9+ Must-Read Sci-Fi Romance Novels You Can’t Miss (2023)!

9 min readDec 21, 2023

What are the best sci-fi romance books tell us? Sometimes, love is found in the most unexpected places.

How do Sci-Fi and Romance work together?

Sci-fi and romance are two genres that often go hand in hand. But what is it about this combination that resonates so deeply with readers, and why does it continue to grow in popularity?

One key aspect of why sci-fi and romance complement each other so well lies in their shared ability to provide an escape from the mundane. Sci-fi transports readers to realms of advanced technology, distant galaxies, and alternate realities, offering a thrilling departure from everyday life. Romance, on the other hand, delves into the emotional depths of human experience, exploring themes of love, connection, and passion. When these elements intertwine, readers are gifted with stories that are not only exhilarating in their imaginative scope but also deeply rooted in the universal quest for love and understanding.

Both genres frequently showcase characters with remarkable depth and complexity. In sci-fi, protagonists often grapple with challenges on a cosmic scale, pushing the limits of human ingenuity and bravery. In romance, characters navigate the intricacies of relationships and personal growth. The fusion of these elements results in narratives where characters are not only saving worlds or unraveling mysteries of the universe but also experiencing profound personal transformations and emotional journeys. This combination creates a dynamic and immersive reading experience, marked by both external action and internal development.

Sci-fi’s traditional role has been to ponder the ‘what ifs’ of the future, exploring potential advancements, societal changes, and ethical dilemmas. It prompts readers to consider the implications of technology, space exploration, and even the evolution of humanity itself. Romance, in contrast, brings the narrative back to the core of human existence, questioning what is most vital in life. It often highlights themes such as the power of love, the importance of relationships, and the enduring strength of the human spirit.

In the following list I collected some of the most engaging science fiction romance novels from the recent years to answer some of your ‘what if’ questions. I arranged the list in reverse chronological order.

What Are The Best Sci-Fi Romance Books?

A Journey Must Be Taken, by H.L. Howard (2023)

In my view, H.L. Howard’s novel stands as a fascinating entry in the science fiction romance genre, enriched by a backdrop of wars and societal turmoil. This setting against major conflicts and political upheaval adds layers of complexity and contemporary relevance to the narrative.

The story intricately weaves elements of fate and spiritual guidance within the tapestry of human relationships. Tauri’s journey through tarot reading and his quest to reconnect with Libi is particularly captivating, offering profound insights into the role of destiny in our lives.

The book is tailored for new age audience, appealing to those interested in spiritual energy and astrology. This targeted approach enhances its allure to readers seeking a blend of romance and spiritual exploration.

The incorporation of a music playlist as a means of expressing love adds a unique dimension, while the characters’ cultural backgrounds and personal growth throughout the story contribute depth and authenticity.

Reading this novel, I really connected with its exploration of love and belief amid the challenges we all face. It’s like it’s mirroring our own search for where we fit in the grand scheme of things. The narrative is rich and compelling, making it a standout choice for readers drawn to these themes.

Calamity, by Constance Fay (2023)

This book is a compelling combination of space adventure and sizzling romance. The story revolves around Temperance Reed, a captain of a mercenary ship, and Arcadio Escajeda, the second child of a powerful intergalactic family. Their forced collaboration on a mission is fraught with tension, not just from the external threats they face, but also from their own clashing personalities and hidden agendas.

Fay brilliantly captures the essence of an enemies-to-lovers trope, creating a dynamic between Temper and Arcadio that is both fiery and deeply compelling. Their interactions are a captivating dance of mistrust, attraction, and gradually deepening understanding.

What I find particularly engaging about Calamity is the depth of its world-building. Fay creates a universe that is rich in detail. From the intricacies of intergalactic politics to the nuances of the mercenary lifestyle.

The story’s pacing is excellent, with a balance of action-packed scenes and character-driven moments that keep the reader hooked. The romance is skillfully woven into the fabric of the narrative, offering a satisfying emotional journey alongside the thrill of space adventure.

Star Bringer, by Tracy Wolff (2023)

Star Bringer is an exhilarating addition to the sci-fi Romance genre. This novel is a thrilling ride from start to finish, blending elements of adventure, intrigue, and, of course, romance.

In a universe threatened by a dying sun, the story follows seven misfits as they find themselves aboard a stolen spaceship. The dynamics among the characters, each with their own secrets and agendas, create an engaging and often humorous narrative.

The interplay between these diverse personalities — a princess, a prisoner, a con artist, a warrior, a priestess, a mercenary, and a reluctant leader — adds depth to the story, making it more than just a romance set in space. Their journey is fraught with danger, unexpected alliances, and a growing sense of camaraderie that evolves into something deeper for some of the characters.

