The Best Romance Novels of 2012

This is our list of the The Best Romance Novels of 2012. You may view these sources at the end of this post. We hope you find your next great read and remember to bookmark this page for future reference. This list of The Best Romance Novels of 2012 is in no particular order.

It’s time for our mid-year list of the best new romance books available. Keep your eyes peeled for our final top ten list at the end of the year!



1Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades of Grey, by E L James

Although our list of The Best Romance Novels of 2012 is in no particular order, we thought it was important for our audience to know that we have voted the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy as the number 1 best romance novels of 2012, and rightfully so. The series has sold over 40 million copies and has become a bestseller worldwide and has become the most quickly sold paperback books of all time taking the place of the Harry Potter series. This trilogy is a must read! The two books in the series are Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. The story follows a young naive college senior named Anastasia Steele who conducts a collage interview with a wealthy and mysterious young businessman named Christian Grey. Intrigued by him and attracted to his uniqueness, over several more meetings the pair enter into a passionate sexual affair where Ana begins to discover Christian’s dark demons deep inside him and his relentless need to control through his sadistic sexual practices as well as her own desires.

2Dream LakeDream Lake, by Lisa Kleypas

Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas is the 3rd book in the “Friday Harbor” series and so far is the favored and has the most sold of the three books. Although this is the 3rd book in the series, it is not absolutely necessary to read the series’ prior books to be able to jump right in and follow the story. This book follows the lives of two love-wrecked individuals living in a small town called Friday Harbor. Alex Nolan is the youngest of the Nolan brothers and is the one who has been mostly affected by his difficult childhood and his parents’ alcoholism. Now with his recent divorce and his ex-wife taking everything but the shirt off his back, he is financially broke and spiraling downward into alcoholism himself becoming increasingly more bitter, mean, and untrusting of others. If that’s not enough, he has also acquired a new ghost companion which can only be seen by him and is asking for his assistance. Zoe Hoffman has had her own struggles in life and has been hurt enough times now that at the first sight of anything positive, she runs. Soft, sweet, beautiful, and as romantic as they come, Zoe’s sweet hearted nature has gotten her hurt and has encouraged her to put up emotional walls. Like oil and vinegar, when the pair is brought together by unforeseen circumstances, there is a constant battle between the two, but something changes in both of them…something for the better.

3The WitnessThe Witness, by Nora Roberts

This exciting suspenseful romance novel tops the charts of some of the most respected resources online and is one of our favorites on our list of the best romance novels of 2012. Elizabeth Fitch is an honor roll student with the world at her fingertips but just out of reach due to her neurosurgeon father mapping out her life for her. One evening, rebellion raging like wild fire, Elizabeth drinks too much at a nightclub and is seduced by a Russian man as she accompanies his to a house on Lake Shore Drive. Little did she know this night was going to change the course of her life. Twelve years later and living as Abigail Lowry she works privately and secluded as a designer of intricate security systems in a small town in the Ozarks, where she forms and unlikely bond with a police chief named Brooks Gleason who’s curiosity is peaked by her mysterious persona and feels the need to protect her from something he is sure to find out.

4The Marriage BargainThe Marriage Bargain, by Jennifer Probst

In this fun and steamy novel we meet Nicholas Ryan who is in need of a wife…and fast! As expressed in the will, in order to inherit his billionaire father’s corporation, Nick must first be married. The only problem is that Nick’s family life, coming from a broken home, has left him with severe emotional baggage and doesn’t believe in marriage nor does he think he will ever fall “IN love” with one woman. Alexa Maria Mckenzie is Nick’s sister’s best friend and her family is facing horrible financial problems. Determined to help her family in any way she can, she casts a love spell hoping that this will aid in her struggle. Nick’s sister come up with a brilliant plan that the tow should marry strictly out of convenience and only for one year. Easy right? Not so much. It seems fate has played a different role then what the trio had expected.

5The Last BoyfriendThe Last Boyfriend, by Nora Roberts

The Last Boyfriend is the 2nd book in the “Inn Boonsboro Trilogy”. This light and warmhearted love story follows two friends Owen and Avery as they discover each other in new ways they never thought they would. The pair has been friends their whole lives and Owen was Avery’s first boyfriend when they were only five years old. Much time has passed since then and Owen is now working with his brothers to open the new Inn Boonsboro right across the street from Avery’s popular pizza parlor where she has more opportunity to gaze at Owen in a less than innocent way. Owen is meticulous and organized while Avery is spontaneous and sporadic but somehow they find that it just…works, as they both contribute special qualities to the relationship especially when Owen must help Avery get past some of her hidden childhood secrets. You can also refer back to the first book in the trilogy The Next Always, and enjoy the third and final book The Perfect Hope.

