The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio AxelrodStarring: Musician Antonia Bennette -- a.k.a. "Toni B." -- a rising star in Philly's indie music scene, and Sebastian "Seb" Quick, her childhood best friend (and teenage crush) who broke her heart when he left their rural Pennsylvania hometown and never looked back.
What happens: Toni's latest gig as a replacement guitarist for the up-and-coming band The Lillys reunites her with Seb, the group's manager.
Did you know? Author and musician Xio Axelrod recorded a single, "I Burn," to accompany this book, the 1st in a planned series.
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie DananThe premise: Although she hasn't set foot in a synagogue since her bat mitzvah, sex worker turned sex educator Naomi Grant is intrigued by a job offer from rabbi Ethan Cohen, who wants to hire Naomi to present a seminar on "Modern Intimacy" at the local JCC.
What sets it apart: relatable characters, a slow-burning romance, and a nuanced depiction of contemporary Judaism.
Crossover alert: Naomi first appears as a supporting character in author Rosie Danan's debut, The Roommate.
Twice Shy by Sarah HogleMeet: Maybell Parrish, 31-year-old theme park employee, hopeless romantic, and...heiress?
What happens: When Maybell inherits 50 percent of her great aunt's sprawling but dilapidated estate in Tennessee, she must share her new home with its co-owner, gruff groundskeeper Wesley Koehler.
Why you might like it: Upbeat and sugar sweet, this novel by the author of You Deserve Each Other offers a slow-burning opposites-attract romance between likable leads.
Life's Too Short by Abby JimenezCarpe diem: After losing several family members to ALS, Vanessa Price, vowing to live life to the fullest, becomes a famous travel vlogger.
Best laid plans: Vanessa's globe-trotting lifestyle comes to an abrupt halt when she becomes the guardian of her infant niece. Fortunately, her attractive neighbor, corporate lawyer Adrian Copeland, is good with kids.
Is it for you? This 3rd novel in the Friend Zone series (after The Happily Ever After Playlist) tackles some serious issues, including terminal illness, addiction, and suicidal ideation.
To Love and to Loathe by Martha WatersThe participants: longtime adversaries Diana Bourne, Lady Templeton, and Jeremy Overington, the Marquess of Willingham, whose constant bickering masks a smoldering attraction.
The arrangement: a brief affair that will allow Diana to experience the passion she never found with her late husband, and allow Jeremy to receive candid feedback on his skills (or lack thereof?) in the bedroom.
Series alert: To Love and To Loathe is the 2nd entry in the Regency Vows series, which begins with To Have and To Hoax.
This Earl of Mine by Kate BatemanThe plan: To secure her inheritance, which is contingent upon marriage, Georgiana Caversteed heads to Newgate Prison and weds inmate Ben Wylde, who's about to be transported to Australia. Problem solved!
Or is it? Georgiana discovers that Ben, an earl's son, was only posing as a felon to gather intelligence for the Crown. Now legally married, they decide to make their relationship real -- starting with a public courtship.
Why you might like it: This 1st book in the Bow Street Bachelors series playfully subverts aspects of both the "marriage of convenience" and "fake relationship" tropes.
A SEAL Always Wins by Holly CastilloDeep in the heart of Texas... is the Bent Horseshoe Ranch, which currently serves as the secret base for an undercover security operation run by the Navy SEALs.
What it's about: Navy SEAL Enrique “Phantom” Ramirez requires the assistance of local horse trainer Elena Garcia to preserve the unit's cover as a working ranch.
Series alert: This 2nd book in the Texas Navy SEALs series picks up where book 1, A SEAL Never Quits, left off.
A Spy in the Struggle: A Riveting Must-Read Novel of Suspense by Aya de LeónStarring: corporate-lawyer-turned-FBI-recruit Yolanda Vance, sent undercover to monitor a potentially dangerous Black eco-activist group based in Oakland, California.
What happens: The more Yolanda learns about the group, the more she wonders what the FBI isn't telling her. And then there's her budding relationship with college professor and activist Olujimi "Jimmy" Thomson...
Why you might like it: Like the author's Justice Hustlers series, this steamy standalone blends romance, suspense, and social justice themes.
Wind River Undercover by Lindsay McKennaWhat it's about: Sniper Anna Navaro, on loan to the DEA from the Guatemalan government, teams up with Agent Gabe Whitcomb for an undercover surveillance mission in Wind River Valley, Wyoming.
Why you might like it: Posing as ranchers a stone's throw from Gabe's childhood home, the pair's already dangerous mission is further complicated by a growing intimacy.
Reviewers say: "Lovers of action-packed romantic suspense will delight in this intense tale" (Publishers Weekly), the 9th installment of the Wind River Valley series.
Fallen by Rebecca ZanettiThe mission: Hacker Brigid Banaghan and her handler, Raider Tanaka, must pose as an engaged couple during a visit to her father's farm as part of an undercover operation to infiltrate the Irish mob.
The problem(s): Still reeling from the discovery of her dad's criminal ties, Brigid also struggles to resist her attraction to the mysterious Raider.
Series alert: Fallen is the 2nd in the Deep Ops series, which follows a special unit of misfit federal agents.
Contact your librarian for more great books!