Summer Lovin’: This Season’s Best Romance Picks

Summer Lovin’: This Season’s Best Romance Picks

If your summer lovin’ isn’t exactly living up to expectations, literature can be the best escape. And if one-night reads aren’t your thing, you’re in luck, because it’s a series-filled summer. Just picture it: a few days off, a chair set out in the sun and a cool glass of something sweet beside you, a newly cracked paperback in-hand, and a full stack of others at your side. Perhaps that’s why so many authors (from Diana Gabaldon to Sherrilyn Kenyon) are releasing books that add onto some of our favorite series this summer.

While seasoned fans can rejoice, newbies needn’t worry. You may see some on this list that you’ve eagerly been waiting for, and if not, there are plenty of books that require no back-reading before diving straight in. So, whether you’re looking for a long-term series or a quick summer fling, we’re sure to have something for you.

Promises made, promises broken
In A Brother’s Honor, Brenda Jackson introduced readers to the Granger brothers—three men bound together by the tragedy of their mother’s death and their father’s imprisonment for her murder. More secrets and intrigue come to the forefront in A Man’s Promise, the second book in the trilogy. After being left at the altar by the love of his life, Caden Granger isn’t looking for commitment. But when he and Shiloh meet again, even his stubborn attitude can’t keep him from the truth: He’s still in love with her. Shiloh wants nothing to do with Caden, though as they begin exploring their complicated past, she too realizes just how badly she needs him.
On shelves: May 27

I have loved you for a thousand years
If you’re familiar with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, this book has likely been on your “To Read” shelf for a while. If you haven’t yet met Claire and Jamie, I highly recommend you do not start their story here. Instead return to Outlander, the first in Gabaldon’s multi-genre saga of adventure, time travel, and romance. The journey begins when Claire Randall’s vacation takes a turn for the interesting, and she finds herself transported out of the 20th century and thrust into the arms of an 18th-century Scottish warrior.

Winner of the 1992 RITA Award for Best Romance, Outlander set the stage for seven more adventure-filled novels. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood—or MOBY, as the author has lovingly dubbed it—is the eighth in the series and takes Claire, Jamie, and their brood into revolutionary Philadelphia. Fans new and old can rest assured that Gabaldon doesn’t seem to be stopping here: Those wanting even more violence, adventure, betrayal, redemption, and (most importantly) love can find it on August 9 when Starz premiers the Outlander television series.
On shelves: June 10

Love boat
One of America’s most popular historical romance authors, Johanna Lindseyrarely sticks to a single era: Since she began writing in 1977, her novels have taken her from the Middle Ages to the American West. This year, she’s returning to her best-known series with Stormy Persuasion. What began in 1985 with Love Only Once has spiraled into a series following the lives and loves of two aristocratic families: the Malorys and the Andersons. Fans of the old series have been waiting four years for the next novel—though newcomers looking for romance on the high seas can surely dive right into the love that forms between young Judith Malory and smuggler Nathan Tremayne.
On shelves: June 10

Of kilts and kisses
There’s just something about the highlands that make a girl go weak at the knees…  though maybe it’s a front just to get a peek under those kilts. The sight of Highlander Campbell Sinclair certainly sent Joan swooning in Canadian author Lynsay Sands’ latest historical romance, To Marry a Scottish Laird. On a mission from her mother, Joan disguises herself as a young boy. The facade doesn’t fool Cam for long, though: He sees through to the beautiful woman beneath and finds himself taken with her, and she with him. Having already rescued Joan once from bandits, Cam agrees to help her deliver her mother’s scroll, and unknowingly binds their fates together.
On shelves: June 24

Werewolves, and vampires, and shapeshifters—oh my!
Atlanta’s been ravaged by a magic apocalypse. Fantastical beasts roam the streets, technology is disappearing by the second, and darker supernatural forces loom threateningly in the horizon. In the middle of it all is Kate Daniels. Gifted with keen eyes and the ability to wield a sword, she alone is chosen to hunt down a vicious killer and save her world from the brink of war—though we doubt her mate, the Beast Lord Curran, will truly let her go it alone. Magic Breaks is the seventh novel in the Kate Daniels series by husband and wife duo Andrew and Ilona Gordon—under the name of Ilona Andrews.
On shelves: June 24

