10 Mind-Blowing College Romance Books

College Love Stories

Diving into the world of college life through the pages of a book is like reliving those exhilarating days of freedom, friendship, and, of course, romance. Whether you’re a current student, a nostalgic alum, or just a fan of heartfelt stories set against the backdrop of academic adventures, college romance books have a special charm. They whisk us away to a world where every lecture, coffee shop study date, and campus event could lead to love.

So, if you’re ready to get lost in tales of first loves, second chances, and the unforgettable journey of self-discovery, you’re in the right place. Let’s explore some must-read college romances that will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between!

10 College Romance Books (Campus Love Stories)

College is a time of transition and growth for many individuals, making it a relatable and engaging setting for readers. College romance stories show self-discovery, identity formation, and personal growth. Characters face new friendships, relationships, and challenges, allowing us to vicariously experience the highs and lows of this transformative period in their lives.

The college environment provides ample opportunities for romantic tension to flourish. College campuses offer diverse settings and experiences, from bustling urban campuses to idyllic small-town colleges. This variety allows authors to explore different atmospheres, cultures, and traditions, providing readers with a rich and immersive reading experience. Here are ten popular college romances for you. Let’s Party!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
The Impact of You by Kendall RyanA shy girl and a bad boy work for the same game, and they feel attraction to each other.3.7/5
Wait for You by Jennifer L. ArmentroutTwo flatmates keep their distance but soon feel a close connection and can not hold themselves.4.1/5
Easy by Tammara WebberA college girl falls in danger, and a boy saves her. Then they form a friendship which turns into love.4/5
The Unrequited by Saffron A. KentA college girl and a professor develop a relationship.3.9/5
True by Erin McCarthyA shy girl and her roommate search for a boy to date.3.7/5
Top Secret by Sarina BowenTwo college students secretly chat with each other, but they don’t show their real identities.4.1/5
Him by L.L. AshA college girl and her best friend’s dad somehow feel a romantic tension.3.6/5
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireTwo college students challenge each other they have to stay in the same house for it.4/5
Off-Campus by Elle KennedyDifferent types of sports romance on a college campus.4.2/5
Bad Boys Break Hearts by Micalea SmeltzerA bad boy and a good girl have a rivalry situation that turns into cute love.3.7/5
College Romance Books List

1. The Impact of You

The Impact of You is erotica and spicy college drama romance. It’s a good girl, bad boy story. We follow a girl (Avery) who goes away to college to go and have a fresh start. Avery’s shy, and she meets Jase, who is opposite her. He’s very out there, always partying, getting with girls, and they meet. Then, he decides to help her up her game and be her college mentor. They form a friendship. Later on, a romance occurs, and it goes from there. This is a fast-paced and fun book and nothing too serious.

The story is super enjoyable to read and has that college vibe. There’s a specific thing I’m looking for when I recommend college books that include more than a couple. You want the whole college atmosphere, and the book does an excellent job of encompassing that atmosphere. So, if you’re looking for friends-to-lovers with a mental health vibe, then pick it.

The Impact of You

Author: Kendall Ryan
Narrator: Elizabeth Meadows
Publisher: Kendall Ryan
Tropes: Coming of Age Fiction, Drama, Friends-to-lovers, Abuse, Angsty
Number Of Pages: 302
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

2. Wait for You

Wait for You is the first book in the series, which takes place in college. The series won the Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Romance. The first one is my favorite, about a girl, Avery Morgansten. She goes away for college to a new town for a fresh start. This girl has been through so much during high school and needs an escape from her hometown. So she moves and meets a boy (Cameron) at school on the first day.

Cameron is flirty and forward with Avery, and she’s not used to that. He lives across the hall from her at their apartment complex. So they become friends, even though she hesitates and wants to keep her distance from anybody. It goes from there. I love Jennifer Armentrout’s writing style. It’s super fast-paced and fun to read. However, the book does deal with some heavier topics, so it’s a good mix. Take advantage of this popular book to add to your TBR list.

Wait for You

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Avon (Signed edition)
Tropes: Shy-heroine, Arc, Banter
Number Of Pages: 384
Item Weight: 10.1 ounces
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

3. Easy (Contours of the Heart)

Easy is one of the first college new adult romances I ever read. The book also achieved the DABWAHA Romance Tournament and Goodreads Choice Award Nominee. The story is about a girl (Jacqueline) who, one night after a party, is leaving, and a man (Lucas) comes up to her, and she gets borderline assaulted by him. Somebody else steps in and saves the day, and he helps her.

