Enemies become lovers, fake relationships turn real, and exes get second chances at making things work: this fall’s romances put fresh spins on favorite tropes with plenty of holiday cheer and a touch of magic to boot.
And They Lived Happily Ever After
Therese Beharrie. Zebra, Nov. 30 ($15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4201-5338-5)
A romance author with magical powers finds a happy ending of her own when she starts sharing dreams with her best friend’s sexy brother in this paranormal rom-com from Beharrie.
Bombshell: A Hell’s Belles Novel
Sarah MacLean. Avon, Aug. 24 ($9.99 mass market, ISBN 978-0-06-305615-2)
The first in a Victorian romance series from bestseller MacLean sees scandalous Lady Sesily Talbot embracing her brazen reputation even as smitten Caleb Calhoun tries to keep her out of trouble.
For the Love of April French
Penny Aimes. Carina Adores, Aug. 31 ($14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-335-63099-5)
The transgender heroine of Aimes’s #OwnVoices debut explores her sexual desires at an Austin kink club but remains wary of love and relationships. Enter Denis Martin, a newcomer to the club who’s determined to win her heart.
The Heart Principle
Helen Hoang. Berkley, Aug. 31 ($16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-451-49084-1)
After a video of violinist Anna Sun goes viral, people-pleaser Anna struggles with the spotlight. To practice putting herself first, she embarks on a string of one-night stands—but just one night will never be enough with bad boy Quan Diep.
How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days
K.M. Jackson. Forever, Nov. 2 ($15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5387-0350-2)
Bethany Lu Carlisle is convinced that she and Keanu Reeves are meant to be. So when the tabloids announce that Keanu’s getting married, she ropes her best friend, Truman Erikson, into a cross-country road trip to stop the wedding—only to discover real love along the way.
A Lot Like Adiós
Alexis Daria. Morrow, Sept. 14 ($15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-295996-6)
Daria follows You Had Me at Hola with a second-chance romance between reunited childhood best friends as they work together to open a gym in the Bronx.
The Matzah Ball
Jean Meltzer. Mira, Sept. 28 ($15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-7783-1158-4)
In Meltzer's debut, a Jewish novelist who’s made her name writing Christmas romances struggles to get into the spirit when her publisher requests a Hanukkah story instead. Help comes from an unlikely source: her summer camp rival.
Not Your Average Hot Guy
Gwenda Bond. Griffin, Oct. 5 ($16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-250-77174-2)
Bestseller Bond delivers a paranormal rom-com about an escape room operator who must team up with the devilishly handsome prince of hell to avert the apocalypse.
The Perks of Loving a Wallflower
Erica Ridley. Forever, Oct. 26 ($8.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-5387-1954-1)
Ridley’s second Wild Wynchesters Regency pairs accomplished grifter and master of disguise Thomasina Wynchester with bluestocking Philippa York to steal a top-secret manuscript.
The Shaadi Set-Up
Lillie Vale. Putnam, Sept. 7 ($16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-32871-2)
YA author Vale’s adult debut, starred by PW, sees a woman’s scheme to make her family accept her new relationship go awry when she’s thrown back together with her frustratingly charming ex.
Romance & Erotica Listings
This Day by Blanka Lipinska (Dec. 7, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-9821-7438-5). The sequel to erotic thriller 365 Days sees Laura and Massimo settling into wedded bliss—but the threat of mob violence still looms.
All the Feels by Olivia Dade (Oct. 26, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-300558-7) follows Spoiler Alert with another fan-fiction infused rom-com, this time pairing a reckless TV star with the woman hired to keep him in line and out of the tabloids.
Dating Dr. DIL by Nisha Sharma (Jan. 18, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-300110-7) puts a contemporary twist on The Taming of the Shrew with an enemies-to-lovers romance between a woman who needs to get engaged in a hurry and a relationship-phobic TV doctor.
The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu (Nov. 2, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-306980-0). Tieu’s debut follows a floundering young woman struggling to live up to parental expectations while working at her family’s donut shop and reconnecting with her college crush.
Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthology by Eloisa James et al. (Sept. 28, $9.99 mass market, ISBN 978-0-06-313969-5). Four interconnected Regency romance novellas see love-averse heroines finding unexpected happily-ever-afters at the Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas house party.
Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber (Oct. 19, $21, ISBN 978-1-9848-1881-2). Lindy Carmichael struggles to feel the holiday spirit after a breakup. Rereading her childhood letters to Santa inspires her to write a new list of Christmas wishes—and with the help of a handsome former classmate, they start coming true.
A Holly Jolly Diwali by Sonya Lalli (Oct. 5, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-10095-0) takes its hyperpractical heroine to a destination wedding in India, where she learns to let loose, opens her heart to a handsome musician, and celebrates the holidays amid good friends and gorgeous beaches.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood (Sept. 14, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-33682-3). Hazelwood debuts with a fake relationship romance between a sunshiny PhD candidate and a grouchy but brilliant young professor.
Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper (Oct. 5, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-33606-9). In this queer, paranormal rom-com, the adult debut of YA author Lana Popovic, three modern-day witches seek revenge on the man who broke their hearts—and two of them fall for each other along the way.
Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore (Sept. 7, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-9848-0572-0). The third Victorian League of Extraordinary Women romance pushes aspiring artist Hattie Greenfield to the altar with brooding Lucian Blackstone, her father’s business rival. As the odd couple travels to Scotland, can marriage blossom into love?
Edgewater Road by Shelley Shepard Gray (Sept. 14, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-7999-2369-5). A small-town newcomer finds love with her neighbor, a reclusive ex-con, while uncovering her late grandmother’s dark secrets in Gray’s first Rumors in Ross County romance.
Busy Ain’t the Half of It by Frederick Smith and Chaz Lamar Cruz (Aug. 10, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63555-944-6) centers Black gay love, interweaving the stories of Elijah Goldstone, who’s navigating a relationship with his recently divorced partner, and his uncle, Justin, who’s diving back into the dating pool.
The Fiend in the Fog by Jess Faraday (Aug. 10, $17.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-63555-514-1). An otherworldly fog brings a strange illness to 1885 London, leading wealthy siblings Nathaniel, an alchemist, and Meg, an activist, to cross paths—and find love—with determined healers Gideon and Abigail.
Two Houses by Suleena Bibra (Nov. 23, $4.99 e-book, ISBN 978-0-3697-1793-1) is a debut with a rivals-to-lovers romance between an Indian American heroine and a white hero competing for business in New York City’s glamorous, high-stakes art world.
Meet Me in Madrid by Verity Lowell (Oct. 26, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-335-63100-8). When a snowstorm strands jet-setting curator Charlotte Hilaire in Spain, she seizes the opportunity to have a fling with historian Adrianna Coates. But can they make things work long distance once the storm lifts?
The Girl Who Belonged to the Sea by Katherine Quinn (Aug. 10, $4.99 e-book, ISBN 978-1-64898-071-8) launches a fantasy romance series with a tale of forbidden love between a woman marked by the God of the Sea for a mysterious fate and a warrior who hopes to use her to enact revenge against her notorious father.
A Thorn in the Saddle by Rebekah Weatherspoon (Oct. 26, $8.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-4967-2542-4) continues the Cowboys of California series with a contemporary Western spin on Beauty and the Beast set on a Black-owned dude ranch.
Always, in December by Emily Stone (Oct. 12, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-49687-9). The lives of two Christmas-averse people collide—literally—during the holiday season, and love blossoms as coincidence repeatedly throws the pair together in Stone’s debut rom-com.
The Mismatch by Sara Jafari (Aug. 3, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-35717-0). Sheltered recent college grad Soraya Nazari hopes to get her first kiss out of the way with the help of notorious playboy Magnus Evans—but Magnus soon proves there’s more to him than meets the eye.
