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Top 50 Best Slow Burn Romance Books

by | May 25, 2023 | Slow Burn, Top 10 Guide

For those of you who came here for the list- click here to get straight to it! If you want to learn more about the slow burn romance books themselves, read on.

Have you ever started a book where the two main characters don’t instantly fall head over heels for each other? Instead, they take their time, letting their relationship develop slowly and naturally. This is the charm of slow burn romance books. They offer us the chance to see love grow gradually, often through many trials and tribulations.

In this article, we’re going to explore the world of slow burn romance. We’ve collected a great list of 50 slow burn romance books that will take you on a ride. Prepare yourself for emotional journeys that lead to beautiful endings. Because, as fans of slow burn romance books know, the best things in life take time.

What Is Slow Burn Romance?

Slow burn romance contains a gradual and subtle development of an emotional and physical connection between two characters. In slow burn romance books, the road to love isn’t straightforward; it’s filled with obstacles, misunderstandings, and suspense. With a pace that’s more relaxed, slow burn romances give us the chance to really understand the characters’ emotions and experiences.

One key characteristic of a slow burn romance is the lingering tension between the characters. This tension can come from different personalities, conflicting life dreams, or outside issues that keep them apart. As the plot advances, this tension increases, cultivating a sense of eagerness and thrill for the reader.

Another important aspect of slow burn romances is the deep emotional dimension of the characters. The slow and steady growth of the relationship allows readers to get to know the characters in depth. This deep understanding facilitates a more significant and rewarding connection when the characters finally admit their love.

The Appeal of Slow Burn Romance

Slow burn romances appeal to readers because they allow for a deeper emotional connection with the story. If you’re looking for a book that will keep you engaged and invested from start to finish, slow burn romance books may be your perfect match.

The Anticipation

The allure of slow burn romance books lies in the anticipation. Rather than jumping straight into a love story, these books draw out the ‘almost’ and ‘not quite’ moments. This deliberate pacing amplifies the emotional resonance, making the climactic confession or the much-awaited first kiss utterly satisfying.

Peeling Back Layers of Characters

Slow burn romances offer an in-depth exploration of their characters. Authors take their time revealing the multiple layers of their characters, letting us comprehend their motivations, apprehensions, and aspirations. This exploration deepens our connection with the characters and enhances the genuineness and depth of their ensuing romantic bond.

Cultivating Emotional Closeness

Another hallmark of slow burn romance books is the emphasis on emotional intimacy. These narratives showcase the gradual entwining of two hearts, treating us to shared stolen glances, whispered secrets, and vulnerable moments. These seemingly small interactions accumulate to form a bond that is profound and meaningful.

The Magnetism of Tension and Longing

Slow burn romance books thrive on the undercurrents of tension and longing. The allure lies in the almost-touches, yearning glances, and emotions that bubble beneath the surface. This tension fuels our curiosity, making us eagerly turn pages, impatient for the moment the characters succumb to their feelings.

The Satisfying Payoff

The defining moment of a slow burn romance is its rewarding climax. After chapters filled with anticipation, when the characters finally bare their hearts or share their first kiss, the payoff is exciting. This moment of emotional release leaves us readers basking in the glow of their triumph.

How Slow is Slow?

The allure of slow burn romance books lies in their deliberate pacing. It’s a captivating dance of anticipation, a slow-building tension that grows until it’s unmissable. But what exactly is the rhythm of this dance, and just how slow is a slow burn romance?

The speed of ‘slow’ can vary as much as the characters populating these stories. In some stories, the slow burn might involve small gestures and quiet moments spread out over hundreds of pages, leading up to a dramatic confession of love near the end. Slow burn isn’t just about waiting for that first kiss or confession—it’s about enjoying the growing connection between the characters.

The Gentle Simmer

Some slow burn romance books resemble a pot gently simmering on the stovetop. The connection between the characters may be visible from the onset, yet they resist rushing into anything. Their bond grows progressively, page by page, through shared experiences, meaningful conversations, and burgeoning trust. The emotions and intensity blossom quietly and subtly, culminating in a gratifying climax that leaves us readers utterly entranced.

The Long Roast

Then, there are the slow burn romances that genuinely embrace the ‘slow’ aspect. In these narratives, characters might spend a good portion of the story oblivious to their feelings for each other. Here, romance is more a marathon than a sprint, with the emotional payoff arriving much later. However, when it does, it’s akin to a seismic shift, making the wait worthwhile.

The Smoldering Fire

Lastly, let’s remember the slow burn romance books that sizzle with an ever-present undercurrent of tension. Characters in these tales might not immediately fall into each other’s arms, they may even hate each other at first, but the chemistry between them is palpable, smoldering like a fire that could ignite at any moment.

It’s time to find your favorite slow burn romance. Whether you’re a fan of a gentle simmer, a long roast, or a smoldering fire, rest assured there’s a slow burn romance out there waiting to sweep you off your feet. So, let’s explore our top 50 picks of the best slow burn romances!

