The grumpy sunshine trope is one of the most common romance tropes and for me personally, it is one of the most fun romance tropes to read. Grumpy Sunshine books are romances in which a happy, upbeat woman is able to bring happiness and sunshine to the life of a moody man.
Reverse Grumpy Sunshine books are when gender roles are reversed. Either way, these opposites attract romance books are always enjoyable reads.
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Catalina is a fiercely independent woman who ran away from her past but now she has to face it at her sister’s wedding where her former fiance is the best man.
She needs a fake boyfriend – and fast! Enter Aaron her annoying and grumpy co-worker who offers to help her with her ruse. As they put their differences aside to help each other out, their love begins to grow. This is the fake dating trope at its best.
While I enjoyed the enemies-to-lovers romance in this book, at over 500 pages this office romance novel was just a bit too long.
Grumpy Sunshine Trope Books of 2023
What a creative romance novel! I loved the slow-burn roommate-to-lovers story because of its fun premise. Tara, an avid romance novel lover, is trying to create her own second-chance romance story by attempting to re-date all her ex-boyfriends.
Her new roommate, Trevor, is a playboy who offers to be her moral support. We know they are going to get a happy ending in this second chance romance novel, but the journey is what makes this story! It was so charming.
In this adorable grumpy sunshine book, Annie Walker is trying to find herself her perfect man. But when she overhears her date call her boring, she decides to find herself a tutor.
Will Griffin is the perfect man for the job. He is a gorgeous and emotionally unavailable bodyguard to Amelia Rose, the famous musician who is about to marry her brother. Annie soon discovers that there may be more to Will than his stoic exterior.
Best Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books
Olive Smith is a Ph.D. student who does not believe in her ability to be in love. When her best friend develops a crush on someone she dated briefly, she decides to kiss the first man she sees to prove she is over him.
That one kiss happens to be with THE Adam Carlsen, an academic genius, who is also very standoffish. The two decide to fake-date and what starts as pretend, becomes something more- for Olive.
I loved this fake dating book/office romance novel that is also a perfect example of the grumpy sunshine trope. It has a well-earned spot on its list of the best romance novels of all time.
If you love this book as much as we did, check out our post: Books Like the Love Hypothesis to Obsess Over
We don’t think about royals and the LGBTQ community because we don’t usually see openly gay royals, which is so sad in today’s society. And to think it all starts with a NYE kiss!
This charming book is a fabulous pick from LGBTQ romance novels and is one of the enemies-to-lovers books we recommend most often. I crushed hard for their romance and found myself smiling the entire time. (Also love the nod to a female president…where do I sign up for one of those?)
If you love royal novels and romances as much as we do, check out 16 Sexy Royal Romance Books. This is a must-read from our New Year’s Books.
When I learned that Tessa Bailey used Schitt’s Creek’s Alexis as her inspiration for Piper, I knew I had to read this grumpy sunshine romance.
After getting in trouble one-to-many times for her party-girl lifestyle, Piper and her sister are banished back to their late father’s hometown in Washington.
While she’s learning to be responsible and money-conscious for the first time in her life, she needs to try not to fall for a local fisherman, Brendan. This is a sailing novel with heat!
I gushed about this on Instagram, but I’m gonna gush about it again here too. I love a good Scottish romance, which long-term readers know because of our books like Outlander
This one has Zoe deciding to pack up her London life and move into the rustic, decrepit cabin on a castle estate her uncle left for her when he died. The problem is Rory, the castle’s caretaker, wanted the cabin for himself.
Rory starts messing with Zoe to get her to leave Scotland, but when he realizes he needs her help, sparks fly in this grumpy sunshine romance. This is the first in a new series of books set in Scotland about Rory and Zoe and their Scottish hometown.
It was charming, funny, STEAMY, and heartwarming. I personally can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Office Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books like The Spanish Love Deception
This enemies-to-lovers office romance book was recently adapted to Netflix. After two publishing houses merge, executive assistants for the two owners are in fierce competition with each other for a promotion.
These office enemies quickly realize that the tension is an attraction as well. But, is the attraction real, or is it a ploy to get the promotion? This grumpy sunshine romance book is now on Netflix and we hope it is as steamy as the book. The forced proximity trope is at its best in this steamy romance
Isabelle was overjoyed when she landed her dream job in publishing as an editorial assistant. She is also the only Black employee. She has been waiting for a promotion for two years and decides she will earn that by going to the mansion of a celebrity with an overdue memoir. All she has to do is give him the right pep talk to encourage him to write the book.
This task is not as easy as it seems. Beau is standoffish, stubborn, and difficult. Soon Izzy finds herself living in his house and helping him with his book. The forced proximity helps her find something that she needs as well- the confidence to ask for what she wants. You’ll love this fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast!
Me Before You has quickly become a classic story – and a movie to boot. But beware! This is one of the grumpy sunshine romance books that will emotionally wreck you that you don’t want to read in public!
