What’s better than a delectable, binge-worthy romance novel to read on the beach or by the pool this summer? Reading a delectable, binge-worthy romance novel with a delicious scoop of ice cream—duh! Just be careful not to drool on the pages. Whether you’re into sweet, savory, or classic flavors, there’s sure to be a romance to satisfy your cravings while you get your tan on. Here are 9 scrumptious pairings to get you started.
Pineapple Coconut & Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
Take a vacation to the Key West and while basking in the Florida sunshine, a scoop of fruity and tart will help cool you off. Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras (released April 28 by Kensington) brings you a fake dating ruse between a social media influencer and local firefighter, mangled in with family relationships and a whole lot of Cuban flair—an enormous feast for your senses.
Dulce de Leche & The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Caramel swirls in sweet cream couldn’t be any more divine. Sticky sweet on top of velvety sweet. That’s what Sarah Morgenthaler’s debut The Tourist Attraction (released May 5 by Sourcebooks Casablanca) will bring to your tastebuds—double layers of sweetness. Journey over to Moose Springs, Alaska to cool off from the hot temperatures of real life, and you’ll meet tasteful characters with memorable personalities and you’ll go on adventurous excursions. Light, comical, and fast-paced, it’s guaranteed to be love at first bite.
Cookie Dough & The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel
One of my top favorite flavors—sweet vanilla-y vanilla with chocolate chip cookie dough chunks—I find to be very irresistible, just as I find Jay Shah in The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel (released May 12 by Forever) utterly irresistible. This charming debut will have you turning the pages. Letting the smooth vanilla-y texture melt in your mouth leaving a small chunk of chewy cookie dough behind, yeah that’s pretty much Liya. She is the strong heroine that is sweet behind the rough texture of dough. Well, that’s after you uncover her true person. It just so happens, the ever-patient Jay is what melts her façade. Bonus: the Indian cultural references add color to the story, but are not at all overwhelming.
Maple and Candied Bacon & Beach Read by Emily Henry
Sweet and salty rolled up into one mouthful. A little strange, but incredibly satisfying. I feel an opposites attract slash hate to love pairing coming on. Emily Henry’s Beach Read (released May 26 by Berkley) might just be your match, where an author of romance and an author of literary cult fiction re-meet years later. A rivalry so to speak. Yes, you may think one flavor may overpower the other, but you’d be surprised how much they mesh well together, creating one hell of a power couple. Outstanding, well-crafted with a layer of complexity. But, the banter will surely keep you entertained.
Cotton Candy & Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert
Sweet. Fun. Humorous. Just like the classic carnival and circus treat, cotton candy, Annabeth Albert’s Conventionally Yours (released June 2 by Sourcebooks Casablanca) is an uplifting enemies-to-friends-to-lovers between two rival “gaymers” Conrad and Alden. Who doesn’t find cotton candy uplifting? Their relationship organically develops during a road trip to a gaming convention, and you are going to want to go along for the whole ride.
Chocolate Peanut Butter & The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
What do you get when you put chocolate and peanut butter together? A ridiculously delicious punch of flavor and protein. Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project (released June 9 by Forever) delivers a witty and flirty rom-com featuring a strong African-American heroine, Samiah who happens to be a kickass software engineer and a smart and cunning hero—Daniel is sure to charm your pants off, ladies. One you could easily devour, it will either leave you satiated or wanting more.
Mint Chocolate Chip & Crushing It by Lorelei Parker
A surprisingly refreshing treat that will make you want to devour not only one scoop or two, but likely three or a motherfreaking sundae topped with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. Possibly a maraschino cherry to boot. Crushing It by Lorelei Parker (releasing June 30 by Kensington) stars a gaming heroine who happens to get caught in a love triangle with two past college classmates, all while overcoming her fear of public speaking by participating in a diary slam contest at the local bar. A fun debut that will zap you right in and leave you craving for more. Just the same way mint chip does.
Vanilla & Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
Are you a vanilla bean or French vanilla fan? You must desire something simple, yet creamy. Luscious. A melt-in-your-mouth and melt-your-heart type of story complete with a happily ever after. Ah! This would pair well with Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey (releasing July 7 by Berkley). If you’ve read her previous novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks last summer, then you’ll know what to expect in this quirky rom-com filled with heart, pies, and humor. Rest assured though, you don’t need to read the prior novel in order to enjoy this one. So, grab your bowl (or cone) of vanilla scoops, and get ready to binge your way through this in one solid afternoon.
Rocky Road & More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn
Chocolatey, gooey, and nutty goodness with every. Single. Bite. Erin Hahn’s More Than Maybe (releasing July 21 by Wednesday) is one for the music aficionados. Two teens are secretly crushing on each other, and their love for music is what brings them together. Well okay, it’s really a school assignment that does that, but that’s just a moot point. This YA novel will have you swooning. A hero with a British accent alone adds loads of points onto the swoon meter. The ping-pongs of YouTube links—you know, the way song lyrics can accurately describe your thoughts and feelings—will turn your insides into goo. Yes, just like marshmallows. And, you can’t help but feel a little nutty, too. Be sure to have your Spotify app handy, as you’ll want to listen to the created playlist as you read along.