Epistolary Romance Books

Whether it’s heartfelt letters, flirty emails, or even snarky texts, epistolary romance books let you dive into the intimate world of characters falling in love one word at a time. There’s something magical about watching a romance unfold through written exchanges—it feels personal, raw, and oh-so-satisfying.

And hey, if you’re taking part in Romanceopoly 2024, this is your prompt for the Post Office challenge. Never heard of Romanceopoly? It’s our fun and fabulous yearly reading challenge that lets you explore different romance sub-genres and tropes while hanging out with an amazing community of readers. You can find out more and join us here.

In this post, we’ve rounded up 24 fantastic epistolary romances you won’t want to miss. So get comfy and prepare to indulge in some seriously swoon-worthy love stories.

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Let’s dive into some commonly asked questions about epistolary romance novels, and clear up what exactly makes these books so special.

What is an epistolary romance novel?

An epistolary romance novel is a story told through letters, emails, text messages, or any form of written communication between characters. This format allows readers to experience the characters’ thoughts and emotions in a direct, personal way. It’s like reading someone’s diary, but juicier and filled with love and drama.

Why are epistolary romances so popular?

Epistolary romances offer a unique reading experience. They feel intimate and immediate. Plus, they often feature witty banter and heartfelt confessions that make the romance feel real and relatable.

Are epistolary romances always about long-distance relationships?

Not necessarily. While many epistolary romances do involve long-distance relationships, the format can be used in various contexts. Characters might be writing to each other while in close proximity but unable to speak directly, or they could be communicating across different periods of their lives. The key is the written exchange, not the distance.

Can epistolary romances include multiple genres?

Absolutely! Epistolary romances can span across different genres like contemporary, historical, fantasy, and more. The written format can add depth to any story, whether it’s set in the modern world or a fantastical realm.

Ready to explore these heartfelt and engaging stories? Let’s dive into our recommendations and find your next favorite read.

Contemporary Epistolary Romance Books

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata is a slow-burn romance that starts with a simple act of kindness. Ruby Santos signs up to write letters to a soldier overseas, expecting nothing more than friendly correspondence. One letter or email a week, care packages optional—Ruby thinks she knows the drill. But as she gets to know Aaron, their letters turn into something much deeper. Through their words, Ruby finds herself falling for the soldier on the other side of the world.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata book review

Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward is a sizzling, heartwarming romance that begins with childhood pen pals. British boy Griffin and American girl Luca became best friends through their letters, sharing everything until a tragedy made Luca stop writing. Years later, a furious letter from Griffin rekindles their correspondence, and sparks fly. As adults, their letters turn from friendly to flirty to downright dirty, revealing their wildest fantasies. When Luca wants to meet in person, Griffin hesitates, hiding a secret that could change everything. This book perfectly blends nostalgia, humor, and steamy romance

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Dirty Letters by Vi Keeland book review

Hard Time by Cara McKenna

Hard Time by Cara McKenna

Hard Time by Cara McKenna is an unexpected and intense romance that finds love in the most unlikely place—a prison. Annie Goodhouse, the new outreach librarian at Cousins Correctional Facility, has every reason to play it safe after a rocky past and an abusive ex. But she can’t ignore the magnetic pull towards inmate Eric Collier. Eric, who doesn’t hide his guilt, starts courting Annie through letters, and what begins as a forbidden fantasy turns into a secret, reckless romance. As their connection deepens, Eric’s early parole brings their relationship into the real world, forcing them to confront their pasts and the undeniable desire between them.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Hard Time by Cara McKenna book review

Written on His Skin by Simone Stark

Written on His Skin by Simone Stark

Written on His Skin by Simone Stark is a steamy novella that proves letters can work magic. When Abigail Trent agrees to write to a soldier overseas, she doesn’t expect much beyond a friendly exchange. Enter Theodore LaRoux, a smart, sexy, and strong Cajun who quickly becomes her living fantasy. What starts as innocent correspondence turns into something much hotter when Abby sends Roux a provocative photo—of someone else. She never imagines they’ll meet in real life, but fate has other plans.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Written on His Skin by Simone Stark book review

