Ruthless Vows, Rebecca Ross (Raincoast/Wednesday, December)
The most highly anticipated YA fantasy of 2023, the sequel to Divine Rivals is a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, and readers will experience joy and sorrow in equal measures. Our heroes, Iris and Roman, cleaved from one another on the battlefield, find themselves on opposite sides of a war between gods. With Roman’s memory wiped, will they lose each other to war or kill the gods by their own hands to be reunited?
How ‘romantasy’ became the red-hot genre conquering the book world
Sanctuary of the Shadow, Aurora Ascher (Raincoast/Red Tower, January)
From the publishers of Rebecca Yarros’s bestselling Fourth Wing comes a Montreal author’s steamy debut. Within the protection of Salizar’s circus, magical beings walk freely and are revered for the very gifts for which they are reviled on the outside. Living under this safety as a result of a war between queens are Harrow, who is the last of the Seers, and Raith, who is the first of his kind – and an unwilling circus attraction. This opposites-attract, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story brings an unexpectedly sweet and deeply earnest quality to the regular spice.
A Study in Drowning, Ava Reid (HarperCollins/Harper Teen, September)
Ava Reid makes every reader feel as if they are the only one who can truly love and fully appreciate her work. Richly rooted in Welsh folklore, this fantasy romance transcends its genre and explores the male usurping of women’s works within academia. Along with Effy we are swept into the estate of her favourite author – which is in utter shambles. Here, she meets Preston, an unrelentingly rational scholar. Amid a story powerfully layered with trauma and the microaggressions women face on a daily basis, their tender love unfolds.
The Curse of Saints, Kate Dramis (Raincoast/Sourcebooks Casablanca, May)
A slow burn at its most delicious and brutal, Kate Dramis’s debut is an enemies-to-lovers tale in its purest and most agonizing form. Aya, the queen’s Spymaster, would have relished stabbing, Will, the queen’s Enforcer, through the heart – were it not for the blood oath binding them together at the royal’s side. But both the Spymaster’s and the Enforcer’s agendas are unclear as a threat rises to the south. What lengths will they go to save the realm, and for whom would they see it burned to the ground?
Two Twisted Crowns, Rachel Gillig (Hachette/Orbit, October)
This fraught enemies-to-lovers-to-enemies and back again will not give you a second to catch your breath. The sequel to Rachel Gillig’s One Dark Window follows its cruel cliffhanger straight back into the mist with Elspeth and Ravyn to search for the Twin Alders card. But the 500-year-old monster literally sharing Elspeth’s head is the only one able to lead our twisted and dark heroes. Will it save Elspeth’s life and the kingdom – or stand between the couple?
A Fragile Enchantment, Allison Saft (Raincoast/Wednesday, January)
Bridgerton meets Howl’s Moving Castle in Allison Saft’s slow burn, forbidden love, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers regency romance. Niamh, a low-born woman with the extraordinary power to imbue emotions into clothing, is commissioned to tailor the prince’s marital regalia in the hopes of smoothing a political marriage alliance. But while the heat rises between prince and seamstress, the ton’s notorious gossip columnist is hellbent on sabotaging the royal family. Saft has created a delightful narrative – one that is thoughtfully written and inclusive.
House of Flame and Shadow, Sarah J. Maas (Raincoast/Bloomsbury)
Sarah J. Maas’s works have been translated into 37 languages and sold more than 38 million copies, creating a global phenomenon that has shaken the internet and raised expectations for boyfriends across the planet. In this, her newest Crescent City book, Maas creates a multiverse, weaving in the worlds of a previous bestselling series and delivering almost more action than can be borne. The third in this series will leave readers frustrated and screaming to know how far things will go when the next book drops – hint: Maas is going back to the world of A Court of Thorns and Roses.