We asked sisters Bea and Leah Koch, who own The Ripped Bodice in Los Angeles, the only exclusively romance bookstore in the country, to write the seasonal preview for our recently-published sampler, Buzz Books 2018: Romance (free downloads are available for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple’s iBooks, and Google Play). In addition to the 14 featured pre-publication excerpts in the sampler (noted in boldface below), the Kochs picked a wealth of noteworthy forthcoming romance titles to look for.
These posts will present abbreviated versions of their full preview, which you can read in the free sampler. Today’s post focuses contemporary romance; tomorrow we will run historical and paranormal. As always, please note that this preview is prepared months in advance, so titles, content, and publication dates may have changed.
Contemporary romance has been making the largest strides towards inclusivity in recent years, and as such there are many fantastic upcoming titles that we, and our customers, are looking forward to reading.
Sports romance has only grown in popularity over the past few years and Alexa Martin is poised to make a big splash with her debut Intercepted (Berkley, September). Martin draws from her own experience being married to a two-time NFL Super Bowl winner to introduce readers to Marlee Harper, the perfect football girlfriend. When Marlee discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she washes her hands of everything to do with football. That is, until an old fling, Gavin Pope, stumbles back in to her life, and onto her ex’s team.
Small-town romance will never go out of style and K. M. Jackson offers her take on this perennial favorite with As Good as the First Time (Dafina, October), the first in a new series. Olivia Gale has failed at the big city life and the big city relationship, and some days it seems like all she has left is her love for baking pies. She returns to her hometown of Sugar Lake, determined to put her beloved hobby to good use at the family bakery and get her life back in order with no distractions. Especially not the “handsome ex” kind. But then old flame Clayton isn’t giving up so easily.
In Couldn’t Ask for More (Sourcebooks, October) Kianna Alexander puts her twist on a classic romance trope––a fake boyfriend.
Hardened tennis pro Jay Pierce returns for one more shot at glory in the lesbian romance Love All by Rachel Spangler (Bywater Books, October), but she’ll get more than she bargained for when she falls hard for the mom of one of the newest stars on the circuit.
Priscilla Oliveras burst onto the scene last year with her sweet Latinx romances. Their Perfect Melody (Zebra Shout, November) brings us a new couple to love in Lili Maria Fernandez and Diego Reyes. Lili has faced more than her fair share of tragedy, leading her away from a wild child past to become a victim’s advocate. When she meets Chicago police officer Diego Reyes she is wary about opening herself up to love. But Diego loves life, and he wants to draw Lili out of her shell.
Other forthcoming contemporary romances to look forward to include:
The Proposal, Jasmine Guillory (Berkley, August), a follow up to Guillory’s debut success The Wedding Date ; Superheroes invade Los Angeles in Bolt Saga by Angel Payne, (Waterhouse, October); Denise Hunter wraps up her Blue Ridge series with a You’ve Got Mail style meet cute in On Magnolia Lane, (Thomas Nelson, November) ; Love in Catalina Cove, Brenda Jackson (HQN, October); Perennial contemporary romance fave Christina Lauren offers a new standalone romance Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating (Gallery, September); Sally Thorne follows up her smash debut The Hating Game with 99 Percent Mine (William Morrow, January); With her first book in 15 years, The Sweetest Thing (Gallery, October), Judith McNaught is sure to excite her legions of devoted readers; Roni Loren wraps up her sensitive trilogy about the aftermath of school gun violence with The One You Fight For (Sourcebooks, January).
In The Rancher, Kate Pearce weaves a charming contemporary cowboy romance (Zebra, November); I Am Grace, Diana Muñoz Stewart, (Sourcebooks, September); “Magic Mike” meets “Bridesmaids” in Stripped from Zoey Castille (Kensington, August). The popular romantic suspense subgenre gets a jolt of adrenaline from Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose (Berkley, February) and The Memory House, Rachel Hauck (Thomas Nelson, April).