For a long time, the historical romance subgenre has mostly included books set in either Regency England or the American Old West, with only a handful of outliers. Now an increasing number of authors are exploring other times and places. And move over, romantic suspense: thrills and danger are infusing the entire romance genre.
Romance & Erotica Top 10
Best of My Love
Susan Mallery. HQN, Apr. 26
In this emotional farewell to the long-running, bestselling Fool’s Gold series, two good friends try to understand what makes men and women tick, and end up falling hard for each other.
A Certain Age
Beatriz Williams. Morrow, June 28
Williams, renowned for her 20th-century historicals, sets this one in Jazz Age New York City, where a wealthy older woman falls in love with a young, handsome aviator.
Brenda Novak. Mira, May 24
Novak mixes suspenseful chills with intense passion in this tale of a woman trying to rebuild her life and raise her daughter after her ex-boyfriend murders her husband.
Doing It Over
Catherine Bybee. Amazon/Montlake Romance, Apr. 19
Three girlfriends come together in their small Oregon hometown for their 10-year high school reunion, in this sassy contemporary trilogy launch from acclaimed author Bybee.
Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton
Josi S. Kilpack. Shadow Mountain, Apr. 5
Kilpack skillfully dramatizes the unlikely 1836 romance between Fanny Appleton—the privileged, bookish daughter of a Boston industrialist—and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Joanna Shupe. Kensington/Zebra, Apr. 26
In this heady novel, Shupe transplants the billionaire romance to New York City’s Gilded Age, which shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power.
Suzey Ingold. Interlude, Feb. 18
At the height of the Prohibition era, a recent Yale graduate falls for the proprietor of a gay speakeasy tucked away beneath the streets of Manhattan in this daring and unusual historical.
Sweet Little Lies
Jill Shalvis. Avon, June 28
A new series from bestseller Shalvis is always exciting, and this one launches with a fun, sexy contemporary romance featuring a boy, a girl, and a wily wishing well.
Ten Days in August
Kate McMurray. Lyrical, Mar. 29
A curious detective searches for clues on the sidewalks of 1896 New York—from the Lower East Side to uptown Manhattan—and finds a secret world of forbidden love with a beautiful female impersonator, in this exciting romantic mystery.
Delphine Dryden. Riptide, Feb. 22
Delia and Daniel have a picture-perfect life, but there’s still something missing, and when they meet Mara at a local BDSM club, they realize it might be her. This sensual polyamorous romance is cheeky and smart from the title onward.
Romance & Erotica Listings
Allen & Unwin
Dinner at Rose’s by Danielle Hawkins (Apr. 1, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-743315-57-6). Jo Donnelly flees her civilized city life to take up a temporary job at the physiotherapy clinic in her small hometown. It’s not long before Jo’s eccentric honorary Aunty Rose begins hinting that Jo might want to spend some time with Rose’s bona fide nephew, Matthew.
Amazon/ Montlake Romance
Doing It Over by Catherine Bybee (Apr. 19, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-5072-6). Three girlfriends come together in their small Oregon hometown for their 10-year high school reunion. Mel was Most Likely to Succeed, Zoe was Most Likely to Never Leave, and Jo was Most Likely to End Up in Jail. But life rarely turns out as predicted.
The Shark by Mary Burton (May 24, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-3447-4). Virginia State Trooper and tracker Riley Tatum investigates the murder of a teen runaway, triggering memories of the Shark, a serial killer she escaped years ago. Former FBI Agent Clay Bowman has a history and connection with Riley. When Bowman realizes the Shark is active again, he’s sure that Riley is the killer’s ultimate target.
Suddenly in Love by Julia London (Apr. 5, trade paper, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-5328-4). Mia Lassiter is thrilled to finally put her artistic skills to use working for her aunt’s interior design shop in her hometown of East Beach. She encounters a scruffy but attractive man named Brennan—who’s actually Everett Alden, a world-famous rock star in hiding. As their personalities clash, tension simmers.
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (Mar. 29, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-238814-8). Perennial bestseller Quinn launches a prequel series to her Bridgerton historical novels with this charming opposites-attract story. 750,000-copy announced first printing.