When a young man becomes paralyzed his parents hire a young woman to be his companion. As love blooms, and she tries to convince him that life is still worth living, the reader questions what they would sacrifice to make a loved one happy. This novel about grief deals with grieving before the person has passed.
Vacation Books like the Spanish Love Deception
This is one of the best romance books I have read in a long time. What could be better than a romance about writers? January is a romance writer who no longer believes in love. Until she was 28, she led an idyllic life filled with the ideas of perfect love.
Augustus Everett is a literary fiction writer who has never believed in love. They could not be more different. When they find themselves living next door to each other they decide to help each other overcome their writer’s block by challenging each other to a writer’s duel. This might be my favorite pick from our list of enemies-to-lovers books.
I loved this hilarious romance and as soon as I read it I knew this vacation book was perfect for a list of books Like People We Meet on Vacation. It is the epitome of romantic comedy books.
Olive and Ami are twins. While Ami seems to be lucky in everything, Olive knows that if it can happen, it will happen to her. So when everyone gets food poisoning at Ami’s wedding except Olive and her nemesis Ethan, she can’t decide if her luck has changed. This is the fake dating trope to the extreme- fake marriage.
As the two head out on the free, all-inclusive honeymoon that was supposed to be Ami and her new husband, Olive hopes they can call a truce long enough to enjoy the trip. If you are looking for grumpy sunshine romance books, this one should be at the top of your list.
Best Friend’s Sister Grumpy Sunshine Books
This book was my pick for a steamy romance for our summer reading challenge. This book could easily go on our list of billionaire romances (although Alex is a multi-millionaire and not a billionaire) and is a 50 Shades of Grey Feel.
Alex is singularly driven in his pursuit of vengeance for the death of his family. When his best friend goes abroad and asks him to look after his sister while he is gone, Alex begins to feel something he swore he would never feel again.
This steamy romance is the grumpy sunshine trope at its finest. It was a fun and quick read.
Hot & Hammered Book 1
So, I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into when I started reading this romance. It was definitely a lot steamier than I had anticipated. When Travis Ford, an injured and retired baseball superstar, returns back home, he is in a state of depression.
Georgette Castle, the best friend’s little sister, knows just how to smack some sense into him. While Georgette is able to get Travis to stop wallowing in self-pity, he decides to help her family take her more seriously. Having a job as a clown can make that difficult.
Opposites attract in this great grumpy sunshine romance that has many a 17+ scene but, it’s a fun summer read. If you love this one, we have a whole list of books like Fix Her Up!
More Contemporary Grumpy Sunshine Romance Novels
Are you looking for a swoon-worthy new adult romance that is laugh-out-loud funny? I got you. I downloaded The Chase and it suck me in right away, kept me turning the pages, and made the time fly by.
Elle Kennedy kills me every single time. This series features more of the hockey players at Briar U and the girls that they fall in love with. It’s a spin-off of Kennedy’s Off Campus series.
The books in this series are so hilarious but also swoon-worthy. There are also some serious sex scenes in here – so fair warning if that’s not your jam. This grumpy sunshine book is a great choice for a new adult romance.
Sometimes you read a book and you just want to go back and read it again. I loved Well Met!!! I never thought I would be interested in a renaissance fair but this book gave me all the feels.
Emily lost her job and her boyfriend at the same time that her big sister broke her leg. Emily decides to move to Willow Creek to help her sister care for 14-year-old April, where she is promptly tricked into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire run by Simon.
So now Emily is a wench…Simon is a Pirate…and obviously, we know where this story is going in this grumpy sunshine book. It’s the journey on this one, guys. It’s filled with feels, cute scenes, and romance. I couldn’t put it down.
I’m pretty sure hearts actually came out of my eyes at multiple points while reading this enemies-to-lovers story. I loved it so much!!! This book gives me total modern-day Pride and Prejudice vibes and it is such a fun addition to our enemies-to-lovers books
I’m a SUCKER for renovation romances. Add in a swoon-worthy neighbor in a neighboring beach house, a charming best friend, and a second home renovation and I’m pretty sure this is the perfect grumpy sunshine romance for me.
I absolutely adore this book because there was no stupid break-up halfway through, just an enemies-to-lovers couple learning to communicate in their new relationship. A perfect romance for Valentine’s Day.
Historical Romance Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books
Tessa Dare’s stories are some of my favorite historical romances. She always finds ways to inject humor into her books. This particular book is the first in a series in which a man dies and leaves a castle to each of our heroines, who are known spinsters.
In this story, Izzy wants to be a writer so retreats to her castle to write her novels. Meanwhile, Ransom shows up at the castle he still believes is rightfully his. Hilarity and romance ensue. I loved this grumpy sunshine romance novel based on Beauty and the Beast and it is another perfect pick for books like Bridgerton.
