2022 Q1 Anticipated Releases

Happy New Year!

2020 and 2021 were very difficult reading years for me, not just because of the pandemic, but because I was adjusting to not being able to travel as much as I usually do.

Those of you who’ve been with me for a long time know that I am a complete advocate for armchair travel, and not being able to do actual travel kind of put me in a reading slump. Of course, I also had to do a lot of reading for work (comp titles and Carina stuff), but that’s not the same as reading for pure pleasure.

This year I am fully going to sort my reading situation out. If only just to justify my Scribd and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions, because they be taking my coins and I’m only using them three times a week.

I am particularly excited about the debut authors coming out this year. Some good stuff—most of it romcoms — and getting back into the groove of reading authors that I already love. I already let Kresley Cole write fifty ‘leven books ahead of where I’m at, I don’t need to be doing that with anybody else.

With that said, let’s just jump into the 2022 romance book releases I’m really excited about this coming quarter. Let the good times roll.

Love at First Spite by Anna E. Collins

On Sale Date: January 2, 2022

Publisher: Graydon House

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Tropes/Hooks: HGTV house reno, revenge on the ex, workplace romance, interior designer heroine, architect hero

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

Falling in love is the ultimate payback in this delightful, breezy romcom about an interior designer who teams up with an enigmatic architect at her firm to get revenge on her ex the only way she knows how: by building a spite house next door

“Filled with sizzling chemistry and delicious revenge, Love at First Spite had me smiling from start to finish. This is one debut you don’t want to miss!” —Kate Bromley, author of Talk Bookish to Me

They say living well is the best revenge. But sometimes, spreading the misery seems a whole lot more satisfying. That’s interior designer Dani Porter’s justification for buying the vacant lot next to her ex-fiancé’s house…the house they were supposed to live in together, before he cheated on her with their Realtor. Dani plans to build a vacation rental that will a) mess with his view and his peace of mind and b) prove that Dani is not someone to be stepped on. Welcome to project Spite House.

That plan quickly becomes complicated when Dani is forced to team up with Wyatt Montego, the handsome, haughty architect at her firm, and the only person available to draw up blueprints. Wyatt is terse and stern, the kind of man who eats his sandwich with a knife and fork. But as they spend time together on- and off-site, Dani glimpses something deeper beneath that hard veneer, something surprising, vulnerable, and real. And the closer she gets to her goal, the more she wonders if winning revenge could mean losing something infinitely sweeter…

“Rollickingly, fast-paced… Fans of Emily Henry’s tales will enjoy Collins’ imaginative rom-com.” —Booklist

“Wyatt is the perfect grumpy romance hero with a heart of gold. An enemies-to-friends-to-lovers story that’s sure to delight rom-com fans.” 
Kirkus Reviews

My Thoughts:

This book calls to my petty Cancer heart on a level I cannot even explain. Dani seems like the kind of person I want to hang out with, just because we would be encouraging each other in doing the dumbest things ever in the name of vengeance (I want to be in her girl gang).

I’ve been obsessed with Selling Sunset with various opinions about Amanza’s 360o treatment of Christine in season four and the situation around her disappearing ex (I have ZERO context for that), so I’m ready to see an interior designer heroine get payback on their trash ex. 

Of course, Dani deserves the love of a starchy architect (are there any other kind?). Wyatt is giving me Dane Harcourt vibes (A Matter of Time fans, you know what I’m talking about), and I LOVE Dane (Mary Calmes, can we get his book or at least a He said, He Said takeover?). 

I adore single POV books, so I can’t wait to spend time in Dani’s head and watch her get her HEA with the architect of her spite house. What can I say, this is a great cover and good copy—I’m sold. 

I also feel a special affinity to the author for having a brain that takes it there (oh, the tangents my brain takes me on). If you want to read her essay about the story behind the novel, I highly recommend that as well. 

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Juniper Hill by Devney Perry

On Sale Date: January 11, 2022

Publisher: Self Published

Genre: Suspense Romance/ Mystery

Tropes/Hooks: small town, neighbors to lovers, single parent heroine, chef hero, inns and B&Bs, hot for landlord

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

From USA Today bestselling author Devney Perry comes a small town, neighbors to lovers romance.

Memphis Ward arrives in Quincy, Montana, on the fifth worst day of her life. She needs a shower. She needs a snack. She needs some sanity. Because moving across the country with her newborn baby is by far the craziest thing she’s ever done.

But maybe it takes a little crazy to build a good life. If putting the past behind her requires a thousand miles and a new town, she’ll do it if it means a better future for her son. Even if it requires setting aside the glamour of her former life. Even if it requires working as a housekeeper at The Eloise Inn and living in an apartment above a garage.

