13 Romance Novels With Meet-Cutes That Will Seriously Make You Believe In True Love
There are certain tropes in books that I just can't get enough of: enemies-to-lovers, slow burn romance, oh-there's-only-one-bed-I-guess-we'll-have-to-share. And, of course, the meet-cute. This plot device — a scene in which a future romantic couple meet for the first time, often in a particularly cute or awkward way — has become something of a pop culture phenomenon, and I totally understand why. Who can help swooning over those adorably unexpected moments of serendipity that bring two people together? A stuck elevator, a plate of overturned fast food, a case of mistaken identity — I can't help but squeal with excitement whenever the moment occurs when, as a reader, I meet two characters who are destined to be together...especially when they don't realize it yet.
Below are 13 books with meet-cutes that contain all of the feels-inducing swoon-worthy moments you could ever hope for: from love-at-first-sight to hate-at-first-sight, awkward mishaps, steamy encounters, it's all here and it's all going to make you never want to read anything other than books that contain dramatically adorable beginnings to new relationships. Whether you're in YA or general fiction, there's a book here for you. Don't forget to pack one in your summer tote bag for optimal enjoyment of the season's best reads.
'The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight' by Jennifer E. Smith
Today should be one of the worst days of 17-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row. But Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
'The Wedding Date' by Jasmine Guillory
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles for his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about each other.
''When Dimple Met Rishi' by Sandhya Menon
With graduation behind her, Dimple Shah is more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him — wherein he’ll have to woo her — he’s totally on board. When the two unceremoniously meet, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
'The Coincidence of Coconut Cake' by Amy E. Reichert
Lou works tirelessly to build her struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. Al is keeping himself employed by writing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?
'The Unexpected Everything' by Morgan Matson
Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who has pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before she unexpectedly met Clark and before those few months that might change her whole life.
'My Oxford Year' by Julia Whelan
Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was 13 years old: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship. But on her first day she literally runs into a smart-mouthed local who ruins her first day. When Ella discovers that one of her courses will be taught by that same local, Jamie Davenport, she worries that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But they form a a connection she wasn’t anticipating, and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more.
'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell
Cath and her twin sister Wren are going to college, but Wren doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... and she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Is she ready to start living her own life?
'One Plus One' by Jojo Moyes
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has left, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell — until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she cleans. But Ed has problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages... maybe ever.
'The Sun Is Also a Star' by Nicola Yoon
Natasha is a girl who believes in science and facts. Daniel is a boy who daydreams, despite his parents' high expectations. But when she meets Daniel on a crowded New York City street and they fall in love— just hours before Natasha and her family are set to be deported to Jamaica — both have to come to terms with their own realities and what love really means.
'Confessions Of A Shopaholic' by Sophie Kinsella
Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, glamorous friends, and a closet full of must-have items. The only trouble is... she can’t actually afford it. Her job as a financial reporter doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by letters from the bank. Her only consolation is to buy herself something. Including a scarf with a borrowed 10 quid from high-powered finance man Luke Brandon. But when a story arises that Becky actually cares about, her article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life forever.
'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Maurene Goo
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (who she meets while he's spinning signs on the side of the road) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
'This Love Story Will Self-Destruct' by Leslie Cohen
When free-spirited Eve and structured Ben first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship — possibly forever. Eve and Ben navigate their 20s on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love.
'Meet Cute' by Various Authors
The ultimate compilations of YA meet-cute stories, this collection features stories from Nina LaCour's piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service tweet to Katie Cotugno's story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, these 14 short stories will give you all the swoon-worthy feels you could ever ask for.