How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa ColeWhat it's about: Shanti Mohapi fulfills her life's ambition of becoming a queen by marrying King Sanyu of Njaza, only to realize that her new job includes a husband who wishes she'd go away, copious palace intrigue, and a kingdom in trouble.
Why you might like it: Shanti and Sanyu's marriage of convenience progresses from practical partnership to love match, while detailed world-building makes this fictional African nation feel real.
Series alert: How to Catch a Queen kicks off the Runaway Royals series, a spin-off of the author's Reluctant Royals series.
Confessions in B-Flat by Donna HillNew York, 1963: Jason Tanner, a protégé of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., agrees to disagree with poet and activist Anita Hopkins, who admires Malcolm X. But even as they seek common ground, world events threaten to tear them apart.
Why you might like it: This well-researched novel offers a moving love story, vibrant depictions of 1960s Harlem, and cameos by notable figures from the Civil Rights movement.
You might also like: The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology, a quartet of novellas celebrating Black history.
The Boy Toy by Nicola MarshWhat happens: After a decade in Los Angeles, divorced dialect coach Samira Broderick returns to Melbourne, Australia, where she hooks up with stuntman Rory Radcliffe, who turns out to be her client.
What sets it apart: In addition to the older woman/younger man dynamic, this engaging debut also examines how Samira, the daughter of an Indian mother and a white American father, struggles to balance her personal goals with her family's expectations.
Archangel's Sun: A Guild Hunter novel by Nalini SinghWhat it is: the 13th book in Nalini Singh's popular Guild Hunter series.
Starring: Titus, the beleaguered Archangel of Africa, and Lady Sharine, the artist known as the "Hummingbird," who's been sent to help him deal with both the undead and a burgeoning viral plague.
Can you start here? Due to its large cast of recurring characters and a plot that revolves around the aftermath of a supernatural war that unfolded in previous installments, newcomers are advised to start at the beginning with Angels' Blood.
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise WilliamsWhat it's about: Three years after leaving an abusive relationship, math professor Naya Turner has decided it's time to find a life outside of work.
And so... Naya begins a tentative fling with Jake, the cute guy she meets at a local bar, only to discover that he's a consultant hired by her financially strapped university to make cuts.
Is it for you? Like a bad penny, Naya's abusive ex turns up and decides to make things difficult for her, which leads to some disturbing scenes.
Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie CoxWhat it's about: After Charlie's London flat is destroyed in a gas explosion, her cousin Jez, who runs a high-end pet spa in the countryside, offers Charlie a place to stay in exchange for helping out at Cozy Canine Cottages, where she meets sexy, grumpy veterinarian Cal.
Charlie's problem? "It's true. I do hate dogs. Which is not something I often admit to in public. Among the British, it's a little like saying you hate chocolate. Or sunshine. Or world peace."
Read it for: Charlie's candid narration, an opposites-attract romance, and a very pregnant beagle named Peggy.
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