Now is an amazing time to dive into reading with all of this extra time at home and social distancing protocols still in place with some free short stories for adults (and even young adult books). Take advantage of these weird, chaotic times by finally making your way through all of those books on your reading list. And while you’re at it, try something new. Short stories don’t usually get as much attention in the media as standard novels do, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth reading. In fact, you might find that short stories are more satisfying to read because they aren’t as long as a traditional novel.
Free Short Stories for Adults
There are a lot of great adult short stories online. Even better, many of them are free. Being a voracious reader can become an expensive habit, but it doesn’t have to be if you look for stories in the right places. Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorite adult romance short stories that you can read online for free right now.
The Hunter’s Wife by Anthony Doerr
Doerr is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known for his novel All The Light We Cannot See but he also wrote this incredible short story. Prepare to fall in love with the beautiful prose and be captivated by the vivid descriptions of winter in Montana. Though it’s not a conventional romance story per se, this story of the connection between two polar opposites is surreal and gripping. Don’t be surprised if you read it all at once.
The Goddess Of Small Things by Courtney Milan
Milan is well known in the romance novel world, but luckily for her devoted readers (and for you!), she also has quite a few free short stories available on her website. The Goddess Of Small Things predates Milan’s novels and was inspired by a writing prompt. Definitely check this one out if you love historical fiction as it takes place in London in the early 1800s. The chemistry between the characters is believable, making this historical romance story a fun read.
The Wish by RJ Nolan
Most literary love stories center on straight couples. Luckily, the adult romance story genre is becoming more diverse and inclusive with stories of relationships between LGBT couples. The Wish is about two women doctors looking for love. It’s a prequel to Nolan’s L.A. Metro but is still enjoyable for people who haven’t read the novel.
Promise by A.B. Penner
Make sure you have a box of tissues handy before you start Penner’s Promise. This short story packs a lot of emotion into it with the tale of David and Quinn, a couple who thought they had the perfect love story before life got in the way. What it lacks in the steaminess common in most romance short stories, it makes up for it with the intensity of the characters and the emotions it evokes. Penner’s story is on Romanticshorts.com, where you can find a bunch of other free adult romance short stories. All of them are enjoyable, quick reads.
Always with You by Talia Hibbert
One of the steamiest romance story archetypes is the tale of two friends who secretly harbor feelings for one another. Hibbert uses this as a plotline for Always with You and the result is a sweet, passionate short story infused with laugh-out-loud humor. Readers love the story and its characters. In fact, in many reviews, readers say they loved the short story so much that they were sad when it ended! You can read this short story for free if you sign up for Hibbet’s newsletter.