Love in Bloom: Spring 2017’s Must-Read Romances

Love in Bloom: Spring 2017’s Must-Read Romances

Love at first sight must exist. There’s no other explanation for how hard we’ve fallen for these ten spring romance novels. But we aren’t selfish; Bookish is all for sharing the love, which is why we want to introduce you to our new crushes. Historical fans won’t want to miss Alyssa Cole’s tale of a Civil War spy who finds love while she’s undercover, while readers looking for a contemporary flair will dive right for Julie Ann Walker’s latest Black Knights Inc. book. There’s something here for everyone; just let your heart be your guide.

Close Enough to Touch

Let’s not get physical

Jubilee Jenkins spends her days inside of her New Jersey home. It’s comfortable and safe, far away from human interaction. You see, Jubilee has a rare medical condition: She’s allergic to people. After a kiss from a boy resulted in anaphylactic shock, she ruled out romance, dating, companionship, and any hope of finding true love. But after her mother dies, Jubilee is forced to reenter the real world for the first time in nine years. It’s frightening, but as Jubilee adjusts to her job at the library she begins to find courage and joy in her new life. She even meets someone—Eric, a divorced father attempting to reconnect with his daughter and adopted son. As Jubilee’s feelings for Eric grow, she wonders if a shot at love is worth an experimental treatment that might lead to a cure. Colleen Oakley’s novel is a heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking, tale of a woman learning to love herself.

On shelves: March 7

Bedchamber Games

Love in disguise

Tracy Anne Warren’s Rakes of Cavendish Square trilogy comes to a close with the tale of Rosamund Carrow and Lord Lawrence Byron. The fact that women aren’t allowed to be lawyers in 1821 didn’t stop Rosamund from learning everything she could about it from her barrister father. At his sudden death, she decides to disguise herself as a man to finish the work he left behind. Though her skills haven’t been tested in practice, she succeeds in winning a case against Lawrence, a well-respected lawyer on the rise. Lawrence is baffled by his defeat and decides to learn more about “Ross.” Along the way, he realizes her secret and the two begin a passionate affair. Rosamund’s disguise allows them to be alone together without question, but she worries about what will become of them once she finishes her father’s last case and must leave Ross behind.

On shelves: March 7


BUY

An Extraordinary Union

All is dangerous in love and war

Alyssa Cole’s Civil War era series begins with freedwoman Elle Burns accepting a position as a slave in a Confederate home. Elle’s a Union Army spy, who plans to pretend to be mute in order to learn all that she can about the Confederacy’s plans. She isn’t the only spy infiltrating the South. She’s soon joined by Malcolm McCall, a Scottish immigrant pretending to be a Confederate soldier. Surrounded by enemies, the two begin to lean on each other and neither can ignore the growing passion between them. And when their lives are put in danger, their bond may be the only thing that saves them. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly writes, “Cole’s sparkling gem of a romance portrays love at its most practical and sublime; she writes with lyricism, intelligence, and historical accuracy. This fascinating novel is a most welcome addition to the historical romance genre.” We couldn’t agree more.

On shelves: March 28


BUY

You May Kiss the Bride

I now pronounce you reader and book

Livia Stuart comes from a respectable family, but she hasn’t a single cent to her name. When she’s caught in a compromising position with the wealthy and handsome Gabriel Penhallow, it seems as though her financial woes are over forever. Gabriel is being pressured by his family to wed and sees Livia as an acceptable enough wife. She’s certainly tempting enough. His original plan had been to wed her cousin before he was drawn in by her. He proposes, but Livia knows that all of the money in the world can’t make up for what she truly wants: love. The first in Lisa Bernes’ Penhallow Dynasty series is a must for Regency fans.

