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The new year is a time for new loves, and maybe new heartaches. Just like every relationship, every book is different and unique in its own way. Whether it’s reconnecting with your husband, or rather an old flame, 2023 is bringing the spice and butterflies in the perfect balance. And we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best books that are hitting the romance department this year.
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Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert (1/3)
Bradley Graeme is a star football player and student. He manages his OCD (mostly) while also trying to manage the classes he has with his ex bestie, Celine. Celine Bangura has a following on social media that loves her conspiracy theorist opinions, something she is obsessed with. Yet, she isn’t quite cool enough for the in crowd like Brad, who totally abandoned her for popularity years ago. Rivalry pushes the two together in unexpected ways and the two teens find themselves taking the same survival course, teaming up to try and win a grand prize. As they trudge through the mud, they find themselves remembering the good parts of their relationship, and wondering if the past will change the potential of a new one.
Exes and O’s by Amy Lea (1/10)
Tara Chen tends to be clingy, or at least that’s why her last ten boyfriends have dumped her. But a deep love and obsessed for romance novels has made Tara a believer of second-chance romances. Since the idea of meet-cutes are basically a thing of the past, she decides to reconnect with some of those exes, and enlists her new roommate, Trevor Metcalfe, to help her. As a firefighter, Trevor would rather rush into a burning builder than into a new relationship. As the two spend more time together, will they be able to see what’s right in front of them?
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A Guide to Being Just Friends by Sophie Sullivan (1/17)
Hailey Sharp has an entrepreneurial mind, and her main focus right now is her salad shop, By the Cup. With a bad ex in the rearview, Hailey is determined to avoid distractions. Wes Jansen isn’t big on love. The pain from his parents’ divorce and bad first dates has him content to find someone he likes, not loves. Companionship over passion. When Wes and Hailey have a disastrous first meeting, they both leave embarrassed. An apology strikes a friendship that the two are determined to keep at just that: friendship. Surely nothing could go wrong.
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni (1/31)
When Narrow Bedrossian’s mother convinces her to attend a month-long series of Armenian events in San Fransisco, Nar isn’t drawn to the playboy doctors her mother has in mind. What she thought would feel like a chore now feels adventurous and sexy thanks to Erebuni, a woman who begins to show Nareh the beauty in their shared culture. As the Explore Armenia banquet approaches, Nar must confront the idea of her worlds colliding, and coming out as bisexual to her family, finally claiming her happiness.
This Time It’s Real by Ann Liang (2/7)
Eliza Lin’s life changes overnight when her essay on meeting the love of her life goes viral. Even with a massive secret to keep, she has still gained the approval of her classmates and landed a career changing internship at her favorite magazine. The secret? Eliza’s essay was a lie. To hide her lie, Eliza strikes a deal with Caz Song, the famous actor in her class. He’ll pretend to be her boyfriend—a perfect one at that, if Eliza helps him write his college applications. But Eliza’s plans start to feel threatened when their relationship begins to feel a little too real, making her question if she’ll end up breaking her own heart in the process.
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Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey (2/7)
When the grumpy professor, Julian Vos, returns to their small Napa town, Hallie Welch wonders if she’ll finally get the kiss they almost shared at fourteen. Hired to work on the gardens at his families estate, the two keep clashing. When Hallie leaves Julian a secret note on a drunken girls night, he is left wondering about his admirer, while simultaneously being pulled into Hallie’s chaotic but radiant orb. From a best-selling romance author, this second-chance romance will have you ready for more drama in Napa. Tessa Bailey’s hilarious sequel coming out 6/6, Unfortunately Yours, is just the marriage-of-convenience story you need about a down on her luck heiress.
Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score (2/21)
Nash Morgan is not the charming policeman he used to be. After getting shot, he doesn’t feel like himself anymore, but even with panic attacks and nightmares, he refuses to let anyone know his struggles. His new next door neighbor, Lina, has secrets of her own, and she sees his shadows. A fling with a local cop, sure. But Lina isn’t looking to plant roots, and if Nash knew why she was in town, he’d never forgive her anyways. When Nash decides to make Lina his, even the dangers that almost got him killed wont change his mind.
The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest (2/28)
Lily Greene’s family strives for Black excellence, and compared to them, she’s always felt inadequate. She is shy, bookish, and knows that she’s awkward, but at work she has dreams of becoming a children’s book editor. She just has to make it out of the non-fiction department first. When her favorite fantasy author, who she has developed a friendship with over the sharing of emails, completely ghosts her, she is crushed. Months later, seeking a date for her sister’s wedding, she enlists the helps of her attractive new neighbor, Nick Brown. Unbeknownst to Lily, Nick is also an author, and he just so happens to be her favorite one. Nick soon connects the dots, but is determined not to complicate things. But as Nick begins to see why he fell in love with her months ago over email, the simple favor from a neighbor becomes more difficult.
