These are our standout picks of the best new book releases with romance or Romanticism for June 2020. Sweet romances, historical fiction, fantasy, and exciting new women’s fiction novels.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, we may earn a commission if you choose to buy through our links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more information. Every item was chosen by the owners of The Silver Petticoat Review.


This month, we’re introducing an exciting new feature at The Silver Petticoat Review: must-read new book releases. You’ll never be without a good love story or a good novel to explore! Whether you’re excited about the latest YA romantic fantasy or desire the newest and swooniest historical romances, we have you covered! For instance, enjoy a Little Women retelling where Jo & Laurie finally get their chance (I know I’ve been waiting for this since I was 11).

Escape to the Cornish countryside or uncover the secrets of a Victorian gothic mystery. Whatever your mood or genre preference, we hope to share our monthly top picks and assist you with your next read.

(Note: We have not read every novel on this list, so we can’t vouch for the quality or the content of each book. We based this list on research and what we believe sound like good reads.)


30 Must-Read June New Book Releases

(Sorted by Release Date (dates subject to change)
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June 2, 2020, New Book Releases

#1: If I Were You: A Novel
If I Were You book cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, WWII

From a Christy Award-winning author comes another memorable historical fiction novel. The story switches back and forth from 1950 to 1940, revealing truths, losses, and romances along the way. If you like literary Christian Historical Fiction, this book may be up your alley. According to reviewers, it’s full of historical detail and includes a fascinating female friendship, not to mention, upstairs/downstairs Downton Abbey dynamics.

#2: Jo & Laurie

Jo & Laurie book cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Retellings, Young Adult, Civil War

For some, altering Little Women is an abomination. For me, a wholesome retelling of a beloved classic may just be what the doctor ordered. Were you one of the readers appalled that Jo didn’t end up with her own Gilbert Blythe (quietly raising my hand)?

This YA novel sets out to explore the what-if scenario by reimagining our favorite characters. Is Jo & Laurie what Louisa May Alcott wanted? No. But she never wanted Jo to marry anyone, so I think this fan fiction written by established writers will be just fine. I know I plan on reading it. I need to satisfy my inner 11-year old’s undying disappointment.

#3: More Miracle Than Bird

More Miracle Than Bird Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, WWI

Literary history readers take note! More Miracle Than Bird isn’t your typical WWI historical fiction novel. Instead, the story centers on the desire to understand the afterlife, a secret society known as the Order, and the courtship/marriage between the Irish poet W.B. Yeats and his real-life wife, Georgie Hyde-Lees. Enter the intriguing world of a legendary writer and his (perhaps) psychic wife.

While unmentioned in the book synopsis, it’s fair to guess the novel will focus on Georgie’s automatic writing, a supposed psychic ability in which spirits dictate creative writing. Yes, all true. Georgie was apparently quite the clairvoyant and creative mind, a mind that strongly influenced and wrote some of Yeats’ words (that she never received credit for). This captivating history is sure to make a riveting and revealing read.

#4: Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters: A Novel

Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Civil War

Based on reviews, Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters is an immensely detailed and researched historical fiction novel about Mary Todd Lincoln. Often, family members of famous historical figures are ignored. This novel takes a closer look at Mary Todd Lincoln’s sisters and how they come together to help her in a desperate time of need.

#5: A Song Below Water: A Novel

A Song Below Water Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Urban Fantasy

If you’re looking for a fantasy novel that tackles contemporary social issues like racism and prejudice, then definitely check out A Song Below Water. Did I mention there are mermaids?

#6: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Cover
Amazon.com

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, High Fantasy

Assassins, royals, political intrigue, and an enemy to lover romance all intertwine in a new fantasy based on West African folklore. There is diversity and a sweeping love story (that several reviewers compare to Jasmine and Aladdin). Ultimately, the unique setting and intriguing mythology make this high fantasy novel stand out in a crowded marketplace.

#7: The Vanishing Half: A Novel

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett book cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ

Fans of Toni Morrison, American literary novels, or historical fiction will want to check out this buzzy new book by Brit Bennet. From the 1950s to the 1990s, The Vanishing Half follows the gripping story of black twin sisters in the American South. Due to their light skin, one sister chooses to secretly pass for white leaving her family behind, while the other moves back to their small-town with her black daughter.

As an identical twin myself, I can’t wait to read what sounds like a fascinating novel about identity, racism, and the relationship between twin sisters following different paths. It’s hard to find authentic stories about twins, so this one is on the top of our must-read list.

June 9, 2020, New Book Releases

#8: 500 Miles from You: (Scottish Bookshop #3)

500 Miles From You Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit

For a lighter and cozy read, I recommend 500 Miles From You, a standalone book in the Scottish Bookshop series. Lissie, a London nurse, quietly has PTSD, and she needs to escape. So, she manages a switch to the Scottish Highlands, with an ex-army medic taking her place. As each struggles to navigate the big city versus a small town, they come together through chats and emails and fall in love. Sounds charming and romantic!

