Love is in Bloom: New and Upcoming Romance

Ahh May. That magical time of year when the flowers are blooming, everything is a beautiful green, and the weather is wildly unpredictable (that might just be a Northeast Ohio factor). It’s also a great time of year to pick up a light and fun romance! Take a look below for ten new and upcoming romance titles sure to make for a great read- whether you are cozied up on the couch or soaking up some sunshine poolside.

Excited to dive into one of these titles? Visit our OverDrive digital library or request a print copy today!

Readalikes for Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane book cover/catalog link

Author Kristin Hannah is having a great 2021 so far – her newest novel, The Four Winds, is a runaway bestseller, and one of her older novels, Firefly Lane, has been turned into a Netflix romantic drama TV series. If you are one of the many people on the library’s holds lists for Firefly Lane and want something similar, check out the recommended titles below from your friendly neighborhood librarians! If you don’t know anything about Firefly Lane, here’s the scoop:

Inseparable best friends Kate and Tully, two young women who, despite their very different lives, have vowed to be there for each other forever, have been true to their promise for thirty years, until events and choices in their lives tear them apart.

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. Find Firefly Lane on Overdrive here

It's Not All Downhill From Here book cover/catalog link

It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

Confident that her best days are still ahead, a successful businesswoman relies on close friends and her resourcefulness when an unexpected loss turns her world upside down.

It’s Not All Downhill From Here Overdrive link


Sweet Salt Air book cover/catalog link

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Two childhood friends reunite at a summer retreat, each harboring a horrible secret that would test the bounds of their longtime relationship if revealed.

Sweet Salt Air Overdrive link



The Friendship List book cover/catalog link

The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

Reuniting in the aftermath of a devastating loss, two single moms, lifelong best friends, create a list of challenges, from skydiving to getting tattoos, before their prospects and perspectives are transformed by unexpected love.

The Friendship List Overdrive link


Swing Time book cover/catalog link

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Two dark-skinned dancers with very different talents share a complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in early adulthood in a story that transitions from northwest London to West Africa.

Swing Time Overdrive link


My Sister, the Serial Killer book cover/catalog link

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Realizing that her beautiful, beloved younger sister has murdered yet another boyfriend, an embittered Nigerian woman works to direct suspicion away from the family, until a handsome doctor she fancies asks for her sister’s number.

My Sister, the Serial Killer Overdrive link


All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer Review

Departing from her usual science fiction and fantasy offerings, Marissa Meyer has released her first YA contemporary romance with a hint of magical realism and it is delightful.

Prudence Barnett is the stereotypical overachiever. She’s judgmental and difficult to like at times, especially when she’s lashing out at her horrible lab partner, Quint Erickson, the well-liked slacker who is dragging her and her final grade down. After an accidental head injury, Pru discovers she has the ability to bestow instant karma on those around her. The only problem is that Quint seems immune to her new power, much to her dismay. She and Quint have been given a second chance to improve their grade, but he continues to frustrate her.

Things aren’t all fluff, teen angst, and typical romance tropes. The story has real meat to it as both teens deal with family issues. Pru is also forced to confront her own assumptions about her friends and classmates and make some tough decisions regarding how to use her unusual gift. Throw in some environmentalism, an aquatic animal rescue, and some karaoke, and you have fun, refreshing, and thoughtful cautionary tale. The queen of retellings has struck gold with this one.

As the weather grows colder and the days get shorter, treat yourself to this sunny beach read. You won’t regret it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book.

~Megan

Virtual Book Club – Beachy Reads for Winter

Despite what the weather outside may be telling us, it is in fact the winter season. The dropping temperatures plus the looming threat of another lockdown may have you dreaming of warmer climes, and you’re not the only one! Thank goodness books can take us away. Try any of the authors below to be whisked away to places where the temperature is hotter – whether that’s because of a beach setting or a hot romance.

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available.

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole catalog link

Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole writes smart, steamy historical and contemporary romances featuring an array of diverse characters. Her heroines are intelligent, independent women who have rich, full lives although are a bit reluctant to open their hearts to romance. The men who ultimately win them over are strong, thoughtful partners who respect the heroines and their choices. Her rich detail and intricate plots add depth and dimension as the characters find their way to happily ever after.

