15 Best Science Fiction Romance Books

By 1845, a growing number of stories that featured scientific writing had emerged, leading critics to call this new genre “scientific romance.” Today, of course, we simply call it science fiction.

 

15
The Last Hour of Gann
by R. Lee Smith – 2018

Amber Bierce had nothing left except her sister and two tickets on Earth’s first colony-ship. She entered her Sleeper with a five-year contract and the promise of a better life, but awakened in wreckage on an unknown world. For the survivors, there is no rescue, no way home and no hope until they are found by Meoraq—a holy warrior more deadly than any hungering beast on this hostile new world…but whose eyes show a different sort of hunger when he looks at her.

Uyane Meoraq is a Sword of Sheul, God’s own instrument of judgment, victor of hundreds of trials, with a conqueror’s rights over all men. Or at least he was until his father’s death. Now, without divine intervention, he will be forced to assume stewardship over House Uyane and lose the life he has always known. At the legendary temple of Xi’Matezh, Meoraq hopes to find the deliverance he seeks, but the humans he encounters on his pilgrimage may prove too great a test even for him…especially the one called Amber, behind whose monstrous appearance burns a woman’s heart unlike any he has ever known.

14
Edge of Eon
by Anna Hackett – 2018

Sub-Captain Eve Traynor knows a suicide mission when she sees one. With deadly insectoid aliens threatening to invade Earth, the planet’s only chance of survival is to get the attention of the fierce Eon Warriors. But the Eon want nothing to do with Earth, and Eve wants nothing to do with abducting War Commander Davion Thann-Eon from his warship. But when Earth’s Space Corps threaten her sisters, Eve will do anything to keep them safe, even if it means she might not make it back.

War Commander Davion Thann-Eon is taking his first vacation in years. Dedicated to keeping the Eon Empire safe, he’s been born and bred to protect. But when he’s attacked and snatched off his very own warship, he is shocked to find himself face-to-face with a bold, tough little Terran warrior. One who both infuriates and intrigues him.

When their shuttle is attacked by the ravenous insectoid Kantos, Eve and Davion crash land on the terrifying hunter planet known as Hunter7, a planet designed to test a warrior to his limits. Now, the pair must work together to survive, caught between the planet and its dangers, the Kantos hunting them down, and their own incendiary attraction.

“You get it all: action, bad dudes, passion, romance hot enough to melt metal, one-sitting read, unique characters and great world building all rolled up into one heck of a killer story. A winner from beginning to end.”
—Black Feather Blogger

13
Grimspace
by Ann Aguirre – 2008

As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace—a talent that makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun’s not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her… for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

12
Ral's Woman
by Laurann Dohner – 2009

Kidnapped from Earth by the Anzon, deemed useless by her captors, Ariel has become the prize in a brutal fight between vicious-looking aliens. And the winner is the biggest, scariest, most tempting alien of them all. In Ral’s arms, Ariel will learn how truly carnal captivity can be.

Also kidnapped, and forced into slavery, warrior Ral is focused on freeing his fellow Zorn—until Ariel. The beautiful human woman consumes him, urging Ral to claim his prize in all ways. Now she’s his to love, to cherish, to protect…even from those he’d never suspect.

11
Bolt
by Angel Payne – 2018

Working the night shift at one of downtown LA’s hottest hotels, Emmalina Crist has had her fair share of strange encounters, but none of them has prepared her for meeting Reece Richards, the charismatic bad boy of the Richards Resorts dynasty. Emma and Reece share an experience unlike anything they could have imagined, leaving Reece enraptured and Emma weighing the consequences of this supercharged night of passion with her boss.

But Emma learns fighting the flames only fans them, as Reece saves her life and is compelled to reveal his true identity as Bolt, the city’s superhero savior. She’s always wanted more than just a typical relationship, but falling in love with the man behind the mask is one electrifying ride. Defining their relationship is no easy task—particularly while they’re being subjected to the media’s spotlight, their families’ intrusions, and racing to stay one step ahead of the fringe scientists who want to get Reece back on their lab table.

Emma is helpless to resist Reece’s passion and power. He’s bolted her heart and soul forever. But can she reach beyond the normal expectations of reality, and even herself, to fight for the one ultimate superpower—true love?

10
The Dancer from Atlantis
by Poul Anderson – 1971

Looking out over the Pacific Ocean from the deck of a luxury cruise liner, American architect Duncan Reid is suddenly caught up in an inexplicable event—and when he awakens he is somewhere . . . different.

Duncan has inadvertently fallen victim to a fatally malfunctioning time machine from the future, along with three equally startled companions from vastly different epochs and civilizations, and now he stands with them on the rocky Mediterranean coast of Egypt in the year 4000 BCE.

With the aid of miraculous technology supplied by the dying time machine, the displaced four are able to communicate and share their stories, the most startling being the tale told by the one woman among them, the bewitching Erissa. Only decades removed from her actual time, she claims to be a priestess from Atlantis who views Duncan as a god, and she represents perhaps their only hope of returning to their rightful eras.

But to do so will entail immersing themselves in the savage turmoil of an ancient world and placing themselves in harm’s way on the eve of the most terrible devastation in human history.

“Anderson’s skill at evoking the wonder and majesty of ages past, and making it all seem so alive, is truly dazzling… Breathtaking romantic adventure storytelling.”
—SFReviews.net

9
Love and Gravity
by Samantha Sotto – 2017

Andrea Louviere is seven years old the first time he appears. While she’s alone in her bedroom, practicing her beloved cello, the light shivers and a crack forms in the wall. Through the crack, she sees a candle, a window, a desk—and a boy. In the eerie silence, the boy clearly sees Andrea too. Then, as quickly as it opened, the crack closes and he vanishes.

