10 Asian Romance Books You Can Read In A Day

Asian Love Story

Go on a journey through the heart of Asia, where every turn of the page unveils stories of love that transcend boundaries, cultures, and traditions. Welcome to our curated collection of Asian romance stories—a celebration of love in many forms set against the rich, diverse tapestry of Asian landscapes.

From the cherry blossom-lined streets of Japan to the historic lanes of India, from the skyscrapers of South Korea to the lush fields of the Philippines, these stories bring to life the universal language of love, enriched by the unique charm of Asian cultures. Whether you’re looking for a sweet, gentle love story or a passionate, fiery romance, these books promise to captivate your heart and soul. So, cozy up with your favorite cup of tea, and let’s dive into tales of love, destiny, and the incredible journeys that bring hearts together across Asia.

10 Asian Romance Books

Asian romance explores the tension between tradition and modernity, as characters face the expectations of family and society while pursuing their desires and aspirations. These stories show duty, honor, filial piety, and the complexities of love and relationships in a rapidly changing world.

We see diverse and inclusive representations of characters from different Asian backgrounds, cultures, and identities. Here are 10 Asian romance books that celebrate the complexity and diversity of Asian experiences, offering you a range of perspectives and voices within the genre. Let’s go!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
Last Tang Standing by Lauren HoA Chinese-Malaysian rich girl deals with her relationship/marriage within a stereotypical society.3.5
I’ll Be the One by Lyla LeeA South Korean girl is trying to be a singer while she faces her size, age, and many difficulties.4.0
The Marriage Game by Sara DesaiAn Indian girl maintains a restaurant where a man also does his office, and their rivalry turns into romance.3.5
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali DevA South Asian doctor girl is trying to save the hero’s sister, and their connection is established.3.6
The Chai Factor by Farah HeronAn Asian heroine wants to finish her master’s degree, and she builds a strong relationship with a singer who lives in her grandma’s apartment.3.6
Unmarriageable by Soniah KamalA Pakistani woman deals with her early marriage, and the author shows her unfinished dreams.3.7
The Marriage Clock by Zara RaheemA girl is looking for her mate because her parents are forcing her to marry.3.2
Grown-Up Pose by Sonya LalliA mother is maintaining her family, but she has no feelings for her husband, and it’s her story about desire and feelings.3.2
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook ShinThe author represents Korean relationships: husband-wife, the daughter’s relationship with his mom, and the daughter-in-law.3.8
Amina’s Voice by Hena KhanA Muslim girl is struggling with her community and society.3.9
Asian Romance Books List

1. Last Tang Standing

The gorgeous book cover and the great representation made it one of my most anticipated reads. Last Tang Standing follows a Chinese-Malaysian character named Andrea, who has become the best daughter that a daughter has to be. She has a respectable career as a lawyer and is on the right track to becoming a partner at a firm. Everything is going perfectly in her life.

So, Andrea is earning money and becoming a very independent person that many Asian families strive for and appreciate. But what happens when she attends a family function and realizes that she is officially the last single Tang in her family? Everybody’s eyes are turned towards her, asking her: What’s her relationship status? How’s her boyfriend doing? Do they have any plans to marry soon because she’s mid-thirties? Her time is ticking, and she will not have enough time to marry and start a family.

So, there is much pressure she constantly deals with every time she goes to a family setting occasion, a family party, or a family dinner, and she’s tired of it. What’s worse is that she and her boyfriend have broken up recently, and she’s still trying to get over the fact that her heart is broken.

Then, she joins an app and meets many different guys. So alongside that front of trying to find a husband in a very short amount of time, she also has to deal with her office rival, who is of South Asian descent. He came to Malaysia to become a lawyer in that office. They are going at each other’s throats to gain partnership.

If you’re a fan of rich Asian romance, then you would love the book because it is written in diary entry format where you see how her thoughts and feelings are. It also talked about racism and stereotyping in Asian communities. Also, you’ll be surrounded by a lot of Asians who are very wealthy and who do not care about how much money they spend. The plot is a bit boring, and the story is very common. Overall, It’s very lighthearted at times and also very dramatic to enjoy.

Last Tang Standing

Author: Lauren Ho
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Tropes: Multicultural, Humor
Number Of Pages: 413
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

2. I’ll Be the One

I’ll Be the One is a plus-size teen character romance book that follows a girl (Skye Shin) who is bisexual and loves to dance. That’s her main passion, but she also likes to sing. So Skye decides to try out for the K-Pop auditions, where she goes on a reality TV show. She trains with the other trainees. Then whoever cuts will be able to become an official trainee in Seoul (South Korea) for an entertainment company to get the chance of an Idol group.

