7 Cheerful Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books

Grumpy Sunshine Love Story

Welcome to the delightful world of grumpy sunshine romance, where opposites don’t just attract—they spark stories filled with laughter, growth, and heart-melting moments. If you’ve ever found yourself cheering for a brooding hero to find his match in a ray of sunshine, or if the idea of love bringing light to the shadows makes your heart skip a beat, then you’re in for a treat.

This post is dedicated to the books that masterfully play with this dynamic, proving that the path to love is sometimes paved with bickering, banter, and, most importantly, understanding. From the first clash to the last kiss, these stories celebrate the beauty of differences and the joy of finding someone who complements you perfectly. So, cozy up, and let’s dive into a collection of grumpy sunshine romance books that will leave you believing in the power of love to transform even the grumpiest of hearts.

7 Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books

Grumpy sunshine romance stories typically feature protagonists with contrasting personalities – one grumpy or reserved, the other cheerful or optimistic. The dynamic between these characters creates tension, banter, and sparks that drive the narrative forward.

This trope revolves around the idea that opposites attract. We are drawn to the magnetic pull between characters with contrasting dispositions, eagerly anticipating the moments when their differences collide and ultimately complement each other. Despite their initial differences, grumpy sunshine romances typically deliver heartwarming love stories that showcase the transformative power of love. Here are my favorite seven grumpy sunshine romance books for you. Let’s see the shine of romance!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
The Bombshell Effect by Karla SorensenA single dad football player messes with his team owner’s daughter, and they become a rivalry.4.0
All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana ZapataA divorced girl finds new life in a small town where a boy makes her life challenging, and their banter turns into love.4.3
The Fine Print by Lauren AsherA rich man creates a rival relationship with his girl worker, but soon they’ll discover romantic tension.4.0
Lore & Lust by Karla NikoleIn two different cultures, vampires fall in love.3.9
It Happened One Summer by Tessa BaileyA girl is dealing with her difficulties while a fishermen fall in love with her.4.0
Twisted Games by Ana HuangA European princess like her bodyguard and she wants to propose to him, but the situation always flip.4.1
My Darling Duke by Stacy ReidA duke faces forced proximity with a girl, and they start a fake relationship for a reason.4.0
Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books List

1. The Bombshell Effect (Washington Wolves)

The Bombshell Effect is book one of the series, a grumpy sunshine sports romance. The story follows Allie and Luke. Allie is a heiress, and she comes from a wealthy family. Her dad owns the Washington Wolves football team, and she has been a supermodel. But she’s not sure what she wants to do with her life. Then her dad passed away, and she wasn’t on excellent terms with him, but he left her everything, including the Washington Wolves football team. She’s now the owner of this football team, who has no idea what she will do with it. So, she wants to return it to America to take it over life.

Luken is on the Washington football team. He is the offensive team captain, a single dad, and an extremely grumpy man. The first day they meet, Allie moves in next door to him and comes over to offer him cupcakes. Luke thinks she is a fan who stalked him and insulted her. The next day, he discovers she is now the team’s new owner! His entire world revolves around his daughter and the two falling in love.

It is so adorable that it made me laugh many times. If you like split romances, pick this one up. I had so much fun with this; book three (The Marriage Effect) in the series is also Grumpy Sunshine. Book three is a marriage of convenience romance between her best friend and the defensive team captain. The story and the characters are promising, but the plot is not satisfactory. Overall, I enjoyed the chemistry and dialogue.

The Bombshell Effect

Author: Karla Sorensen
Narrator: Troy Duran, Melissa Moran
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Tropes: Romcom, Neighbor-romance, Forced-proximity, Single-parent
Number Of Pages: 238
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

2. All Rhodes Lead Here

All Rhodes Lead Here is a grumpy sunshine slow-burn romance. Nothing sexy happens until the 80% mark. Aurora’s heroine is recently divorced from her husband and has returned to the small town she grew up in with her mum to restart her life. She has a lot of secrets about who her husband is. It was a very messy divorce. She was very broken up over it because she was in love with him, and he never treated her right.

So Aurora comes to the small town to get away with it, rent a room above a garage and find out when she moves into this garage. A grumpy, massive man (Rhodes) with a gun comes in and starts arguing with her for the property. Aurora proposes paying triple to stay here, and Rhodes agrees. A forced proximity relationship begins to unfold, and it’s a love story with Rhodes. He has a teenage son of his, and he works as he’s a park ranger. She’s trying to get back on her feet. If you like age-gap, single-parent, and grumpy characters, I recommend it.

