December Romance and Rom-Com New Releases

What? It’s December? Is there even time to read? (For me–always a yes. Who needs holiday events, anyway?). Here are some highly anticipated Romance and Rom-Com New Releases for the first half of December, 2023.

Many of these are new authors for me and I can’t wait to jump in (even though I still have some books left on my TBR list from November and other months)! Which ones are on your TBR list?

December 1, 2023

From New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey comes a steamy novella full of hope and humor tracking a couple’s fake marriage for a year after the wild New Year’s Eve when they first say “I do.” Adored by all, Britta is an ambitious waitress working at Sluggers. The popular bar holds a special place in her heart and is a regular hangout for the Bridgeport Bandits, the local hockey club. With a half brother on the team, Britta has a strict no-dating policy for hockey boys. But she does have a soft spot for one particular player. A beast on the ice, Sumner Mayfield is on the brink of breaking into the NHL. But time’s running out. With his work visa about to expire, Sumner’s only chance to stay in Bridgeport is to marry an American—and get a green card. Otherwise, it’s back to Canada for the defenseman. On New Year’s Eve, the team begs Britta to marry Sumner that very night. Sum is embarrassed yet hopeful—he’s desperately in love. But Britta balks at first. Until something about Sumner’s soulful brown eyes and ripped physique makes her reconsider…

Find more Tessa Bailey books reviews on my Reviews page!

December 5, 2023

Bookish suffragist Catriona Campbell is busy: An ailing estate, academic writer’s block, a tense time for England’s women’s rights campaign–the last thing she needs is to be stuck playing host to her father’s distractingly attractive young colleague.

Deeply introverted Catriona lives for her work at Oxford and her fight for women’s suffrage. She dreams of romance, too, but since all her attempts at love have ended badly, she now keeps her desires firmly locked inside her head–until she climbs out of a Scottish loch after a good swim and finds herself rather exposed to her new colleague.

Elias Khoury has wheedled his way into Professor Campbell’s circle under false pretenses: he did not come to Oxford to classify ancient artefacts, he is determined to take them back to his homeland in the Middle East. Winning Catriona’s favor could be the key to his success. Unfortunately, seducing the coolly intense lady scholar quickly becomes a mission in itself and his well-laid plans are in danger of derailing…

Forced into close proximity in Oxford’s hallowed halls, two very different people have to face the fact that they might just be a perfect match. Soon, a risky new game begins that asks Catriona one more time to put her heart and wildest dreams at stake.

December 5, 2023

In this unforgettable story full of charm, wit—and just a bit of magic—a woman down on her luck is given a second chance at fixing her life and trying one year all over again. Perfect for readers of Josie Silver and Rebecca Serle. 

Sadie Thatcher’s life has fallen apart in spectacular fashion. In one fell swoop, she managed to lose her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend—all thanks to her big mouth. So when a fortune teller offers her one wish, Sadie jumps at the chance to redo her awful year. Deep down, she doesn’t believe magic will fix her life, but taking a leap of faith, Sadie makes her wish, opens her eyes, and . . . nothing has changed . And then, in perhaps her dumbest move yet, she kisses her brother’s best friend, Jacob.

When Sadie wakes up the next morning, she’s in her former apartment with her former boyfriend, and her former boss is expecting her at work. Checking the date, she realizes it’s January 1 . . . of last year .  As Sadie navigates her second-chance year, she begins to see the red flags she missed in her relationship and in her career. Plus, she keeps running into Jacob, and she can’t stop thinking about their kiss . . . the one he has no idea ever happened. Suddenly, Sadie begins to wonder if her only mistake was wishing for a second chance.

December 5, 2023

Seven years ago, he fell in love with a stranger he couldn’t have—today, she’s back in his life and the sparks between them threaten to set her career on fire.

Pearl Harris has learned the hard way to be careful in work and in love. When she is appointed acting director of OurCode, a nonprofit aimed at inspiring high schoolers to code, she has a chance to make lasting change for the organization, but a scandal has put their reputation at risk. Further complicating matters, Pearl didn’t expect the one man she hasn’t stopped thinking about in seven years to be the newest member of her board of directors.

Cord Matthews fell for Pearl when they met in an elevator seven years ago. She’s just his type: smart, capable, and makes him laugh, but when she broke his heart, he decided love wasn’t for him. After five years with no contact, their connection is immediate despite the many roadblocks in their way and Cord must consider breaking his ban on serious relationships. But going public with a romance between them might derail Pearl’s career and the progress she’s made at OurCode. 

