The Best New Romance Novels of April 2022

With the arrival of April and the promise of a new season, there have been a lot of those typical hallmarks of springincluding those showers the old saying always foretellswhich, for some of us, have actually consisted of snow rather than the usual rain). Regardless, that only means its the perfect weather for you to curl up under a blanket with a hot drink while enjoying the precipitation from indoors, as well as a steamy new romance novel that will certainly chase away any gloominess. (What better way to console ourselves with the fact thatSeason 2concluded, and with many exciting narrative threads left dangling at that? At least we know for certain that a third installment is well in the works!)

This months picks are all about matching upwhether theyre crashing a wedding or dragging a fake date to one for the sake of appearances, looking for that perfect partner matchmaking-style, or unexpectedly discovering one through a marriage of convenience, the couples in the romances below are finding love in their own unique ways, with lots of laughs, gasps, and swoons in the process.

Why Youll Love It: As someone who fell head-over-heels for Mia SosasThe Worst Best Man, one of the things I think she absolutely excels in is bringing the necessary amounts of com to her rom-coms, which isnt always the case across this particular subgenre. Maybe I was already predisposed to loveThe Wedding Crasherbased on its ingredients, given that it takes several of my favorite tropesfake dating and modern-day marriage of convenienceand merges them into one hilarious, engaging story, with the latter being ruined and turning into the former for one unexpected couple.

This contemporary romance novel has all of the best hijinks of a J.Lo-led big-screen vehicle, but it also has the advantage over any movie in putting us deep in the heads of both its leads which gives us the opportunity to really get a sense of who they really are. And, as always when it comes to fake dating, theres that perfect, indescribable moment that happens and leaves both people realizing that everything theyve been pretending to be together could be their real-life happily-ever-after, provided theyre each willing to take the leap and make it happen.

Publishers Description: Just weeks away from ditching DC for greener pastures, Solange Pereira is roped into helping her wedding planner cousin on a random couples big day. Its an easy gig until she stumbles upon a situation that convinces her the pair isnt meant to be. Whats a true-blue romantic to do? Crash the wedding, of course. And ensure the unsuspecting groom doesnt make the biggest mistake of his life.

Dean Chapman had his future all mapped out. He was about to check off start a family and on track to make partner when his modern day marriage of convenience went up in smoke. Then he learns he might not land an assignment that could be his ticket to a promotion unless he has a significant other and, in a moment of panic, Dean claims to be in love with the woman who crashed his wedding. Oops.

Now Dean has a whole new item on his to-do list: beg Solange to be his pretend girlfriend. Solange feels a tiny bit bad about ruining Deans wedding, so she agrees to play along. Yet as they fake-date their way around town, what started as a performance for Deans colleagues turns into a connection that neither he nor Solange can deny. Their entire romance is a sham theres no way these polar opposites could fall in love for real, right?

Release Date: April 5 from Atria Books

Why Youll Love It: Waters returns with the third installment of herRegency Vowswith a romance that might just be one of her best yet. What makes the marriage of convenience trope so incredibly delicious is that it always starts as something intended to be purely a business arrangement, with no feelings involved whatsoever. That should be easy enough to maintain, right, even with the fact that the people who have entered into this agreement are spending long hours alone together in very intimate situations? Or maybe they have more of an inconvenient awareness of exactly how attracted they are to their spouse in purely name alone?

Waters does the fantastic trick of getting her main couple, Emily and Julian, hitched almost from the jump, which then means theres the foundation of marriage to work through that exists over everything else while they have to navigate more emotional intricacies. Theres also the way in which Waters practically wields banter as its own form of foreplay, with the slow burn romance between the leads coming from a journey of respect to friendship to, ultimately, a love for the ages.

Publishers Description: Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her fathers large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her fathers favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theaterthe kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.

With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her fathers unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriageJulian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.

With an arch sense of humor and a marvelously witty voice that rivals the best of the Regency authors (Entertainment Weekly), Martha Waters crafts another fresh romantic comedy that for fans of Julia Quinn and Evie Dunmore.

Why Youll Love It: Kanns adult debut exemplifies the name of its its utterly joyful, drawing on familiar concepts in its premise (My Best Friends Wedding, which gets namedropped in the story) while framing them from an angle that represents a positive stride forward for the genre as a whole. Unlike Julia Roberts character in that much-beloved rom-com, though, Joy recognizes the fact that shes in an unenviable position and that speaking her true feelings might throw an irretrievable wrench into her best friend Malcolms relationship right when its at its best place.

Kann has put an engaging, genuine story on the page that not only depicts variances of asexuality through characters who hold differing attitudes about it, with Joy and Malcolm exploring their very messy, very real, very human feelings, but succeeds in every way in regards to its romantic elements too. Consent-driven intimacy abounds here, and after reading this heartfelt novel, you might be wondering where you can get a Fox of your very own too.

Publishers Description: Joy is in love with Malcolm.

Thirty, flirty, and asexual Joy is secretly in love with her best friend Malcolm, but shes never been brave enough to say so. When he unexpectedly announces that hes met the love of his lifeand no, its not Joyshes heartbroken. Malcolm invites her on a weekend getaway, and Joy decides its her last chance to show him exactly what hes overlooking. But maybe Joy is the one missing somethingor someoneand his name is Fox.

Fox sees a kindred spirit in Joyand decides to help her. He proposes they pretend to fall for each other on the weekend trip to make Malcolm jealous. But spending time with Fox shows Joy what its like to not be the third wheel, and theres no mistaking the way he makes her feel. Could Fox be the romantic partner shes always deserved?