It’s there, on the fifth worst day of her life, that she meets the handsomest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Knox Eden is a beautiful, sinful dream, a chef and her temporary landlord. With his sharp, stubbled jaw and tattooed arms, he’s raw and rugged and everything she’s never had—and never will. Because after the first worst day of her life, Memphis learned a good life requires giving up on her dreams too. And a man like Knox Eden will only ever be a dream.

My Thoughts:

The covers for this series are hauntingly beautiful. The silhouette overlay on the scenic background—stunning.

That said, I’ve been meaning to read more of Devney’s work (have you seen all her covers?!), and I really enjoyed the first book in The Edens series, Indigo Ridge, which was also an Amazon Editor’s Pick. Seriously, the hero had some shocking LOL lines that live rent-free in my head, so I am hoping for more fun in this next one!

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Electric Idol by Katee Robert

On Sale Date: January 18, 2022

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Genre: Contemporary romance

Tropes/Hook: modern Greek myth retelling, plus size social media influencer heroine, assassin for hire hero, marriage of convenience 

Comps: 

Read the Back Cover Copy

He was the most beautiful man in Olympus. And if I wasn’t careful, he was going to be my death.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Psyche and Eros that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*

In the ultra-modern city of Olympus, there’s always a price to pay. Psyche Dimitriou knew she’d have to face Aphrodite’s jealous rage eventually, but she never expected her literal heart to be at stake…or for Aphrodite’s gorgeous son to be the one ordered to strike the killing blow.

Eros has no problem shedding blood. Raised to be his mother’s knife in the dark, he’s been conditioned to accept that he’s more monster than man. But when it comes time to take out his latest target…he can’t do it. Confused by his reaction to Psyche’s unexpected kindness, he does the only thing he can think of to keep her safe: he binds her to him, body and soul.

Psyche didn’t expect to find herself married to the glittering city’s most dangerous killer, but something about Eros wakens a fire inside her she’s never felt before. As lines blur and loyalties shift, Psyche realizes Eros might take her heart after all…and she’s not sure she can survive the loss.

“Deliciously inventive…Red-hot.”—Publishers Weekly STARRED for Neon Gods


“I get shivers just thinking of their interactions. SHIVERS.”—Mimi Koehler for The Nerd Dailey for Neon Gods

My Thoughts:

Listen, I love me some Katee Robert. Not only does she write AMAZING hot sexy pants feelings, she is also one of the most giving (of her time and knowledge) people that I know. And her book recs also slap.

I liked Neon Gods, but I have been waiting for Psyche and Eros’ story since book 1. I ADORE morally gray/dark characters, and does it get grayer than an assassin hero who marries the chick he has pants feelings for to protect her from his evil mother who wants her dead dead, but then they catch real feelings? Talk about complicated.

It’s all catnip. Take my money, Ms. Robert, you don’t have to convince me. Just take all my coins.

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Highland Wolf by Lynsay Sands

On Sale Date: January 25, 2022

Publisher: Avon

Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

Tropes/Hooks: Highlanders!, saved from a forced marriage, he’s not dead after all, reclaiming what’s yours, marriage contract

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

New York Times Bestselling Author Lynsay Sands delivers another sexy historical romance set in the wilds of the Highlands

In all her daydreams about her wedding day, Lady Claray MacFarlane never once imagined being dragged to the altar by her greedy uncle and forced to marry a man she didn’t know. But that’s what happened, or would have, had a Highland warrior not snatched her up at the last minute and ridden off with her in his arms. . .

They call him the Wolf. The mercenary’s courage and prowess in battle are known throughout the Highlands, and with his handsome face and black-as-sin hair, he is as intelligent and deadly as the wolf he was named for…

But the Wolf is also Claray’s betrothed. Thought to have been killed as a child, he’s been in hiding all these years. Now he’s determined to earn enough coin to rebuild his home, reclaim his birthright, and honor his marriage contract to Claray. For he’s fallen for the tender-hearted lass…and he will do anything to protect her and their future together. 

My Thoughts:

If you catch me reading historicals, you know it’s got to be Lynsay Sands. I always recommend her books as excellent books for people who don’t like or can’t connect to historicals. 

I love her Highlanders, so this was a no brainer for me.

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Lease on Love by Falon Ballard

On Sale Date: February 1, 2022

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Tropes/Hooks: florist heroine, nerdy hot hero, opposites attract/roommates-to-lovers, New York real estate catnip, side hustle turned business, learning to love yourself

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

Beach Read meets The Flatshare in this warmly funny and delightfully sharp debut rom-com about a down-on-her-luck young woman who turns an innocent mix-up between a dating app and a roommate app into a new chance at love.

She wasn’t looking for love until it landed on her doorstep.