All Rhodes Lead Here

Author: Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton, Gomez Pugh
Tropes: Slow-burn, Friends-to-lovers, Single-parent, Music
Number Of Pages: 572
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

3. The Fine Print (Dreamland Billionaires)

The Fine Print is an enemies-to-lovers romance that presents the ultimate sunshine character, Zahra. Three brothers are set to inherit the Disney Empire, the Dreamland Empire. But in their grandfather’s Will, they all must complete one task to inherit their money. One of the brothers is Rowan, who has to take over as the creative director of the theme park for six months to get his inheritance. That’s where he meets Zahra.

Zahra is currently working there. Then she gets a promotion and works as part of the creative team to build the theme park ideas. That’s how the two of them meet and their first interaction. Rowan thinks that she doesn’t take life seriously then. He finds her endearing and wants to help her with a fake identity. They start hitting it off, and it’s a workplace billionaire romance.

The romance is grumpy sunshine, but sometimes it seems unrealistic that the author forced them to love. But it is worth the hype, and everyone loves this on TikTok. Avoid the hardcover for the negative quality issue, but the paperback is good enough for the font size, color, cover, and binding.

The Fine Print

Author: Lauren Asher
Publisher: Bloom Books
Tropes: Multicultural, Disability, Fun, Hate-to-love
Number Of Pages: 448
Weight: 15.5 ounces
Dimensions: 5 x 1.01 x 8 inches
Available: Paperback | Kindle

4. Lore & Lust

Lore & Lust is a modern gay vampire grumpy romance set in a historical world. The vampires follow the old laws of the world. We have Haruka and Nino. When the story starts, Haruka is a Japanese vampire living in England, and Nino is an Italian vampire living in England. There are a lot of rules to the vampire lore in this.

Haruka needs one of the top vampire lords, and Nino is a vampire lord. So Haruka gets sent to Nino to bring him into the fold and do his duties. Nino is the ultimate cinnamon roll sunshine character. He is bubbling with energy, and Haruka is having none of it. He’s a stoic grump, but then they stop falling for one another, which is so cute. It doesn’t get steamy until the last third quarter of this book, but their slow burn is so adorable. So, if you’re looking for a fun vampire grumpy sunshine romance novel, here you go.

Lore And Lust

Author: Karla Nikole
Publisher: Karla Nikole Publishing
Tropes: LGBTQ+, Fantasy, Adventure
Number Of Pages: 282
Item Weight: 12.6 ounces
Available: Paperback | Kindle

5. It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters)

It Happened One Summer is a funny women’s fiction and grumpy romance that won the Goodreads Choice Award Nominee. The main protagonists are Piper and Brendan. Piper’s Instagram celebrity as well for being an heiress. She’s living her life, partying it up, until one night, she goes a bit too far and gets arrested. Her stepfather cut off with her. Then Piper goes to spend the summer at her biological deceased father’s hometown, where her mom and dad met, and she nurses to get there.

They have been sheltered their entire life, especially Piper. She’s lived a glamorous life and has no idea what she’s doing in this small town. It’s a small fishing coastal town, and she sticks out like a sore thumb. Brendan is one of the top fishermen there. He immediately sees Piper and falls head over heels in love with her. She’s such a sunshiny character and can achieve so many different things. This book is the ultimate summer read, one of the best grumpy sunshine out there, and I recommend this steamy sunshine love story.

It Happened One Summer

Author: Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Avon (First Edition)
Tropes: Mental health, Small-town, Enemies-to-lovers
Number Of Pages: 416
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

6. Twisted Games (Twisted)

Twisted Games is the first book of the Twisted series, a contemporary princess, grumpy sunshine bodyguard romance. You have Bridget and Rhys. Bridget is the princess of a random European country. At the start of this, she finds out that her brother wants to get married to a commoner. So, she has to step up and become the heir to the throne. But she doesn’t want to do that and raises her bodyguard, whom she falls in love with. There’s not much else I want to say because you experience it.

Bridget’s a very sunshiny character. She struggles because she never intended to inherit the throne but takes it full stride and is fantastic about it. There is an age gap between her and Rhys as well. There is a fun scene to do with her sitting on a throne and him kneeling before her. So, it is the excellent grumpy sunshine love story that also has a historical vibe. I was not too fond of the instant tension between the characters, which indicates the lack of chemistry or romance. But I loved the humor, plot, theme, and storyline.

