9 Romance Authors Best Sellers: The Top of the List

Are you curious about romance authors best sellers? Take a look at some of the best romance novels from contemporary romance and historical romance!

Doesn’t everyone love a great love story? Whether it is set in New York or someone else, there are plenty of must-read love story examples through the ages. There is even some science fiction crossover with paranormal romance!

If you want to explore some of the best romance books in the romance genre, take a look at a few examples below, and see if you can find a new favorite romance novel!

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice
The book recognizes the thin line between love and hate

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest books ever written. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that it is ranked among the greatest romance novels as well. One of her greatest works uses a proven formula of boy meets girl. They initially declare their hatred for one another, but they soon realize there is more to their relationship than they realize. The book recognizes the thin line between love and hate, as Elizabeth and Darcy’s romance unfolds before the eyes of the reader.

Vivid, captivating, and relatable, you might find yourself laughing, gasping, and crying along with the story as it goes along. The book has sold more than 20 million copies since its publication in 1813.

“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding— certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics)
  • Great product!
  • Jane Austen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 12/31/2002 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

2. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

North and South
This book is filled with issues related to religion, gender, history, and politics

North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell, follows the story of Margaret. She is 19 years old, and he family moves from a sleepy village to the center of Industry in northern England. Margaret encounters numerous challenges along the way, but discovers a passion for helping the poor and destitute. This places her in direct conflict with the owner of a mill, John Thornton.

Is there any way the two can settle their differences? This is a book that has much more than just romance. It is filled with issues related to religion, gender, history, and politics. These elements come together to make it one of the greatest novels of all time!

The exhilarating book has sold more than 5 million copies since its publication in 1854.

“One word more. You look as if you thought it tainted you to be loved by me. You cannot avoid it. Nay, I, if I would, cannot cleanse you from it. But I would not, if I could. I have never loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love. But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.”

Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
North and South: A Norton Critical Edition (Norton Critical Editions)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages - 11/11/2004 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre
The story tells the tale of Jane, who is a destitute orphan

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is one of the top love stories of all time. Largely seen as one of the standards of the romance world, this has been one of the most popular love stories from the first day it was published. The story tells the tale of Jane, who is a destitute orphan. He arrives at Mr. Rochester’s home to look for a job, but immediately realizes that she’s about to get much more than she ever wanted.

The story contains many of the hallmarks of the genre from the time, but the headstrong and wilful Jane is determined to make her way in a unique world. While nobody knows exactly how many copies the book has sold during the past 170 years since its publication in 1847, the answer is likely in the millions.

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre (Wordsworth Classics)
  • Charlotte Bronte (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 08/31/1997 (Publication Date) - Wordsworth Editions Ltd (Publisher)

4. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility
The book was published in 1811 and sold out its initial print of 750 copies quickly after its original publication date

Jane Austen is on the list again, this time for Sense and Sensibility. This is a unique romance novel that contains elements of secrecy, deception, and seduction. There are two sisters who could not be more different. One is quiet while the other is impulsive. In this story, a world of money, status, and rigid social norms are in control. The two women have similar stories filled with love, heartbreak, and passion. 

Will the two women learn how to rectify their feelings with the norms of the day? The twists and turns in this story keep the reader captivated throughout. The story was published in 1811 and sold out its initial print of 750 copies quickly after its original publication date. 

“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness. […] Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy.”

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility (Oxford World's Classics)
  • Austen, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 07/09/2019 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)

5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride
The book, which reads like a fairy tale, is actually a sharp satirical story disguised as a love tale

The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, is perhaps better known as a movie; however, the book on which it’s based is every bit as brilliant. The book, which reads like a fairy tale, is actually a sharp satirical story disguised as a love tale. There is nothing fluffy about the book, but there’s still plenty to love when Prince Humperdink and Buttercup get together!

This romance novel is a thriller with plenty of twists and turns along the way! If you’re ready to learn where the movie got its source material from, then it’s time to check out this amazing story!

The book was first published in 1973. 

“I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm Boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard.”

