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Summer Reads: 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Before I Let Go

Kennedy Ryan (Forever)

This searing, emotional contemporary follows divorced co-parents who share a thorny history—but also a passion that proves impossible to resist. Ryan’s mature take on the second chance at love trope knows that chemistry alone won’t be enough to reunite them, however. The frank, refreshing depiction of the hard work it takes to heal sets this powerhouse romance apart.


The Dead Romantics

Ashley Poston (Berkley)

Poston’s adorable adult debut—the romance between a ghostwriter and her (literal) ghost editor—gleefully subverts rom-com tropes to deliver a supernaturally inflected love story that unites a refreshing irreverence with a core belief in the power of love. The result will win over even the most cynical of readers.


A Lady for a Duke

Alexis Hall (Forever)

With this heart-rending Regency romance between a trans woman and her childhood best friend, Hall turns from rom-com hijinks to hurts-so-good angst while still retaining the sparkling wit that characterizes the best of his prose. He tackles heavy subjects including addiction and grief, but leavens the darkness with tenderness, longing, and the joy of living authentically.


Partners in Crime

Alisha Rai (Avon)

A typical rom-com setup gives way to a no-holds-barred caper when a straightlaced Desi American accountant is kidnapped alongside her disastrous blind date by enemies of her mob boss father. Rai balances the genre mash-up perfectly, with plenty of laughs amid the danger and an entirely believable intimacy blossoming between her leads as they band together to survive.


To Catch a Raven

Beverly Jenkins (Avon)

Jenkins closes out her Women Who Dare series on an undeniable high note with a swoony and suspenseful Reconstruction-era romp that sends perfectly matched polar opposites Raven, a con artist, and Braxton, a respectable businessman, undercover to retrieve a stolen copy of the Declaration of Independence. It’s a thoroughly satisfying finale from a true genre great.


Wicked Beauty

Katee Robert (Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Readers should take care while handling Robert’s standalone third Dark Olympus romance; it’s that hot. It takes guts to play as fast and loose with one’s source material as Robert does here, but she pulls it off with aplomb as established couple Achilles and Patroclus welcome the beautiful, misunderstood Helen into their relationship against a futuristic dystopian backdrop.


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