Twisted Games

Author: Ana Huang
Publisher: Boba Press
Tropes: Age-gap, Bodyguard, Royalty, Arc
Number Of Pages: 454
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

7. My Darling Duke (Sinful Wallflowers)

My Darling Duke is Beauty and The Beast, retelling with the grumpy sunshine trope. In this one, you have Miss Katherine Danvers, who comes from a well-off family. They’re a high-end society but ended up in financial ruin when their dad passed away. So they are running out of money very quickly. Katherine has two younger sisters and wants them to be well off in society. So, she’s engaged with The Duke of Thornton.

The Duke of Thornton is a recluse. No one has heard from him in years. He hasn’t been in society in years. So, there are many rumors about him until the Duke catches on to Katherine. She has announced that they are engaged. So he emerges from being a hermit and isolated from society to meet her. Then he accepts to be in a fake engagement with her because she intrigues him. He is so grumpy, and she’s so lovely to him. I love this historical romance so much. Also, it’s one of the best historical romances I read last year.

My Darling Duke

Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled (Amara)
Tropes: Historical, Disability, Fake-relationship, Fairytale-retellings, Forced-proximity
Number Of Pages: 344
Available: Audiobook | Mass Market Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

5 Steamy Grumpy Sunshine Romance Books

  1. “Managed” by Kristen Callihan – VIP Series

In “Managed,” Gabriel Scott, the grumpy, stoic manager of the world-famous rock band Kill John, finds his match in Sophie Darling, a sunshine-y, free-spirited woman who ends up his seatmate on a transatlantic flight. Their initial meeting is anything but smooth, but as they’re forced to spend time together, their chemistry becomes undeniable. Callihan masterfully combines witty banter, emotional depth, and steamy moments, making “Managed” a standout in the grumpy/sunshine trope.

  1. “The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman embody the grumpy/sunshine dynamic to a tee. As executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company, their office rivalry is legendary. Lucy’s cheerful and accommodating nature clashes with Joshua’s cold and meticulous demeanor until their dynamic shifts towards something more passionate and less hateful. “The Hating Game” is a delightful, steamy read that explores the thin line between love and hate.

  1. “Marriage for One” by Ella Maise

Jack and Rose’s marriage starts as a business arrangement: he needs a wife to inherit his uncle’s company, and she needs financial security to open her coffee shop. Jack’s gruff and reserved demeanor is the opposite of Rose’s warmth and optimism. As they face their fake marriage, genuine feelings start to develop. “Marriage for One” offers a slow burn, grumpy/sunshine romance that’s as sweet as steamy.

  1. “You Deserve Each Other” by Sarah Hogle

Naomi Westfield and Nicholas Rose seem like the perfect couple, but with their wedding approaching, they both have second thoughts. Nicholas’s aloofness has worn down Naomi’s once-sunny disposition. As they engage in a battle of wits to make the other back out of the wedding first, their antics lead them to rediscover why they fell in love in the first place. This novel turns the grumpy/sunshine trope on its head, offering a hilarious and steamy story of love rediscovered.

  1. “Art & Soul” by Brittainy C. Cherry

Aria Watson’s quiet, unnoticed high school existence is the complete opposite of Levi Myers’s, the school’s golden boy facing a personal crisis. When they’re thrown together for a class project, Aria’s compassionate and artistic nature slowly breaks down Levi’s walls, revealing the pain he hides. Cherry’s “Art & Soul” is a poignant, steamy exploration of love, healing, and the beauty of opposites attracting.

5 Grumpy Sunshine Fantasy Books

  1. “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas

In this richly imagined fantasy world, Feyre Archeron, a huntress, finds herself entwined with Tamlin, a faerie lord with a cold exterior hiding deep secrets and burdens. As Feyre faces the dangerous and enchanting world of the fae, her resilience, warmth, and humanity begin to thaw Tamlin’s icy demeanor, setting the stage for an epic tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption. Maas masterfully blends the grumpy/sunshine dynamic with high fantasy, creating a gripping and emotionally resonant story.

  1. “Serpent & Dove” by Shelby Mahurin

Louise le Blanc, a witch with a penchant for trouble and a sunny disposition, finds herself forcibly married to Reid Diggory, a witch hunter known for his stern, grumpy nature. Their union, born from necessity, slowly evolves into a complex relationship marked by mutual respect, understanding, and unexpected affection. “Serpent & Dove” offers a unique twist on the grumpy/sunshine trope within a magical, conflict-ridden setting.

