I love making these posts so much and this set of books are some of the books I’m anticipating the most for the entire year. I genuinely cannot wait for these and narrowing my picks down to a manageable number was difficult. So let’s talk about them, shall we?
The Heiress Hunt by Joanna Shupe
Goodreads Blurb: Knickerbocker scoundrel Harrison Archer returns to New York to discover that his deceased father has bankrupted his estranged family. To save them from ruin, he’s forced to quickly find and marry an heiress. For a matchmaker, Harrison turns to the one woman he wishes he could marry: his childhood friend and true love, Maddie, who once broke his heart and is now engaged to a duke.
When her best friend Harrison left for Paris without a word, Maddie Webster took refuge in her infatuation with tennis. Now Harrison is back and needs her help in finding a bride. Begrudgingly, Maddie arranges a house party in Newport with a guest list of eligible heiresses. But watching Harrison flirt with potential brides is more than she can bear.
When Harrison and Maddie reunite, the passion between them ignites. But with their marriages to others looming, time is running out. Is their fate inescapable . . .or can love set them free?
Why I’m Excited: I really love Shupe’s writing and I’m intrigued by the idea of falling in love while trying to set the other person up with someone. It feels sort of like The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean, but hopefully with Harrison not being as awful as what’s his face.
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Goodreads Blurb: Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…
Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.
Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.
Why I’m Excited: The first two books in the Brown Sisters trilogy were in my top books of the year for 2019 and 2020, respectively, and also I just straight up love Talia Hibbert. Her books always make me laugh and feel warm and fuzzy inside. Her books are the perfect antidote for a world that is not always kind.
Release Date: March 9, 2021
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
Goodreads Blurb: Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.
Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has very different vision for the property’s future.
Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.
Why I’m Excited: Hogle’s debut, You Deserve Each Other, was one of my top favorite books last year, so to say I’m looking forward to this follow up is an understatement! But I really, really am!!
Release Date: April 6, 2021
To Love and To Loathe by Martha Waters
Goodreads Blurb: The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.
After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.
Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.
Why I’m Excited: I really enjoyed To Have and To Hoax last year, so I’m really looking forward to Waters’ follow up novel. I liked the dynamic between Diana and Jeremy and I’m looking forward to the banter!
Release Date: April 6, 2021
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan
Goodreads Blurb: Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.
Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.
Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.
Why I’m Excited: This is the third book in a row where I’m telling you that I loved the debut last year, but it’s true! Also in The Roommate we were introduced to Naomi and I’m obsessed and need to know everything about her. I cannot wait for this one!!
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone
We don’t actually know much about the next Audible original from Bastone, but her agency announced Sweet Talk as the title and the release date. We also know it’s about Vera’s brother and I’m definitely really looking forward to it because I love Bastone and I think these Audible Original productions have been amazing.
Release Date: April 23, 2021
The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
At the end of the nineteenth century, three revolutionary women fight for freedom in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel inspired by real-life events and the true story of a legendary Cuban woman–Evangelina Cisneros–who changed the course of history.
A feud rages in Gilded Age New York City between newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. When Grace Harrington lands a job at Hearst’s newspaper in 1896, she’s caught in a cutthroat world where one scoop can make or break your career, but it’s a story emerging from Cuba that changes her life.
Unjustly imprisoned in a notorious Havana women’s jail, eighteen-year-old Evangelina Cisneros dreams of a Cuba free from Spanish oppression. When Hearst learns of her plight and splashes her image on the front page of his paper, proclaiming her, “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba,” she becomes a rallying cry for American intervention in the battle for Cuban independence.
With the help of Marina Perez, a courier secretly working for the Cuban revolutionaries in Havana, Grace and Hearst’s staff attempt to free Evangelina. But when Cuban civilians are forced into reconcentration camps and the explosion of the USS Maine propels the United States and Spain toward war, the three women must risk everything in their fight for freedom.
Why I’m Excited: I really love Chanel Cleeton’s writing and I’ve enjoyed learning more about Cuba in her historical fiction. I think she does a great job getting you to care about her characters.
Release Date: May 4, 2021
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Goodreads Blurb: Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart–she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown–but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together–lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
Why I’m Excited: First of all, I think this blurb sounds delightful and secondly, I loved Beach Read so freaking much last year. It was one of my favorites! So I’m really looking forward to this one.
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur
Goodreads Blurb: Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or… has he? When his sister’s best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.
Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie… wants him? Oh yes.
Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies… as long as you think your partner hung the moon.
Why I’m Excited: I’m a broken record, but I loved Bellefleur’s debut, Written in the Stars, last year! It was gorgeous and I’m excited to really get to know Brendon and Annie, both of whom we were introduced to. I think this one will be fantastic!
Release Date: May 25, 2021
How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole
Makeda Hicks has lost her job and her girlfriend in one fell swoop. The last thing she’s in the mood for is to rehash the story of her grandmother’s infamous summer fling with a runaway prince from Ibarania, or the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies tasked with searching for Ibarania’s missing heir.
Yet when Beznaria Chetchevaliere crashes into her life, the sleek and sexy investigator exudes exactly the kind of chaos that organized and efficient Makeda finds irresistible, even if Bez is determined to drag her into a world of royal duty Makeda wants nothing to do with.
When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes Makeda to agree to return to Ibarania, Bez takes her on a transatlantic adventure with a crew of lovable weirdos, a fake marriage, and one-bed hijinks on the high seas. When they finally make it to Ibarania, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and Makeda must learn what it means to fight for what she desires and not what she feels bound to by duty.
Why I’m Excited: Beyond the fact that this book is written by Alyssa Cole, who I adore, this book is also about one of the most intriguing characters, Beznaria, who managed to steal the show in How to Catch a Queen. So, I’m definitely looking forward to Bez meeting her match!
Release Date: May 25, 2021
- The Devil Comes Courting by Courtney Milan was moved from February to an April release date so that is now on this list, but was talked about in the Most Anticipated Books of Winter post.
- Sandcastle Beach by Jenny Holiday | March 9, 2021
- Careless Whispers by Synithia Williams | March 30, 2021
- Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce | March 30, 2021
- Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne | April 13, 2021
- Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam | May 18, 2021
- The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren | May 18, 2021 (Also, I’m nervous about this because the premise is intriguing but also sketchy af in terms of eugenics. So we’ll see how it goes. But CLo tends to be a super nice time for my brain/anxiety.)
- Rosalie Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall | May 18, 2021