your copy!
Marianne will do anything to get out of Bath and away from an unwanted suitor. When her twin sister, Cecily, invites her to join her at a country estate, she can’t leave fast enough. Marianne thinks she will relax and enjoy the country while waiting for her sister snags the heir of Edenbrooke, but even the best plans go sideways. Between a highwayman and almost harmless flirting, Marianne finds herself in an unexpected adventure with romance and intrigue. Her summer at Edenbrooke won’t be as relaxing as she had planned.
Edenbrooke for fans of historical fiction. The story is well-developed, and I loved seeing the connections Marianne develops with other characters. I loved the plot twists. The ending is predictable, but the roundabout way it took to get there made the journey enjoyable. Add this book to your reading pile.
6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has grown up in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries around the tools of sorcery, magical grimoires that rattle under chains and whisper to passersby. If damaged, the grimoires transform into monsters of ink and leather. Elisabeth’s greatest dream is to become a warden and protect the kingdom from the grimoires.
When her library is sabotaged, and Elisabeth is set up to take the fall, she is thrown out of the only home she knows and sent to face justice at the capital. The only person she can turn to is her sworn enemy, sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn and his demonic servant. As she spends time with Nathaniel, Elisabeth starts questioning everything she has been taught. They are thrown into a conspiracy and have to save the Great Library and the world with it.
Sorcery of Thorns is one of my new favorite clean romance books! I literally couldn’t put it down the entire time. This book takes the job of a librarian to a whole new level. Sorcery of Thorns has a new fresh story that grabbed my attention. I love Elisabeth’s inner struggle and how she resolves it. I desperately hope that there is a book two on its way. Get your copy today.
7. Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson
Lieutenant Brent Miller has one objective in the Middle East. Get seven hostages out of a hostile country. The plan almost works too. But now he has been left behind with one of the hostages, Amy. Amy Whitmore is a US Senator’s daughter, and it’s up to Brent to get her home safely. They have to rely on each other to survive.
I love this book! Freefall is a clean military romance with a bit of a slow-burn element. I love how the story starts out super tense, but then they continue building their relationship beyond this high-stress situation. Add this book to your shelf.
8. The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White
The intelligence network is England’s greatest asset in the great war. Every day their agents risk their lives to gather the information that makes a difference, and the codebreakers decrypt all German telegrams. Margot De Wilde thrives in the classified Room 40, where she deciphers intercepted messages all day. One day her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss. For the first time, Margot’s numbers aren’t enough. When Drake Elton returns home trailed by an enemy that won’t give up, he falls quickly for the intelligent Margot. Now he has to convince a girl who lives in her head that sometimes answers can only be found in the heart.
The Number of Love is such a fun book. I love that it was set in WWI without the gore and violence in the typical war book. Plus, I loved seeing Margot’s perspective on life, and Drake’s out-of-the-box way of romancing her. Margot is not like everyone else, and Drake courts her in an out-of-the-box way. This is a three-book romance series and builds off Roseanne M. White’s previous series Shadows Over England. You don’t need to read that series to jump into The Number of Love.
9. By Your Side by Kasie West
Things can’t get much worse than being locked in the library for an entire weekend, or at least that’s what Autumn thought before realizing Dax Miller is locked in with her. Everything Autumn knows about Dax is from rumors about juvie and his reputation as a loner. She reminds herself that Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, will realize he left her in the library and rescue her. Except he doesn’t. No one does. Instead, Autumn and Dax spend a couple of days living off vending machine food and connecting to survive. But can this connection survive outside of the library?
By Your Side does a great job with real characters with problems and issues to work through before a happily-ever-after can be possible. Plus, I loved how it starts with them locked in the library. I enjoy all of Kasie West’s books, but By Your Side has a special place in my heart.
10. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Prince Rhen is cursed to relive the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over until he can get a girl to fall for him. He no longer has hope that will happen and has destroyed his family, his castle, and every bit of hope. Harper has never lived an easy life. Her father is dead, her mother is dying, and her brother is constantly babying her and underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy. Harper has learned how to be tough enough to survive. When she saves a stranger on the streets, everything changes as she is pulled into a magical world. Harper doesn’t know where she is or who to believe. The more time she shares with Rhen, the more confused she becomes.