Just Kiss Me by Rachel Gibson (July 26, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-224742-1). A housekeeper turned Hollywood star is reunited with her former employer’s son, a stockbroker turned furniture maker, in this upside-down rags-to-riches contemporary romance. 350,000-copy announced first printing.
Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis (June 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-244802-6). Bestselling author Shalvis launches a fun, sexy contemporary series featuring a boy, a girl, and a wily wishing well. 300,000-copy announced first printing.
The Obsession by Nora Roberts (Apr. 12, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-17516-9). The daughter of an infamous killer is quietly rebuilding a life for herself when her past comes back to haunt her. 750,000-copy announced first printing.
Perfect Pairing by Rachel Spangler (July 12, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61294-069-4). The transient ways of commitment-phobic chef Hal are in direct opposition to the stability that investment banker Quinn craves. Can they work together long enough to learn that distinctive ingredients make the perfect pairing?
All I Ever Wanted by Katrina Mills (Feb. 2, trade paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-0-986251-65-8). When Kinsley Bailey’s father dies, she’s left with a house she doesn’t want full of things she doesn’t need. She takes his antique gun collection to the firearms shop owned by her ex, Bastian Harris. Soon Bastian is giving her a whole new set of reasons to stay in the small hometown she despises.
Behrouz Gets Lucky by Avery Cassell (Mar. 8, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-62778-170-1). “Only butch dykes need apply,” Behrouz writes in her online ad, eager to swap quiet evenings at home for a real relationship. Enter Lucky: younger, rougher, dominant, and far from perfect. Their first meeting quickly gets hot, and Behrouz is soon determined not to let Lucky slip away.
The One That Got Away, edited by Kristina Wright (Feb. 9, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-62778-177-0). There is something hopelessly romantic about the idea of connecting with a long-lost love. This luscious collection of second-chance stories celebrates longing and long-delayed fulfillment.
The Blackbirds by Eric Jerome Dickey (Apr. 19, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-98410-9). Kwanzaa, Indigo, Destiny, and Erica are four best friends who would go to the ends of the earth for one another. Yet even their deep bond can’t heal all, as the women struggle with their own personal demons, drama, and steamy desire for the wrong men.
Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens (May 10, trade paper, $12.99, ISBN 978-1-455588-89-3). Stephens launches a new adult series with this high-stakes story of love and rivalry between two young motorcycle racers. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Best of My Love by Susan Mallery (Apr. 26, mass market, $8.99, ISBN 978-0-373-78919-1). In this emotional farewell to the bestselling Fool’s Gold series, two good friends try to understand what makes men and women tick, and end up falling hard for each other. 900,000-copy announced first printing.
If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins (May 31, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-373789-29-0) is a funny, frank, and bittersweet look at sisters, marriage, jealousy, infidelity, and moving on, from the bestselling author of the Blue Heron series. 350,000-copy announced first printing.
Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller (Mar. 29, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-373-77968-0). Miller launches a contemporary western series with this dramatic romance between a ranch owner and a resort manager who unite to help a troubled teen. 650,000-copy announced first printing.
Céilí by Moriah Gemel (Mar. 17, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-941530-65-8). Down-and-out musician Devon Caelin stumbles into an alley club called Céilí. He discovers that it’s home to a small community of Fae, and that he found it only because he is Fae himself. With mentoring from Fae lord Eldan, Devon unearths his past and discovers his magical abilities, but danger threatens.
Speakeasy by Suzey Ingold (Feb. 18, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-941530-69-6). At the height of Prohibition, recent Yale graduate Heath Johnson falls for Art, the proprietor of a gay speakeasy tucked away beneath the streets of Manhattan. When Art’s sanctuary is raided, Heath is forced to choose between love and the structured life his parents planned for him.
Dirty for Me by Jackie Ashenden (July 26, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-4967-0390-3). Ezekiel Chase was born into a rich crime family; now he’s a mechanic and underground fighter. Tamara Eliot is a hard-working corporate high-flyer who appreciates the finer things in life. Their connection is deep, dark, and explosive.
How Not to Fall by Emily Foster (June 28, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-4967-0418-4). This witty, sexy novel introduces two scientists who get caught up in lust, friendship, and other unpredictable experiments.
