Love in Bloom: Spring 2018’s Must-Read Romances

BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. Love is in the air and on our bookshelves. This spring is delivering a stunning batch of must-read romance novels that are guaranteed to fill your heart with joy. Contemporary fans will not want to waste a second before diving into the final volume in Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, while historical readers will be longing for the end of the season when Eloisa James delivers another Wilde novel. Whether you’re looking for romances about dating apps, gender exploration, or rodeos, we’ve got you covered. Follow your heart and find your next favorite romance.

Bad Bachelor (Sourcebooks Casablanca), Stefanie London

Dating in New York City can be a nightmare, which is why Brooklyn librarian Darcy Greer downloads the Bad Bachelors app. The app allows users to review their dates and warn fellow singletons away from bachelors with bad dating habits. It’s because of the app that she recognizes PR executive Reed McMahon, recently rated NYC’s worst bachelor for his commitment phobia, when he approaches her at a library fundraiser. Reed fears that being publicly labeled a bad and untrustworthy guy could hurt the career he’s spent years building, and he decides to use his PR skills to clean up his own reputation by offering pro bono work to a struggling local library. Too bad Darcy wants nothing to do with him. This is the first book in Stefanie London’s new series, and it’s sure to leave readers wanting more.

On shelves: March 6

No Earls Allowed (Sourcebooks Casablanca), Shana Galen

Major Neil Wraxall’s military training molded him into a man who takes orders seriously, even orders to fetch a respectable lady from an orphanage in a less-than-respectable part of town. When he arrives at the Sunnybrooke Home for Boys, he expects that he’ll be able to complete his mission quickly and easily. But that’s before he meets Juliana. She’s been running the orphanage without much help, or even a cook, and Neil realizes that she won’t leave unless she believes the boys will be taken care of. Neil tells himself that his offers to cook and fix up the building have to do with his mission and not the fact that he can’t get Juliana out of his head. The second book in Shana Galen’s Survivors seriesintroduces readers to a heroine determined to make the world better for others, a hero struggling with PTSD but finding his path forward after the war, and a romance they won’t soon forget.

On shelves: March 6

Hurts to Love You (Avon), Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series comes to a satisfying and romantic close in Hurts to Love You. Livvy and Nicholas, who readers will remember from Hate to Want You, are celebrating their upcoming nuptials by renting a house where they can relax and spend time with family and friends before the big day. When Gabriel Hunter and Evangeline Chandler are the first to arrive, they’re forced to confront the sexual tension and growing feelings between them. Rai’s talent for crafting characters who read like real people is on full display here, along with thoughtful and nuanced looks at emotional abuse, anxiety, and what it truly means to be part of a family (whether you’re related by blood or not). Fans of the previous books will love reuniting with this cast of characters and reading along as long-kept secrets are finally revealed. Though this book can be read as a standalone, why deprive yourself? We highly recommend starting at the beginning and savoring this captivating series.

On shelves: March 27

What a Difference a Duke Makes (Avon), Lenora Bell

Lenora Bell kicks off her School for Dukes series with a charming homage to Mary Poppins. Edgar Rochester’s twins have chased away four governesses in only two months. The Duke of Banksford is at his wits’ end when a miracle in the form of Mari Perkins walks into his life. The beautiful Mari wins over his staff and his children with ease, and soon Edgar thinks her to be practically perfect in every way. Mari tells Edgar that she’s the replacement governess sent from Mrs. Trilby’s Agency for Superior Governesses, which is a small fib. Lying about her credentials is only one of the reasons Mari knows she should nip her feelings for her employer in the bud, but she can’t help but find herself drawn to him. It’s clear to them both that something is brewing, about to begin.

On shelves: March 27

Her Perfect Affair (Zebra Shout), Priscilla Oliveras

Out of her three sisters, librarian Rosa Fernandez is the responsible one. She’s a good Catholic girl who makes plans and sticks to them, and she never, ever takes risks… until she hears that her longtime crush, Jeremy Taylor, will be relocating to Japan. Rosa decides to make a move and she offers Jeremy a single no-strings-attached night to explore the chemistry between them. But when their closed-door affair results in a pregnancy, both Jeremy and Rosa must confront their real feelings for each other and what they hope their future holds. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called the book a “revelatory, realistic [romance]… about good people making difficult choices.” Readers who enjoyed His Perfect Partner will love reuniting with the Fernandez sisters and will eagerly anticipate the next installment.

