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 20 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!
August 8: True North by JB Salsbury
The North name is a heavy burden. Two things I learned young—the best way to keep my head on is to keep my head down, and… never fall in love.
But I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.
Lillian came into my life swinging. Mistaking me for my abusive twin brother, she greets me with a swift kick to the balls and a busted lip. Then she really shakes up my world.
She needs her job, but she needs a break just as much. And nothing silences my demons as efficiently as playing the hero.
To protect her from my jerk twin—her boss—I take her on a business trip and quickly learn that she’s different. Blunt. Honest. Intriguingly strange. I’m transfixed, so when she unknowingly sinks a multimillion-dollar deal, I don’t speak up. Something my family won’t forgive.
Now, I have a choice to make. I can go against my own blood and burn the North legacy to the ground, or play it safe, commit to my self-imposed rules and predestined future. Choosing her would ruin my life as I know it, but I’m starting to wonder if a life without her is worth living.
August 9: Royally Not Ready by Meghan Quinn
From USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author Meghan Quinn, comes a fresh take on a royal romance with a twist. Laugh out loud funny and full of some of her steamiest scenes yet, Quinn takes you on an unexpected, sizzling fairytale journey.
So there I was selling bikinis out of my truck in South Beach Miami, getting ready to kick off a wet t-shirt contest when the world’s biggest grouch approached me – Keller Fitzwilliam.
The man had the sultriest British accent I’ve ever heard. And he looked like he just walked off a Viking boat and into a suit tailored specifically for his impressively muscular frame. Only problem is, he had the warmth of an ice pick and he kept telling me he was here to take me back to his home country.
Of course, I didn’t follow him. I might be up for a good time, but I’m also educated enough to know leaving with a stranger isn’t smart. Well, that’s until he mentioned my mom’s name. My mom who passed away several years ago.
So after some serious fact-checking, my bikini-clad bum went with him to a sub-arctic country I had never heard of just north of the British Isles, where I found out my grandpa was the king of said freezing country, and I was the one and only heir.
Desperate to learn more about my mom, I decided to give this princess thing a chance.
Good idea, right? Wrong.
Because Mr. Ice Pick was put to the task of training me and he’s not just cold as ice, he’s pompous, aggravating, and possessive. And did I mention we have to share a bathroom in a tiny castle?
We are oil and water every single day and even though he’s training me to be queen, I have this simmering desire to kneel before him.
August 9: Mad About You by Mhairi McFarlane
International bestseller Mhairi McFarlane delivers a sharp, emotional new novel about a woman who calls off her engagement to “the perfect man” and moves in with a charming stranger who makes her question everything about her life, her past, and the secrets she’s kept for far too long…
Harriet Hatley is the most in-demand wedding photographer in town, but she doesn’t believe in romance, loathes the idea of marriage, and thinks chocolate fountains are an abomination. Which is why, when her long-time partner proposes, she panics. Suddenly Harriet is single… and living down the hall from her ex. She needs a new apartment, like, yesterday.
Enter Cal Clarke, a hopeless romantic who just experienced his own wedding-related disaster. Harriet and Cal are like chalk and cheese, but as they go from strangers to roommates to friends, it becomes clear they’re both running from something. When Harriet’s most heavily guarded secret comes to light, her world implodes. And Cal, with his witty humor and gentle advice, is a surprising source of calm at the center of the storm.
With her career, friendships, and reputation on the line, Harriet must finally face her past in order to take control of her future. Because if she’s willing to stop playing it safe and risk everything to share her truth, real love and happiness may be waiting on the other side…
August 9: Bend Toward the Sun by Jen Devon
Two imperfect people. One year under the sun. A love story you won’t ever forget.
Rowan McKinnon doesn’t believe in love. With a botany PhD, two best friends who embrace her social quirkiness, and some occasional no-strings sex, she has everything she needs. But she hides deep wounds from the past—from an emotionally negligent mother, and a fiancé who treated her like a pawn in a game. When an academic setback leads Rowan to take on the restoration of a winery’s abandoned vineyard, she relishes the opportunity to restore the grapes to their former glory.
She does not expect to meet a man like Harrison Brady.
An obstetrician profoundly struggling after losing a patient, Harry no longer believes he is capable of keeping people safe. Reeling, Harry leaves Los Angeles to emotionally recover at his parents’ new vineyard in Pennsylvania.
He does not expect to meet a woman like Rowan McKinnon.
As their combative banter gives way to a simmering tension, sunlight begins to crack through the darkness smothering Harry’s soul. He’s compelled to explore the undeniable pull between them. And after a lifetime of protecting herself from feeling anything, for anyone, Rowan tries to keep things casual.
But even she can’t ignore their explosive connection.
I’ve already read and loved my ARC – it was on my 15 Best of the Year (So Far) list last month. Find the review here.
