Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Louisa
Apocalyptic romances are probably one of the most riveting and gripping genres out there.
They combine the ever-popular romance element with a dystopian setting, taking readers on dramatic journeys that encompass suffering, growth, and redemption.
Apocalyptic romance books take the reader on a journey through an alternate universe – where two broken people meet in a chaotic yet meaningful way amidst sadness and turmoil.
That to me is what makes apocalyptic romance novels so special – every page is filled with passion, intensity, and adventure – with characters you can truly root for.
If this sounds like the kind of book you want to add to your reading list, then read on to find out the best apocalyptic romance books…
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What To Expect From Apocalyptic Romance Books?
Apocalyptic romance stories take readers into a captivating alternate world where survival is the key to success.
These stories feature characters faced with life-threatening decisions, dangerous enemies, and unpredictable obstacles as they attempt to survive in a post-apocalyptic universe.
You can expect underlying themes of resilience, courage, and loyalty, as well as plots that are packed with suspense and thrilling twists.
In many apocalyptic romances, the love interest is secondary to the plot. The main focus is usually on the bravery and courage of the characters as they face tremendous challenges fighting for their lives and for those around them.
Along the way, these characters must decide how far they’ll go to achieve their goals, whether it be helping others or sacrificing their own safety in order to do what’s right.
Full of action, but also thought-provoking messages about morality, politics, human emotions, and survival, there is no doubt that an apocalyptic romance book is the most enticing escape from reality where anything can happen.
The Best Apocalyptic Romance Books
Apocalyptic romances build an epic story of love in a ruined world, eventually finding their place together despite their dark surroundings.
If you’re ready to be swept away into a world of danger and intrigue, take a look at these apocalyptic romance books…
1. Only Death Follows: An Apocalyptic Romance Saga – Jennifer Foor & Canter Mills
A gripping story filled with family, friends, romance, and zombies. A post-apocalyptic book that has it all.
Only Death Follows is the story of Nova Knox, whose family has fallen apart, but so has the rest of the world.
After the government creates a virus that kills most of the world, the rest of the people are left to survive without everything they have ever known.
Infected people are still deadly, and with a new group of rebels on the rise, every waking moment is a fight for survival.
Nova will stop at nothing to make sure she and her family survive.
This is a modern apocalyptic romance book with just the perfect hint of romance and action.
2. Rook – J.C. Andrijeski
Combining elements of sci-fi with the action of a world thrown into an apocalypse, an innovative new book from J.C. Andrijeski. This is an intense, action-filled story with a beautiful romance at the center of it.
Seers are a mysterious new race of beings discovered on Earth. But to own a Seer, you have to have a lot of money, and they have to stay collared at all times.
But Allie has only ever seen them at a distance. That is until she meets Revik.
Through him, she learns that she may not be a human after all and that the Seer believes her to be the one who has come to free them.
This is a novel that spans genre and time. It’s a thrilling rollercoaster ride that you won’t want to put down.
3. End of The Line – Christoffer Petersen
This is a new read that combines all the fun of a wilderness adventure in Alaska with the drama of an apocalyptic romance.
Jaylen Lewis has one weekend off after leaving the Anchorage Fire Department and moving to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), one rest-filled weekend.
At least, that’s what it was supposed to be.
But as a new virus threatens everyone, she is promoted to area manager and finds herself responsible for much more than she thought she would be.
Alaska is counting on her, but she can’t save it alone.
Enter Nathaniel Canizales. With him by her side, Jaylen will work to save her state, or at least as much of it as she can.
For she has to close the borders, protect the survivors and make sure that everyone in the last wilderness is safe.
This book has something for everyone, and even though it may seem hopeless, there is a happy ending!
4. Winter Plague – Quinn Blackbird
This is the first in the Winter Plague series by Quinn Blackbird. A standout book that combines the best elements of apocalypse and fantasy.
The world as she knew it is gone, and Winter fights for survival with her dog, Cleo, by her side.
For a while, she was perfectly happy alone, that is until she met a group of roaming mercenaries.
Once they were high-ranking soldiers, and something about their group attracted Winter to them.
