The best new romances coming out in May

It seems like every month more and more romance novels come out – way more than we can keep up with. It’s always nice to know that book you’ve been waiting for that might have been announced years ago (or what seems like years, even if it’s only been a few months), is ultimately happen – but it’s not always easy to know when it might happen. Whether we’re looking for a specific title or looking for a new book in a particular subgenre or with a specific trope, there’s a certain amount of sorting through every novel to find something you want to read.

Good news! We have a few romances coming out during this month that might satisfy any bookish desires. Historical and contemporary. Hate encounters and off-road adventures. Instant pot romances and slow burns. There is a bit of everything! Some books have household names, while others are highly anticipated debuts.

You will notice that these are almost all books that will be published by major publishing houses like Berkley, Avon, Sourcebooks Casablanca, etc. While there are likely to be independently published novels coming out this month, they tend to have a shorter delivery time and can either be released for pre-order a few weeks before release or get the Lemonade treatment and drop them off whenever they want. Keep an eye out for those too!

Here are a number of books that I’m (and you should be, too!) excited about coming out over the next month.

Book Lovers cover image by Emily Henry

book lovers by Emily Henry

Nora is a book lover and a ruthless literary agent. When her sister brings her on vacation to a small town, the last person she expects to meet is publisher Charlie, with whom she has had many run-ins in town. But they keep bumping into each other…again. And even. Neither is looking for love – especially not the kind of books they deal with every day. But as they learn more about themselves and each other, that could all change.

Release date: May 3

cover of By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

According to the rules by Jasmine Guillory

This is the second book in Disney’s foray into the world of adult storytelling – this one is a reimagining of the The beauty and the Beast story set in the world of publishing. Overworked and underpaid, Izzy wants nothing more than to finally quit her grumbling job for a publishing company. When she learns that a reclusive author hasn’t submitted his manuscript, she goes to see him. Shouldn’t be hard to get him to move, right? Bad. Beau is lost and unmotivated. But the presence of Izzy in his life could relax him.

Release date: May 3

cover of Never Been Kissed by Timothy Janovsky

never been kissed by Timothee Janovsky

Wren is a hopeless romantic who has never been kissed. He drunkenly emails a bunch of his previous crushes in the middle of the night, including his best friend from high school, Derick. The two end up working together to save a local drive-in, one of Wren’s favorite places in the world, and Wren spends a summer figuring out what he really wants in life and why he deserves to get it. . And of course, he will fall in love again.

Release date: May 3

cover of One Chance Only by Elysabeth Grace

One chance by Elysabeth Grace

Dani doesn’t believe in second chances, but lets Jason back under her skin and into her bed after a harsh betrayal – a betrayal he deeply regrets on every level. As the pair continue to find each other in each other’s lives, both realize they may not be able to escape what fate has planned for them.

Release date: May 3

cover of Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond

Queerly beloved by Susie Dumond

Susie is a Rioter! How exciting is that???

Set in the mid-2010s, this story centers on Amy, a queer baker working for a conservative Christian company, who eventually becomes a bridesmaid for hire. And then there’s Charley, smart, attractive and new in town. Amy finds her way, but she has a little trouble trying to please everyone, even those who wouldn’t be happy with her away. So she has to decide: be loved by people who shouldn’t be able to control who she is, or be herself, entirely loved by the people who matter?

Release date: May 3

cover of Rose and Wicked by Rebel Carter

pink and mean by Rebel Carter

The seventh book in Carter’s Gold Sky series, pink and mean takes us back to Gold Sky, where Rose Wickes-Barnes wanted nothing more than to elope in New York to make costumes for a prestigious theater company. And she is about to realize this life. But when her life is thrown into chaos and she’s forced to marry Samuel “Wicked” Walker, she’s more interested in knowing why the low-key gentleman who saved her life has such a nickname.

Release date: May 3

cover of Chef's Kiss by TJ Alexander

Chef’s kiss by TJ Alexander

Simone loves her job at a cookbook publisher, where she can experiment in the kitchen and work on the perfect recipe. When her employers decide to get into video, they bring in a new test kitchen manager, Ray, which ends up going viral and turning Simone’s life upside down a bit. And to make things more interesting, Ray comes out publicly as non-binary, leading Simone to find the balance between the job she loves and the co-worker who could become something more.

Release date: May 3

Cover of Amy Lea's Set on You

put on you by Amy Lea

Crystal Chen has made a name for herself as a fitness influencer who shatters stereotypes about the right body type. The gym is her happy place, where she’ll find solace after a recent breakup, but new gym goer Scott ruins it all for her. As their relationship at the gym turns into a conflict, they don’t expect to cross paths at their grandparents’ engagement party. And, you know, it goes from there.

More body positivity in fitness romances, yes!

Release date: May 10

cover of The Love Connection by Denise Williams

The love connection by Denise Williams

In the first of her Airport Novellas, Denise Williams introduces us to Ollie, owner of an airport pet grooming business, and Bennett, the traveler she likes to watch every Tuesday during her layover. (It’s not as scary as it sounds.) When a chance encounter actually allows them to meet, there’s no telling what might happen next. This is part of Berkley’s new first series of audiobooks, but they release them in ebook format about a month after each book.

Release date: May 17 (audiobook available now!)

cover of Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

something wilder by Christina Lauren

In this second-chance romance, Lily Wilder uses the knowledge and name she’s gained bad payer adventurous father to lead hikes in the Utah wilderness. But when once-lover Leo appears out of nowhere to pick her up and move on, she doesn’t have it. She will act as a guide for which she is paid, but if he gets lost and falls off a cliff, she has no intention of shedding a single tear. But of course, like any good adventure, everything starts to go wrong, and it’s up to Leo and Lily to save themselves and each other.

Release date: May 17

Cover of A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall

A lady for a duke by Alexis Hall

Using her presumed death at Waterloo to start her life over, Viola Carroll starts afresh, planning to live her life for herself and no one else. But when she meets her old friend and confidant, the Duke of Gracewood, once-buried feelings might try to squeeze their way in.

Release date: May 24

Cover of You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi.

You made a fool of death with your beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Feyi is recovering from immense grief after losing the love of her life in a terrible accident. But she took the time to rediscover herself and remake herself in her image. As she ventures toward the possibility of finding that perfect love again, she must go out of her own way and let go. Akwaeke Emezi has written several books, and none of them have been in the same genre. It’s their first romance, and it seems they’ve approached it with the same sharp lyrical language they’ve used for all of their other work.

Release date: May 24

cover of Flirting With Fifty by Jane Porter

Flirting with Fifty by Jane Porter

Divorced college professor Paige enjoys her comfortable life. She has a good relationship with her mother and her three daughters and loves the work she can do. She’s even willing to co-teach an international session, though it might be with a man who uses Indiana Jones as a role model for education. The pair have great chemistry, but Paige isn’t ready to succumb to their charms.

Release date: May 24

cover of A Caribbean Heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera

A Caribbean heiress in Paris by Adriana Herrera

Adriana Herrera’s first historical romance is set in turn-of-the-century Paris, where Luz hopes to expand the family rum business. But when she can’t come to terms with business owners who don’t care about potentially working with a woman, let alone a black one, she’s surprised by a Scottish earl’s offer of a marriage of convenience. .

Release date: May 31

Wow. It’s been a hell of a month! The releases of May 3 are particularly complete and exciting, if I say so myself. Note to self: leave enough money in my bank account for the mortgage.


Looking for more new romance recommendations? Make sure you subscribe to the Kissing Books newsletter and listen to it Podcast When In Romance! And if you’re looking for more new books in general, you’re going to have a hell of a time with the weekly New Books newsletter!

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