In May comes thoughts of romance, at least with all the new spring books about love that appear at this time of year. This much maligned reading category has evolved so much recently, exploding in popularity as publishers ride the wave of interest from younger readers. Forget about bodice-rippers – contemporary romance is hot in new ways as it fearlessly tackles current topics and cheerfully mixes genres in its quest to prove everyone deserves a chance at love. Fortunately, the Concord Free Public Library’s librarians stand by with some expert recommendations.
Madeline Klein at the Fowler branch picks:
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert — Opposites attract as two former friends compete at who can survive best in the woods – and of course, begin to fall for each other. Despite mental health struggles and hurt feelings, can they find sparks that won’t burn down the forest?
Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur – Bellefleur is a reigning queen of steamy queer romance, and this one is part of a series set in her beloved Pacific Northwest.
Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai – Rai hit it big on the bestseller lists with this deftly done caper, as a pair of successful, sensible Indian Americans attempting to date get caught up in a heist scam in Vegas and fall in love along the way. What a film this will make!
Stacey Charbonneau at the Main Library picks:
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau – Stacey appreciated the Asian representation in romance, and how the male character is as fully formed as the female lead, with his struggles as important as hers.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore – A historical romance about women’s rights in the 1870’s as a twist on the popular regency with simmering tension between the protagonists. Stacey calls it “the perfect blend of lust and propriety!”
Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan – Stacey was thrilled to read a romance with mature — as in middle-aged — characters that thoughtfully handles a mom with children and includes great twists and dialogue.
Danielle Gillette picks:
Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly – What happens when a nonbinary contestant on a London cooking show falls for a competitor? Hijinks and romance, of course!
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake – Blake writes about how a family’s history can impact a person’s future relationships with compassion, wisdom and heart. You’ll care so much about Delilah and be rooting for her happy ending.
The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun – A tech wunderkind on the autism spectrum and with anxiety falls for one of his producers on a reality tv dating show — what could go wrong?
My pick for summer romance is the upcoming The Road to Roswell by the great sci-fic author Connie Willis. A desert wedding, alien abduction and an insurance salesman – sounds like the best kind of screwball comedy!