A while back I made a child-free meme that garnered a lot of attention and a lot of amazing recommendations in the comments. This post is me compiling those recommendations into a one-stop-shop easy-to-click post where you can find romances that don't revolve around children nor slip them into the epilogue.
Please note: some of these recommendations are simply books that do not feature children and some specifically are and/or mention being child-free (whether by choice or infertility or whatnot). Do further research (i.e. get your Google/Goodreads review searching on) if you want it one way or another. If you find a recommendation here that isn't child-free please let me know! I haven't read all of these and cannot 100% vouch for their child-free status.
So Not My Type by Amelia Kingston
Rating: 4.19/5 stars
Blurb: An endearingly irreverent love story. To Jackie Ryan, insults are foreplay and love is war. What the feisty redhead lacks in stature, she makes up in attitude. She’s made more than one grown man cry and she’s damn proud of it. Little does the rowdy barista know she’s about to meet her match in the shape of a walking, talking pair of starched khakis.
When unassuming Eddie Jaworski stumbles into a quirky coffee shop, he isn’t expecting a battle of wits with the maniac behind the counter. Still, he can’t help be intrigued by the endearingly irreverent human enigma. She’s brash, but considerate. Closed off to most, but fiercely loyal to a few. Everything is a joke, except those things that are sacred. Jackie doesn’t trust easily and if he wants to get close, he’s going to have to work for every inch. Good thing he’s up for the challenge.
But Eddie has a secret—one he didn’t mean to keep—that’s going to tug at the delicate strings weaving the pair together. When everything begins to unravel, Jackie must decide just what she’s willing to risk for love.
The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
recced by @tnstrumpets
Rating: 3.93/5 stars
Blurb: Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.
Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.
So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership... even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.
The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan
recced by @tnstrumpets
Rating: 4.44/5 stars
Blurb: Captain Grayson Hunter knows the battle to complete the first worldwide telegraphic network will be fierce, and he intends to win it by any means necessary. When he hears about a reclusive genius who has figured out how to slash the cost of telegraphic transmissions, he vows to do whatever it takes to get the man in his employ. Except the reclusive genius is not a man, and she’s not looking for employment.
Amelia Smith was born in Shanghai, and taken in by English missionaries. She’s not interested in Captain Hunter’s promises or his ambitions. But the harder he tries to convince her, the more she realizes that there is something she wants from him: She wants everything. And she’ll have to crack the frozen shell he’s made of his heart to get it.
Southern Sinner by Jessica Peterson
recced by @kabax0906
Rating: 4.54/5 stars
Blurb: When I took a seat next to the gorgeous brunette at the blackjack table, I had no idea it would be the start of the hottest weekend of my life. By day, Stevie and I dominate the casinos of Sin City. By night, I dominate her in my penthouse suite. Then my brother Samuel ruins it by asking me to come home for his engagement party. Because he’s not just getting married. This isn’t a normal celebration for me. His future bride is my "one who got away." The girl I may or may not still be in love with.
We set our ground rules: lots of sex, plenty of pretend smiles, and no strings. But we’re not only gambling with the truth. We’re gambling with our hearts. They say every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. But Stevie’s past may force us to fold on our future before it’s even begun.
Home Field Advantage by Liz Lincoln
Rating: 3.83/5 stars
Blurb: For Milwaukee Dragons beat reporter Natalie Griffith, he’s clearly D) all of the above. Three years ago, Natalie’s bombshell report on her ex-boyfriend’s off-the-field scandals landed her the job she loves, but she still feels guilty about destroying his career. Now Quinn Lowry’s back, and he’s taking over her locker room, flashing his charming smile and reminding her exactly how hot they were together.
After two years out of the league, Quinn is sober and on the field again. He’s worked his ass off and he’s not going to blow his second chance, not even for the woman who broke his heart—twice. Having Natalie around is the last thing Quinn needs while he’s trying to prove he deserves to stay on the team.
Maybe one final night together will give them both some much-needed closure. But with Natalie’s boss pressuring her for another headline-grabbing scoop, can she admit to herself that she’s falling for Quinn all over again?
Let's Get Textual by Teagan Hunter
recced by @shrewandsnail
Rating: 4.13/5 stars
Blurb: A wrong number is supposed to be just that—a wrong number. Delete. Done. Do not continue to text. Do not flirt. A wrong number shouldn't be the first person on your mind in the morning, or the last at night...and you're definitely not supposed to talk them into buying a baby goat. Because that would be weird.