But the longer she stays, the more she is torn between two new figures in her life, Leo and Castle. But more than being torn between them, she is torn between staying or going.
Until she learns that leaving is no longer an option. She is a captive.
A gritty apocalyptic saga with a sexy love triangle, what’s not to love?
5. Divergent – Veronica Roth
A world divided into factions and a girl who defies all of them. This has become a modern classic in the world of apocalyptic romance, and for a good reason.
All Tris has ever known is the faction of Abnegation, those who serve.
But at her coming-of-age ceremony, she makes a choice far outside what she has ever known.
Thrown into an intense initiation, she struggles alongside her peers in tests to prove that she is worthy of her new faction, Dauntless.
But as she is pushed beyond her limits she starts to fall for the man pushing her.
And slowly, she realizes that even this new world around her may not be as it seems.
An action-filled story of tension and change in an apocalyptic version of Chicago. This is a quick, fun read if you love apocalyptic romance.
6. The Turned – Stella Craig
The Turned is the first book in the Live and Let Live series by Stella Craig, with a story with traditional romance trope that you know and love but with one twist. Zombies.
Lola Jenkins has decided to stop trying, to stop looking for love. After she pushes away her crush by betraying his sister, her self-hatred stops her from ever moving on.
But as her crush screams her out of a deli one day, she runs into a world very different from the one she knew.
Cole Beckett is a marine who values courage and honor, and even though Lola has hurt his family, he refuses to leave her as they escape a city now overrun with the undead.
After gathering a group of family and friends, the party heads safety. Surrounded by the threat of death, will the two find more to live for in each other?
A perfect enemies-to-lovers zombie book set against the backdrop of a descent into an apocalypse.
7. Beyond Eternity – Yvonne Anthony
This is a fast-paced story of survival, family, and love. In the face of an invasion of apocalyptic scale, while they survive?
Janelle Baker had one hour, only one, to hide away from a global invasion by a strange, unknown force. In a fit of brilliance, her brother, Ian, sweeps her away to Colorado.
There they are relatively safe in an underground hideout, buried beneath stone.
But the true fight for survival has barely started. Most will die and only the strongest will survive. But in that survival, will Janelle be able to find a new life?
A quick, fun apocalyptic read with all the elements of survival and love that you enjoy!
8. We Are Not Angels – Nadine Little
We Are Not Angels is the first book in the new The Warrior Angels series by Nadine Little, a series that combines the supernatural with the end of the world.
Maia used to love dystopian video games, but now her life has turned into the games she played for fun.
As she and the rest of humanity are forced through a global purge to punish them for their sins, Maia wishes to fight back instead of cowering.
But when she clashes with Hunter, she is left with a weapon that wounds them, the angels.
A chance at freedom. But with an injured angel on her floor, can she help, and can an angel flourish in the care of one little human?
A steamy enemies-to-lovers romance with a brooding hero and a sunshiny heroine, this is a book that will keep you on your toes.
9. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Another fan favorite in the world of apocalyptic romance. This book has stood the test of time and has even been considered an excellent satire and commentary on our world today.
Every year the Districts select two champions, a boy and a girl, for the annual Reaping.
Their punishment as entertainment for the Capital that they rebelled against nearly seventy-five years ago.
But in District 12, when a young girl’s name is called, her older sister, Katniss Everdeen, steeps in to take he sister’s place.
And what would be a death sentence for most is a challenge to Katniss, she has been close to death before and knows how to survive. The real question is: can she survive the Capital?
The first in The Hunger Games trilogy, this a captivating book about romance, family, and survival.
Related Reading: Books Like The Hunger Games and Divergent
10. Famine – Laura Thalassa
A fairly recent addition to the Four Horsemen series by Laura Thalassa, this an enemies-to-lovers romance that combines a coming apocalypse with supernatural fantasy.
Ana da Silva expected she’d die young, just not at the hands of Famine, a powerful immortal who left her to survive years ago. But he must not remember, for she is stabbed and left to the wolves.
But she doesn’t die, and even though Famine is good at his job, he is intrigued when she returns. She threatens pain and suffering to him, the one who brings pain and suffering!
