Love in Bloom: Spring 2018’s Must-Read Romances

Love in Bloom: Spring 2018’s Must-Read Romances

must-read romance novels

Are you ready to fall in love? We’ve got the perfect match for you. Below you’ll find ten of this spring’s must-read romance novels. There are thrilling shifter romances, royal affairs, historical heartstoppers, enemies pretending to be newlyweds, and more. What are you waiting for? Happily ever after starts with the turn of a page.

Psst: If you’re looking for a fun twist on your spring reading, our Romance Novel Bingo is perfect challenge!

In a Badger Way by Shelly Laurenston

Fans of shifter romances will not want to miss the latest installment in the Honey Badger Chronicles. The series follows the MacKilligan sisters and Stevie, the youngest, takes center stage here. She’s a skilled musician and scientist who can shift into the form of a tiger/honey badger hybrid. Though she has a terrible fear of bears, she doesn’t seem to mind Shen Li, a giant panda shifter. As for Shen, he isn’t sure what to make of Stevie at first. But when she goes undercover to stop a scientist from experimenting on hybrid shifters, he channels his bodyguard training to go after her and keep her safe.

On shelves: March 26

Forever Wolf by Maria Vale

What was that? You want another shifter romance? Maria Vale has you covered. Varya owes her life to the Great North Pack, who took her in when she was a homeless teenager. When she discovers a wounded white wolf shifter named Eyulf in the woods, she’s tempted to bring him to her pack. But Eyulf’s eyes, one blue and one green, signal the end of the world according to pack lore. Varya decides to help him in secret, along the way forming a bond that could save her entire pack from the human hunters who threaten their existence.

On shelves: March 26

When a Duchess Says I Do by Grace Burrowes

Duncan Wentworth isn’t sure what to make of the woman he finds in the woods outside the estate he’s managing. Matilda Wakefield won’t share any information about who she is or where she came from, but it’s clear she’s in need of help. Duncan offers her a position as the estate’s secretary. Slowly, over discussions of his travels and chess matches, the two begin to grow close, and Matilda starts to wonder if she can trust him with the secrets that have weighed her down. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called this historical romance “satisfyingly relatable nerdy escapism,” and we know you’ll agree.

On shelves: April 2

Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Alexa Martin charmed us last fall with Intercepted, the first novel in her Playbook series, and now she’s back with another winning sports romance. In Fumbled, high school sweethearts reunite for a second chance at love. After high schooler Poppy Patterson learns that she is pregnant, she leaves her boyfriend Trevor Kyle “TK” Moore and her old life in Indiana behind in the hopes of starting over somewhere new. Ten years later, TK is the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs and Poppy spends her days with nine-year-old Ace and her evenings working at a nightclub. When TK shows up at the club, sparks fly between them. But is Poppy ready to let him into her life with Ace? You’ll have to read to find out.

On shelves: April 23

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole returns with another stunning installment in the Reluctant Royals series. Nya Jerami spent her entire life bending to her father’s will and when he’s sent to prison for betraying his country, she’s the one left facing judgment from her people. Nya is ready to become her own person, away from her father’s influence. When she gets the chance to escape to Liechtienbourg, as the pretend fiancée to tabloid prince Johan von Braustein, she agrees and prepares herself for an adventure. Little does she know, it’ll be one she’ll never forget. Filled with fairytale references, A Prince on Paper will enchant readers. Cole delivers an affecting story of two souls healing from past traumas and learning to embrace love. Don’t miss out.

On shelves: April 30

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker

Theater fans, this one’s for you. The latest London-set romance from Lucy Parker introduces readers to Freddy, a West End actress and eternal optimist, and Griff, a theater critic and cynic. Griff’s critiques of Freddy’s performances have always been less than flattering, which makes things awkward when she lands a starring role in a television show being produced and filmed at his family estate. The two attempt to avoid each other at first and focus on the show, a Jane Austen retelling where viewers choose what happens next. But it’s a small estate, and each time they cross paths they each wonder if they’ve misjudged the other.

On shelves: April 30

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bookish team was swept away by Helen Hoang’s debut, The Kiss Quotient, and now we’re smitten with her sophomore novel. Esme Tran is working as a maid in Vietnam when she meets a woman looking for a bride for her American son, Khai. Esme, thinking this may be a chance to give her five-year-old daughter a better life, agrees to spend the summer in the U.S. Khai, an autistic accountant, is horrified when he learns of his mother’s meddling but agrees to let Esme stay with him. Khai believes himself incapable of love, but as he and Esme grow closer, he learns that love can be experienced in a multitude of ways.

On shelves: May 7

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The setup of CLo’s latest is the stuff rom-com dreams are made of: When her sister gets food poisoning, maid of honor Olive is sent in her place on her Hawaiian honeymoon with none other than the best man, who Olive can’t stand. The feeling is mutual as far as Ethan is concerned, and the two agree to enjoy their free vacation while staying as far away from each other as possible. But when a chance encounter with Olive’s future boss forces her and Ethan to pretend to be happy newlyweds, they discover they might not hate each other after all. As our loyal readers know, Bookish HQ is home to CLo’s unofficial fan club. You had to know their latest would be at the top of our spring TBR pile, and it should be on yours too.

On shelves: May 14

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

As all romance readers know, royal weddings are enchanting affairs. But they can also be full of drama, like when a fight caught on camera between First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz and England’s heir Prince Henry turns into an international incident. With his mother up for reelection in the states, Alex agrees to fake a friendship with Henry to calm the media firestorm that erupted after their confrontation. The two have never gotten along in the past, but now that they’re forced to spend time together, Alex finds himself charmed by Henry. Soon their public friendship is masking a secret relationship that could impact their two nations. Fans of contemporary romances and enemies-to-lovers storylines will not want to miss this gem.

On shelves: May 14

Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

Historical romance fans, rejoice! The beloved Ms. Bev is kicking off a new series called Women Who Dare. This first installment is set after the Civil War and follows New Yorker Valinda Lacey as she travels to New Orleans to establish a school for black students. Valinda loves her new job, but not all of the locals are welcoming, and shortly after arriving she’s cornered by three men who vandalize her classroom. Thankfully, Captain Drake LeVeq, a local architect, is there to scare them off and he’s more than willing to stick around to help her when her attackers threaten to return. Valinda has a fiancé, but she can’t deny the chemistry between her and Drake. Soon she starts to wonder if he’s really the one she’s meant to be with. With Ms. Bev at the helm, we know this new series is bound to be one of our favorites.

On shelves: May 28

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