30 Nights by Christine d’Abo (May 31, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-61773-956-9). Glenna, an over-analytical research assistant by day, decides to conduct some research into the sexy side of life. Gorgeous university professor Eric Morris offers to be her lab partner. Soon they’re both far more deeply involved than they expected.
Packing Heat by Zuri Day (Feb. 23, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-61773-427-4). Douglas Carter loves working at the post office. His colleague Janice Baker is just biding her time until she can make it as a singer. As work forces them to get closer, they develop a strong connection.
Uptown Thief by Aya de Leon (July 26, trade paper, $9.95, ISBN 978-1-4967-0470-2). Marisol Rivera bankrolls her health clinic for poor women by fleecing rich men. When she starts planning a heist, she runs afoul of a seductive ex-cop and a powerful thug with a score to settle.
Finding Their Balance by M.Q. Barber (Mar. 1, e-book, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-60183-547-5). Between Alice’s headstrong insistence on pushing her sexual limits and Jay’s need to confront an
abusive former lover, Henry has his hands full keeping both his partners safe and happy. But despite all the challenges, the three have formed a union that brings each of them to the edge of something new.
Loving Lies by Tina Donahue (Feb. 16, e-book, $2.99, ISBN 978-1-60183-587-1). Isabella is kidnapped as part of her uncle’s attempt to control her family’s fortune. When she is rescued, Isabella can’t imagine why a stranger would risk his life for her—until she discovers her rescuer believes she’s his betrothed.
Ten Days in August by Kate McMurray (Mar. 29, e-book, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-61650-801-2). From the Lower East Side to uptown Manhattan, a curious detective searches for clues on the sidewalks of 1896 New York—and finds a secret world of forbidden love with a beautiful female impersonator.
A Will and a Way by Maggie Wells (July 5, e-book, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-60183-805-6). Consummate ladies’ man Will Tarrant has made it to middle age without walking down the aisle. People think he’s antimarriage, but he knows he just hasn’t met the right woman yet. Then he lays eyes on Southern belle Betty Asher.
Deceived by Kate SeRine (June 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-3777-4). In this contemporary political thriller, Luke Rogan’s assignment is simple: bring young Elijah Scoffield and his mother to safety. Sarah Scoffield will do anything to protect her son—even if that means teaming up with a deadly stranger. But Sarah soon finds herself falling in love with her dark hero.
Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain (Mar. 29, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-3865-8). In Regency England, an injured naval officer and a courtesan compete in a hunt for a cache of stolen gold coins.
Magnate by Joanna Shupe (Apr. 26, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-3984-6). New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one titan of industry, the business of love is not what he expected.
Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney (June 28, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-4092-7) launches the Rogues Redeemed historical series with a passionate romance between two brave, determined fighters.
Under Your Skin by Shannyn Schroeder (June 28, mass market, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-4201-3949-5). Norah O’Malley is seven months pregnant by a guy who ditched her. She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and most importantly, he knows how to listen.
A Buccaneer at Heart by Stephanie Laurens (Apr. 26, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-1878-1) continues the Adventurers Quartet with Regency-era intrigue, danger, romance, and passion. 550,000-copy announced first printing.
Discovering You by Brenda Novak (May 24, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-1880-4). India Sommers once had the perfect family—until her ex-boyfriend killed her husband. Years later, she’s trying to start over. She’s interested in her next-door neighbor, but he’s the handsome “bad boy” type. If she gets involved with him, she could lose everything she holds dear. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams (June 28, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-240495-4). As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Capt. Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Listen to Me by Kristen Proby (Apr. 12, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-06-243475-3). Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim one-fifth of the credit. She can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose (Feb. 2, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-451-46674-7). A detective and a journalist race to find those responsible for the murder of a young woman, and discover an even more sinister plot in the process. This heart-pounding romantic thriller is told in unrelenting real time.
The Secret of Hunter’s Bog by Ally Blue (Mar. 7, trade paper, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-62649-374-2). For Koichi McNab, the shop he and his twin sister are opening in Hunter’s Bog Mall is a fresh start. Especially when he meets the hunky owner of the luxury camping goods store next door. As Koichi and Will become friends, then lovers, Will’s past and Koichi’s present tangle into a dangerous knot.
