There’s something about life in small towns that breeds love — at least in romance novels. Many such a book is set in small-town America, and each is brimming with romantic sparks just waiting to be ignited. The areas may not have many residents, but they are never short on heroes or heroines, and they always seem to be on the road to happily ever after.
Whether small towns are actually more conducive to budding relationships is up for debate, but there’s no denying that they serve as an excellent backdrop for romances. The stories typically feature a vibrant setting, a strong community full of entertaining citizens, and, of course, an adorable couple. It’s a combination that has proven to be winning, time and time again.
As many romances as there are out there, there are plenty of small-town settings to go around. There are multitudes of stories that take place in areas based on the United States’ less populated areas. Real or imagined, the towns play an integral role in the books’ plots.
Below are 15 romance novels set in small-town America that will win your heart — and maybe make you consider going rural.
1. Rescue Me by Rachel Gibson
Sadie Hollowell finds herself in an unenviable position: serving as a bridesmaid in her tiny Texas hometown, where everyone wants to fix her up. As luck would have it, though, wounded Navy SEAL Vince Haven has recently arrived in town, and he may be just the guy to help her.
2. The Deal by Elle Kennedy
College life in a small town can be far from boring. When hockey star Garrett Graham needs a tutor, he convinces classmate Hannah Wells to do the job. In exchange, she wants him to help her attract her crush, but the more time they spend together, the more complicated the deal becomes.
3. Homestead by Radclyffe
Tess Rogers and R. Clayton Sutter never expected to see each other again, but the two women end up on opposing sides as Tess tries to turn her land into an organic dairy farm and Clay attempts to make a shale refinery operational. As the two battle each other, they also find themselves warring with how they feel about one another.
4. Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry
City girl Charlotte Brooks goes head-to-head with ex-Marine Reno Wilder in Anything But Sweet. She wants to make over his hometown for a TV show, and he has no interest in her plans — just her.
5. Carry Me Home by Rosalind James
When rookie professor Zoe Santangelo ends up teaching in tiny Paradise, Idaho, she sees it as a step toward the Ivy League. However, as creepy things start happening on campus, she finds herself getting closer to Cal Jackson, a cowboy with a knack for rescuing her. Their futures don’t seem compatible, but they can’t deny their chemistry.
6. Worth The Fall by Mara Jacobs
After a career-ending injury, NHL star Petey Ryan heads back in his Michigan hometown to recover. For his once-friend Alison Jukuri, his return isn’t welcome news. However, when a mutual friend talks her into taking care of him as he heals, it gives them a chance to revisit their complicated past.
7. Looking For Trouble by Victoria Dahl
After growing up in the shadow of a family scandal, small-town librarian Sophie Heyer does everything she can to keep her name out of the gossip mill. Her mission proves difficult, though, when biker Alex Bishop rides into town and tempts her into a fling.
8. Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Returning home isn’t always easy, but it’s all the more challenging if you burned bridges when you left. Former golden girl Sugar Beth Carey has to face up to her past bad behavior when she winds up living next door to Colin Byrne, the young teacher whose life she almost ruined as a teenager. It doesn’t help, either, that she keeps crossing paths with the half-sister she once tormented and her ex-high school sweetheart.
9. How To Misbehave by Ruthie Knox
Getting stuck in a dark basement during a tornado isn’t so bad when you’re in there with someone you’re wildly attracted to. Amber Clark finds herself in just that position with Tony Mazzara, the building contractor she has been eyeing. He doesn’t want anything serious, but she has the potential to shake up his plans.
10. Love In A Small Town by Zoe York
Rafe and Olivia Minelli are divorced, but neither has done a very good job of moving on. When Olivia gets a new job opportunity in another town, though, the pressure is on for Rafe to convince her that their love story isn’t over.
11. Bluegrass State Of Mind by Kathleen Brooks
New York City attorney McKenna Mason ends up adjusting to life in small-town America when she goes on the run to escape a dangerous ex-boyfriend. To start over, she enlists the help of Will Ashton, an old crush, who owns a race horse farm. As the two get closer, they find they have a lot of challenges to overcome, from stubborn horses to scary exes.
12. Can’t Shake You by Molly McLain
When Carissa Brandt’s attempts to renovate her house are derailed by a dishonest contractor, her one-time hookup Josh Hudson steps in to save the day. The problem, however, is that he is also her ex’s best friend, and though neither one got the other out of their system, he doesn’t want to cross that line.
13. Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe
Once known as America’s “Wild Child” for her reality TV show, Monica Appleby returns to her hometown to write a book. Unfortunately, Mayor Jackson Davies is less than thrilled with her presence. With the town in trouble, he aims to lure in a major company and doesn’t want her to bring any scandal.
14. A Risk Worth Taking by Victoria James
Interior designer Holly Carrington decides to renovate and sell her childhood home after becoming the sole guardian of her young niece, but doing so means working with Quinn Manning, a man who once broke her heart. She has no intention of being hurt again, and on top of that, she only plans to be in town for a short time. The dilemma, of course, is that the heat is stronger than ever.
15. Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas
Widowed toy shop owner Maggie Collins finds herself drawn to Holly, a little girl who hasn’t spoken since her mother died. Just as appealing — in a different way — is the girl’s uncle, Mark Nolan. The three are all coping with loss, but together, it might just be easier.
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