Vienna, 1878: In the midst of preparations for the Fasching season that will restore her family's hotel to its former glory, Maria Wallner meets American secret service agent Eli Whittaker, who's investigating a leak of classified information.
Why you might like it: This standalone novel of love and espionage transports readers to the sparkling ballrooms of 19th-century Vienna through the skillful deployment of well-researched historical details and lush period atmosphere.
The wrong ship! In an accidental departure from her plan to become a deckhand on the ship of a family friend, adventure-seeking Lady Cassia McQuoid ends up on a privateer vessel under the command of Lord Nathaniel Ellsby.
The right man? Nathaniel, who immediately sees through Cassia's "boy" disguise, becomes her reluctant protector and, eventually, her lover.
For fans of: seafaring historical romances such as Tessa Dare's Surrender of a Siren, Elizabeth Essex's Almost a Scandal, or Michele Sinclair's A Woman Made for Sin.
What it's about: Miss Poppy Delamare enlists Joshua Fielding, the Duke of Langham, in a fake betrothal scheme designed to thwart her family's matrimonial meddling. But solving a murder at a house party will test the limits of their unconventional arrangement.
Series alert:A Spinster's Guide to Danger and Dukes is the 3rd "delightfully fun" (Kirkus Reviews) book in the Lady's Guide series, which begins with A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem.
The problem: Aspiring writer Edith "Eddie" Miller and Rose Li, her best friend and secret crush, are inseparable until their society debut, when -- to Eddie's horror -- Rose acquires a fiancé.
The solution? Eddie happily accepts an invitation from scandalous poet Nash Nicholson to join him and his artist friends in the countryside, only to find that Rose and her betrothed are also present.
Reviewers say: This standalone novel by the author of Reputation is an "energetic Regency era friends-to-lovers sapphic romance with zany wit, joie de vivre, and a distinctive literary bent" (Publishers Weekly).
What happens: During Napoleon III's occupation of Mexico, Ana María Luna Valdés' wealthy father sends her to London, where she's expected to serve as a goodwill ambassador while finding a suitable husband.
Instead... she meets Gideon Fox, a biracial Member of Parliament whose humble origins and support for radical causes are unlikely to impress her family.
Regrets only: Psychiatrist Indira Papadakis dreads encountering her ex at her brother's upcoming wedding -- so much so that she's willing to pretend-date her childhood enemy, surgeon Jude Bailey, who's struggling after years of humanitarian work in conflict zones.
Is it for you? Like previous installments in the Brush With Love series, The Plus One deals sensitively but directly with mental health issues, in this case, PTSD and trauma resulting from parental abandonment.
What happens: American bookshop owner Gigi Rutherford embarks on a guided tour of England's "Spires, Shires, and Shores" led by Zane Wilkenson, her favorite audiobook narrator. But Zane's unexpected absence means that Gigi must instead deal with grumpy bus driver Taj.
Read it for: a slow-burning, closed-door romance; a love triangle; a charming English setting; and the antics of Gigi's zany fellow travelers.
For fans of: Julia Whelan's Thank You for Listening.
What it's about: Nathaniel Stanton, Earl of Foxstead, asks his best friend's widow, Eliza Pierce, to introduce his young ward to polite society. But who is she? And why is Nathaniel so insistent that Eliza help her?
Why you might like it: a reformed rake and a responsible businesswoman give rein to long-suppressed mutual attraction while navigating a web of secrets in this 2nd Designing Debutantes novel, after A Duke for Diana.