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Less sex, more swoon: Elana Johnson's favourite feel-good romance books

By Elana Johnson • January 21, 2024Recommended Reading

Elana Johnson is a USA Today bestselling author of feel-good romance. Her latest book, The Love List, is the first in the new Hilton Head Island series. Here Elana shares some of her favourite romance novels and explains what she loves about books that are more about swoon than sex.

There’s nothing quite like the first touch. His hand brushes yours, and the thrill that sends down your spine… Mm, hm. The warmth in your chest now, the soft smile he sends your way, the sizzling chemistry that zings through the space between you. The axis of the earth suddenly feeling a little bit off-kilter. All of that is what makes feel-good romance so amazing. I love these types of romances, the ones that explore what falling in love feels like, looks like, and sounds like. Just because there’s not explicit content on the page doesn’t mean these feel-good romances won’t leave you salivating for more. They absolutely do!

And I’ve got some great places for you to start if you’re looking for this type of romantic escape. All of these books will transport you to a world where happily-ever-after dominates and that sweet, satisfying, feel-good romance will leave you breathless.

Finding Faith by B.E. Baker

With fantastic writing and great characters, Finding Faith will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget. Mary doesn’t want a relationship after some trauma in her past. Nope. She just wants to do a good job for the Sub-for-Santa program. But when the same man’s name pops up on both the donor and the recipient list, she encounters Luke and his two kids. And, oh, all the feels you’ll have as they try to get Mary to open her heart this Christmas!

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Just One Date by Chris Kenniston

I’m always on the lookout for my next sweet and swoony cowboy read. If you are too, this is it. Cowboy billionaire Chase Baron has a plan to avoid his grandfather’s matchmaking—hire an actress to be his date for an upcoming family wedding. But when CJ Lawson’s lighty sister takes a last-minute acting role out of town, she leaves CJ to take over the job of cozying up to a wealthy and sinfully handsome billionaire.

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Coming Home to the Top of Main Street by Meg Easton

When you’re craving a small-town romance with everything you want, don’t look any further than this book. Jocelyn is Marcus’s best friend’s sister and completely off-limits. But they’re both looking to make a change, and they open an ice cream shop together. The forced proximity provides all those delicious, sweet moments that make your heart pound—and then everything falls apart when their relationship comes to light.

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Loving the Ladies Man by Kristin Canary

Rom-coms brighten the mix in the feel-good romance genre, and this one has everything! Connor is the office flirt, and Evie dresses like the world’s least sexy librarian. They have nothing in common—other than being up for the same promotion. The first kiss in this one is sigh-inducing!

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On His Bended Knee by Shanae Johnson

This one brings in all the feels with a wounded military hero! A clause on the Purple Heart Ranch requires all residents to be married, and Dylan yearns to reach out for Maggie’s healing touch, but he keeps his distance, convinced his wounds are too deep for her embrace. Maggie sees past Dylan’s injuries, but if she fails to capture his heart they both could lose it all: her beloved animals, his ranch, and each other.

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ELANA JOHNSON is a USA Today bestselling author of feel-good romance novels. Her latest book, The Love List, is the first in the new Hilton Head Island series.

The Love List by Elana Johnson

On the first day she arrives in Hilton Head Island, Beatrice Callahan meets Grant Turner, the man whose house she's renting for her fabulous beach vacation. He's just there to make sure she settles in properly and has enough towels.

But when Bea asks for recommendations around the island, Grant quickly becomes her tour guide and then a friend and then… more than friends.

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