Shelf Love's Modern Romance Canon Reading List

May 31, 2020

Let’s make a modern romance canon! Starting towards the end of 2019, I started asking my guests what romance novel they’d nominate for the modern romance canon.

My Definitions:

A romance novel = a fictional story with a romantic relationship that is central to the plot with an emotionally satisfying ending

Modern = published after 1972, i.e. “modern” is the period of romance publishing post-The Flame and the Flower

This list is growing with every episode and is by no means a complete list. I’ve listed the nominated books below - take a listen to the originating episode to get the full story behind the nomination. Click here to learn how you can contribute to the canon.

Modern Romance Canon Nominees

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Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Nominated by Talia Hibbert in Episode 27: Listen

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Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Nominated by Kennedy Ryan in Episode 28: Listen

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The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Nominated by Emma Barry in Episode 30: Listen

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A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Nominated by Charish Reid in Episode 31: Listen

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Unclaimed by Courtney Milan

Nominated by Hannah Hearts Romance in Episode 38: Listen

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Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

Nominated by Adriana Herrera in Episode 42: Listen

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A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles

Nominated by Adriana Herrera in Episode 42: Listen

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Nominated by Adriana Herrera in Episode 42: Listen

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Prosperity by Alexis Hall

Nominated by EE Ottoman in Episode 44: Listen