The only problem with having an embarrassment of ARC riches? Deciding what to read first! I’ve got lots of very exciting ARCs on my Kindle at the moment, with too many books and too little time. I’ve read a few of these, can’t wait to dig into others, and am looking forward to checking out plenty of new-to-me and debut authors.
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!
Already read and loved! My 5-star audiobook review will be going up next week.
March 15: Shenanigans by Sarina Bowen
What I meant to do in Vegas: Let my hair down for once and celebrate winning a medal at my first women’s hockey all-stars competition.
What I actually did: Got senior prom drunk and woke up married to Brooklyn’s star winger, the great Neil Drake.
He’s the heir to a billion dollars, and I barely survived my childhood. Our friendship is based strictly only on hockey, takeout food and smack talk.
And now holy matrimony. Although we both know it can’t last, especially once his evil family gets wind of our Vegas shenanigans…
Contains: Meddling teammates, meddling parents, ugly jewelry and a pretend-kiss that nearly sets the world on fire.
Already read! It started out strong and fizzled along the way. My 3-star review will be going up next week.
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?
Currently reading! Not a homerun for me (it’s easy to put down), but I like the 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.
I’ve been loving Marie’s writing recently, and this is something new from her – lots of tension! I snuck a peek to see the vibe, and it looks like an engrossing read.
March 17: The Potter by Kristy Marie
From bestselling author Kristy Marie comes a brand new witty standalone about a grumpy doctor and his hopeful patient who find love in the unlikeliest of places… the exam room.
A brilliant surgeon.
A master sculptor.
The media touted Dr. Potter as a savior dressed in a crisp suit.
I think he’s a vicious madman of jerk-sized proportions.
But fate is a wicked tease.
Only Dr. Potter can give me what I need.
A fresh start.
A new identity.
But he refused, leaving me to take matters into my own hands by accepting a job as his partner’s new secretary.
Dr. Potter can’t turn down my case forever.
Or at least I thought so until I found him on the floor.
With a venomous warning… I failed to heed.
The Potter is a standalone grumpy-sunshine rom-dramedy.
I always love the unpredictability of Nathan’s work – I never know what to expect! This one isn’t *entirely* up my alley (I’m burned out on bully romances), but I’m excited to check it out.
March 26: Seren by J. Nathan
Seren Grayson is a tempest. Heartless and destructive to anyone who crosses his path. But because of his good looks and talent on the football field, the students at Windham Prep adore him. They respect his boldness. They fear his wrath. And, they believe they know the real Seren.
But they don’t.
When I’m forced to move into Seren’s home, I unexpectedly unleash his wrath and become his latest target. He may think I’m easy prey because I’m the housekeeper’s daughter, but he’s wrong. I’m not someone who will cower or back down when I’m pushed.
I’ll push back. Harder.
The longer I spend in Windham, the more I unravel the mysteries of Seren and Grayson Manor. Who knew it would take an outsider to soften his tough exterior and discover the truth behind the lies.
It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve had a new book by Madden-Mills, so I’m definitely looking forward to digging into this opposites attract romance.
March 29: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills
An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.
Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.
Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.
Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.
The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.
Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?
This one is buzzy, and it sounds fun! I’m not sure that Sosa’s writing style is a perfect fit for me (The Worst Best Man didn’t win me over), but we’ll see how this one plays out.
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?
I’m nervous! Jimenez always gives me the swoons before bringing the angst, so we’ll see if this goes the same way. She’s a mega-talented author, so it could be something special.
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?
It’s been a couple of years since I read anything by Guillory, and this sounds like the perfect book to reintroduce me to her work! It’s a tale as old as time, a fairytale reimagining, and sounds right up my alley.
May 3: By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
Sometimes to truly know a person, you have to read between the lines.
Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and one of the few Black employees at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves.
All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?
But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.
Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a tale as old as time . . . for a new generation.
