Transgender voice actor Kay Eluvian delivers on the moodiness and longing of Alexis Hall's novel, portraying Viola with feminine strength and Gracewood as a dashing, brooding hero.
Transgender voice actor Kay Eluvian delivers on the moodiness and longing of Alexis Hall's novel, portraying Viola with feminine strength and Gracewood as a dashing, brooding hero.
Previous
Next

Sign Up

Get the latest ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

All Romance Coverage

Filter by genre

Fantasy and paranormal romance are booming, the rom-com revival shows no signs of stopping and a new wave of angsty love stories is about to hit. This autumn will boast an absolute bounty of love stories. 

Aphrodite and the Duke by J.J. McAvoy
Dell | August 23

And lo, the “Bridgerton”-inspired romance novels have arrived. J.J. McAvoy’s novel, which we dearly hope is the start of a new series, takes place in a world much like the Netflix phenomenon, a Regency England that includes lords and ladies of color. 

Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews
Avon | August 23

The second (and hopefully not final?) arc in one of the best paranormal series around comes to a close with Ruby Fever, in which Catalina Baylor and her assassin fiancé, Alessandro Sagredo, will hopefully untangle and defeat the conspiracy against them and ride off into the sunset together.

Court of the Vampire Queen by Katee Robert
Sourcebooks Casablanca | September 6

Long beloved by romance fans for her originality, extremely steamy love scenes and go-for-broke attitude, Katee Robert gained a whole new fan base when her Dark Olympus series went viral on BookTok. Much of Robert’s backlist could fall under the oh-so-trendy category of “dark romance” (meaning romance that explores controversial themes or kinks, often with morally dubious characters), and Court of a Vampire Queen, which follows a half-vampire, half-human woman’s rise from unwilling consort to undead ruler, will fit right in.  

Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings
Griffin | September 6

Mazey Eddings won acclaim with her marvelous debut, A Brush With Love, thanks to her winning voice and clear-eyed look at life with anxiety. Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake is another sexy rom-com that acknowledges the more serious sides of life, which in this case are the heroine’s unexpected pregnancy and her journey toward accepting her attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory
Berkley | September 20

After six bestselling novels all set in the same universe as her debut, The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory is starting afresh with Drunk on Love, a workplace romance set in a Napa Valley winery. It’s a perfect setting for Guillory, one of the genre’s preeminent foodies, and since the winery is family-owned, we wouldn’t be surprised if Drunk on Love is the start of a whole new series.

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling
Avon | September 20

One benefit of the rom-com wave is that it has revived the paranormal subgenre, resulting in a steady stream of adorably witchy love stories. Erin Sterling’s The Ex Hex was one of the best of the bunch, and she’s returning to Graves Glen, Georgia, for an enemies-to-lovers romance between rival witchcraft shop owners.

A Ghost in Shining Armor by Therese Beharrie
Zebra | September 27

Speaking of paranormal romances, Therese Beharrie will complete the duology she began with And They Lived Happily Ever After with this novel starring Gemma, a woman who can see ghosts, and Levi, the spirit assigned to help Gemma reunite with her long-lost sister.

A Curse of Queens by Amanda Bouchet
Sourcebooks Casablanca | October 4

Amanda Bouchet was writing fantasy romance before it was a glimmer in BookTok’s eye, and she’s taking a break from her sci-fi Endeavor series to gift readers with another installment in the critically acclaimed Kingmaker Chronicles. Bouchet’s return to the realm of Thalyria, which is inspired by Greek mythology, will follow Jocasta and Flynn, childhood friends who fall in love during a quest to find an antidote to the poison that threatens the life of their queen.

Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall
Forever | October 18

In the pantheon of foodie romances, Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake, a perfectly balanced confection of unexpected love and inner growth, is very near the top. So it’s delightful to know that Alexis Hall, who’s currently writing two other series and any number of standalone titles, will be returning for another season of “Bake Expectations,” a fictional baking reality show that’s basically “The Great British Bake Off.” This season, Hall will follow Paris Daillencourt, a mild-mannered amateur baker who’s riddled with anxiety despite his prodigious skill in the kitchen.

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun
Atria | November 1

Alison Cochrun made a sterling impression with her debut, The Charm Offensive, one of the best romances set in the world of reality TV. But for her sophomore novel, she’s switching gears: Kiss Her Once for Me is a festive rom-com that follows Elle, who agrees to a marriage of convenience with Andrew, only to discover that his sister, Jack, is the woman Elle had a whirlwind Christmas Eve romance with the year before. 