Love and Other Flight Delays by Denise Williams (3/14)
In this set of four novellas, we get all our favorite tropes in one place, all set at the airport. In The Love Connection, a fake-dating scenario emerges between an airport pet groomer and her frequent-flier crush. In The Missed Connection, strangers share a romantic night, only to find out later that they are professional rivals in this grumpy-sunshine story. In The Sweetest Connection, two best friends embark on a journey to return a lost love letter, with time running out for them to confess the love they have for each other.
The Do-Over by Suzanne Park (4/4)
Lily Lee has managed to climb the career ladder and become a best-selling author, despite being a few credits short of getting her degree. When she is offered a position at a top firm, a background check reveals her secret and suddenly she’s living her worst nightmare. Forced to return back to college after ten years to complete her degree, thing get even weirder when the TA at her alma mater is her old college boyfriend, Jake Cho. As Lily faces losing her book deal and dream job, she can’t help but notice how good Jake has done for himself. But things are definitely more complicated the second time around.
Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez (4/11)
Briana Ortiz may be a doctor, but her life is still flatlining. Her brother is running out of time for a new kidney, her divorce is almost final, and the promotion she wants is likely going to the new male-doctor who she’s almost sure she hates. Until Dr. Jacob Maddox writes Briana a letter, proving that he isn’t a total pain in her ass, but maybe just bad at first impressions. After sharing notes and lunch dates, Briana wonders how she’ll be able to resist the sexy new doctor, especially when he gifts her the best gift imaginable: a kidney for her brother. When Jacob has his own favor, how could she refuse?
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The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur (4/18)
Tansy Adams is tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life. The only true love in her life is her family’s bookstore that her late father passed down. When it comes to her own love life, she’s stuck on the first page. When Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by a gorgeous cover model on a bestselling book, she sees no harm in a small lie. Until Tansy crosses paths with the real, wild-child Gemma Van Dalen. In order for Gemma to inherit the family publishing company, she must be married. So when Gemma finds out of Tansy’s lie, she takes it a step further with an engagement. Tansy’s bookstore is struggling, so they find themselves wondering if a marriage could be mutually beneficial. But they’ll have to be convincing, the Van Dalen family will not give away the inheritance without a fight.
Happy Place by Emily Henry (4/25)
Since college, Harriet and Wyn have always been the perfect couple, going together like macaroni and cheese. Except now, they’ve broken up. And it’s been five months, and they haven’t told any of their friends. So when their friend group goes on their yearly trip to a cottage in Maine, the typically blissful week away is spent lying through their teeth. Naturally, they are forced to share a bedroom and deny how badly they still want each other. Will they be able to fake it in front of the people who know them best?
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Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune (5/2)
Fern Brookbanks can’t stop thinking about the handsome stranger that she spent an adventurous twenty-four hours with in her early twenties. They shared everything that day, but Will Baxter didn’t show up a year later like they had planned. Now Fern is thirty-two, and her life isn’t how she thought it’d be: back home to run her mother’s lakeside resort, where her ex-boyfriend is the manager, and Fern needs a lifeline. When it shows up in the form of Will, she isn’t sure she can trust him, especially because she knows he’s hiding something. Can Fern save Will the way he saved her almost ten years ago?
Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams (5/2)
Flower shop owner Annie Walker is afraid she may be boring. She wants someone to compliment her happy and quiet life, but maybe she needs to be more fun and flirtatious. Will Griffin is the flirty, tattooed bodyguard that is back in town, and Annie thinks he’ll be the perfect tutor. When Will reluctantly agrees to help Annie, the lines of their friendship soon begin to blur as their tutoring lessons turn into a fake dating scenario to keep the meddling town at bay.
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren (5/16)
From the author of The Soulmate Equation, Felicity “Fizzy” Jones returns. When the beloved romance novelist is asked to give a speech, she suddenly feels like a fraud. She hasn’t been practicing the optimism that she preaches. She doesn’t even think she’s been in love. Maybe lust, but not all-encompassing love. Connor Prince is a father and a filmmaker, and he loves his job because he can be close to his daughter. When his job is on the line and he must make a reality TV series, he is out of his element, but when he meets Fizzy, he has an idea to film the queen of romance herself falling in love. Fizzy agrees, but only if the contestants are from a list of romantic archetypes. But maybe Fizzy’s happily-ever-after is behind the camera, instead.