August 23: Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.
Like an avenging, purple-haired Jedi bringing balance to the mansplained universe, Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.
Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. And sure, he caught her in his powerfully corded arms like a romance novel hero when she accidentally damseled in distress on her first day in the lab. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.
Now, her equipment is missing, the staff is ignoring her, and Bee finds her floundering career in somewhat of a pickle. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. And the possibilities have all her neurons firing. But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?
August 23: The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
“A uniquely charming mixture of whimsy and the macabre that completely won me over. If you ever wished for an adult romance that felt like Howl’s Moving Castle, THIS IS THAT BOOK.” —Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient
Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.
Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.
After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.
If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most—Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares—each other?
Set in a world full of magic and demigods, donuts and small-town drama, this enchantingly quirky, utterly unique fantasy is perfect for readers of The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Invisible Library.
August 30: The Do-Over by TL Swan
In this sexy installment of the Miles High Club series from bestselling author T L Swan, a billionaire playboy goes incognito on a backpacking trip in Europe. But how long can he hide from love?
I’m wealthy, powerful, and able to get any woman I want.
So why do I feel so empty inside?
In search of a deeper me, I take a sabbatical from my privileged life. One year of backpacking around Europe: a new identity, no contacts, and no money. Not a bad plan, I think.
Until I get there.
A crowded hostel room, body odor, and beer bongs—there are no words for the fresh hell I’ve landed in.
But amid the chaos, I meet my new roommate, Hayden Whitmore. She sleeps in the bed opposite me, and I openly admit to staring at her more than I sleep. Beautiful, innocent, and smart. Not my usual type but perhaps the perfect woman.
There’s just one small problem with the divine Miss Hayden. She’s totally unaffected by my charm. Nothing is working, and now, I’ve been friend zoned.
But the good thing about me is that I’m an incredible problem solver, and I’ve come up with a diabolical plan. I’m going to slide right in under her friend zone. Be the best damn friend she ever had, hold her hand, make her laugh, and spoon with her in bed.
But now there’s another problem.
Hayden is the one who is sliding under my skin, and maybe friendship isn’t enough.
September 13: The Make-Up Test by Jenny L. Howe
In this smart, swoony, rom-com debut from Jenny L. Howe, two college exes find themselves battling against each other—and their unresolved feelings—for a spot in a prestigious literature Ph.D. program.
Allison Avery loves to win. After acing every academic challenge she’s come up against, she’s finally been accepted into her dream Ph.D. program at Claymore University, studying medieval literature under a professor she’s admired for years. Sure, grad school isn’t easy—the classes are intense, her best friend is drifting away, and her students would rather pull all-nighters than discuss The Knight’s Tale—but she’s got this. Until she discovers her ex-boyfriend has also been accepted. Colin Benjamin might be the only person who loves winning more than Allison does, and when they’re both assigned to TA for the same professor, the game is on.
What starts as a personal battle of wits (and lit) turns into all-out war when their professor announces a career-changing research trip opportunity—with one spot to fill. Competing with Colin is as natural as breathing, and after he shattered her heart two years ago, Allison refuses to let him come out on top. But when a family emergency and a late night road trip—plus a very sexy game of Scrabble—throw them together for a weekend, she starts to wonder if they could be stronger on the same team. And if they fall for each other all over again, Allison will have to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what could be a twice-in-a-lifetime love.
In this charmingly bookish debut, The Make-Up Test embraces the truth that people can sometimes change and grow, even when you least expect it.
I’ve already read and enjoyed my ARC – find the review here.
September 20: When in Rome by Sarah Adams
Opposites certainly attract for the stranded pop star and small-town baker in this charming slice of romance from the author of the TikTok sensation The Cheat Sheet.
“This modern take on the Hepburn classic, Roman Holiday is a quick, fun, slow-burn rom-com.”—Abby Jimenez, USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone
Amelia Rose, known as Rae Rose to her adoring fans, is burned-out from years of maintaining her “princess of pop” image. Inspired by her favorite Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday, she drives off in the middle of the night for a break in Rome . . . Rome, Kentucky, that is.
When Noah Walker finds Amelia on his front lawn in her broken-down car, he makes it clear he doesn’t have the time or patience for celebrity problems. He’s too busy running the pie shop his grandmother left him and reminding his nosy but lovable neighbors to mind their own damn business. Despite his better judgment, he lets her stay in his guest room—but only until her car is fixed—then she’s on her own.
Then Noah starts to see a different side of Rae Rose—she’s Amelia: kindhearted and goofy, yet lonely from years in the public eye. He can’t help but get close to her. Soon she’ll have to return to her glamorous life on tour, but until then, Noah will show Amelia all the charming small-town experiences she’s been missing, and she’ll help him open his heart to more.
