Grumpy/Sunshine Romance Trope


Hannah Keil

Illustration by Preston Randall

Hey, y’all!

I’m back once again with some more book recommendations for you. This blog, we’re going to talk about a new favorite trope of mine: grumpy/sunshine. This trope is more or less self-explanatory: two people with opposite personalities meet, one a positive and upbeat person and the other a grumpy and pessimistic person, and learn to love each other. Until recently, I hadn’t really heard of or read anything from this trope, but it has quickly become an addiction. I found that the balance between the characters always leads to some good banter and interactions, and I am here for it. Without further ado, here are my recommendations.

“All Rhodes Lead Here” by Mariana Zapata


Another book by Mariana Zapata, are we really surprised? This book is yet another slow burn but with a very grumpy/sunshine distinction. Aurora moves into a small garage in the middle of nowhere for a fresh start. Her landlord, Rhodes, who lives right across the driveway, doesn’t know about her renting the garage out, but he eventually accepts her pleas to stay. Rhodes is a single dad, and most of the story takes place outdoors,both of these facts adding a lot to the story. The progression of this book keeps you on your toes, but the ending makes it so worth it. This book is so, so good, and writing about it makes me want to go reread it for the third time! BRB …

“The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood


This book might possibly be my favorite ever written, but it is definitely at least top three. The novel is a relatively new release, and I read it on the day it came out. It is most definitely worth the hype. Olive is a Ph.D. candidate working towards her degree at Stanford. Adam is a professor/adviser where Olive is doing her research. After she randomly kisses him, not knowing who he is, to convince her friend that she is dating somebody, the two start a fake relationship. But, you know as well as I do that in romance novels, fake relationships never stay that way, so the ending comes full circle. This book is so incredibly good, the connection between the characters is so cute and endearing, and there is not one single part of this book that I would change. Please go read it!

“Fix Her Up” by Tessa Bailey


This book has the grumpiest grump and the cheeriest sunshine out of these recommendations, so it really is the epitome of a grumpy/sunshine romance. Georgie is a literal clown who makes a living hosting children’s birthday parties. Travis is a rookie professional baseball player. After he receives an injury that ends his career, Travis, who is conveniently also Georgie’s brother’s best friend, comes back to their town, and no one can get him out of his rut. Georgie ends his pity party, and their romance snowballs from there. This book is also a part of a series, and the books only get better, so I would definitely keep reading when you finish this one.

“It Happened One Summer” by Tessa Bailey


I’m not going to lie, I grew to love the characters in this book. I hated how they came across at first, but I got through it and it ended up being so good. The premise behind this book is that Piper goes too far with a party she plans and essentially gets cut off by her parents and sent to run a bar in a random small town. She becomes well acquainted with the town’s infamous sailor, Brendan, and tries her best to cope with her new surroundings. This also follows an enemies-to-lovers arc, and you get drawn into the story. Once you get into it, you won’t be able to put it down. 

“The Spanish Love Deception” by Elena Armas


This one is yet another fake dating grumpy/sunshine romance, but it also includes a friendly enemies-to-lovers plot. It really combines them all, but somehow, it works. Catalina’s sister is getting married, and she told her entire family that she has a boyfriend that is coming to the wedding celebration in Spain. The only problem is that Catalina is single, and her ex-boyfriend is bringing his new fiancé to the wedding. Her work enemy, Aaron, happens to hear her dilemma and steps up to the challenge. You can see where this is going. This book is incredibly cute, and the progression for Aaron makes the entire book worth it. 

“Always Only You” by Chloe Liese (“Bergman Brothers” Book Two)


This book is the second in a series of books, but the entire series is worth the read. This book follows Ren, a professional hockey player, and Frankie, who works for the team. This goes against the grain of traditional grumpy/sunshine, because the gender roles are reversed: Frankie is the grump, and Ren is a big ole ball of sunshine. This book is so incredibly cute, and I think I finished this series in two days. They are the type of books that you cannot put down once you start them. I would recommend reading the first book in the series first and going on from there for prime reading experience, because the first one is just as good as this one is! They are all stand alone novels though, so you don’t need to read anything before you read this one. 

These books are always some of my favorites for the sheer fact that the transformations they include always make the story that much more interesting. They manage to hold your attention so much better, and they are fun to reread, because you pick up new details and personality perspectives every time. This trope is so good, and I definitely recommend trying it out!

Until next time …