Over the years, summoning the boy becomes an obsession for Andrea. On her seventeenth birthday, she receives a three-hundred-year-old love letter from Isaac Newton. Andrea knows that Isaac will change the world with his groundbreaking discoveries; the letter tells Andrea that she will change him.

As Isaac’s letters intensify in passion and intimacy, Andrea grows determined to follow his clues to their shared destiny—despite a burgeoning romance in the present. Only when she discovers the way into Isaac’s time does Andrea realize that she faces a heartbreaking decision between what was… and what might be.

“Sotto’s remarkable story keeps the reader guessing until the very end. . . . The imaginative blend of romance, history, and paranormal is compulsively readable, hits all the romantic high notes, and provides a novel explanation for the development of calculus; highly recommended.”
—Library Journal, starred review

8
Naked in Death
by J.D. Robb – 1995

Book 1 of 52, so if you like this one, you’re in luck.

In the year 2058, Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she’s seen it all—and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she’s going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire—and a suspect in Eve’s murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it’s up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about—except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

“Truly fine entertainment.”
—Publishers Weekly

7
Time After Time
by Constance O’Day-Flannery – 2001

Kelly Brennan, a beautiful young widow, arrives at the door wearing a horrible lime green silk and organza bridesmaid’s dress. She seems confused and talks about strange devices like “telephones” and “cabs”—things that don’t yet exist in this post-Civil War New Orleans.

You see, Kelly has traveled backward through time to an era of gentle southern manners and a calm pace of life she had only dreamed of in her modern, hectic world. Adding to Kelly’s confusion is the uncanny resemblance of her charming gentleman host, Daniel Gilmore, to her late husband Michael.

Is this all a dream? Are Daniel and his precocious daughter Lizzie real? As Kelly begins to adjust to life in the past, she faces an even greater challenge—opening her heart to a man who himself has known great loss and sadness. Can Kelly and Daniel find love not in the past nor in the future, but in this jumbled present?

“Another well-written, satisfying time travel romance.”
—Publishers Weekly

6
Finders Keepers
by Linnea Sinclair – 2001

Independent trader Trilby Elliot is making some not-quite-legal modifications to her starfreighter, when an unexpected visitor falls out of space. Literally. He’s crashed onto the uninhabited planet of Avanar in a crippled ’Sko fighter—the last place you’d expect to find a Zafharin military officer because the ’Sko and the Zafharin have been at war as long as Trilby can remember.

Rhis Vanur is your typically arrogant Zafharin. But to Trilby’s surprise, he doesn’t look down on her or her slapdash ship. Still, Trilby’s learned the hard way that even though she found Rhis, she can’t keep him. She’s just a low-budget jump jockey as far as men like him are concerned. She’s not falling for his offer to help…until Port Rumor reports her best friend missing and Trilby learns that the ’Sko are hunting both her and Rhis. Now they’re in it together for better, for worse—or till death blasts them to oblivion….

5
Shards of Honor
by Lois McMaster Bujold – 1986

Shards of Honor is the first book in the popular Vorkosigan saga by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Lois McMaster Bujold.

When Cordelia Naismith and her survey crew are attacked by a renegade group from Barrayar, she is taken prisoner by Aral Vorkosigan, commander of the Barrayan ship that has been taken over by an ambitious and ruthless crew member. Aral and Cordelia survive countless mishaps while their mutual admiration and even stronger feelings emerge.

4
Fortune’s Pawn
by Rachel Bach – 2013

Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day—but not just yet.

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

“Rollicking space opera starring a tough, sexy, armor-clad space chick…Lots of fun.”
—Kirkus

3
Jaran
by Kate Elliott – 1992

In the past, humans were the dominant star-traveling species in the universe—until the Chapalil came, conquered, and absorbed the Earth into their intergalactic empire.

One of the only humans ever granted nobility by the Chapalil, Charles Soerenson once led a failed rebellion against the alien overlords. Now his sister, Terese, has abandoned her homeworld, impelled by a broken heart to seek a new life among the worlds her brother rules.

On Rhui, a planet off-limits to interstellar voyagers, Tess inadvertently stumbles upon a dangerous Chapalil conspiracy—and only the timely arrival of the Jaran saves her from near-certain death in the wilderness. A tribe of nomadic humans roaming the plains of Rhui, the Jaran have long forgotten their ancient Earth history and heritage. Intrigued by their world and their ways, Tess shares an immediate emotional connection with Ilya, the Jaran’s brilliant, charismatic leader, a man of extraordinary passion and vision.

But despite her growing loyalties to this proud chieftain and his people, Tess must take care. For Ilya’s ambitions threaten to trigger violent planetary upheaval. And the Jaran have been chosen to play an unwitting role in a plot that could have powerful repercussions far beyond the nomads’ volatile world.

2
Mrs. Caliban
by Rachel Ingalls – 1982

In the quiet suburbs, while Dorothy is doing chores and waiting for her husband to come home from work, not in the least anticipating romance, she hears a strange radio announcement about a monster who has just escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research…

“The love story is a delight, the social commentary sharp, the writing funny and fun—and yet the sorrow, even bitterness, at the core of this book about our perfidious species is inescapable and profound.”
—Kirkus, starred review

1
The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger – 2003

Clare and Henry have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36. They were married when Clare was 23 and Henry was 31. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

Clare and Henry’s story unfolds from both points of view, depicting the effects of time travel on their marriage and their passionate love for each other. They attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals: steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

“Tremendous grace and imagination… A love story without softness or flinching.”
—The Washington Post Book World

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