Romance Roundup: April 2024

A look at what’s steaming up the shelves this month.

Romance Roundup: April 2024

It’s April, and spring is well and truly finally here! The trees are greening, the flowers are blooming, my car is covered in pollen, and my allergy meds are working overtime. Yep, it’s definitely spring! The change in seasons means putting away the winter coats and heavy sweaters and busting out the lighter wardrobe — and for me, it also means swapping wintry romances, with their snowy covers and holiday titles, for a TBR pile that’s all pastel pinks and greens and blues. My own little bedside bouquet, if you will. Here are a couple of the romance novels that I’m loving this month.


Abby Jimenez’s Just for the Summer (Forever) proves once again why she’s one of my insta-buy authors.

The only thing Emma and Justin have in common is that they’re cursed when it comes to relationships. Every person they break up with seems to find true love in their very next partner. When Emma reads Justin’s viral Reddit post about being unlucky in love, she reaches out to let him know he’s not alone. What starts as two strangers commiserating soon turns into a real connection as they share little details about their lives. There’s no chance of it going any further than that, though, as Emma is a traveling nurse constantly on the move, and Justin is firmly rooted in his Minnesota hometown.

But then Justin takes their texting friendship to the next level. He suggests Emma and her best friend, Maddy, come to Minnesota for their next job. His theory is that if he and Emma date each other, maybe they’ll find true love in their next relationships. It’s a silly proposition, but Emma is more than a little tempted because she genuinely likes the funny, handsome stranger. Even though a long-term romance seems impossible, they’re both interested in seeing where their mutual attraction takes them. So Emma convinces a reluctant Maddy to give up their assignment in Hawaii and spend six weeks in the Upper Midwest — just long enough for Emma and Justin to go on a few dates and break their mutual curse.

Beneath the surface of this lighthearted meet-cute is an emotionally powerful story of two people finding unexpected love. Emma’s childhood was one of instability and neglect — with Maddy’s family providing her only real security — so her mother’s sudden reappearance throws her for a loop. Justin, meanwhile, is coping with his own family issues and preparing to become the guardian of his younger siblings. What starts out as a summer fling becomes something more as the pair is forced to unpack the baggage they’ve been carrying — and discover they may have more in common than they think. Their heartfelt story had me racing to the end, and it isn’t too early to say that Jimenez has delivered one of the best romances of 2024.


A widow tries to conjure the ghost of her dead husband with hilarious results in Melissa Holtz’s paranormal romantic comedy, An Enchanting Case of Spirits (Berkley).

It’s been two years since Alyssa Mann’s husband, Garrett, died in a car accident, leaving her to raise their teenage daughter alone. On the night of her 40th birthday, Alyssa’s well-meaning friends Nina and Lanie take her out for drinks and a tarot-card reading. But things don’t go as planned when their night on the town ends with a bizarre encounter with a cantankerous medium. Alyssa had longed to speak to Garrett one last time, but instead of connecting with her late spouse, she wakes up with the ghost of a stranger named Billy Garet at the end of her bed. The encounter sends her running from her house — and straight into the arms of Nick West, the sexy detective next door.

Nick is understandably skeptical about Alyssa’s spectral intruder, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t curious. He’s been keeping a neighborly eye on her since Garrett died, but this is the first time the standoffish widow has ever asked for his help. He can’t deny he finds her interesting and attractive, but Nick has his own reasons for keeping his distance. Alyssa’s interactions with Billy, along with a few other spirits, puts her at Nick’s doorstep often enough that she begins to have dreams about him — but before she can actually start rebuilding her life, she needs to resolve her supernatural crisis. But getting rid of Billy proves to be more complicated than she anticipated, especially when his death seems somehow connected to Garrett’s accident.

Holtz blends a satisfying second-chance romance with plenty of spirited hijinks, snarky humor, and a twisty mystery. With a likable cast of secondary characters and an ending that hints at a possible series, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next from this talented author.

Kristina Wright lives in Virginia with her husband, their two sons, two Goldendoodles, a ginger cat, and a green parrot. She’s a regular contributor at BookBub and a lifelong fan of romance fiction. Find her on Twitter at @kristinawright or on Bookshop, where she features her book recommendations.

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