Summertime is around the corner, so what better time to indulge in some scorching romantic tension? These nine books featuring the enemies-to-lovers trope will have sparks flying all summer long.
A Proposal They Can't Refuse by Natalie Caña, coming June 7th from MIRA Books
Kamilah Vega is desperate to convince her family to update their Puerto Rican restaurant and enter it into the Fall Foodie Tour. With the gentrification of their Chicago neighborhood, the tour is the only way to save the place. The fly in her mofongo: her blackmailing abuelo says if she wants to change anything in his restaurant, she'll have to marry the one man she can't stand: his best friend’s grandson. Liam Kane spent a decade working to turn his family’s distillery into a contender. Now he and his grandfather are on the verge of winning a national competition. Then Granda hits him with a one-two punch: he has cancer and he has his heart set on seeing Liam married before it’s too late. And Granda knows just the girl... Kamilah Vega. If they refuse, their grandfathers will sell the building that houses both their businesses. With their futures on the line, Kamilah and Liam plan to outfox the devious duo, faking an engagement until they both get what they want. But soon, they find themselves tangled up in more than either of them bargained for.
TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo, coming June 7th from Penguin Random House/Viking
When TJ Powar—a pretty, popular debater—and her cousin Simran become the subject of a meme, with TJ being the “expectation” of dating an Indian girl and her Sikh cousin who doesn't remove her body hair being the “reality”—TJ decides to take a stand. She ditches her razors, cancels her waxing appointments, and sets a debate resolution that she will go all in to defend: “This House Believes That TJ Powar can be her hairy self, and still be beautiful.” Only, as she sets about proving her point, she starts to seriously doubt anyone could care about her just the way she is—even when the infuriating boy from a rival debate team seems determined to prove otherwise. As her carefully crafted sense of self begins to crumble, TJ realizes that winning this debate may cost her far more than the space between her eyebrows. And that the hardest judge to convince of her arguments might just be herself.
A Song of Silver and Gold by Melissa Karibian, coming June 15th from Hansen House
Out in the open sea, it’s kill or be killed. No one knows that better than Kaelyn. For the past year, Princess Kaelyn of Avalon has disguised herself as a man, Captain Kae, and led her crew into tumultuous waters to eradicate sirens on a journey fueled by revenge for the death of her brother. When they return home and experience a fatal siren attack on Avalon’s harbor, Kae sets sail again to destroy the sea demons once and for all. Aqeara is a siren warrior of Meyrial, an underwater kingdom hidden from humans. When her negligence during the Avalon harbor attack causes the death of Meyrial’s princess, she seeks the help of a sea witch to overturn her banishment. Aqeara is given a human body and has until the next full moon to carve out Captain Kae’s heart in exchange for a spell to bring the dead princess back to life. When Kae’s and Aqeara’s paths cross, they fall into a whirlwind romance, complicating their respective plans. Kae must decide whether her desire for revenge against sirens overrides her feelings for the woman she’s falling for, and Aqeara must choose between resurrecting the dead princess or sparing Kae’s life.
You, Me and Our Heartstrings by Melissa See, coming July 19th from Scholastic
Daisy and Noah have the same plan: use the holiday concert to land a Julliard audition. But when they're chosen to play a duet for the concert, they worry that their differences will sink their chances. Noah, a cello prodigy from a long line of musicians, wants to stick to tradition. Daisy, a fiercely independent disabled violinist, is used to fighting for what she wants and likes to take risks. But the two surprise each other when they play. They fall perfectly in tune. After their performance goes viral, the rest of the country falls for them just as surely as they're falling for each other. But viral fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. No one seems to care about their talent or their music at all. People have rewritten their love story into one where Daisy is an inspiration for overcoming her cerebral palsy and Noah is a saint for seeing past it. Daisy is tired of her disability being the only thing people see about her, and all of the attention sends Noah’s anxiety disorder into high speed. They can see their dream coming closer than it’s ever been before. But is the cost suddenly too high?
For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa, coming July 26th from Harlequin/ HQN
All chef Nina Lyon wants is to make a name for herself in the culinary world and inspire young women everywhere to do the same. Now, as co-host of the competitive reality TV series The Next Cooking Champ!, she finally has a real shot at being top tier in the foodie scene. Too bad her co-host happens to be Hollywood’s smarmiest jerk. Restaurateur Leo O’Donnell never means to get under Nina’s skin. It just seems to happen, especially when the cameras are rolling. It's part of the anxiety and stress he has come to know all too well in this line of work. So nothing prepares him for the fallout after he takes one joke a smidge too far and Nina up and quits—on live TV. To make matters worse, the two are caught in what looks like a compromising situation by the paparazzi…and fans of the show go absolutely nuts. Turns out, a “secret romance” between Nina and Leo may just be what their careers need most. Now all they have to do is play along, without killing each other...and without catching feelings. Easy as artisanal shepherd's pie. Right?
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen, coming July 26th from Delacorte Press
Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it. But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus's love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus. Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can't change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah, coming September 6th from Sourcebooks/Fire
Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve. In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite―have indentured Koral's family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others―if they're lucky―survive. When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family's financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can't afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral's only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race. But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders―including her ex-boyfriend who ghosted her two years ago―who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When a rebellion rises and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose―her life or her sister's―before the whole island burns.
Don't Let In the Cold by Keely Parrack, coming September 20th from Sourcebooks Fire
Lottie trusts no one. Friendships fade fast when you’re always moving. So she’s not thrilled to be forced into hanging out with her new nature-obsessed stepsister, while her mom and new step dad celebrate in Reno. Still, how hard can it be to spend one night at a ski-cabin in Tahoe? But that night, after a solar flare causes a massive blackout and they’re stranded with no cell signal or power, Alex, a fast-talking Asian teen turns up. Lottie knows better than to be taken in by his cuteness. He claims to be lost, but his dog seems to know its way around the cabin a little too well. When the trio are forced into the blizzard, they have to work together, as freezing to death isn’t their only worry. Asthma, bears and white-outs take their toll, but that’s nothing compared to being hunted down by Alex’s ‘friends’. If they don’t get what they bribed Alex to deliver, all of their lives are in danger. After an avalanche of bad decisions, Lottie must get this last one right. Should she deny her feelings for Alex and persuade Jade to leave him behind, or trust her heart and fight for him—even if saving Alex might cost Lottie her life?
Mindwalker by Kate Dylan, coming later this year from Hodder & Stoughton
In twelve months, the supercomputer grafted to Sil Sarrah’s brain will kill her—unless the Syntex Corporation kills her first. As their top-ranked Mindwalker, Sil rescues the company’s imperilled field agents by commandeering their minds from afar and leading them to safety. But when a mission goes south, she’s forced to flee the very company she once called home. Desperate to prove she's no traitor, Sil infiltrates the Analog Army, an activist faction working to bring Syntex down. Her plan is to win back her employer's trust by destroying the group from within. Instead, she and the Army's reckless leader, Ryder, uncover a horrifying truth that threatens to undo all the good Sil's ever done. With her tech rapidly degrading and her new ally keeping dangerous secrets of his own, Sil must find a way to stop Syntex in order to save her friends, her reputation—and maybe even herself.