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That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey (5/30)
Garland Moore used to be an optimist. Until her husband served her divorce papers with Valentine’s Day dinner. Now, Garland is sure she isn’t meant to love again. When new friends invite her to a Summer Camp for adults, Garland and her sister take the opportunity as a sign to heal their inner child. When Garland runs into Mason, a man from her past, Garland is sure the universe is trying to tell her something. But when she rooms with Mason’s sister, the charming and competitive Stevie, she’s confused by the way the stars are aligning as she finds herself more and more drawn to the blonde outdoorswoman.
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Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monoghan (6/6)
Sam has a great job in Manhattan, she’s engaged to a doctor, and she’s about to tour a wedding venue near her family’s beach house on Long Island. But as soon as she arrives, she is panicked at the thought of Wyatt being there. Wyatt: the one she spent fourteen summers with, the one who broke her heart when she was seventeen. But Sam is engaged, so she shouldn’t be feeling this way—yet the sounds of Wyatt’s guitar have the memories, and the truth of their split, flooding back. When they reconnect, the connection can’t be ignored and soon, Sam will have to make a choice.
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood (6/13)
By day, Elsie Hannaway is an adjunct professor hoping to make tenure. By other days, to make ends meet, Elsie is a professional fake girlfriend. Jack Smith is a cold-hearted physicist who is the only one standing in the way of Elsie’s dream job. He’s also the annoyingly handsome older brother of her favorite client. Elsie is prepared for scholarly sabotage, but as she spends more time with Jack, is she ready to test her long guarded theories on love?
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon (6/20)
Chandler Cohen’s job as a ghostwriter has her feeling just like a ghost. Especially when the author of a book that she wrote sees her at a signing event, and doesn’t even recognize her. Things are looking up when she connects with a man at the bar, but an awkward hook-up leaves her wanting to forget the entire night. Well, that is easier said that done, as Chandler’s new writing project involves C-list actor Finn Walsh. Chandler doesn’t know him from his character on the werewolf show, she knows him from their hilarious one-night stand, but now she’ll be writing his memoir. When Finn finds out that Chandler views their night as less than mind-blowing, he is distraught. So they strike a deal: when they aren’t working on the book, Chandler will teach Finn a thing or two about satisfaction.
Hello Stranger by Katherine Center (7/11)
Sadie Montgomery is a struggling artist who just needs one lucky break. Landing a spot in a portrait competition, she thinks things may finally be going her way. But the competition lands on the same day of a surgery she must have. Sadie is reassured that the surgery is minor and that she’ll be unscathed, but while she’s in recovery, she discovers that she no longer can see faces. When she takes her dog to the vet, she meets Dr. Addison, who wants to take her on a date, but she is determined to keep her face blindness a secret. As she also develops a friendship with her obnoxious neighbor Joe, she soon finds herself falling for two guys, while she faces losing her career as an artist and confronting her haunting past.
To Have and to Heist by Sara Desai (7/18)
Simi Chopra is down on her luck. On top of losing another job and other mundane problems, Simi’s best friend has been accused of stealing a multimillion-dollar necklace. When the mysterious Jack shows up and offers to help her find and steal back the necklace, Simi is ready to clear her friends name and claim the reward. All she’s gotta do is infiltrate a high-society wedding with a group of ragtag strangers turned heist crew before the couple says “I Do”. While Jack begins to steal Simi’s heart, can she manage to steal the necklace and clear her friends name?
The Roommate Pact by Allison Ashley (8/1)
ER nurse Claire Harper and her roommate, firefighter Graham Scott, have a pact. If they are still single at forty, they will take the plunge as friends with benefits. It seems safe enough, Claire could never see herself falling for thrill-seeker Graham, not after what happened to her father. However, the deadline is way, way off, and things are heating up. When Graham gets seriously injured in a rock-climbing accident, Claire will do anything to help him heal. Even if moving into Graham’s bed and enduring his hateful dog begins to complicate their arrangement.
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New Adult by Timothy Janovsky (8/15)
Nolan Baker wants to have it all together by the time he’s thirty. But comedy isn’t paying the bills and with his perfect sister’s wedding approaching, he is ready to quit and start focusing on his practical dreams, one of them being asking his best friend Drew Techler to be his date. But when Nolan is offered a last minute gig filling in for a famous comedian, Nolan ditches Drew, misses his sister’s big day, and disappoints everyone he loves. In his desperation, Nolan wishes on a set of magical crystals, wishing to skip to the good part of his life. When he wakes up, he’s thirty and a successful comedian with everything he thought he ever wanted, except the ones he loves by his side. Nolan seeks out Drew, who is hot, successful, and hates his guts. Can Nolan win get back to who he was and win back the trust of his family and friends, the ones he carelessly threw away?
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