The only problem with having an embarrassment of ARC riches? Deciding what to read first! At the end of the year, I was focusing on the best reads of 2021, but now it’s time to start digging into my advanced copies of upcoming 2022 releases. And I have some AWESOME ones! As a general rule, I read somewhat in order of release date, but I’m a mood reader, so when the mood strikes – I dive in. I also have several advance audio copies, and that’s a game changer, because I listen a lot while working.
The 25 books on this list are all upcoming romance novels that I have early copies of already – so reviews are likely on the way! Most indie authors don’t provide ARCs until it’s almost the release date (they’re writing right up until the final days), so these are mostly traditionally published, buzzy romances. They’re all intriguing, and coming soon!
And, because I know you’re wondering, yes, I do have more than 25 ARCs at the moment, lol.
Already read and enjoyed! My 4-star review will go up next week.
January 18: Cream and Punishment by Susannah Nix
She’s not just my ex-girlfriend. She’s my new coworker.
I knew Lucy Dillard was The One the first time I met her. Yes, I’m enough of a sap to believe in love at first sight. When I fell for Lucy, I fell hard. Everything was great between us—until the moment she dumped me.
Now I just want to forget about her. Instead, I’m stuck staring at her face all day. But I need this job, so I’ll find a way to be civil and professional.
There’s just one small problem: I’m nowhere close to being over her.
First, we were lovers. Then enemies. Now we’re trying to work together.
I didn’t set out to break Tanner King’s heart, but you know what they say about the road to hell.
I’ve got too many responsibilities and no room in my life for love. I can deal with Tanner’s resentment until he starts working at the desk directly across from mine. Obviously, a truce of some kind is required. We’re both grownups. We can handle this situation like professionals.
There’s only one thing threatening this fragile peace we’ve negotiated: all these inconvenient feelings I apparently still have for him.
Cream and Punishment is book #2 in the King Family series set in the small town of Crowder, Texas, home of the King’s Creamery ice cream company. Each book is a standalone, full-length contemporary romance that follows one of the six King siblings as they find and fight for love.
Currently listening 🎧 It’s growing on me! Probably a 3 or 4-star read.
January 18: How to Love Your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan
A frothy, effervescent romantic comedy from the author of Ten Rules for Faking It, Sophie Sullivan’s How to Love Your Neighbor delivers another read that will have you delighted from start to finish.
Interior Design School? Check. Cute house to fix up? Check.
Sexy, grumpy neighbor who is going to get in the way of your plans? Check. Unfortunately.
Grace Travis has it all figured out. In between finishing school and working a million odd jobs, she’ll get her degree and her dream job. Most importantly, she’ll have a place to belong, something her harsh mother could never make. When an opportunity to fix up—and live in—a little house on the beach comes along, Grace is all in. Until her biggest roadblock moves in next door.
Noah Jansen knows how to make a deal. As a real estate developer, he knows when he’s found something special. Something he could even call home. Provided he can expand by taking over the house next door–the house with the combative and beautiful woman living in it.
With the rules for being neighborly going out the window, Grace and Noah are in an all-out feud. But sometimes, your nemesis can show you that home is always where the heart is.
Already read and loved! My 5-star review will go up next week, but it’ll be on my Best of January list for sure.
January 20: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark
You don’t really know a guy until you’ve vacationed with him…
When Drew Wilson’s ex-boyfriend Joel “Six” Bailey asks her to go on his family trip to Hawaii with him just as her life is falling apart, she decides it’s the perfect time to give him another chance.
The hitch? The Bailey family includes Six’s rude older brother, Joshua—a hot-nerd doctor who has hated Drew since the moment they met and once suggested she’d steal the family silver.
Drew is determined to win the Baileys over and give this thing with Six a fair shot…but Joshua is making that difficult. Not simply because he is in her way at every turn, but because—as one tropical adventure leads to the next—she’s beginning to wonder if obnoxious, odious Joshua might be the brother she actually belongs with.
Just hit my Kindle! I’m pumped for this sequel.