The Unicorn by Delphine Dryden (Feb. 22, e-book, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-62649-372-8). Delia and Daniel have a picture-perfect life. They like their jobs. They love their house. But there’s still something missing, and when they meet Mara at a local BDSM club, they realize it might be her.
Cowboy Resurrection by Mia Hopkins (Mar. 15, e-book, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-386-7). Marketing hotshot Monica Kaur has three months to plan and promote a rodeo. She enlists bullfighter Dean MacKinnon. He’s thrilled to begin a no-strings-attached affair with brainy, sexy Monica, but her close-knit Sikh-American family would sooner run him out of town than see her with a notorious rodeo romeo.
To Love a Thief by Jane Beckenham (Apr. 26, e-book, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-61923-376-8). In 1851, jewel thief Nathan Hawk emerges into a life of respectability, determined to make up for past sins. But Rose Valetta’s father, Nathan’s old mentor, has been kidnapped, and she needs the diamond Nathan is guarding to buy his freedom. When they discover the gem is a fake, they race to find the real stone before it’s too late.
(dist. by Baker & Taylor)
Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton by Josi S. Kilpack (Apr. 5, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-62972-142-2). It’s 1836, and 19-year-old Fanny Appleton, the privileged, bookish daughter of a Boston industrialist, is touring Europe with her family. Published author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is also touring Europe, but under very different circumstances. Could a book of Henry’s poetry, personally delivered, persuade Fanny to believe in a love that lasts forever and forever? 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst (May 31, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-5011-2423-5) is the first in an all-new sexy series featuring red-hot contractor siblings.
Make Me Love You by Johanna Lindsey (June 14, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-0542-5) is a sparkling, passionate tale of an earl’s daughter who must convince a mysterious viscount to marry her and end his vendetta against her brother.
The Do-Over by L.E. Bross (Mar. 28, e-book, $1.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-3056-4). Bross’s contemporary romance debut is a fun and sexy tale of unlikely lovers struggling to leave the past where it belongs—behind them—and embrace a bright future.
Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing by Terry Spear (July 5, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-2189-8) launches a new wolf shape-shifter romance series. Real estate mogul Rafe Denali, is devoting his funds to top-secret research on shifter life spans. Jade Ashton’s child’s life is on the line, and she’s on a mission to uncover Rafe’s secrets. What she finds instead is a wolf who enthralls her like no other.
Missed Connections by Tamara Mataya (June 7, mass market, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-2121-8). After a one-night stand with sexy Jack ends in disappointment, Sarah begins an online-only relationship with the anonymous writer of a Missed Connection all about her. Soon she’s juggling a physical relationship with Jack and an emotional relationship with her Missed Connection, but there’s only so much of her to go around.
The Beast of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood (May 31, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-08473-6). Highlander Niall Braewick returns to his boyhood home, thirsty to avenge his parents’ deaths. Elspeth of Alwyn, the daughter of the man who destroyed his clan, is his best tool for revenge. But Elspeth’s beauty and spirit prove a formidable match for Niall’s heart.
Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun (May 31, mass market, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-250-08460-6). Det. Matt Dorchester keeps his emotions on a tight leash. But when he goes undercover to protect Eve Webber, a bar owner turned informant with a hit out on her, things spiral dangerously close to the edge of no return.
St. Martin’s Griffin
Danger, Sweetheart by MaryJanice Davidson (May 10, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-250-05315-2). A no-nonsense farmer and a handsome city-slicker join forces to save an ailing small town in this sweet Southern contemporary.
Dirty by Kylie Scott (Apr. 5, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-250-08321-0). Lydia finds out on her wedding day that her fiancé has been having an affair with his best man. Trying to escape it all, she runs into the arms of a handsome ex-musician turned bartender. But can a broke guy with a dubious future really be the Mr. Perfect Lydia was looking for?
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff (July 5, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-101-98090-3). This charming and whimsical new novel from National Book Award–finalist Rosoff is a perfect summer read about a young New Yorker’s search for happiness and the two dogs who help him find it.