Start with An Extraordinary Union. Overdrive link. Hoopla link.

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky catalog link

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky began by writing contemporary Romances, but now writes fiction focused on contemporary women and their lives and relationships. Delinsky’s skillfully developed characters are central to her stories, as they struggle to resolve difficulties in their lives. Plots reflect universal themes, such as compromise and reconciliation, and there is a romantic tone throughout. Delinsky’s novels unfold at a leisurely pace, in part because they are set in small towns, as readers are pulled into these sensitive stories.

Start with: Sweet Salt Air. Overdrive link.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory catalog link

Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory writes modern romantic comedies featuring smart, capable heroines who excel in their careers and lead full lives surrounded by supportive friends and families. When a romantic partner enters the picture, the protagonists view the relationship as a life enhancement rather than a requirement, and the resulting relationship stars a pair who are on equal footing intellectually and emotionally. Guillory doesn’t shy away from examining the relatable issues her multicultural couples face but never sacrifices sexiness or humor.

Start with: The Wedding Date. Overdrive link.

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand catalog link

Elin Hilderbrand

While Elin Hilderbrand’s characters change from novel to novel, her setting remains consistent – the historic island of Nantucket. Using the island as a jumping off point, Hilderbrand’s works offer the hallmarks of an ideal summer vacation read: romance, friendship, a beautiful setting, conflict and characters facing personal challenges. While rife with tales of people living privileged lifestyle, Hilderbrand grounds her stories in topics that will feel familiar to all women – love, illness, friendship, and family relationships.

Start with: The Rumor. Overdrive link.

Moon Shell Beach by Nancy Thayer catalog link

Nancy Thayer

Nancy Thayer’s women’s fiction revolves around women’s families and friendships, and varies in tone from her more serious first novels to her sassy and humorous Hot Flash Club series. Her characters are realistic, everyday women, and she employs a sense of humor (from snappy to gentle) in her novels. There is often an element of romance as well.

Start with: Moon Shell Beach. Overdrive link.

Author information courtesy of Novelist.

Join us next week for another installment of the virtual book club!

Readalikes for 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand catalog link

Just because the weather’s cooling down and turning to autumn doesn’t mean that we can’t still read beach reads! We know that a lot of you are still on the holds list for 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, so we thought we’d recommend some similar authors and titles for you while you wait. 

Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the beach read, as her books are always set on the island of Nantucket, and her newest novel is no different. 28 Summers presents a tale inspired by the film, Same Time Next Year, that follows a man’s discovery of his mother’s long-term relationship with the husband of a Presidential frontrunner. 

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find 28 Summers on Overdrive here

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs catalog link

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

Accompanying her aging father on a trip to his native France, a widowed photographer is led by his memories of World War II to unexpected revelations about their family’s history at the same time she bonds with a handsome American historian. 

Map of the Heart Overdrive link

Map of the Heart Hoopla link

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky catalog link

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Two childhood friends reunite at a summer retreat, each harboring a horrible secret that would test the bounds of their longtime relationship if revealed. 

Sweet Salt Air Overdrive link



Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer catalog link

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

Spending her days at the library and her nights stargazing and contemplating a new relationship, Darcy is unexpectedly drawn into the summertime dramas of three families including those of her recently married ex, a situation that compels Darcy to consider what she truly wants. 

Secrets in Summer Overdrive link

Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank catalog link

Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

Reconnecting on one of Charleston’s most beautiful barrier islands, a pair of former sweethearts rediscover their feelings for one another while their jealous spouses pursue an unexpected attraction of their own over more than 20 years also marked by financial catastrophes, family tragedies and devastating heartbreaks. 

Same Beach, Next Year Overdrive link

Same Beach, Next Year Hoopla link

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin catalog link

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin  

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six-year-old television producer living her dream in New York City. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door…only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had locked away forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s meticulously constructed world will be shaken to its core, resurrecting memories of a passionate young love affair that threatens everything that has come to define her. 

Where We Belong Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist. 

Join us next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!