The soapy amnesia trope is oft derided and a challenge to do convincingly. Yet it endures: for instance, Angie Hockman’s 2022 rom-com, Dream On, “puts a wonderfully original spin on amnesia romance,” according to PW’s starred review. Several forthcoming books tap into the long tradition of this familiar contrivance.

10 Things That Never Happened

Alexis Hall. Sourcebooks Casablanca, Oct.

In this standalone holiday romance, sunshiny retail manager Sam Becker fakes amnesia to avoid confrontation with the store’s surly owner, Jonathan Forest. The book launches the Material World series, a spin-off from three-time Lambda finalist Hall’s London Calling books (to date, Boyfriend Material and Husband Material).

The Blonde Identity

Ally Carter. Avon, Aug.

Carter, known for YA series including Gallagher Girls, brings her action-adventure romance sensibility to an adult rom-com in which a woman wakes up with no memory and learns she’s the identical twin sister of a rogue spy. Tropes abound: in addition to amnesia, there’s fake-dating, a grumpy/sunshine pairing, and an “only one bed” scenario.

A Demon’s Guide to Wooing a Witch

Sarah Hawley. Berkley, Nov.

Astaroth, a ruthless demon who trades in souls, is banished to a contemporary small town. He has no memory of his reign of terror, but Calladia Cunnington, a hotheaded witch, does. She wants retribution—Astaroth negotiated the soul bargain on her best friend—but reluctantly decides to help him regain his memory and develops feelings for the “new” Astaroth along the way.

An Earl to Remember

Stacy Reid. Amara, Aug.

In this steamy Victorian twist on the 1987 rom-com movie Overboard, caterer Georgianna Heyford is unceremoniously tossed off a yacht by the rakish Earl of Ambrose. When their paths cross again in Georgianna’s village, the earl has lost his memory. Georgianna claims he’s her husband and tries to exact revenge for her humiliation, but falls for his charms instead.

Her Secret Billionaire

Yahrah St. John. Harlequin Desire, June

After Forrester Holdings scion Garrett Forrester is robbed outside chef Egypt Fox’s restaurant and wakes up without his memory, the pair end up hot and heavy in bed. Other Harlequin authors with amnesia on the brain include Lynne Graham (The King’s Christmas Heir, Sept.) and Lorraine Hall (The Forbidden Princess He Craves, Oct.).

Silver Lady

Mary Jo Putney. Kensington, Nov.

Home Office special agent Bran Tremayne and enigmatic amnesiac Merryn uncover a plot between French agents and Cornish smugglers in this historical with a paranormal twist. Putney, a brand name in mass market historical romance, launches the first in a trade paperback duology set along the coast of Cornwall.

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