Contemporary Slow Burn Romance Books

If you relish modern-day love stories that gradually unfold, contemporary slow burn romance books are an excellent choice. These narratives encapsulate the charm of everyday moments and transform them into something extraordinary through the lens of blossoming love. The characters traverse the intricacies of contemporary life, and amidst these ordinary scenarios, love sprouts and promises an emotionally satisfying culmination.

The beauty of contemporary romance lies in their emphasis on the journey of love, which mirrors the rhythm of real life. These narratives cherish the slow evolution of love, building anticipation and connection. If you’re prepared to immerse yourself in an incredible slow burn romance that reflects life’s natural pace, we’ve curated a collection of contemporary slow burn romance books for you.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

by Talia Hibbert

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “get a life,” and she’s enlisted the help of a tattooed, motorcycle-riding artist to help her accomplish them. Red Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more baggage than he needs. Still, he’s also kind, thoughtful, and absolutely up for Chloe’s challenge.

The chemistry between Chloe and Red sizzles right from the start, but their relationship unfolds gradually, giving readers time to appreciate their character arcs as much as their romantic journey. The book handles serious topics like chronic illness and emotional trauma with sensitivity, making the eventual payoff all the more meaningful.

Beach Read

by Emily Henry

Beach Read features two polar opposite writers, January Andrews, and Augustus Everett, who find themselves living next door to each other for the summer. January is a romance writer who no longer believes in love, and Gus is a literary fiction author who cannot write. The two strike a deal to write in each other’s genres, leading to a summer filled with revelations, understanding, and feelings they never expected.

Despite their initial disagreements, the connection between January and Gus is palpable. Their relationship grows through shared vulnerability, long talks, and writing challenges, making their journey toward love deeply emotional and satisfying. The gradual build-up of their romance, coupled with poignant storytelling, makes this a standout slow burn romance.

The Kiss Quotient

by Helen Hoang

Stella Lane is a brilliant woman with Asperger’s Syndrome who knows everything about algorithms but little about love. To rectify this, she hires an escort, Michael Phan, to teach her everything about relationships and intimacy. What starts as a business deal soon becomes so much more as the two navigate the tricky waters of love and vulnerability.

The Kiss Quotient stands out as a slow burn romance because of the layered character development and genuine emotional growth. The romance between Stella and Michael unfolds at a pace that respects Stella’s personal growth and the navigation of her neurodiversity. It’s an honest and tender story that showcases how love can be patient, understanding, and rewarding in the end.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

by Mariana Zapata

Vanessa Mazur, an assistant to a professional football player, Aiden Graves, resigns to start her own business. But Aiden, aka “The Wall of Winnipeg,” doesn’t want to let her go, proposing a marriage of convenience that Vanessa reluctantly agrees to. As they live together, their feelings evolve from simply being a fake relationship to becoming something more profound and real.

Rooted in real-world issues of feeling undervalued and pursuing personal dreams, the story allows readers to become deeply invested in the evolving dynamics between Aiden and Vanessa. This slow burn romance book takes its time to show how their relationship grows from being work-related to becoming friends and finally falling in love. Mariana Zapata expertly builds tension and anticipation, making this story deeply satisfying.


by Mariana Zapata

Sal Casillas is a professional soccer player who had once idolized German soccer star Reiner Kulti. When Kulti comes out of retirement to coach Sal’s team, she must grapple with her teenage fantasies clashing with the reality of Kulti’s abrasive personality. But as they work together, their relationship changes, developing into a bond stronger than either had imagined.

This slow burn romance is woven seamlessly with the world of professional soccer. Zapata takes her time in developing the complex relationship between Sal and Kulti, first building a foundation of respect and friendship before introducing romantic elements. Their gradual journey from hatred to romance is realistic and rewarding, highlighting the power of patience and mutual understanding in a love story.

The Charm Offensive

by Alison Cochrun

Dev is a reality dating show producer, and Charlie is the season’s ‘Prince Charming.’ Unfortunately, Charlie is disastrously bad at dating, and it’s up to Dev to help him navigate the show. As they spend more time together, they start developing feelings for each other, complicating everything.

This book is a compelling slow burn romance because it focuses on the budding romance between Dev and Charlie and their personal growth. Both characters face their own struggles, and their slow journey toward understanding, accepting, and loving each other adds depth and emotional intensity to the story. It’s a heartfelt exploration of love that unfolds organically and thoughtfully.

The Spanish Love Deception

by Elena Armas

Catalina Martín needs a date for her sister’s wedding to ward off unwanted attention from her past. She convinces her infuriateing office nemesis, Aaron Blackford, to play the role of her loving boyfriend. However, their pretend relationship starts to feel uncomfortably real as they navigate family, old wounds, and their undeniable attraction.

This slow burn romance book takes the enemies-to-lovers trope and adds a rich depth of character development. The tension and emotional build-up between Catalina and Aaron, coupled with witty banter and chemistry, make their journey to love a rewarding and engrossing read.

The Flatshare

by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat and a bed but have never met. Leon occupies the flat while Tiffy is at work during the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. They communicate through notes and gradually open up to each other, finding comfort and connection despite their unusual living arrangement.