#9: The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season: A Novel

The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Can’t get enough feel-good fiction? Take a look at The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season and enjoy a heartwarming story about family, friendship, love, and small-town charm.

#10: The Boyfriend Project

The Boyfriend Project Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Chick Lit

A diverse rom-com, this office romance has a ton of potential for strong chemistry and witty banter. Plus, it’s about time the publishers started releasing more romance novels about black characters!

However, I should note that based on a few reviews, The Boyfriend Project may get steamy with strong language. Just keep that in mind if you prefer more wholesome romances. Still, this book is getting good buzz and great reviews.

#11: Closer Than She Knows

Closer Than She Knows Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, Christian Fiction, Mystery

Serial killers, suspense, mystery, and romance. What’s not to love? Sometimes, we just need a good thriller to keep those pages turning! In this particular Christian suspense novel, Tegan, a court reporter, crosses paths with a serial killer and must turn to her friend Max for help.

#12: Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2)

Dragon Unleashed Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Epic Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal Romance

Described as a “deeply emotional romantic fantasy” about an earth witch and a dragon shifter, Dragon Unleashed is book two in Grace Draven’s Fallen Empire Series. However, this book follows a different couple than the first in the series. Will it be helpful to read her first book? Probably. But when I discovered there was a new romantic dragon shifter fantasy, I knew I had to share it with all of you. And can we talk about the book cover? Gorgeous! Downloading this to my Kindle right now…

#13: Hood

Hood Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, Retellings, Historical Fiction, Medieval, Romance

Robin and Marian’s daughter takes front and center in this YA Robin Hood retelling. If you’re anything like me and love retellings (or anything Robin Hood particularly after that swoony BBC TV series), then this is the book for you!

#14: The House of Whispers

The House of Whispers Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Suspense, Thriller

For avid readers of Gothic literature like Jane Eyre or suspenseful readers of Mary Stewart, The House of Whispers (originally published in the UK) is a definite must-read new book release! The book takes place in an atmospheric and mysterious house on the Cornish coast and unravels a suspenseful mystery that may or may not connect to fairies.

Overall, this Victorian gothic is sure to scare you and keep you on the edge of your seat. Now, I don’t know if there’s any romance, but I’m crossing fingers for at least a little… A brooding Byronic in the dark shadows is always welcome in my book!

#15: Last Tang Standing

Last Tang Standing Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Chick Lit

In the style of “Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Last Tang Standing has the potential to be a massive summer hit. With humor, wit, and several starred reviews, Last Tang Standing is the new and fun book release we all need to add to our reading list right now.

#16: The Last Train to Key West

The Last Train to Key West Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Hispanic American Literature

Transport yourself to 1935 Key West Florida and immerse yourself in the lives of three women whose paths cross during a historic hurricane. Overall, there’s historical detail, romance, and even a little mystery.

#17: The Lost Diary of Venice

The Lost Diary of Venice Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Renaissance Era

Two sweeping love stories intertwine between past and present in this romantic novel set in Connecticut and Renaissance Era Italy. For readers who love old manuscripts, art, and books like Possession.

#18: The Sight of You

The Sight of You Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Literary Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction

What if you could dream about the people you love, and those dreams always came true? That is, in essence, what the new romantic novel The Sight of You is about. With a unique premise, this literary fiction novel is sure to be heartbreaking, hauntingly romantic, and also compulsively readable. However, keep in mind this is likely more a thinking novel than a romance with a happily ever after. So, I’m personally keeping my expectations on the safe side.

June 11, 2020, New Book Releases

#19: A Perfect Cornish Escape: The perfect uplifting, heartwarming new book to escape with this summer (Porthmellow Harbour 3)

A Perfect Cornish Escape
Amazon.com

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit

Need an escape? Why not read a sweet romance with the word escape literally in the title? This contemporary feel-good and positive romance sounds like a much-needed haven. Furthermore, while this is book three in a series, the story is standalone with cameos from previous books so you can jump right into the beautiful Cornish countryside. Enjoy!

June 16, 2020, New Book Releases

#20: The Kinder Poison

The Kinder Poison Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance

I was sold as soon as I read the heroine talks to animals! With magic, deadly races, and a dark romance, The Kinder Poison is sure to be one of the most entertaining YA books of the year.

#21: The Woman in the Green Dress

The Woman in the Green Dress Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Romantic Mystery, World War I

Originally published in Australia and also set in Australia, this romantic historical mystery has finally made its way here! Tea Cooper interweaves two compelling timelines as the mystery of the past slowly unfolds. A definite must-read for fans of the genre.