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan
Forever | November 15

Kennedy Ryan is one of romance’s most acclaimed self-published authors. Her last traditionally published title was released in 2016, but she’s making a grand return to traditional publishing by releasing the first book she ever wrote. Unpublished until now, Before I Let Go is a second-chance romance between divorced couple Yasmen and Josiah Wade. Not only will it introduce new readers to Ryan’s talents, it may also signal a shift away from rom-coms’ dominance of the genre. Where Ryan leads, others will follow.

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade
Avon | November 15

It takes a certain artistry to lay the groundwork for future pairings in a romance series without diversity attention from an individual book’s main couple. Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert books have been an absolute master class on this technique. As actors on the “Game of Thrones”-esque TV show at the center of Dade’s series, Maria Ivarsson and Peter Reedton have hovered in the background of Spoiler Alert and All the Feels. So readers were thrilled when Dade revealed that Peter and Maria, who seemed to just be friendly co-stars, had a one-night stand before filming started. Now that the show is finally over, they no longer need to worry about endangering their working relationship or careers, but is the passion between them enough to sustain something long term? 

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake
Berkley | November 22

One of the best side characters in Ashley Herring Blake’s adult debut, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, was the titular character’s stepsister, Astrid. An icy perfectionist, Astrid may be the queen bee of her small town, but she’s been desperate for a distraction ever since breaking off her engagement during the events of Delilah Green. When Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail starts, she thinks she’s found the perfect task: renovating the Everwood Inn and appearing on the home improvement show “Innside America.” The only problem is Jordan Everwood, the owner’s granddaughter and the lead carpenter for the renovation, who disagrees with every design change Astrid tries to make. 

13 happily ever afters we can’t wait to read!

So, you made your way through not only “Bridgerton” but every other historical miniseries you could get your hands on, and now you're faced with the daunting task of picking out a Regency romance novel from approximately one million titles. Don't worry—we're here to help. There are tons of terrific books out there, and because the subgenre has more variety than you might expect, we've added a complementary television series to each recommendation below to help you scope out the vibe.

A Duchess by Midnight

Miss Drewsmina “Drew” Trelayne is determined to make a name for herself as a guide for young debutantes embarking on their London season in A Duchess by Midnight by Charis Michaels. When her newly royal stepsister, Cynde, uses her connections to secure Drew's first paying client, Drew has her work cut out for her. How can she teach the Duke of Lachlan's troubled nieces proper deportment and etiquette when she can't seem to stop herself from breaking all the rules with the irresistible, scandal-ridden duke?

Read if you loved “The Baby-Sitters Club”

Yes, we're really comparing a Regency romance to a TV show based on a series of chapter books, and here's why. Both A Duchess by Midnight and the recent Netflix adaptation of Ann M. Martin's popular series, which launched in 1986, take a story that had grown a bit stagnant in our imaginations and make it feel fresh without losing the magic of the original. Drewsmina is a Regency version of the stepsisters from Disney's Cinderella, and through her, Michaels breathes new life into a slightly dusty fairy tale. Far from being a two-dimensional figure, Drewsmina becomes the fully realized heroine of her own story by being willing to grow and change. Her less-than-perfect past makes her the ideal person to reach the lonely, isolated duke and his two wary girls in this charming twist on an age-old story.

Nobody's Princess

Kunigunde “Kuni” de Heusch is determined to become the first Royal Guardswoman of Balcovia. She can't get distracted by anyone or anything—not even Graham Wynchester. But when Graham interferes with her mission at the beginning of Erica Ridley's Nobody's Princess, Kuni ends up falling in with the astonishing Wynchester clan—going on adventures, learning acrobatic skills and discovering a brand of heroism and service that is like nothing she's ever known. Her time in England is limited, and the future of her dreams is waiting for her in Balcovia. She'll soon have everything she ever wanted . . . except for a certain remarkable man.

Read if you loved “The Umbrella Academy”

Unlike the characters in the comic book-inspired Netflix series, the Wynchesters don't have supernatural powers, but that doesn't stop them from trying to make the world a better place. These adopted siblings use their fortune to right wrongs and protect the innocent. They bicker with and tease and aggravate one another, while still coming together when there's an enemy to face. It's lovely to see Kuni fall for not only the eminently lovable Graham but also his entire family and their appreciation of and support for one another. Ridley's take on the Regency period is quirkier and broader than the norm, but that just makes Nobody's Princess all the more compelling and fun.

