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.
When a Rogue Meets His Match by Elizabeth HoytWhat it's about: Messalina Greycourt is appalled when her cruel uncle, a duke, marries her off to his fixer, Gideon Hawthorne. And that's before she finds out that Gideon has been tasked with murdering her brother.
Is it for you? Like the author's Maiden Lane series, this 2nd book in the Greycourt series (after Not the Duke's Darling) is set in a gritty, dog-eat-dog Georgian England and has its fair share of tortured characters engaged in morally questionable activities.
For fans of: Kerrigan Byrne's Devil You Know series or Minerva Spencer's Outcasts series.
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.
Sit, Stay, Love by Debbie BurnsWhat it's about: Teaming up to rehabilitate dogs rescued from a dog-fighting ring, animal shelter adoption coordinator Kelsey Sutton and ex-military dog handler Kurt Crawford fall in love.
Series alert: Sit, Stay, Love is the 2nd book in the Rescue Me series, after A New Leash on Love.
For fans of: Catherine Mann's Second Chance Ranch series or Teri Anne Stanley's Big Chance Dog Rescue series.
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.
Puppy Love by Lucy GilmoreMeet: Bubbles, the skittish Pomeranian whose keen sense of smell makes her the perfect pup to help firefighter Harrison Parks manage his diabetes. At least, that's what service dog trainer Sophie Vasquez claims.
Is it for you? Although this 1st book in the Service Puppies series offers a sweet, slow-burn romance, both Harrison and Sophie survived difficult childhoods that included parental abandonment and cancer, respectively.
For fans of: Jill Shalvis' Animal Magnetism series, Rachel Lacey's Love to the Rescue series.
Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah MorganWhat it's about: Just days after making a pledge to take more risks, painfully shy Harriet Knight has become the live-in dog sitter of hot ER doctor Ethan Black. But is she brave enough to act on her feelings?
Why you might like it: This 6th book in the From Manhattan with Love series features likable leads and a sweet holiday romance set in New York City.
Look for: cameos by Harriet's siblings, who found love in previous series installments New York, Actually and Holiday in the Hamptons.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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