This month's bookshelf is made up of 8 spicy, hearty, diverse romances picked by self professed book fanatic John-Paul Kunrunmi. There's something for everyone to indulge in in this month of love.
Themes: Marriage, Depression, Grief, Death
Summary: Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love alone couldn’t solve or save everything. Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she is finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm, co-parenting their two kids and running a business together. Yet like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had. Soon, one stolen kiss leads to another…and then more. It's hot. It's illicit. It's all good—until old wounds reopen. Is it too late for them to find forever? Or could they even be better, the second time around?
Themes: Short stories, Retellings, Mythology, Fantasy
Summary: A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen. A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life. A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart. In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.
With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.
Themes: Fake Relationship, LGBTQIA+, Family, Class
Summary: It's been months since aspiring journalist Kian Andrews has heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting at a café. Maybe Hudson wants to profusely apologize for the breakup. Or confess his undying love. . . But no, Hudson has a favor to ask--he wants Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend while his parents are in town, and Kian reluctantly agrees. The dinner doesn't go exactly as planned, and suddenly Kian is Hudson's plus one to Georgia's wedding of the season. If Kian goes, he'll help Hudson preserve appearances and get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in media. This could be the big career break Kian needs. But their fake relationship is starting to feel like it might be more than a means to an end, and it's time for both men to fact-check their feelings.
Themes: Fashion, Forbidden Love, 2nd Coming of Age
Summary: Will a forty-year-old woman with everything on the line – her high-stakes career, ticking biological clock, bank account – risk it all for a lusty secret romance with the one person who could destroy her comeback? Jenna Jones, former It-girl fashion editor, is broke and desperate for a second chance. When she’s dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from Darling magazine, she begs for a job at StyleZine.com from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale. But Jenna soon realizes she’s in over her head. She’s working with digital-savvy millennials half her age, has never even “Twittered,” and pretends to still be a Fashion Somebody while living a style lie (she sold her designer wardrobe to afford her sketched-out studio, and now quietly wears Walmart’s finest). Worse? The twenty-two-year-old videographer assigned to shoot her web series is driving her crazy. Wildly sexy with a smile Jenna feels in her thighs, Eric Combs is way off-limits – but almost too delicious to resist.
Themes: Dating apps, Social Media, Self-Love
Summary: When the love of her life shows up with a girlfriend, Tia decides it's time to put herself out there.Expectations of dating apps are low, so it's a surprise when she instantly connects with handsome photographer Nate. He's everything she's looking for; he makes her feel safe, seen, and desired.Tia assumes they're on the same page - the only catch? They're yet to have "The Talk." In a generation that's normalised competing over who cares the least, can Tia overcome her fears and lay her cards on the table, in the pursuit of something real?The Situationship is #Merky Books' first hilarious, unputdownable romcom!
Themes: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Self- Acceptance, Culture and Heritage
Summary: Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University. There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself. Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. This is a sharply funny and insightful novel about the countless hustles we have to keep from doing the hardest thing: being ourselves.
Themes: Enemies to Lovers, Career, Sexuality
Summary: Successful pediatric surgeon London Kelley just needs to find some balance and de-stress. According to her friends Samiah and Taylor, what London really needs is a casual hookup. A night of fun with no strings. But no one—least of all London—expected it to go down at her high school reunion with Drew Sullivan, millionaire, owner of delicious abs, and oh yes, her archnemesis. Now London is certain the road to hell is paved with good sex. Because she’s found out the real reason Drew’s back in Austin: to decide whether her beloved hospital remains open. Worse, Drew is doing everything he can to show her that he’s a decent guy who actually cares. But London’s not falling for it. Because while sleeping with the enemy is one thing, falling for him is definitely not part of the plan.
Themes: Grief, Forbidden Love, LGBTQIA+, Healing
Summary: Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again. It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio, and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career. She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged by the dangerous thrill Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits. This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. Who is she ready to become? Can she release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all—how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love?