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12 Must-Read New Romance Books Out in May 2024

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P.N. Hinton

Contributing Editor

Born into a family of readers, P.N. gained a love reading as a sort of herd mentality. This love of reading has remained a life long passion, resulting in an English Degree from The University of Houston in Houston, Texas. She normally reads three to four books at any given time, in the futile Sisyphean hope of whittling down her ever growing to be read pile of no specific genre.

Growing up, May meant that the end of school was near. As such, the month always had a heightened feeling of anticipation. Most of my peers likely looked forward to sleeping in, going on family vacations, and playing video games. Me, though? I looked forward to all that free reading time.

I had this mentality even when I was in college. One may think that, as an English major, I wouldn’t want to read at all in the summer, but I read as much, if not more. I could read what I wanted rather than what was assigned. Even when I was taking summer courses, I always took core classes rather than ones for my major, since it allotted me that freedom in my reading choices. 

As an adult, May still has anticipatory energy, although the reason for it varies from year to year. This year, it’s because of all the new romances headed our way. I’ve been good about sticking to my book budget so far. This month may break that streak.

Even more exciting is that the new romance books out in May 2024 offer a plethora of tropes. There’s horromance, second chances, historicals, and friends to lovers — to name just a few. So, without further delay, onto the books!

New Romance Books of May 2024

cover of The 7-10 Split

The 7-10 Split by Karmen Lee

Back in high school, Ava and Grace were the best of friends. Then they shared a kiss, which shattered their friendship and changed things for them forever. Presently, the two women still actively avoid one another, even while working at the same high school. All that changes when they’re both tasked with coaching the inaugural bowling team and have to work together for the success of their students. This proximity will also force the two women to reconcile with the feelings that are still present between the two of them.

cover of Here for the Wrong Reasons

Here for the Wrong Reasons by Annabel Paulsen and Lydia Wang

Krystin and Lauren are contestants on the dating reality show Hopelessly Devoted. But they’re there for very different reasons. Lauren is looking to get a follower boost for her social media account. Meanwhile, Krystin is hoping to find her forever partner. Neither expected their instant mutual attraction or that they could find happily ever after in a fellow “rival.”

cover of Waiting for Friday Night

Waiting for Friday Night by Synithia Williams

Former pro footballer Quinton is looking forward to a new career teaching and coaching. When Shania, one of his players, tells him he is her biological father, he’s thrown for a loop. But he is also determined to be there for his daughter no matter what. Halle never expected to come face to face with the handsome anonymous sperm donor and had planned on raising her daughter alone. And she knows how fast gossip travels in a small town. However, she can’t deny her attraction to Quinton or the appeal of finally having the family unit she has always dreamed of.

cover of You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

You Should Be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

When baseball player Eddie and reporter Max are forced to work together for a series of articles, neither is happy. Still, they resolve to make the best of it, soon finding unexpected love and companionship in one another. However, 1960s America is not a welcoming place for same-sex relationships, and while Max is willing to come out, Eddie fears the effect it will have on his career. Will they be able to face the world together, or will their love affair end before it starts?

Looking for Love in All the Haunted Places book cover

Looking for Love in All the Haunted Places by Claire Kann

When parapsychologist Lucky hears about the haunted Hennessee House, it seems to be just the career boost she needs. There she meets Maverick Phillips and experiences an instant attraction and connection to him. However, Hennessee House is also desperate for her attention and isn’t willing to share her attention. Will Lucky be able to juggle both her love for Maverick and Hennessee House? Or will she be forced to choose between love or her career?

cover of Blood on the Tide

Blood on the Tide by Katee Robert

When Lizzie rescues selkie Maeve from captivity, she promises to help her find her stolen skin, provided Maeve helps her recover her family heirloom from the dangerous Cŵn Annwn. Having no other choice, Maeve reluctantly agrees and soon finds herself having to protect her heart from the alluring vampire, knowing any relationship would be short-lived. However, neither can’t deny their attraction and, faced with the brutality of the Cŵn Annwn, may find that love is worth fighting for.

cover of A Little Kissing Between Friends

A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins

After a lifetime of platonic friendship, Cyn and Jucee start to wonder if their feelings for each other run deeper. At the same time, they’re well aware of the ripple effects a break-up would have in their professional and personal lives. Is the possibility of a happily ever after worth the risk of destroying what they already have?

cover of A Gamble at Sunset

A Gamble at Sunset by Vanessa Riley

When Georgina and Mark are caught in a compromising position, the two fabricate a fake courtship to save their respective reputations. Between private voice lessons and playing the part of a besotted couple, the two begin to wonder if their scandalous introduction set them up for an unexpected lifetime of happiness.

cover of The Ride of Her Life

The Ride of Her Life by Jennifer Dugan

When Molly inherits a dilapidated barn from her aunt, she wonders if this is an unexpected boon. If she can sell the land the barn is on, then it would give her money to pay off her student loans and start her wedding planner business. The only thing possibly standing in her way is her aunt’s loyal and attractive friend Shani. Soon Molly has to decide whether she is willing to change the course of her life for a chance at love.

cover of Second Night Stand

Second Night Stand by Karelia and Fay Stetz-Waters

Prima ballerina Lillian and burlesque dancer Izzy are complete opposites in all ways, including their preferred dance styles. They’re also rivals in one of America’s most popular reality competitions. All of this doesn’t stop the two women from being drawn to one another and wondering if it is worth risking everything for love.

cover of Lavash at First Sight

Lavash at First Sight by Taleen Voskuni

When Ellie’s family asks her to attend PakCon, a food packaging convention, on their behalf, she agrees, needing the break from her frustrating work environment. There she meets Vanya, and the two share an instant attraction. What neither is aware of is that their parents are bitter business rivals. Ellie and Vanya are left trying to balance their love and loyalty for their family against the love they’re developing for one another.

cover of The Problem With Players

The Problem with Players by Brittainy Cherry

When Avery’s ex-boyfriend Nathan is assigned to be her new assistant coach, it throws her world into a tailspin. After all, she’s made it a habit to never look back, especially with past relationships. She expected him to be as hard-working and handsome as ever. What she didn’t expect was that he was also interested in revisiting their history and giving them a second chance to make it right.

This is just a sampling of what May will bring. Hopefully, you were able to find one or more that piqued your interest and get your preorders in. I know we all know how helpful those are, especially to authors of color, but it always bears repeating. Until next time, happy reading, and stay hydrated!

As always, you can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.