The Flatshare is a unique take on the slow burn trope. It effectively uses the concept of emotional intimacy before physical intimacy, allowing the relationship between Tiffy and Leon to develop slowly and organically through their notes. The gradual development of their relationship adds a sense of realism and emotional depth, making their relationship feel earned and heartwarming.

The Right Swipe

by Alisha Rai

Rhiannon Hunter is a successful dating app creator who values no-strings-attached relationships until she swipes right on former pro-football player Samson Lima. When Samson ghosts her, only to reappear as a spokesperson for a rival dating app company, sparks fly, and they’re forced to confront their complex feelings for each other.

The Right Swipe provides a contemporary slow burn romance, balancing heavier themes with lighter, heartwarming moments. The emotional and professional journey that Rhiannon and Samson embark on is as essential as their romantic one. Their relationship evolves at a realistic pace, allowing the readers to appreciate their growth as individuals and as a couple fully.

The Things We Leave Unfinished

by Rebecca Yarros

Returning to her late great-grandmother’s estate in Colorado, Georgia Stanton meets successful romance novelist Noah Harrison, tasked with completing her great-grandmother’s final work. As they explore the unfinished manuscript and personal letters, they discover her tragic wartime romance. Georgia is unwavering in her resolve not to finish the book with a happy ending. This decision threatens to disrupt Noah’s thriving career.

The relationship between Georgia and Noah evolves as they engage with the historical romance, adding layers of tension, intrigue, and emotional depth. As they uncover the secrets of the past, their own relationship evolves, creating a compelling parallel that emphasizes the slow, gradual nature of their romance. Both the past and present storylines had me hooked!

Fantasy and Paranormal Slow Burn Romance Books

For those who find solace in the familiar but are thrilled by the unknown, we present slow burn romance books set amidst fantasy and paranormal realms. These stories offer a captivating fusion of romance and the extraordinary, drawing you out of your routine and immersing you in enchanting worlds where love blossoms amid mystery and magic. These stories celebrate romances that build slowly against a backdrop of paranormal intrigue, offering a unique charm that blends the allure of a contemporary slow burn with the enchantment of fantasy.

Prepare yourself for a love story beyond the ordinary and dive into our selection of top fantasy and paranormal slow burn romance books, each promising to transport you to realms rich with passion, intrigue, and heartwarming love stories that unfold with delicious tension.

A Court of Mist and Fury

by Sarah J. Maas

In the exciting sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, readers return to the magical realm of the High Fae. This time, we follow Feyre as she deals with the consequences of her bold actions from the first book. This fantasy romance is filled with exciting adventures, mysterious magic, and memorable characters that will stay with readers long after they finish the book.

If you’re a fan of captivating fantasy and slow-building romance, this book offers a perfect blend of suspense, desire, and memorable characters. The tale also adds a spicy layer to the relationships, making the connections between characters even more fascinating. You will need to read the first book of the series prior and prepare to delve into a slow burn romance that will keep you captivated until the very last page.


by Grace Draven

Brishen, a Kai prince of no renown, is married off to Ildiko, a noblewoman from a human kingdom, for a political alliance. Although they find each other physically repugnant due to their racial differences, they bond over their shared circumstances, gradually developing a deep respect and affection for each other.

Radiance is a wonderful example of a slow burn romance where physical attraction is not the primary driver of the romantic relationship. The bond between Brishen and Ildiko develops organically from friendship, with their mutual respect and understanding forming the foundation of their love.

Trial of the Sun Queen

by Amanda Bennett

Lor was a captive for twelve grueling years under the Aurora King and found herself suddenly thrust into a deadly contest vying for the Sun King’s heart. Her unexpected release lands her amid nine other tributes, each battling for the same goal – the crown and freedom. But the stakes are high; lose, and she faces death, or worse, being returned to her tormentor, the Aurora King.

The slow burn romance woven into this high-stakes plot is complex and engaging. It’s a compelling blend of danger, intrigue, and slow burn romance. This careful, slow reveal of the main character’s connection lends depth to the narrative, allowing readers to become invested in their burgeoning relationship amidst the trials’ perils.

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches

by Sangu Mandanna

Mika Moon, a solitary witch in Britain, creates an online persona as a witch, assuming it won’t be taken seriously. Surprisingly, she’s contacted to tutor three young witches at the secluded Nowhere House. Despite her rules, she accepts, becoming entwined with the house’s inhabitants and the aloof librarian, Jamie.

The budding romance unfolds at a captivating, slow pace. Through shared laughter, moments of magic, and a heartwarming found family trope, the pair’s relationship flourishes, creating an enchanting slow-burn romance. This charming romantic tension, coupled with the delightful found family at Nowhere House, leaves readers thoroughly engrossed and yearning for more.


by Laura Thalassa

Sara Burns is a firefighter tasked with the impossible mission of killing Pestilence, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When her attempt fails, Pestilence takes her prisoner. As they journey together, their contentious relationship slowly evolves into something more profound.

