Goodreads reveals this newcomer beat the classics to become the top romance novel of all time

On a rainy winter's night, there's not much better than cosying up on the sofa with a good book.

And if you're a fan of diving into a heartwarming love story, you may well be surprised to know that it wasn't one of the old classics that topped a recent book list.

To mark Valentine's Day, Goodreads have announced their top romance novels of all time, based on the ratings of their 80 million members.

Read more:Book recommendations: our pick of this month's best reads

But it wasn't one of the well-known and much loved romantic tales that came out as number one. In fact, a book that launched in 2016 took the top spot.

Coleen Hoover's It End With Us was named number one romance novel of all time. The New York Times bestseller is all about successful business owner Lily, who meets a neurosurgeon called Ryle. And although the pair are clearly attracted to one another, she's left flummoxed by his aversion to relationships. Later, thoughts of an old love only confuse Lily more. Intrigued? We certainly are!

Fans have been singing the praises of the novel on Goodreads, with one user writing, 'HOLY WOW! It Ends With Us is one of the most powerful books of 2016 and one of the most raw, honest, inspiring, and profoundly beautiful stories I've ever read.'

High praise indeed!

Amazingly, Coleen Hoover's book beat out of some of the most popular romance novels in history to take the number one spot.

Further down the list of top romantic books you'll find the classic Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell at number two, and the heartbreaking Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes at number three.

The original romance novel Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, is of course up there at number four, while you'll find Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre much further down the list at number 13.

Book-turned hit Hollywood film The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks, makes the list too taking the number 16 plot, while the rest of the list is made up of other newer romance books and some more raunchier picks, such as Tangled, by Emma Chase.

So have you read the number one romance novel of all time?

Amy Hunt
Amy Hunt

Amy Hunt is Life Channel Editor at, having been with the brand since 2015. She began as the magazine's features assistant before moving over to digital as a News and Features Writer, before becoming Senior Writer, and now a Channel Editor. She has worked on either women's lifestyle websites previously too—including Woman's Weekly,, Woman, and Woman's Own. In 2019, Amy won the Digital Journalist of the Year award at the AOP Awards, for her work on She is passionate about everything from books, to homes, to food and the latest news on the royal family. When she isn't editing or updating articles on cleaning, homewares, the newest home gadgets, or the latest books releases for the website, she's busy burying her nose in a gripping thriller, practising yoga, or buying new homeware of her own.