With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s prime time in the romance novel market. Whether you’re a sucker for love or a romantic cynic, this is your sign to have a date with a book of your choice. Indulge in the joys of reading escapism. Here are seven stellar romance novels to capture your heart and imagination this season. Ranging from steamy thrillers to Regency-era dalliances to contemporary LGBTQ+ love stories, surely one of these reads will strike your fancy.
Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen
Olivia has mixed feelings about taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business. However, her emotions quickly devolve to rage upon discovering a new dating app skewing her family’s traditional Chinese zodiac approach. Turns out, the businessman behind the app is LA’s most eligible bachelor, Bennet O’Brien. Infuriated, Liv’s generational business goes head to head with the new upstart. In her fight to preserve family tradition, Liv’s relationship with Bennet becomes more complicated when they strike a matchmaking deal. Such is what sets the stage for enemies-to-lovers excellence in this rom-com debut.
The Duke Deal by Valerie Bowman
Veronica thought all her dreams had come true when she married the dashing Duke of Edgefield, Sebastian Sinclair. However, her prospects of a dreamy marriage were quickly shattered by a pivotal betrayal. The depth of their rift has made it so that two years have gone by since seeing one another. Upon the dying wish of an aging relative, Veronica is forced to make a deal with her estranged husband, so they may attend the Christmastide celebration together– the “perfect” picture of marital bliss. Can the pair reconcile their longstanding grievances and rekindle the same passion and companionship or can they merely feign a connection?
Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters
Rose is seemingly content with her career as a business consultant, her home full of lovable pugs, and her steamy ASMR side hustle. That is, until frazzled former filmmaker, Ash, enters the scene, and her whole world shifts. Tasked with helping Ash make her return to Hollywood, an undeniable connection begins to take root between the pair. Despite their growing bond, carving out a future together comes with its unique challenges and hangups, as each has their own secrets, fears, and vulnerabilities to sort out. Both Ash and Rose’s character arcs and their charming bond are detailed with wit, emotion, and authenticity in this highly-anticipated new release.
Without a Trace by Danielle Steel
Charles Vincent has the perfect life on the outside, but, in reality, he feels trapped in a loveless marriage and an unfulfilling job. One day, after falling asleep at the wheel, Charles veers off a cliff and takes a treacherous plunge. Miraculously, he survives and finds his way to a charming cabin, owned by the beautiful Aude Saint-Martin. An instant connection is forged between the two, and he is nursed back to health with her help.
During this unexpected aftermath of the car crash, Charles is struck by a staggering realization. When his car is discovered, he will be presumed dead, and, therefore, left with the chance to start over with a blank slate and have the life he always longed for. That is, unless the past catches up to him and Aude, who harbors secrets of her own.
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
Armenian-American Nareh is ready to finally find someone who shares her idea of romance. With a high-pressure mom on her back to find a nice Armenian man to settle down with, Nareh ends up at a month-long festival of events celebrating her culture. However, it’s not a mom-approved potential hubby that catches her eye, but a captivating woman named Erebuni. The two quickly become fast friends and bond over their shared culture.
The only problem standing between taking their relationship to the next level is that Nareh is not fully out yet as a bisexual. Concerned about a disapproving family but determined to claim her happiness, this story of love and identity is a must-read heartfelt debut.
Sleep No More by Jayne Ann Krentz
This new release marks the first installment of a suspenseful trilogy: the Lost Night Files. It all begins with three strangers turned close friends after surviving a devastating earthquake and fire at the Lucent Springs Hotel. Oddly, not one of the women can remember being at the hotel. Now, as co-hosts in an unsolved crime podcast, Pallas, Talia, and Amelia get roped into new metaphysical mysteries. Specifically, when they’re contacted by a man with a similar memory-gap dilemma looking for answers. Alongside newcomer, Ambrose, the group’s detective work is bound to put a target on their backs in this romantic thriller full of twists and turns.
Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood
Finally, upgrade your Valentine’s reading with this collection of STEMinist swoon-worthy novellas from author Ali Hazelwood. The three tales– Under One Roof, Stuck with You, and Below Zero— are absolutely packed full of enemies-to-lovers action, utilizing the opposites attract trope. If that sounds like your jam, then Loathe to Love You is a must to check out. Happy reading!
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