This is a fun contemporary romance meets fantasy story. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is clean, but there are a few moments/chapters in the second and third books that are easily skippable. I like how no one is as they seem in this book, especially as you continue through the series. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses, with much less adult content.
11. Falling for Your Best Friend’s Twin by Emma St. Clair
Abby is a woman in the tech industry and can program better than the guys. She doesn’t look like a typical geeky girl. She rocks pink hair and loves her style of expressing inner joy until she has to face her past. Abby is hired by her best friend’s twin, Zane, to get his startup app ready to launch in just a few weeks. What starts as fixing a few bugs turns into sweet-talking investors, going on a paid company vacation, and setting a trap for the person trying to sabotage Zane’s company.
I think any teen or adult would enjoy this clean romance book. It’s a great, fast read if you need an escape for a few hours. Falling for Your Best Friend’s Twin brings a new take to the clique romantic comedy genre with lots of witty and fun dialogue. You won’t want to miss it.
12. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A thousand years in the future in New Beijing, Cinder works in her mechanic shop when Prince Kai appears with a broken android assistant for some help. Cinder’s friendship with Kai deepens while spending time at the palace after being drafted to help with plague research. Politics, a plague, and a conspiracy theory help round out and bring dimension to a well-loved story.
Cinder is a futuristic, steampunk, fairy-tale retelling with a dash of romance. I appreciate that this is a very different retelling with a complex story arc. There is so much going on in the background. I love how there is more than just Cinder being a cyborg keeping them apart. Get your copy here. Or you can try the first five chapters for FREE!
13. The Host by Stephanie Meyers
Melanie Stryder refuses to be silenced. Earth has been invaded by an alien that takes over the mind of a human host while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, a trespassing “soul” in Melanie’s body, didn’t expect the former tenant to still be there and keep parts of her mind secret. Melanie shares her memories of Jared, a human still in hiding. Wanderer starts longing for a man she’s never met. Soon they become allies and search for the man they both love.
The Host is one of my favorite romance books, and I have reread it many times. I love the apocalyptic survival element and the loving alien who cares for humans. Plus, I found the tension between who Melanie loves and who Wanda loves so interesting! The Host is way better than the movie because you get the inside scoop on everyone’s thoughts and motives. Snag your copy!
14. Touched by Corrine Jackson
Remy O’Malley can heal with a touch, but every injury she cures becomes her own. Growing up in an abusive household, she heals countless broken bones, bruises, and burns. Then one night, her stepfather goes too far. Being shipped off to live with her estranged father gives her a fresh start. Asher Blackwell used to be a Protector of Healers, but he sacrificed his senses to become immortal. Killing a Healer can a Protector is the only way to regain his senses. Falling in love is against the rules for two enemy races. Because of Remy’s powers, Protectors will come for her, unless Asher kills her first.
Touched has such an interesting take on magic and healing. Plus, it is the first of a three-book romance series that is hard to put down. It is so interesting seeing how Remy develops through the series and the book as she comes into her own power. Grab a copy of this hidden gem for your library.
15. Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
Alianne is the teenage daughter of the famed Alanna, the lady knight of Tortall. But young Aly prefers to follow in her father’s shadowy footsteps and loves the art of spying. When she is captured and sold as a slave to an exiled royal family far away, these skills help her navigate the political intrigue, conspiracy, and warring gods that have snuck into her life.
Trickster’s Choice is the first of two books about Aly and her life in the Copper Isles. I loved learning about being a spy from Aly as she uses the tools her father taught her over the years. This is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors! Add Trickster’s Choice to your to-read pile.
Need more romance books?
I firmly believe that you can never have too many books in your to-be-read pile. So if you are still looking for the next book to read, check out these 13 heart-melting clean romance books or this series that should be on the Hallmark channel. Or, if you are more in the mood for fairytales, this list might be more of your style. Please, reach out if you want a personalized book recommendation, and I’d love to chat with you more.