The saying goes that love is when you can’t fall asleep because reality is better than a dream. We think this sounds suspiciously like what someone up until 2am reading romance novels would say. That will certainly be the case for readers who dive into these upcoming releases. These ten must-read summer romance novels are sure to keep you up well past your bedtime. Whether you prefer fantasy, historical fiction, or modern love stories—we’ve got your summer romance needs covered.
If dating were an algorithm, Stella Lane would have it mastered. Instead Stella, a 30-year-old econometrician with Autism Spectrum Disorder, decides to conduct her own relationship study. She hires escort Michael Phan to tutor her in the finer points of sex and dating. For Michael, an extended gig means a steady flow of money to help his mom, who’s been diagnosed with cancer. The two attempt to keep things professional at first, but soon genuine feelings begin to develop. Inspired by author Helen Hoang’s own experiences with Autism Spectrum Disorder, this sweet and steamy debut novel will charm contemporary romance lovers. (Psst: We have the first chapter over on BookishFirst!)
On shelves: June 5
Rebecca Lindt is approached by two muggers as she’s walking home alone. When one of them pulls out a gun, it sparks a traumatic memory from her past, and Rebecca finds herself paralyzed with fear. Thankfully, former chef Wes Garrett appears on the scene and rescues her. Though sparks initially fly between Rebecca and Wes, things seems destined to fizzle when they realize that they’ve met before. Rebecca represented Wes’ ex-wife in their divorce. His ex took everything she could from him, including the money he had hoped to use to open a restaurant. Still, Rebecca and Wes can’t seem to stay away from each other. This is a moving story that explores the aftermath of trauma, addiction, and abuse and the road to recovery.
On shelves: June 5
Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series transports readers to a world occupied by humans, Psy (who posses mental abilities like telepathy and telekinesis), and Changelings (who have both a human and an animal form). Bowen Knight is the head of the Human Alliance, and his top priority is keeping humans safe from the conflicts between Psy and Changelings. But Bowen is in danger himself. After coming back from the dead, Bowen awakens in an underwater compound, being cared for by a Changeling doctor. He’s told that the chip in his head (placed there to protect him from Psy) is malfunctioning and could kill him. While in the compound, he begins for fall for a Changeling named Kaia, and when her life is put in danger, Bowen doesn’t hesitate to risk his own to save hers.
On shelves: June 12
What would tempt you to make a deal with the devil? Lady Felicity Faircloth longs for the days when she was beloved by the ton. After scandal and rejection, she’s been cast off as a wallflower and those she thought were her friends have turned their backs on her. But then she meets a man called Devil who says he can offer her all that she wants and more: a marriage to a duke, a financially secure future for her family, and a lifetime spent in the highest tier of society. In truth, Devil is out for revenge and Felicity makes the perfect pawn in his plan. But Felicity demands that her future also include limitless passion, and Devil is only too happy to oblige her. The first book in Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series sets the tone for what promises to be an unforgettable trilogy.
(Psst: Can’t get enough Sarah MacLean? Check out our interview with her about this new release!)
On shelves: June 19
Over the course of six months, Lanie Jacobs’ entire life changed. First, there was the death of her husband, followed by the revelation that he had been having multiple affairs throughout their marriage. Heartbroken, angry, and grief-stricken, Lanie decides to start anew and she accepts a job as a graphic artist at the Capriotti Winery. Lanie expects that the job will help to take her mind off of her past, but she never imagines that she’ll be welcomed into the Capriotti family like one of their own, or that she’ll begin to lose her heart to Mark, an Air Force veteran and the town’s deputy sheriff.
On shelves: June 19
In this imaginative steampunk retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” a witch curses Doctor Isla Cooper with a sickness that forces her into a death-like sleep each night at midnight. The spell currently renders her unconscious for six hours at a time, but it will soon place her in a permanent coma. With only weeks left to undo the curse, Isla sets out on an airship to find the witch. On her journey, she begins to fall for the ship’s captain, Daniel Pickett. Readers looking for a fairytale love story will devour this closed-door romance.
On shelves: July 3
Rafe Beaumont, a spy for the English government, always gets the information he’s looking for. He doesn’t resort to torture or intimidation; instead, he uses his charm and good looks to coax secrets from women connected to his enemies. His latest assignment involves the seduction of Collette Fortier, the daughter of a French assassin. But Collette rebuffs him at every turn. Unbeknownst to Rafe, she’s on a spying mission of her own and she refuses to let him get in her way, no matter how handsome she finds him. The first two books in the series were met with glowing reviews from Kirkus, and we have no doubt that the third book will be just as delightful.
On shelves: July 3
Spencer Bryant is an award-winning journalist always on the hunt for his next scoop. His latest assignment is a close look at how the US armed forces treat their veterans. His research takes him on a Navy SEAL mission where he’s paired up with Petty Officer Bacon, a pansexual Navy SEAL recovering from an injury. Bacon is used to being in the middle of the action, and he’s less than pleased to be stuck babysitting a civilian. But the attraction between them is undeniable, and soon Bacon finds himself confiding in Spencer in a way he’s never done with anyone else. This is the sixth book in the Out of Uniform series and Goodreads is already filling up with positive reviews. Fans of military romances won’t want to miss this one.
On shelves: July 9
Portia Hobbs is determined to change her life. After years of aimless direction, she’s decided to leave her days of partying in New York City behind and take an apprenticeship with a swordmaker in Scotland. Her first meeting with her new boss, silver fox Tavish McKenzie, doesn’t quite go according to plan, though she soon proves that she’s quite adept at running an armory. But it’s her socialite skills that truly come in handy when the two discover that Tavish is the heir to a dukedom and he needs adapt to his new role in the public eye. Alyssa Cole blew us away with A Princess in Theory, the first book in her Reluctant Royals series, and we are counting down the days until the second hits shelves. Now if only Portia would tell us where she got that stunning dress from the cover—we’re a wee bit obsessed with it.
On shelves: July 31
Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series continues with a steamy second installment. Chase Reynaud is known to be many things: a duke’s heir, an unapologetic rake, and (above all else) permanently unattached. But governess Alexandra Mountbatten is about to turn his entire world upside down. She sees that the two orphans under his care are suffering from his detached manner, and she isn’t afraid to use her governess skills on a misbehaving future duke. This book’s official description had us hooked from the first line, “He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson.” We can’t wait to see what Dare has in store for us this time.
On shelves: August 28