2022 is about to be another big year for publishing. In particular, it seems that more and more authors are moving into the romance genre and publishing romance books. While the genre has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, most of the themes have remained the same.
Looking back to 2021, there were a few trends in the romance category. In particular, we’ve seen that the illustrated cover is here to stay, scorching books are getting talked about on TikTok, and many of our favorite indie authors are finally getting a chance to traditionally publish.
All in all, it looks like 2022 will be more or less the same. However, editing is also moving towards more inclusive narratives. In 2022, it looks like independent and self-published books will continue to grow. Over the past year, it feels like indie romance novels have become as popular, if not more popular, than traditionally published stories.
If you’re looking for a new romance version to add to your TBR, look no further. Of course, these books haven’t been released yet, so it’s unclear if they’ll be your cup of tea. But looking at the cover and synopsis, these might end up being solid reads for 2022.
These first two releases are giving all the queer vibes around 2022.
The first release you should have on your radar is Anita Kelly’s “Love & Other Disasters.” It’s the one most people already know because it’s a Book of the Month pick. It also just came out! It’s a delicious romantic comedy between two participants in a cooking show, one of whom is non-binary.
Although the book is marketed as a romantic comedy, the synopsis mentions that one of the characters is recently divorced and has money problems. Either way, it looks like “Love & Other Disasters” is going to be a fun story, especially since it has such a great cover as well. It’s not just the only queer romance release you should keep an eye out for.
The other is “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” by Ashley Herring Blake. You might recognize his name if you read YA books. However, this is her first foray into adult romance and it’s a f/f romance between two women who reconnect after one of them returns to town for a family event.
This book has also garnered a lot of praise since the cover came out. With its release date set for February 22, we still have some time left, but it looks like it will be super fun and steamy. If you’ve ever read Ashley Herring Blake’s books, you’ll know how hard-hitting they are, so it’ll be nice to see her try something a little lighter.
These next two versions come from authors who are moving away from what they have always done.
If you’re an independent romance reader, you probably know Jodie Slaughter. If you’re not, you might enjoy his traditionally released new work, “Bet On It.” St. Martin’s is going to publish this book and it’s going to follow Aja and Walker who become unlikely friends during bingo, resulting in a sex pact. This is just the tip of the iceberg as the synopsis promises an emotional and fun romance.
“Bet On It” is slated for release on July 12, 2022, so it should be a great summer read. Considering most of Jodie Slaughter’s indie books feature hard-hitting subject matter, this one might end up being surprisingly intense. Anyway, the blanket is cute and it looks like it will be a good change for her.
Of course, I would be remiss not to include Emily Henry on the list, who originally started as a sci-fi/fantasy writer turned adult romance writer. Henry has easily become one of the most recognizable names in adult romance. His books have resonated even with non-romance enthusiasts since the release of “Beach Read.”
His 2022 release, “Book Lovers” looks like another heavy hitter. This one follows a woman who is a literary agent, trying to have her own romantic story but a colleague keeps showing up and ruining things for her. It’s bound to be a romance between the two, and it looks like it’ll be as delightful as the rest of Emily Henry’s romance books.
These last two love books are two Black Love authors who deserve more love.
This next love book is another weird story and it’s by Chencia C. Higgins, but this time it’s the dark love between two women that takes fake dating to the next level. Titled “D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding,” the book tells the story of two women who take part in a reality TV show and must convince their family that they are getting married in a few months to win a cash prize. However, since this is a romance, no doubt they will fall in love for real.
Considering how many different subgenres Chencia C. Higgins has written in, this is bound to be a solid read. It will also be her first publication with Carina Press, known for her queer stories. This book seems like the perfect combination of funny, raunchy, and serious, which is a balance that Chencia C. Higgins strikes well.
Last but not least is Christina C Jones’ new Biker Club release, “No Longer Afraid”. If you’ve read his “Vegas Nights” series, you’ll recognize it as the club featured in “Maybe One More Time.” This book appears to be dark, yet steamy, which is a specialty of CCJ.
Christina C Jones is the queen of black romance and should have her on your radar. It’s unclear when she’ll be releasing this one, but it looks like it’ll be another exciting addition to her catalog.
All in all, 2022 should be another huge year for love books and love readers. Hope you found something new to add to your TBR in my list. I would also like to know what romance books you have on your radar for this year.