6 Must-Read Rom-Coms Coming Out in May
Books, Lists

6 Must-Read Rom-Coms Coming Out in May, Including New Christina Lauren

April showers bring May flirtations as the latest round of romance novels hits shelves.

Join us as we highlight notable romance book releases each month to add to your never-ending TBR pile. These lists will include a range of adult, young adult, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC novels to put on your radar. They could be stand-alone books or new releases in a best-selling series.

Our May rom-com picks include a new tropical adventure by Christina Lauren, a hockey romance by a debut author, and Jackie Lau’s latest food-themed love story.

In order of release date, here are 6 rom-com novels we are looking forward to reading this May:

1. Love, Lies, and Cherry Pie by Jackie Lau — May 7

Love, Lies, and Cherry Pie by Jackie Lau (Photo credit: Simon and Schuster)

With the success of Donut Fall in Love, Jackie Lau has become an expert in writing love stories as soft and sweet as the baked goods featured in her novels.

Now she sets her sights on Emily Hung, a barista and a single daughter with two parents determined to see her married off. Arrogant Engineer Mark Chen is the last person she would want to enter into a fake relationship with, but with pressures mounting, she sees no other way to end her mother’s meddling.

Book Description: Writer and barista Emily Hung is tired of hearing about the great Mark Chan, the son of her parents’ friends. You’d think he single-handedly stopped climate change and ended child poverty from the way her mother raves about him. But in reality, he’s just a boring, sweater-vest-wearing engineer, and when they’re forced together at Emily’s sister’s wedding, it’s obvious he thinks he’s too good for her.

But now that Emily is her family’s last single daughter, her mother is fixated on getting her married, and she has her sights on Mark. There’s only one solution, clearly: convince Mark to be in a fake relationship with her long enough to put an end to her mom’s meddling. He reluctantly agrees.

2. The Summer Love Strategy by Ray Stoeve — May 7

The Summer Love Strategy by Ray Stoeve (Photo credit: Amulet/Abrams)

Two high-school best friends make a dating pact to find romance in one summer. Hayley, always crushing on girls who don’t like her back, is looking for an authentic relationship. Meanwhile, her best friend, Talia, can’t seem to find anyone worth crushing on.

But will their plan to reenact situations from various rom-com movies lead them to realize that love has always been closer than they realize?

Book Description: A sweet and swoony YA rom-com about two friends making a pact to find summer romance like they’ve seen in the movies — and finding love where they least expect it along the way!

Hayley always has a crush. The problem is, her crushes never like her back. After her latest unrequited love—a girl from her basketball team—gets a boyfriend, she decides she’s done falling for girls who are unavailable. Her best friend, Talia, wants romance too, but rarely gets crushes on anyone, and she’s tired of watching Hayley get her heart stomped on over and over. So the two girls make a  they’ll help each other find summer love by putting themselves in situations that always lead to romance in movies.

3. Boarded Hearts by Ruth Stilling — May 9

Boarded Hearts by Ruth Stilling

Hockey romance is having its moment, and debut author Ruth Stilling is preparing to enter the conversation with a promising take on the genre.

The first book in a series follows an NHL superstar and prolific playboy knocked off his game by Felicity, a woman from Britain with a sharp tongue and no-nonsense attitude. When the two unlikely lovers collide, the player with a god complex finds himself unraveling in her presence.

Book Description: My whole life I’ve come out on top. One of the finest players ever to grace the NHL? Check. Most prolific playboy with an enviable reputation between the sheets? Check. Award for the cockiest athlete in America? Also, check, and well deserved, I’d say. So why does my life feel anything but the perfect image I project? And why won’t the one woman who came crashing into my life and knocked me on my six-foot-four ass take me seriously? She doesn’t even recognize me, let alone worship the ground I walk on.