Amelia can’t resist falling for the cozy town and her grumpy tour guide, but even Audrey had to leave Rome eventually.
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?
October 11: Runaway Groomsman by Meghan Quinn
From USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author Meghan Quinn comes a heartfelt romantic comedy about new beginnings and finding the romanticized happily ever after in the most unlikely of places.
Hollywood screenwriter Sawyer Castle knows a good love story when he sees it. But when it comes to real life romance, he’s a mess. That’s how he finds himself standing at the altar…as his ex-girlfriend ties the knot with his very famous best friend. The pressure, the resentment, the media coverage—it’s all too much—and before he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s making a run for it, leaving a shocked congregation and flashing cameras in his wake.
Needing to lie low amid the media fallout, Sawyer lands in the charming town of Canoodle, California, where he crosses paths with Fallon Long, who runs the Canoodle Cove Cabins, a family-owned business and Sawyer’s new short-term residence. Overwhelmed with renovations and her long list of responsibilities, Fallon is struggling to make ends meet while attempting to bring the cabins back to their original glory. So when Sawyer arrives, she is grateful for the income, but immediately writes him off as just another vapid Hollywood hack, until he begins to prove her wrong at every turn.
As Fallon comes closer to saving the family business, an undeniable bond forms between her and the handsome screenwriter. But the pressures of her family obligations and Sawyer’s notoriety might prove to be too much for anyone to handle. Could Canoodle be the setting for a new romance—or is true love just a Hollywood cliché?
October 11: Before I Do by Sophie Cousens
A heartwarming and playful novel about the ones we love and the ones we lose by the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year
What would you do if ‘the one that got away’ turned up the night before your wedding?
Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey’s found herself wondering if Josh really is “The One.”
So, when Josh’s sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey’s “What If? guy”—the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with—Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred’s appearance the night before she is due to get married can’t be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humor?
October 18: Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai
Indian Matchmaking meets Date Night in this fun, romantic adventure by Alisha Rai — “One of the very brightest romance writers working right now.” (Entertainment Weekly)
Mira Patel’s got a solid accounting career, good friends, and a whole lot of distance between her and her dysfunctional family. All that’s missing is a stable romantic relationship. Armed with a spreadsheet and professional help, she sets out to find her partner in only legal activities, but much to her matchmaker’s dismay, no one is quite right.
Including Naveen Desai, the very first match she unceremoniously rejected.
Lately Naveen’s been too focused on keeping his sick grandfather’s law firm afloat to think about love, and he’s stunned when Mira walks back into his life to settle her aunt’s affairs. He’s determined to keep things professional…though it’s impossible not to be intrigued by all of the secrets piling up around Mira.
If getting back together with an ex is a bad idea, getting kidnapped with one is even worse.
Suddenly, Naveen and Mira find themselves in a mad dash through Las Vegas to escape jewel thieves, evade crime bosses, and follow the clues to untangle the mess her family left behind. As her past comes back to haunt her, Mira despairs of ever finding someone who might understand her…but maybe, over the course of one wild night, she’ll find that he’s right by her side.
October 25: The Wrong Bridesmaid by Lauren Landish
Opposites don’t just attract—they ignite—in a flirty against-all-odds romance by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Lauren Landish.
Wyatt Ford hightailed it out of Cold Springs to get away from his influential family and the unwanted privilege that came with it. Returning for his brother’s wedding dredges up every reason he left. One unexpected bright spot: a curvy knockout who slings burgers, hustles pool…and hates the last name Ford.
Hazel Sullivan is fiercely independent and happy to be maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding, but she isn’t looking for romance. Especially not with a man whose family is dividing her town into a battleground with their development plans. Fighting the family is easy. Fighting Wyatt? Not so much. Why does the enemy have to be so drop-dead gorgeous?
The sparks that fly between Hazel and Wyatt might start out as combat, but one kiss and it’s total surrender. How is a happy ever after even possible for two people with so little in common? Except, of course, for an overwhelming attraction and that growing temptation to say “I do” themselves.
November 8: The Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills
A masquerade ball brings together an NFL player and a penniless princess in this smart and sexy romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.
Levelheaded Francesca Lane never thought she’d miss her own wedding. But when her fiancé betrays her, she puts on her wedding dress and ditches the altar for a masquerade ball—at an exclusive lifestyle club.
There, she meets unknown-to-her NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask—he’s there to celebrate his birthday. For one night, Francesca and Tuck indulge in a wickedly incognito affair. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.
Unfortunately, Francesca realizes quickly that her masked prince is the wealthy jock who lives in the penthouse of her apartment building. His hobbies include parties and supermodels—or so the tabloids say. Getting tangled up with a shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs right now, so she vows to keep Tuck from recognizing her (not that she’s his type anyway).