Barbarian Mine, by Ruby Dixon (2015)

The ice planet is harsh and difficult for most survivors. However, it definitely feels good to be alive. There are no takeaways and good TV shows, but life has never been sweeter. The story is told from a personal point of view.

The teller belongs to a tiny tribe. No one is aware of the surrounding dangers, though. A stranger is lurking from the dark and watching what is going on. Eventually, the teller becomes captive and ends up falling in love with the kidnapper.

One thing leads to another. First, it is resonance. Then, there is love. Then, there are kids. However, the man is an authentic barbarian — the type who would chain a woman to claim her. He is the type who could hit someone with a club over the back of the head. But why does she crave for him then?

The Last Hour of Gann, by R. Lee Smith (2013)

Amber Bierce has one final chance, she has lost everything, apart from her sister. She also has two tickets to reach the first colony ship ever. She joined the Sleeper with a long contract and the need for a better life.

However, she ends up in the middle of nowhere. She sees wreckage around her and no rescue for the few survivors. No one really hopes to get back home. One day, they are found by Meoraq, an aggressive warrior with an incredible thirst for blood.

Things change when the warrior lays his eyes on Amber, and things are about to change.

Grimspace, by Ann Aguirre (2008)

Sirantha Jax can definitely stand out in the crowd. She has a rare gene in her DNA, meaning she has some powers that most people would call supernatural. However, she sees herself as a normal person, but she also knows that she can take advantage of her talent.

She can jump ships through grimspace and becomes one of the most appreciated navigators in the Corp. But then, her life changes to 180 degrees when a crash landing kills every passenger. She ends up in jail, with literally no memory of this crash.

Then, a bunch of rogues decides to help her out and release her. She is out of prison, but she has been taken out with a reason — she now must help the group to overthrow the government and establish a new order.

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer (2008)

This is the first book in the series with the same name and follows Melanie Stryder’s story. She refuses to give up in front of an alien invasion that leaves people untouched but takes their minds over. The one going for Melanie’s brain is about to have a surprise, though.

She refuses to fade away. She stays conscious and aims to keep her mind intact. The soul is going for her body as a host is called Wanderer. Melanie keeps thinking about Jared, another human being still trying to hide.

Wanderer decides she wants to meet this person. The feminine soul starts craving for a man she has never known. Both Melanie and Wanderer end up trying to find a man they both fell in love with — who is going to win?

Finders, Keepers, by Linnea Sinclair (2005)

The book follows Trilby Elliot, a trader trying to avoid the law with a few changes to the starfreighter. An unexpected visitor comes out of nowhere, literally. He seems to have fallen from the sky, and he claims to be from another planet — Avanar.

He comes up with a confusing story and some names that make no sense. But then, despite coming from a different civilization, he seems quite friendly. Trilby knows that even though she can hide Rhis, she does not want to keep him.

She has learned the hard way that men tend to break hearts, so she is cautious about it and refuses his offer for help. Until one day, when something seems to be hunting both her and Rhis. Now, they need to work together in order to survive.

Gabriel’s Ghost, by Linnea Sinclair (2005)

This is one of the most appreciated and awarded sci-fi romance books out there and tells the story of Chasidah Bergren, a former captain of interstellar ships. She used to be one of the most respected people in the industry, until one day, she ended up in court for a crime she did not commit. She was found guilty and sent to prison on a different planet. With dangers approaching from all directions, she has to kill a guardian in self-defense, not knowing that things will get even worse now.

Gabriel Sullivan, a dominating mercenary, is thought to be dead. However, he is back somehow, and he aims to give Chasidah a ticket to freedom. But obviously, the possibility to go free is not really free — she has to pay the price.

Final Thoughts on the Best Sci-Fi Romance Books

Reflecting on the best sci-fi romance books, a particularly memorable episode from The Space Between Stars by Anne Corlett comes to mind. This scene embodies the enthralling combination of science fiction and romance, and why this genre resonates so deeply with its readers.

In the book there’s a moment when the two main characters, surrounded by the eerie beauty of a universe that’s both magnificent and indifferent, highlighting the small, yet significant place human emotions hold in the grand cosmos.

As they labor side-by-side to repair their damaged ship, their conversation subtly shifts from the mechanical to the personal. It’s fascinating how the author uses the backdrop of a desolate space station, a relic floating in the void, as a metaphor for their unexplored feelings. The station, once bustling but now silent, mirrors their untold stories and unexpressed emotions.

The scene where they finally confront their feelings is beautifully understated. It’s not marked by dramatic declarations but by a mutual understanding, a meeting of eyes that conveys more than any grand speech. This simplicity is what makes it so powerful.

This scene from The Space Between Stars exemplifies the essence of sci-fi romance. It’s not just about otherworldly adventures or futuristic settings. At its core, it’s about the human experience — our need for connection, understanding, and love.

Originally published at https://joelbooks.com on December 21, 2023.

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