The Rake's Daughter

In Anne Gracie's The Rake's Daughter half sisters Clarissa and Isobel Studley have no one but each other—and if their father had had his way, they wouldn't even have that. Isobel is the illegitimate daughter whom the unscrupulous baronet had no interest in raising, and only Clarissa's stubborn loyalty kept the girls together through childhood. They cling to each other even tighter when their father dies and they are sent to London to live with their new guardian, Leo Thorne, the Earl of Salcott. Because his opinion of Isobel stems from her father's viciously cruel descriptions, Leo is appalled by his instantaneous and fierce attraction to her. As they both try to shepherd Clarissa through her first season, the fiery Isobel challenges Leo to see past his preconceptions.

Read if you loved “The Good Place”

Gracie takes a warmer, sweeter view of Regency high society; there are still challenges and prejudices, but there are also examples of extraordinary kindness, devotion and compassion. Like Eleanor and Michael in the afterlife-set TV show, the characters in The Rake's Daughter have vibrant, rich personalities that make it easy to root for them. Leo has a particularly impressive character arc, starting off almost as an antagonist before becoming the hero he always had the potential to be. And it's not just the lead characters who will steal your heart: Loyal, kind, insightful but insecure Clarissa is reminiscent of Chidi from “The Good Place,” and one can only hope she gets her own book soon.

★ A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting

Kitty Talbot, the heroine of Sophie Irwin's A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting, is left with four sisters to care for and an ocean of debt after her father dies and her fiancé jilts her. The only thing left of value is herself, so it's off to London and the marriage mart to find a rich match. Luck seems to be on her side when she's able to catch the eye of sweet, easily manipulated Archie de Lacy, but her hopes are punctured when his disapproving older brother, Lord Radcliffe, comes to break up the match. Desperate to the point of recklessness, Kitty manages to convince Radcliffe to make a trade: She'll leave his brother alone if he helps her find another match. But what starts out as a grudging alliance blooms into something more, something built on growing respect, admiration, attraction—and maybe even love.

Read if you loved “Inventing Anna”

If you loved the high-wire tension of the miniseries featuring Anna Delvey's con artist exploits, then this is the Regency romance for you. But unlike Anna, Kitty is a heroine you can genuinely like, even as you marvel at her audacity. She's clever and cunning, but she's also wry, funny and refreshingly honest, with admirable reasons for her manipulative fortune-hunting. From the start, her sharp mind and ruthless practicality make the story relentlessly readable, charging scenes with terrific tension and biting wordplay. Crucially, however, there's so much more to Kitty than her diamond-hard facade. She's not a cipher but a vivid and relatable character. The more Radcliffe understands her, the more he loves her—as will readers.

Overwhelmed by the amount of Regency romances out there? Let us be your guide to this season's best reads.

Alexis Hall leaps from the world of contemporary romantic comedies to the realm of Regency romance with A Lady for a Duke (15.5 hours).

Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood, has been moping around his family's country estate ever since his closest friend died at the Battle of Waterloo. What Gracewood doesn't realize is that his friend is not dead but finally living as her true self, Viola Carroll, a transgender woman. When Viola reluctantly accompanies her employer to Gracewood's home, she is thrown into a complicated plot filled with secrets and yearning.

Hall puts his characters through the wringer, making their hard-won happily ever after all the more satisfying. British transgender voice actor Kay Eluvian delivers on the moodiness and longing of Hall's novel, portraying Viola with feminine strength and Gracewood as a dashing, brooding hero. As they come together, their joy feels radical in the best way.

Read about how Alexis Hall is seizing his moment.

Transgender voice actor Kay Eluvian delivers on the moodiness and longing of Alexis Hall's novel, portraying Viola with feminine strength and Gracewood as a dashing, brooding hero.

Kerry Winfrey's light, sprightly romance Just Another Love Song follows high school sweethearts who get a second chance at love 15 years after their post-graduation breakup.

Hank Tillman and Sandy Macintosh once planned on leaving their tiny town of Baileyville, Ohio, and following their dreams together. In the years after high school, Hank became a famous country music singer, but Sandy, who wanted to be an artist, never left home. Even though she let her painting fall by the wayside, she's discovered happiness in other areas, namely in running her greenhouse and helping out at her parents' bed-and-breakfast. Everything changes, however, when Hank comes back to Baileyville for their 15-year high school reunion.

Just Another Love Song is full of quirky characters who provide plenty of colorful commentary on Hank and Sandy's relationship. It's delightful but also distracting at times, because those townspeople take up space in the narrative that could have been dedicated to the main couple. Winfrey is the queen of charming and cozily sweet contemporary romances, and it's clear that the foundation Hank and Sandy built as teenagers is still there, so it's no surprise that their journey back to each other is low on angst. But one of the most interesting aspects of Just Another Love Song is Winfrey's illustration of how the hopes and dreams of youth can be not only encouraging but also overwhelming and debilitating. Hank and Sandy have a much better chance of making things work now that they're in their 30s, with life experience to balance the stars in their eyes.

