Rejoice! The academic year is on the horizon, and there are many chances for romance when school is in session. There’s always that cute new guy in your English class or the hottie you might meet cute (with him in just a towel) when you walk down to the co-ed showers.
Teacher/student romances or teacher/parent romances have always been slightly taboo, but that is part of what makes them so deliciously irresistible. There is the power struggle and taboo nature of the student/teacher romance, like in Slammed by Colleen Hoover. There’s the undercover student storyline which was done so well in the 1999 film Never Been Kissed, where Drew Barrymore goes undercover as a high school student only to fall in love with her teacher. Another popular trope, found mostly in historicals, is the governess romance where either the widower father or another male relative falls in love with the governess, as in Kate Noble’s The Game and The Governess.
Without further ado, we offer you these steamy tales of the scholarly and the verboten.
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Anna Oliphant was planning on having the best senior year at home in Georgia, with friends, a decent job, and a crush on a cute boy. Then disaster strikes. Her parents decide to send her to boarding school in Paris for her senior year. For her senior year! Despite the horror of it all, she finds friends to bond with and a new crush. Too bad Etienne St. Clair has a girlfriend! But perhaps being in the most romantic city in the world isn’t such a bad thing after all.
A Better Man, by Candis Terry
When professional hockey player Jordan Kincaid’s career took off, so did he— he left his hometown and never looked back. That is, until the night a call comes telling him that his parents died in a freak accident and he needs to come home. Reluctantly, he returns to help take care of his teenage sister, Nicole. He has a lot to make up for, but first he needs to get Nicole back on track at school, and so he approaches her creative writing teacher Lucy Diamond. Normally, Lucy is happy to help her students in any way possible, but this might be too much for her, since Jordan just happens to be the high school crush who played her for a fool and broke her heart. Can she forgive him enough to help his sister? Jordan soon realizes that Lucy isn’t the same shy, nerdy girl she was in high school. His attempts to make amends pave the way for him to explore the sizzling attraction between them. This is a delightful second-chance romance.
Marcus, the Duke of Rutherford, sees his carefree days end suddenly when his four-year-old daughter comes to live with him after her mother dies. Having no idea about how to raise a daughter, Marcus decides to hire a governess. He finds Lily Russell, who hopes that this golden opportunity of a job will send more work to her fledgling employment agency for young women. There’s just one problem: Lily’s not really a governess. She vows to not let that stand in her way of taking care of little Rose. The attraction between Marcus and Lily is mutual, but takes a backseat to their witty and spirited banter. When they do give in, watch out—the heat is off the charts. A smart and funny take on the governess trope.
This title aptly describes a book told from the point of view of a dozen-plus people, a squirrel, and a campus bench who all want to see Lea and Gabe become a couple. They meet in a creative writing class. Every semester, professor Inga picks out two students who she hopes to nudge towards romance, and even she is quite excited by how perfect they seem for each other. Lea likes Gabe and Gabe likes Lea, but relationships are infinitely more complicated than that. This adorable, sweet, and funny romance was the first title from Swoon, MacMillan’s crowdsourced YA imprint.
Loving Mr. Daniels, by Brittainy Cherry
After her twin sister Gabby’s death, nineteen-year-old Ashlyn Jennings is sent to Edgewood, Wisconsin to live with her estranged father, his girlfriend, and her kids to finish her senior year of high school. On the train ride there, she meets Daniel Daniels, who is dealing with his own family tragedies. They connect over a shared love of Shakespeare, and he invites her to watch him play that weekend at a local bar. Ashlyn’s sister left her a list of things to do, with corresponding letters to open after she completes each one. One of the directives is dancing on a bar. After a successful meeting, Ashlyn and Daniel make plans to see each other again, but wind up meeting sooner: in her AP English class, where Daniel is the teacher. Although they try to stay away from each other, they are drawn together. A beautiful love story about love, loss, and how to go on living, with well-developed secondary characters.
One Night with a Cowboy, by Cat Johnson
When her job as an English professor at a prestigious college is eliminated and her boyfriend packs his things and leaves that very same day, Dr. Rebecca Hart isn’t sure what to do next. In Oklahoma for an interview, Becca has a wild one night stand with a hot cowboy, only to come face to face with him at an OSU faculty mixer. Neither of them feels that they are in the right place in their life for a relationship and there’s a rule against staff dating, but Becca and Tucker have a chemistry that cannot be denied.
Rules for a Proper Governess, by Jennifer Ashley
Roberta “Bertie” Fraiser picks one pocket too many when she robs Barrister Sinclair McBride. Curious about her victim, Bertie follows Sinclair home and winds up saving his two unruly children from danger. Impressed with her control over his children, he hires her to be their governess. The unconventional Bertie not only wins over the children, but Sinclair as well. Their red-hot affair is thrown off course when Bertie’s past catches up to her, but Sinclair and Bertie get their HEA in spite of it all.
Unteachable, by Leah Raeder
Maisie O’Malley’s life has been tough so far: Her mother is an addict and a dealer, and she doesn’t know her father at all. She just wants to get through her senior year and get into a good film school. When Maisie meets Evan at a carnival two weeks before school starts, she thinks he will be another one night stand, but there’s something different about him. When they meet again, Evan is the teacher for her high school film class. At first, they try to stay away from each other, but they are drawn together despite knowing that their relationship is wrong. Rumors fly, and everything falls apart when their secret gets out. Raeder’s debut is a beautifully written, complicated romance with some very hot sex scenes.
30 Nights, by Christine D’Abo
After, by Anna Todd
At Fairfield Orchard, by Emma Cane
All Played Out, by Cora Carmack
Break Your Heart, by Rhonda Helms
Built to Last, by Aurora Ray
Catching Fireflies, by Sherryl Woods
A Daughter’s Dream, by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Duke’s Night of Sin, by Kathryn Caskie
First and Then, by Emma Mills
e, by Jillian Hunter
The Game and the Governess ,by Kate Noble
The Governess of Highland Hall, by
How Not to Fall, by Emily Foster
Infamous, by Suzanne Brockmann
The Infinite Moment of Us, by Lauren Myracle
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, by Kelly McNees
Love and Other Theories, by Alexis Bass
Mr Miracle, by Debbie Macomber
Need Me, by Tessa Bailey
Never Always Sometimes, by Adi Alsaid
A Night Like This, by Julia Quinn
One Week Girlfriend, by Monica Murphy
One Wish, by Robyn Carr
The Perfect Match, by Kristan Higgins
Pivot Point, by Kasie West
Rumor Has It, by Jill Shalvis
Shatter, by Erin McCarthy
Stepping to a New Day, by Beverly Jenkins
Then He Kissed Me, by Laura Trentham
The Tutor’s Daughter, by Julie Klassen
Undaunted Hope, by Jody Hedlund
Wait for You, by J. Lynn