On shelves: March 28


BUY

Wild Ride

Hell’s angel

Ethan “Ozzie” Sykes isn’t used to standing still. This former Navy SEAL works for Black Knights Inc., a covert government operation disguised as a motorcycle shop. After he’s seriously hurt on a mission, Ozzie is told to lie low at the shop and stay out of the field—much to his dismay. To make matters worse, he’s asked to handle an inquisitive reporter. Samantha Tate, an investigating journalist for the Chicago Tribune, gets an anonymous tip that leads her to believe the BKI shop isn’t all it appears to be. She doesn’t trust Ozzie as far as she can throw him, but when her hunt for justice puts her in real danger, he may be the only one who can protect her. Fans of Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series have been itching to get their hands on Ozzie’s story, but new readers are sure to fall for him as well. This is the ninth volume in the series, and while a bit of background knowledge might be helpful, newbies looking for a sizzling suspense and romance can still jump right in.

On shelves: April 4


BUY

The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life

Yo ho, yo ho, a romance life for me

Sharon Pywell’s historical fiction novel is actually two books in one. The first tells the story of Neave and Lilly Terhune, sisters who joined the labor force during World War II. When the end of the war results in them losing their jobs to men, neither sister wants to resign herself to marriage alone. Together, they start a makeup company. Things are looking up until Lilly disappears. The book’s second story is The Pirate Lover, a swashbuckling romance novel that Neave adores. Pywell toys with romantic tropes to show the darker side of relationships with dangerous men, but infuses enough humor, love, and wit to leave the reader hopeful. Longtime fans of the romance genre won’t want to miss out on this one.

On shelves: April 4


BUY

I Dared the Duke

When you wish upon a duke…

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, believes that he might be in danger and, by extension, so is everyone around him. Though he keeps this information to himself, he’s determined to do what he can to keep those he loves safe. Alexander’s first task is to send his beloved grandmother to the country, and there’s only one thing standing in his way: Miss Elizabeth Lacey. Elizabeth is the Dowager Duchess’ companion, and she refuses to see the woman shipped off without a thought. She tells Alexander that she’ll comply with the move if he grants his grandmother three wishes. As they work together to accomplish the task, they struggle to fight their growing feelings, and Alexander realizes he’s found one more person he’ll do anything to protect.

On shelves: April 4


BUY

The Thing About Love

Undercover lover

FBI agent Jessica Harlow is ready for a change. She’s divorced her husband, left Los Angeles, and joined the Hostage Rescue Team. Her first mission takes her undercover in Jacksonville, Florida. She’s ready for the challenge, until she learns that her partner is none other than John Shepherd. The two butted heads constantly during their training at Quantico, and she had hoped to never see him again. For John, the feeling is mutual. He’s far from pleased to learn he’s working with Jessica; he isn’t entirely sure they can survive the operation without killing each other. But they’re both determined to do their job and do it well, especially when trust between partners can mean life or death. If you’re looking for a sexy tale of opposites attracting, you’ll want to get your hands on Julie James’ latest.

On shelves: April 18


BUY

Ride Rough

I’ll cover you

Alexa Harmon is getting married in two weeks. She should feel happy, or excited, or something other then a growing sense of dread and a desire to run. With each passing day, her fiancé grows more controlling and when he finally snaps and lashes out at her, she can only think of one person to turn to: Maverick Rylan. Maverick was Alexa’s first love. He made her feel safe, and she knows he’ll do whatever it takes to help her. Despite their years apart, she never forgot their connection, and he hasn’t forgotten either. Once Maverick realizes that Alexa is in trouble, he vows to do whatever it takes to protect her.

On shelves: April 25


BUY

White Hot

Burnin’ up for you

Private eye Nevada Baylor possesses a useful magical skill: She can tell when people are lying. Still, she can’t seem to read billionaire Connor Rogan, a powerful and high-ranking magical user. Neither can deny the heat between them, but thoughts of turning those feelings into something more are put on hold when dark forces threaten to destroy Houston. Paranormal romance readers who haven’t begun reading Ilona Andrews will want to check out the first book in the Hidden Legacy series, Burn for Me, before diving into this sequel, while Andrews fans who have been counting down the days will want to start reading immediately. We’d recommend clearing your schedule for this one; as Kirkus says in a starred review, “Add breathtaking romance and sexual tension plus a complex, layered plot, and you have a book that’s hard to put down. An enthralling paranormal romance from a master of the genre.”

On shelves: May 30

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