I’m a little nervous about this one! I wasn’t sold on the first book in this series (hero problems), but I’ve always been a fan of Hunting’s writing. Here’s hoping this is great!
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.
How Sweet It Is showed lots of potential, so I’m excited to check out this author’s work again and see if this is a winner. With an adorable cover and a great concept, it’s on the right track!
May 17: All Fired Up by Dylan Newton
After one wild night together, two complete opposites plan to stay firmly in the friend zone, but life has other plans in this delightful romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Emily Henry and Abby Jimenez.
As a successful book publicist, Imani Lewis works night and day to promote her authors. It’s her dream job, but she’s become a total workaholic. So when her grandmother invites her to stay for the summer as she recovers from surgery, Imani happily agrees. But being back in the same small town as her one-night stand may not be quite the relaxing break she envisioned…
Zander Matthews wakes up every day determined to enjoy the present because he knows from his time in the Marines that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. But he’s never gotten over the beautiful woman who blew through town a year ago, then disappeared. And he doesn’t want to be hurt again. So they agree to a deal: he’ll help Imani fix up her grandmother’s house as long as they stay firmly in the friend zone.
Whether it’s repairing tiles in his ceramics studio, dodging nosy neighbors, or soothing the most obnoxious parrot ever, Zander never fails to make Imani laugh. And soon their friendly banter is turning ever flirtier. But since Imani’s stay is temporary and Zander can’t be tied to anything beyond the most tenuous plans, will she be able to handle it when things get all fired up?
Already read! More women’s fiction than romance, this started out strong and fizzled along the way. The romance was a little “blink and you’ll miss it” for me, but I really liked the vibe.
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.
This sounds right up my alley, and I am always a fan of Renshaw’s work, so I’m excited to dig in!
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.
Already read and loved! You can check out my 5-star sneak peek review here. It’s more laidback and small town-swoony than usual for Score, but I loved the slow burn romance.
June 21: Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score
Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?
House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.
The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.
As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?
If the book is as good as that title and cover, it’s gonna be a win! I always love fake relationship romances and this sounds all kinds of fun, so I’m looking forward to checking out this new-to-me author.
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.
I always look forward to Wilson’s sweet but sexy romances, and this one sounds like a lot of fun!
June 21: Cinder-Nanny by Sariah Wilson
What could come between a nanny and an earl in a fairy-tale love story? A reality check—in an endearing and witty romance by Sariah Wilson, the bestselling author of Roommaid.
With her sister’s medical bills mounting, Diana Parker can’t say no to a high-paying opportunity like this: accompany a wealthy couple to Aspen and nanny their precocious five-year-old son for three months. Necessary qualifications? She must know how to ski and teach math, speak fluent French, excel at social graces, and hold a master’s degree in childhood development. Who’ll be the wiser that Diana’s only skill is packing for Colorado?
So far, so good—having a con woman for a mother has turned out to be a benefit, even if Diana has complicated feelings about telling lies. But she’s doing this for her sister. And the perks—like a ticket to a lavish charity fundraiser, a new gown, and a Prince Charming–adjacent earl named Griffin Windsor—are pretty irresistible. Diana can’t deny the Cinderella vibe.
Wary of gold diggers and scandal, England’s most eligible bachelor is nevertheless falling for Diana, and sweeping the not-quite princess off her feet.
The warmer their relationship becomes, the slipperier the slopes are for Diana. Sooner or later, she’ll have to come clean. When that happens, does an honest-to-goodness happy ending stand a chance?
I loved Hockman’s debut, Shipped, so I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of her work! This has an intriguing, mysterious storyline, so I’m curious to see what it’s all about.
July 5: Dream On by Angie Hockman
In this fresh romantic comedy from the author of Shipped, heralded as an “absolutely sparkling debut” by Entertainment Weekly, a woman wakes up from a car accident with memories of a boyfriend she’s never met…only to run into him a year later. Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Rebecca Serle.
