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  • Cristina Merrill 2:00 pm on 2019/07/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , one fine duke, , reunited in walnut river, , , , , the soldier, willing to die   

    Romance Roundup: Fiery Debutantes, Lady Detectives, and Lovey-Dovey Neighbors 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a debutante who wants to nab one man and falls for another, a finance professional who wants to get the promotion she deserves, and a detective on maternity leave with a tragic case to solve. 

    One Fine Duke, by Lenora Bell
    Miss Mina Penny is finally (but FINALLY) ready to enjoy her first London Season. She was raised in the country by her overprotective uncle, and she would love nothing more than to kick up her heels a bit. Oh, she also knows who she wants to nab for a husband: Rafe Bentley. He’s the biggest rake in town, but there is one person who is determined to stop his bad behavior whenever possible, and that’s his brother, Drew. Drew is the Duke of Thorndon, and let’s just say that society and socializing and society and small talk and society are just not his proverbial cup of tea. (Drew, we admire the way you stay true to yourself in a world that’s constantly pulling you in a certain direction!) Drew is determined to make sure that Mina does not ruin her life by aligning herself with his wastrel brother. He decides to do this by kissing her until her legs turn to jelly, which makes them both seriously rethink their priorities. This is the third book in Bell’s School for Dukes series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 23.) 

    Reunited in Walnut River, by RaeAnne Thayne
    Our gal Anna Wilder is a crazy awesome finance professional, and she just has to do one more thing before she dominates the world slash gets a promotion: take over her hometown’s hospital. The only thing standing in her way is attorney—and hometown hunk—Richard Green. (Oh, that Richard would stand in ALL of our ways!) They shared The Ultimate Kiss many, many years ago, right before Anna said “Peace out!” to her town, determined to never look back. Now, Richard absolutely, most definitely does NOT want Anna to succeed in her hospital takeover, and he’s willing to use every tool at his disposal to prevent it from happening. (Richard, you can dispose of your clothing pronto!) Here’s hoping that Anna gets her promotion in a way that won’t cause a snafu in her community—and that Richard realizes he’s never really lost that loving feeling! This reprint includes a bonus story, “A Matter of the Heart,” by Patricia Davids. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 23.) 

    Before We Were Strangers, by Brenda Novak
    Sloane McBride’s mother abandoned her family when Sloane was just five years old. At least, that’s what everyone told Sloane. She couldn’t take the family drama anymore, though, so she got the heck out of her small Texas town at the age of eighteen, landing in New York City to pursue a modeling career. Now she’s an adult, and the loss of another person in her life prompts her to find out what really happened to her mom. (Sloane, we are all sending you a bajillion hugs right now!) She goes back home to Texas, and let’s just say she has a ton of people and issues to confront, including the boyfriend she left behind. Here’s hoping that Sloane finds the answers that she’s looking for, and that she gets another shot at all of the love she deserves! (Available in paperback on July 23.) 

    Willing to Die, by Lisa Jackson
    Detective Regan Pescoli is busy enjoying her maternity leave when her sister and brother-in-law are found murdered. She starts looking into the case with her partner, Selena Alvarez, and things just get scarier and scarier. (It’s quite possible that her sister’s family had some seriously horrible enemies.) On top of everything, Regan now also needs to care for her teenage niece. This is certainly a lot for anyone to handle, and let’s not forget that Regan also recently squeezed a tiny human out of her. (Regan, we are all SO coming over to help babysit and clean your house while you take a well-deserved—and uninterrupted—five-hour nap!) Will Regan be able to solve this murder mystery? Can she make space in her home and heart for her niece? And when everything does settle down, will she get to have lots of snuggle time with her brand-new baby? This book is part of Jackson’s To Die series. (Available in paperback and audiobook on July 30.) 

    Sisters Like Us, by Susan Mallery
    Sisters Harper Szymanski and Dr. Stacey Bloom are each going through A Challenging Time. Harper recently got divorced and is stuck with a way-too-expensive house. Oh, and her teenage daughter isn’t exactly the epitome of happiness and sunshine at the moment. Yes, Harper most definitely needs a day off, complete with her beverage of choice. (That said, there’s a local cop—a HOT local cop—who has the hots for our gal!) As for Stacey, she’s six months pregnant and most definitely not feeling that whole maternal glow thing. (Stacey, you also deserve a day off! Sans drink, of course!) These two sisters will need to lean on each other big time if they’re going to get through their respective dramas. Hang in there, ladies! When it’s all over, you can plan a beautiful family day at the beach! This is the fourth book in Mallery’s Mischief Bay series. (Available in paperback on July 30.) 