The slow burn romance is complex, framed within an apocalyptic setting. Thalassa takes her time developing the relationship between Sara and Pestilence, turning their initial enmity into an unexpected love story. The slow burn romance adds depth to the characters and complexity to the story, offering readers a fascinating exploration of love, redemption, and humanity in the face of the apocalypse.

From Blood and Ash

by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Poppy is the Maiden, chosen from birth to fulfill a divine role but never allowed to truly live. Guarded by the brooding and mysterious Hawke, she questions everything she was taught about her duty and destiny. As a forbidden attraction grows between them, they are forced to confront dangerous secrets and heart-wrenching betrayals.

Jennifer L. Armentrout skillfully weaves a slow burn romance into this high-stakes fantasy novel. The relationship between Poppy and Hawke is intensely passionate yet carefully drawn out, ensuring the characters and their journeys are as compelling as their romance. Their story is a wonderful blend of tension, anticipation, and emotional depth, making it a standout slow burn romance.

The Serpent and the Wings of Night

by Carissa Broadbent

Oraya is the human daughter adopted by the Nightborn vampire king, who strives to rise above her prey status by participating in the legendary Kejari tournament. She forms a dangerous alliance with a menacing rival, Raihn, a vampire at odds with her father’s throne. This relationship triggers a dance of peril and attraction, making Raihn an enigma who endangers and fascinates Oraya.

Their growing attraction amidst the ruthless competition provides a suspenseful romantic narrative that keeps the reader engaged, wondering when and how their romantic tension will finally resolve. Furthermore, the story deepens the complexity of their relationship by adding layers of forbidden love and forced proximity, making their slow-burning romance a captivating part of this thrilling fantasy.

The Bridge Kingdom

by Danielle L. Jensen

Lara is a trained assassin sent to marry the king of the Bridge Kingdom under pretenses. As she grows closer to King Aren, her loyalties become blurred, and an unexpected attraction surfaces, complicating her mission and casting doubt on her ingrained beliefs. Lara’s journey of self-discovery amidst a whirlpool of deception and political manipulation adds an extra layer of complexity to the storyline.

The romance between Lara and Aren unfolds gradually and authentically, intertwining seamlessly with the high-stakes political intrigue. This thoughtful, well-paced development enhances their connection and adds a profound emotional resonance to the plot. The slow burn of their relationship results in an intensely satisfying culmination, enriching the overall narrative and leaving the reader eager for more.

A Promise of Fire

by Amanda Bouchet

Cat is a gifted soothsayer, cloaked in secrecy and running from her mysterious past. On the other hand, Griffin is an enterprising warlord driven by the need for Cat’s mystical abilities to fortify his realm. When Griffin kidnaps Cat in a bold bid to exploit her magic, they find themselves bound by an unforeseen connection.

The relationship between Cat and Griffin is slow to unfold, allowing room for character development, world-building, and the exploration of their magical abilities. Their complicated relationship adds depth and emotional intensity to the story, making it a must-read for fans of slow burn romance and fantasy.

The Witch Collector

by Charissa Weaks

Raina Bloodgood is a strong, mute witch on a mission to end the terrifying ritual carried out by the Witch Collector, Alexus Thibault, who takes villagers to serve the immortal Frost King. However, when a greater threat surfaces, Raina finds herself having to ally with her sworn enemy. Together, they traverse a realm filled with ice, fire, and ancient gods, aiming to rescue Raina’s sister and preserve their kingdom.

Their initial status as enemies creates a captivating tension, which is only heightened by the forced proximity they endure during their mission. This romantic tension gradually melts into trust and affection while maintaining a tantalizing pace that leaves readers eagerly flipping through pages. The characters’ development, the richness of their world, and the stakes they’re battling against all enhance the romantic arc.

Historical Slow Burn Romance Books

Historical romances are perfect if you love stories that combine romance with rich historical details. Set in various eras, these wonderful slow burn romance books often revolve around strong and determined characters who aren’t afraid to go against what society expects of them. Offering a vivid glimpse into the past, these books explore the intricacies of love against a backdrop of distinctive historical context.

Historical slow burn romance books are more than stories of burgeoning affection; they are love stories intricately bound to their time’s traditions, attitudes, and challenges. No matter what time period you are drawn to, a historical slow burn romance is ready to take you there. So, let’s explore this genre together, finding love stories that unfold gradually within the fascinating context of history.


by Diana Gabaldon

Claire Randall is a nurse from 1946 who finds herself transported back to Scotland in 1743. There, she meets the gallant and passionate highlander, Jamie Fraser. As Claire navigates this unfamiliar world, she’s torn between her growing love for Jamie and her desire to return to her own time and her husband.

The slow burn romance in Outlander is a captivating blend of history, adventure, and love. Claire and Jamie’s relationship develop organically as they face numerous trials together. Gabaldon skillfully unfolds their romance, balancing their immediate attraction with a deeper emotional bond that develops over time. The time-travel aspect also adds tension, as Claire is married in her native time.

