Romance Roundup: June 2024

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

Romance Roundup: June 2024

“Alexa, play ‘Summer Nights’ by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.”

Yes, summer is finally here! In my house, that means cranky teenagers eating my good snacks and staring at their screens all day (when they’re not bickering). It also means my teacher-husband mumbling under his breath about rigor and rubrics while he works on next year’s lesson plans. But summer also means sleeping in and not being tied to a schedule, not needing to pack school lunches, and not arguing with kids who want to stay up later during the week. It’s the time when everything slows down and I don’t feel (too) guilty for taking the afternoons off just to read. On that note, here are two of my favorite new summery romances!


Sarah Adler wowed me last year with her debut, Mrs. Nash’s Ashes, and she’s back with the even more swoon-worthy Happy Medium (Berkley).

Gretchen Acorn makes her living as a fake medium in Washington, DC, helping wealthy clients find much-needed closure. So, when one of her regulars offers her a pile of money to investigate supernatural activity at Gilded Creek, her bridge partner’s goat farm, Gretchen happily packs a bag and heads for the country.

Instead of the elderly gentleman-farmer Gretchen was expecting, though, the farm’s owner turns out to be the unbelievably attractive Charlie Waybill. But Charlie doesn’t buy Gretchen’s spirit-medium story for a second and sends her packing. In an unexpected twist, she discovers that not only is Gilded Creek haunted by a ghost named Everett, she can actually see him. A family curse caused Everett’s untimely demise and left him trapped on the farm, and if Gretchen can’t convince Charlie to stay put, the same thing will happen to him.

With only a month to change Charlie’s mind, Gretchen agrees to be his farmhand in exchange for room and board. It’s a zany situation, but however much Gretchen longs to walk away, there’s something about Charlie that makes her want to help him. And, as they spend more time together, she realizes that she’s more authentically herself with him than she’s ever been in her life. With humor and heart, Adler skillfully weaves one of the best romances of the year. (The goats are pretty awesome, too.)


Fans of last year’s Summer Reading won’t want to miss Jenn McKinlay’s latest offering, Love at First Book (Berkley).

Emily Allen, a librarian from Martha’s Vineyard, has always longed to travel. Unfortunately, mental-health issues and an overbearing mother have kept her tethered to home…until now. When her favorite author, Siobhan Riordan, offers her a job in Ireland, Emily eagerly accepts. Siobhan’s novels helped Emily through some of the darkest times in her life, and it’s a dream come true not only to be able to meet her hero, but also to begin building the life she’s always wanted.

Emily’s job is to assist Siobhan in completing the final book in her beloved YA series, which has been stalled for a decade due to writer’s block. For reasons Emily doesn’t understand, Siobhan’s son, Kieran, isn’t too keen on his mother returning to writing — or on Emily helping her. Emily will not be deterred, though, and splits her time between working with Siobhan and working for Kieran in the bookshop his mother owns.

She becomes increasingly attracted to the sharp-witted, literature-quoting Kieran, but just as things start to take an amorous turn, Emily learns the truth behind Kieran’s concern for his mom. The information puts her between a rock and a hard place, torn between helping Siobhan and being honest with Kieran.

Emily was best friends with Summer Reading’s chef-protagonist, Samantha Gale, and readers of the previous book will be happy to see Emily get her own story here. McKinlay’s quaint Irish village is peopled with likable characters and an abundance of charm, but it’s Kieran, a lovable grump, adored son, and devotee of books, who really shines in this novel.

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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