    The Soldier, by Grace Burrowes
    Devlin St. Just is finally home from war, and all he really wants is some goshdarn peace and quiet while he figures out what to do with his crumbling country estate. (We’ll all help you fix it up, Devlin! We’ve watched A LOT of HGTV! #weloveyoudrewandjonathan #stillcanttellyouapart #itdoesntmatteryourebothhot) Enter Emmaline Farnum, Devlin’s exceptionally pretty neighbor and the only woman who can control the wild, five-year-old child that has been terrorizing Devlin’s estate. (Dude, you survived all of this war and hardship and trauma and yet you can’t control a five-year-old?! Actually, scratch that. We don’t judge!) He decides to hire Emmaline to be the little girl’s governess, and he soon realizes that he may just want Emmaline for himself. Like, to be his wife. Forever. Because love. (Devlin, SO glad to see that while war has hardened your body—not that we’re complaining—it hasn’t hardened your heart!) This reprint is the second book in Burrowes’ Windhams: The Duke’s Obsession series. (Available in paperback on July 30.)

    What romance novels are you reading on the beach (or on the beach in your mind) this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Fiery Debutantes, Lady Detectives, and Lovey-Dovey Neighbors appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2019/07/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , long tall texans: donovan/emmett, , , , tempation's darling, the seekers, the wedding party, ,   

    Romance Roundup: ICU Nurses, Texas Cowboys, and Wedding Party Romances 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a lawyer who’s finally about to find true love, an ICU nurse reentering the dating world, and a writer who falls for an exceptionally handsome detective. 

    Under Currents, by Nora Roberts
    On the surface, Zane Bigelow’s childhood looked idyllic—successful parents and a big, fancy house and all that jazz—but said childhood was actually filled with all kinds of abuse. (Zane, you’ll need to run exceptionally fast in order to escape…our hugs!) Fast forward many years and Zane is now a successful—and smokingly gorgeous—lawyer. He decides to return to his hometown and be with his loved ones. There he meets Darby, a landscape artist who’s new to the area and has her own haunted past. (Darby, what is the name of your business? We all want to give it the positive Yelp reviews it deserves!) Darby and Zane may each have their own issues to grapple with – not to mention dark pasts they can’t seem to shake—but that doesn’t stop either of them from realizing they’d like to do the nekkid dance on a regular basis. Will they be able to dodge their demons and start a new chapter of their lives together? (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on July 9.) 

    Long, Tall Texans: Donavan/Emmett, by Diana Palmer
    Two stories in one! In “Donavan,” hottie-of-our-hearts Donavan Langley is very happy to be a walking, talking example of rugged Texas masculinity. (We are all very happy about this, too, Donavan.) Then Fay York walks into the local bar looking mighty fine and causing Donavan to do a major double take. He’s determined to avoid Fay by using his silly “She’s too fancy for me” argument. Will he open his heart to love? In “Emmett,” single dad Emmett Deverell decides to move to small-town Texas with his three loud and exhaustingly mischievous kids. (“Nanny 911,” anyone?) He decides they need a calm woman in their lives, but the only single gal in the area is Melody Cartman, and Emmett wouldn’t exactly call himself a member of her proverbial fan club. (No offense, Emmett, but you’re a doofus.) Will Emmett realize that Melody is a wonderful woman with whom he can build a beautiful life? These two reprinted stories are part of Palmer’s Long, Tall Texans series. (Available in paperback on July 9.) 

    Window on the Bay, by Debbie Macomber
    Intensive care nurse Jenna Boltz has been doing the single mom thing for the past 20 years, and now she’s facing an empty nest thanks to her kids going to college. (Jenna, you clearly did an awesome job with your kids! Oh, and we’re all coming over with pizza and wine and planning tons of fun times!) She doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. One thing is for sure: Jenna is not ready to navigate the dating world. (That’s okay, Jenna. No one ever really is!) Then she meets Dr. Rowan Lancaster, a silver fox of a man who helps Jenna’s elderly mom when she breaks her hip. (Rowan, we are all SO bringing our relatives to you—from babies to grannies!) Rowan certainly has that whole Stiff and Silent Man act down pat, but beneath that stony exterior beats a heart that soon becomes wholly devoted to Jenna. Oh, Rowan, Jenna’s about to go through a really tough time, so please put on your best face (as in, you know, smile) and use your envy-worthy body to give our gal a helping hand! (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on July 16.)