Digital Epistolary Romance Books

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez is a heartwarming and hilarious romance that begins with a surprise encounter. Artist Sloan Monroe’s life is in shambles until a mischievous pup named Tucker jumps into her car, bringing some much-needed joy. Just as Sloan starts to bond with Tucker, his owner, Jason, a musician on tour in Australia, finally reaches out. He wants his dog back, but Sloan isn’t giving up Tucker without a fight. Their flirty texts soon turn into long calls, and Sloan finds herself drawn to Jason’s charm and humor. As their connection deepens, Sloan wonders if this could be her chance at love again. But with Jason’s music career taking off, will he stick around, or will Sloan face another heartbreak?

Grab this book on Amazon or read our The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez book review

A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young

A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young

A Cosmic Kind of Love by Samantha Young is a delightful rom-com that proves love knows no bounds—even space. Event planner Hallie Goodman stumbles upon digital videos from a bride’s ex, a charming astronaut named Christopher Ortiz. Though she knows it’s wrong, Hallie can’t resist watching them and soon starts sending her own video diaries to his discontinued NASA address. Little does she know, Chris is back on Earth and receiving every message. As they exchange emails and videos, Hallie and Chris find themselves falling for each other, despite the distance and their personal baggage. This charming tale of star-crossed love, humor, and connection will keep you hooked till the end.

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Way Down Deep by Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna

Way Down Deep by Cara McKenna and Charlotte Stein

An erotic romance told entirely through text messages, Way Down Deep by Cara McKenna and Charlotte Stein begins with an accidental message connecting two wounded strangers. As they share their lives and secrets, a deep friendship and undeniable attraction blossom. They become lovers without ever hearing each other’s voices or seeing each other’s faces. As their feelings deepen, the question arises: can this connection survive the leap from fantasy to reality, or will their walls remain impenetrable?

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Way Down Deep by Cara McKenna and Charlotte Stein book review

Check out our beginners guide to reading Charlotte Stein.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

In Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, the charming First Son of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz, finds himself falling for Prince Henry of Wales after a public altercation forces them into a fake friendship. Initially, it’s all about damage control and pleasing the media, but the staged camaraderie soon blossoms into a genuine, heart-stopping romance. As Alex and Henry navigate their secret relationship, they confront political scandals, media frenzy, and their own identities. This witty, heartfelt story is a delightful exploration of love that transcends borders, proving that true love isn’t just a fairytale—it’s a revolution.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston book review

Man Down by Kate Meader

Man Down by Kate Meader

Man Down by Kate Meader is a deeply emotional romance about finding connection in the most unexpected places. Gunnar Bond, a broken man who lost his wife and twins in a car crash, copes by texting his late wife about his days. It’s a lifeline, even if it seems crazy. But when someone unexpectedly texts back, everything changes. Sadie Yates, suddenly responsible for her little sister and a misbehaving dog, finds solace in her text buddy while struggling with her upended life in Chicago. She never expects the judgmental hockey camp counselor she meets to be her sweet and supportive text companion. As Gunnar and Sadie discover each other in real life, they have to navigate their past traumas and new-found chemistry. 

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The Spire by Kate Canterbary

The Spire by Kate Canterbary

The Spire by Kate Canterbary introduces us to Erin Walsh, a volcanologist who’s done a stellar job of running from her past. But when her brother’s wedding drags her back, she finds herself falling for Nick Acevedo, her brother’s best friend—and now her unexpected husband. With Nick’s life in Boston and Erin’s globe-trotting research, their marriage is a whirlwind of emails, video calls, and secret getaways. Nick’s all in, ready to sacrifice everything to make their marriage work, but the secrets they’re hiding might just pull them apart.

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The Exception Rule by Christina Lauren

The Exception Rule by Christina Lauren

The Exception to the Rule by Christina Lauren is a heartwarming short story about an accidental email that sparks an unexpected relationship. On Valentine’s Day, one misdirected email leads to a yearly tradition of friendly, anonymous exchanges between two strangers. They set rules—no pictures, no real names, nothing too personal—but as the years go by, they begin sharing more than they ever planned. This sweet, charming tale captures the magic of finding love in the most unexpected places. Having read the entire collection, I can confidently say this one stands out as my favorite.