William Goldman, The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride Deluxe Edition Hc: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
  • Hardcover Book
  • Goldman, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 10/10/2017 (Publication Date) - Harper (Publisher)

6. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina
The book tells the tale of an extramarital affair that takes place in Imperial Russia before taking the reader through the fallout

Anna Karenina is an epic among romance novels. The story takes readers across multiple continents, all in the name of love. Those who are willing to persevere through the walls of text will be rewarded with one of the most memorable tales in the genre. It is a rich, enthralling, passionate story that has landed on lists of not only the best romance novels of all time but the best books of all time.

The story tells the tale of an extramarital affair that takes place in Imperial Russia before taking the reader through the fallout. When Anna departs with Count Vrosnky, the excitement turns to isolation and regret. 

The book has sold more than 100 million copies since its publication in 1877.

“All the girls in the world were divided into two classes: one class included all the girls in the world except her, and they had all the usual human feelings and were very ordinary girls; while the other class -herself alone- had no weaknesses and was superior to all humanity.”

Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
  • Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, paperback
  • Tolstoy, Leo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 864 Pages - 05/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Penguin Classics (Publisher)

7. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is known as one of the best plays of all time

This is perhaps the love story that inspired all of them. Romeo and Juliet is known as one of the best plays of all time, and this brilliant novel puts it all together. This is the story of two lovers who come from rival houses and join together in a tragic romance. Most are familiar with the iconic balcony soliloquy along with the pithy one-liners that define a genre.

If you are looking for an amazing love story, then you might want to start with this one. The story was published in 1597, so it’s unclear exactly how many copies the story has sold. Countless people have seen the play and countless more likely have a copy.

“O serpent heart hid with a flowering face!
Did ever a dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant, feind angelical, dove feather raven, wolvish-ravening lamb! Despised substance of devinest show, just opposite to what thou justly seemest – A dammed saint, an honourable villain!”

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet (Folger Shakespeare Library)
  • Annotated
  • Shakespeare, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 01/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

8. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

The book was published in 1938

Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, is a twisted tale that reads as a flashback. There is a nameless protagonist throughout the book, and she eventually meets a charming stranger. After that, things start to get unsettled relatively quickly. There are a lot of troubling questions surrounding the last wife of the stranger, and the book continues to unravel as the story goes along. Follow along with the twists and tales of one of the most iconic love stories ever written. The book was published in 1938.

“I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.”

Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca
Rebecca T
  • Daphne Du Maurier (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 11/01/1997 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

9. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind
The story was published in 1936

Gone with the Wind is best-known as one of the top movies of all time, but the book is every bit as good. The story tells the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, a classic Southern belle. Eventually, the family is stricken by poverty, which could wipe out the plantation. She has to do everything she can to save the fortune of the family, going through forests, cities, and countless Adventures. She cannot leave her heart behind as she falls for the dangerous bad boy Rhett. Set during the Civil War, this classic story focuses on plantation love. The story was published in 1936.

“Child, it’s a very bad thing for a woman to face the worst that can happen to her, because after she’s faced the worst she can’t ever really fear anything again. …Scarlett, always save something to fear— even as you save something to love…”

Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Gone With the Wind (text only) by M. Mitchell
  • Hardcover Book
  • Margaret Mitchell (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/23/1964 (Publication Date) - MacMillan (Publisher)

Final Word on Romance Authors Best Sellers

If you are looking for stories that have a happily ever after, then consider checking out some of the books on this list. Some are great for the first-time romance reader, and many of these books contain relatable tales that people fall in love with. You might also be interested in our guide on the 9 best authors of historical fiction.

Many of these historical romance novels fall under the category of historical fiction, and you might find a few of these books turned into movies on Netflix! Check out the New York Times Best Sellers list, and see if you can find these names included in the Romance Writers of America!

FAQs About Romance Authors Best Sellers

Are there other romance writers I might want to check out?

Yes, if you are a young adult looking for thrillers, consider looking at books by Nicholas Sparks, Lisa Kleypas, Julie Garwood, J.D. Robb, and Helen Hoang. You might even be able to find audiobooks from bestselling authors such as Alyssa Cole, Diana Gabaldon, or Beverly Jenkins.

Why do people love romance novels? 

Many people love these novels because they find the tales relatable. A lot of people are looking for love in life, and these books share stories that people can relate to.

  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.