What would you do if your dream man turned out to be real?
When law grad Cass Walker wakes up after surviving a car accident, she is flooded with memories of a man named Devin. The only problem? Devin—as confirmed by family, friends, and doctors—doesn’t exist. Everything about him, from his coffee-brown eyes to the slightly crooked angle of his pinkie to his high-wattage charm, is a figment of Cass’s coma-addled imagination. Still, she can’t get him out of her head.
So when she happens upon the real Devin a year later in a Cleveland flower shop, she’s completely shocked. Even more surprising is that Devin actually believes her story, and despite his protective younger brother’s doubts, they soon embark on a real-life romance. With her dream man by her side and a new job at a prestigious law firm, Cass’s future seems perfect. But fate might have other plans…
From the beloved author of Shipped comes a magical and witty romantic comedy that explores what happens when our dreams come true—even when they’re not the ones we expect.
What If You & Me was on my Best of the Year list, so I can’t wait to read the next book! It’s sure to be emotional and unique.
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.
I’ve been meaning to check out Simone’s work, so this sounds like the perfect book to start with! It’s got a forbidden romance and steamy vibes, so we’ll see how it goes.
July 5: Heated by Naima Simone
From USA Today bestselling author Naima Simone comes Heated, a sizzling novel about a breakup professional who embarks on a fake relationship with a client’s ex—the one person she wasn’t supposed to fall for.
I’m Denver’s unmatchmaker. Every city needs one.
Why? Because people break up—and sometimes they should. But when I learn that entertainment attorney Cyrus Hart is someone else’s mistake, I can’t believe it. He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell.
When a chance encounter with Cyrus turns into something more, I can’t help but fall for him. Our chemistry is undeniable. But his ex used my company to send him that letter—and that’s a problem. Especially since he doesn’t know I own the company.
How can this possibly work? I know from experience that the riskiest ventures are the worthiest ones…but falling for Cyrus Hart may be my biggest gamble yet.
I’m a man with a plan—college, law school, a great career. So far, so good.
Until a stranger shows up on my doorstep and reads me a breakup letter from my girlfriend. My carefully laid plans unravel.
But then I meet someone new. It’s spontaneous. It’s electric. And it’s not according to plan.
I’m a longtime fan of Grant’s work, and this is her first traditionally published book, so I’m curious to see if her writing changes for the format. It sounds like a solid fish out of water romance, so I can’t wait to get reading!
July 12: The One Who Loves You by Pippa Grant
From USA Today bestselling author Pippa Grant comes a fabulously sharp-witted romantic comedy about a socialite’s fall from elitist grace to backcountry purgatory—and her accidental tumble into love.
If the Upper East Side had an evil twin, it would be Tickled Pink, Wisconsin. This run-down, backwoods town isn’t worthy of the footprint of my Louboutins, never mind all of me.
But when my grandmother has a near-death experience and realizes we Lightlys can’t buy our way into heaven, she relocates the family to Tickled Pink to work on improving our souls. And that’s how I trade my heiress existence for gigantic bugs, dishwater coffee, and a cranky single dad named Teague Miller.
Teague spends his days fishing, raising his spunky teenager, and after an unfortunate incident involving cheese curds, living rent-free in my head. The one thing he and I can agree on is that I don’t belong here. He’s willing to help me escape—until the unexpected happens.
I kind of like him. I might even more than like him.
But am I ready to give up the life I adored for a man I love to hate?
A bingo-based sex pact? I’m intrigued! I’m excited to check out this author’s work for the first time, and the blurb definitely makes an impression.
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’ll openly admit that I hate the cover, but the blurb sounds great and this is getting excellent early reviews. I’m excited to check out this new-to-me author’s work and see if it’s a good fit. I snuck a peek, and it looks pretty great.
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.