After getting passed over for an overdue—and much-needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night stand. When one drink turns into one too many, Sadie mixes up a long-ignored dating app for a roommate-finding app and finds herself on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone. Too bad she’s more attracted to his impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.

Jack, still grieving the unexpected death of his parents, has learned to find comfort in video games and movie marathons instead of friends. So while he doesn’t know just what to make of the vivaciously verbose Sadie, he’s willing to offer her his spare bedroom while she gets back on her feet. And with the rent unbeatably low, Sadie can finally pursue her floristry side hustle full-time. The two are polar opposites, but as Sadie’s presence begins to turn the brownstone into a home, they both start to realize they may have just made the deal of a lifetime.

My Thoughts:

I love the cover, but also, I love a good misunderstanding. I can just imagine how mortified I’d be if I was in Sadie’s shoes and mistook a hook up for a roommate. A good story to tell the kids…right?

What I love most about this one is the feels. That sense of people who aren’t having the best time of it, but are still pressing on and trying to figure out who they are in the truest sense of the word (i.e. without defining yourself by how you relate to others). 

Getting comfortable with yourself—from your flaws to your dreams—is the first step in learning to be happy with who you are, and I love that the characters in this book will explore that. Apart and together, just figuring out how your edges complete each other. 

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The Best Kept Secret by Tawna Fenske

On Sale Date: February 22, 2022

Publisher: Entangled Amara

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Tropes/Hooks: smokejumper hero, can’t keep a secret heroine, secret daddy, family secrets, sibling’s ex, messy family

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

When two opposites are thrown together to take care of a child, plenty of laughs abound…but it wouldn’t be a Smokejumpers rom-com without some steam.

Nyla Franklin can’t keep a secret. She means well, but her helpful instincts just short-circuit her brain’s ability to keep her lips zipped, and soon she’s spilling everything from her sister’s birthday gift to her mom’s true age. But little secrets are nothing compared to the doozy Nyla uncovers when her ex-brother-in-law has a loopy response to pain meds and confesses the whopper to end all whoppers—his child, Nyla’s nephew, isn’t biologically his.

Leo Sayre split with Nyla’s sister years ago but didn’t discover his son’s DNA until four years ago. It doesn’t matter to Leo, since Seth’s his son no matter what. Sure, it stings knowing his ex-wife cheated, but at least he stayed close with Nyla and has the family he always wished for. Growing up without a dad, Leo always wanted a stable home life and a comfortable career running his family’s air tanker business. But there’s a ticking time bomb in the room now that Nyla knows the secret. To make matters worse, Leo’s having feelings for her that are anything but friendly. The more time they spend together, the tougher it gets to keep their hands to themselves and their secrets locked safely inside.

As Leo and Nyla grow closer, they risk a whole lot more than spilled confessions. Can they find a way to blend their messy family dynamic into something whole and lovely, or will it all go up in smoke?

My Thoughts:

I feel like this is a spin on secret baby, or rather, a baby secret (secret daddy?). Whatever you call it, I’m trying to be more open to secret-somethings in general and this just sounded like a good time. The whole in love with my sibling’s ex thing squicks me out. 

So basically I’m hoping this book changes my mind about a lot of things LOL. The cover is fire though.

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Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter

On Sale Date: March 1, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Tropes/Hooks: texting the wrong number, best friend’s little sister, family screwup heroine, sexting

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

New Girl meets Trainwreck in this hilarious and steamy rom-com by Lynn Painter.

Bad luck has always followed Olivia Marshall…or maybe she’s just the screw-up her family thinks she is. But when a “What are you wearing?” text from a random wrong number turns into the hottest, most entertaining—albeit anonymous—relationship of her life, she thinks things might be on the upswing….

Colin Beck has always considered Olivia his best friend’s annoying little sister, but when she moves in with them after one of her worst runs of luck, he realizes she’s turned into an altogether different and sexier distraction. He’s sure he can keep his distance, until the moment he discovers she’s the irresistible Miss Misdial he’s been sort of sexting for weeks—and now he has to decide whether to turn the heat up or ghost her before things get messy.

My Thoughts:

I still fondly laugh at the time (back when landlines were the norm) where a wrong number led to me being accused of standing up someone at a Ruby Tuesdays. There was no telling her, no, I’m not her, and no, I can’t meet up with you, you have the wrong number that would get her to believe me. (Mom pulled the phone from the wall after the fifth call).

This is giving major Hot Mess meets Wrong Number, Right Guy vibes, and I am here for it.