Later on, they form a friendship, and Lucas helps her to learn self-defense and be able to protect herself. It goes from there, but there’s also the other central plot line, and I want to keep the information private because it’s one of those plot-twisty-type situations.

So it would be best if you read it for yourselves. The author also talks about many important issues. Everybody should read them. The plot, storyline, writing style, narration, dialogues, and characters are good enough to enjoy a romance perfectly. You must read it if you’re looking for something more than the college love story.


Author: Tammara Webber
Publisher: Berkley (Reprint edition)
Tropes: College, Bad-boy-good-girl, Strong-female-lead
Number Of Pages: 338
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Library Binding | Kindle | Audio CD

4. The Unrequited

The Unrequited is an adult contemporary and steamy college romance. We follow a girl (Layla) in college who has a crush and falls for her professor, Thomas. A central theme in many of Kent’s books is a protagonist who becomes head over heels and obsessed with males, and he is not giving her the attention she wants. This book is very similar to that theme.

I enjoy how all of her protagonists are very unapologetically themselves. They often have many layers and are far more interesting than many characters. I love characters that aren’t perfect, and you get to see that in this book’s characters. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for student-teacher romance.

The Unrequited

Author: Saffron A. Kent
Tropes: Inspirational, Dark, Age-gap, Suspense
Number Of Pages: 340
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

5. True (True Believers)

True is the first book in the series, another college campus love story. It follows a girl (Rory) who comes from a very sheltered background, and her roommates decide that they need to find a boy for her to hook up with Rory. So, they’re going behind her and trying to find a guy to hook up with her. They do it in secret, and Rory finally meets a guy, and it goes from there.

Again, it’s one of those stories you must read. I don’t want to spoil too much about it. It very much has After by Anna Todd vibes. So if you’re into that, you will enjoy the romance. The ending needed to be better, and readers objected to the ending and character building.

I appreciate it when romance books have some plot with a boy and a girl, and they meet, and then stuff happens. So, if you want something a little juicy and are on your toes for a while, it’s your recommendation.


Author: Erin McCarthy
Publisher: Berkley (Reprint edition)
Tropes: Sports, Fun, Arc, Virgin-heroine
Number Of Pages: 210
Available: Paperback | Kindle

6. Top Secret

Top Secret is LGBT, MM college romance. It’s one of my all-time favorite college stories about two frat brothers who talk online and do not know each other. So they don’t get along in real life, but they start talking online on a messenger app. The tension is fantastic, and this plotline could never be overdone. I love the idea of two people who know each other in real life and online and don’t realize they’re the same person.

You’ll enjoy this book a lot, and I’m obsessed with it. It’s very ecology because you have the frat vibe in it. If you’re looking for something with a gay romance with a campus vibe, check this one out. You can also listen to the audiobook far better than the book to visualize and feel the characters with romantic background music.

Top Secret

Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC and Elle Kennedy Inc
Tropes: Billionaire, Forbidden, Alpha-male, Enemies-to-lovers
Number Of Pages: 282
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

7. Him

Him is an age-gap romance story set in a college. The heroine (Bay) falls for her best friend’s dad (Blake). Her friend moves away to college, and they move in with Blake. Bay’s not very close to her dad. She doesn’t even know him and meets him for the first time upon moving into his house. Her friend is more out there and wants to party and have that whole college scene.

Bay is a little more laid-back and a little shyer. So, she sticks at home a lot and gets closer to Blake. So it’s a bit taboo and has a different vibe because Blake isn’t in college. You can choose this book if you want a very steamy romance with a simple plot.


Author: L.L. Ash
Publisher: L. L. Ash Media
Tropes: Comedy, Forbidden, Brooding-hero, Best-friends-dad, Forced-proximity
Number Of Pages: 329
Available: Paperback | Kindle

8. Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster is a dramatic and sweet college romance with a strong female lead that won the Goodreads Choice Award Nominee. It has been one of my favorite books for a very long time. The book follows Abby and Travis. Travis is an underground fighter, and Abby is trying to avoid anybody who might derail her life in a big way. So she doesn’t want anything to do with him. But upon meeting, he’s immediately infatuated with her and wants to get to know her more.

So they make a bet! If he wins, she has to stay with him and his apartment for a whole month. If she wins, he has to be celibate for a month, and it goes from there. I have so many problems with the author of this book and the series. It breaks my heart that I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Overall, it’s an enjoyable, fun, and sexy read with a hipe on BookTube and BookTok Community.

