In the spirit of Valentine’s Day and all things love related I’m sharing some of my favorite clean romance novels!
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Elements of Good Clean Romance Novels
First off here is my definition of what good clean romance novels have to have. Clean romance novels need a real reason (or reasons) why the main characters can’t be together. Just yelling or trying to avoid the fact that they like the other person is a terrible plotline for anything. Second, the book has to make me invested in the characters and feel what they are. When the plot twists and an unimaginable horror plays out I want to have that emotional connection. I want my heart to break along with them. Third, there needs to be some kind of action or another conflict other than the romance happening. I love love, that’s why I’m reading a romance novel. However, please entertain me with something more otherwise I will walk away from the book.
Now that we have that short rant out of the way, check out some of my favorite love stories that are clean and amazing! I tried to pick a variety of authors and genres because I like all kinds of books. Please check out other books by these authors because many of them have multiple series and all of their books are clean romance novels. Also in full disclosure, all of the photos are courtesy of Goodreads. Follow me on Goodreads for current info on what I’m reading.
1. Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon
This book is one of the cutest Christian novels ever and the start of an ongoing series! It’s practically a Hallmark movie with a couple stumbling into love and coming together with the help of God. It is set in a small coastal Oregon town where everyone is rooting for you to succeed. Tracy Campbell is a third-generation cranberry farmer but is trying to keep her farm afloat through rough economic times. Enter Mike a vacationer from Chicago who gets swept up in Tracy’s plan to help save a struggling charitable organization. With secrets on both sides, they learn to open up and love while relying on God to carry them through.
2. Child of the Mist by Kathleen Morgan
Child of the Mist transports the reader to the Scottish highlands of 1565. An arranged engagement to end a long-standing feud lands Niall and Anne in the middle of superstition and treachery. Neither of them wanted the engagement but when an unknown traitor and rumors of witchcraft shake their trust in others, they have to rely on each other.
Just as a side note this book really hit me in the feels. I thought it would be super boring so I put off reading it for a long time, but it was amazing. My heart ached multiple times throughout the book and tears were definitely shed so pick up the book and love it!
3. Heart of a Prince by Carol Moncado
This book is slightly clique but I feel like you need to embrace them every now and then. Especially when it feels like a Hallmark movie. Heart of a Prince begins when Jordan Haines decided to take a long vacation in the Caribbean. He ends up taking sanctuary at a private beach after a long day of windsurfing. Little does he know that the beach is also a sanctuary for Crown Princess Astrid when she needs to hide from paparazzi and the tragedy in her past. Just as their relationship begins, photos of them and an engagement ring appear in the tabloids. During the fallout, secrets become heartbreaks as they figure out if Jordan has the heart of a prince.
Check out this amazing deal on Amazon! You can get the Kindle Edition for free! (It may not currently be free because prices on Amazon change) Also, check out this post I wrote about the entire series!
4. True to You by Becky Wade
Three years after her heart was shattered, Nora keeps busy working as a genealogist and a historical village owner. She hides from love because work and books are safer than allowing herself to love again. On the flip side, former Navy SEAL John lives 100 percent in the present. After finding out about an inherited disease, John asks Nora to help him dig into his past and find his birth mother. As they work together, these opposites attract but can their affections survive the wounds of the past?
This is the first of three clean romance novels about sisters who find love and is a great reminder to live your life instead of diving into fantasy.
5. No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
Harper’s Station is a women’s colony where men are optional. It is run by suffragettes and strong women who have made a living for themselves. When an unknown enemy tries to drive them out of their home, Emma admits they might need a man after all. Especially one who can fight.
Malachi Shaw finally found his place in life as an explosives expert for the railroad, but when he gets Emma’s note he runs to repay the girl who saved his life. The girl grew up though and sparks fly as they clash and old feelings are uncovered. They have to fight side by side to defeat their enemy but they will need more than love to make it through alive.
I loved the idea of this book and I especially love how it was executed. The women were always strong and able to take care of themselves, they just needed a little help learning how to fire a gun.
6. The Selection
The Selection is like The Bachelor but with more of the good drama and none of the bad. Thirty-five girls have been selected to compete for the hand of the prince. They are whisked off to the palace to be surrounded by glittering gowns and jewels. This once in a lifetime opportunity is America Singer’s worst nightmare because it means turning her back on her secret love and leaving her home. All for a competition that she doesn’t want and in a castle threatened by attacks from the rebellion. After meeting Prince Maxon America starts to question all the dreams that she had and starts to wonder if maybe she can have a future that she never even imagined.