Skye is different from the other girls and the other Asian stereotypes. She’s a lot curvier than others. In Asian communities, You’re not allowed to be bigger than size two. So she’s dealing with many fat-phobic people in the community who openly make remarks about her body, telling her that she must lose weight to be beautiful. Skye’s trying to set up her beauty standards for the whole circumstance. Along the way, she also has to compete against a cute boy.

So it’s a charming queer Asian romance, and it talked about body positivity in general, and I appreciated it. The author also did a great job of talking about the K-pop industry and how certain people react to others. Also, she represents bullying, body shaming, emotional abuse, biphobia, racism, and many sensitive aspects. But I found a weak writing style, flat characters, old-fashioned dialogue, and a lack of chemistry. If you’re a K-Pop or body positivity books fan, check this one out.

I'll Be the One

Author: Lyla Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Tropes: Realistic Fiction, LGBT, Friendships
Number Of Pages: 336
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

3. The Marriage Game

The Marriage Game is Vivian Award winner was one of my most anticipated hate-to-love romance novels that I reread many times. We follow an Indian character (Layla Patel) returning to live with her parents because her business has failed, and she wants to start her own business. Her relationship with her long-term boyfriend has failed as well. It was a messy breakup where she might have gone to jail and caused a big scene because her boyfriend was a complete jerk to her.

So Layla decides to clean up her image and return home to her family. She has an office above the family’s restaurant. Her father and mother are both Michelin star owners of restaurants. They’re successful on the restaurant front, and Layla thinks everything is going well with her family. So she thinks moving in on top of the restaurant is no problem.

What happens when somebody else starts moving into her office as well? It turns out that her father double-rented that office space above the restaurant. Now, it’s Layla and the main male character, Sam’s love story, where Sam is reluctant to leave the office space because he needs it. So they’re complete opposites of each other. I like the sexual tension that they had with each other.

Along the way, Layla discovers that her father has set her up on a series of dates. So, she goes through the list of potential guys that could be her husband to appease her father. She is getting help from Sam because Sam is unwilling to let Layla go on a series of dates with all these jerks who will hurt her feelings. So Sam was there to help her, and it was an enjoyable book. There were a lot of funny and romantic parts to this book that I appreciated.

The only part I didn’t like was how flippant the characters were. They went on and off many times when Layla was lovely to Sam. Not to say that Layla was the only one, and it was frustrating all the time, and problems were resolved much quicker than I expected. If you are a fan of Asian romantic comedies, you should check this out.

The Marriage Game

Author: Sara Desai
Publisher: Berkley
Tropes: Multicultural & Interracial, Forced-proximity
Number Of Pages: 350
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

4. Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors

Indian author Sonali writes Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors so well that you’re completely captivated by her words and the characters. If you can’t tell it by the title already is a modern story retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen with a South Asian twist. Our Elizabeth Bennett (DJ) is a male character, and Trisha is a female. Trisha is very wary of going back home and seeing the family.

Then we have the DJ, who comes from a not-so-wealthy background and supports himself through a catering business in France. But he has to come home to care for his younger sister, who has been diagnosed with an illness in her head where she can’t see anymore. It’s only Trisha who can help save DJ’s little sister. So they have to overcome their differences to work together to help save the sister, and their romance happens along the way.

Trisha is a world-renowned surgeon, and she saves a lot of patients’ lives. But the problem is that she also feels disconnected from her family because a scandal rocked and destroyed her brother’s career. Also, she and her father do not have a great relationship because of the incident that has happened in the past. I felt bad for some of these characters because they couldn’t speak up because of their personalities and culture.

When you’re reading it, you don’t know which character is which anymore, and you’re reading it until you realize which ones are evil and which are not that great. So this story did an excellent retelling of Pride and Prejudice, which I’ve never seen before. It didn’t follow the usual storyline we would normally see in a retelling.

Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors

Author: Sonali Dev
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Tropes: Comedic Dramas, Retellings, Fairy-tales
Number Of Pages: 499
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | MP3 CD

5. The Chai Factor

The Chai Factor is a contemporary South Asian romance that follows an Asian heroine (Amira Khan) who is a person of color. She is a visible minority and works as an engineer, predominantly dealing with many male characters. They look down on females or don’t think that Amira belongs at the table. However, she works hard to get her master’s degree in engineering, and she works to prove herself to her boss and her teammates that her seat is there.

