2019’s Must-Read Romance Novels According to Romance Authors

2019’s Must-Read Romance Novels According to Romance Authors

romance novels

Looking for your perfect match? Let the experts help you out! Romance authors are also voracious romance readers. They know the genre inside and out, and we always trust their recommendations. Bookish asked 13 of our favorite romance authors to share the one romance novel they’re most excited to read in 2019. Whether you prefer fantasy, historical fiction, or modern love stories, there’s a book here for you! Follow your heart and find your next favorite romance.

Psst: If you’re looking to put a fun twist on your 2019 reading, our Romance Novel Bingo is perfect challenge!

American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera (March 4)

“I excitedly awaited 12:01 AM on March 4, when Adriana Herrera’s debut #LatinxRom novel American Dreamer auto-downloaded on my Kindle app! Herrera’s book features the nuanced, heartfelt romance between Nesto, a workaholic Dominican American hero who owns an Afro-Caribbean food truck (warning: expect intense cravings for tasty Dominican food while reading, #YUM), and Jude, a sweet, guarded librarian hurt by his family’s ostracism when he came out. Early reviews sing Herrera’s praises for crafting a delicious, beautifully written debut. I’m psyched to celebrate more diversity in our genre and more Latinx romance authors sharing their stories.” —Priscilla Oliveras, author of Their Perfect Melody

Unbroken by Brooklyn Ray (March 7)

“I’m recommending Unbroken by Brooklyn Ray. They write compelling paranormal romance, and this romance between Michael, a travel blogger, and Victor, a human-turned-demon trapped in the house Michael and his sister rent, is no exception. There are parts of this story that are harsh and brutal: Michael has been through an abusive relationship in the past, and is coming to grips with that. But Unbroken is also so very tender and sweet. Victor might be a demon, but he’s compassionate and loving. At the same time, he is full of sharp edges, danger, and darkness. He also gives Michael what he wants—which is exactly what he needs to heal and grow. It’s the warmest, coziest book with the sweetest characters who have brutal kinky sex with each other, and yeah, one’s a demon. It’s fantastic.” —Anna Zabo, author of Reverb

Seduced by the Highland Werewolf by Mandy M. Roth (March 18)

“I am a huge fan of Mandy M. Roth, and this year she is releasing Seduced by the Highland Werewolf, book five in her amazing Druid Series, featuring an immortal alpha-male wolf-shifter who has been haunted by a mistake for decades—the day he let a demon get away. Now he’s determined to catch the POS once and for all. He just has to stay focused… that means no thinking about the young woman who sets his blood aflame and drives his beast wild. The description alone makes me giddy. Gimme!” —Gena Showalter, author of Frost and Flame

Desire Lines by Elizabeth Kingston (March 21)

“I’ve been looking forward to Desire Lines, the latest installment in Elizabeth Kingston’s Welsh Blades series, for almost two years. I can always rely on her books to deliver knife-sharp prose and political intrigue, but what I really love is that she creates this fully-realized medieval Britain and populates it with ruthless women who stop at nothing (including poisoning, sword fights, and armed coups) to get what they want, and the super-competent men who helplessly adore them. I have the release date for Desire Lines marked on my calendar with a big pink heart and I can’t wait!” —Cat Sebastian, author of A Duke in Disguise

That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert (May 2)

“Talia Hibbert is one of the best contemporary romance writers out there. Her books are sexy, intensely moving, diverse, deeply kind, and incredibly funny—she regularly makes me laugh out loud. She has a rom com series signed with Avon, starting with Get a Life, Chloe Brown, that I confidently expect to propel her into the stratosphere. However, I’m looking forward even more to That Kind of Guy, which is set in a small British town and is the third in her Ravenswood series that began with the magnificent A Girl Like Her. Older hurt heroine, fake relationship, easy-charm hero: I cannot wait.” —KJ Charles, author of Any Old Diamonds

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (May 7)

“I was lucky enough to read an early copy of The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, and once I started, I couldn’t put it down. There’s such a sweet honesty to Hoang’s work, and such heart, too. The heroine of this book starts off in a position most of us can’t imagine, but her determination to claim the future she wants is extraordinary. I was cheering for her the whole way. As for the hero, he sees the world through a unique lens, and I fell for him alongside his heroine. I can’t wait to see this book hit the world.” —Nalini Singh, author of Wolf Rain

