A rising interest in astrology, tarot, and other divination practices is manifesting in forthcoming romance novels. “It’s a natural pairing,” says author Susie Dumond. “The ideas of destiny, soulmates, and ‘the one’ are prevalent in romance—there’s so much mystical talk about finding love.”

An astrology-themed romance was a natural choice for Dumond, a senior contributor to Book Riot and, until recently, the site’s monthly “Horoscopes and Book Recommendations” columnist. In Looking for a Sign (Dial, June), she set an unusual challenge for main character Gray, a recently dumped, ex-evangelical lesbian. “I thought, how fun would it be to have her go on a date with someone of each zodiac sign?” Dumond says.

As it turns out, a lot of fun, according to PW’s starred review: “Dumond makes this premise sing, and the unusual structure keeps the true love interest an exciting mystery as readers catalog Gray’s dates with anticipation—which one will be the right match?”

Rebekah Faubion’s debut, The Lovers (Berkley, Sept.), was inspired by her own coming-out story, her turn away from her conservative Christian upbringing, and a passion for tarot. “My spiritual journey is also Kit Larson’s,” she says of her protagonist, a mystic influencer. “She’s coming to understand herself in an authentic, deeper way.”

In this second-chance romance, Kit reconnects with high school crush Julia Kelley at a wedding. Years ago, Kit had read the cards: she and Julia were twin flames, or soulmates; they’d break each other’s hearts and then reunite. “Julia isn’t into the mystical, but she’s pulled by the power of this love,” Faubian says.

Unlike Dumond and Faubion, Lauren Layne hadn’t given the mystical arts much thought until the plot of Miranda in Retrograde (Gallery, Aug.) hit her “like a bolt of lightning,” she says. When physicist Miranda Reed is denied tenure, she decides to let her horoscope be her guide—to home renovation, to pet ownership, to dating. “Science can be so derisive of astrology,” Layne says. “Miranda’s gone on TV to say ‘astrology is not real,’ and now here she is trying to understand it herself.”

The author, too, came to appreciate astrology while writing the book, and thinks Miranda’s exploration could be instructive. “I hope readers examine the things that they’re immediately dismissing,” she says. “They might open up their minds in a different direction.”

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