Eleanor & Park

by Rainbow Rowell

This book is a poignant story of first love between two misfit teenagers. Eleanor, a chubby redhead with a dysfunctional family, and Park, a half-Korean boy who loves comic books, navigate the ups and downs of high school, family issues, and young love in the 1980s.

Rainbow Rowell beautifully captures the awkwardness, intensity, and slow evolution of first love in this novel. Eleanor and Park’s relationship blossoms slowly, starting from shared comic books and mixtapes, moving to hand-holding and stolen kisses. This gradual, honest portrayal of young love is why Eleanor & Park is an memorable slow burn romance.

An Extraordinary Union

by Alyssa Cole

Elle Burns is a formerly enslaved person with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory, working as a spy for the Union. When she crosses paths with Malcolm McCall, a detective for Pinkerton’s Secret Service, they must navigate their intense attraction amidst dangerous secrets and political intrigue.

Alyssa Cole masterfully combines a slow burn romance with the suspense of the Civil War era. The relationship between Elle and Malcolm is fraught with tension, both from their dangerous mission and their forbidden attraction. Their romance unfolds slowly against the backdrop of espionage and danger, making their eventual union both deeply satisfying and emotionally resonant.

Next Year in Havana

by Chanel Cleeton

Marisol Ferrera travels to Havana to discover her roots. Through her grandmother’s letters, Marisol learns about her secret love affair with a revolutionary amid the Cuban Revolution. At the same time, Marisol finds herself drawn to a man with his own revolutionary ties.

Chanel Cleeton beautifully intertwines two slow burn romances in different timelines. Both relationships unfold gradually amidst political turmoil, creating a compelling narrative of love, sacrifice, and resilience. The detailed historical backdrop enhances the romantic tension, making this book an exceptional slow burn romance.

The Bronze Horseman

by Paullina Simons

The Bronze Horseman takes place in war-torn Russia during WWII. Here, Tatiana, a young Russian woman, meets Alexander, a soldier with a secret that could endanger both their lives. Their forbidden and tumultuous love story unfolds against the backdrop of the siege of Leningrad.

Simons’ novel is a quintessential slow burn romance, with Tatiana and Alexander’s relationship unfolding gradually and agonizingly. Their relationship is fraught with challenges, amplifying the tension and longing between them. The painstakingly slow development of their romance set against a backdrop of war and hardship makes The Bronze Horseman a standout in the slow burn romance genre.

The Duke Who Didn’t

by Courtney Milan

Chloe Fong has plans for her life and they don’t involve her childhood crush, Jeremy Wentworth, who suddenly returns to their village after years of absence. Jeremy, the Duke of Lansing, has always adored Chloe, and he’s returned to finally win her heart. However, he must first reveal his true identity and earn Chloe’s trust.

The Duke Who Didn’t is a delightful slow burn romance. Milan beautifully captures the gradual deepening of Chloe and Jeremy’s relationship. From rediscovering each other, to exploring their feelings and navigating the challenges of class and secrets, their journey is filled with anticipation and emotional depth. The careful, often humorous, progression of their relationship makes this novel a delightful and heartwarming slow burn romance.

Daisy Jones and The Six

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jones and The Six explores the whirlwind rise of a renowned rock band in the 1970s. At its heart is the complicated relationship between Daisy Jones, a talented and free-spirited singer, and Billy Dunne, the band’s charismatic but troubled frontman. As they navigate fame, addiction, and creative differences, their mutual attraction becomes increasingly difficult to resist.

Taylor Jenkins Reid crafts a unique slow burn romance in the glamorous, tumultuous world of rock ‘n’ roll. Daisy and Billy’s relationship is as passionate and complex as the music they create together, building slowly through shared experiences, creative collaboration, and emotional turmoil. This careful development of their relationship, set against the backdrop of their rise to fame, makes their story an exciting slow burn romance.

Secrets of a Summer Night

by Lisa Kleypas

Annabelle Peyton is determined to secure a rich and influential husband and sets her sights on Simon Hunt, a wealthy self-made man. Simon, intrigued by Annabelle’s charm and beauty, is intent on making her his mistress. As they navigate societal expectations and personal desires, their relationship evolves in ways they never expected.

Annabelle and Simon’s relationship develops at a alluring slow pace, their mutual attraction increasing as they overcome various societal and personal obstacles. The gradual deepening of their relationship and engaging character arcs make this novel a delightful slow burn romance.


by Beverly Jenkins

Valinda Lacey, dedicated to educating formerly enslaved people in Reconstruction-era New Orleans, encounters danger when racists target her school. Rescue arrives in the form of Captain Drake LeVeq, an architect also passionate about rebuilding the city. Their shared mission stirs a romance, but Valinda’s father’s demand for her return and arranged marriage threatens their burgeoning relationship.

The relationship between Valinda and Drake develops gradually, their mutual attraction growing as they face challenges together. The depth of their emotional connection, combined with their shared passion for justice, makes their slow-burning romance deeply satisfying and emotionally resonant.

The Viscount Who Loved Me

by Julia Quinn

Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, is determined to marry. His chosen bride is the younger sister of Kate Sheffield, who is equally determined to stop the match. As Anthony and Kate spar, they ignite an unexpected and intense attraction to each other.

