The world is a crazy place right now, and wherever you are we at AAR send our very best wishes and hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy. At times like these, we all need a little distraction and maybe a little more hope and happiness in our lives, and – in our humble opinion – there’s no better place to find those than in the pages of a good romance novel. As usual, the AAR team has scoured the new and upcoming releases lists to find the titles we think are most likely to provide entertaining and enjoyable reads over the next few weeks. It’s not a comprehensive list, but hopefully you’ll find some inspiration for your next reads. And do drop by and tell us which books you’re most looking forward to picking up over the coming weeks!

Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris (7 Apr)

A new instalment in this fabulous historical mystery series is always a special event on my reading calendar! – Caz

I’d rank the St. Cyr mystery series in my top five all time, so I’m looking forward to the newest installment. I listened to all but the last book in the series, and I’ll be listening to this one too. I definitely prefer that format, and it prolongs my enjoyment of the story. Happy to see this is far from the last St. Cyr novel in my future! – Em

Buy it at: Amazon /Indiebound

The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park (7 Apr)

It’s a geeky YA multicultural rom-com with a zombie escape room with nerds in love! Nate Jae-Woo Kim is looking for ways to help his proud Korean family during their finacial troubles. Working at a zombine-themed escape room with fellow geek Kate Anderson isn’t enough. Meanwhile, Kate copes with a controlling tech geek of a father. Then Kate tells Nate about a weekend-long zombie-themed survivalist competition sponsored by a tech company. If they team up, they could win the big cash prize. But what if they fall for each other along the way? – Anne

Love in a zombie-themed escape room. – Caroline

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters (7 Apr)

Early reviews indicate this one has a lot going for it – great chemistry, likeable characters, plenty of humour… fingers crossed I’ll find a new HR author to enjoy! – Caz

I was COMPLETELY ensnared by the blurb for this book married-couple HR by a 1st time author. Our hero and heroine have been legally together but physically apart, until they get in a game of one upmanship to see who can outhoax the other. – Charlotte

This sounds like sparkling, funny, charming fun judging from early reviews and the blurb! – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Pop Star by Eden Finley (8 Apr)

The books in Eden Finley’s Fake Boyfriend series were perfect pick-me-ups; funny and sexy with just the right amount of tension and some wonderful characters you can really root for.  I’m hoping for more of the same from her new Famous series. – Caz

Finley’s Fake Boyfriend series was an enjoyable binge in 2019. The author does a nice job balancing love and sex and angst; Finley doesn’t swing for the fences, she simply writes sexy love stories that are easy to read and enjoy. Pop Star is the kick-off for a new series set in the music world. I’m here for it. – Em

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (21 Apr)

A bodyguard! A tech romance! A cabin romance! My favorite tropes are calling! – Caroline

Rai’s contemps are always great, and I can confirm this one is no exception. – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Burn Zone by Annabeth Albert (27 Apr)

I’m a big fan of this author’s and always look forward to new books from  her.  I haven’t actually read many (any?) firefighter romances so Bring It On! – Caz

I’m an Annabeth Albert fan hoping for a new series to love. The Frozen Hearts series was a bit uneven and I never really connected with it, but I haven’t lost the faith. Firefighting squads seem like they could share a lot of common themes with SEALs – and I graded almost all of the Out of Uniform novels Bs or above, so…I’m cautiously optimistic about this kick off will be every bit as successful. I’m rooting hard for it! – Em

I’ve been a fan of Annabeth Albert ever since her Portland Heat and #Gaymers series so I’m always on the lookout for new releases by her. Firefighters continue to be popular romance heroes and I’m looking forward to starting this new series! – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras (27 Apr)

I am always interested in heroines with body image issues, and the intersection of that and being a social media star sounds intriguing. – Caroline

A social media influencer recovering from an eating disorder impulsively invites a hunky dive captain/fire fighter/paramdedic to play her fiancé when her boyfriend ditches an upcoming high-pressure family vacation. Fake fiancés in paradise – sounds like fun! – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Heiress for Hire by Madeline Hunter (28 Apr)

Really good historical romances have been dreadfully thin on the ground lately, but I’ve enjoyed many of this author’s books and the premise of this – a lady detective butts heads with her business rival (who happens to be the man almost convicted of her husband’s murder) definitely sounds intriguing. – Caz

Minerva is one of three women who have been bequeathed a chunk of a duke’s fortune to persue her scholarly interests. When an intruder breaks into her home she knocks him unconscious only to discover it’s the man who was accused of her late husband’s murder – and he’s mad that his uncle’s bequeathed all of that money to Minerva. Sounds fun! – Lisa

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

We’re also looking forward to…


Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie (7 Apr)

This is a YA novel (with bisexual rep), but Del Rey is publishing it under their SF line. Ettian Nassun lost his family to the brutal Umber Empire when the revolution failed. He (more or less) put his life back together and joined the empire’s military academy to become a pilot. He might be attracted to his new roommate, Gal Veres. When a failed assassination reveals that Gal is heir to the Empire, Ettian and Gal are forced to flee together. Can Ettian trust that Gal will be able to transform the brutal empire? Or should he take his chances with the rebellion?

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova (28 Apr)

I was looking for more YA fantasy novels inspired by the Spanish Inquisition. And here comes one written by an #OwnVoices Latinx author! It has revenge, spies, and rebels. Not to mention a heroine who is shunned because of her powers… She is a memory thief.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound


Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher (14 Apr)

A workplace romance, but the heroine is the boss!