Curious, he decides to keep her around, and they draw closer together. But will they always be enemies, will kind acts and steamy nights be enough for them both to change?
A tantalizing, sexy paranormal romance novel that brings all the drama you want in an apocalyptic romance.
11. Fighting for Rain – B.B. Easton
Fighting for Rain is the second in the Dystopian Rain series by B.B. Easton, though each novel can be read as a standalone. A world that was supposed to end on April the 23rd. And it didn’t.
Rainbow Wilson’s ended far before the day that everything was supposed to end, April 23rd. Mass hysteria because of the impending end of the world lost everything she loved.
Almost her own life, that was until she met him. Wes Parker didn’t have anything left for the apocalypse to destroy. His life was lost years ago when he was nine when he abandoned the hope of ever being loved.
But when fate brings Wes and Rain together, they are ready to live and die together. But nobody prepared them for what happens when the end doesn’t come.
A sexy, passionate romance novel that will have you swooning!
12. Year One – Nora Roberts
Another smash hit from the acclaimed writer Nora Roberts. Year One is the first in her The Chronicles of The One series, a new must-read in the genre of apocalyptic romance.
On New Year’s Eve, the sickness came, fear spread, the government failed, the power grid sputtered, and one by one, the systems started to fail everyone.
And when science and technology failed, magic rose to take its place. Some of it is good and useful, like the magic that Lana Bingham practices in her New York apartment with her boyfriend Max.
Some of it is far darker. But as the two leave New York, they meet survivors, all going west. The world has ended for them all, so what is next?
A personal favorite in the genre of adult apocalyptic novels, this is one of my favorites in this list.
13. Justice Ascending – Rebecca Zanetti
The third novel in the Scorpius Syndrome series combines elements of western romance novels and apocalypse into the perfect blend.
Before Scorpius, Tace Justice was just your typical Texas cowboy, but after this new virus, he has become one of the Vanguard medics.
But as the world has changed, so has he, the lines between right and wrong have blurred, and as he focuses on a new woman, his dark life starts to change.
Sami Steel has been fighting to survive along with Tace and all the other Vanguard medics, trying to hide her true identity.
She is a former hacker and now a government agent who worked at the Bunker, where the cures and viruses were kept.
She knows the location and isn’t going to tell anyone. But when things between her and Tace start to get hot and heavy, she begins to question what she would do for him.
A spicy, sexy romance set against an apocalyptic wilderness, with a cowboy hero to match.
14. The Maze Runner – James Dashner
One of the best apocalyptic, action-filled romances out there that is great for anyone looking for a new favorite!
When Thomas wakes up in the maze, he only remembers his name and that all the other boys before him know their names.
Outside his new home in the Glade, lay the towering walls of an ever-changing made. The maze is the only way out, but no one has survived.
Just as Thomas is adjusting to his new home, a girl arrives at the Glade, the first girl. And she brings a message that strikes fear into everyone.
A book that will have you enjoying every twist and turn, The Maze Runner is one of the best in the apocalyptic romance genre.
Read More: Books Like The Maze Runner
15. The Book of Ivy – Amy Engel
A modern, adult take on the apocalyptic romance from Amy Engel and the first in her Book of Ivy series. With the perfect arranged marriage trope at the center of the story.
After going through a brutal war of nuclear proportions, the USA was left with a group of wandering survivors.
These groups banded into families, and The Westfalls were the losers, and 50 years later, they are still paying for it. To keep the peace, the losing side’s daughters marry the winning side’s sons.
Ivy Westfall has one simple goal, to kill the president’s son and her future husband and restore her family to power.
But unlike the man she prepared for, Bishop Lattimer is the only person who seems to understand her. But there is no escape from fate, so who will she choose, her family or the man she is growing to love?
A sexy romance built on family tension and a war-torn wilderness.
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Final Word on Apocalyptic Romance Books
Apocalyptic romance books make for great escapes from reality and allow readers to explore raw human emotions in vibrant and remarkable settings.
Whether you’re after a thrill or a heartwarming story about finding your soulmate at the end of the day, I hope these apocalyptic romance books provide it in spades.
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.