It may be snowing where I live this morning, but my optimistic heart sees spring on the horizon—and spring showers bring May romance novels! Or…something like that. Whatever the weather and whatever the case may be, these sugary sweet romances for spring are the perfect way to celebrate the season. Baking competitions, book clubs, and beachy vacations abound in these adorable romance novels. So go ahead, get your spring romance on!
The Cake King by Rosie Chase
If Sam had to pick her one celebrity crush, Michael “The Cake King” Godwin would definitely be it. So when she lands the chance to compete in a private baking competition that could catch his eye and pull herself and her adoptive family out of poverty, she jumps at the chance. But as an amateur baker, will Sam be able to hold up against the competition and win the ultimate prize: the Cake King’s heart?
Does it get any sweeter than a baking competition? Especially one with a billionaire celebrity baker and a cake-filled happily ever after. This one ranks pretty high on the steaminess level—short and sweet and very, very sexy.
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (April 21, 2020 by Avon)
Ex-model Katrina King craves a quiet, camera free life. But when a twitter thread about her and a random guy at a cafe goes viral, she’s forced back into the limelight. Enter: Jas Singh. Friend, bodyguard, and he of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina has ever seen. He whisks her away from the #CafeBae frenzy. If only Twitter knew the guy she was really pining for was anything but random.
Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan (April 21, 2020 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
A star-crossed tale of two comic store heirs who accidentally fall for each other at a convention despite their families’ rivalry. Jubilee and Ridley fall hard and fast, but what if love isn’t enough? This modern take on Romeo and Juliet from the author of Hot Dog Girl (yes, the title is weird; yes, you should read it) takes a look at the reality of mental illness and is also an exploration of sexuality. So, maybe this one is more of a sugar and spice story.
Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon May (May 5, 2020)
Romance book club leader Jordan Collins doesn’t need no man—he just needs to find new members before Meet Cute Club withers away completely. Unfortunately, his least favorite obnoxious bookshop employee is the only one interested in signing up. In order to save his beloved book club from the brink of extinction, he’ll have to team up with the snobby employee he thinks he hates and learn once and for all not to judge a book by its cover—especially where romance is involved.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (May 12, 2020 by Page Street)
Fellow Rioter Adiba Jaigirdar’s debut books is one of my (and a lot of others’) most anticipated of the year—and it’s easy to see why. This romcom about two competing henna businesses and the unlikely love story of the girls who run them sounds like a dream of a YA book. Nishat, struggling to reconcile her sexuality with her Muslim family’s expectations, is floored when her childhood friend Flávia walks back into her life. It’s instant heart eyes. But when they both choose to create henna businesses for a school competition, Nishat begins to wonder how she could possibly fall for someone appropriating her culture. Sabotage and school stress complicate matters even more, but amidst it all, Nishat can’t quite seem to shake this crush.
Beach Read by Emily Henry (May 19, 2020 by Berkley)
Augustus Everett and January Andrews are literary opposites. While she pens romances full of happily ever afters, he writes dark literary fiction. The only thing they have in common is a bad case of writers block and neighboring beach houses for the summer. Despite their differences, they make a deal: each will pen a book in the other’s genre to get them out of their respective ruts. Augustus will write a book with a happy ending, and January will write the next literary masterpiece. And absolutely on one will fall in love. No, seriously, no one will—why don’t you believe me? *wink*
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (June 23, 2020 by Avon)
When a fire drill gone wrong turns into a viral internet moment with the whole world shipping PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf, it seems like the perfect opportunity. A one night stand and everyone gets what they want. But then Zaf wants to play along with the #DrRugbae shippers and fake a real relationship. Turns out, his sports charity for kid’s could use the publicity. And how can a girl say no to that? Easy enough for Dani to still enact her plan of seducing him behind the scenes. One problem, though: Zaf is a hardcore romantic determined to melt Dani’s realist heart. Well, all’s fair in love and fake romance.
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (July 7, 2020 by Avon)
Telenovela darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across tabloid headlines after a messy break up. Not where a leading lady is supposed to be. But the next big bilingual romcom is her shot to redeem herself and her status—until a casting shake up lands Ashton Suárez as her co-star, and their on-screen chemistry turns into behind-the-scenes romance. With both their reputations on the line, can the two make a hit movie and a perfect couple without losing it all?
A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee (July 14, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin)
Aubrey Choi never expected to see her one-night stand again—and she definitely never expected him to turn out to be a food critic who nearly ruins her bakery with a cake mix-up and a harsh review. Now, to right his wrongs, Landon has a plan to spend three weeks together in wine country to save her bakery. Aubrey’s bakery means everything to her…but is it worth risking her heart for a guy she can’t seem to stay away from?
Alright romance readers, follow these links for even more ooey-gooey goodness: one Rioter on becoming a romance reader, endings we want to see in romances in 2020, 12 romance authors to add to your 2020 TBR, some of our most anticipated LGBTQ books of 2020 (both romance and otherwise), and 20 queer YA books for 2020.