A while back, we did a “best of” list featuring our favorite laugh-out-loud paranormal romances, and some of you said, “but Romance Rehab, what about funny contemporary romances? We NEED them!” So, never let it be said that we’re not givers, because here are our picks for the top 14 CONTEMPORARY romances that might result in snorting and peeing your pants just a little because you’re laughing so hard. (No reading in public, in other words) Enjoy!
Tangled by Emma Chase
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.
Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec
Warning #1: This book is not to be taken seriously. Do not read this if you don't have the sense of humor of a 15 year old boy. Do not read this if you ARE a fifteen year old boy. This book is totally crude and inappropriate and uses the word "vagina" a lot. No, I mean A LOT. If you don't think people who are drunk are hilarious, you shouldn't read this book. You probably shouldn't read this book if you aren't drunk yourself. You should probably just put this book down and get drunk. You may think that no one in the world talks like the people in this book, but they do. They are called "people who are funny and inappropriate". This book is completely unrealistic; the author is aware of that fact and did it on purpose.
2012 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee - Best Romance
Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he’s asleep) toddler a better life.
When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time.
With Carter’s undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire’s panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.
Warning #2: contains explicit sex, profanity and enough sarcasm to choke a horse.
You Complicate Me by Isabel Jordan
Grace Montgomery has a very simple plan. Fly to her younger brother’s wedding, stop the wedding, go home, make partner at her law firm. Almost getting arrested by air marshal Nick O’Connor? Not part of the plan. Neither was puking on him. (Don’t ask) Finding out he’s her soon-to-be brother-in-law…also a minor setback to her plan. And don’t even get her started on her untimely attraction to the tall, dark, and dead-sexy jerk.
If Nick had a plan, it wouldn’t include getting involved with a woman as complicated as Grace. It especially wouldn’t include road tripping with her to attend a week of pre-wedding family events. But as it turns out, traveling—and sparring—with the lovely, sharp-witted Grace is the most fun Nick’s had since, well, ever. And their sexual chemistry? Off. The. Charts.
It doesn’t take long for Grace to realize there’s a lot more to her air marshal than a pretty face and a big, um, gun. If she’s not careful, she just might lose her highly prized control—not to mention her heart—to Nick. But before Grace and Nick can set foot on the road to happily ever after, they’ll have to deal with Grace’s meddling ex, a slew of dysfunctional family members, and a contaminated pumpkin bisque (long story) … and that’s all before the end of day two.
It’s gonna be a long, complicated week…
NOTE: You can check out our 5-star review of You Complicate Me here!
Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid
There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She's determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Being a billionaire heiress isn't all it's cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family's legacy. But now, Kat's silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.
Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O'Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.
Except, what happens when Dan O'Malley isn't as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?
Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley
Indy Savage, cop's daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy's employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicating matters, Lee has decided he's interested, Indy's decided she's not. But she can't seem to keep Lee out of her life when she's repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she's finding dead bodies).
Indy's best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee's challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.
And One Last Thing by Molly Harper
"If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."
Lacey Terwilliger’s shock and humiliation over her husband’s philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike’s company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike’s family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend," Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town, a media punch line, and the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit.
Her seemingly perfect life up in flames, Lacey retreats to her family’s lakeside cabin, only to encounter an aggravating neighbor named Monroe. A hunky crime novelist with a low tolerance for drama, Monroe is not thrilled about a newly divorced woman moving in next door. But with time, beer, and a screen door to the nose, a cautious friendship develops into something infinitely more satisfying.
Lacey has to make a decision about her long-term living arrangements, though. Should she take a job writing caustic divorce newsletters for paying clients, or move on with her own life, pursuing more literary aspirations? Can she find happiness with a man who tells her what he thinks and not what she wants to hear? And will she ever be able to resist saying one . . . last . . . thing?
Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves
When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.
Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.
But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.
Egomaniac by Vi Keeland
The night I met Drew Jagger, he'd just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills. He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.
Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant.
Only, turned out, he wasn't an intruder at all.
Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He'd been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn't really available for rent.
I was swindled out of ten grand.
The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he'd let me stay until I found a new place.
I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn't help giving him a piece of my mind.
I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.
The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell, destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages.
The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing. And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.
NOTE: You can check out our 5-star review of Egomaniac here!
The Negotiator by Avery Flynn
Wanted: Personal Buffer
Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.
Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a buffer from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with candidates to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancé...
This free-spirit might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for date nights (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?
Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match..
Playing for Keeps by RL Mathewson
Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to start changing. The first thing that she was going to do was to put a stop to all the crap that her aggravating neighbor put her through. What she hadn't expected was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget what the bad boy next door is capable of.
The last thing that Jason expected was for his shy little neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers, but he quickly got over it once he realized exactly what he'd been missing. After he decides to take her under his wing, he can't help but notice how nicely she fits in his life. Now the only thing left to do was to convince her that this is anything but a game.
This book is meant to put a smile on your face and give you a break from the day to day drama and stress that plagues us all. This book is intended for readers that like to smile, possibly laugh and just want to relax with a sweet romance.
Anything You Can Do by RS Grey
Lucas Thatcher has always been my enemy.
It’s been a decade since I’ve seen him, but our years on opposite coasts were less of a lasting peace and more of a temporary cease-fire. Now that we’re both back in our small town, I know Lucas expects the same old war, but I’ve changed since high school—and from the looks of it, so has he.
The arrogant boy who was my teenage rival is now a chiseled doctor armed with intimidating good looks. He is Lucas Thatcher 2.0, the new and improved version I’ll be competing with in the workplace instead of the schoolyard.
I’m not worried; I’m a doctor now too, board-certified and sexy in a white coat. It almost feels like winning will be too easy—until Lucas unveils a tactic neither of us has ever used before: sexual warfare.
The day he pushes me up against the wall and presses his lips to mine, I can’t help but wonder if he’s filling me with passion or poison. Every fleeting touch is perfect torture. With every stolen kiss, my walls crumble a little more. After all this time, Lucas knows exactly how to strip me of my defenses, but I’m in no hurry to surrender.
Knowing thy enemy has never felt so good.
Play by Kylie Scott
Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast-at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn't plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn't count on finding the one right girl.
Anne Rollins never thought she'd ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls-especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn't end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.
Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative--completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules--or outright smash them--if it means he can have her. All over the office.
As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.