What happens is that she decides to save a lot of money by going back home to finish off her master’s. But she doesn’t know that it’s her grandma who has rented out the basement to a bunch of white males who are part of a singing competition. They always sing and practice. Finally, it’s the love story between Amira and one of the lead singers. The author talks a lot about racism within the community that I didn’t think would happen in a woman’s fiction slash romance novel. But nobody talked about it, and I enjoyed it.

The Chai Factor

Author: Farah Heron
Publisher: HarperCollins
Tropes: Women Fiction, Arc, Enemies-to-lovers, Feminism
Number Of Pages: 386
Available: Paperback | Kindle

6. Unmarriageable

Unmarriageable is another Pride and Prejudice retelling set in Pakistan, filled with many cultures. The book tells the story of Alys and Valentine. Valentine is our Darcy, and then Alys is our Bennet. Alys was a teacher, and she taught her female students that you should not give up a piece of yourself because you’re married. You should always be your woman. Then she meets Valentine Darcy, who thinks he is better than them and always looks down on them.

Alys does not trust him as much, which was an enjoyable read. But nothing unique or special representation is here. So pick this up if you want an exciting take on Pride and Prejudice with Pakistan’s culture and Asian relationships.


Author: Soniah Kamal
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Tropes: Culture, Fun
Number Of Pages: 386
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

7. The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock represents a protagonist, Leila, who follows the traditional way of her parents, matchmaking her so they can get married off. But Leila has her Western ideals of love, which means she wants to find love herself. She wants to go on dates regularly and meet the man she loves instead of getting matchmade and then married. So, it is Leila’s struggle that she has three months to find someone worth dating and someone worth marrying.

Leila goes on a series of dates that end in catastrophes. I want to let you know that the book is not much of a romance novel but women’s fiction. So keep that in mind when you’re reading towards the end. You can see Leila finding herself and realizing that she might be stronger without other people by learning more about her culture and why her culture chooses matchmaking in the end. If you want Asian heroine romance and their relationship culture, read it.

The Marriage Clock

Author: Zara Raheem
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Tropes: Comedic Dramas, Arranged-marriage
Number Of Pages: 358
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | Audio CD

8. Grown-Up Pose

Grown-Up Pose is a women’s fiction romance book for people who like characters who always make mistakes. You have to read it from a different perspective, knowing that a character is a human being who constantly makes mistakes, learns from them and sometimes makes them again. So, you will be dealing with a very flawed character who tends to make many decisions you would never make in real life.

Our main Anu married her childhood sweetheart when she was only in her early twenties, which is normal in Asian culture. At the same time, you have to think about how much pressure it puts on yourself, where you have to grow up very quickly because you are entering a very serious stage in your life, which is marriage. Then, after marriage, they also had a child.

So Anu is a young mother to a little girl who’s already grown. The story is about her giving up on her dreams and youth to take care of her daughter and live her life as freely as possible compared to her other friends who are not married. Also, it’s about her sometimes making wrong and questionable decisions, most importantly with her husband, because she does not love her husband anymore.

You get to see a second-chance romance mixed with an emotional scene where I cried because I knew the characters’ struggles when making the right decision. But they also had to fight for what was right in their heads and lives. I recommend reading this one if you love a flawed Asian character with an early marriage life story. The hardcover has some issues, but the paperback is good for font size, color, binding, and cover.

Grown-Up Pose

Author: Sonya Lalli
Publisher: Berkley
Tropes: Psychological Fiction, Cultural Heritage, Second-chance
Number Of Pages: 320
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

9. Please Look After Mom

Please Look After Mom is a Korean novel translated into English because it was so popular that everybody needed to read it. The story was perfect in many ways, especially if you are of Asian descent and appreciate this one. The author talks specifically about what Asian moms do, what they think, what society thinks they should be, and who they represent in the family. So this one talked about a mom who is lost, and she gets the train off Seoul. Then nobody goes and picks her up, and then she goes missing.

The book is told from five different perspectives of the family members talking about their relationship with the mom. You can see the husband’s relationship with his wife, the daughter’s relationship with his mom, the son’s relationship, and the daughter-in-law. All these stories are intertwined. So you can learn the full story of what happened to the mom and what she was going through the entire journey.

I appreciate the story because it touched upon many heartbreaking things that nobody talks about again in the Asian community. It was discussed the relationship you tend to have as a daughter to a mom, which is very emotional. So, pick the book if you love Asian Literature.

Please Look After Mom

Author: Kyung-Sook Shin
Publisher: Vintage
Tropes: Historical Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Number Of Pages: 273
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback

10. Amina’s Voice

Amina’s Voice is a realistic fiction book that follows a Pakistani family welcoming their guest, and our main guest happens to be the uncle of the main female character (Amina). So, in this light middle-grade novel, we see Amina’s standing, being more confident in her abilities to sing at a musical in her school, embracing her culture, who she is, and what she represents.

