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Happy February, romance readers! Are you ready for the influx of Think Pieces that we will continue to get as Valentine’s Day looms its lofty head? Valentine’s Day is known and celebrated (and sometimes derided) for its explosion of red and pink and chocolate and flowers and jewelry, but here at Book Riot, we think about it as thee day we get to talk all we want about romance novels! (Okay, not really, because we can talk about romance novels all day, every day, but if everyone else is going to focus on the Literature of Love for a news cycle or two, I’m always happy to capture the ear of anyone who will listen to me yell about my favorite genre for a few minutes or several hours!)
It might be the darkest, shortest month of the year, but it has absolutely no shortage of brilliant joy in the form of book releases! The romance books coming out this month run the full gamut of delightful, whether they’re new books from newer authors or long-awaited releases from popular faves. They might have a hint of the fantastical or drop us very much into the world in which we live and love (or loathe whatever might be the case). This month, they lean a little more heavily into books coming from the traditionally published world, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great indie-published books coming out! It just means I have limited space and that some absolute bangers are releasing this month.
Bride by Ali Hazelwood
Ali Hazelwood is back, this time with a paranormal romance! In the first book in what I’m hoping is a new series, Hazelwood brings her familiar storytelling to the story of Misery, a young vampyre who enters a marriage of convenience with a werewolf pack’s alpha in order to form an alliance between the two communities. The pair have to learn to live with each other amidst pack drama and mysteries galore.
A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams
It’s been a long time since Seven Days In June (at least in Romance Years), and Tia Williams is bringing us another wildly intense romance between two people brought together by fate. Saying too much would take some of the book’s luster away, but let’s just say there’s a lot of Harlem and history and a romance for the ages in the making.
When Grumpy Met Sunshine by Charlotte Stein
Charlotte Stein might be a familiar name to some, but this book is a little different in style to those you might have picked up in the past. While all of the same intensity is there that might be familiar, this Ted Lasso (or more, Roy Kent)-inspired romantic comedy gives us plenty of giggles with our swoons. Former soccer star Alfie (Grumpy) might have agreed to write a memoir, but he’s not going to write it write it. Enter ghostwriter Mabel (Sunshine). Hilarity ensues.
Meegan by Rebekah Weatherspoon
First, there was Rafe, and then there was Xeni, and now we get Meegan. With Xeni as a mutual friend, it’s no surprise that Meegan and Olin find themselves brought together. It doesn’t hurt that Olin is looking for someone to pretend to date, and Meegan is happy to be that person. Of course, there are things they don’t know about each other, and they have to be very honest with each other if they want their pretend relationship to turn into something…not pretend.
How You Get the Girl by Anita Kelly
Anita Kelly’s newest book takes us into the world of high school athletics — but instead of the players, we get to hang out with the adults involved. Julie coaches the high school basketball team. When a new student joins the team, Julie ends up convincing her foster parent, once a star college player, to join the team’s staff as an assistant coach. As the two coaches become friends, they realize that they each have a way of helping the other out in their work and life worlds: Julie helps Elle figure out how to do this coaching thing, and Elle can help Julie figure out her insecurities around dating and generally being a grown up. And, of course, we know where this one is going.
The Spy and I by Tiana Smith
I’ve been hearing a lot about this book, and it’s no surprise! There’s nothing quite like some intrigue to get everyone intrigued! Dove may work as a cyber security analyst, but when she gets mistaken for her super spy sister, she finds herself drawn into a world like none she’s ever known. And when the man claiming to be her sister’s partner pulls her even further in, it’s time for a countdown, getting her sister (and herself!) out of mortal danger. Oh, and did we mention Mendez, the man who claims to be her sister’s partner, might not be who he says he is?
Sex, Lies, and Sensibility by Nikki Payne
The second time out for Nikki Payne and her Jane Austen reimaginings brings us into the world of two sisters who find themselves in possession of a cabin in the middle of nowhere, Maine. When they meet the guy giving tours of the area using their property as a home base, Nora, in particular, hates that he’s so surprisingly likable. And well, Nora and Bear might benefit from knowing each other.
At First Spite by Olivia Date
Rejoice, it’s a new Olivia Dade series! What happens when a woman buys a “Spite House”— a house with a history of having been built in a particular spot very much because of spite — only to discover that her own nemesis lives in the house beside it? (Comedy happens, that’s what.) Athena uses all of the resources she has to make her own spite house as miserable for her new neighbor as possible…until she realizes he’s actually, like…an okay dude. Pretty great, even. Darn.
Night For Day by Roselle Lim
Ward and Camille vowed to never see each other again when they broke up. They split up with the goals of pursuing very different lives, and manage to successfully evade each other from opposite sides of the country. But somehow, they manage to get the same job, one on the day shift, the other on the night. This seems like a sign that they should be together, but some element of magic makes it so they can only speak to each other for minutes at the ends of their shifts — because they’ve been locked into their work. Literally.
Just Like Her by Fiona Zedde
Do we need to know what it’s about to celebrate a new Fiona Zedde book? I mean, I guess it would be nice. This one is about Delphine, who keeps everything close to the chest. But when a new woman presents herself as a potential everything for Delphine, she isn’t sure what to think or what to do. There isn’t a whole lot of description for the book, but I’m happy to wait because we all know that Fiona Zedde Don’t Miss.
There are so many good-looking books out this month, but this is the end of my highlights. May you find plenty to enjoy in this dark, cold month, and snuggle up with a romance novel or two!