Anthony and Kate’s relationship develops slowly, evolving from mutual annoyance to attraction. Julia Quinn’s skillful depiction of their evolving relationship, witty dialogue, and engaging characters make this book a delightful enemies-to-lovers romance.

Romantic Suspense and Thriller Slow Burn Romance Books

For lovers of romance and suspense, these slow burn romance books offer a captivating blend that’s hard to resist. These books often center around characters caught up in thrilling, dangerous situations. Amidst these extreme circumstances, a slow and steady romance begins to form, adding depth and emotion to the action-packed narrative.

The emerging relationships within the suspenseful situations present an enticing blend of thrill and romance that keeps readers hooked. As you explore these thrilling narratives, the gradual romance intensifies the overall suspense, ensuring each page holds a memorable experience.


by Colleen Hoover

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin and receives a job offer to complete the remaining books in an established series by renowned author Verity Crawford, who is incapacitated due to an injury. As Lowen uncovers more about Verity through her manuscript, she also finds herself attracted to Verity’s husband, Jeremy.

The romance between Lowen and Jeremy is slow and laden with tension. As Lowen digs deeper into Verity’s disturbing manuscript, she also unravels her feelings for Jeremy, setting up a dark and thrilling slow burn romance. The compelling narrative and palpable suspense make it a fascinating example of a slow burn romantic thriller.

The Witness

by Nora Roberts

Elizabeth Fitch rebelled against her controlling mother and witnessed a crime that forced her into hiding. Twelve years later, living under a new identity as Abigail Lowery, she meets Brooks Gleason, a local police chief, and despite her fears, she finds herself drawn to him.

The Witness combines suspense with a slow burn romance masterfully. Brooks’ steady pursuit of the guarded Abigail is a testament to the slow build-up of their relationship. As the danger of Elizabeth’s past looms, the romantic tension is amplified, making the eventual emotional payoff all the more satisfying.

Mexican Gothic

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom. Noemí heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside, where she’s swept into a world of chilling family secrets and a slow-burning love interest that is as eerie as it is captivating.

The slow burn romance in Mexican Gothic adds to the novel’s creepy and atmospheric vibe. The slow unraveling of Noemí’s feelings for a man amid danger and the unknown creates a memorable romantic suspense that only heightens the book’s overall sense of dread and excitement.


by Kate Stewart

Flock is the first in the Ravenhood Duet series and introduces us to Cecelia Horner, who finds herself tangled in a complex relationship with three men who harbor deep secrets. As Cecelia tries to navigate her feelings and the truth, she ends up plunging into a world of love, loyalty, and hidden agendas.

Kate Stewart slowly unravels the romantic relationships, crafting a distinctive and riveting slow burn romance. The novel builds anticipation and longing as Cecelia gets to know each of the three men, making their intertwined fates and complex relationships a captivating read.

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by Angeline Boulley

Daunis Fontaine is a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal. When a shocking murder occurs in her community, Daunis agrees to go undercover for the FBI to find the truth. Amid the danger, Daunis finds herself getting close to Jamie, the recruit on her brother’s hockey team, who isn’t what he seems.

Daunis’ relationship with Jamie grows slowly and organically amidst the chaos and suspense, growing the reader’s emotional investment in their relationship. Boulley skillfully intertwines elements of suspense and romance, offering readers a memorable slow burn romantic thriller.

Still Beating

by Jennifer Hartmann

During her sister’s birthday party, Cora is kidnapped and shackled in a basement with her lifelong adversary, Dean. Forced to collaborate for survival, they soon find themselves navigating a captor’s plan that blurs the line between hate and love, intertwining their destinies beyond their physical chains.

Still Beating excels as a slow-burn romance due to the intense shared trauma between Cora and Dean, enemies turned lovers, and their subsequent journey toward healing and love. Hartmann’s masterful storytelling and focus on their shared experiences make their bond feel real and earned, marking it as a standout in the slow-burn romance genre.

Don’t Look Now

by Mary Burton

Hunting a serial killer resembling her sister’s assaulter, Austin detective Jordan Poe suffers a vision-impairing attack, forcing her to rely on Texas Ranger Carter Spencer. As they grapple with the increasingly sinister case, an ominous figure stalks them with the intent to strike his ultimate target.

The shared determination to solve a case between Jordan Poe and Carter Spencer unfolds into a growing intimacy that is artfully paced, allowing the reader to engage with their evolving relationship. Burton’s approach to their relationship adeptly displays how shared adversity can spark a slow-burning, meaningful romance amidst high-stakes circumstances.

When No One is Watching

by Alyssa Cole

Brooklyn native Sydney Green’s neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying. As lifelong neighbors mysteriously disappear, Sydney, with her new neighbor Theo, embarks on a mission to preserve their history. Their exploration, however, descends into paranoia as they suspect a sinister force behind the transformations. As the line between coincidence and conspiracy blurs, they scramble to uncover the truth before they fall prey to this ominous change.