  1. “Radiance” by Grace Draven

This fantasy romance novel features two characters from vastly different species forced into an arranged marriage: Ildiko, a human noblewoman known for her kindness and positivity, and Brishen, a Kai prince with a fearsome appearance and a serious demeanor. Despite their initial reservations, Ildiko’s sunny disposition gradually warms Brishen’s stoic heart, forging a deep bond that transcends physical appearances and cultural differences. “Radiance” is celebrated for its heartfelt exploration of beauty, companionship, and love.

  1. “The Wrath & the Dawn” by Renée Ahdieh

Inspired by “The Arabian Nights,” this novel follows Shahrzad, a vibrant and determined young woman who volunteers to marry Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, famous for his ruthless, grumpy demeanor and the dark secret of his brides’ murders at dawn. Shahrzad’s warmth and wit begin to peel back the layers of Khalid’s guarded nature, revealing the pain and guilt he harbors. Ahdieh crafts a mesmerizing tale of love, revenge, and the power of stories to heal and unite.

  1. “Master of Crows” by Grace Draven

In this standalone fantasy romance, Martise of Asher is sent to spy on the powerful and reclusive mage, Silhara of Neith, known as the Master of Crows. Silhara’s gruff and solitary nature is challenged by Martise’s intelligence, resilience, and inherent optimism. Together, they must confront a god-like enemy, their growing bond becoming their greatest strength and potential downfall. Draven delivers a compelling story of magic, intrigue, and the transformative power of love against the odds.

5 Reverse Grumpy Sunshine Books

  1. “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” by Mariana Zapata

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing by quitting her job as the assistant to Aiden Graves, a taciturn professional football player known as “The Wall of Winnipeg.” But when Aiden comes to her with a proposition that could change their lives, Vanessa is reconsidering. Aiden’s persistence and gentle nature begin to break through Vanessa’s guarded exterior, offering a slow-burn romance that defies expectations.

  1. “Marriage for One” by Ella Maise

Rose is determined to open her coffee shop, and Jack, a seemingly cold and standoffish lawyer, offers her a business proposition: marry him, and the shop is hers. Jack’s warmth and patience slowly chip away at Rose’s skepticism and aloofness, revealing the deep connection and mutual respect that form the foundation of their relationship. This story beautifully flips the grumpy/sunshine trope, exploring themes of trust, vulnerability, and love.

  1. “Managed” by Kristen Callihan – VIP Series

In the second book of the VIP series, Gabriel Scott is the quintessential grumpy hero until he meets Sophie Darling. However, Sophie’s sunny disposition hides a depth of strength and resilience that challenges Gabriel’s initial impressions. Their roles reverse as Gabriel becomes the one who brings light and laughter into Sophie’s life, proving that even the grumpiest of characters can find joy.

  1. “Always Only You” by Chloe Liese – Bergman Brothers Series

Ren, the social media manager for a professional hockey team, is famous for her no-nonsense attitude and fierce independence, which have earned her the reputation of being somewhat grumpy. Frankie, the team’s cheerful and endlessly optimistic equipment manager, becomes determined to break through Ren’s walls. This book is a heartwarming exploration of vulnerability, acceptance, and how love can surprise and transform us.

  1. “Archer’s Voice” by Mia Sheridan

While not a traditional reverse grumpy/sunshine story, “Archer’s Voice” features a unique dynamic between Bree Prescott, a woman grappling with a traumatic past, and Archer Hale, a silent, isolated man who lives in the shadows of his tragedy. Bree’s inherent warmth and kindness become the keys to unlocking Archer’s silent world. Sheridan crafts a deeply emotional tale of healing, communication, and the power of love to overcome silence and solitude.

5 Grumpy Sunshine Age Gap Romance Books

  1. “Birthday Girl” by Penelope Douglas

In “Birthday Girl,” Pike Lawson, a grumpy, older man, finds himself unexpectedly attracted to Jordan, his son’s girlfriend, who embodies a sunny, optimistic outlook despite her challenges. Their forbidden attraction grows into something undeniable as they face the complexities of their feelings against societal norms and personal dilemmas. Douglas masterfully explores the tension, desire, and deep emotional connection that define their age-gap relationship.

  1. “Man Hands” by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

Though featuring a lighter, comedic take on the grumpy/sunshine trope, “Man Hands” introduces readers to Brynn, a newly divorced woman, and Tom, a gruff TV celebrity several years her senior. Their spontaneous visit leads to unexpected romance, filled with humor, warmth, and steamy moments. The age gap adds an extra layer to their dynamic, exploring themes of starting over and finding love in unexpected places.

