As a dedicated romance reader and reviewer, I’m trained to anticipate a happy ending — and as I look at what’s to come in 2024, I’m joyfully overwhelmed by what we’re in for. That's not even factoring in the return of "Bridgerton," Julia Quinn's novels-turned-Netflix show.
The new year is set to usher in the return of beloved authors like Vanessa Riley and Tia Williams, the continuation of juicy series from fresh voices like Nikki Payne and Sangu Mandanna, and introduce talented new writers like Yulin Kuang (who directed Emily Henry's "Beach Read" adaptation).
From the anticipated selections below, readers will see that there is room for and a need for every type of love story. With selections through April, check back for updates.
In effort to avoid being stuck with husbands, debutantes Beth and Gwen attempt to turn the season on its head and set their parents up instead. But a charming viscount and unexpectedly falling for each other makes their plan even more complicated. With a title inspired by Taylor Swift, this debut already has a leg up. Take into account it’s a sapphic Victorian romance with Parent Trap level hijinks? We’re sold.
Alderson’s latest is a standalone novel in his beloved Darkmourn Universe series, offering a dark twist on "The Little Mermaid." In this epic romantasy, Prince Ernest and the immortal Killian instantly fall for one another as they unite to fight off the evil and powerful Gods that threaten their freedom and rule their magical underwater world.
On impulse, Atlanta socialite Ricki Wilde seizes the opportunity to break out from her wealthy family, moving to a Harlem brownstone to fulfill her humble dream of opening a flower shop. But her new life also makes way for a handsome stranger named Ezra, who sweeps her off her feet in one of the city’s most spellbinding historical neighborhoods. From the bestselling author of "Seven Days in June" comes another precious, modern New York City fairytale.
Following "Pride and Protest," Payne returns with another poignant, sexy, and actually funny Jane Austen retelling. This time Payne takes on "Sense and Sensibility," transforming the classic and introducing readers to Nora and Bear. After learning she’s a product of her late father’s secret second family (and a compromising video of herself went viral) Nora and her sister unexpectedly inherit a run down coastal Maine inn. It’s there that fate leads her to Bear, a tour guide who is a member of the Abenaki nation. Their chemistry is undeniable, but his complex history won’t make their romance easy.
“At First Spite” by Olivia Dade (Feb. 14)
Heroine Athena resides in a "spite house," which means she just so happens to be living in a home sandwiched between her ex and his older brother Matthew — who was responsible for their breakup. Athena takes full advantage of her conveniently placed dwelling, but it soon becomes difficult to stay upset with the understanding, caring Matthew, especially when he’s there for her even at her lowest.
"How to End a Love Story" by Yulin Kuang (Feb. 27)
Both united by a tragic accident, but distanced by the ensuing trauma, Helen and Grant haven’t seen each other in 13 years. That is, until they’re reunited in the writer’s room for the TV adaptation of Helen’s popular YA series. Old memories and feelings come flooding back, and an angsty, inevitable romance takes shape.
Though Kuang has a special connection to the acclaimed Emilly Henry universe (she adapted "People We Meet on Vacation" for the screen and is set to direct the forthcoming "Beach Read" film), she sets herself apart as a fresh and needed voice with this emotionally layered debut.
“The Partner Plot” by Kristina Forest (Feb. 27)
Following her hit debut "The Neighbor Favor", Kristina Forest brings us a delightful second chance romance that kicks off in Vegas. Now worlds apart, Violet is a celebrity stylist while Xavier is a New Jersey high school teacher. But somehow the former high school sweethearts find each other again in Sin City. A night of partying leads to an impulsive wedding, but they decided to use their unplanned newlywed status to their advantage. What could possibly go wrong — or right?
"Lore of the Wilds" by Analeigh Sbrana (Feb. 27)
"Lore of the Wilds" is a diverse installment in the booming romantasy (romance/fantasy) genre. Sbrana’s debut introduces readers to a magical fae world, an enchanted library and the human at the center of it all. Not to mention the sweet romance that develops between the heroine and a handsome, incredibly skilled fae guard.