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev (May 7)

“Of three things we are certain: One, we live for Pride & Prejudice retellings. Two, we love a good gender-swapped reimagining. And three, we adore Sonali Dev. So you can understand our elation when we heard about her upcoming Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors. Without shame, we emailed her directly for an early copy. And, y’all, this book is delicious. Trisha is a badass surgeon who finds that even with all of her accomplishments and accolades, she often still falls short in her highborn family’s eyes. DJ is a chef with an enormous heart and steely pride who seems custom-built to clash with Trisha’s arrogance. But they break each other down, and the process of it is just a total delight. With descriptions to make our foodie brains vibrate, a window into a beautifully rich family and cultural life, and romance that made our hearts glow, Dev reminded us again why she has a place of honor on our bookshelves!” —Christina Lauren, author of The Unhoneymooners

Rebel by Beverly Jenkins (May 28)

“Once in a while I enjoy escaping with a historical romance novel, and already I’m looking forward to reading Rebel by Beverly Jenkins. All of Jenkins’ books are ‘must buys’ for me but what makes Rebel special is that I got to meet the handsome cover hero, model/actor Travis Cure, at the Deadly Sexy premiere. ‘Mr. Chocolate Fine’ played the leading man in the movie adaptation of Jenkins’ novel of the same name. I also love New Orleans, any historical set there is a must-read for me. And when you throw in a dashingly sexy hero, I’m in hog heaven.” —Brenda Jackson, author of Forget Me Not

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (June 4)

“A f/f historical? Bee keeping? LADY ASTRONOMER?? I’m really looking forward to this story, which has so many elements that sound amazing plus Waite’s beautiful writing!” —Alyssa Cole, author of A Prince on Paper

The Chai Factor by Farah Heron (June 11)

“I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers stories—sworn nemeses to lovers, bitter rivals to lovers, whip-smart scholar and pesky barbershop-singing basement neighbor to lovers. If that last one sounds specific, it’s because it’s the premise of The Chai Factor, a romance debut that snatched my attention the second it crossed my Twitter timeline. We follow determined grad student Amira as she returns to her family home to focus on her thesis and finds all kinds of distraction in the noisy new downstairs subleasers: a barbershop quartet featuring the irresistible Duncan (and his flannels). I’m hoping for plenty of family shenanigans and lots of belligerent sexual tension.” —Casey McQuiston, author of Red, White & Royal Blue

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai (July 2)

“I find Alisha Rai’s writing rich, clever, and alive on the page. Her books are books of complete escape for me. I can’t read them while working or doing anything else. I need to stop being me and fall into them. That’s a rare treat. And I’ve been waiting for Rhiannon Hunter’s story since she first showed up in Hurts to Love You and argued with her mother about clothing choices. Not that I know how that feels (I totally know how that feels). Personal issues notwithstanding, this one hits every one of my gimmies—a techie-entrepreneur heroine, a smart-jock hero in need of forgiveness, corporate intrigue, and a chance to visit Alisha’s previous characters. Is it July yet?” —Sonali Dev, author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews (August 27)

“My favorite romances tend to be on the fantasy/paranormal side, so I’m all about magic, dragons, and kick-butt heroines wielding swords. Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews may not have dragons, but it does feature a heroine who wields magic as lethal as any sword. It’s a spinoff of the previously published Hidden Legacy series, and I can’t wait until August to get my grabby little hands on it.” —Beverkly Jenkins, author of Rebel

Dine With Me by Layla Reyne (September)

“I’m so looking forward to Layla Reyne’s Dine With Me. I’ve loved her m/m romantic suspense trilogies so much, and I can’t wait for this standalone foodie m/m romance from Carina Press. Coming in September, it stars a dying chef on a coast-to-coast tour of favorite meals, and the companion who aims to make sure these aren’t the chef’s last suppers. I got to read an early version and absolutely adored the romantic chemistry and heart-tugging emotions with one of the best happy endings. Highly recommend!” —Annabeth Albert, author of the Out of Uniform and Frozen Hearts series


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