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New Adult Epistolary Romance Books

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G.

Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G. is a delightful friends-to-lovers romance that will tug at your heartstrings. Arizona Turner has been Carter’s best friend since fourth grade, sharing every milestone from first kisses to college life. They’ve always been “just friends”—until one unforgettable night shifts everything. Their chemistry is undeniable, but navigating the transition from friends to something more isn’t easy. With humor, heart, and a whole lot of charm, this story will have you rooting for Carter and Arizona to finally cross that line.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G. book review

Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Top Secret by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen

Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy is a spicy, laugh-out-loud romance about taking risks and finding unexpected sparks. When LobsterShorts, a jock with a secret nerdy side, agrees to his girlfriend’s wild birthday wish for a threesome, he ends up chatting with SinnerThree, a finance major who moonlights as a male dancer. Their online banter is hotter than a summer day and just as hilarious. Things get even crazier when they realize they’re neighbors. This book is perfect for anyone who loves a good, steamy read with plenty of laughs.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Top Secret by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen book review

Punk57 by Penelope Douglas

Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

Penelope Douglas’s Punk 57 is a New Adult romance that dives into the intense, raw connection between Misha and Ryen. Paired as pen pals in fifth grade due to a mix-up, their bond grows over seven years through letters. They share everything but have three rules: no social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. When Misha stumbles upon a photo of a girl named Ryen, curiosity gets the best of him, leading to an unexpected and tumultuous face-to-face encounter. This book is a rollercoaster of emotions, perfect for readers who love flawed characters and messy, real-life romance.

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Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

Emiline’s life gets a literary shake-up when she reluctantly picks up a bestselling novel by the mysterious J. Colby. The story hits too close to home, mirroring her own troubled childhood and rekindling memories of her first love, Jase. Turns out, J. Colby is actually Jase, and he’s turned their shared past into a book. Furious yet intrigued, Emiline sets out to confront him. Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino beautifully weaves together themes of first love, heartbreak, and the power of storytelling, making it a must-read for anyone who believes in second chances.

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Historical Epistolary Romance Books

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas brings a delightful epistolary fake identity romance. Beatrix Hathaway, an animal-loving, nature-obsessed free spirit, has always felt more at home outdoors than in a ballroom. She’s never been swept off her feet and is starting to accept that love might not be in her future. Enter Captain Christopher Phelan, a soldier whose letters to his fiancée, Prudence, reveal a soul darkened by war. When Pru loses interest, Beatrix steps in, secretly responding to Christopher’s letters as Pru. Their correspondence soon turns deep and meaningful, creating a bond neither expected. When Christopher returns, he’s determined to find the woman behind the letters. What starts as an innocent deception evolves into an intense love story.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas book review

One Perfect Dance by Jude Knight

One Perfect Dance by Jude Knight

One Perfect Dance by Jude Knight is a captivating mix of romance and suspense told through heartfelt letters. Regina Paddimore, now a widow, is looking to start a family. Enter Elijah Ashby, her childhood friend and a famous travel writer, back in England after years abroad. Their letters kept them connected, and now that they’re reunited, the sparks are flying. But there’s trouble—Elijah’s stepbrothers will do anything to snag Regina’s wealth, even if it means playing dirty.

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When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare is a charming and funny historical romance. Madeline Gracechurch, hopelessly awkward with gentlemen, dodges the London marriage scene by inventing a perfect Scottish sweetheart, Captain Logan MacKenzie. She pours her heart into writing him letters, only to pretend he tragically died in battle, freeing her from societal pressures. Years later, Maddie’s imaginary hero shows up in real life—handsome, kilted, and holding all her letters. The real Captain MacKenzie isn’t just a figment of her imagination; he’s wounded, jaded, and ready to cash in on the promises she never thought she’d have to keep. This story mixes humor, heartfelt moments, and the power of written words to create a delightful tale of unexpected romance.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare book review

To Sir Phillip, with Love by Julia Quinn

To Sir Phillip, with Love by Julia Quinn

To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn takes readers on a delightful journey of unexpected romance. Sir Phillip expects Eloise Bridgerton to be a quiet, unassuming spinster when he proposes. Instead, the vibrant and talkative woman who arrives on his doorstep is nothing like he imagined. Eloise, on a whim, decides to meet the man behind the proposal and finds herself drawn to Phillip, despite his moody and rugged demeanor. He’s a far cry from the polished London gentlemen she’s used to, but there’s something about his smiles and kisses that makes her wonder if he might just be perfect for her after all.