South Asian author Hena also talked about minority voices in the school because her best friend is a Korean immigrant, and she got her citizenship in the book. She wants to change her name to become more Americanized because she hates how people treat her differently. Then Amina feels awkward about it because she doesn’t want her best friend to change. But she also knows that there’s a lot of judgment for how you look and talk.

So Amina is scared and thinks she needs to change to be accepted in her community. The author shows racism in the Muslim community, where love is not allowed before marriage. It was heartbreaking and enlightening to read, which is very educational. So, if you have a young reader in the household, I recommend you check this Asian love story.

Amina's Voice

Author: Hena Khan
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Tropes: Prejudice, Racism, Family
Number Of Pages: 205
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

Bonus Book: The Ghost Bride

When you look at how the pages are indented into each other, it’s a very friendly book by Yangsze Choo. The Ghost Bride features an adorable and unique character, Li Lan, a young lady in the story living with her father. Unfortunately, her mother passed away when she was very young. The story starts when her father is struggling and is bankrupt. Now, she is expected to get married, and that’s how they will have money come in and how she will support herself within society.

Li Lan is in Malaysia’s real historical time frame in the early 17 1800s. So, she is in the time frame when the British Commonwealth was ruling that part of the world. Also, it’s set in the town of Malacca, where the British Commonwealth overthrew the Chinese. So, there are a lot of prehistoric undertones within the story that you’ll learn about.

Also, you can learn about Chinese folklore, their spiritual beliefs, and how it was then. The economy, the society, the way history, and the buildings were fascinating. Li Lan even puts at the end of the book notes explaining ghost marriages and Chinese notions of the afterlife. So Li Lan is expected to marry a young man who has passed away and is haunting her to marry him at some point in the story.

She has a beautiful bond and relationship with a spirit animal in the paranormal world. That bond between the two is so beautiful that you can sense their kingship. That whole trip you will take with the character down the rabbit hole, down the other side, is the best part of this novel, apart from its uniqueness.

The only negative about the novel is that it was quickly wrapped up in the last chapter. Many unsolved questions exist: What happens to the character, and how does it develop? You wish the last chapter had more description, as she did in the previous chapters. You’re being exposed to all the new vocabulary when reading it.

I recommend this Asian historical romance with fantasy and interracial tropes to any of all ages. I would love to hear your comments below if you have read any of these books. Let me know what you think of these books or if you have any recommendations for any Asian romance novel.

5 Chinese Romance Books

  1. “To the Sky Kingdom” by Tang Qi

Also known as “Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms,” this novel is a mesmerizing tale of immortals bound by destiny and love. It follows the epic romance between Bai Qian, a goddess and monarch of the Qing Qiu kingdom, and Ye Hua, the crown prince of the Celestial Tribe. Their love story spans three lifetimes, entire of trials, tribulations, and deep affection. The novel has been hugely popular in China and was adapted into a successful television series.

  1. “The Moon in the Palace” by Weina Dai Randel

This historical novel is the first in a duology that chronicles the rise of Empress Wu, the only female emperor in Chinese history. As a young woman, Mei enters the imperial palace as a concubine. She navigates the dangerous politics of the Tang Dynasty court, all while developing a complex relationship with the emperor. Randel’s vivid storytelling brings ancient China to life, weaving a tale of power, ambition, and romance.

  1. “I Love You So Mochi” by Sarah Kuhn

This contemporary young adult romance follows Kimi Nakamura, who travels to Kyoto after a falling out with her mother over her future to stay with her grandparents. There, she goes on a journey of self-discovery and falls in love with Akira, a young man who dreams of becoming a doctor. “I Love You So Mochi” is a sweet tale of finding love and oneself, set against the enchanting backdrop of Kyoto.

  1. “Waiting” by Ha Jin

Set in the backdrop of political upheaval in China, “Waiting” tells the story of Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese army, who is caught in a love triangle between his wife in an arranged marriage and the nurse he loves. Spanning over two decades, the novel explores themes of love, loyalty, and the constraints of society. Ha Jin’s masterful storytelling captures China’s emotional turmoil and cultural shifts, making “Waiting” a poignant and thought-provoking read.

  1. “Peach Blossom Pavilion” by Mingmei Yip

In this historical novel, Mingmei Yip tells the story of Precious Orchid, the last courtesan of the Peach Blossom Pavilion. After being framed for her father’s murder, she is forced into the world of courtesans, where she learns the arts of poetry, music, and love. As she seeks revenge and freedom, Precious Orchid navigates the complexities of love and power in the waning days of imperial China.

