Contemporary romance is broadly described as the time period for romance set after World War II, and is sometimes referred to as “modern romance” — whisking readers from small-town settings to bustling cities, and featuring a variety of delightful storylines. Below are our picks for the best new contemporary romance reads of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.
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Love Her or Lose Her
by Tessa Bailey
Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.
The Happy Ever After Playlist
by Abby Jimenez
Sloan Monroe can’t catch a break. Two years after losing her fiance, her life consists of cemetery visits, unorthodox art projects, and drinking sessions with her best friend, Kristen. So when a dog dashes in front of her car and gets her a ticket for obstructing traffic, Sloan is at her wits’ end. But after meeting the ridiculously attractive and charming owner of the trouble-making retriever, she begins to think that maybe her luck has finally started to turn around… When Jason Larsen — a.k.a. Jaxon Waters, rock n’ roll’s newest prodigy — turns on his phone after a two-week hiking trip in Australia, he’s shocked to find out that his beloved dog Tucker escaped his babysitter and is being held hostage by a beautiful woman. As Jason and Sloan begin to fall for each other, past traumas and rising tensions prove that their seemingly perfect match may just go to the dogs.
The Honey-Don’t List
by Christina Lauren
From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.
Marriage on Madison Avenue
by Lauren Layne
Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother-announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey. But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?
The Worst Best Man
by Mia Sosa
A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials. Marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning–absolutely off-limits–ex-fiancée. And she loathes him. If they can nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own. Soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again.
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