Here we are looking ahead to what will hopefully be a summer of great reads – and judging by the books AAR staffers are looking forward to reading in June, it looks like the season is getting off to a strong start!  Romantic comedies, western romances, romantic suspense and paranormals, historical romance, mysteries, contemporaries and women’s fiction; there should be something for everyone here, so check out our list and let us know what you think.

The Chai Factor by Farah Heron (11 Jun)

“Grandma rented the basement apartment to a barbershop quartet” is about the most original meet-cute I’ve seen this year. Add in an engineer heroine and a cross-cultural relationship, and this sounds like a treat. – Caroline

I’ve been hearing buzz about this book for a while. I can’t say I’ve read a barbershop quartet book ever before so I’m very interested to see what this will be like. – Haley

I cannot wait for this interracial romance where the heroine wonders how she can be interested in someone who she thinks doesn’t get her or her family’s culture, but in reality does. I have been reading quite a few such multicultural romances this year, and this one promises to be just as wonderful. Keira

The premise sounds charming as heck and I’m excited to read this one – Lisa

I’m clearly not alone in looking forward to this upcoming début romance by Farah Heron! A hero who sings in a barbershop quartet and wears flannel shirts and an engineer heroine? That’s a match made in rom-com heaven! – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

A Touch of Forever by Jo Goodman (7 Jun)

Jo Goodman is already on my auto-buy list, but I was particularly excited to see this book will involve a mother and children. Ms. Goodman is especially… well, good, at writing family stories, in my experience. – Alex A.

I love Westerns. This one is about a mother of four, widowed from her abusive husband, finding love again with the railroad surveyor who comes to town. Add in the fact that Goodman’s prose is always excellent, and I’m excited to see where this goes! – Caroline

Jo Goodman does westerns really well, and especially, historical westerns and among them, books with families. I am all for gentle people in romances, because quiet romances can be the most emotionally intense. Goodman is an auto-buy for me as well. – Keira

Goodman is also an auto-buy for me – her western romances are top of the line, and this whole series has been a delight – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (4 Jun)

Austen is the inspiration for some of the best and worst reimaginings of classic fiction. I absolutely adore a few of them, and I hope to add this one to the list. – Caroline

I’ve had this book on my radar since it came out in Canada, and I’m so glad it got a U.S. release! The setup sounds adorable and I’m excited to see Jalaluddin’s version of Pride and Prejudice. – Haley

I’m dying to lay my hands on this book. The premise is absolutely delicious and I’m loving the spate of diverse retellings of Pride & Prejudice we’re seeing this year. – Keira

In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Jalaluddin’s Ayesha is a poet forced to work as a teacher to pay off her debt to her rich uncle. In a raucous family with a flighty younger sister who frequently rejects propsals and hs attracted the lion’s share of attention since her birth, Ayesha has rejected the idea of an arranged marriage and doesn’t expect love to enter her life – so when it does in the form of the tradtional and stuffy Khalid, what will she do? I’m quite temped by the buzz surrounding this one, and it sounds like a beautiful story! – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh (4 Jun)

Ditto what Caroline says below. This book will take us back to the old SnowDancer pack, and I’m excited to see how things have changed there in the last few books. Watching the world of this series change and develop is almost (equally?) as exciting as the romances. – Alex A.

The annual Nalini Singh release is always one of the highlights of my reading year. – Caroline

I just finished listening to the audiobook of Ocean Light (which was excellent) and I’m looking forward to continuing the series! – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Give Up the Ghost by Jenn Burke (3 Jun)

I loved the first book in this paranormal/mystery/romance series from Jenn Burke. Not Dead Yet was a hugely enjoyable read with a unique twist, memorable characters and a lovely slow-burn romance and I enjoyed every minute of it.  The ending left some intriguing plot-threads to be picked up in Give Up the Ghost, and I can’t wait to find out what not-ghost Wes, his lover, and his rag-taggle band of friends are going to get up to next!  – Caz

I liked every single thing about the first book in this new series from Jenn Burke – the worldbuilding, principal and secondary characters, the sharp dialogue, and the clever plot – and looked forward to this second book. She gets the suspense and romance elements in perfect balance, and I’m excited to see where this second novel takes us. – Em

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (4 Jun)

Jean Kwon’s novel has been named the most anticipated read of the summer by many, and I admit I’m among them. Told by Amy, Sylvie’s timid younger sister who always worshipped her fierce, distantly-raised sibling, the novel follows Amy’s journey to the place where Sylvie was last seen in the desperate hope that perhaps she’ll be found after suddenly disappearing after visiting their grandmother’s deathbed. This sounds beautiful and I’m delighted to see it. – Lisa

Ms. Kwok’s Mambo in Chinatown was a surprise DIK for me. Heartfelt, funny and sweet, it has had me eagerly watching Amazon for a new release from her. I am beyond excited for Searching for Sylvie Lee – Maggie

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Prince of Killers by Layla Reyne (10 Jun)

Like Em, I’m cautiously looking forward to this latest novel from Layla Reyne, and for similar reasons.  Her début Agents Irish & Whiskey series was great, but the follow up, Trouble Brewing, didn’t work quite as well for me; I liked the central characters, but their development was sometimes sacrificed for the sake of overstuffed plots.  Fingers crossed this new series – about an underworld assassin and a PI – gets off to a good start. – Caz

I can’t decide how to feel about this new series from Ms. Reyne!  I like the author’s voice and her characters, but I’ve not been wild about what she’s done with them in her last few books – too much! IF she launches this story with a compelling story line and balances it with her gift for character development, I’m all in. Crossing my fingers and hoping this is the start of another excellent romantic suspense series. – Em

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Some Like it Scandalous by Maya Rodale (18 Jun)

I’m curious about a historical set outside of London. This one is about a Gilded Age scientist who wants to make and sell her own cosmetics and a New York millionaire with whom she has a fake engagement. – Caroline

Rodale is slowly but surely becoming an autobuy for me; I love her smart, independent heroines, and the first book in her Gilded Age series was excellent – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig (4 Jun)

Vicar’s daughter Emily – a poor relation to her shipping magnate cousins – unexpectedly inherits a burned-out sugar plantation in Barbados from her practical grandfather. As Emily falls in love with the island, she comes to reckon with her family’s history and figure out why her unctuous neighbors are so interested in buying her out. Willig’s historical fiction is always compelling and I expect this one to be similar – Lisa

Lauren Willig’s latest novel is set in 1854 Barbados, and I’m super excited to read it! I love her ability to transport me out of my everyday life and into the lush worlds she creates, and this is a time and place I’m eager to learn more about. – Shannon

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

We’re also looking forward to…


The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez (11 Jun)

A heroine who has a medically-necessary hysterectomy at a young age struggles to stay away from a hero she knows wants a big family. Reviews call The Friend Zone sad, but also very funny, and it does come from a woman internet-famous for sassy comments about a cake that looks like a vagina. So I’m in. (The book. Not the vagina cake.)

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Arctic Wild by Annabeth Albert (3 Jun)

Annabeth Albert is a “must-read” author for me these days, and I like the sound of the premise of this, the second in her new Frozen Hearts series. A workaholic, somewhat reticent lawyer and younger, “endearingly sociable” pilot  get stranded when their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness… – Caz

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Doctor’s Date by Heidi Cullinan (18 Jun)

Okay, so the initial premise of this sounds a bit wobbly; doctor and HR director who are famous for their shouting matches move in together after one wins the other in a bachelor auction, but I like the fake relationship trope and I like medical romances, so I’m in! – Caz

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

The Determined Lord Hadleigh by Virginia Heath (18 Jun)

In the final book in Virginia Heath’s King’s Elite series, the eponymous lord is a highly successful barrister and part of the group of English agents determined to bring down a notorious smuggling ring. Virginia Heath is one of the best historical romance authors around, and has a string of high grades and DIKs to her name to prove it! – Caz