Beautiful Disaster

Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Atria Books (Original edition)
Tropes: Anti-feminist, Friends-to-lovers, Drama, Alpha-hero
Number Of Pages: 431
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

9. Off-Campus/Briar You Series

Off-Campus and Briar You are a college and sports romance series that covers hockey, football, baseball, boxing, etc. These two series consist of eight books overall, and they’re all companion novels. So, all the characters are friends and in the same friend group. But every book follows a different lead couple. My favorite is The Score from Off Campus, book three. You can read them out of order if you want.

I recommend reading the whole series because every couple is worth the read, and I love all of them. But Dean and Allie are my favorites, which take place in college. They’re hockey players, and it’s an excellent series. So, if you still need to read it, check it out because it’s worth reading.

Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

10. Bad Boys Break Hearts (The Boys)

Bad Boys Break Hearts is a baseball romance set in college. The book is about a girl (Rory) and a boy (Mascen) who were friends growing up. Rory moves away, and they lose connection, and they meet up again in college. But they have this enemies-to-lovers quarrel because Mascen is super broody and mean towards her, which she doesn’t expect. They go from there.

I love it when the characters have a history with each other. That made for an enjoyable read. It takes place on a college campus because they meet up again in college, and it’s their second chance. The story was boring. There were some grammatical mistakes. I recommend it who want a childhood best friend-to-lover story. The hardcover has some negative issues, but the paperback is excellent for font size, color, cover, binding, and paper quality.

Bad Boys Break Hearts

Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Tropes: Hate-to-love, Cheating, Rockstar, Royalty, Angsty
Number Of Pages: 436
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

More romance books set in college:

Beautiful series by Christina Lauren: The series features a group of friends with roommates in college and their romantic journeys.

Fallen Crest series by Tijan: This college love series follows the life of Samantha, who moves to a new town and high school with her mother and stepbrother. It features a love triangle, family drama, and navigating high school and college life challenges.

The Ivy Years series by Sarina Bowen: This series follows the romantic relationships of students at an Ivy League university. The series tackles issues such as sexual assault, bullying, pregnancy, mental health, and class differences while delivering swoon-worthy romance.

Note: College romance books may contain more mature themes and content that may not be appropriate for a 12-year-old. These books may include scenes of sexual content, drug use, and other adult themes that may not be suitable for preteens. Parents must consider their child’s maturity level and values before allowing them to read college romance books.

5 Bad Boy College Romance Books

“Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire

This novel tells the story of Abby Abernathy, who tries to keep her dark past behind when she arrives at college. However, she meets Travis Maddox, the ultimate bad boy, who leads her into an intense love affair. Known for its compelling characters and emotional depth, “Beautiful Disaster” explores themes of love, redemption, and the power of transformation.

“The Deal” by Elle Kennedy

Part of the Off-Campus series, “The Deal” focuses on Hannah Wells and Garrett Graham. Garrett is the typical bad boy: a star hockey player who needs to keep his grades up and decides to strike a deal with Hannah to help him. Their agreement leads to unexpected romance and personal growth. The book is well-loved for its witty dialogue, steamy scenes, and dynamic character development.

“Wait for You” by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Avery Morgansten moves to college thousands of miles away from her past, but she can’t escape her memories, especially when she meets Cameron Hamilton, known for his playboy lifestyle. As Avery’s past threatens to destroy her present, Cameron is her unexpected protector and love interest. The novel is a mix of mystery, trauma, and healing intertwined with romance.

“Rule” by Jay Crownover

The first book in the Marked Men series, “Rule” features Rule Archer, the quintessential tattooed bad boy with a troubled past, and Shaw Landon, a girl from a pristine background who has been in love with Rule for as long as she can remember. Their story is one of overcoming differences, dealing with past demons, and the redemptive power of love.

“After” by Anna Todd

Tessa Young’s life is turned upside down when she meets Hardin Scott, a dark and brooding rebel, at college. Their volatile relationship tests the boundaries of obsession and love. Originally a One Direction fanfiction, “After” explores the complexities of a relationship marked by challenges and transformations.

5 Enemies To Lovers College Romance Books

“The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne

While not set in a college, “The Hating Game” is a quintessential enemies-to-lovers story that captures the essence of this trope with its witty banter and intense chemistry between the characters, Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. They are coworkers in a publishing company who start as rivals but eventually realize their true feelings for each other. It’s recommended to fans of the trope for its dynamic portrayal of the transition from hate to love.