But fate has a teeny-tiny trick up her sleeve … a plus sign on a pregnancy test. Can this tormented prince accept love, or will he push his princess away forever?
November 15: Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan
Award-winning and bestselling “powerhouse” author Kennedy Ryan is at her absolute best in this compelling, scorching novel about hope and healing, and what it truly means to love for a lifetime (USA Today).
Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love alone couldn’t solve or save everything.
It couldn’t save their marriage.
Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she’s is finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm, co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.
Soon, one stolen kiss leads to another…and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s all good—until old wounds reopen. Is it too late for them to find forever? Or could they even be better, the second time around?
November 15: Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade
After All the Feels and Spoiler Alert, Olivia Dade once again delivers a warm and wonderful romantic comedy about two co-stars who once had an incredible one-night stand—and after years of filming on the same remote island, are finally ready to yield to temptation again…
Maria’s one-night-stand—the thick-thighed, sexy Viking of a man she left without a word or a note—just reappeared. Apparently, Peter’s her surly Gods of the Gates co-star, and they’re about to spend the next six years filming on a desolate Irish island together. She still wants him…but he now wants nothing to do with her.
Peter knows this role could finally transform him from a forgettable character actor into a leading man. He also knows a failed relationship with Maria could poison the set, and he won’t sabotage his career for a woman who’s already walked away from him once. Given time, maybe they can be cooperative colleagues or friends—possibly even best friends—but not lovers again. No matter how much he aches for her.
For years, they don’t touch off-camera. But on their last night of filming, their mutual restraint finally shatters, and all their pent-up desire explodes into renewed passion. Too bad they still don’t have a future together, since Peter’s going back to Hollywood, while Maria’s returning to her native Sweden. She thinks she needs more than he can give her, but he’s determined to change her mind, and he’s spent the last six years waiting. Watching. Wanting.
His shipwrecked Swede doesn’t stand a chance.
November 29: The Sweet Spot by Adriana Locke
She wants forever. He plays it day by day. They’re both wishing for the best in USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke’s charming and sexy hopefully-ever-after romance.
Single mom Palmer Clark will not be sidelined by the new man in town. Sure, the honey-tongued baseball legend is gorgeous, loves puppies, and has charmed his way into the community’s heart, but Palmer craves stability. Nothing about Cole says forever. So why is he so hard to resist?
Cole is swinging through town to visit his parents when he meets the kind of down-to-earth distraction he’s been looking for since retiring from the majors. True, his long-term relationship score is zero. But even though raising his average with Palmer seems impossible, it’s worth a shot.
As promising as the summer nights are, fate turns small-town dreams upside down, and some lessons are learned the hard way. But having faith in love and choosing hope over fear might get Palmer and Cole to the sweet spot they’re looking for.
December 13: Rich in Your Life by Pippa Grant
A sweet, lighthearted romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Pippa Grant about one social media influencer’s dream of going off the grid and the IRL love she finds along the way.
Secrets always catch up with you. The world knows me as Tavi Lightly, sugar-free social media influencer. But my true purpose lies in secretly restoring a cacao farm in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, to save the farm, I need access to the trust fund that my grandmother has frozen. She’s requiring me to do charity work in Tickled Pink, Wisconsin, and until I meet her ultimatum—no trust fund. So to Tickled Pink I go.
My first grandmother-approved charity project? Helping local reformed bad boy Dylan Wright. He has secrets too, like how he’s hung up on his married best friend. Kick-starting his dating life is as easy as making him famous through association with me.
Not so easy is the fact that we’re falling for each other. He belongs in Tickled Pink, and I belong on my farm. We might share our secrets with one another, but can we really share our lives too?
February 7: Just My Type by Falon Ballard
To win the job of her dreams, a relationship-prone journalist needs to learn how to stay single in this heartwarming and hilarious new romantic comedy from the beloved author of Lease on Love.
Lana Parker has never been single for long. After a disastrous break-up with her high school boyfriend, Seth Carson, Lana’s bounced from long-term relationship to long-term relationship. She’s an expert girlfriend, even acting as the resident dating and relationship columnist for one of Los Angeles’s trendiest websites. But now, at the age of thirty, Lana suddenly finds herself single again, and she’s determined to stay that way, no matter how challenging.
That is, until her high school ex, Seth, now a journalist in his own right, takes an assignment at Lana’s site. Ready to put down roots after years of traveling and freelancing, Seth becomes not only Lana’s colleague but also her competitor. With their combative relationship history—and undeniable chemistry—they quickly find themselves pitted against each other in a battle of wits: writing an article series that goes against dating type. For Lana, that means writing about staying single and embracing it. For Seth, it’s learning to settle down and become boyfriend material. Whoever’s is most popular wins a highly coveted columnist spot that either could only dream of. But when the two square off against one another, it’s not only their careers on the line—it’s also their hearts.
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