New Contemporary Romance for 2020

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.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

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.

Girl Gone Viral

by Alisha Rai

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

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.

Been There, Married That

by Gigi Levangie Grazer

In a world where therapist look like the Real Housewives of Equinox, where friends dispense Xanax like Pez, and where a woman’s status is directly linked to the how few carbs she eats…can one Hollywood wife take back her life?

The Worst Best Man

by Mia Sosa

Perfect for fans of Me Before You and One Day—a striking, powerful, and moving love story following an ambitious lawyer who experiences an astonishing vision that could change her life forever.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2020 (so far):

Dystopian futures, galaxies far, far away, mysterious magic, and the supernatural! Below are our picks for the best new science fiction and fantasy reads of 2020 (so far!), hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The City We Became

by N.K. Jemisin

Three-time Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.

Riot Baby

by Tochi Onyebuchi

Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative and an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience. Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella–through visits both mundane and supernatural–tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

The Resisters

by Gish Jen

The time: Some thirty-five years hence. The place: AutoAmerica–governed by “Aunt Nettie,” an iBurrito of AI algorithms and the internet, in a land half under water. The people: Divided into the angelfair “Netted,” whose fate it is to have jobs and live on high ground, and the mostly coppertoned “Surplus,” whose jobs have been stripped and whose sole duty now is to consumeThe story: A Surplus family–he was once a professor, she is still a lawyer–has a girl child, Gwen, who’s born with a golden arm. When AutoAmerica and ChinRussia decide to revive the Olympics, suddenly Gwen, who’s been playing in the Resisters League her parents have organized, is in great demand. An amazing story of a world that looks only too possible, and a family struggling to maintain its humanity in circumstances that daily threaten their every value as well as their very existence.

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories

by Ken Liu

From award-winning author Ken Liu comes his much anticipated second volume of short stories. Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This collection includes a selection of his science fiction and fantasy stories from the last five years-sixteen of his best-plus a new novelette.

Chosen Ones

by Veronica Roth

Fifteen years ago, five ordinary teenagers were singled out by a prophecy to take down an impossibly powerful entity wreaking havoc across North America. He was known as the Dark One, and his weapon of choice–catastrophic events known as Drains–leveled cities and claimed thousands of lives. Chosen Ones, as the teens were known, gave everything they had to defeat him. On the tenth anniversary of the Dark One’s defeat, something unthinkable happens: one of the Chosen Ones dies. When the others gather for the funeral, they discover the Dark One’s ultimate goal was much bigger than they, the government, or even prophecy could have foretold–bigger than the world itself.

Harrow the Ninth

by Tamsyn Muir

After rocking the cosmos with her deathly debut, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth, a mind-twisting puzzle box of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem. Nothing is as it seems in the halls of the Emperor, and the fate of the galaxy rests on one woman’s shoulders.

The Seep

by Chana Porter

When an alien entity invades Earth, anything imaginable is possible—literally. A utopian future without capitalism or social barriers might seem like the perfect reality, but when Trina’s wife Deeba decides to be reborn as a baby to experience an even better life, Trina is left alone and heartbroken. What does it mean to be unhappy in a seemingly perfect world, and is it possible to save those who have already decided the alien Seep is the answer to everything?

The Vanished Birds

by Simon Jimenez

Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her, and all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives for only the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky. The scarred child does not speak, his only form of communication the beautiful and haunting music he plays from an old wooden flute. And over years of starlit travel, these two outsiders discover in one another the things they lacked. But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy. The past hungers for him, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

What’s New: Thrillers for 2020

Do you love a gripping page-turner that you just can’t put down? Below are a handful of our picks for the best new thrillers of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff. All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Missing American

by Kwei Quartey

After her dreams of becoming a police officer come crashing down, Emma starts working for a private detective agency in Accra. Anxious about her uncertain future and career in the city, she soon finds herself investigating the case of a missing American citizen in Ghana. In a plot that expands continents and the secrets of two countries, Emma must navigate a convoluted world of international scams, fetish priests, and the mysteries of the dead.

The Majesties

by Tiffany Tsao

Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan. As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of their opulent world too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn, at last, confront the carefully buried mysteries in their family’s past and the truth about who she and her sister really are?

A Good Man

by Ani Katz

Paul Martin was a devoted family man who had all the trappings of an enviable life: a beautiful wife and daughter, a well-appointed home on Long Island’s north shore, a job at a prestigious Manhattan advertising firm. He was also a devoted son and brother, shielding the women in his orbit from the everyday horrors of the world. But what happens when Paul’s fragile ego is rocked? After committing an unspeakable act–that he can never undo–Paul grapples with his sense of self. Sometimes he casts himself as a victim and, at other times, a monster. All he ever did was try to be a good man, but he may actually be a very, very bad man.

The Holdout

by Graham Moore

Maya Seale believes that Bobby Nock is innocent, so she becomes determined to persuade her fellow jurors of it. Ten years after the trial and Maya’s successful campaign for his innocence, a documentary crew starts to look into what happened between the jurors behind closed doors. Maya, now a defense attorney, finds her life under scrutiny, as a body of one of her fellow jurors is found in her apartment.

The Rabbit Hunter

by Lars Kepler

Ten little rabbits, all dressed in white tried to get to heaven on the end of a kite. Kite string got broken, down they all fell, Instead of going to heaven, they all went to… It begins with a nursery rhyme. Nineteen minutes later you die. A masked stranger stands in the shadows. He watches his victim through the window. He will kill him slowly–make him pay. Soon the Rabbit Hunter has claimed another three victims. This predator will stop at nothing to reap his ultimate revenge. It’s up to Joona Linna and Saga Bauer to untangle one of the most complex cases of their career, and follow the killer’s trail of destruction back to one horrific night of violence.

Hi Five

by Joe Ide

Isaiah Quintabe, the genius PI who combines book smarts, street smarts, and enough blistering action to melt the pavement of East Long Beach, is back with a new adventure. Fresh off the beating he took at the hands of a gang of ex-Abu Ghraib thugs working as paramilitary contractors, IQ is determined to build a life for himself with his new girlfriend, Grace. For once, he wants to be normal–a normal guy, with a normal PI business, doing the best he can. But this is IQ, and trouble is never far behind him. Joined by his faithful band of fast-talking, sharp-tongued partners, Deronda and Dodson, the cases are wild, the mysteries twisty, and the driving fast.

The Janes

by Louisa Luna

On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, and no family looking for them. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, the police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, for help in finding out who the Janes were – and finding the others who are missing. Alice Vega is a powerful woman whose determination is matched only by her intellect, and, along with her partner Cap, she will stop at nothing to find the Janes before it is too late.

Deep State

by Chris Hauty

Recently elected President Richard Monroe–populist, controversial, and divisive–is at the center of an increasingly polarized Washington, DC. Never has the partisan drama been so tense or the paranoia so rampant. In the midst of contentious political turf wars, the White House chief of staff is found dead in his house. A tenacious intern discovers a single, ominous clue that suggests he died from something other than natural causes, and that a wide-ranging conspiracy is running beneath the surface of everyday events: powerful government figures are scheming to undermine the rule of law–and democracy itself. The unthinkable is happening. The Deep State is real. Who will die to keep its secrets and who will kill to uncover the truth?

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!