Did I grab this ARC for the cover and the first paragraph of the blurb, then realize it might not be a good fit for me? Mmm, yes. Yes, I did. Intriguingly, this heroine is about 50 years old, and the blurb is giving major women’s fiction vibes, so we shall see how it goes!
August 16: Lucy Checks In by Dee Ernst
Dee Ernst’s Lucy Checks In is a delightful work of romantic comedy about a disgraced hotel manager who travels to Rennes to rebuild a hotel and her own life in the process.
Lucia Giannetti needs a fresh start. Once the hotel manager of a glamorous NYC hotel and intimately involved with the hotel’s owner, Lucy had her entire future planned out. But when the owner disappears, taking millions of dollars with him, Lucy’s life as she knows it falls apart.
Two years later, forty-nine years old and unemployed, Lucy takes a job in Rennes, France to manage the Hotel Paradis. She pictures fur quilts and extravagant chandeliers, but what she finds is wildly different. Lucy is now in charge of turning the run-down, but charming hotel into a bustling tourist attraction. Between painting rooms, building a website, and getting to know Bing, the irritatingly attractive artist, Lucy finds an unexpected home. But can she succeed in bringing the Hotel Paradis to its former glory?
Witty and heartfelt, Lucy Checks In is an inspiring and feel-good novel about reclaiming your life, finding love, and creating a home in places you never thought possible.
If you just read A Brush With Love, you’ll be excited to hear that Eddings has another book on the way soon! Her writing is filled with potential, so I am definitely excited to see if this one is a winner.
September 6: Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings
Lizzie has made endless mistakes. Kitchen fires, pyramid schemes, bangs (of the hair and human variety), you name it, she’s done it… and made a mess of it too. One mistake she’s never made is letting anyone get closer to her than a single hook-up. But after losing yet another bakery job due to her uncontrolled ADHD, she breaks her cardinal rule and has a two-night-stand that changes everything.
Once burned, twice shy, Rake has given up on relationships. And feelings. And any form of intimacy for that matter. Yet something about charming, chaotic Lizzie has him lowering his guard. For two nights, that is. Then it’s back home to Australia and far away from the pesky feelings Lizzie pulls from him. But when Lizzie tells him she’s got an unexpected bun in the oven, he’ll do whatever it takes to be a part of his child’s life… except be emotionally vulnerable, obviously. He’s never going to make that mistake again.
Through a series of mishaps, totally “platonic” single bed sharing, and an underground erotic baking scheme, Lizzie and Rake learn that even the biggest mistakes can have the most beautiful consequences.
I’m a big, big fan of Hogle’s work, so I might’ve let out a little squeal of delight when I got this ARC so early! Am I going to read this Christmas novel while there’s still snow on the ground, or save it for Christmas in July? I don’t know if I can wait that long!
October 4: Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
From the author of Twice Shy comes a sprightly Christmas novel, a rollicking romp through the absurdity of family holidays and the hope of new love.
Bettie Hughes once knew the comfort of luxury, flaunting a collection of designer purses and an enviable dream home in Hawaii. That is, until she lost all of her money through a series of poor decisions. Long obsessed with her public image, Bettie boasts an extravagant lifestyle on social media. But the reality is: Bettie is broke and squatting in Colorado, and her family has no idea.
Christmas, with its pressure to meet familial expectations, is looming when a drunk Bettie plays a vinyl record of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” backwards and accidentally conjures Hall, an unexpectedly charming Holiday Spirit in the form of a man. Once the shock wears off, Bettie knows she’s stumbled upon the greatest gift: a chance to make all her holiday wishes come true, plus a ready-made fiancé.
But as some of Bettie’s wishes lose their charm, she finds herself set off-kilter by Hall’s sweet gestures. Suddenly, Bettie is finding her heart merry and light. But the happier she gets, the shorter Hall’s time on earth grows. Can Bettie channel the Christmas spirit and learn to live with goodwill toward all men? Or will her selfish ways come back as soon as the holidays are over?
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