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7 Second-Chance Romance Novels to Fill Your Always Be My Maybe Void

by  | August 12

What if you met The One years ago but couldn’t make a relationship work, or—worse yet—never even revealed your true feelings for that person? While a depressing concept in real life, it’s a positively juicy one in romantic fiction: just ask anyone who’s watched Always Be My Maybe this summer. (Haven’t seen it yet? You should fix that!) The delightful Netflix rom-com stars Ali Wong and Randall Park as Sasha and Marcus, two thirty-somethings who made a total hash of things as awkward, lovestruck teenagers but get a second chance at a future together when they reunite as slightly less awkward, still lovestruck adults. Once the credits roll, you want nothing so much as to gorge on more second-chance-at-love stories. When that happens (and it will), here are 7 romances you can turn to.

Swear on This Life

Swear on This Life

by Renée Carlino

Many people would be honored to learn they’re the inspiration behind a bestselling novel. Struggling writer Emiline is not one of them. It’s not that she isn’t as enthralled by the story as the next person (she is). It’s not even that she’s jealous of its success (okay, maybe a little). It’s that the characters and events have been ripped from her own past, a past that only one other person shares: the mysterious debut author J. Colby, a.k.a. her former best friend and first love, Jase. Emiline is determined to track Jase down so that she can give him a piece of her mind...and to find out why, exactly, he felt compelled to write a different ending to their story. Brace yourself: Swear on This Life brings the feels.

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Hate to Want You

Hate to Want You

by Alisha Rai

Livvy and Nicholas never had a chance. Despite their never-ending hunger for each other, the feud between their families meant they could never go public with their relationship. So the star-crossed lovers had to take what they could get: one secret night together, once a year. Now, though, everything has changed: Livvy has come back home to stay, and their arrangement can’t withstand the scrutiny of a small town divided by scandal. Of course, maybe what they really need is to put the past behind them and make a fresh start.… If you wanted to see Always Be My Maybe dial up the angst, Hate to Want You will satisfy.

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Stars in Their Eyes

Stars in Their Eyes

by Pema Donyo

People change and grow apart; it’s a fact of life. That said, there’s no reason that destiny can’t throw you right back together again when the time is right. That’s exactly what happens when screenwriter Owen Matthews and actress Iris Wong find themselves working on the same film years after their ambitions and family situations set them on wildly different paths. They’ve grown older, but are they wiser too? Can they find a way to balance their enduring feelings for each other with the careers they’ve worked so hard to succeed in? Set in 1920s Paris, Stars in Their Eyes is perfect for anyone with a hankering for reunited lovers with a historical twist.

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Back to Your Love

Back to Your Love

by Kianna Alexander

Second time’s the charm in the sweet romance Back to Your LoveDr. Imani Grant has come a long way since Xavier Whitted broke her heart 10 years ago. With medical school behind her and her own dermatology practice to look forward to, she’s on top of the world, at least professionally. If she’s a little lonely, well, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it. At least, not until she agrees to be a bridesmaid in yet another wedding and discovers she’ll be sharing wedding-party duties with Xavier. The years melt away the more time they spend together, forcing Imani to admit she’s as drawn to him as ever. Which works perfectly for Xavier, who’s on a mission to win her love again—for good this time.

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Love and Other Words

Love and Other Words

by Christina Lauren

I mention this book a lot, but it’s really good, so I make no apologies. Like Always Be My Maybe, Love and Other Words starts out by introducing two young next-door neighbors who end up becoming inseparable best friends. For years, Macy and Elliot nurture a beautiful friendship that grows out of their shared love of books. When their feelings for each other grow deeper and more intense as teenagers, they’re sure nothing can tear them apart. But then life gets in the way, as it’s known to do, and suddenly 10 years have passed. Can they put the past behind them and finally embrace the future of their dreams...together?

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Rekindle the Flame

Rekindle the Flame

by Kate Meader

When you’re short on time but craving a sweet reunited-lovers story, pick up the e-novella Rekindle the FlameFor Chicago firefighter Beck, Darcy isn’t the one who got away—she’s the girl he pushed away when they were teenagers. His reasons were honorable, but that doesn’t change the fact that he broke her heart as well as his own. So when they happen to run into each other years later at his family’s bar, Beck can’t blame the heiress-turned-tattoo-artist for being wary of the sparks between them. He’ll take anything she offers, even just a night, for one more chance to prove he’s ready for forever.

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Bittersweet

Bittersweet

by Sarina Bowen

Griffin Shipley will never forget the brief but steamy fling he had with Audrey Kidder back in college, but he never thought he’d see her again. He definitely never expected to find her stuck in a ditch near his family’s Vermont orchard, where she’d been headed to try to sweet-talk him into selling his harvest for half price in order to save her own job. As it turns out, they’ve both underestimated each other, and Audrey’s time at the Shipley family farm gives them a chance to reevaluate—and accidentally fall in love. But when reality intrudes, can their relationship endure? You’ll root for Bittersweet’s Griff and Audrey just as hard as you did for Marcus and Sasha.

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Heather Waters is the senior manager of content verticals at Simon & Schuster, where she runs the Tips on Life & Love blog. She enjoys reading everything from romance to true crime to political memoirs, and in her free time you can often find her binge-watching Netflix, refreshing Twitter every 10 seconds, and listening to the latest episode of the podcast My Favorite Murder.