I’m in uncharted territory, tearing up my rule book and unearthing buried demons in my pursuit of her affection. I always get what I want in life, but Felicity Thompson didn’t get the memo. I want her in my bed, but all she offers me is her witty British tongue and no-nonsense attitude. It isn’t supposed to be this way. She’s supposed to unravel for me. Yet the harder I pursue her, the more my own layers peel away.

4. Love at First Book by Jenn McKinlay — May 14

Love at First Book by Jenn McKinlay (Photo credit: Penguin Random House)

An Irish love story set in a bookshop, Love at First Book follows a librarian given the opportunity of a lifetime to work with her favorite author.

However, Emily will have to deal with Siobhan Riordan’s nasty writer’s block and her overprotective son, who manages their bookstore and doesn’t want any outsiders witnessing his mother’s declining health. The two will clash as an enemies-to-lovers relationship blossoms.

Book Description: Emily Allen, a librarian on Martha’s Vineyard, has always dreamed of a life of travel and adventure. So when her favorite author, Siobhan Riordan, offers her a job in the Emerald Isle, Emily jumps at the opportunity. After all, Siobhan’s novels got Em through some of the darkest days of her existence.

Helping Siobhan write the final book in her acclaimed series—after a ten-year hiatus due to a scorching case of writer’s block—is a dream come true for Emily. If only she didn’t have to deal with Siobhan’s son, Kieran Murphy. He manages Siobhan’s bookstore, and the grouchy bookworm clearly doesn’t want Em around.

5. The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren — May 14

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren (Photo credit: Simon and Schuster)

Christina Lauren’s latest rom-com features a grocery chain heir, a starving artist, and the marriage they both thought was a rouse.

When Liam Weston’s inheritance hits a snag only a serious relationship can resolve, he asks Anna to step back into his life as his not-so-ex-wife. However, as their meeting with his parents escalates, Liam worries less about his unpolished wife making a wrong impression and more about the world of wealth corrupting Anna’s heart of gold.

Book Description: Anna Green thought she was marrying Liam “West” Weston for access to subsidized family housing while at UCLA. She also thought she’d signed divorce papers when the graduation caps were tossed, and they both went on their merry ways.

Three years later, Anna is a starving artist living paycheck to paycheck while West is a Stanford professor. He may be one of four heirs to the Weston Foods conglomerate, but he has little interest in working for the heartless corporation his family built from the ground up. He is interested, however, in his one-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. There’s just one catch.

Due to an antiquated clause in his grandfather’s will, Liam won’t see a penny until he’s been happily married for five years. Just when Liam thinks he’s in the home stretch, pressure mounts from his family to see this mysterious spouse, and he has no choice but to turn to the one person he’s afraid to introduce to his one-percenter parents—his unpolished, not-so-ex-wife.

6. I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers — May 21

I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers (Photo credit: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group)

A senior year tradition of students writing letters to themselves goes array when seven letters are accidentally scattered across the beach.

Suddenly, the events of junior prom and heartfelt confessions Natalia and Ethan had been desperately trying to avoid all summer are lost to the wind. Now, the two former best friends must team up and find the letters before the secrets that pushed them apart are revealed.

Book Description: It’s Senior Sunrise, the epic overnight at the beach that kicks off senior year. But for Natalia and Ethan, it’s the first time seeing each other after what happened at junior prom―when they almost crossed the line from best friends to something more and ruined everything. After ghosting each other all summer, Natalia is desperate to pretend she doesn’t care, and Ethan is desperate to fix his mistake.

When the senior class carries out their tradition of writing private letters to themselves―what they wish they would do this year if they were braver―Natalia pours her heart out. So does Ethan. So does everyone in their entire class. But in Natalia’s panicked attempt to retrieve her heartfelt confession, the wind scatters seven of the notes across the beach. Now, Ethan and Natalia are forced to work together to find the lost letters before any secrets are revealed — especially their own.

What will you be reading in May? Share your picks in the comments below!

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Alicia is a writer from Canada. She credits her passion for TV and film to superheroes, workplace comedies, cheesy holiday movies, and coming-of-age stories.

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