When Zach Hastings and I get into a wrong-number mix-up, we don't follow the rules. We keep texting and flirting, because he's wicked funny and perfectly nerdy and a wonderful distraction. I'm not looking for love, and Zach definitely had the wrong number. But maybe...Maybe he's the right guy.
Ridge Rogues series by Renee Harless
Rating: 4.15/5 stars
Blurb: I had a past. It was dark. It was ugly. It was my dirty secret. No one knew the weight of the burdens that nearly consumed me. I lived with a singular focus—seeking revenge on my father. Then the new girl, Jolee Ward, moved into the apartment above me and shattered my carefully constructed world. We were like oil and water. . . until we weren’t. Then we detonated like gasoline and fire, but the inferno threatened to destroy us both. One night with her couldn’t erase years spent plotting. Wellington University wasn’t big enough for the both of us.
Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh
recced by @tales_and_teacups
Rating: 3.84/5 stars
Blurb: Jessica McGale's family business desperately needs investors, and she's determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London's elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he'd have on her.
Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there's a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She's brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible...
As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel's expense breaks Jess' heart. He doesn't just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?
Red Winter Trilogy by Anette Marie
recced by @bryonysbooknook
Rating: 4.3/5 stars
Blurb: Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate. Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can't match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not. On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope... and hope is all she has left.
Rating: 4.51/5 stars
Blurb: Lizzie and Charles have been married for years. Childhood sweethearts and best friends, they know each other better than they know themselves. However, as they enter their thirties trying for a family begins to consume their life and cracks begin to show as Lizzie comes face to face with a problem she can’t fix. In a desperate moment, she wishes she could take it all back…
And then she wakes up at nineteen again
Instead of marrying Charles, Lizzie leaves him.
Instead of 'Williams' after her name, Lizzie stays a 'Cartwright'.
But some things can't be hidden forever. Thirteen years later, fate intervenes and suddenly Charles is back in Lizzie's life again, confused and intrigued as to why the girl he loved so many years ago seems to be avoiding him at all costs. As the pair get closer and closer, Charles begins to remember things he can't explain whilst Lizzie struggles to keep the only person she has ever loved at arm's-length.
Lizzie has spent her entire new life keeping secrets and thinking she did the right thing but secrets leave scars and maybe this time, she didn't solve a problem, she simply created more of them.
Space Junk by Sara L. Hudson
recced by @jemmalourdes
Rating: 4.39/5 stars
Blurb: NASA engineer Dr. Jackie Darling Lee is a genius about many things... the male species is not one of them (despite the many cowboy romances she reads).
Then a little friendly blackmail from a co-worker has Jackie walking into a Texas saloon ready to initiate Operation Social Life. After making friends with her waitress and helping a drunk country beauty get home safely, she thinks she’s off to a good start.
Flynn West left his family’s rich ranching life behind after discovering his girlfriend’s gold digging ways. Now he specializes in vintage muscle car restorations in his own shop in Houston. He’s taken women off his radar, until a wild-haired blonde drags his drunk little sister through his front door. The moment he sees those thick, black-framed glasses on that slender nose, Flynn’s captivated. Ignitions ignite, and not just from Flynn’s skills at hot-wiring cars.
But in the midst of the International Space Station being threatened and old flames reappearing, can Jackie and Flynn let go of old hang-ups long enough to reach the end of their Happily Ever After countdown? Or will it be a failure to launch?
The Prince of Broadway by Joanna Schupe
recced by @passion4planet
Rating: 3.92/5 stars
Blurb: As the owner of the city's most exclusive casino, Clayton Madden holds the fortunes of prominent families in the palms of his hands every night. There is one particular family he burns to ruin, however, one that has escaped his grasp... until now.
Florence Greene is no one's fool. She knows Clayton Madden is using her to ruin her prestigious family... and she's using him right back. She plans to learn all she can from the mysterious casino owner—then open a casino of her own just for women.
With revenge on his mind, Clay agrees to mentor Florence. However, she soon proves more adept—and more alluring—than Clay bargained for. When his plans are threatened, Clay must decide if he is willing to gamble his empire on love.
Rock Bottom Girl by Lucy Score
recced by @thethirstamendment
Rating: 4.40/5 stars
Blurb: Downsized, broke, and dumped, 38-year-old Marley sneaks home to her childhood bedroom in the town she couldn’t wait to escape twenty years ago. Not much has changed in Culpepper. The cool kids are still cool. Now they just own car dealerships and live in McMansions next door. Oh, and the whole town is still talking about that Homecoming she ruined her senior year.