How to Survive a Modern-Day Fairy Tale by Elle Cruz (Nov. 30, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64937-081-5) riffs on Cinderella in a debut that pairs a romance novel enthusiast with a tech CEO who whisks her away to Paris.
Never Cross a Highlander by Lisa Rayne (Dec. 28, $8.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-64937-095-2) takes on the highland romance genre with a tale of suspense, passion, and strapping Black Scotsmen.
First Love, Take Two by Sajni Patel (Sept. 21, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5387-3336-3). Aspiring doctor Preeti Patel is shocked to discover that her new roommate is also her ex-boyfriend. As feelings resurface, Preeti must weigh whether to risk her family’s disapproval for a second chance. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly (Jan. 18, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5387-5484-9) sees recently divorced Dahlia Woodson falling for London Parker, her nonbinary competitor on a reality TV cooking contest who’s all the more determined to win after coming out on national TV. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
The Wolf by J.R. Ward (Nov. 16, $28, ISBN 978-1-9821-7987-8). Bestseller Ward returns to the glymera prison colony where wolven Lucan works to protect human Rio in the second Black Dagger Brotherhood Prison Camp romance.
The Wish by Nicholas Sparks (Sept. 28, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-2862-8). A famous photographer struggles with a medical diagnosis over the holidays, leaning on and growing closer to her assistant as she recounts to him the story of the teenage love that shaped her life. 1,500,000-copy announced first printing.
Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins (Jan. 4, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5258-9979-9). Dani Porter seeks revenge against her cheating ex-fiancé by building a vacation house next door to his own and disrupting his cherished view—but she’ll need the help of attractive, arrogant architect Wyatt Montego.
Never Fall for Your Fiancée by Virginia Heath (Nov. 9, $16.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-250-78776-7) launches a historical romance series with the story of a marriage-averse Earl who, to curtail his mother’s matchmaking, hires a money-strapped artist to pose as his fiancée.
Just for the Holidays... by Adriana Herrera (Oct. 26, $5.25 mass market, ISBN 978-1-335-73524-9). Herrera’s second Sambrano Studios romance sees casting director Perla Sambrano snowed in, in the Hamptons with Gael Montez—the man who broke her heart and who she now must convince to star in her new series.
Second Chance to Wear His Ring by Hana Sheik (Aug. 24, $3.99 e-book, ISBN 978-0-3697-1297-4). A millionaire is reunited with his first love when a case of amnesia causes her to forget that she ever broke things off in Sheik’s Somaliland and Ethiopia–set debut.
Harlequin Special Edition
The Lights on Knockbridge Lane by Roan Parrish (Sept. 28, $5.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-335-40812-9). In Parrish’s third Garnet Run queer romance, a single father turns to his reclusive new neighbor for help creating the perfect Christmas for his daughter.
Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne (Oct. 26, $16.99, trade paper, ISBN 978-1-335-52244-3). In bestseller Thayne’s latest, rancher Annie McCade is roped into helping her usually absent employer, Tate Sheridan, create the perfect Christmas for his fractured family, all while hosting her own niece and nephew for the holidays.
Meant to Be: If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (Aug. 3, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-368-05038-8). Bestselling YA author Murphy makes her adult debut with the story of a plus-size Cinderella who finds love on a Bachelor-style reality TV dating show. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Hollywood Ending by Tash Skilton (Aug. 31, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4967-3067-1). Friends who bonded over a beloved TV show find their relationship abruptly ruined when the show is canceled. Five years later, they both land jobs working for the reboot—and their chemistry is as strong as ever.
A Letter to Three Witches by Elizabeth Bass (Jan. 25, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4967-3432-7). A century-old edict forbids the Engels family from practicing magic. Now Gwen Engel frets that the man she’s crushing on may actually be one of the Watchers assigned to enforce this law.