January 25: The Resurrection by Jodi Ellen Malpas
From the moment Danny Black met Rose Cassidy, he knew she’d be the death of him. But their electric connection and twisted love gave him a purpose beyond ruling Miami with his iron fist. Faking his own death and disappearing to St. Lucia was the only way he could escape the deadly underworld that brought them together. But his seclusion was sabotaged when a notorious assassin lured him out and made him an offer he couldn’t ignore.
So Danny was forced to decide whether to remain concealed and pray his enemies didn’t find him, or re-emerge and take back control of his town. His future.
James Kelly’s sole purpose was to find and kill the man who ordered the death of his family. Peace would never be his until then. Beau Hayley, a scarred former cop, was the key to his mission. He was supposed to kill her. Instead, he fell in love with her. Forced to accept that he could no longer fight his war and keep Beau safe from their enemies, he sought out the only man who could help him.
But by resurrecting the infamous Brit, James unwittingly started an even bigger war.
Two lethal men. One shared goal.
Keep their women safe.
But only one of them can come out the other side alive.
I just received the audio version, so I’ll be diving into this soon!
February 1: Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy
She does everything right. So what could go wrong?
Mackenzie “Mac” Cabot is a people pleaser. Her demanding parents. Her prep school friends. Her long-time boyfriend. It’s exhausting, really, always following the rules. All she wants to do is focus on growing her internet business, but first she must get a college degree at her parents’ insistence. That means moving to the beachside town of Avalon Bay, a community made up of locals and the wealthy students of Garnet College.
Twenty-year-old Mac has had plenty of practice suppressing her wilder impulses, but when she meets local bad boy Cooper Hartley, that ability is suddenly tested. Cooper is rough around the edges. Raw. Candid. A threat to her ordered existence. Their friendship soon becomes the realest thing in her life.
Despite his disdain for the trust-fund kids he sees coming and going from his town, Cooper soon realizes Mac isn’t just another rich clone and falls for her. Hard. But as Mac finally starts feeling accepted by Cooper and his friends, the secret he’s been keeping from her threatens the only place she’s ever felt at home.
Flatshare meets Beach Read debut – I’m curious!
February 1: Lease on Love by Falon Ballard
Beach Read meets The Flatshare in this warmly funny and delightfully sharp debut rom-com about a down-on-her-luck young woman who turns an innocent mix-up between a dating app and a roommate app into a new chance at love.
She wasn’t looking for love until it landed on her doorstep.
After getting passed over for an overdue—and much-needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night stand. When one drink turns into one too many, Sadie mixes up a long-ignored dating app for a roommate-finding app and finds herself on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone. Too bad she’s more attracted to his impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.
Jack, still grieving the unexpected death of his parents, has learned to find comfort in video games and movie marathons instead of friends. So while he doesn’t know just what to make of the vivaciously verbose Sadie, he’s willing to offer her his spare bedroom while she gets back on her feet. And with the rent unbeatably low, Sadie can finally pursue her floristry side hustle full-time. The two are polar opposites, but as Sadie’s presence begins to turn the brownstone into a home, they both start to realize they may have just made the deal of a lifetime.
I really enjoyed the previous book in the series, so can’t wait to dive in!
February 15: Wilder With You by Serena Bell
Who knew pretending could be so hot?
Clark: It started as a joke. After all, I’d never pretend to date a woman just to get my mom and sister off my back.
I would, however, pretend to date her to get her ex-husband off hers.
Now the two of us, the wilderness warrior and the wedding planner, are stuck sharing a very small tent. I had no idea how fast things would heat up in here, or how hard it would be to keep my hands—among other things—to myself.
I also didn’t guess how quickly the news of our “relationship” would spread to my big, nosy family.
We can’t “break up” yet, because she’s planning my brother’s wedding and I’m his best man. Through venue visits, DIY disasters, and Vegas trips, we’re thrown together, and the chemistry’s off-the-charts. But the kicker is, I feel like she gets me.
Maybe that’s what scares me the most. I’m still reeling from the loss of my wife, and she’s still hurting from her ex’s betrayal. There’s no way this can ever be real.
But what if I’m starting to hope it is?