Sydney and Theo’s relationship starts with an uneasy alliance and slowly transforms into a deeply emotional bond. Their shared mission and the danger they face together stoke the romantic tension, making their story a suspenseful and engaging slow burn romance.

Twisted Love

by Ana Huang

Alex Volkov has a hardened exterior and tragic past, and Ava Chen is a free spirit with a forgotten childhood. When circumstances force Alex, her brother’s best friend, to protect Ava, an unexpected connection sparks between them. Despite the forbidden nature of their relationship, they can’t resist the pull towards each other. Their blossoming love reveals hidden secrets that could shatter their lives and everything they hold dear.

The progression of Alex and Violet’s relationship from childhood friends, to enemies, to lovers is slow and fraught with tension. Their shared history and deep emotional connection make their romantic journey profoundly satisfying and captivating to read.

Does It Hurt?

by H. D. Carlton

Sawyer is a fugitive identity thief, and Enzo is a shark researcher set on revenge against her. Following a shipwreck, they find themselves captive on an island under the control of an evil lighthouse keeper. Amidst their dangerous predicament, Sawyer and Enzo’s volatile relationship evolves, encompassing tension, awakening desires, and eventual cooperation for survival.

Their shared ordeal in the eerie, haunted-like island, harboring a dreadful secret, adds chilling suspense and horror that enriches the narrative’s pace and intensity. Surprising plot twists, well-rounded characters, and sizzling chemistry make this dark romance a thrilling, one-sit read.

When No One is Watching

by Alyssa Cole

Brooklyn native Sydney Green’s neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying. As lifelong neighbors mysteriously disappear, Sydney, with her new neighbor Theo, embarks on a mission to preserve their history. Their exploration, however, descends into paranoia as they suspect a sinister force behind the transformations. As the line between coincidence and conspiracy blurs, they scramble to uncover the truth before they fall prey to this ominous change.

Sydney and Theo’s relationship starts with an uneasy alliance and slowly transforms into a deeply emotional bond. Their shared mission and the danger they face together stoke the romantic tension, making their story a suspenseful and engaging slow burn romance.

YA Slow Burn Romance Books

While ‘Young Adult’ might be the name, the YA genre is far from limited to just young readers! They capture a broad spectrum of experiences and emotions that speak to readers of all ages, and slow burn romances in these stories often hold a universal appeal. If you enjoy love stories woven with gripping plotlines and a hint of adventure, there’s a vast selection of YA romance books waiting for you.

Within these books, you’ll meet resilient and inspiring characters as they navigate life’s complexities. Their relationships bloom slowly amidst the exciting twists and turns, creating a captivating blend of adventure and romance. Whether it’s the thrill of the plot or the slow-building romance, there’s something for every reader in these slow burn romance books of young love.

Shatter Me

by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette Ferrars is a girl with a lethal touch. Imprisoned for her deadly ability, Juliette is given a chance at freedom if she uses her power as a weapon. In this tumultuous world, she forms an unexpected connection with a soldier in the reestablishment, creating a sizzling slow burn romance.

Shatter Me deftly weaves a good slow burn romance into its dystopian narrative, marked by intricate character development and high emotional stakes. Juliette’s lethal touch and evolving relationship with a significant character heighten the tension. Their deepening bond amid challenges makes for an organic slow burn romance, delivering an exceptional emotional payoff.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

Simon Spier is a not openly gay sixteen-year-old. His life takes a complicated turn when a misplaced email exposes his secret, leading to blackmail threats from class clown Martin. Simon must play along or risk his sexual identity and email relationship with Blue, a pseudonymous boy, being revealed.

Albertalli does an excellent job of developing Simon and Blue’s relationship gradually and organically, letting readers follow Simon’s journey towards self-acceptance and his pursuit of a potential relationship with the elusive Blue. This well-paced emotional exploration sets the story apart as an exceptional slow-burn romance.

Shadow and Bone

by Leigh Bardugo

Alina Starkov unveils a unique power after her best friend is gravely injured during an attack on the Fold. Her newfound ability thrusts her into the mystical world of the Grisha, led by the Darkling. Amid court intrigue and looming threats, Alina grapples with her newfound powers and secrets, confronting her heart’s hidden truths as she stands as the kingdom’s last hope.

Set against a tumultuous fantasy world backdrop, this is a journey of self-discovery and power with a simmering love triangle. Alina must navigate her newly found power, burgeoning feelings for her mentor, The Darkling, and her deep-seated bond with her best friend, Mal. This build-up of relationships, coupled with the character’s emotional complexity, lends the romance its slow burn.

Ace of Spades

by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Devon and Chiamaka, two black students at an elite high school, find their secrets exposed by an anonymous texter known as Aces. As they work together to uncover Aces, a bond forms between them, leading to a slow burn romance within this high-stakes thriller.

Àbíké-Íyímídé crafts a compelling slow burn romance amidst a tense and suspenseful plot. The gradual progression of Devon and Chiamaka’s relationship adds an emotional depth to the narrative, making their unfolding love story an engaging part of this thrilling novel.

