14 Second Chance Romance Books to Give You Hope

Second Chance Romance books
14 Second Chance Romance Books to Give You Hope 23

Second chance romance books are the romance books that have you rooting for love and cheering at the end. The characters in the books are often childhood sweethearts or “the one that got away” which makes the happy ending that much sweeter. We here at Beyond the Bookends love a happy ending.

If you have ever wondered what books fulfill the second chance romance trope, you are not alone. So many books fall into more than one category. These are our favorite second chance romance novels. There is even one that is coming to Broadway!

*Second chance romance trope contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

Second Chance Romance Books

What are Second Chance Romances?

Characters in a second chance romance have a history together, often having experienced a breakup or separation. Often the characters were childhood sweethearts. The story explores their renewed chance at love, allowing them to overcome past mistakes, learn and grow, and rediscover their connection. We here at Beyond the Bookends think this is one of the best romance tropes.

Why Do We Love Romances Books About Second Chances?

Second chance romance books are the romance books that have you rooting for love and cheering at the end. The characters in the books are often childhood sweethearts or “the one that got away” which makes the happy ending that much sweeter. We here at Beyond the Bookends love a happy ending.

Best Second Chance Romance Novels

Happy Place

Happy Place by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is an author who is always consistent with her romances. She may be the queen of romantic comedy books. Nothing says “summer reads” like Emily Henry.

Harriet and Wyn have been together for years until they broke up 5 months ago. The only problem is that they still haven’t told their best friends and now they will be sharing a room during their yearly vacation with their friends.

How hard can it be to keep up the facade of a happy couple? If you love fake dating books, this is one of the best. And if you are hoping these two will have a second chance at love, you will not be disappointed.

There is something special in every one of Emily Henry’s romances and this newest book is no exception. It is one of the best books of 2023!

Find this Book in Emily Henry Books / Second Chance Romance / Romantic Comedy Books / Fake Dating Books

Meet me at the lake

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Will and Fern spent one amazing, adventure-filled day together in their early 20s with a promise to meet up again one year later. When Fern shows up and Will doesn’t, she is heartbroken.

Now, nine years later, Fern has inherited the lakeside resort that she never wanted to run, her ex-boyfriend is the resort manager, and she needs help. When Will shows up at the resort with an offer to help get things back in order, she doesn’t know if she can get over her old feelings and trust him again.

I absolutely loved this lake book. Set between Muskoka and Toronto, it reminded me of my childhood and teenage years! This is an absolute must-read second chance romance novel! You can also find this book in our list of Hotel Novels to Indulge in on Vacation, and of course on our Ultimate Beach Reads 2023! If you are looking for books for summer, this one is for you.

Same Time Next Summer

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan

Sam has a great job, is engaged to a great man, and is about to tour wedding venues. She should not be worried when she runs into the man who broke her heart at 17. Yet, being home brings back old memories and feelings. Sam will have to make a choice between her old love and her fiance.

I had high hopes for this book from the author of Nora Goes Off Script and I was not disappointed. If you love a good beach read and a second chance romance novel this is a perfect pick.


The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

This book was the perfect break I needed into a world of romance. The idea of a bunch of men getting together to read romance novels to try and improve their relationships is amazing.

Although now that I think of it, maybe this book is a fantasy. This book is a perfect light read that I finished in a day and as far as rom-com novels go, it is a definite must-read!

More Second Chance Romance Books

And Now you're back and other June 2021 Novel Ideas

And Now You’re Back by Jill Mansell

Didi met her first love when she was 17 years old. After one magical night in Venice with Shay, Didi was in love until Shay disappeared. Thirteen years later, Shay turns up once again to fulfill the wishes of his dying father.

Shay has booked the nicest room in Didi’s hotel, so their paths cross again and again. I started this second chance romance book and did not put it down until I was done. It was such a feel-good book.

Twice in a Blue Moon

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Omg. Is it possible for me to give this book all the heart eyes? 😍😍😍 This was my first Christina Lauren book and I don’t know how I’ve held out for this long. I mean… have I been living under a rock? Sam was Tate’s first love when she fell for him on her 18th birthday trip, but he exposed her in the worst way possible.

Now a big-name actress, the last person she expects to see on-set is the man who broke her heart. I loved this book so much. It gave me all the feels!!!

Find this book in Second-chance romance novels / Fiction Books About Celebrities / Books With Colors in the Title

Seven Days in June

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

June 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

The latest Reese’s Book Club pick was quite a unique read. It was billed as a romance but that doesn’t do this novel justice.

Yes, there are some steamy scenes, but it also deals with childhood trauma, drug addiction, racial issues, and single motherhood.

It was much heavier than I expected especially with a second chance romance novel. If you are looking for something that will make you think, this is the right pick for you from our list of books about books.

exes os

Exes and O’s by Amy Lea

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.

you deserve each other

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Want a funny romance? You Deserve Each Other totally fits the bill. This hilarious tale of an engaged couple hit the spot for me this weekend. They don’t love each other anymore, but neither Naomi or Nick wants to be the one to call off their engagement.

Whoever does, foots the bill for the whole shebang.⁣ Shenanigans ensue as they attempt to get each other to end the relationship. I was giggling so often that my kids started getting angry. It was cute, light-hearted, and utterly predictable.

the man i never met

The Man I Never Met by Elle Cook

This is a second chance romance book unlike anything I’ve ever read. When Will accidentally calls Hannah while applying for a job in London, they become fast friends. But soon, they are making plans to meet up when he moves to England.