Release Date: April 12 from Montlake

Why Youll Love It: When does the fake dating trope get kicked into overdrive? When you have to bring the person posing as your significant other to an actual wedding. Although its an element that weve seen popping up in romance novels time and time again, what makes it utterly timeless (and one that will continually be reached for) are all the delightful routes that can be taken from the premise and the romance that results when two people are forced together in a somewhat reluctant scenario for them both.

In the case of Grace and Lia, the physical attraction is there from the get-go, but they each have their own reasons for why theyre a little gunshy about pursuing anything more than that and forget about the idea of a more serious committment! However, one thing Lacey reiterates throughout the story is that theres only so much that physical chemistry can conquer, and that if you want to work up the nerve to pursue a deeper love, you need to be able to love yourself first and foremost, regardless of the expectations you put on yourself, or what you believe you need to be for someone else.

Publishers Description: Lia Harris is tired of being the odd one out. Shes never quite fit in with her uptight family, and now that her roommates have all found love, shes starting to feel like a third wheel in her own apartment. Fed up with her mothers constant meddling in her love life, Lia drops hints about a girlfriend she doesnt have. But with her brothers London nuptials approaching, she needs to find a date to save face. Lia turns to her best friend, Rosie, for help, and Rosie deliverswith the fun, gorgeous Grace Poston.

Grace loves to have a good time, hiding her insecurities behind a sunny smile. Her recent move to London has provided her with a much-needed fresh start. Grace isnt looking for love, and she hates weddings, having weathered more than her fair share of heartache. Friendships are different, though, so for Rosies sake, she reluctantly agrees to pose as Lias adoring girlfriend for the wedding festivities.

Both Grace and Lia are prepared for an awkward weekend, complete with prying family members and a guest room with only one bed. As it turns out, they get along wellspectacularly, in fact. Before they know it, the chemistry theyre faking feels all too real. But is their wedding weekend a fleeting performance or the rehearsal for a love thats meant to last?

Release Date: April 13 from Mimi Grace

Why Youll Love It: Few things are as utterly satisfying to me in a romance novel when its clear that the male lead has had a crush on his love interest for what might actually be forever and is just waiting for her to notice. If that premise sounds as delightful to you as it did to me, then you wont be steered wrong by the second installment of GracesLovestruckseries,What a Match.

The irony is that Gwen, our lady lead who has always had a plan outlined for her life and knows exactly what she wants, finds her situation completely flip-turned on its head when shes saddled with an unexpected roommate in the form of her bros friend Anthony, who winds up crashing on her couch for the foreseeable future. It doesnt help that Anthony has something of a taciturn personality, so its not like hes actually going to get around to confessing his feels right away either. We all know what they say about the best-laid plans, especially when theyre waylaid by a double-team chefs kiss of tropes: brothers best friend AND a little forced proximity, just for good measure.

Publishers Description: Sometimes what youre looking for is right under your nose. Meticulous and driven Gwen Gilmore knows what she wants especially in a man. She is newly single and doesnt have time for lackluster chemistry or mixed signals. But the dating scene proves to be slow and unserious, and she realizes she may need some help.

Nothing will distract her from finding a man who checks all the boxes, except maybe her brothers grumpy best friend whos just moved into her home.

Anthony Woods has had a crush on his best friends sister since the day he met her, and hes managed the unfortunate affliction by keeping his distance. However, when apartment problems have him temporarily sleeping on her couch, Gwen is suddenly closer than ever. And as much as he tries, his scowls and frowns cant stop the sparks from flying.

As they connect and get to know each other, Gwen cant help but notice when the perfect-on-paper boyfriend she has in mind starts to take an unexpected shape. Will she stick to the dating plan outlined by the professionals? Or admit when it comes to love, theres no right way to fall.

Release Date: April 26 from Little Stone Press

Why Youll Love It: The long-awaited third installment in HopkinsEastside Breweryseries is here! Angel, the youngest brother in the Rosas family, finally gets his love story in the form of a woman who completely changed his world one fateful night before disappearing altogether. When he barely makes it to his booster shot appointment on time, one look into the eyes of the masked woman sitting across from him confirms it: Deanna Delgado, for better or worse, has just walked back into his life again.

This is the first romance Ive read in recent memory that actually tackles the situation of our ongoing pandemic, and while it would be easy to simply handwave away reality in favor of a world that has remained untouched by COVID, Hopkins thoughtfully explores how the Rosas growing brewery business, as well as their family and others around them, have been impacted in recent years. But thats not to say the story lingers on those elements, either; Angel and Deannas love story takes center stage throughout, with the kind of legendary chemistry between them that might just scorch your e-reader if youre not careful.

Publishers Description: A fighter without a purpose. A crusader with nothing to lose. Can she trust him with her heart, or is he just another lost cause?

By day, I do all the grunt work at my familys struggling L.A. brewery. By night, I blow off steam at an underground fight club. I never thought the pandemic would bring Deanna Delgado back into my lifethe woman who ghosted me three years ago after one unforgettable night. But the brewery needs a miracle to survive. And that miracle could cost me the only person whos ever had faith in me.

My family calls me an idealistic do-gooder, but I see a better, brighter future for my community. My biggest problem? Ive just lost the job I love. To ease my pain, Ive hooked up with Angel Rosas, the filthy-sweet one-night stand whos somehow dropped back into my life. Theres so much more to Angel than he lets on. Is he the man I can trust with my body and my heart? Or is he just another lost cause?

Carly Lane is an Atlanta-based writer who considers herself a lifelong Star Wars fan, newbie Trekker, diehard romance reader, nascent horror lover, and occasional live-tweeter. She is the senior TV editor at Collider, a former contributing editor for SYFY FANGRRLS, and has also written for Vulture, the Boston Globe, Nerdist, Teen Vogue, Den of Geek, The Toast, and elsewhere around the Internet.

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