Pearl and Cord both are hesitant to trust their feelings and take a risk as they grow closer, but it becomes impossible to keep ignoring the electricity between them. Cord is a skilled programmer, but a workplace romance might spell disaster for both of them, and love isn’t easily debugged.

December 5, 2023

He’s a disgraced actor. She’s the daughter of Hollywood royalty. Both are hiding in the Scottish Highlands, but despite their antagonistic attraction, they can’t seem to hide from each other…

North Hunter has worked hard to step out of the shadows of his orphaned upbringing into the limelight of Hollywood. He never imagined a dark moment from his childhood returning to destroy everything he’d built. Devastated, he finds comfort in the isolation of an exclusive members-only club in the Scottish Highlands, even if the club comes with a prickly estate manager who sets his blood on fire.

As the eldest daughter of a Hollywood legend, Aria Howard has learned the hard way that people will use her to get to her father. When her last relationship ended badly, Aria fled to Scotland. Running Ardnoch Estate provides distance from a life that has never fit comfortably. But when defamed Scottish actor North Hunter disrupts her sanctuary, Aria is on the defense. The cocky actor is the last thing she needs, and despite their searing attraction, Aria is determined to dislike him.

But one night of drunken forced proximity with North leads Aria to share insecurities seeded by her horrible ex. When North offers to prove her ex wrong by taking Aria to his bed for a no-strings distraction, they begin an affair neither expected. However, their fiery liaison leads to a deep emotional connection that unsettles them both, and North will have to break down more than Aria’s trust issues if they’re ever to have a future together. He’ll need to protect her from a past that just doesn’t want to stay buried… or lose something far more essential to his existence than his career.

December 5, 2023

In a sizzling romance that sparkles with wit and depth, two wounded souls meet by chance in the desert and agree to get married, and their lives will never be the same.

On a normal day, Emmaline Darling isn’t a car thief. She’s just a simple girl who runs a bookstore and adores cats. But when she’s stranded in the desert and needs to get away from her dangerous ex-boyfriend, she picks her only option: swiping the keys to a famous football player’s Lamborghini and speeding away.

Football star Graham Harlan is in chaos. First he took a hit on the field that left him with a near-death experience, and now he’s promised his brother he’ll get married to secure the family inheritance. Trouble is he isn’t even seeing anyone.

Then a mystery woman steals his car. With his usual stubbornness, he tracks her all the way to Manhattan and gives her an ultimatum: marry me or I’ll press charges.

Her choice is obvious, only neither of them expect the sparks that ignite between them.

As the end of their arrangement looms, will Graham take a chance on love or let his darling walk away forever?

December 5, 2023

Tuesday
I’m making the most of my forced fresh start. Exiled by my family to a tiny mountain town, I’m going to show them I’m not the screw-up they think I am. What I’m not expecting is to love it here. To find all my missing pieces in the fresh air, quaint town, new friends, and a man who sets my soul on fire. But is seven hundred miles enough distance to keep my mistakes in the past?

Bond
I’ve lived in Trail Creek, New Mexico my entire life. My plans are set: take over the family business and live my best life. Simple. Except, I never accounted for a storm like Tuesday Phillips. The moment I meet her, everything shifts, and it doesn’t matter who her family is or what she’s running from. There’s no way I’m letting her go.

Note: This book is an open-door romance, meaning there will be explicit content on-page. Descriptive language is used throughout. There are also on-page discussions and depictions of family estrangement and threatening behavior (not from the MMC). For more detailed content notes, please see the beginning of the book.

December 5, 2023

Rival archaeologists must team up on a secret Aztec expedition, or it could leave their careers—and hearts—in ruins.

Archaeologist Dr. Socorro “Corrie” Mejía has a bone to pick. Literally. 

It’s been Corrie’s life goal to lead an expedition deep into the Mexican jungle in search of the long-lost remains of her ancestor, Chimalli, an ancient warrior of the Aztec empire. But when she is invited to join an all-expenses-paid dig to do just that, Corrie is sure it’s too good to be true…and she’s right.

As the world-renowned expert on Chimalli, by rights Corrie should be leading the expedition, not sharing the glory with her disgustingly handsome nemesis. But Dr. Ford Matthews has been finding new ways to best her since they were in grad school. Ford certainly isn’t thrilled either—with his life in shambles, the last thing he needs is a reminder of their rocky past.