  1. “Misadventures with a Professor” by Sierra Simone

Oliver Graham, a professor and the epitome of a grumpy hero, meets Zandy Lynch, a bright and eager student, setting the stage for a passionate and taboo romance. Their relationship challenges the boundaries of teacher-student dynamics, with the age gap adding depth to their connection. Sierra Simone faces the complexities of power, desire, and love with a keen understanding of the characters’ emotional landscapes.

  1. “Luna and the Lie” by Mariana Zapata

Luna Allen has had a tough life, but her optimism has carried her through. Her world shifts when she grows closer to Rip, her much older and grumpier boss, who hides a tender heart beneath his stoic exterior. Zapata takes readers on a journey of emotional growth, resilience, and the transformative power of love, all while facing the challenges of an age-gap relationship.

  1. “Wait for It” by Mariana Zapata

Diana Casillas, a young woman raising her two nephews, clashes and then connects with Dallas Walker, her older, curmudgeonly neighbor. As they interact more, the initial hatred gives way to a deep, slow-building romance that beautifully captures the grumpy/sunshine dynamic across an age gap. Zapata’s storytelling shines in its portrayal of family, belonging, and the gradual unveiling of love.

5 Grumpy Sunshine Historical Romance Books

  1. “The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn – Bridgerton Series

Simon Basset, the aloof Duke of Hastings, has sworn off marriage and love, embracing his solitary life. That is until he meets Daphne Bridgerton, an intelligent and energetic young woman determined to find a husband who loves her. Their fake courtship to foil societal expectations becomes all too real, showcasing a classic grumpy/sunshine dynamic set in Regency England. Quinn’s witty writing and the vibrant setting make “The Duke and I” a standout in historical romance.

  1. “Romancing the Duke” by Tessa Dare – Castles Ever After Series

In this enchanting Regency romance, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight, a perennial optimist, inherits a decrepit castle despite her dire circumstances. The catch? The castle’s current occupant, the Duke of Rothbury, Ransom Vane, is a grumpy, reclusive figure, blinded in a duel and unwilling to give up his home. Their battle of wills turns into a love story filled with humor, warmth, and transformation, embodying the grumpy/sunshine trope amidst a fairy-tale-like setting.

  1. “Slightly Dangerous” by Mary Balogh – Bedwyn Saga

Wulfric Bedwyn, the Duke of Bewcastle, is the epitome of the reserved, icy aristocrat, while Christine Derrick is the epitome of sunshine—lively, warm, and sociable. Their unexpected meeting at a house party leads to a series of interactions that challenge Wulfric’s aloofness and Christine’s preconceptions. Balogh masterfully crafts a Regency romance that explores the depth of characters beyond societal roles, making “Slightly Dangerous” a deeply satisfying read.

  1. “Devil in Winter” by Lisa Kleypas – The Wallflowers Series

Evie Jenner, shy and seemingly unremarkable, proposes marriage to Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent, a notorious rake who embodies a grumpy hero in desperate need of wealth. Their marriage of convenience soon blossoms into a passionate love affair, with Evie’s kindness and determination melting Sebastian’s icy exterior. “Devil in Winter” is celebrated for its character development, steamy romance, and the transformational power of love.

  1. “The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie” by Jennifer Ashley – Mackenzies & McBrides Series

Throughout society, Lord Ian Mackenzie is known for his eccentricity and rumored madness, making him a quintessential grumpy hero. When he meets Beth Ackerley, a widow with a sunny disposition and a fortune of her own, Ian is drawn to her in a way he’s never been to anyone else. Ashley’s novel explores love, acceptance, and the beauty of finding someone who sees beyond one’s flaws.

Through tales of unlikely pairs, we’ve laughed, sighed, and perhaps even shed a tear, witnessing the transformative power of love in bringing together the most mismatched of characters. These stories have not only entertained us with their witty exchanges and heartwarming moments but have also reminded us of the importance of embracing our differences and finding common ground in the pursuit of happiness.

Whether you’ve discovered new favorites or revisited cherished tales, we hope this journey has brightened your day as much as the sunshine characters have brightened the lives of their grumpy counterparts. Until our next literary adventure, may the warmth of these stories linger in your heart, inspiring you to find joy in the unexpected and love in every shade of grumpy and sunshine.

More similar romance books:

7 Slow Burn Enemies To Lovers Novels

15 YA Enemies To Lovers Books

15 Angsty Romance Books

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *