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Ayesha at Last

Uzma Jalaluddin (Berkley)

Toronto's Indian-Muslim community is at the heart of this meaty retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Debut author Jalaluddin balances the charm of the original with emotional themes of family loyalty and weighty issues—including arranged marriage, discrimination, and abortion—making this a winning proposition for any romance fan, Austenite or not.

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Bringing Down the Duke

Evie Dunmore (Berkley)

A radical suffragette melts the heart of an icy, conservative duke in Dunmore's sparkling Victorian era debut. Impressive period details, scorching love scenes, and a supporting cast of bluestockings, pamphleteers, and otherwise norm-bucking women combine into a historical romance that manages to make 19th-century politics feel timely for modern readers.

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The Devil in the Saddle

Julia London (Berkley)

Love transcends class lines when a wealthy rancher's daughter falls for the son of her father's majordomo in this interracial, friends-to-lovers story that turns typical romance novel power dynamics on their head. London's vibrant tale delights with a swoon-worthy hero, genuine emotion, and riotous humor. This is cowboy romance done right.

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The Doctor's Secret

Heidi Cullinan (Dreamspinner)

Taiwanese-American surgeon Hong-Wei Wu falls for white surgical nurse Simon Lane in this sweet, thematically rich gay love story. Cullinan subverts small-town romance tropes by honestly portraying the racist microaggressions Hong-Wei faces in Copper Point, Wis., while finding satisfying, creative ways for the heros to be together despite the strict rules of their workplace.

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The Ex-Princess

Fiona West (Tempest and Kite)

West bends genres with playful abandon in the electric, wildly original launch of her Borderline Chronicles trilogy. Against a fairy tale backdrop blending high-fantasy tropes with modern technology, a reluctant princess enters into a marriage contract. West's audacious worldbuilding is balanced by kind characters and a generous exploration of love.

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Talia Hibbert (Avon)

Hibbert's rom-com stands out for its high stakes, distinctive heroine, and scorching hot romance. Black, geeky, and chronically ill, Chloe Brown embarks on a quest to live life to the fullest that leads her into the arms of sexy, not-actually-bad boy Red. Their off-the-charts chemistry elevates this from cute romance to un-put-downable page-turner.

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Red, White, and Royal Blue

Casey McQuiston (Griffin)

The biracial, bisexual son of the first female president of the United States falls for the Prince of England in this outstanding, escapist romance. The irresistible drama of their impossible relationship is interlaced with a healthy dose of humor and tender, secretive love scenes. McQuiston's debut is a treat.

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