But as the dig begins, it becomes clear they’ll need to work together when they realize a thief is lurking around their campsite, forcing the pair to keep their discoveries—and lingering attraction—under wraps. With money-hungry artifact smugglers, the Mexican authorities, and the lies between them closing in, there’s only one way this all ends—explosively.

December 7, 2023

Vera Gallagher is chasing constant. For four years, her life was anything but normal. And the years before that she refuses to even remember. Dwelling on the past only hurts. Life is fragile, a lesson her mother taught her well. She’s determined not to waste a moment of her newfound freedom.

Maybe some would consider her crush on Mateo Eden wasted time. Maybe some would call her a fool for loving a man who hasn’t once dropped a crumb of interest her way. Still, to Vera, it’s Mateo or nothing.

He’s handsome. Charming. Witty. And he loves his family the way Vera loves—with her whole heart.

Maybe he’ll never notice her. Maybe she’s too damaged, too broken, to find that normal life she craves. Maybe her secrets will always keep them apart. But Vera will love him anyway. Whether Mateo realizes it or not.

An unrequited love, small town romance.

December 12, 2023

From the mind that brought you Dirty Little Midlife Crisis comes a funny, fast-paced ride that starts with an impulsive revenge scheme but might just end up a love story.

Even after their breakup, Ellie Davis can’t seem to shake her ex-fiancé. First it was the cheating, then it was the rumors, and now she finds out Jason’s been trying to get his greedy hands on her parents’ property. Where does it end? With revenge, Ellie decides.

But she might just need a little help first.

Enter Fernley Island’s OddJobs app. When the local boat mechanic she hires sends his nephew instead, Ellie has to readjust her plans to account for Hugh Hartford, who’s handsome, brooding, and only in town for a few days. But he keeps showing up, so Ellie keeps hiring him. Little does she know Hugh has his own reasons for investigating Jason Brownlow…

As more evidence against Jason turns up, so does the heat between Ellie and Hugh. But if revenge is a dish best served cold, can their spark survive—or will the secrets between them burn it out?

December 12, 2023

When an unexpected Player Two enters her life, a gamer must decide if their relationship is worth leveling up in this new romance from the author of The Love Con.

Samara Reynolds has built a large following as a gamer under an anonymous screen name, and uses her skills as a DEIA consultant to advocate for equal representation in video games. When she posted a video critiquing the popular game Legendsfall, she knew she’d get a reaction from her fans, but the video leads to hundreds of female gamers critiquing the game and its company, Artemis Games. The only thing more unexpected than starting an online movement is getting a job offer from the handsome CEO of Artemis.

Aron Galanis has been on a mission to get his company certified to create gaming content for people with disabilities. When he sees Artemis trending online for all the wrong reasons, he’s determined to right his wrongs and offers the originator a mea culpa, as well as a job offer to overhaul the character options in Legendsfall.

Working together turns Aron and Samara from adversaries into allies, allies into friends, and after that—something more. But once their relationship goes public, will Aron and Samara be able to weather the storm and fight for their happy ending, or is it game over?

December 12, 2023

In this slow-burn yet highly combustible enemies-to-lovers romance, perfect for fans of Rachel Lynn Solomon and Abby Jimenez, two stage actors find themselves falling for each other with each onstage kiss…against their better judgment.

Actress Eden Blake’s biggest claim to fame is a mortifying pharmaceutical commercial for male enhancement pills. That is until the female lead on the nationwide tour of Broadway’s hit Pride & Prejudice musical abruptly quits and Eden is called up to fill the role.

The cast of Liz and Darcy: The Musical has just settled into a three-week run in Washington, DC, and Broadway royalty Brennon Thorne is set to play Darcy. Despite Brennon’s reputation as being “a dream to work with,” Eden’s first impression of him is more like a nightmare. Now, she’ll have to kiss the pompous jerk eight shows per week.

Brennon can’t disguise his disdain for understudies like Eden. But New York is filled with reminders of his most recent failed relationship, and this American tour is a much-needed distraction from his loneliness. As Eden and Brennon take the stage playing Jane Austen’s most memorable characters, their reality begins to mirror Elizabeth and Darcy’s—explosive chemistry and all. Together, they power through press performances and curtain calls, even as rumors of Brennon’s checkered romantic past resurface and prove to Eden that he can’t be trusted.

But with each choreographed stage kiss, Eden and Brennon’s passion for the stage—and each other—ignites. Maybe, just maybe, not all rumors are to be believed—and not all showmances are doomed to fail.