"This Could Be Us” by Kennedy Ryan (March 5)
The celebrated Kennedy Ryan brings us the second novel in her Skyland series, putting the focus on Soledad, a dedicated homemaker readers first met in "Before I Let Go." After divorcing her belittling ex, Sol is now a single mom whose world has been upended. Her story is both relatable and inspiring as she works to rediscover herself and rebuild her life, while also finding passion with an attentive man named Judah, who is unafraid to love every part of her.
“Swift and Saddled” by Lyla Sage (March 5)
BookTok sensation Lyla Sage is back with another small town western romance and an irresistible cover straight out of the golden age of comics. The second novel in her Rebel Blue series is a steamy tale of opposites attract. The night before the beginning of a career-making new gig at a Wyoming ranch, interior designer Ada shares an unforgettable kiss with a sexy cowboy in a dive bar. She soon finds out that he’s none other than her new boss, Weston. Regardless of their connection, Ada is not interested in a workplace romance … or is she?
"A Gamble at Sunset" by Vanessa Riley - March 26
Annoyed and frustrated, wallflower Georgina Wilcox decides to kiss random stranger (composer Lord Mark Sebastian) to rebel against her reclusive sister. The only problem? Members of the ton witness the spur of the moment lip-lock, and the two must strike-up a fake dating scheme to avoid scandal.
After a brief hiatus from romance (check out her illuminating works of historical fiction "Island Queen" and "Sister Mother Warrior") Riley is back with the first novel in her new regency trilogy.
"Manila Takes Manhattan" by Carla de Guzman - March 26
De Guzman lovingly infuses her Filipino culture in every page of Mon and Olivia’s New York-set tale. He’s a famed musician and producer; she's an accomplished actress. What starts out as a fling between new neighbors becomes a bit complicated when they discover they’ll be working on the same film together for the next month.
From the author of the hit novel "The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches" comes another quirky, fantastical rom-com. Innkeeper and once powerful witch Sera Swan has lost nearly all of her power after bringing her great-aunt Jasmine back to life. Anxious to restore her magic, Sera finds an ancient spell book that may be the answer to all of her problems. She just needs the help of handsome guest and historian, Luke.
"When I Think of You" by Myah Ariel - April 16
When the alluring cover for Ariel’s debut dropped in summer 2023, romancelandia was instantly sold. "When I Think of You" is a second-chance romance following film studio receptionist, Kaliya. As time goes on, Hollywood politics seem determined to dash her ambitions. Then, her old flame from film school, director Danny Prescott, offers her a job on his latest production. Love and a dream career opportunity seem within her grasp until scandal threatens it all.
"Funny Story" by Emily Henry - April 23
Known for her carefully imperfect heroines, empathetic and sexily tousled leading men, and picture-perfect summer settings, the mega-bestselling Henry always has her fans waiting with bated breath on her next novel. The latest brings us to Waning Bay, Michigan where children’s librarian Daphne finds herself, alone, when her ex-fiancé leaves her for his childhood best friend, Petra. Attempting to get on her feet, Daphne finds a new roommate in — get this — Petra’s ex Miles.
"Out of Office" by AH Cunningham - April 23
With another cover that caught the internet’s eye, Cunningham’s dreamy vacation romp follows Genevieve to a much-needed two week getaway in Colón after opening a new hotel in Panama. This is when she meets Adrián, a man dedicated to his family’s quaint hostel, who counteracts Genevieve’s Type-A personality with his easygoing approach at life. And he’s more than willing to engage in a holiday tryst.
"The Stranger I Wed" by Harper St. George - April 23
Perfect for fans of HBO’s "The Gilded Age", St. George takes readers back in time to the late 19th century. This book marks the first novel in her new The Doves of New York series. It follows Cora Dove, who in effort to escape rumors of her legitimacy and procure her much-needed dowry, escapes New York for England where it’s arranged she marry Leopold Brendon, Earl of Devonworth. The union is advantageous for them both, but secrets resurface that could threaten their newly found happily ever after.