And my faves, Ali Hazelwood and Christina Lauren, loved this one, so… 

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Savage Bloodline Collection

On Sale Date: March 15, 2022

Publisher: Self Published

Genre: Mafia Romance

Tropes/Hooks: ALL the tropes (second-chance romance, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, billionaire romances, and more), BWWM, mafia tings

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

Darkness lurks behind their gazes. There’s something sinister about their smiles. Their name incites fear in their enemies. They are the DeLucas, and there’s one word that describes them best. SAVAGE.

The men of the DeLuca family are proof that the more ruthless the savage, the harder they fall…in love.

Download this exclusive anthology featuring 20 BRAND NEW mafia romances to find out which DeLuca will make you fall in love. But first, you must ask yourself one question: Are you ready to give your heart to a savage?

Immerse yourself in this dangerously seductive collection that includes:
*Arranged marriage
*Friends to lovers
*Enemies to lovers
*Billionaire
*Secret Baby
*Second Chance
*InstaLove
*Second Chance
*Grumpy Boss
*BWWM
*And more!

My Thoughts:

I can never have enough Mafia romance. EVER. So I long pre-ordered this boxset back in October when I saw it in Kenya’s K Killers Facebook Group.

I love the concept of a shared BWWM mafia world, and I particularly can’t wait to see what Kenya does with the arranged marriage trope (she’s been researching and that always ends up AMAZING, so I’m psyched). 

I grabbed a copy of the prequel, Brutal Bloodline, and LOVED IT, so I am expecting good things.

The individual covers are EVERYTHING. Seriously, take a look. 

If I had to pick a fave, it would probably be M’Renee and Tiye’s books. Enzo all in that cigar giving me Françios Arnaud (where’s your shirt, sir?) and Gianni praying like he’s beyond redemption. 

I am hoping to find a lot of new authors to love to feed my unending obsession with mafia romance. Seriously, I have a problem.

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Searching for Lilly by Susan Stoker

On Sale Date: March 29, 2022

Publisher: Self Published

Genre: Military Romance

Tropes/Hooks: former SEAL hero, camerawoman heroine, search & rescue, paranormal hunting, mountain setting, forced proximity

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

The most dangerous predator on the mountain may not be the legendary Sasquatch.

Ethan “Chaos” Watson never expected to use his skills as a former Navy SEAL and current search and rescue expert to track down Bigfoot. But when a paranormal investigator goes missing while filming in the mountains near Fallport, Virginia, Ethan and his team are called in to find the man. A task made harder when they’re trailed by a camera crew.

Camerawoman Lilly Ray was already reaching the end of her rope on the hokey, ridiculous paranormal shoot. Now the producer has ordered her to stick to the SAR team to get their every move on video. Admittedly not a hardship; she noticed Ethan her first day in town, and the more time they spend together, the more attracted she becomes. When the search stretches on for days, then weeks, it seems clear her co-worker didn’t just wander off trail, getting lost in the woods. Foul play is evident, and soon, everyone on the cast and crew is suspect.

As the team steps up their search, someone is equally determined to use the disappearance to their advantage. Then Lilly herself goes missing, and Ethan and his team will turn over every rock and leaf in the Appalachians to locate her…before it’s too late.

He wasn’t looking for love, but it found him anyway—and he’s not letting anyone take away the woman who’s become his whole world.

** Searching for Lilly is the first book in the Eagle Point Search & Rescue Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.

My Thoughts:

For once I would love to be able to start a Susan Stoker series from the beginning, and Goodreads says this is the first of seven books in the Search & Rescue series, so this is perfect for me. Susan is like the Military/SEAL romsus QUEEN, so I already know that this is going to be fire on all the levels.

Also, I just love the fact that this poor former SEAL is out looking for Bigfoot. Like, it’s paranormal adjacent? SEAL out of water?

The cover model is giving me Joe Manganiello’s Alcide Herveaux but if he stole Jacob Black’s haircut. Color me intrigued, but a little amused at the same time.

All in all, this is giving me flashbacks to Katie Ruggle’s Search & Rescue series, which I enjoyed for the most part, so I can’t wait for the Susan Stoker twist. Also, the author has this cute little map of Fallport, VA all ready for us.

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Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

On Sale Date: March 29, 2022

Publisher: Montlake

Genre: Sports romance

Tropes/Hooks: footballer hero turn HS coach, beauty queen heroine, one night stand, second chance romance, return to small town, hot for neighbor & coworker, faking dating, Star Wars cosplay and references

Comps:

Read the Back Cover Copy

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

My Thoughts:

First of all, I love the name Ronan. The hero has already got me interested. But I really enjoyed Ilsa’s British Bad Boys series, so this is a return author for me (so many books, not enough time).

I love the idea of play around with the beauty queen heroine and jock hero stereotype, but adding a lot of depth to that dynamic (not only the tropes but also grief and cheating CW for their past relationships).

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Honorable Mentions

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