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Enemies to lovers, hockey, and the llllooonnnggg awaited second book in the Hat Trick series? Well, that’s a hat trick for me! The first book in this series was an interesting twist on the superstar athlete trope, and I’m intrigued by Ryu, a secondary character we met in book one. I’m hoping Ms. Gale and Mx. Vaughn have used their time wisely, and that this story is every bit as good (or better) than the first.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James

This fourth book in the Wildes of Lindlow Castle will finally feature one of the Wilde daughters – Betsy. She’s fun and feisty – it will be entertaining  to see how she gets her HEA.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Cinder and the Prince of Midnight by Susan Ee (3 Jun)

It has been ages since Susan Ee blew me away with her Angelfall series. I’m not sure what to think of the fairy tale aspect here, but I will literally read anything she puts out because I loved her pervious books so much. Just give it to me! – Haley

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


A Runaway Bride for the Highlander by Elisabeth Hobbes

This is book three of the Lochmore Legacy series about a castle through the ages. The first two books were set in the Victorian and Regency eras, and this is set in Tudor times. I enjoyed the second instalment very much and have read very few books set in this period, so I’m really looking forward to this one.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim (11 Jun)

Love, friendship, and good food just might be what Natalie Tan needs to turn everything around but can she learn to accept help and find forgiveness? Helen Hoang reccomends this book highly, and the combination of food porn, bitter family ties and renewal and forgiveness sounds enchanting.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


More than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer

Ms Witemeyer’s More than Meets the Eye was easily my favorite Inspirational romance of last year. Funny, poignant, sweet, and warm, it gave me all the feels and then some. This second book in the series focuses on grumpy elder brother Zacharias Hamilton, a man with a crusty exterior and a heart of gold. I can’t wait to meet the heroine this talented author has created for him and am eagerly anticipating being lost in their love story for several happy hours (maybe even days if I do a re-read!) Maggie

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Maria Rose:

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (11 Jun)

Tessa Bailey has been a favorite author of mine since her Line of Duty series and she writes sexy and interesting plots with enjoyable characters. This one looks to be equally fun with a fake relationship featuring a former baseball player and his best friend’s sister.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Slow Dancing at Sunrise by JoMcNally (25 Jun)

I haven’t read this author before but the start of a new series looks like a good place to dive in. A winery makes for an interesting setting and throw in a grumpy hero – sold! – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym Martineau (25 Jun)

I’m always on the lookout for new to me fantasy or sci-fi romance writers and couldn’t pass up this upcoming release! The first book in The Beast Charmer trilogy (so I’m prepared if there’s a cliffhanger ending), it’s billed as ‘Assasins Creed meets Fantastic Beasts’ and I hope it’s as good as it sounds! -Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo


Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (4 Jun)

I’ve read and loved another book by Margaret Rogerson, so I’m expecting great things from her latest novel of young adult fantasy. I’m hoping for the wonderful blend of darkness and romance I experienced when reading An Enchantment of Ravens, and the synopsis for this one makes me think that’s exactly what I’ll get.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (4 Jun)

I’ve been a huge fan of Ms. Weiner’s writing since the early 2000s, and I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of her latest novel. It looks like a fascinating family saga, examining the difficult relationship between two extremely different sisters spanning several decades. If anyone can make a book like this work, it’s Jennifer Weiner.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

Storm And Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout (11 Jun)

Jennifer L. Armentrout has created some fascinating worlds that I loved spending time in, so I was happy to see that she’s starting a new series. Storm and Fury looks to be the perfect blend of swoonworthy romance and immersive worldbuilding I’ve come to expect from this author, so June 11th is a day I’m eagerly anticipating.

Buy it at: Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes & Noble/Kobo

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of available titles, just a selection made by AAR reviewers according to their personal tastes.  Purchase links are given where available at time of writing.

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Queer romance, romantic suspense and historicals - romance, mysteries, fiction -  are my genres of choice these days, and when I haven't got my nose in a book, I’ve got my ears in one.  I’m a huge fan of audiobooks and am rarely to be found without my earbuds in.