10 YA Books with Clean Romances

10 YA Books with Clean Romances

Looking for a YA romance that’s more sweet than steamy?  We recommend ten titles that will have you cheering the protagonists on towards that first kiss!

Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey

Carols and Chaos

Set in 1817, this book follows lady’s maid Kate Darby and valet Matt Harlow as they get swept up into a counterfeiting scheme that bursts upon Shackleford Park, where they work.  A light and fluffy Regency romance perfect for the holidays.

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Lovely War by Julie Berry

Caught with Ares in a net, Aphrodite begins spinning a tale for her husband, a tale of two romances during WWI.  Hazel is a shy pianist.  James is an aspiring architect heading off to the front.  A chance encounter brings them together, but war may drive them apart.  Meanwhile. Aubrey is a ragtime musician heading off to fight in France.  And he has fallen for Colette, a Belgian girl with a tragic past.  Both couples long to be reunited when the war ends, but all of them know that hope fades fast in the trenches.  A beautiful, evocative romance that teaches everyone is worthy of love.

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Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Princess Sophie has always known that her stepmother the queen, as well the court, thought her too weak, too kind to rule. But she never thought that her stepmother would actually try to have her killed. Rescued by seven brothers in an enchanted wood, Sophie is safe, for now. However, her heart has been stolen and, if she wants to live, Sophie will have to get it back. Does she have the courage to dare the impossible?

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Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Isabelle has never been able to please her mother.  She’s too wild.  Too ugly.  Too opinionated.  That hasn’t kept her from trying, though.  She’ll cut off her own toes to try to make her mother happy.  But the prince isn’t fooled.  As blood pools in Cindererlla’s glass slipper, Isabelle is sent away in disgrace.  And now everyone knows just how terrible she really is.  Then chance gives her the opportunity to change her fate, to reclaim the pieces of her heart she’s lost.  Isabelle yearns to try.  But maybe she’s too bitter and broken to get her own happily-ever-after.  A breathtakingly original spin on what happens after Cinderella finds her prince.  Highly recommend for fans of fantasy and of retold fairy tales.

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Maud by Melanie Fishbane

Maud Book Cover

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery dreams of attending college and becoming a writer, but her grandfather does not believe in higher education for women. Worse, when she finally goes out west to be with her father again, her new stepmother treats her as nothing more than a nanny. Will Maud ever find a way to follow her dreams? Or will she grow old feeling that her world has grown increasingly smaller?  The inspiring story of the author of Anne of Green Gables.

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The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle

Joshua Pearl was once a prince in love with a fairy. But a jealous and wicked king sundered the two. Now Joshua is exiled to our world, grief his only link back to his home. As he endures WWII and the loss of his only home, he begins to collect the pieces that might break the spell. But time is running out and he worries he will never see his love again.  The Book of Pearl will appeal to readers who enjoy classic fairy tales, as well as those looking for an enchanting fantasy that breaks the norms.  Its shifting voices and perspectives, as well as its haunting love story, make Timothée de Fombelle an author to watch.

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Cursed to relive his eighteenth year over and over again until a girl falls in love with him, Prince Rhen has given up hope.  Then Harper stumbles into his world.  Harper is from D.C., but even she can tell that, with the monarchy absent, Rhen’s world is about to fall into chaos.  Can Harper and Rhen keep the country together?  A retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.”

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The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

When seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan is summarily dismissed from her job, she finds herself sinking in society. Once she dreamed she could have a career. Now she is a servant. But, secretly, she is also the advice columnist Miss Sweetie, using her pen to advance social justice. Can Jo really make a difference? Or will 1890s Atlanta discover they have unwittingly been following the advice of a Chinese American girl?

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Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Scarred by a wolf when she is seven years old, Echo Alkaev leads a lonely existence, shunned by the villagers who think she is cursed. Years later, she meets the wolf again and he strikes a bargain: he will save her father’s life is she agrees to live with him for one year. In his house under the mountain, Echo finds an enchanted library and begins to fall in love with Hal, who seems trapped in the books. But an evil force is growing and the wolf, Echo, and Hal will all be lost at the end of the year, unless Echo can find a way to break the curse.  A retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” “West of the Sun, East of the Moon,” and “Tam Lin” that feels like an instant classic.

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Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

love a la mode

Rosie Radeke loves cooking, but never dreamed she would be able to land a spot in chef Denis Laurent’s in Paris. Henry Yi is also pursuing his dream at the school. But a challenging curriculum and the allure of bad boy Bodie Tal could tear Rosie and Henry’s budding relationship apart.

Read our previous recommendations for YA books with clean romance.

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