This one is pretty buzzy, and I love the blurb
February 15: One Night on the Island by Josie Silver
From the New York Times bestselling author of One Day in December . . . When a double-booking at a remote one-room cabin accidentally throws two solace-seekers together, it feels like a cruel twist of fate. But what if it’s fate of a different kind?
Spending her thirtieth birthday alone is the last thing that dating columnist Cleo Wilder wanted, but she plans a solo retreat―at the insistence of her boss―in the name of re-energizing herself and adding a new perspective to her column. The remote Irish island she’s booked is a far cry from London, but at least it’s a chance to hunker down in a luxury cabin and indulge in some quiet, solitary self-care while she figures out the next steps in her love life and her career.
Mack Sullivan is also looking forward to some time to himself. With his life in Boston deteriorating in ways he can’t bring himself to acknowledge, his soul-searching has brought him to the same Irish island to explore his roots and find some clarity. Unfortunately, a mix-up with the bookings means both solitude-seekers have reserved the same one-room hideaway on exactly the same dates.
Instantly at odds with each other, Cleo and Mack don’t know how they’re going to manage until the next weekly ferry arrives. But as the days go by, they no longer seem to mind each other’s company quite as much as they thought they would.
Written with Josie Silver’s signature warmth, charm, and insights into the human heart, One Night on the Island explores the meaning of home, the joys of escape, and how the things we think we want are never the things we really need.
I love the blurb, new-to-me author!
February 15: Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson
When You’ve Got Mail meets The Proposal, Melissa Ferguson’s latest romantic comedy is one for the books.
Savannah Cade’s dreams are coming true. The Claire Donovan, editor-in-chief of the most successful romance imprint in the country, has requested to see the manuscript Savannah’s been secretly writing while working as editor herself—except at her publishing house, the philosophy is only highbrow works are worth printing and commercial fiction, particularly romance, should be reserved for the lowest level of Dante’s inferno. But when Savannah drops her manuscript during a staff meeting and nearly exposes herself to the whole company—including William Pennington, new publisher and son of the romance-despising CEO herself—she races to hide her manuscript in the secret turret room of the old Victorian office.
When she returns, she’s dismayed to discover that someone has not only been in her hidden nook but has written notes in the margins—quite critical ones. But when Claire’s own reaction turns out to be nearly identical to the scribbled remarks, and worse, Claire announces that Savannah has six weeks to resubmit before she retires, Savannah finds herself forced to seek the help of the shadowy editor after all.
As their notes back and forth start to fill up the pages, however, Savannah finds him not just becoming pivotal to her work but her life. There’s no doubt about it. She’s falling for her mystery editor. If she only knew who he was.
I love me some Meghan Quinn, but I wasn’t WOWed by the prequel novella. This one is VERY long, so we’ll see how it goes.
February 22: The Reunion by Meghan Quinn
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Game comes a new romantic comedy about the antics that ensue when three siblings come together for their parents’ fiftieth-anniversary party.
Martin and Peggy Chance believe love should last a lifetime. With their fiftieth wedding anniversary on the horizon, they’ve modeled a beautiful relationship for their three grown children. But to their dismay, that lesson hasn’t quite caught on—the three siblings just can’t seem to take a chance and find love in their own lives.
There’s Ford, the eldest, devoted to his work and resistant to romance…or so he claims. Cooper, the middle child, can’t get past his divorce—until he reconnects with a feisty baker from his past. And Palmer, the baby of the family, is the free-spirited world traveler who always pictured herself with someone other than a handsome small-town family doctor.
When the Chance siblings come together to plan the ultimate anniversary party for their parents, they’ll have to navigate romantic entanglements, sibling rivalries, and the definitive end of their childhood. Whatever happens, The Reunion promises to be a fun, flirty, wild ride.
Currently listening! It’s super cute so far, with a sweet hero and a unique storyline.