On shelves: March 27

Fearless in Texas (Sourcebooks Casablanca), Kari Lynn Dell

Texas girl Melanie Brookman is having a rough time. She didn’t think dating a client from work would cause too many problems, but when she discovers that he’s actually married, her troubles snowball until she’s lost both her boyfriend and her job. In the market for a change, Melanie accepts the help of her friend Violet, who connects her with Wyatt Darrington, who needs a marketing director to help promote his struggling-to-stay-afloat bar. Without anything to hold her back, Melanie packs her bags and moves out to Oregon. Melanie swears that her days of mixing work and pleasure are behind her, but working side-by-side with the charming and handsome Wyatt is about to test her resolve. Readers new to Kari Lynn Dell’s Texas Rodeo series will find a lot to love about this couple, while series fans will enjoy getting a deeper look at Wyatt’s hidden past.

On shelves: April 3

Unmasked by the Marquess (HarperCollins), Cat Sebastian

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, is determined to undo the damage his father caused to the family estate and name. To achieve his goals, he must remain focused, which means this bisexual aristocrat needs to stay far away from Robert Selby, who makes Alistair want to shrug off responsibilities and indulge in temptation. What Alistair doesn’t know is that Robert is actually Charity Church. Taking on the persona of Robert began as a way to help a friend, but it sparks a revelation that Charity no longer identifies as a woman. Cat Sebastian kicks off her Regency Impostors series with a heartwarming tale that explores love, gender, and class. Oh and there’s a kitten—what more could you ask for?

On shelves: April 17

Savor You (William Morrow), Kristen Proby

A few years ago, chef Mia Palazzo opened a restaurant with her four best friends. All of the work Mia put into creating the perfect menu pays off big time when she learns that Seduction will be featured on Best Bites TV. The show wants to pit her against another chef in a competition, something she has no qualms about until she learns her rival’s identity: Camden Sawyer. Camden is a celebrity chef and Mia’s ex. She walked out of his life ten years ago and never thought she’d see him again. Now that they’re face-to-face, old feelings being to resurface. Camden is determined to win Mia back, but is Mia willing to open her heart back up to the man who broke it? Kristen Proby’s Fusion series comes to a sizzling and satisfying close this spring.

On shelves: April 24

A Scandalous Deal (Avon), Joanna Shupe

Joanna Shupe whisks readers away to New York City’s Gilded Age in the second installment of her Four Hundred series. Lady Eva Hyde sets sail for America in the hopes of leaving behind her painful past and the unkind moniker Lady Unlucky, a reference to her three dead fiancés. She’s looking forward to a fresh start and the opportunity to pursue her passion for architecture and design. When she meets a handsome stranger during her travels, Eva dares to dream that her luck may be changing. It’s only after a passionate night together that she discovers he’s her employer, Phillip Mansfield. Eva and Phillip believe they can have a completely professional relationship moving forward, but with each passing day they begin to realize that they next thing they want to build together is a future.

On shelves: April 24

Too Wilde to Wed (Avon), Eloisa James

Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde and Miss Diana Belgrave share a complicated past (to say the least), which is why North is shocked to return from the war in the American colonies to find his ex-fiancée working as a governess in his family home. She isn’t alone either. She’s still caring for the young boy he discovered her with after she fled from their engagement party—a boy society now believes to be his. When they first met, North and Diana each pretended to be someone they were not. After time apart, they find the freedom to be themselves, and they slowly realize that they might have been perfect for each other all along. As Diana shares the truth of the child’s parentage and why she jilted North, North in turn opens up about his family obligations and the guilt he harbors about the men he lost in the war. Eloisa James returns to her Wildes of Lindow Castle series with an enchanting tale about forgiveness, independence, and love.

On shelves: May 29

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