How sweet it is
In Susan Wiggs The Apple Orchard, readers were introduced to Isabel and her half-sister Tess, who met for the first time upon inheriting their grandfather’s hundred-acre apple orchard, Bella Vista. In The Beekeeper’s Ball, Isabel truly comes into her own as she begins transforming Bella Vista into a destination cooking school, complete with fresh apples, blossoming gardens, and thriving beehives. It’s the perfect place to forget about the past. That is, until journalist Cormac O’Neill shows up and begins unearthing history Isabel would rather leave untouched.
On shelves: June 24

Beauty and the beast
A group of highly intelligent, elite, military brothers who rescue hostages? Sign me up. Kelly Group International consists of six brothers, as well as a few adopted family members, who tackle top secret jobs even the U.S. government wouldn’t dare touch. When Day Breaks is the ninth book in USA Today bestselling author Maya Banks’ KGI series, following Daryl “Swanny” Swanson—a Kelly family adoptee who has returned emotionally and physically scarred from Afghanistan. When he’s called to help Eden, a beautiful model with a dangerous stalker, he can’t believe his luck—though he knows that she’d never see past his scars. When Eden senses his hesitation, she takes matters into her own hands.
On shelves: June 24

In morte veritas
Famous for her Dark Hunter series, Sherrilyn Kenyon has long dominated urban fantasy. Born of Fury is the seventh book in her series The League. Set in the futuristic Ichidan Universe, trained assassins work as the power behind the government known as The League. The government’s greatest assassin—skilled with a dagger and known for her quick kills—Sumi Antaxas isn’t afraid when she’s assigned to take out Hauk, even though he’s a human-eating Andarion and she’s 100% human. What she doesn’t expect, though, is that he’s an equal match to her in more ways than one.
On shelves: July 1

If you have a thing for brothers…
Author of New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster, Jamie McGuire is delivering a fresh New Adult series this summer with Beautiful Oblivion. While Disaster followed the love affair between Travis and Abby, Oblivion marks the first book in a series based on Travis’ brothers. Trenton Maddox once was living at the top of the world: Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him. When a tragic accident turns it all around, he leaves Eastern State University and returns home to live with his widower father. That’s when he notices Cami. Independent and not looking for anyone to distract her, Cami doesn’t see why she and Trenton can’t simply be friends. And Trent can’t see anyone but Cami. This spin-off doesn’t require you to read Beautiful Disaster, though we certainly won’t discourage you from starting it while you wait for the second Maddox Brothers book.
On shelves: July 1

Bad girls do it well
Wanting to blow off steam and get out from under his brother’s shadow, Jason escapes to Sea Breeze, Alabama, and runs headlong into the hurricane, wild-child that is Jess. When the Southern blonde wielding a baseball bat leaps into his car, he isn’t sure what to think. When he begins falling for her, he knows he can’t fight it.

Misbehaving is the sixth in Abbi Glines’ bestselling Sea Breeze series, which follows a group of friends around the coastal town. Readers who have yet to pick up the series don’t have to stress too much about reading order in this pick-up-and-go series, though Glines does warn that the books grow progressively steamier, and a bit of context does make for added excitement when certain characters make a reappearance. For those who didn’t catchMisbehaving’s December ebook release, pick up the paperback later this summer.
On shelves: August 5

Love in Bloom
Return to Cedar Cove, or check in for the first time, with New York Timesbestselling author Debbie Macomber’s latest release: Love Letters. In the fourth novel in her Rose Harbor series, Macomber weaves a tale around the powerful things that can happen when pen is put to paper and love flows out. The proprietor of the Rose Harbor Inn finds herself thinking more and more about her handyman with a mysterious past; a young couple who spent months corresponding meets for the first time; another pair sets out to rekindle the spark in their marriage. Full of hope and potential, this cozy romance is sure to warm you even on the chilliest of summer nights.
On shelves: August 24

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