March 1: A Brush with Love by Mazey Eddings
Nine out of ten dentists agree, Mazey Eddings’s rom-com A Brush with Love makes your smile brighter!*
*not scientifically proven
Harper is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes (literally) into Dan. Harper would rather endure a Novocaine-free root canal than face any distractions, even one this adorable. A first-year dental student with a family legacy to contend with, Dan doesn’t have the same passion for pulling teeth that Harper does. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper’s rules. So with the greatest of intentions and the poorest of follow-throughs, the two set out to be “just friends.” But as they get to know each other better, Harper fears that trading fillings for feelings may make her lose control and can’t risk her carefully ordered life coming undone, no matter how drool-worthy Dan is.
Blood, gore, and extra-long roots? No problem. The idea of falling in love? Torture.
It Happened One Summer was on my Best of the Year list, so I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel!
March 1: Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…
King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time—in bed and out—and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.
Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.
Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?
I loved Float Plan, so I’m looking forward to checking out more of Doller’s work – probably a women’s fiction/romance crossover.
March 8: The Suite Spot by Trish Doller
Trish Doller’s The Suite Spot is a charming romance novel about taking a chance on a new life and a new love.
Rachel Beck has hit a brick wall. She’s a single mom, still living at home and trying to keep a dying relationship alive. Aside from her daughter, the one bright light in Rachel’s life is her job as the night reservations manager at a luxury hotel in Miami Beach—until the night she is fired for something she didn’t do.
On impulse, Rachel inquires about a management position at a brewery hotel on an island in Lake Erie called Kelleys Island. When she’s offered the job, Rachel packs up her daughter and makes the cross country move.
What she finds on Kelleys Island is Mason, a handsome, moody man who knows everything about brewing beer and nothing about running a hotel. Especially one that’s barely more than foundation and studs. It’s not the job Rachel was looking for, but Mason offers her a chance to help build a hotel—and rebuild her own life—from the ground up.
This sounds really cute!
March 8: Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron
Jane Austen’s Emma goes Bollywoood in this delightful retelling from the highly acclaimed author of Accidentally Engaged, perfect for fans of Abby Jimenez and Jasmine Guillory.
Kamila Hussain’s life might not be perfect, but, whew, it’s close. She lives a life of comfort, filled with her elaborate Bollywood movie parties, a dog with more Instagram followers than most reality stars, a job she loves, and an endless array of friends who clearly need her help finding love. In fact, Kamila is so busy with her friends’ love lives, she’s hardly given any thought to her own . . .
Fortunately, Kamila has Rohan Nasser. A longtime friend of the family, he’s hugely successful, with the deliciously lean, firm body of a rock climber. Only lately, Kamila’s “harmless flirting” with Rohan is making her insides do a little bhangra dance.
But between planning the local shelter’s puppy prom, throwing a huge work event, and proving to everyone that she’s got it all figured out, Kamila isn’t letting herself get distracted—until her secret nemesis returns to town with an eye for Rohan. Suddenly, it seems like the more Kamila tries to plan, the more things are starting to unravel—and her perfectly ordered life is about to be turned upside down.
I love strangers to lovers and unique meet cutes, so this sounds great.
March 15: In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer
A clever, tender, and romantic novel for readers of Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, and Sophie Cousens, this laugh-out-loud debut is a perceptive reminder that fate can have a sense of humor, and that love can happen…In a New York Minute.
Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her (admittedly mediocre) job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the not-so-plus side, he can’t get away from her fast enough.
Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs.
Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s fanciful, talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Luckily, in a city of eight million people, they never have to meet again. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other—and much to their surprise, they enjoy each other’s company. A lot. But when Franny’s whole world is turned upside down (again!), can she find the courage to trust in herself and finally have the life—and love—she’s always wanted?
Love the unique concept
March 15: Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma
Nisha Sharma’s hilarious new romantic comedy inspired by The Taming of the Shrew features a love-phobic TV doctor who must convince a love-obsessed homebody they are destined to be together.
Kareena Mann dreams of having a love story like her parents, but she prefers restoring her classic car to swiping right on dating apps. When her father announces he’s selling her mother’s home, Kareena makes a deal with him: he’ll gift her the house if she can get engaged in four months. Her search for her soulmate becomes impossible when her argument with Dr. Prem Verma, host of The Dr. Dil Show, goes viral. Now the only man in her life is the one she doesn’t want.
