Apparently romance is not dead, and according to romance novels they’re alive and well! Whether it’s the smoldering descriptions, the cheesiness, or steamy fantasy that pulls you in, romance novels bring great comfort by captivating our hearts. It’s hard to resist the passionate reading experience these books transport you to, but which true-love story is the best of the best?
Are you ready to swoon? For our study, we analyzed Google Trends search volumes for “The Best Romance Novels” for every U.S. state in January 2022.
The Most Popular Romance Novels in the U.S.
Which romance novels are sweeping Americans off their feet? Most states have different preferences for what gets their hearts racing. However, 14 states agree that “Normal People” by Sally Rooney is the definition of romance, earning the number 1 spot, while Shakespeare’s classic, “Romeo and Juliet,” was second. Three states chose “A Walk to Remember,” while “Gone with the Wind,” “Tipping the Velvet,” and “Something Borrowed” didn’t fall far behind and charmed two states each.
The Most Popular Romance Novel Overall
Sally Rooney’s “Normal People” transports you into a world of exploring intense love across social classes. It takes place during the economic downturn from 2011 through 2015, and the story follows a complex relationship between two deeply damaged teenagers who attend the same school in Ireland. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are hooked on this one-of-a-kind coming-of-age novel.
Everyone loves a classic love story, especially Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare tells the age-old tale of vendetta between two powerful and rich families. The conflict explodes into bloodshed as lovesick Romeo falls in love with Juliet, who is due to marry her father’s first choice. The star-crossed lovers are destined to be together forever, one way or another.
Set in the 1950s, Nicholas Sparks’ “A Walk to Remember” is about the only son of a wealthy family finding true love with an unlikely character. He and the minister’s daughter develop an inspirational relationship and fall in love through hard times and bittersweet passions. Alabama, Nebraska, and Missouri love a book based on a true story. The romance was inspired by the author’s sister, who was diagnosed with cancer.
“Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell is a southern gem. Set in the American South during the Civil War and Reconstruction era, the novel is about a strong-willed daughter of a plantation owner and her romantic pursuit of Ashley Wilkes. The complicated love story engages readers in an emotional journey — a journey Arkansas and Maine are willing to take.
There’s just something about a good coming-of-age story America can’t get enough of! “Tipping the Velvet” by Sarah Waters is the top novel in Georgia and Texas. The story follows a young woman who falls in love with a male impersonator in 1890s England. The colorfully passionate, addicting story is about the growing pains of womanhood.
In Emily Giffin’s “Something Borrowed,” a young attorney, who has always been known as the good girl, lives and works in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. On her 30th birthday, her best friend throws her a party, where she has one too many drinks and somehow ends up in bed with her best friend’s fiancé. Does the synopsis have you on the edge of your seat? Nevada and Wisconsin surely are.
Love is in the air — or in a book. Before you get cozy by the fireplace to read these enchanting books, let us warn you, you won’t want to put any of them down. But don’t just get wrapped up in enthralling dialogue — you can make your fiction a reality.
Experience a storybook proposal with the engagement ring of your dreams. At Shane Co., we have a wide variety to choose from to match your romance novel standards effortlessly.