By Scarlett Peckham (NYLA)
Combining the rich emotion of a traditional gothic romance with complex, modern characters, Peckham weaves a tale about a duke who needs an heir but falls for a botanist who has no interest in marriage. Here is a novel about the lies people tell, the barriers we build to protect ourselves and the fears we must overcome to let ourselves be loved.
By Diana Quincy (Loveswept)
Another long, slow tumble into love between unlikely partners: the libertine Duke of Sunderford and his new — and unwelcome — governess, the prim, proper Isabel Finch, who arrives with twin 7-year-old girls in tow, throwing the duke’s life into chaos. Quincy delivers a layered, lovely romance, with an ending that readers won’t see coming.
By Kate Clayborn (Lyrical Shine)
A winning lottery ticket lands Zoe Ferris the chance to quit her unrewarding job as a lawyer. But she can’t quite assuage her guilt over the work she did on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry. In search of peace, she decides to make amends, beginning with a family involved in one of her settlements — at which point she meets a grieving brother who pulls no punches. In the hands of a lesser author, this setup could be preachy and heavy, but Clayborn’s characters are bright and nuanced, her dialogue quick and clever, and the world she builds warm and welcoming.
By Naima Simone (Entangled)
The second installment in Simone’s WAGs series, which follows the wives and girlfriends of NFL players, features Tennyson Clark, the dependable assistant to her best friend and longtime crush Dominic Anderson, a star quarterback for the Washington Warriors. But when Tennyson decides to find a new job and stop pining for an unapologetic playboy, Dominic finds himself reassessing their relationship.
By Mia Hopkins (Loveswept)
A powerful, honest look at love as both a motivation and a risk, this story follows Sal Rosas, a former gang member on parole trying to make a fresh start. Back in his neighborhood, he runs into an old acquaintance, a widowed single mom, trying to give her daughter the best life possible. The book, told from Sal’s perspective, is a beautiful, authentic look at the challenges of starting over, the terrifying hope of the future — and the dangerous lure of the past.
Sarah MacLean is an author of historical romance. Her most recent novel is “Wicked and the Wallflower.”