romance3 8e3e8

Time of the Season for Loving: Diverse Romance Titles To Heat Up Your Summer 

by Lydia Wang


ifshoefits no bg ff6ca

Julie Murphy’s adult romance debut—the first in her new series of fairy tale retellings—is billed as an all-grown-up take on Cinderella. But even though this novel has glamour, secrets, and shoes, If The Shoe Fits is really its own story, with a goal-oriented heroine, stepsisters who aren’t actually evil, and a reality TV twist. Cindy is fresh out of college and eager to enter the world of fashion when she learns that her stepmother, a producer, needs contestants for a Bachelor-style dating show. Cindy signs on, but the experience doesn’t go as expected. As the show’s first plus-size contestant, she becomes an overnight role model to countless women and an instant fan favorite. And she didn’t account for the show’s leading man, who happens to be the charming guy she hit it off with on her flight to California. 


One Last Stop no bg 785cb

August doesn’t believe in magic or time travel. She doesn’t even believe in love at first sight—that is, until she meets Jane, a kind-hearted, magnetic girl who takes the same subway every day. But as August learns more about her enigmatic crush, she realizes that Jane is actually displaced from the 1970s, trapped on the Q train, and unsure how any of this happened. It’s up to August to help figure out how Jane got stuck in time, while keeping her feelings at bay. Much like Red, White, and Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston’s bestselling debut, One Last Stop contains a million little love stories beyond its central romance. It’s about friends, roommates, found families, queer communities, and one prickly heroine’s slow-burning romance with her new city and her own future. 


While We Were Dating no bg 442e3

There are few worlds as sexy, warm, and feel-good as the Jasmine Guillory rom-com universe, and While We Were Dating is a lovely addition to Guillory’s Wedding Date canon. Ad executive Ben Stephens (whose brother, Theo, is a previous Guillory hero) really isn’t looking for a relationship. But when renowned actor Anna Gardiner enters his orbit, he struggles to deny their chemistry. As Anna and Ben grow closer, they find themselves jumping headfirst into a spontaneous fling-turned-publicity stunt that could become the real thing.

Although The Wedding Party and Party of Two are still the series’ standouts, Anna and Ben’s story features the same blend of banter, sexual tension, and mutual support that Guillory has perfected, and the book’s emphasis on mental health is also a poignant touch; both characters are in and often discuss therapy. There’s also a Maddie and Theo cameo, which series fans are sure to enjoy. –Lydia Wang 

This article originally appeared in BUST’s Summer 2021 print edition. Subscribe today!

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.