The best romances of August

Adrian Liang on August 12, 2019
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Highlanders, dating apps, a menagerie of animals in Regency London, a man known in the underworld as Beast, and a mayoral candidate with a romantically generous past are among our favorite new romances of August.

As we look at the quickly approaching end of summer, it's the perfect time to grab a few more "me" hours with a favorite book and a glass of iced tea sweetened just the way you like it.


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The Right Swipe: A Novel by Alisha Rai

After Rhi, the founder of woman-positive dating app Crush, breaks her own rules about making second dates and then gets ghosted, she tries to bury the memory. But when the newest spokesperson for competitor app Matchmaker ends up being the man who ghosted her a few months ago, Rhi realizes that she has to put him behind her once and for all. Too bad he has a pretty good excuse for standing her up. And he’s nice. And they still have chemistry. This rollercoaster of a romance swings between hilarious to spot-on true about matters of a cracked heart, while dealing incisively with toxic workplace culture. A glorious read.


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Brazen and the Beast: The Bareknuckle Bastards Book II by Sarah MacLean

When Lady Hattie Sedley finds a bound, unconscious man in her carriage just as she’s planning a late-night adventure, she’s momentarily nonplussed but quickly deals with the situation. London underworld kingpin Whit isn’t used to being shoved out of a moving carriage—and every encounter that follows with Hattie leaves him both the most off-balance and the most centered he’s ever felt in his life. Too bad that his need for revenge on the person who attacked him and his crew will destroy all of Hattie’s dreams. Funny, sizzling, and smart.


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A Highlander Walks into a Bar: A Highland, Georgia Novel by Laura Trentham

When Izzy’s mother returns from Scotland with a handsome and sweet Scotsman on her arm, Izzy isn’t sure whether she should be happy for her mom or deeply suspicious of the man’s motives. In any case, with her mother’s interest elsewhere, more of the responsibility for planning their small Georgia town’s annual Highland Games falls on Izzy’s shoulders. When another real-live Scotman shows up on her doorstep—this one also handsome but far closer in age to Izzy—Izzy has another problem on her hands: her attraction to a man who clearly isn’t sticking around for long. And Izzy, bound to her family’s summer tradition of the Highland Games, can’t leave. A delightful contemporary romance that will make readers long to visit both Georgia and Scotland.

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On the Corner of Love and Hate (Hopeless Romantics) by Nina Bocci

At the Hope Lake Community Development Office, Cooper and Emma work with local businesses to expand their success. But now that Cooper is running for mayor, all the grunt work is falling on Emma to handle. Plus, stories of Cooper’s past romantic entanglements keep popping up, nibbling away at the goodwill he’s inspired from working for the town for so long. When Emma—knowing Cooper is the far better candidate—reluctantly agrees to help Cooper on his campaign, she never expects to gain more respect for him, or to start to fall for him. This contemporary romance explores the highs and low of an office romance while sounding genuine and true.


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The Wallflower Wager: Girl Meets Duke by Tessa Dare

Every year, I look forward to Tessa Dare’s newest historical romance. And every year, I grin from ear to ear as I gallop through the hilarious high jinx her mismatched couples endure. Lady Penelope Campion has been known as an eccentric ever since she smuggled a hedgehog into Almack’s. Still, her new neighbor, Gabriel Duke, never expects to encounter Penny in his bedroom in her nightgown, trying to capture an escaped parrot. Aware that Penny is unwed, Gabriel is renovating his house in the hopes of selling it to a wealthy family who dreams of marrying into the upper classes, but her menagerie (a goat, Highland cow, otter, foul-mouthed parrot, and far more) is likely to derail his plans. When Penny agrees to accept Gabriel’s help in finding new homes for her fur babies, the situations they find themselves in become more and more ridiculous—and more and more charged with their mutual attraction. A delightful romp in which opposites not only attract, they make each other (and readers) laugh.

To see all our picks, including new books from J.R. Ward, Maisey Yates, and Alexandra Ivy, visit the Best Romances of the Month.


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