Grab this book on Amazon or read our To Sir, Phillip by Julia Quinn book review

Don’t know where to start with the Bridgerton series? Read our ultimate Bridgerton series guide.

Fantasy Epistolary Romance

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen is a quirky, magical romance set in a unique world. Hart, a marshal patrolling the wilds, spends his days feeling lonely. Mercy, busy running her family’s undertaker business, often finds herself clashing with Hart. After a frustrating encounter, Hart writes a letter to “A Friend,” not expecting a reply. To his surprise, an anonymous pen pal responds, and a heartfelt friendship develops through their letters. Unbeknownst to them, they are writing to each other—the very people who irritate them the most. As dangers from their world draw closer, their bond deepens. But can their budding romance survive the shocking discovery of their true identities?

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Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross is an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy that blends magical connections with a war among gods. Eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow, struggling to keep her family together amidst her mother’s addiction and her brother’s absence on the front lines, pours her heart into letters she slips beneath her wardrobe door. Unbeknownst to her, these letters reach Roman Kitt, her handsome and icy rival journalist at the Oath Gazette. As Roman secretly writes back, a deep connection forms between them. Their correspondence leads Iris to the front lines of battle, where she fights for her brother, the fate of mankind, and an unexpected love. This book is perfect for fans of Shadow and Bone and Lore.

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Women’s and Historical Fiction Epistolary Romance Books

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is a heartwarming and captivating epistolary novel set in post-World War II London. Writer Juliet Ashton, seeking inspiration for her next book, begins exchanging letters with a man from Guernsey who found her name in a book. Through their correspondence, Juliet is drawn into the quirky and resilient world of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This group, originally formed as an alibi during the German occupation, is full of eccentric and endearing characters who share their love for literature and tales of survival. As Juliet learns more about their lives and the impact of the war, she decides to visit Guernsey, a journey that changes her forever. While this is a historical fiction novel, there is an element of romance to it as well. And for an added treat, check out the movie adaptation available on Netflix (watch the trailer), which beautifully brings this charming story to life. I loved it!

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500 Miles from You by Jenny Colgan

500 Miles from You by Jenny Colgan

500 Miles from You by Jenny Colgan tells the charming tale of two medical professionals swapping lives—and finding love—through constant communication. Lissa, a nurse from gritty London, is struggling with PTSD after a traumatic event, prompting her supervisor to arrange a job swap. She heads to the serene Scottish Highlands, taking over the role of Cormack, an ex-Army medic turned local paramedic. Meanwhile, Cormack moves to busy London, completely out of his element. Through endless emails about their patients and daily life, they form an unexpected bond. As Lissa adapts to the quiet of Kirrinfeif and Cormack navigates the chaos of the city, they discover a newfound passion for their work and each other. The big question remains: what will happen when these unlikely pen pals finally meet?

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The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot is an entertaining and unique romance told entirely through emails. Mel Fuller, a celebrity gossip columnist for the NY Journal, is perpetually late to work because she’s taking care of her neighbor Mrs. Friedlander’s pets after finding the woman in a coma. With a Great Dane, two cats, and a bustling city life, Mel’s hands are full. To help out, her friends track down Mrs. Friedlander’s nephew, Max. But Max is busy living it up in Florida, so he convinces his friend John Trent to pose as him and look after the animals. John agrees, thinking it’ll be a simple task. But then he meets Mel, a sweet redhead who quickly captures his heart. As John pretends to be Max, he and Mel develop a connection that’s hard to ignore. This lighthearted, fun read is filled with humor, misunderstandings, and a blossoming romance that will keep you turning the pages.

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