Oh, oh those summer nights. They’re the perfect time for curling up with a romance novel, and the next few months are delivering some delightful new reads. The season starts strong with an unforgettable story of a girl overcoming past abuse and an affecting tale of a submissive man grieving for his partner. Readers who want a book hot enough to match the summer heat are sure to find it in Sarah MacLean’s latest scandalous historical romance, while those looking for something as gentle as sweet tea are sure to enjoy Beverly Jenkins’ trip to Henry Adams, Kansas. Everyone wants a summer love story, and we’re positive you’ll find yours on this list.
Corporate raider David Hammar is known for taking no prisoners. He’s had his eye on megacorp Investum for years, and is poised for attack. The only thing he needs is a bit of help from Natalia De la Grip, a countess and the daughter of Investum’s owner. She’s been shut out of the business by her sexist father, but secretly dreams of a spot on the board. Natalia knows a meeting with David is dangerous, but her curiosity is piqued and she can’t resist finding out what he hopes to gain from her. The meeting leaves them both reeling. They feel a strong connection, though to give into it would only lead to disaster. David has to decide if being with Natalia is worth giving up his plans for revenge, and Natalie must choose between her family and a man who may be the love of her life. This Swedish translation by Simona Ahrnstedt is perfect for readers looking to shake up their usual romance reads.
On shelves: June 28
It’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good
You can’t go wrong with a book by Beverly Jenkins, and her latest takes readers back to the sweet town of Henry Adams, Kansas, a place where love, family, and friends abound. Oh, and drama—there’s always something up in this town. This time around, a man and woman in their 60s set out to find themselves and fall in love along the way. Genevieve Gibbs is newly single and ready to embrace her freedom. T.C. just moved to town, having left Oakland, California to help his divorced nephew raise his son. T.C. takes a job driving a limo, a gig he enjoys because it allows him to meet a lot of different people. By far the best person he’s met is the lovely and vivacious Genevieve. Jenkins’ romance doesn’t disappoint, and she peppers the novel with plenty of other locals that readers will love.
On shelves: June 28
It is you I have loved all along
Colin Spenser, Marquess of Farleigh, doesn’t know what to do when he realizes he’s fallen hopelessly for his best friend’s sister, Elinor Hargrove. Try as he might, she ignores him completely, spurning every advance until a resigned Colin decides move on and marry another. But a moment of weakness leads to a scorching kiss that leaves Elinor speechless. How could Colin, a man she’s known for years, stir such fiery passion within her? When they partner up to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Colin’s sister, they realize they can’t deny the spark they feel. Kathleen Kimmel has written the perfect romance to curl up with on a warm summer night.
On shelves: June 7
Lean on me
Everyone in the nation knows Amanda Grace. At the age of 15, she was abducted by her bus driver and held in his basement for 738 days. In those days when she suffered from neglect and sexual abuse, she focused on the only normal thing in the room: a poster of teen superstar Chase Henry. It reminded her of home and kept her grounded during her darkest moments. Years later, Amanda continues to struggle with PTSD. She feels herself slipping and knows that something needs to change. The last thing she expects is for Chase Henry, in the flesh, to be the one to turn her life around. Chase’s own life spiraled out of his control in a whirlwind of drugs and alcohol. In a poorly planned attempt to revamp his image, his publicist has him surprise Amanda at work. It doesn’t end well. Apologetic, Chase invites her to visit him on set and Amanda decides to take him up on the offer. From there author Stacey Kade weaves an intense, sensitive, and emotional tale of two people learning to heal old wounds and finding solace in each other. New adult fans, do not miss out on Kade’s latest.
On shelves: June 7
I’m a slave for you
It’d be easy to assume that this is “just” a kinky and erotic read, but we implore you not to make that mistake. There are kinks galore, but this is also a moving tale about connections, friendships, loss, and finding a community where you belong. J.A. Rock concludes her Subs Club series with an emotionally evocative book about a man learning to overcome grief after the death of his boyfriend. Gould was heartbroken when Bill died during a BDSM scene with a reckless dom named Bill, and he couldn’t believe it when club owners Kel and Greg forgave Bill and allowed him to return to the club. As a way of punishing himself and coping with the overwhelming guilt he feels, Bill submits to being a slave to Kel and Greg. Kel is a plus-sized mistress and Greg is her husband, making this a M/F/M pairing. Kirkus says it best in their starred review: “bittersweet, beautiful, and deeply satisfying.”