This book shows America’s progression as her dreams mature into realities. Plus I love the relationship that America and Prince Maxon have. It is not the typical Disney princess style of falling in love. This is the first of a five-book series. Also not to spoil it too much but their story doesn’t end at the end of this book. There are still two more books of America and Maxon’s story so be sure to get The Selection, The Elite and The One before you sit down to read. You won’t want to put them down.
7. The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White
Set in the 1910s, this book is an action-packed mystery combined with a clean love story. Brook has grown up among the gypsies who cater to the royalty in Monte Carlo but always wondered where she came from. Her friend Justin discovers that she is a missing heiress. With both of them learning new roles their responsibilities take them far apart but the distance reveals that there is something stronger between them. Her newly-found family is wary of opening their hearts again after the mysterious circumstances of her mother’s death until Brook’s life is in danger too.
I love how strong and independent Brook is portrayed. This book does have a bit of violence in it because it is also a murder mystery. It is slow in some parts but it doesn’t stay that way for very long.
8. Always Watching by Lynette Eason
Wade Savage is a psychologist with his own radio talk show and he is in danger. His father secretly hires him a bodyguard from an all-female protection agency called the Elite Guardians. Olivia, the owner, takes point on the case after one of her agents is nearly killed while protecting Wade. As the stalker escalates, Oliva’s skills of protection are put to the test as she tries to figure out whether it is easier to protect Wade from his stalker of her heart from him.
9. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Princess Lia runs away from a political match on her way to the altar. Lia tries to make a fresh start without knowing that she has two people on her trail. One is the jilted prince bent on tracking down his would-be bride. The other an assassin sent to kill the princess in “an accident”. Both start the dangerous game of courting her and trying to win her heart but can she figure out their true identities before she dies.
I loved reading this book because the entire time you don’t know which one is which until the very end! When it shifts to the assassin’s perspective or the prince’s perspective there is no telling which is which until the very end. It will keep you second-guessing your whole way through. I loved how this book was written so much I bought the entire trilogy without reading the last two because I couldn’t get them from the library fast enough.
10. The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickson
Rose, a woodcutters daughter, has been apprenticed to the healer. It is an amazing opportunity and it gets her out of having to marry an ugly, fat merchant. One day she gets called up to the castle to tend to the future duke and she falls for him. But Lord Hamlin is promised to a young woman in hiding. They are both trying to discover their identities and hold on to their hearts in the process. I love that it isn’t a typical fairytale and that both of them are real people with real problems.
11. The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West
Gia has been telling her friends about her long-distance boyfriend for months and they expect to meet him at prom. When he dumps her in the parking lot she has to come up with a plan and fast. After spotting a cute guy waiting for his sister, she convinces him to pretend to be her boyfriend for 2 hours with zero commitment.
After the prom though Gia can’t get the fake boyfriend out of her head. She doesn’t even know his name. He decides to collect on his favor by taking her to a graduation party as his fake girlfriend. They hit it off again and their new relationship is starting the ex-boyfriend tries waltzing back in. Can the fill-in boyfriend turn into a real boyfriend before the ex destroys everything?
12. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
This is an incredibly original story that was a fresh read. Isobel is an incredible portrait artist with dangerous clients. Most of her clients are fair folk who can’t create anything on their own so they crave her craft. While making her first royal commission she makes a terrible mistake. She painted Prince Rook with a weakness that could cost him his life.
Rook decided to take Isobel into his world to stand trial for her crime. Along the way, they are both hunted and have to work together or their lives will be forfeit.
13. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Gwen thought she was only part of an eccentric family. When she starts taking uncontrolled leaps back in time and seeing herself, things start to get weird. She finds out that she is part of a long line of time-travelers. Gwen isn’t prepared for everything that comes with time-traveling like fancy clothes, archaic manners, a secret society, and Gideon. He is the unbelievably handsome and obnoxious time-traveling companion she gets to go on adventures with.
Clean Romance Novel Summary
I hope you enjoyed my list of favorite clean romance novels. There are many more but I couldn’t write about all of them. I would definitely recommend all of them. They are appropriate for all ages! Each of these books is unique and different.
If you are looking for more amazing books to read, especially ones featuring princesses, check out this post about princesses to empower girls. What are some of your favorite clean romance novels to read?