The Publishing Post
2022 Romance Book Design
By Maisie Jane Garvin, Beccy Fish, Juliette Tulloch and Giulia Caparrelli
The month of love may be over but our list of highly anticipated 2022 romance releases is ever-growing. With the help of social media, especially TikTok, there was a huge rise in the popularity of the romance genre last year. Authors who had been writing novels for years rose in popularity, such as Colleen Hoover, who saw her backlist books reach number one on the New York Times Bestseller List for the first time. We decided to curate a list of upcoming romance books we are looking forward to this year, where the covers are almost as cute as the stories inside…
Out on 12 May by Penguin, Book Lovers is New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry’s newest book. There is a lot of anticipation for this novel, as she has gained popularity from her other romance books Beach Read and You and Me on Vacation. Following two rival characters who work in publishing, Book Lovers is set to ignite the enemies to lovers trope.
The cover is eye-catching with bold, primary colours matching the style of her earlier novels. The two figures in separate boats seem to set the tone of the novel, which starts off with the respective love interests at a distance from each other; however, just like boats in the water, they can’t help drifting towards one another. The sunset over the mountains is able to encapsulate the summer atmosphere of the book, since the narrative follows protagonist Nora’s month-long getaway in August. Once again, as with Henry’s earlier publications, the U.K. and U.S. editions are set to have different cover designs, so keep an eye out to see the differences.
Colleen Hoover has seemingly overtaken the world of books overnight, so who better to rely on for another romance title? Reminders of Him (18 January) follows Keena Rowan who has returned after five years in prison with hopes to mend her relationship with her young daughter. The only person who has not isolated her is bar owner Ledger. As their relationship grows, Keena is faced with the weight of handling the risks of the past to build hope for her future. Maintaining the simple cover designs of her previous novels It Ends With Us and Ugly Love, the typography remains bold and sans serif; however, it contrasts the colour of the background unlike in the complementary style of her previous books. The faded blue and reds hint at the romance genre with their tender connotations. However, with the incorporation of birds, often used to represent freedom, the sombre storyline of Keena’s relationship with her daughter is implied. The cover undoubtedly owns its place within Hoover’s literary world, ready to be recognised as her work for romance fans.
Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light from the Last Binding trilogy, shortlisted for the Romance Novel Awards, will officially have a sequel on 1 November. Tor.com Publishing’s A Restless Truth has been described by its author as “lesbian Knives Out on a boat” and is hotly anticipated after the love for characters Robin and Edwin from the first instalment. The sequel follows Robin’s sister, Maud Blyth, and her journey on the R.M.S. Lyric towards New York, blending history, fantasy and romance. Amongst loathsome aristocratic suspects, Maud and the beautiful stranger Violet Debenham must solve a murder. Keeping with the silhouette theme, A Restless Truth’s cover design echoes Maud’s sea adventure in the variants of blue and turquoise, enveloping the two main love interests in magical swirls and blossoming flowers. The design is courtesy of Will Staehle, known for his bold and contemporary cover designs such as the celebrated covers of Circe (Little Brown, 2018) and A Darker Shade of Magic (Tor.com Publishing, 2015).
Best-selling author Beth O’Leary is back with a new novel, The No-Show, out on 12 April. The story’s premise is that three women have been asked out on a date on Valentine’s Day by the same man. With her typical heart-warming humour, O’Leary sets herself to explore the heartbreaks in dating and the unexpected turns love can take. The cover features the same typeface used in her previous novels, which gives her works a cohesive brand. The illustration is simple, yet effective, containing all the elements needed: the red rose and wine, symbols of love; a mobile phone hinting at ghosting; suspiciously abandoned belongings. The spotlight is (literally) on an unfinished business where people have gone missing: the hanging bulb can be seen as a theatre limelight, signalling the beginning of the performance, but can also act as a scrutinising lamp uncovering the crime scene in an investigation. Overall, the playful mood and bright colours are a perfect mix to entice readers.