Although this slow-burn romance may unfold a bit too sedately for some, Winfrey's trademark snappy dialogue and well-paced character development provides much to enjoy along the way.

Kerry Winfrey brings her trademark snappy dialogue and well-paced character development to this slow-burn, second-chance romance.

★ Wolf in the Shadows

Maria Vale sweeps readers into a compelling paranormal world in her fifth entry in the Legend of All Wolves series, Wolf in the Shadows. Julia Martel, pampered shifter princess of Montreal, has been kidnapped by the Great North Pack, who live apart from human society and ritualistically shift to their wolf forms every full moon. Though she was raised to be “exquisitely inconsequential,” Julia finds her inner strength as she lives with the pack and gets to know Arthur, a wolf at the bottom of the pack's hierarchy. Vale's storytelling is immersive and fascinating as she chronicles Julia's metamorphosis from plaything to predator. And Arthur is a uniquely appealing love interest: keenly attentive, sensitive and always willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Lushly described set pieces, from Julia's embrace of her animal nature to the couple's smoking hot love scenes, make for a fiercely beautiful read.

Husband Material

A couple grapples with life, love and being true to themselves in Husband Material by Alexis Hall. It's been two years since Lucien “Luc” O'Donnell and Oliver Blackwood got together in Boyfriend Material, and the opposites-attract pair are happy together—and happy to witness the people around them tie the knot. But does that mean they should follow suit? Narrated by Luc in a self-deprecating and often sarcastic first-person voice, the next phase in the men's romance plays out with the help of their loyal but sometimes screwball friends. Family drama adds serious layers and provides an opportunity for soul-searching, even as Hall's bouncy dialogue tumbles along through plenty of rom-com fun. As they grapple with their future, examining both compatibility and commitment, Luc and Oliver are amusing, authentic and eminently deserving of their happily ever after. 

Quarter to Midnight

Karen Rose's latest romantic suspense novel, Quarter to Midnight, begins a new series set in New Orleans. When his father, a former police officer, dies under suspicious circumstances, chef Gabe Hebert hires a PI agency to look into the matter. Molly Sutton, former cop, former Marine and forever badass, takes on the case. A patron of Gabe's renowned restaurant, she's long admired his culinary skills and his good looks, and she's committed to getting answers for him, no matter what she may uncover in the process. Rose always constructs an appealing team to aid her main couple and further engage the reader's emotions; this time, the crew includes a brave young med student, a pair of canny brothers and two witty and determined older women. It's a twisty, dangerous ride all the way to the end, with the French Quarter setting and the descriptions of Gabe's food adding an extra je ne sais quoi to this entertaining read.

The long-awaited sequel to Boyfriend Material is finally here, plus two thrilling love stories in this month's romance column.

Most epic:

Properties of Thirst by Marianne Wiggins

Many of us have an aversion to novels that claim to be the next American epic in the tradition of John Steinbeck, particularly when they’re about World War II. These novels, purporting to be the next necessary heart-wrenching tale of wartime heroism, are seemingly everywhere, but rarely do they live up to expectations. Properties of Thirst defies, dispels and demolishes those expectations and biases in the best way. Read our review.

Sister Mother Warrior by Vanessa Riley

The complexity of Sister Mother Warrior suits the complicated, difficult history of the Haitian revolution, which Vanessa Riley brings to life through the stories of a soldier and a future empress. Read our review.

The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford

Exploring the bonds that transcend physical space, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an enthralling, centuries-spanning tale, a masterful saga that’s perfect for fans of The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende and The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain. Read our review.


Wrath Goddess Sing

Best ancient tale for acolytes of Madeline Miller:

Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane

Some prior knowledge of the Iliad will maximize the enjoyment of this novel, if only to provide some context for Maya Deane’s beautifully realized Mediterranean landscape and her depiction of the Greek gods as vivid, often malicious beings. Wrath Goddess Sing is a mythic reinvention for the ages that asks questions about topics such as trans identity, passing and the politics of the body. Read our review.


Best perspectives on the American West:

Fire Season by Leyna Krow

Leyna Krow plays fast and loose with the tropes of the frontier novel, leaning in to the notion of the unsettled West as a place where people could reinvent themselves. Read our review.

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Woman of Light retains a mythic quality while following the stories of five generations of an Indigenous North American family, from their origins, border crossings, accomplishments and traumas to their descendants’ confrontation and acceptance of their family history. Read our review.