6Summer DaysSummer Days, by Susan Mallery

This light, sweet, and simple romance novel, great for a rainy day, is the 7th in author Susan Mallery’s “Fools Gold” series. Another great “stand alone” book although it is the 7th installment of a series. Heidi is an average woman, sweet, kind, and just looking to be loved. Although it was for a good cause, her uncle sold part of her land without her permission and now a huge court battle is in progress with the woman he sold it to and her son Rafe who is determined to protect his mother from the “thief” who took her money. When the judge is unable to come to an immediate conclusion, she instructs both families to live on the land together until a verdict can be reached. It’s during this time that Heidi and Rafe’s entangled story begins.

7Rainshadow RoadRainshadow Road, by Lisa Kleypas

“Friday Harbor” series #2. With a bit of controversy as to whether or not this book is one of the best books of 2012 and whether it stands up to the other greats in Lisa Kleypass’s collection, this book stands on the edge of great and horrible. We thought it was great! We found that although this books reads much differently than other Kleypass novels, it didn’t affect the tone of the story or diminish the quality of the book as we actually found the plot quite relatable and touching. When the glass artist Lucy Marinn’s fiancé Kevin, leaves her for another woman she feels lost, alone, and betrayed. Not to mention, the other woman is Lucy’s sister. Her feelings are heightened by the realization of her constant mistakes when it comes to her love life. Looking for approval from Lucy’s parents and not likely to get it, Kevin hopes that by asking his friend Sam Nolan to woo Lucy, this will take the attention off of him. Little did he know that the relationship between Lucy and Sam would grow and he would begin to have doubts of his decisions. All the while, Lucy learns that her new relationship began under false pretension which leaves her full of questions and on a journey of self discovery.

8bared to youBared to You, by Sylvia Day

This book like many others on our list, tops the charts as one of the best romance novels of 2012 though there are many mixed reviews on the subject. It seems that in regards to this series, you either love it or you hate it, and many believe that the story line is suspiciously similar to the Fifty Shades of Grey series. Here at, we see the relation between both series much like the crazy dispute over which Stephanie Meyers Twilight character is better…Edward or Jacob. They, much like both of these series, are extremely similar, but yet so different. If you are a fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, then you will love Bared to You which is the first installment of the “Crossfire” series and vice versa. Gideon and Eva come into each others’ lives at the perfect moment, at full steam ahead, in a passionate and fiery love affair that takes control over the both of them. Both Eva and Gideon are jealous, dysfunctional, and irrational which leads to a hot and steamy sometimes rocky but still sweet emotional roller coaster. This fast paced book is full of hot, sexy love scenes and is not a sweet and innocent boy-meets-girl love story. Not intended for the weak kneed. Equally revered is the 2nd book in the “Crossfire” series, Reflected in You.

9Lucky in LoveLucky in Love, by Jill Shalvis

Lucky in Love portrays your typical good-girl falls for bad-guy love story, but it’s author Jill Shalvis’s writing that makes this story as fresh and original as the first time you heard it. Her character building skills, realistic occurrences between the characters, and subtle tensions between the two protagonists make for an exciting moment when the two finally erupt in love! In the town of Lucky Harbor, Mallory Quinn is known as the good girl, as she has always been sweet and polite and has now become a nurse. Yearning to break out of her shell and let loose, Ty Garrison couldn’t have come at a better time. Ty is a military man just passing through after an accident that has put him in the care of nurse Mallory and her friends are intent on setting the two up on a date. A quick fling was all the two were looking for but were surprised when their life decided to take an unplanned route that neither of them could have anticipated.

10Hidden SummitHidden Summit, by Robyn Carr

As number 17 in the “Virgin River” series and the most recent installment, many of the familiar characters from the town appear in this book and many unfinished side stories come to an end. In this particular book, Leslie Petruso is sick and tired of her ex husband pestering her to remain friends despite their failed marriage and his new wife who is expecting. Too much to handle, Leslie looks for an escape in another branch of the Haggerty Construction company and leaves town as fast as she can. Soon after, a man named Connor Danson comes to work for Haggerty as well while in the witness protection program after witnessing a murder. Also dealing with a failed marriage, losing his business, and now this, the last thing on his mind is love. Leslie and Connor try to deny their chemistry for one another, but they are fooling no one. A great book to curl up with as you watch the budding romance of these two lovelorn charecters unfold. Two other popular favorites in this series and also written in 2012 are Redwood Bend, and Sunrise Point.

Honorable Mentions

Below are some other fantastic romance novels of 2012 that you might enjoy. Although they did not quite make our list, they were extremely close behind and well worth reading!

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