I blame Hollywood for my love of romance novels. I came of age during the early 2000s—the golden age of romcoms—and every weekend I’d watch Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon or another A-lister earn their HEA (that’s happily ever after). My interest in romance on the big screen quickly transferred to the page—my most recent romance novel, A Holly Jolly Diwali, was published in Oct. 2021.
But reading and writing romance has taught me the genre is more about the journey than the destination. It can be about learning to live life authentically, accepting past hurts and mistakes or growing into better versions of ourselves. It can be just as much about the pursuit of self-love as romantic love. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, here are 10 new releases about finding love in all its forms, whether you’re celebrating with your bestie, that special someone or the most special person of all—you.
Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson
When Ramón Montez and Julieta Campos first kissed on Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, they had no idea their families were rivals. Julieta, who runs her family’s humble taqueria, soon discovers that Ramón, the wealthy heir to a thriving fast-food taco empire nobody wants in the community, is now her landlord. A spicy retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in modern-day San Diego—this book has a much-needed happily ever after. Out now.
Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Thirty-one-year-old Yinka Oladeji graduated from the University of Oxford and has a high-flying career, but all her meddling British-Nigerian family wants to know is where is her huzband? Determined to find a date for her cousin’s wedding, she and her friends set out to make Yinka’s love life a success, too. Blackburn delivers with a warm, hilarious debut novel about family, friendship, finding love and most importantly, the love one must find for themselves. Out now.
Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Nobody knew true love was on the menu at reality cooking show Chef’s Special. Especially not recently-divorced Dahlia Woodson and the show’s first openly non-binary contestant, London Parker. The pair develop a close friendship behind the scenes, but it quickly leaves them wanting more in this fun, steamy romance. Out now.
Love at First Spite by Anne E. Collins
After Dani Porter’s ex-fiancé cheats on with her their realtor, she seeks revenge by buying the lot next door to build a vacation house and ruin the happy couple’s view. Although an interior designer, Dani needs an architect to draw up the blueprints. Enter handsome co-worker Wyatt Montego who is none the wiser that what they’re building is a spite house. Out now.
One True Loves by Elise Bryant
The weight of her parents’ expectations firmly on her shoulders, Lenore Bennett is off to NYU in the fall and has no idea what she wants in life. But first she’ll have to figure what to do about Alex Lee, the golden boy she meets on vacation during a post-graduation Mediterranean cruise with her family. One True Loves is a perfect escape from the winter blues, and a young adult romance that will strike a chord no matter your age. Out now.
Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
Margot Cooper and Olivia Grant haven’t seen each other in a decade. Fate brings them together when Olivia gets hired to plan the wedding of one of Margot’s best friends. When Olivia ends up crashing in Margot’s spare room, they are forced to spend even more time together. A delightful queer romance about getting a second chance at love. Out now.
Highland Wolf by Lynsay Sands
Lady Clara MacFarlane is saved from a forced marriage by the Wolf, a mysterious Highland warrior sent to rescue her by her father. Unbeknownst to Clara, the Wolf is her betrothed from childhood—and someone she has long thought was dead. Set in medieval Scotland, this historical romance sizzles with chemistry and intrigue and is the tenth instalment in Sands’ Highland Brides series, all of which can be read as standalone novels. Out now.
The Wedding Set-Up by Sonali Dev
Strapped for time? Check out award-winning author Sonali Dev’s The Wedding Set-Up, a short story that packs as much punch as a full-length romance novel. Ayesha Shetty has been a dutiful Indian daughter since she lost her brother seven years ago. Just as her mother starts to play matchmaker, in walks Emmitt Hughes, her deceased brother’s best friend—and the man she used to love. Out now.
Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson
Underpaid, under-appreciated and with no career advancement in sight, working at a publishing house isn’t the dream Nora thought it would be. She secretly starts freelancing for a rival publisher to make rent and hopefully find herself a better job, but then she meets charming author Andrew Santos—who complicates her story even further. Out now.
A Perfect Equation by Elizabeth Everett
Mathematician Letitia Fenley and nobleman Viscount Greycliff are tasked with managing Athena’s Retreat, headquarters for a secret society of women scientists in Victorian London, but must not let their complicated history get in the way. Everett’s second romance in The Secret Scientists of London series, A Perfect Equation is the perfect addition to your bookshelf if you’re looking for a smart, sexy read. Feb. 15.
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