Best Romance Book Covers Of 2023

POSTED ON Aug 2, 2023

Sarah Rexford

Written by Sarah Rexford

Home > Blog > Book Design, Book Production, Cover Design, Self-Publishing > Best Romance Book Covers Of 2023

Romance is one of the top selling fiction genres, so taking a look at the best romance book covers of 2023 is a great way to familiarize yourself with this thriving market. Romance covers multiple sub-genres. Historical, contemporary, and romantic suspense are just a few of these.

The type of cover you choose for your novel acts as an important agent in communicating your story’s premise. Just as the various fantasy book covers change based on the plot and sub-genre, the same is true for romance. 

In this article, I cover seven of the best romance book covers of 2023 so you can get a good idea of what’s selling. No matter what sub-genre you write, or even if you write in a genre other than romance, there are design lesson takeaways for you.

Top 7 Best Romance Book Covers Of 2023

Of course, this article is geared for romance writers, but there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive into the best romance book covers of 2023! You can apply historical romance design inspiration to your next historical fiction, and inspirational romance design lessons to your next inspirational nonfiction.

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1. Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

Talia Hibbert’s modern romance features Bradley (a star football player managing OCD) and Celine (conspiracy-theory-obsessed, social media guru) in the lower right hand corner—stuck in the woods.

The woods is where this story takes place. The unlikely pair must struggle to survive through their differences and pasts as they attempt to also survive a wilderness course. Bright, primary colors, pastels, and a bubbly font make up this cover. 

Design takeaway: Want your novel to join the best romance book covers of 2023? Try following this tip: Pair tense key plot points (a conspiracist in a survival course) with a more leisurely cover (pastels and a fun font) to provide balance.   

2. Love, Theoretically 

This modern-day romcom by Ali Hazelwood has so much going for it, simply at first glance. Two artistically drawn characters kiss in the foreground, with Elsie’s hair taking on a very Disney princess look. Described as a STEMinist romcom, the background of the cover seems to be a library filled with shelves of books.

Inspiration takeaway: Mixing genres can create familiarity and intrigue for your readers. The characters are dressed in modern clothes (a dress and a collared shirt) but depicted in a romantic, fairytale embrace. 

3. Ana María and The Fox

Liana De la Rosa sets her characters in Mexico during the French occupation in the 1860s. What draws you in with this cover is:

  • The dynamic positions of the characters on the cover
  • What appears to be historically accurate clothing
  • The small details on the cover, including the skyline of London, the flowers, and the ornate window in the background

Design lesson: Particularly with historical romance, establishing setting as early as possible helps orient your readers. It’s unlikely that the average reader has studied the specific time period, so providing a bit of a visual aid in world-building can help lessen the strain of getting into the story. 

By designing a front cover that resembles an image taken from your plot, you help your readers get their footing so they are ready to dive into the story.

4. A Love By Design

Some readers love having real-life models on book covers (see above example), while others prefer to create their own mental images of what the protagonists look like. 

Elizabeth Everett does the latter well with her cover for A Love By Design. Featuring two pink silhouettes, a minimalistic gate in the background, and the entire cover filled with white flowers on a pale yellow background, the aesthetics are pleasing. 

Design lesson: With some books it’s important to give your reader just enough to get their imagination going. Depending on your sub-genre and plot, sometimes using silhouettes, or no characters at all, is the best way to design your cover.

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5. Critical Threat

Lynette Eason is known for her inspirational, romantic crime novels, and her covers depict her genre accordingly. Specifically with Critical Threat, the front cover displays her protagonist, Grace, in the upper right hand corner, countered by an FBI stamp in the upper left. Green trees and blue sky fill the lower half.

Inspiration takeaway: Creating covers that can rank with the best romance book covers of 2023 can be difficult, but Eason’s book does it well. Providing enough detail for the reader to become curious (FBI stamp), but enough ambiguity (woods) to leave them wondering helps build that curiosity and influence a purchase.

6. My Dark Romeo

Written by bestselling authors Parker S. Huntington and L.J. Shen, the original book cover features a romantic pink cover with angelic, cherub-like characters floating on clouds. However, Barnes & Noble sells an “alternate spicy cover.” 

This secondary cover is a black and white, shoulders-up headshot of a dark-haired, shirtless man. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a well-known story, to state the obvious, so taking some design liberties with the covers is a fresh take on an old tale. 

Design lesson: Some books target several audiences. Don’t be afraid to create several designs accordingly. 

7. The Davenports

This instant New York Times bestseller features a clean, minimalistic color palette and five well-dressed characters. Based on the true story of a wealthy Black family in the changing landscape of 1900s America, this cover portrays the enthralling read it’s known to be. 

A modern font with just enough swirl to add a flare of romance fills the bottom third of the cover. 

Inspirational takeaway: Showcasing your title, especially with a well-known story, can be one of the best design choices you make. 

Back To You: Brainstorm Your Cover

Now that you’ve looked through some of the best romance book covers of 2023, it’s time to brainstorm how you can use them as inspiration for your own novel. What are some takeaways that resonated with you or you’d like to dive into a bit more? 

For instance, what makes the first title appear in our list of best romance book covers of 2023? We discussed its balance of tense plot points with more calming colors. This modern day, more laid back romance presents itself accordingly. 

However, imagine the cover of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute on Lynette Eason’s crime thriller, Critical Threat. The soft pinks and baby blues would negate the plot Eason worked so hard to write. Grace, Eason’s protagonist, is pursuing serial killers, after all. 

But now it’s time to consider your own plot or the one you want to work on next. Which romantic sub-genre does it fit into? Which titles above can inspire your design? Or, if you write a sub-genre not mentioned, what are some takeaways for colors or fonts to steer clear of?

Last, but not least, what do you love? Your book is the project you worked on for hours, days, weeks, and perhaps even months. It’s important that you fall in love with the cover just like you fell in love creating your romance characters. 

Consider playing around with various fonts, color palettes, and images. Free design tools (such as Canva) can help you:

  • Visualize potential images  
  • Show you what works and what doesn’t 
  • Present templates to build off of

Have fun brainstorming your cover and don’t forget, some books even get two different covers for their various audiences! 

Sarah Rexford

Written by
Sarah Rexford

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