On shelves: June 6
Dance with the devil tonight
Those who read Julie Ann Walker’s Hell or High Water will recall the brief but sizzling meeting of Maddy Powers and Bran Palladino—though newbies can easily slip straight into this second book in the Deep Six series. Bran, a former Navy SEAL, hasn’t been able to shake oil heiress Maddy from his thoughts. And when he finds out that she’ll be on a camping trip at the Dry Tortugas, he agrees to abandon his hunt for the sunken treasure ship Santa Cristina in favor of spending a few hours with her. But when he arrives, it’s to witness an attempted kidnapping in progress. Action, romance, and humor—this book has it all.
On shelves: July 5
Save a horse, ride a cowboy
Violet Jacobs is poised to inherit a rodeo empire. Well… empire may be pushing it. In truth, her family’s rodeo business is struggling and she’s taking it on in the hopes of turning things around. Her first goal is to hire a new bullfighter, and she’s surprised (to say the least) when superstar Joe Cassidy shows up ready to work. Joe is known for his skill in the ring, but recently found himself without a job. He’s ready to lie low for a while, and Violet’s small operation is a welcome change from the large ranch he had been working at. The chemistry between them is undeniable, but Violet isn’t sure if she’s ready to dive into a relationship. She has a young son to think about and the future of her family’s rodeo. Still, she starts to think that with Joe at her side, anything could be possible. Fans of this will likely also want to pick up Victoria Vane’s Saddle Up, hitting shelves in June.
On shelves: August 2
Tale as old as time
Steampunk fans as well as newbies to the subgenre (think technology meets supernatural creatures meets Victorian England) are sure to enjoy this “Beauty and the Beast” retelling from Nancy Campbell Allen. Lucy Pickett spends her days researching vampires, but abandons her work when she learns that her cousin Kate has fallen ill. Kate lives at Blackwell Manor with her husband and his brother Lord Miles, the Earl of Blackwell. Lucy is terrified of Miles, and for good reason. It’s been rumored that he killed his late wife and his sister Marie. A long scar running across his face hints at a dark past, but Lucy doesn’t dare ask about it. Still, she can’t deny the pull she feels towards him. Despite what everyone says, Lucy believes he isn’t the monster that others paint him to be. If you’re looking for a romantic and thrilling mystery, pick this up without delay.
On shelves: August 2
Just your friendly neighborhood stalker
Piper Dove, newly in charge of her father’s private detective agency, is determined to make a name for herself. So when she’s spotted by the man she’s trailing, former Chicago Stars quarterback Cooper Graham, she refuses to compromise her mission and instead opts for going undercover. Claiming to be his stalker might not be her best idea, but it gets her in the door and into his life. Soon, he’s hired her to help keep an eye on the employees at his new nightclub. Coop doesn’t believe he needs protecting, but it’s clear to Piper that someone truly is stalking him, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. Kirkus calls Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ latest “an essential summer read,” and we couldn’t agree more. You’re missing out if this funny and sweet romance isn’t in your beach bag.
On shelves: August 23
Paint me like one of your English girls
Fan favorite Sarah MacLean returns to her Scandal & Scoundrel series with a sinful tale about a Scotsman falling for a proper English lady. The lady in question is Miss Lillian Hargrove, and her reputation is in ruins after an artist reveals a less-than-chaste painting of her. The Duke of Warnick may be her only hope, but he wants little to do with his newly acquired English estate and even less to do with her. Warnick’s plan is to marry Lily off to the first bidder and return to his peaceful life in Scotland, but he doesn’t count on her refusing to marry a man she doesn’t love. Thankfully, we think she’ll find exactly that in the hunky Scotsman.
On shelves: August 30