It's hot and steamy outside, so pick up a book to match. New contemporary and historical romance novels just hit the shelves and feature nuanced, diverse characters, page-turning plotlines, and, yes, plenty of spice (if you know what we mean.) You won't find any damsels in distress here, but lots of smart, sexy, self-aware fun.
Not sure where to start? We recommend Talia Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown for a contemporary romance novel and Courtney Milan's The Countess Conspiracy for a historical one. Find all of these titles on the display shelves on the historic side of the library and keep an eye out for round 2 next week!
Special thanks to the patron who recommended these titles to beef(cake) up our collection of romance novels!
While we read...a LOT, we can't read everything. Are you an expert (amateur or otherwise) about a genre or subject that is un or underrepresented in our collection? We'd love your advice about what titles would improve the library! Get in touch with Zach Row-Heyveld to start the conversation! firstname.lastname@example.org
Third Son's a Charm
Third Son's a Charm by Shana Galen
Fiercely loyal to the survivor’s club that make up his friends and comrades, Ewan Mostyn is the toughest in a group of younger sons of nobility who met as soldiers and are now trying desperately to settle back into peaceful Society. Ewan trusts his brawn more than his brains, but when he’s offered a job watching the Duke of Ridlington’s stubbornly independent daughter, he finds both are challenged.
Lady Lorraine wants none of her father’s high-handed ways, and she’ll do everything in her power to avoid her distressingly attractive bodyguard―until she lands herself in real trouble. Lorraine begins to see Ewan’s protectiveness in a new light, and she can only hope that her stoic guardian will do for her what he’s always done―fight for what he wants.
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke....
The Duke and I
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister—the lovely and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate ruse to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.
But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her . . . but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke . . . for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love.
The Countess Conspiracy
The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan
Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised - and he laughs through it all. Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers. So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership...even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.
The Bromance Book Club
The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
Romancing the Duke
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.
And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.
- Ugly duckling turned swan?
- Abducted by handsome highwayman?
- Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?
Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
- Enjoy a drunken night out.
- Ride a motorcycle.
- Go camping.
- Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
- Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
- And... do something bad.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
Bringing Down the Duke
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he?
A Princess in Theory
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales...or the patience for constant emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly email won’t convince her otherwise. Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life-and love-without the burden of his crown. The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and their flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?