Horse book cover

Best for book clubs:

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks returns to themes she explored so well in previous works, such as her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, March, which chronicles many of the injustices that occurred during America's Civil War. Loosely based on a true story, Horse involves a discarded painting and a dusty skeleton, both of which concern a foal widely considered “the greatest racing stallion in American turf history.” Read our review.


Most glamorous subterfuge:

The Lunar Housewife

The Lunar Housewife by Caroline Woods

Caroline Woods’ historical thriller, set in the final days of the Korean War and the onset of the Cold War, spins a tale of big-city intrigue as it follows a promising young waitress-turned-writer and the increasingly disturbing secrets she uncovers. The result is an addictive binge of a read that’s equal parts intelligent introspection and nail-biting suspense. Read our review.

The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin

Madeline Martin is known for her deeply researched historical fiction and romance novels, and The Librarian Spy is a delight as we follow the World War II adventures of an endearing, quiet bookworm. Read our review.

Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman

Vivian Kelly, the protagonist of this Prohibition-era mystery, is a seamstress in what we would now consider a sweatshop, and by night she is a regular at the Nightingale, a Manhattan speakeasy of some note among Jazz Age cognoscenti. When Vivian stumbles upon a dead body in the alley behind the club, the speakeasy’s hitherto bon vivant ambiance begins to melt away, revealing something altogether more sinister. Read our review.


A Lady for a Duke

Best love stories in historical settings:

A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall

Alexis Hall takes on the Regency with his angsty new historical romance. Following the Battle of Waterloo, Viola Carroll abandoned her previous identity, as well as her aristocratic title, to finally embrace life as a trans woman. But Viola’s dearest friend, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood, is not coping so well. He drowns himself in alcohol and opium to cope with his despair over Viola’s death, the lingering pain of a war injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. The term “slow burn” doesn’t begin to capture the agonized pining of this romance, which is absolutely suffused with yearning. Read our review.

The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes by Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian returns to the Georgian-era setting of 2021’s The Queer Principles of Kit Webb with The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes, a charming story about two chaotic bisexuals who cross each other’s paths while pursuing their criminal endeavors. Read our review.


Joan

Best picks for Hilary Mantel fans:

Joan by Katherine J. Chen

This Joan of Arc is hungry, earthy and scrappy—a natural fighter. For readers who love Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy or Lauren Groff’s Matrix, Joan offers similar pleasures with its immediacy and somewhat contemporary tone. It’s an immersive evocation of a character whose name everyone knows, all these centuries later, but whom, perhaps, none of us knows at all. Read our review.

Learning to Talk by Hilary Mantel

Sure, it’s a little on the nose, but these seven stories, arranged chronologically, offer an unusual and ultimately fascinating amalgam of fact and fiction as two-time Booker Prize-winning British author Hilary Mantel sorts through the puzzle pieces of her past. As Mantel reflects loosely on her English childhood, she explores, as she writes in the preface, “the swampy territory that lies between history and myth.” Read our review.


Best supernatural or magical touches:

Briefly, a Delicious Life by Nell Stevens

In 1838, the French novelist George Sand (pen name for Aurore Dupin) decided that a winter away from Paris would be good for her, her two children and her ailing lover, Frédéric Chopin, who had tuberculosis. This is where the debut novel from Nell Stevens begins, and she quickly reveals an inventive, imaginative approach to historical fiction, full of comic moments but also sorrow, violence and beauty. Her ghostly narrator is full of life, a wonderful guide to another time and place. Read our review.

Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro

The first in a planned trilogy, Ordinary Monsters traverses 19th-century America, England, Scotland and Japan before eventually landing at the Cairndale Institute outside of Edinburgh, where Talents are learning to control and hone their powers. J.M. Miro (the pen name of a literary novelist) plays off the well-loved and well-worn tropes of chosen ones and magical institutions for children, but freshens things up with a large, sweeping scope and a likable, diverse cast of characters. Read our review.


Discover more historical fiction here!

Summer reading allows us to get away from it all—and with transportive historical fiction, we can go really, really far away. Discover the season’s best historical novels!

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Trending Romance

Once you find true love, life is supposed to lead into a happily ever after—at least that’s what the fairy tales promise. But real life and love come with the risk of real loss, as Holly Jefferson learns just six months after her wedding.  Since You’ve Been Gone is a truly bittersweet story about a second chance at love, a debut novel by turns charming, funny, inexpressibly sad, and finally, hopeful.  

Author Interviews

Recent Features

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!