“Punk 57” by Penelope Douglas

Misha and Ryen are pen pals who’ve never met but share everything until a twist of fate puts them in the same high school and on opposing sides. Misha doesn’t tell Ryen who he is, and as they face the treacherous waters of high school dynamics and personal discovery, their relationship evolves from antagonistic to something much deeper. This novel combines the enemies-to-lovers trope with secrets and revelations that test the strength of their bond.

“The Deal” by Elle Kennedy

Reappearing on this list for its strong enemies-to-lovers dynamic, “The Deal” is part of the Off-Campus series. Garrett Graham and Hannah Wells start with a transactional relationship sparked by mutual need rather than affection. Their initial dislike and banter set the perfect stage for a deep and compelling romantic development.

“Hate to Love You” by Tijan

This novel follows the story of Kennedy Clarke, a feisty and independent woman who wants nothing to do with the college’s football star and notorious bad boy, Shay Coleman. However, circumstances keep throwing them together, and their initial animosity slowly transforms into a passionate romance. Tijan masterfully explores themes of trust, forgiveness, and the power of love to overcome prejudice.

“From Lukov with Love” by Mariana Zapata

Mariana Zapata takes the enemies-to-lovers trope onto the ice rink. Jasmine Santos and Ivan Lukov are figure skaters who’ve been rivals for years. Forced to partner, they embark on a grueling journey towards the World Championships, discovering respect, friendship, and love. This novel delves deep into the characters’ pasts, their grudges, and the healing power of love.

5 College Romance Series

Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy

This series begins with “The Deal,” featuring a group of hockey players at Briar University and their romantic entanglements. Each book focuses on a different couple, combining sports, romance, and the challenges and triumphs of college life. The series is praised for its engaging characters, steamy romance, and emotional depth.

Wait for You Series by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Starting with “Wait for You,” this series explores the lives and loves of a group of friends, each book delving into a new romantic storyline while tackling issues like past trauma, trust, and the healing journey. The series covers storytelling, well-developed characters, and a blend of sweet and steamy moments.

Rosemary Beach Series by Abbi Glines

Although it extends beyond just college-aged protagonists, the Rosemary Beach series includes several novels that focus on young adults navigating the complexities of love and life in the idyllic setting of Rosemary Beach. The series is filled with drama, romance, and heartache, featuring a close-knit group of friends.

Falling Series by Jasinda Wilder

Beginning with “Falling into You,” this series deals with loss, love, and healing. While not all entries are set in a college environment, the themes of young love and dealing with past pain resonate throughout the series. The characters’ journeys are emotional, often involving coming-of-age elements that appeal to new adult romance fans.

Marked Men Series by Jay Crownover

Starting with “Rule,” this series focuses on the lives and loves of a group of tattooed bad boys and the women who love them, set against the backdrop of a tattoo parlor near a college campus. Each book explores different themes of love, redemption, and personal growth, making it a standout in the genre for its depth and character development.

5 College Sports Romance Books

“The Deal” by Elle Kennedy

Part of the Off-Campus series, this book focuses on Garrett Graham, a star hockey player at Briar University who strikes a deal with Hannah Wells. In exchange for helping him improve his grades, he agrees to help her make her crush jealous, leading to unexpected chemistry and romance. It’s a fan favorite for its engaging characters, witty dialogue, and steamy romance set against the backdrop of college hockey.

“The Hook Up” by Kristen Callihan

The first book in the Game On series introduces Drew Baylor, the star quarterback, and Anna Jones, a girl who wants nothing to do with the college’s football scene. Despite her attempts to keep him at arm’s length, Drew is determined to win her over, making for a story filled with passion, sports action, and the complexities of falling in love.

“Scoring Wilder” by R.S. Grey

This standalone novel combines soccer with romance, telling the story of Kinsley Bryant, an up-and-coming soccer star, and Liam Wilder, a professional soccer player turned coach. Despite the rules against coach-player relationships, their mutual attraction leads to a forbidden romance that’s as sweet as steamy, all set against the intense world of college soccer.

“Wait for You” by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

While not centered around sports, this novel features elements of college athletics as part of the backdrop for the evolving romance between Cameron Hamilton, a charming and protective guy with a hint of a bad-boy vibe, and Avery Morgansten, a girl with a troubled past. Their story blends emotional depth, healing, and love, showcasing how sports can affect college life and personal growth.

