10 of the Best Romance Books Coming Out in May 2023

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CJ Connor


CJ Connor is a cozy mystery and romance writer whose main goal in life is to make their dog proud. They are a Pitch Wars alumnus and an Author Mentor Match R9 mentor. Their debut mystery novel BOARD TO DEATH is forthcoming from Kensington Books. Twitter: @cjconnorwrites |

This May is an excellent month for book releases. And what better way to end spring and bring in the beach read season than with a romance book? As we’re nearing the midpoint through the year, reading romances with their happily ever afters and richly developed characters can bring you comfort and a sense of optimism as you take stock in how the year’s gone so far for you and what you hope for in the second half of the year.

Whether you’re looking for historical romance, contemporary romcoms, or short story collections centered around a theme, you’ll find 10 of the best romance book out in May 2023 to enjoy. Each book is organized by its release date to let you know when to find it at your local bookstore or library. And if your library hasn’t ordered one you’re interested in yet, send in a request! Many libraries accept book requests for books that have not yet been released.

After you’ve added these romance books to your TBR list, check out Book Riot’s New Releases Index. There, you’ll find a curated list of highly anticipated book releases throughout the year that you can sort by genre and release date.

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Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander (May 2)

When Serena Khan unexpectedly meets a handsome stranger named Julian at a Mardi Gras bachelorette party, it’s the best part of an otherwise stressful evening. Although she’s never been one for believing in serendipity, Serena is determined by the next day to leave her boring, dependable life behind and find Julian again.

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Best Men by Sidney Karger (May 2)

After Max Moody’s best friend Page announces her engagement, he’s quickly thrust into a world of wedding planning and existential questions about his own romantic future. As he grows closer with the groom’s brother Chasten, the extrovert to Max’s introvert, Max wonders if his own chance at love is closer than he thinks.

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Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams (May 2)

Annie Walker is content running her small town flower shop, but she worries she lacks flirting skills and that she’s too “boring” to find a partner. Dating lessons with bodyguard Will Griffin sounds like the perfect solution at first. But when their practice turns to something more, both wonder whether their friendship can survive the transition to romance.

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Jana Goes Wild by Farah Heron (May 2)

Jana Suleiman can’t wait for her friend’s destination wedding, even if it means spending time with her ex Anil Malik. Their past romance was complicated, and while he’s a great dad, she doubts there’s more for their relationship to go than co-parenting.

But in the days leading up to the event and in between bridesmaid activities that push Jana out of her comfort zone, she and Anil discover that perhaps the sparks between them haven’t all gone out.

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The Comeback by Lily Chu (May 9)

When her roommate’s cousin Choi Jihoon visits for a few weeks following a rough break-up, Ariadne Hui worries that he’ll present complications to her carefully curated daily routine. Spending time around Jihoon leads her to more spontaneity, however, and she finds herself falling in love despite her reservations. But when Ariadne discovers that Jihoon is a K-pop star, she finds herself thrust into the limelight in ways she wasn’t prepared for.

Initially released as an audiobook only last summer, this romantic comedy will now be available in print.

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Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler (May 23)

After Millie Watts-Cohen’s elderly friend Mrs. Nash passes away, she sets off on a road trip. She’s determined to bring the remains to a woman with whom Mrs. Nash shared a passionate relationship decades ago.

The trip takes an unexpected turn, however, when Millie is stranded in Florida. As if by fate, she runs into an old acquaintance, Hollis Hollenbeck, on a road trip of his own. When he reluctantly agrees to help her finish her journey, Millie finds herself unexpectedly falling for him.

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Wild Things by Laura Kay (May 23)

When El’s best friends come up with a plan to live in a farmhouse together in the old English countryside, she agrees immediately. Who wouldn’t? But her lingering crush on her best friend Ray complicates things, and El wonders whether a chance at love is worth the risk of losing her if things don’t work out.

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Even If the Sky is Falling, edited by Taj McCoy (May 30)

Sometimes, it takes the potential end of the world to bring what you want your future to look like (and who you want to spend it with) into clarity. This short story collection follows six would-be couples who, when a false emergency message makes them think a cataclysmic event is imminent, risk everything to make their love for each other known.

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An Island Princess Starts a Scandal by Adriana Herrera (May 30)

Manuela del Carmen Caceres Galvan plans to spend her last months before an arranged marriage in Paris, showcasing her art at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. What she doesn’t expect is an offer from Cora Kempf Bristol, the Duchess of Sundridge, that entails an unforgettable summer spent together.

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Chef’s Choice by TJ Alexander (May 30)

While visiting her roommate’s TV studio, Luna O’Shea finds herself in a predicament with Jean-Pierre, the French heir to a culinary empire. During a video call to his celebrity chef grandfather, Jean-Pierre introduces Luna as his girlfriend even though they’d never met until then.

Jean-Pierre’s grandfather is very harsh to him, in part because he is transgender. And securing his inheritance depends on passing a daunting cooking skills test. Luna, who is also trans, empathizes with his situation and — despite her misgivings about being a fake girlfriend — agrees to help him prepare for the test and pretend to be his girlfriend around family. But as the test date draws nearer, real feelings grow between Luna and Jean-Pierre.

Interested in more romance recommendations? Listen to the When in Romance podcast. Every episode, Book Riot contributors Jessica Pryde and Trisha Brown discuss recent trends in the romance genre and share favorite reads.