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound


A Vigil in the Mourning by Hailey Turner (6 Apr)

This incredibly inventive series has gone from strength to strength as our heroes – a former combat mage and his werewolf partner – have battled gods, demons, fae and a whole host of mythical beings. This fourth instalment finds Patrick confronting old enemies while Jono is forced to make some incredibly difficult decisions.  Hailey Turner’s imagination and creativity know no bounds, and her writing is captivating. – Caz

Buy it at: Amazon

Bell, Book and Scandal by Josh Lanyon (23 Apr)

The final book in this trilogy (but not in this series; the author is writing more books set in this world!) will, I hope, answer all those unanswered questions and bring Cosmo and John their well-deserved HEA. – Caz

Buy it at: Amazon


First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn (21 Apr)

Friends to lovers? The Bridgertons? The Rokesbys? A marriage of convenience? Julia Quinn? FRIENDS: WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? I’m currently listening my way through the original Bridgerton family series, and I’ve enjoyed the the first three books in Rokesbys newer/but older series. Looking forward to this one. – Em

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

The Switch by Beth O’Leary (30 Apr)

I want to tell you I think this premise can work: a twenty-something overachiever switches places with her newly widowed 79 year old grandmother, and they both find love by the end of the two month experiment… but I’m not so sure switching up their living arrangements makes this believable in any what whatsoever. We’ll see; I love O’Leary’s début (The Flatshare), and I was similarly doubtful about it’s premise! Fingers crossed this new author has another hit on her hands.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound


The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (7 Apr)

Grady Hendrix’s gory and occasionally playful takes on the horror genre continue apace as a cozy women’s novel meets a bloodsoaked vampire thriller.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (14 Apr)

A woman healing from a broken relationship finds a dog wandering the streets of her hometown and adopts it. But when Tucker’s owner wants him back, Sloan is not about to give up without a fight. Jason – Tucker’s musician owner – isn’t exactly willing to give up either. Romance ensues!

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

A Duke by Any Other Name by Grace Burrowes (28 Apr)

Lady Althea requires the social assistance of Nathaniel, a duke so intimidating that the local mothers whisper tales of him to their children to keep them on the narrow. Fortunately, Althea does not scare easily. Sounds charming!

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham (28 Apr)

I don’t think I’m ever going to tire of Peckham’s original and fun heroines and heroes.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound


The Last Place You Look by Aurora Rey (14 Apr)

When Julia Pierce’s eight-year marriage breaks up, she moves back home and and takes a job at her family’s winery. Julia heads full-on into a dating spree, joined by her “wingwoman” Taylor, who still harbors a crush on Julia that dates back to high school. While Julia sows her wild oats, Taylor hopes to escape the dreaded “friend zone” and win Julia’s heart. Post-breakup serial dating, a secret crush, and a winery – the makings of a sexy romance! 💋

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Maria Rose:

One Kiss From the King of Rock by Ainslie Paton (16 Apr)

I loved One Night with the Sexiest Man Alive, the start of The One series. This second book in the series is a sexy second chance romance set in the world of rock music fame. Ainslie’s stories have great characters and compelling scenes and I’m sure this will live up to all my expectations.

Buy it at: Amazon

Temper by Chantal Fernando (21 Apr)

Chantal Fernando is a new to me author but the plot of Temper, the third story in her Knights of Fury motorcycle club series intrigued me enough to want to give it a try. It’s been a while since I read a hot biker romance so I’m hoping it will be worth the wait.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Flying Gold by Vanessa North (27 Apr)

I really enjoyed the first in this series, Hard Chrome which introduced the Ellis family and their garage business. Flying Gold has a second chance romance trope and promises a great combination of interesting strong characters with cars and hot sex.

Buy it at: Amazon

Starbreaker by Amanda Bouchet (28 Apr)

I’ve been waiting for the second book in Amanda Bouchet’s science fiction romance series Endeavour and am very much looking forward to an escape read with Starbreaker! – Maria Rose

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound


Conjure Women by Afia Atakora (7 Apr)

I was intrigued by the synopsis of this debut novel. It’s historical fiction set in the American south both before and after the civil war. It’s a multi-generational tale of sorts that focuses on three resilient women, something I’ve loved for years, so I’m eager to see how it plays out.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate (7 Apr)

I’m a sucker for a well-written dual timeline novel, and The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate looks right up my alley. It deals with a piece of civil war-related history I know very little about, so I’m eager to dive into the story. Ms. Wingate’s prose have wowed me in the past, so I’m hoping for another stellar reading experience when this book is released.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

He Started It by Samantha Downing (28 Apr)

I was blown away by Samantha Downing’s 2019 debut My Lovely Wife, so I was stoked to hear she had a new book coming out in April. I’m always on the lookout for a new twisty thriller to get lost in and if this one is even half as good as her first book turned out to be, I’ll be pleased.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon (28 Apr)

Amy Harmon makes magic with her words. I’ll read pretty much anything she writes, especially if it’s set in the past. With it’s wagon train setting, Where the Lost Wander puts me in mind of the western romances I loved as a teenager. There’s something so stark and dangerous about the Old West, and I’m sure Ms. Harmon will bring it to life beautifully.

Buy it at: Amazon/Indiebound

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.