We love this classic love story. This love story has everything you could want. Elizabeth Bennet is a smart and stubborn woman who was ahead of her time. With 5 Bennet girls, one of them must marry well to support the other sisters.
There are so many new and wonderful adaptations of this novel, that we did an entire post on it. And you don’t want to miss the other Jane Austen adaptations in the post as well.
Austen is a master of romances and this book is the original enemies-to-lovers novel! It’s my favorite of all the Jane Austen books.
Fantasy Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books
If you have not heard of this book and love fantasy, this is the book for you. Don’t be intimidated by the length of this dragon book for adults, I started and finished this 528-page bad boy in a day and a half. I cannot remember the last time I did that!
Violet Sorrengail had spent her life studying to be a scribe until her father died and her mother, the commanding general, ordered her to join the dragon riders. Violet will become one of the hundreds of candidates who fight to the death to be a part of this elite group.
Unlike the other candidates who have worked towards this their whole lives, Violet is small and brittle and never meant for this to be her path. And other candidates do not have the children of rebel leaders waiting to take revenge.
This adult fantasy book has everything and I loved every second. It lives up to the hype and then some. There are some very spicy parts of this romance toward the end so I would agree with the adult rating on this book!
Sarah J. Maas does it again, which is saying something because I am not a Nesta fan and she was our main protagonist in this story. The book revolves around her love story with Cassian, but also around her overcoming her trauma from being cauldron-made.
I can’t wait to see and read the next story in this series, even if I have to wait another 2-3 years. Even though it was 800 pages, I flew through it in 3 days. If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this is the one for you.
Have a book hangover after this series? Check out our post on other books like A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I was expecting a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story from the description – I was not expecting a book like Fifty Shades of Grey!
WHEW… this was one STEAMY story! I wasn’t quite prepared for how devious Hades was in this version. I did love seeing Olympus in a modern setting and I really enjoyed how Hades and Persephone outwitted the rest of the 13 in this grumpy sunshine romance.
While I liked the story a great deal, if you aren’t into erotica, you won’t want to pick up this adult fantasy novel. This is the first in a series of Greek mythology retellings and is a great urban fantasy romance book.
Reverse Grumpy Sunshine Books
If you only read one Christmas book this holiday season, let it be Just Like Magic. I adored this funny paranormal romance book and it is one of the best holiday books ever! The premise is amazing. Down-on-her-luck Bettie Hughes accidentally summons the magical Holiday Spirit, who can’t leave her until he raises her spirit level.
So going by the name of Hal, he poses as her boyfriend for her week-long family Christmas vacation. His use of magic throughout the week is hysterical. It also helps that the chemistry between Hal and Bettie crackles. It’s unlike any other Christmas story I’ve read in the best way possible! If you are looking for reverse grumpy sunshine books, this should be at the top of your list. Gifted by Putnam
I was definitely not prepared for this book. Reader beware that it is the Rosie Project with a sprinkle of Pretty Woman and a whole lot of 50 Shades.
I did not realize that some of the scenes would be graphic in this pick from reverse grumpy sunshine romance books. Stella decided to hire an escort to teach her how to have intimacy with other people. This is the fake dating trope at its absolute finest.
It is a great romance with a neurodiverse main character and I loved it. This contemporary romance is definitely on its way to classic status and has a well-earned place on our list of best romance novels of all time and was an easy pick for a list of books like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Technically this steamy Christmas romance novel is the 5th in the Bromance Book Club series, but it can be read as a standalone (which I know because I’ve never read any of the others!)
Jackie loved the first book in this series, so I knew I would probably want to dive into the Christmas tale. It’s all about Colton, a country star and total sweetheart, who is head-over-heels for Gretchen, a grumpy immigration attorney.
It was steamy and swoony and I loved every minute of this Christmas story that fulfills the grumpy sunshine trope with Christmas joy!! Gifted by Berkley Romance
This is an adorable YA romance that had my tea-loving heart at the title but, the story was sweet and had me turning the pages. But fair warning, you will be hungry while reading this book about tea.
Lila is leaving Miami to spend the summer in England with her mom’s best friend as a way to help Lila’s mental health. With the unexpected break-up with her boyfriend, her best friend leaving after graduation and the death of her beloved Abuela, Lila’s life is not where she thought it would be.
Slowly, with new friends and a new city, Lila starts to see a different side of life, and maybe change is ok. This is a sweet pick from our list of bakery romance novels.
What is the Grumpy Sunshine Trope?
The grumpy sunshine trope is one of the most common romance tropes and for me personally, it is one of the most fun romance tropes to read. Grumpy Sunshine books are romances in which a happy, upbeat woman is able to bring happiness and sunshine to the life of a moody man. It is a case of opposites attract in this trope.
What is the reverse Grumpy Sunshine Book Trope?
Reverse Grumpy Sunshine books are similar to grumpy sunshine with the gender roles reverse. These romances are still a case of opposites attract but in this case, the grumpy one in the relationship is the woman.