Desperate for a new start, Marley accepts a temporary teaching position. Can the girl banned from all future Culpepper High Homecomings keep the losing-est girls soccer team in school history from killing each other and prevent carpal tunnel in a bunch of phone-clutching gym class students?
Maybe with the help of Jake Weston, high school bad boy turned sexy good guy. When the school rumor mill sends Marley to the principal’s office to sign an ethics contract, the tattooed track coach, dog dad, and teacher of the year becomes her new fake boyfriend and alibi—for a price. The Deal: He’ll teach her how to coach if she teaches him how to be in a relationship.
Who knew a fake boyfriend could deliver such real orgasms? But it’s all temporary. The guy. The job. The team. There’s too much history. Rock bottom can’t turn into a foundation for happily ever after. Can it?
Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins
recced by @bliss_books_wine_kc
Rating: 4.27/5 stars
Blurb: A reporter has come to Wyoming to do a story on doctors for his Black newspaper back east. He thinks Colton Lee will be an interesting subject…until he meets Colton’s sister, Spring. She runs her own ranch, wears denim pants instead of dresses, and is the most fascinating woman he’s ever met.
But Spring, who has overcome a raucous and scandalous past, isn’t looking for, nor does she want, love. As their attraction grows, will their differences come between them or unite them for an everlasting love?
A Wolf Apart by Maria Vale
Rating: 3.83/5 stars
Blurb: Thea Villalobos has long since given up trying to be what others expect of
her. So in Elijah Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something inside him is dying . . . Elijah Sorensson has all kinds of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah despises the human life he's forced to endure. He's Alpha of his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside him will no longer be restrained . . .
Covet by Rosanna Leo
recced by @mariavaleauthor
Rating: 4.48/5 stars
Blurb: Alex just acquired Sin City’s hottest casino hotel, and he’s determined to make Vice the ultimate pleasure palace—along with the mind-blowing new club, Covet. But behind the successful entrepreneur façade,
Alex struggles with a past that continues to haunt him, day in and day out. After a surprise hookup with a beautiful stranger, he thinks he’s found the perfect distraction…until she walks out, leaving him with an unfamiliar ache which the pulse-pounding nights of excess at Covet can’t soothe.
When their paths cross once again, Alex realizes Dana is so much more than a mere distraction. He wants her—all of her. But having her means he needs to face both her demons…and his own. “Warning: This book contains discussion of infertility, which may be difficult for some readers.”
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
recced by @clarebear.1974
Rating: 3.93/5 stars
Blurb: Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.
But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—true love.
Cowgirls Don't Cry by Silver James
recced by @yesisneatthings
Rating: 4.11/5 stars
Blurb: Cassidy Morgan wasn't raised a crybaby. So when her father dies and leaves the family ranch vulnerable to takeover by an Okie gazillionaire with a grudge, she doesn't shed a tear — she fights back.
But Chance Barron, the son of said gazillionaire, is a too-sexy adversary. In fact, it isn't until Cassidy falls head over heels for the sexy cowboy-hat-wearing attorney that she even finds out he's the enemy. Now she needs a plucky plan to save her birthright. But Chance has another trick up his sleeve, putting family loyalties — and passion — to the ultimate test.
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
recced by @procrastinatewithreading
Rating: 4.09/5 stars
Blurb: Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.
After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.
After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy—and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven...
Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston
recced by Romantically Inclined Reviews
Rating: 3.92/5 stars
Blurb: What's an Alpha Male to do when he meets the Alpha Female of his dreams? Step one, hide all sharp objects. All Zach Sheridan ever wanted was to become Alpha Male of his Pack and be left alone. What he definitely didn't need in his life was some needy female demanding his attention. What he never saw coming was the vicious, scarred female who not only demanded his attention but knew exactly how to get it.
Sara Morrighan knew this was the best she could expect from her life. Good friends. A nice place to live. And a safe job. But when Zach rode into her small Texas town with his motorcycle club, Sara knew she wanted more. She knew she wanted him. But after one sexy encounter with her dream biker, everything is starting to change. Her body. Her strength. That new thing she's doing with the snarling.
Even her best friends are starting to wonder what's going on with her. But this is only the beginning. Sara's about to find out her life was meant for so much more. And Zach's about to find true love with the one woman who makes him absolutely insane.
Enjoy & let me know your thoughts if you read any of the above!