STEM is steamy—just ask Ali Hazelwood, a neuroscientist turned romance writer whose novels and novellas about geeks getting it on have sold more than a million print copies combined, per Circana BookScan. Her latest is out in June, heralding a wave of historical and contemporary romances that feature chemistry and a whole lot of combustion.

Beginner’s Luck

Kate Clayborn. Kensington, Nov.

Clayborn launches a trilogy in which a trio of friends win the lottery. The heroine of the first, Kit Averin, is a lab tech at a university who’s keeping her windfall a secret. Ben Tucker, a recruiter for a well-funded private research lab, wants to hire Kit away. Kensington’s digital-first Lyrical Shine imprint originally published the book in 2017.

Every Duke Has His Day

Suzanne Enoch. Griffin, Sept.

A chemistry-loving duke and the flighty daughter of a viscount cross leashes when a dognapping goes wrong in this opposites-attract Regency romance. The 1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby serves as the book’s inspiration: Elizabeth “Bitsy” Dockering is a flighty debutante and the diamond of the season, and Michael Bromley is the serious scientist.

Four Weddings and a Duke

Michelle McLean. Amara, out now

An arranged marriage unites a scientifically minded Duke and a shrinking violet in this Regency standalone. Alexander Reddington, once the spare and now the Duke of Beaubrooke, doesn’t care for society and wants a wife who will leave him to his botany research. Wallflower Lavinia Wynnburn is not exactly what he expected. The book’s “fast-moving plot offers plenty of enjoyment,” according to PW’s review.



Sarah MacLean. Avon, Aug.

This third standalone in MacLean’s Hell’s Belles series, which focuses on four aristocratic women, centers on Lady Imogen Loveless, a chemist who channels her
passions into making explosives for her bluestocking girl gang. When her well-connected family decides to curb her incendiary ways, they hire buttoned-up detective Thomas Peck, who can’t help but be smitten by her chaos.

Love at 350°

Lisa Peers. Dial, Oct.

Chemistry teacher Tori Moore and celebrity chef Kendra Campbell concoct a recipe for romance on the set of a televised baking competition. Recent divorcee Tori enters American Bake-o-Rama at the urging of her twin daughters, and catches the eye of judge Kendra, who is taking steps toward softening her tough-gal exterior.

Love, Theoretically

Ali Hazelwood. Berkley, June

The third novel from BookTok favorite Hazelwood pairs two physicists: Elsie Hannaway, struggling adjunct and fake girlfriend-for-hire, and Jack Smith, brother of her best client, MIT phenom, and Elsie’s obstacle to the tenure track. “Geeky science jokes, humorous student emails, and expertly delivered snarky banter enhance the narrative,”
per PW’s starred review. Hazelwood makes her YA debut in November with Check & Mate (Putnam), a rivals-to-lovers romance set in the world of competitive high school chess.


Text Appeal

Amber Roberts. Alcove, Aug.

Broke coder Lark turns to text-message-based sex work as a way to stay afloat between jobs in Roberts’s friends-to-lovers debut. As her new gig heats up, Lark has to choose—or does she?—between Toby, her newly single longtime crush, and the sweet, nerdy guy who keeps sliding into her DMs.

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