Better Off Wed by Susanna Craig (Dec. 28, $4.99 e-book, ISBN 978-1-5161-1061-2). Miss Laura Hopkins uses her charm and fortune to avenge wronged women in Craig’s third Love and Let Spy Regency—and she finds an unexpected ally in Capt. Jeremy Addison, the man who’s been assigned to investigate her.
Digging Up Love by Chandra Blumberg (Dec. 7, $12.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-5420-3390-9). A small-town baker discovers a dinosaur bone on her property, putting her on a collision course with a big city paleontologist in Blumberg’s debut.
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling (Oct. 5, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-302747-3). When modern witch Vivi Jones learns that the drunken hex she put on her ex-boyfriend caused more damage than she intended, the pair are forced to work together to break the curse.
No Words by Meg Cabot (Sept. 28, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-06-289009-2). Bestseller Cabot’s fourth Little Bridge Island romance reconciles a children’s author with the egotistical novelist she’s long considered her nemesis during the scenic island’s book festival.
The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox (Oct. 5, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-33073-9). Identical twins trade lives during the holiday season, sending one to the set of a reality TV show, the other to a cozy mountain town—and both into the arms of handsome men.
Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens (Nov. 9, $16 trade paper, ISBN 978-0-593-33152-1). When a woman accidentally swaps luggage with a dashing stranger in Cousens’s latest rom-com, the contents convince her he’s her soulmate, and she enlists a grouchy but charming cab driver to help track him down.
Christmas in Silverwood by Dorothy Dreyer (Nov. 9, $14.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-64548-053-2). A recently heartbroken woman rediscovers her Christmas spirit in small-town Silverwood with the help of the town-wide tree-decorating contest, an enthusiastic local, and a team of Alaskan Malamutes.
The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen (Sept. 7, $15.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-62972-927-5). This Victorian romance pairs a starry-eyed advice columnist for the Marriage Gazette with a distrustful detective in the quest to catch a murderer.
Fortune Favors the Duke by Kristin Vayden (Dec. 28, $8.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-7282-3431-1). Academic Quinton Errington inherits the role of Duke upon his brother’s untimely death, leaving him struggling to untangle his new responsibilities—and fighting his attraction to his late brother’s bereft fiancée—in Vayden’s Regency series launch.
Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words by Annika Sharma (Oct. 5, $14.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4926-6540-3). Sharma’s debut follows Kiran Mathur, who, after witnessing her sister’s disastrous marriage, is determined to fall in love with someone parent-approved—but her new neighbor puts this plan to the test.
Once More upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi (Oct. 5, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-7282-3982-8). A prince and princess separated by magic must fight their way back to each other in this fantasy romance from bestseller Chokshi.
Her Renegade Cowboy by Lora Leigh (Sept. 28, $9.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-250-25201-2) concludes the Moving Violations trilogy as schoolteacher Lily Donovan’s resolve to avoid romance dissolves in the face of cowboy and ex-ranger Levi Roberts—but their relationship lands Lily in danger.
A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman (Sept. 28, $8.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-250-80156-2). Childhood nemeses must team up to save their rival families from ruination in the enemies-to-lovers romance that launches Bateman’s Ruthless Rivals Regency series.
Letters from Grace by C.J. Carmichael (Sept. 23, $4.99 e-book, ISBN 978-1-954894-18-1). When teen Jessica Shanahan stumbles on her single father’s old love letters, it leaves her determined to reconnect him with his high school sweetheart before she heads off to college.
Dinner on Primrose Hill by Jodi Thomas (Oct. 26, $15.95 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-4201-5134-3). The third Honey Creek romance from bestseller Thomas proves opposites attract as two superficially incompatible scientists collaborate on a study examining the mating habits of college students.
Once a Laird by Mary Jo Putney (Oct. 26, $8.99 mass market, ISBN 978-1-4201-4812-1). The sixth Rogues Redeemed romance brings Kai Ramsey back to his Scottish homeland after years of living dangerously while mourning his fiancée—and reunites him with the fierce, beautiful Signy Matheson.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the author Gwenda Bond as having won the Hugo Award.