When the fateful day comes, Will stands Hannah up. When Hannah learns the reason why, Will ends their blossoming love and friendship.

As we see their life paths split, we see them constantly thinking about one another. You will be cheering by the end of this second-chance romance!

Historical Fiction Second Chance Romance Novels

the notebook

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

If you love the second chance romance trope, this is an iconic book that skyrocketed to fame after the movie came out. This is one of the rare instances where the movie brought the book to life. And that kiss……

Post WWII, Noah cannot stop thinking about the beautiful and charismatic Deb who stole his heart nearly a decade earlier. Allie is a socialite who is supposed to marry a wealthy lawyer. She is not supposed to be thinking about Noah. Will these two get their second chance at romance? The Notebook is coming to Broadway in February 2024!

Stars in an Italian Sky

Stars in an Italian Sky by Jill Santopolo

Where do I even start with this book? I loved it so much. In Genoa Italy, in 1946 Vincenzo and Giovanna fell in love. But, they belong to two different worlds. She is the daughter of a tailor and she is almost royalty.

In 2017, Cassandra and Luca are in love. When Luca asks Cassandra’s grandmother to be a model for his new painting, with his grandfather, the past and its secrets are revealed.

I cannot say enough about this book that is part contemporary fiction and part historical fiction. It had me absolutely bawling by the end, ugly crying, and I LOVED it. The ending was perfect, fitting, and cathartic.

This is a perfect pick for books set in Italy and a must for our ultimate beach reads 2023 post. If you love second chance romance books, this is one of the best there is.

to have and to

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters

If you loved the Bridgerton book series then you will love this book. Lady Violet Grey and her husband Lord James Audrey fell in love and got married in a whirlwind romance.

Five years later, they barely speak because of “the Argument”. ⁣ When Lady Grey receives a letter that says her husband is unconscious after being thrown from a horse, she rushes to his side only to find him awake and drinking in a tavern. She decides to teach him a lesson. This is one of the best romantic comedy books I have read. ⁣

The story is a quick-moving battle of wills that will have you simultaneously rooting for them and wanting to smack some sense into them. Will they get their second chance at love? ⁣This is a rom-com book at its finest. It’s perfect for fans of Jane Austen and will not disappoint.

Fantasy Second Chance Romance Novels

Old Flames and New Fortunes

Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle

Romina Tempest uses the language of flowers to manifest love for buyers of her flora fortunes. In order to expand her business, along with her sisters, she needs an investor to expand the shop. Her friend and business partner, Trevor, convinces her that a fake dating scheme to get his father to invest.

But things get complicated when Trevor’s dad announces his engagement to the mother of her high school sweetheart, Alex. Should she keep up the ruse with Trevor OR give Alex a second chance?

Why We Liked it: Alex and Romina had such great chemistry and Trevor’s antics had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. The magical element is light enough that even non-fantasy readers will enjoy this one. #Gifted by Berkley


Fallen by Lauren Kate

I picked up the first two books in this YA fantasy series after turning in a few books and quickly fell in love with the first book and the story of Daniel and Luce’s love.

Luce has been sent to Sword and Cross boarding school, a place for other troubled kids like her. The minute she gets to the school, Daniel catches her eye but he will not give her the time of day. But there is more to Daniel and Luce will discover his secrets no matter what the cost.

This Fae series is addicting. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. If you are looking for romance books about second chances (or third or fourth), you will love this book. If you are into Rhysand, Azriel, Cassian, and the other winged warriors of the Night Court, then you will love this series of books like A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Find this book in Fae Books / Best Fantasy Books for Teens / Urban Fantasy/

the ex

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

This is the most charming Halloween romance book about witches EVER. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it, but it’s perfect for the spooky season and a perfect book for fall.

Nine years ago Rhys Penhallow broke Viviane Jones’ heart and so she cursed him. Now he’s back in the town his family founded to infuse magic back into the ley lines but everything goes wrong!

As his curse takes over the town, Rhys and Vivi have to work to end the curse and restore the right magic back to the town…if they can keep their rekindled romance at bay long enough!

This is one of the most fun urban fantasy romance books on this list. This is one of the adult fantasy novels you will not want to miss. If you love second chance romance books, this is such a great pick.

The Hundred Loves of Juliet

The Hundred Loves of Juliet by Evelyn Skye

After a terrible divorce, Helene moves to a small town in Alaska to write a novel. When she meets Sebastian, a handsome fisherman, he is the personification of all the dreams she ever had of her perfect man.

Helene is determined to find the truth about her instant connection to Sebastian, but he’s determined to keep it from her.

I don’t want to spoil exactly how this Romeo and Juliet retelling is connected to the original story, but it’s a lovely romance with many mini-romances scattered throughout. This is a cozy book that will keep you turning the pages and smiling at the end. Jackie and I both think this is one of the best romance books of 2023.

Which Romance Books About Second Chances Are Your Favorite?

ultimate list of romance

Ultimate List of Romances

If you love all things romance, then this is the list for you! We have this list carefully divided by sub-genres like second-chance romance books, romcoms, and more.

romance tropes

The Complete List of Romance Tropes: Our 12 Favorites

Looking for more romances categorized by trope? Here’s all of our favorites.

Category Headers 53

Romance Book Lists

Do you love second chance romance books like we do? Check out all of our romance book lists!

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