5 East Asian Romance Books

  1. “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by Lisa See

This novel tells the story of Li-yan, an Akha ethnic minority girl in Yunnan, China, and her journey through love, loss, and the search for identity. When Li-yan has a baby out of wedlock, she leaves her daughter near an orphanage, a decision that echoes throughout her life. The story weaves Li-yan’s personal journey with the broader tale of her daughter, adopted by American parents, as both seek to understand their roots and the meaning of family. Lisa See beautifully explores themes of tradition, change, and the enduring bonds of love.

  1. “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

Spanning several generations, “Pachinko” is a sweeping saga that follows a Korean family in Japan through the 20th century. Starting with a forbidden romance, the novel covers the struggles, successes, and complex identities of Koreans in Japan. Min Jin Lee presents a poignant exploration of love, resilience, and the search for belonging in a society that is often hostile to those seen as outsiders.

  1. “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami

Set in Tokyo during the late 1960s, “Norwegian Wood” is a coming-of-age story that captures the essence of youthful love and loss. The protagonist, Toru Watanabe, reminisces about his college days and his relationships with two women, Naoko and Midori. Through his experiences, Murakami explores themes of mental health, the impact of loss, and the complexities of romantic and platonic relationships, all set against a backdrop of political unrest and social change.

  1. “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

This contemporary romance novel features Stella Lane, a woman with Asperger’s syndrome who excels in mathematics but struggles with intimate relationships. To gain more experience, she hires Michael Phan, a mixed-race Vietnamese-Swedish escort. What starts as a transactional relationship quickly develops into something deeper. Helen Hoang’s novel is a refreshing take on the romance genre, offering a unique perspective on love, disability, and cultural expectations.

  1. “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See

Another novel by Lisa See, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” explores the deep bond between two girls in 19th-century China. Lily and Snow Flower communicate through a secret women’s script, sharing their hopes, dreams, and experiences in a society that restricts women’s roles. While not a traditional romance, the novel discusses love and loyalty within the framework of a deeply emotional friendship set against historical events and cultural practices like foot binding.

5 Asian YA Romance Books

  1. “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

This beloved novel follows Korean-American Lara Jean Covey, whose quiet high school life is turned upside down when her secret love letters are mysteriously mailed out to her crushes. As Lara Jean faces the ensuing chaos, she discovers the complexities of love, family, and self-expression. Jenny Han crafts a charming and relatable story that resonates with readers looking for a sweet romance with a strong cultural backdrop.

  1. “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family and from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” But when she finds out that her parents have arranged for her to meet a prospective husband, Rishi Patel, at a summer program, Dimple’s plans turn. Menon delivers a delightful and insightful look into the dynamics of arranged marriages, personal dreams, and the unexpected ways love can unfold.

  1. “Frankly in Love” by David Yoon

Frank Li is a Korean-American teenager trying to face his identity between his traditional parents and his Southern California upbringing. Caught between his parent’s expectations and his desires, Frank concocts a plan to date the girl of his dreams while pretending to date a Korean girl to appease his family. David Yoon’s novel is a thoughtful exploration of race, love, and the complexities of growing up caught between cultures.

  1. “The Sun Is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon

Natasha, a Jamaican girl, and Daniel, a Korean-American boy, meet and fall in love over a single day in New York City. Natasha is trying to prevent her family’s deportation, and Daniel is going to an interview with a Yale alum. Nicola Yoon weaves a compelling narrative that explores questions of fate, science, and the existence of love at first sight, all while tackling issues of immigration and cultural expectations.

  1. “Loveboat, Taipei” by Abigail Hing Wen

Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turn when her parents send her to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer. What she thought would be a summer school program was a wild summer of freedom, romance, and adventure, dubbed “Loveboat.” Abigail Hing Wen’s novel is a fun and spirited coming-of-age story that explores themes of identity, rebellion, and first love, set against the vibrant backdrop of Taipei.

These books have not only introduced us to unforgettable characters and their love stories but have also opened our eyes to the rich cultural heritage and traditions that shape these narratives. From heartwarming tales of first love to complex stories of love overcoming obstacles, each book has offered a window into the soul of Asia, reminding us that while love is universal, it is also beautifully unique in its cultural expressions.

We hope that this collection has inspired you to continue exploring the rich world of Asian romance and discovering new authors, stories, and traditions along the way. May the love stories you uncover continue to enchant and inspire you, weaving the magic of Asia into your reading adventures. Until we meet again, happy reading, and may you find joy and love in every story you choose to explore.

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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