Dr. Prem Verma is dedicated to building a local community health center, but he needs to get donors with deep pockets. The Dr. Dil Show was doing just that, until his argument with Kareena went viral, and he’s left short changed. That’s when Kareena’s meddling aunties presented him with a solution: convince Kareena he’s her soulmate and they’ll fund his clinic.
Even though they have conflicting views on love-matches and arranged-matches, the more time Prem spends with Kareena, the more he begins to believe she’s the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. But for Prem and Kareena to find their happily ever after, they must admit that hate has turned into fate.
This one is buzzy, and it sounds fun!
April 5: The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa
The USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man is back with another hilarious rom-com about two strangers who get trapped in a lie and have to fake date their way out of it…
Just weeks away from ditching DC for greener pastures, Solange Perreira is roped into helping her wedding planner cousin on a random couple’s big day. It’s an easy gig… until she stumbles upon a situation that convinces her the pair isn’t meant to be. What’s a true-blue romantic to do? Crash the wedding, of course. And ensure the unsuspecting groom doesn’t make the biggest mistake of his life.
Dean Chapman had his future all mapped out. He was about to check off “start a family” and on track to “make partner” when his modern day marriage of convenience went up in smoke. Then he learns he might not land an assignment that could be his ticket to a promotion unless he has a significant other and, in a moment of panic, Dean claims to be in love with the woman who crashed his wedding. Oops.
Now Dean has a whole new item on his to-do list: beg Solange to be his pretend girlfriend. Solange feels a tiny bit bad about ruining Dean’s wedding, so she agrees to play along. Yet as they fake-date their way around town, what started as a performance for Dean’s colleagues turns into a connection that neither he nor Solange can deny. Their entire romance is a sham… there’s no way these polar opposites could fall in love for real, right?
Can’t wait for this! Jimenez always makes me swoon before breaking my heart.
April 19: Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.
After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.
While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.
Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?
The first book in this series disappointed, but Hunting is an excellent author.
May 10: Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting
Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit on. Especially not when she’s out celebrating her single status with her sisters. So when a very attractive man pays for their drinks and then slips her his number, she passes it right back to him with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’. As the business administrator for their family’s event hotel, the Spark House, London has more important things to worry about, like bringing in new clientele.
As luck would have it, a multi-million-dollar company calls a few months later asking for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, and London is eager to prove to her sisters, and herself, that she can land this deal. Just when she thinks she has nailed her presentation, the company’s CEO, Jackson Holt, walks in and inserts himself into the meeting. Not only that, but he also happens to be the same guy she turned down at the bar a few months ago.
As they begin to spend more time together, their working relationship blossoms into something more. It isn’t until their professional entanglements are finally over, that London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands – not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too.
Love the unique concept
June 7: Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
Evvie Drake Starts Over meets Beach Read in this heartwarming and hilarious novel about a divorced romance channel screenwriter whose script about her marriage’s collapse just might help her reclaim her life and find love.
Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…
Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.
The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.
Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story—the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.
I love Winter Renshaw, and I never know what I’m going to get from her!
June 14: The Dirty Truth by Winter Renshaw
From Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about the journey of self-discovery that follows a life-changing event.
After a brush with death, I realize it’s time to make changes in my life. Big changes.
First, my job. I love being a journalist, but I hate my megawatt magnate boss, West Maxwell. When he demands I rewrite an article on short notice, I turn the tables on him with a scathing new column and quit in a blaze of glory.
But West isn’t about to let me go that easily, the jerk. He offers me an unexpected new position: mentor to his rebellious teenage niece. For some reason, I agree—I like helping people, but I’m also admittedly curious to glimpse the man behind the mogul.
However, I soon discover that my new assignment isn’t what I expected. As I learn about the private side of my enigmatic boss, I start to see the heart he hides behind his icy facade. The old Elle hated West…but maybe—just maybe—the new Elle can tame him.
If the book is as good as that title and cover, it’s gonna be a win!
June 21: Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley
A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.
Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.
When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.
Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.
What If You & Me was on my Best of the Year list, so I can’t wait to read the next book!
July 5: For You & No One Else by Roni Loren
Eliza Catalano has the perfect life. So what if it actually looks nothing like the story she tells online? As a therapist, it’s part of her job to look like she has all the answers, right? But when Eliza ends up as a viral “Worst Date Ever” meme, everything in her Instagram-filtered world begins to crumble.
Enter the most obnoxiously attractive man she’s ever met, and a bet she can’t resist: if she swears off social media for six months, Beck Carter’ll teach her the wonders of surviving the “real world.” No technology, no dating apps, no pretty filters, no BS.
It seems like the perfect deal—she can lay low until her sudden infamy passes, meet some interesting new people, and maybe even curate this experience into a how I quit the online dating racket book along the way. But something about Beck’s raw honesty speaks to Eliza in ways she never expected. She knows he’s supposed to be completely hands-off…but as complex feelings grow and walls come tumbling down, rough-around-the-edges Beck may be exactly what Eliza needs to finally, truly face herself—and decide who she really wants to be.
A bingo-based sex pact? I’m intrigued!
July 12: Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter
The first time Aja Owens encounters the man of her dreams, she’s having a panic attack in the frozen foods section of the Piggly Wiggly. The second time, he’s being introduced to her as her favorite bingo buddy’s semi-estranged grandson. From there, all it takes is one game for her to realize that he’s definitely going to be a problem. And if there’s anything she already has a surplus of, it’s problems.
In Walker Abbott’s mind, there are only two worthwhile things in Greenbelt, South Carolina. The peach cobbler at his old favorite diner and his ailing grandmother. Dragging himself back after more than a decade away, he’s counting down the days until Gram heals and he can get back to his real life. Far away from the trauma inside of those city limits. Just when he thinks his plan is solid, enter Aja to shake everything up.
A hastily made bingo-based sex pact is supposed to keep this…thing between them from getting out of hand. Especially when submitting to their feelings means disrupting their carefully balanced lives. But emotions are just like bingo callers—they refuse to be ignored.
Jodie Slaughter’s Bet on It is a heart-stoppingly fun, emotional romance that will have readers falling in love until long after the last page is turned.
I judged this by the cover and almost skipped it, but it’s getting really good early reviews!
August 9: Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon
Jen Devon’s Bend Toward the Sun is a gorgeous, emotional love story about taking unexpected paths, accepting loss, and finding strength in the transformative power of love.
Rowan McKinnon believes love isn’t real. Armed with a PhD in botany, two friends who accept her social quirkiness, and some occasional no-strings sex, she has everything she needs. What she doesn’t share is that she hides deep wounds from the past—by an emotionally negligent mother, and by a fiancé who treated her like a pawn in a game. The only love she’s ever known came from her grandmother Edie, who taught her to care for all things that grow. After a chance encounter at a future winery, Rowan is captivated—by the beauty of the land, the challenge of the vineyards’ restoration, and by the warm and inviting family that plans to run it. They’ll offer her a job. She’ll eventually accept it.
And try not to think about Harrison Brady.
Harry Brady is a doctor. Was a doctor. An obstetrician profoundly struggling after the unexpected loss of a patient, Harry no longer believes he is capable of keeping people safe. Reeling from the loss and his crumbled four-year relationship, Harry leaves Los Angeles to spend time emotionally recuperating at his parents’ new vineyard in Pennsylvania. He’ll work to get the place ready to open, and try to pick up the pieces of his heart. Because if there’s one thing Harry Brady knows how to do, it is love deeply, fiercely, with his whole heart.
As soon as he meets Rowan McKinnon, sunlight begins to crack through the dark cloud smothering Harry’s soul. He wants to explore the compelling pull between them. Rowan just wants to keep things casual—she’s spent a lifetime protecting herself against feeling anything, for anyone.
But even Rowan can feel their extraordinary connection tilting the axis of the world they both thought they understood.
A moving, powerful novel about the ways love can irrevocably change your life, Bend Toward the Sun is a cinematic, unforgettable romance.
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