To Kill A Kingdom

by Alexandra Christo

Princess Lira is a deadly siren who is punished by her mother and transformed into a human. Prince Elian, a notorious siren hunter, rescues her, and as they journey to eliminate the sea queen, a slow burn romance develops amidst their shared adventure.

Christo brilliantly weaves a slow burn romance into the fabric of this fantasy tale. Lira and Elian’s relationship progresses slowly from mistrust and hatred to mutual understanding and love. Their shared mission and the ensuing danger only intensify the romantic tension, creating a deeply satisfying slow burn romance.

These Violent Delights

by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights is a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai. Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, heirs of rival gangs, must cooperate to stop a mysterious monster from causing madness in their city. Amidst the chaos, their love story unfolds as a slow burn romance fraught with tension and danger.

Roma and Juliette’s connection is steeped in history and rivalry, adding depth and tension to their evolving relationship. Their slow progression from enemies to lovers against a backdrop of danger and uncertainty creates an intense, emotional, and captivating slow burn romance.

Cruel Prince

by Holly Black

Jude is a mortal girl living in the High Court of Faerie. Despite her hatred for Prince Cardan, the most wicked of the faerie princes, she finds herself drawn to him in a complex and slow burn romance amidst the deadly intrigues of the faerie world.

In Cruel Prince, Holly Black expertly crafts a slow burn romance fraught with tension and hostility. Jude and Cardan’s relationship evolves slowly against a backdrop of political intrigue and betrayal. Their dynamic relationship, marked by hostility, desire, and eventual understanding, creates a compelling slow burn romance that adds depth to the high-stakes plot.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

by Roseanne A. Brown

Malik, on a daring mission to save his kidnapped sister, must eliminate Princess Karina. At the same time, Karina, plagued by grief, seeks a king’s heart to resurrect her mother. Their paths entwine in the Solstasia competition, sparking a thrilling blend of danger, deceit, and a forbidden attraction. Inspired by West African folklore, this novel guarantees a riveting adventure.

Brown does a fantastic job of building a slow burn romance. The relationship is steeped in tension due to opposing goals. As their understanding of each other grows, so does their affection, making their love story a captivating slow burn romance that enhances the intricate plot.

Poison Study

by Maria V. Snyder

Yelena, saved from death row, becomes the food taster for the Commander of Ixia. Living under the constant threat of poisoning and tied to a daily antidote after being intentionally dosed with a deadly toxin, she battles political unrest and newfound magical abilities. The stakes are high, and Yelena must make tough choices in an uncertain world.

The slow-burn romance woven into this narrative adds a compelling layer of tension and depth. Amidst life-and-death stakes, a trust-based relationship develops, intensifying the drama. This evolution of affection under extreme circumstances delivers an authentic portrayal of love, making Poison Study a captivating read for those who appreciate nuanced romance.

Once Upon a Broken Heart

by Stephanie Garber

Evangeline Fox, a romantic at heart, strikes a risky deal with the Prince of Hearts to stop her loved one from marrying another. She promises him three kisses but soon discovers that dealing with an immortal has higher stakes than expected. The Prince’s plans could either culminate in Evangeline’s perfect happy ending or a devastating tragedy.

The gradual development of Evangeline’s relationship with the Prince of Hearts, their shared experiences, and the resulting emotional bond creates a tantalizing slow burn romance that keeps readers enthralled throughout the fantastical narrative.

Tropes Often Found Alongside Slow Burn Romance Books

  1. Enemies to Lovers: In this popular narrative, two characters initially despise each other but eventually find love amidst their differences. Combined with a slow burn romance, it adds an exciting layer of tension and emotional intensity as the characters’ love story unfolds gradually.
  2. Friends to Lovers: This is when friendly relationship slowly transforms into a romantic one. Mixed with slow burn romance, it showcases the blossoming of a profound love built on the strong foundations of friendship.
  3. Forbidden Love: This theme presents characters who cannot be together due to societal norms or familial objections, making their love forbidden. However, in a slow burn romance, as they navigate through these challenges, their love strengthens over time, emphasizing resilience and patience in building a lasting romantic relationship.
  4. Fake Dating: In this scenario, characters pretend to be in a romantic relationship for various reasons. The act of pretending often results in genuine feelings in slow burn romances, leading to an enthralling reveal when the facade fades away.
  5. Forced Proximity: This scenario places characters in close quarters, giving them a chance to address and resolve past issues, resulting in the gradual revival of their love. This theme, along with slow burn romance, lends a sense of urgency and intensity to the character’s emotional journey.

Slow burn romance books offer an exciting journey filled with deep feelings and suspense. These stories, which take their time to build up emotions and relationships, have something to offer every reader. Whether it’s a tale about two people destined to be together, a story about love against societal norms, or a narrative about the powerful connection between characters meeting again, every book provides a romance that unfolds gradually. So, go ahead and dive into these intriguing stories. Let the enduring power of love take you on a journey that unfolds slowly, captivating you with every page. It’s not just about the end result, but the journey that gets us there – a journey of love, strength, and heartwarming connections.