“Rush Me” by Allison Parr

When Rachael Hamilton accidentally crashes a post-game party and meets Ryan Carter, a professional football player, she’s thrown into the world of sports she knows nothing about. Their initial misunderstanding turns into a slow-burn romance filled with witty banter, personal discovery, and the insider’s look at the life of college athletes transitioning to the pros. This book captures the essence of sports romance with a unique twist.

5 College Bully Romance Books

“Punk 57” by Penelope Douglas

In this intense novel, Misha and Ryen have been pen pals since childhood but never met. Their relationship is tumultuous when Misha enrolls in Ryen’s high school incognito, observing her from afar and disliking what he sees. The book explores themes of identity, acceptance, and the transformative power of love, set against a backdrop of high school to college transition.

“Paper Princess” by Erin Watt

Though it starts in high school and transitions into college-age scenarios in later books, “Paper Princess” introduces readers to Ella Harper and the Royal brothers, particularly Reed Royal, who makes her life miserable. This series dives deep into the dynamics of power, wealth, and desire, emphasizing the complexities of family and love in a hostile environment.

“Bully” by Penelope Douglas

This novel follows Tate and Jared, who were once best friends until Jared turned on Tate, making her high school life miserable. When they both end up at the same college, old wounds are reopened, and they are forced to confront their past and the fine line between love and hate. “Bully” captures the essence of the bully romance trope with its intense emotional struggles and the path to forgiveness and understanding.

“Vicious” by L.J. Shen

Part of the Sinners of Saint series, “Vicious,” tells the story of Emilia and Vicious, who share a complicated past marred by cruelty, obsession, and an undeniable attraction. Vicious, the ultimate bad boy, crosses the line into bullying behavior, making their love story tumultuous and compelling. The book features redemption, the impact of past traumas, and the power of love to change even the hardest hearts.

“Fear Me” by B.B. Reid

“Fear Me” explores the darker side of love and obsession, focusing on Lake and Keiran, who have a twisted and complicated history. Keiran, the quintessential bad boy with a penchant for tormenting Lake, reveals deeper layers as their story unfolds, challenging the boundaries between love and hate. This book features emotions and complex characters and explores power, control, and vulnerability.

5 Spicy College Romance Books

“The Deal” by Elle Kennedy

Part of the Off-Campus series, “The Deal” features a relationship between Garrett, a star hockey player, and Hannah, a music major. Their arrangement to help each other in their respective areas of need quickly becomes a steamy, emotional connection. Kennedy is praised for her ability to blend heat with heart, making “The Deal” a standout in spicy college romances.

“Beautiful Disaster” by Jamie McGuire

This novel tells the story of Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox, who meet at Eastern University. Their story is intense and passionate, with Travis’s bad-boy charm and underground fighting career adding to the heat.

“Ugly Love” by Colleen Hoover

While not set in a traditional college setting, “Ugly Love” deals with themes of young adulthood and emotional discovery that resonate with college-aged readers. The story revolves around Tate Collins and Miles Archer, whose no-strings-attached arrangement quickly becomes complicated. Hoover’s signature emotional depth combined with steamy scenes makes this a favorite among readers looking for spicy romance.

“Wait for You” by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Featuring Avery Morgansten and Cameron Hamilton, this novel explores the themes of past trauma and the healing power of love. Their relationship develops amidst the pressures of college life, with Cameron’s persistence and Avery’s reluctance creating a tension-filled, spicy romance that captivates readers.

“Rule” by Jay Crownover

The first book in the Marked Men series, “Rule” introduces readers to Rule Archer and Shaw Landon. Their relationship starts rocky due to Rule’s rebellious nature and the expectations placed upon him, but Shaw’s longstanding crush adds a layer of intensity. Crownover is known for crafting spicy scenes that are as emotional as they are steamy, making “Rule” a must-read for fans of the genre.

Those are going to be my best college romance novel recommendations. We’ve journeyed through the hallowed halls of academia, experiencing love, loss, and the magic of growing up with our characters. These college romance books not only provide an escape but also remind us of the power of love in its most formative stage.

Whether these stories brought back memories or introduced you to new adventures, we hope you found your next great read. The best love stories are the ones that resonate with our hearts, teaching us a little more about ourselves and the world around us. Until next time, keep turning those pages and falling in love with the journey. Happy reading!

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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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