#22: We Came Here to Shine: A Novel

We Came Here to Shine Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Not only does We Came Here to Shine have an intriguing setting (the 1939 New York World Fair), but the novel also promises a remarkable female friendship, romance, and even a little Hollywood glamour. Check this one out if you like historical period pieces with intelligent and ambitious women.

June 23, 2020, New Book Releases

#23: Deadly Curious

Deadly Curious Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Wholesome Romance, Victorian Era

Are you a fan of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie? Then, Deadly Curious may be the book pick for you! With swoony romance and an interesting Victorian heroine, this new YA has a ton of potential. Sure, some reviews claim the mystery isn’t hard to figure out. But perhaps a romance full of fluff with a side of danger may just be the escapist read you’re craving.

#24: Forest of Souls

Forest of Souls Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Dark magic takes front and center in this gorgeous sounding and diverse YA fantasy. Not only is there likely romance in later books but also fascinating mythology about soulguides, ancient forests, and wild trees. If you love romanticism and nature, Forest of Souls may be your perfect fantasy choice. Did I mention there are also spies?

#25: Hunted by the Sky (The Wrath of Ambar Book 1)

Hunted by the Sky Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy, Romance

Hunted by the Sky is a YA romantic fantasy that promises magic, an epic romance, and loads of adventure with a fantastic setting based on medieval India. For readers who like strong world-building, this new YA with enthusiastic and starred reviews is one to keep an eye out for!

#26: The Mountains Wild: A Mystery

The Mountains Wild Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Full of plot twists, suspense, and richly drawn characters, The Mountains Wild is a mystery book you shouldn’t overlook! While I don’t read too many thrillers (maybe I should start?), this one is particularly compelling because of the Dublin setting and focus on the beauty of Ireland. And yes, I believe there’s a little romance in here as well.

#27: A Sky Painted Gold

A Sky Painted Gold Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, Romance, the 1920s

Compared to I Capture the Castle (one of the best-underrated novels of all time) and The Great Gatsby, this British coming of age novel is under too many readers’ radars. So, I’m glad to spread the word! In the story, it’s 1929, and Lou, a Cornish girl/aspiring writer, meets the Cardew family and gets swept up into their glitzy lifestyle.

#28: What’s Left of Me Is Yours: A Novel

What's Left of Me is Yours Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Literary Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Romance

Exquisite cover aside, What’s Left of Me Is Yours looks to be a wholly original and stylistic debut. In modern-day Japan, Sumiko sets out to discover her mother’s true story amid the complex Japanese legal system. Meanwhile, back in the 1990s, her mother Rina falls in love with Kaitarō, a wakaresaseya agent (“breaker-upper”) secretly hired by her husband to begin an affair.

But Kaitarō falls in love back, and a psychological effect from there dominoes into a tragedy. The complexity and depth of the story and research into the Japanese customs and landscapes promise an eloquent novel that will stay with you long after the last page. Just don’t read this one for a happy ending.

June 30, 2020, New Book Releases

#29: Her Last Flight

Her Last Flight cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery

At first glance, you might think this is a historical novel about Amelia Earhart. It’s not. However, the fictional story is still clearly inspired by Amelia. That’s what makes this dual timeline narrative so interesting. Janey, a photographer, is writing a biography about Sam Mallory, a female aviation pilot who disappeared. Meanwhile, she also wants to find the truth about Mallory’s aviation partner Irene who has hidden away from the public. Truths unravel in this detailed period piece that’s perfect for those interested in female pilots and aviation history. Oh, and there’s romance too.

#30 Honorable Mention: Sex and Vanity

Sex and Vanity Book Cover
Amazon.com

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Retellings, Chick Lit

So, I’ll be honest. When I created this list, I accidentally left Sex and Vanity out. I’m putting it back in because how could I leave out the latest book from Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians)? Even more exciting, the novel is a modern retelling of A Room with A View, E.M. Forster’s sweepingly romantic classic story. By far, Sex and Vanity is one of the top new book releases coming out this summer!

Honorable Mention: The Dark Tide

Amazon.com
(The publication date has been pushed from June 2 to August 4. So, we moved it from the above list to an honorable mention.)

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQ, Witches, Fantasy

Delve into the aquatic fantasy world of The Dark Tide (though now we must wait until August). Every year, the ocean demands a sacrifice. The Queen must kill the boy she loves to save the island. But this year, the Witch Queen’s eye turns to Lina instead. The Dark Tide is one LGBTQ romantic fantasy that is sure to make a splash.

What June new book releases are you excited to check out? Sound off below…

(NOTE: If you’re a publisher, publicist, or author with an upcoming book release that fits the readers of The Silver Petticoat Review, and would like us to consider it for future lists, please send us an email!)


*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, we may earn a commission if you choose to buy through our links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more information. Every item was chosen by the owners of The Silver Petticoat Review.

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