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In the Club

Recent Romantasy and Other Romance Books for Your Book Club

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

Big news in the book world. This week, PEN America has canceled its 2024 awards ceremony after almost half of the writers nominated withdrew in protest of PEN America’s response to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Book Riot Editor Kelly Jensen also got into the best book covers of the year so far, and the winners of the 2024 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction were announced.

Below, I’ve got some fairly recent romances for your book club to discuss. There are delightful romantasies, professional haters finding love, queer rom-coms, and more.

Nibbles and Sips: Cherry Italian Margarita

red cherry cocktail

I’ve never had a cherry Italian margarita, but it sounds delicious. It is very similar to a regular margarita, but what makes it “Italian” is the addition of amaretto.

Apart from amaretto, you’ll need the regular margarita stuff: agave, fresh lime juice, blanco tequila or mezcal. Add everything to a shaker with ice and shake well. For an instructional video, visit Jenna Barnard’s Instagram.

cover of Witch of Wild Things

Witch of Wild Things by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

This romantasy is delightfully full of plant witch magic and follows the cursed women of the Flores family. It’s this curse that gives them a sprinkling of magic, magic that Sage Flores has been trying to avoid ever since her sister Sky died eight years ago. Now, as she begrudgingly returns home, she folds back into her old life. She resumes her old job at the Cranberry Rose Company, where her ability to communicate with plants comes in clutch. But, it’s also where she’s reunited with her first love, Tennessee Reyes, who broke her heart back in the day. Thing is, the Tennessee of today is more mature, and — as she contends with the rare plants they have to find and ghost sisters — he may prove to be hard to resist.

cover of 10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall

10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall

Well, one of those things is that Sam Becker didn’t technically come down with a case of amnesia. Even though that’s what he told his surly boss Jonathan Forest when he sensed he was about to get fired from his managerial position at a bed and bath retailer. But now that he has lied, he’s starting to regret it — partially because Jonathan’s guilt surrounding Sam’s fake accident is showing unexpected, softer sides of him. And as they grow closer, telling the truth gets harder.

cover of How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

How to End a Love Story by Yulin Kuang

Yulin Kuang wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of Emily Henry’s People We Meet on Vacation and directed the upcoming Beach Read adaptation. Suffice to say, she’s knee-deep in her contemporary romance bag. Here, she gets a little meta with the story of Helen Zhang, a bestselling author who’s earned the position of writer for an adaptation of a popular YA novel. Everything is going well until she finds out Grant is a screenwriter on the show as well. Now, the two will have to confront the horrible accident that connected them 13 years ago, even as they’re reminded of why they liked each other in the first place.

cover of Happily Never After by Lynn Painter

Happily Never After by Lynn Painter

Okay, so the premise of this latest romance by the bestselling Painter hinges on what has to be the most hater job ever: professional wedding objector. Max is the first objector we meet in the story. He’s the one who Sophie hires to object to her marrying her fiancé, since she’s too scared to break it off. On the one hand, a wedding objector may be helping to stop someone from wasting years of their life being married to the wrong person; but it appears the reason Max does it is that he is cynical when it comes to love — i.e., he is a hater. But when he and Sophie start working together as professional objectors, they grow closer. Then his ex’s current fiancé hires them to object to her wedding, and Max starts to have reservations.

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