6 romance books you should have on your radar this year

D'Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins. Image courtesy Amazon
D'Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins. Image courtesy Amazon /

2022 is poised to be another big year for publishing. In particular, it seems like more authors are moving towards the romance genre and publishing romance books. While the genre has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, most of the themes have stayed the same.

Looking back at 2021, there were some trends in the romance category. In particular, we saw that the illustrated cover is here to stay, steamy books are the talk of TikTok, and a lot of our favorite indie authors are finally getting a chance to traditionally publish.

Overall, it looks like 2022 is going to be more of the same. However, publishing is moving towards featuring more inclusive narratives also. In 2022, it seems like indie and self-published books are going to continue to be on the rise. Within the last year, it feels like indie romance books are becoming as popular if not, more popular than traditionally published stories.

If you’re looking for some new romance release to add to your TBR, then look no further. Of course, these books aren’t released yet so it’s unclear if they’ll be your cup of tea. But looking at the cover and synopsis, these could end up being some solid reads for 2022.

These first two releases give all the queer vibes heading into 2022.

The first release you should have on your radar is “Love & Other Disasters” by Anita Kelly. This is one that most people already know about as it’s a Book of the Month selection. It was also just released! It’s a delightful romantic comedy between two contestants on a cooking show, one of which is nonbinary.

While the book is marketed as a rom-com, the synopsis does mention that one of the characters is dealing with being recently divorced and is having money problems. Either way, it seems like “Love & Other Disasters” is going to be a fun story especially since it has such a gorgeous cover too. It’s not only the only queer romance release you should have your eye on, though.

The other one is “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” by Ashley Herring Blake. You might recognize her name if you read YA books. However, this is her first foray into adult romance and it’s an f/f romance between two women who reconnect after one comes back to town for a family event.

This book has also been garnering a lot of praise since the cover was released. With its release date set for February 22, we still have a bit of time to go but it seems like it’s going to be super fun and steamy time. If you’ve read Ashley Herring Blake’s books before, you’ll know how hard-hitting they are so it’ll be nice to see her try something a little lighter.

These next two releases are from authors who are moving from what they’ve always done.

If you’re an indie romance reader, you’re probably familiar with Jodie Slaughter. If you’re not, then you might enjoy her new traditionally published work, “Bet On It.” St. Martin’s is going to be publishing this book and it’s going to follow Aja and Walker who become unlikely friends during bingo resulting in a sex pact. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as the synopsis promises an emotional and fun romance.

“Bet On It” is set for release on July 12, 2022, so it should be a nice summer read. Considering that most of Jodie Slaughter’s indie books feature hard-hitting topics, this one could end up being surprisingly intense. Either way, the cover is cute and it seems like it’s going to be a nice change for her.

Of course, I’d be remiss to not include Emily Henry on the list, who originally began as a sci-fi/fantasy writer turned adult romance writer. Henry has easily become one of the most recognizable names when it comes to adult romance books. Her books have resonated with even non-romance lovers since the release of “Beach Read”.

Her 2022 release, “Book Lovers” seems like it’s going to be another heavy-hitter. This one follows a woman who is a literary agent, trying to have a romantic story of her own but a colleague won’t stop popping up and ruining things for her. It’s bound to be a romance between the two and it seems like it’s going to be delightful as the rest of Emily Henry’s romance books.

These final two romance books are two Black Love authors who deserve more love.

This next romance book is another queer story and it’s by Chencia C. Higgins, but this time, it’s Black love between two women who are taking fake dating to the next level. Entitled “D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding,” this book is about two women who go on a reality show and have to convince their families they’re getting married in a matter of months to win some prize money. However since it’s a romance, no doubt they’re going to fall in love for real.

Considering how many different subgenres Chencia C. Higgins has written in, it is bound to be a solid read. It is also going to be her first time publishing with Carina Press, who is known for queer stories. This book sounds like it’s going to be the perfect combination of funny, steamy, and serious which is a balance Chencia C. Higgins does well.

Last but certainly not least is Christina C Jones’ new motorcycle club release, “No Longer Afraid.” If you’ve read her “Vegas Nights” series, you’ll recognize this as the club featured in “Maybe One More Time.” This book seems like it’s going to be dark, yet steamy which is a specialty of CCJ.

Christina C Jones is the queen of Black romance and should have her on your radar. It’s unclear when she’s going to be releasing this one but it seems like it’s going to be another exciting addition to her catalog.

Next. If This Gets Out is a charming queer boy band romcom. dark

Overall 2022 is set to be another huge year for romance books and romance readers. Hopefully, you found something new to add to your TBR from my list. I’d also love to know what romance books you have on your radar for this year.