The February Romances Readers Are Falling For

Posted by Sharon on February 1, 2021
Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts through the new romance books and sees how early readers are responding. We use this information to curate a list of soon-to-be-beloved favorites.
New in February: New neighbors conduct a balcony romance in Love at First. A quickie Vegas wedding takes a weird turn in Honey Girl. And dueling app developers find digital romance in Make Up Break Up. Also new this month: Wyoming ranchers, British farmers, and a pansexual pleasure trip around the globe. Fun!
Add what catches your fancy to your Want to Read shelf, and let us know what you're reading and recommending in the comments.

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Morgan RogersHoney Girl follows the unexpectedly wild adventures of overachiever Grace Porter, a quiet scholar who’s recently earned her PhD in astronomy. Grace is definitely not the type to get drunk in Vegas and wind up married. Unfortunately, that’s just what she did. The upside: Grace’s new wife, Yuki Yamamoto, is kind and beautiful. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…sometimes.

Read our exclusive interview with Morgan Rogers.

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Kate Clayborn (Love Lettering) brings us the story of Will Sterling, an overworked medical doctor trying to unload a property he recently inherited. Several complications emerge. First off, the property holds some critical childhood memories. Also, there’s a woman two balconies above with a very familiar voice. That’s Nora Clarke, and she hopes to torpedo Will’s plans. Balconies and star-crossed lovers have a dubious history in the romance genre, but anything can happen in a love story.

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Annika Dev has found modest success with her app, Make Up, which is billed as the “Google Translate for failing relationships.” Hudson Craft has found enormous success with Break Up, which essentially rips off Annika’s idea and inverts it at the same time. Can two rival app developers find love in the hyper-competitive world of software development? Luckily, there’s an app for that.

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Scottish author Samantha Young returns to contemporary romantic comedy with this story of lonely heart and lifelong Shakespeare fan Evangeline Starling. Evie’s holiday in rural England is going splendidly, aside from the presence of handsome villager Roane Robson, whose flirtations pose a problem. Holiday romances always end in heartbreak, right? Better to just shut it down. Yes, that’s the thing to do, let him down gently. But blimey, he’s handsome.

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Here’s a promo blurb puzzler for you: Can an online romance turned offline fauxmance ever become love in real life? That’s the question in First Comes Like, the latest from Alisha Rai, author of The Right Swipe and Girl Gone Viral. The plot twists in this one look particularly twisty, but it’s safe to say that this internet-age romance involves catfishing, a powerful Bollywood family, a popular online influencer, celebrity, deception, and one big and opinionated family.

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Noni Blake has spent her life putting the pleasure of her lovers, men and women both, ahead of her own. But now she’s ready to change her priorities, and so she sets out on a globe-spanning quest to discover a new kind of pleasure-seeking experience. Claire Christian’s new book follows one 30-something woman’s quest to start over and find happiness in the moment and on the fly. Sounds like a pretty good time, doesn’t it?

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Think The Bodyguard meets Jane Austen in this first installment of the excellently named series The Secret Scientists of LondonLady Violet Hughes has two secrets. One, she's the founder of a secret society of female scientists. Two, she's on a clandestine mission for the British crown. And when hunky protection officer Arthur Kneland enters her life? Methinks a crush will be the lady's secret number three. 

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Next up in Beverly Jenkins’ popular Women Who Dare series, Wild Rain takes readers back in time to Wyoming just after the Civil War. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to live as a Black female rancher in 19th-century America, well, here’s your big chance. Spring Lee is a fiercely independent woman, and she’s captured the heart of a visiting newspaperman from back East. Can these two overcome their differences? Judging by the cover illustration, they’re making some solid headway.

Read our article about Beverly Jenkins.

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In K.J. Charles' newest Regency romp, Robin Loxleigh and his sister Marianne come to London with one aim: snagging themselves a couple of rich spouses. Let's call it "robbing the rich to feed the poor," shall we? But here's a complication. Robin's mark, the innocent heiress Alice, has a grumpy and overprotective uncle. What's more, that uncle and Robin seem to be unable to keep their eyes (and hands) off each other. Well, Robin, looks like you played yourself...

Which new releases are you looking forward to reading? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
10 Romances to Try If You Love the Fake Dating Trope
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of February
66 of the Year's Most Anticipated Fiction by Black Authors

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Helena (new)

Helena Henriques I'm not crazy about romance, but I like a little bit like in Louisa May Alcott's books or something like that. It seems like romance in books these days are way too much.

First comment! 😁

message 2: by Helena (new)

Helena Henriques It seems like modern romance books have empty characters and no moral to the story and the author seems to just want to fill the readers mind with garbage. (Not speaking for all though.)

Second comment. 😜

message 3: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Vinton ^totally agree

message 4: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Vinton third comment. XD

message 5: by Helena (new)

Helena Henriques No Trinity, that was the fourth comment. 😂

FifTh cOmMenT 🧐

message 6: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Dwan Portrait of a Scotsman

message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim Looking forward to Much Ado About You and Wild Rain; however, I'm sure most of the comments will be negative.

message 8: by Margarita (new)

Margarita Looking forward for Much Ado About You. Hopefully it will be soon

message 9: by Vera (new)

Vera Helena wrote: "I'm not crazy about romance, but I like a little bit like in Louisa May Alcott's books or something like that. It seems like romance in books these days are way too much.

First comm..."

LOL Louisa May Alcott wanted to write explicit romance but was forced write books she wrote because they were selling. If you read Little Women you clearly see her in Jo.
Please don't.

message 10: by coolranch16 (new)

coolranch16 What is up with the cartoon covers? Reminds me of children’s books. Not what I’m looking for in romance.

message 11: by David (new)

David Helena wrote: "It seems like modern romance books have empty characters and no moral to the story and the author seems to just want to fill the readers mind with garbage. (Not speaking for all though.)

Second co..."

This is coming from a guy who has not read a ton of romance, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but I'm sure there's plenty of great romance out there. Certainly the classics still hold up, and I just recently read one I really like called The Girl Who Chased the Moon. A lot of the fantasy or magical realism books I read have major romance subplots that take up a large portion of the book and that I get really invested in.

I think the problem is because romance is the best selling genre of novel most of what's out there and what gets advertised heavily is what sells well, and it seems like mostly what sells well is wish fulfillment. Whenever I've tried to read a popular pure romance novel with no other major plot elements or high fantasy elements or whatever, it's always some bland, blank slate female protagonist with no defining traits whatsoever and some emotionally complex and mysterious and probably very rich guy who would never actually look twice at her in real life, and there's always more sex than there is actual romance.

I get why many women would want to read that, it's not like I don't engage in wish fulfillment media aimed at men, but it's not great character development and leaves absolutely no crossover appeal for a male audience. Seems hard to find romance where the woman is as interesting as the man and where the chemistry is based on way more than just they want to do it like they do on the discovery channel. The best I've been able to do is stick with magical realism type stuff or fantasy/scifi books that aren't primarily about the romance and have other stuff going on but at least put more focus on the romance subplot than most. The Lunar Chronicles come to mind. There's like four couples in that series and I loved all of them so, so much.

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