    The Wedding Party, by Jasmine Guillory
    Alexa Monroe from The Wedding Date is getting married, and her best friends Maddie and Theo are both going to be involved in the big day. This would be all fine and dandy if Maddie and Theo didn’t hate each other so much after their one-night stand. (To be fair, Maddie and Theo, you both made—er, un-made?—that bed and if you want a fresh start you’ll need to strip that bed and make sure you use hypoallergenic laundry detergent and then follow up with a couple of dream-inducing dryer sheets and…wait! Wrong list of instructions!) Anyhoo, Theo and Maddie need to work together in order to help make Alexa’s wedding day dreams come true. (And you both BETTER do that because Alexa is AWESOME and if you DON’T we will all SNEER at you!) How soon will it take for each of them to realize they are perfect for each other? Will they find a private moment during the wedding reception to unabashedly make out? And where the heck are all of OUR wedding invitations?! (Available in paperback and audiobook on July 16.) 

    Temptation’s Darling, by Johanna Lindsey
    Our gal Vanessa has led a pretty freedom-filled life with her exiled father in the Scottish Highlands. (What time period is this? Can Jamie Fraser come out and play?) Then Papa Bear pushes her go to London for her debut. She’ll be living with her estranged mother while this happens, and she soon becomes acquainted with her mother’s guest, Lord Montgomery Townsend. His main job in life is to cover up the Prince Regent’s many, many scandals. (He’s basically the equivalent of a modern-day, top-notch celebrity public relations professional, except he has way cooler outfits.) Montgomery is mega-intrigued by this newcomer, and he’s determined to prevent her mother from making her marry the insipid son of a high-profile family. He also wants to give her a helping hand as she navigates this scary world of high society. The thing is, he soon realizes that he wouldn’t mind being the one to rock her world. Go get your woman, Montgomery! (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on July 16.) 

    The Seekers, by Heather Graham
    Nonfiction writer Keri Wolf has a new gig as a crew member of a TV show that looks into paranormal-related stuff. The latest show subject is an allegedly haunted Pennsylvania inn. Everything is going as it should—until a dead body turns up. (Yup, that’ll definitely ruin the fun.) If that weren’t creepy enough, a ghost appears, which totally messes with Keri’s head. (Keri, we would not judge you AT ALL if you need a moment—and a giant glass of wine—to compose yourself.) The only person who understands what she’s going through is former detective Joe Dunhill. He’s looking into the whole Dead Body Thing and he’s a very good candidate for the job because, in addition to having a beautiful face that would convince anyone to spill the beans, he can also communicate with the dead. Here’s hoping that Keri and Joe solve the mystery soon, and that they then do something fun and calming, like nekkid yoga on a secluded beach. This is the latest book in Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 23.)

    What romance novels are you excited about this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: ICU Nurses, Texas Cowboys, and Wedding Party Romances appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 4:30 pm on 2019/07/09 Permalink
    Tags: , hot new reads, , , , , ,   

    A Picture-Perfect Family Masks a Dark Secret in Nora Roberts’ Gripping Under Currents 

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    Family and community and the bonds an individual forms with each of them are themes that run deeply throughout Nora Roberts’ work, and the author takes this to a whole new level in her latest book, Under Currents. There is romance aplenty in this tome, not to mention suspense, but equally thrilling are the relationships the two main characters form with their community—and the love and support they get in return.

    Under Currents follows its protagonist, Zane Bigelow, from his teenage years through adulthood. When we first meet Zane, he is 14 years old and dreams of becoming a professional baseball player. He lives with his father, a successful surgeon who is considered a pillar of the local community, his mother, a stay-at-home wife who basks in her family’s money and high standing, and his younger sister, who, like Zane, knows better than to be impressed by any of this.

    The dark secret Zane’s picture-perfect family holds is that his father is physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to everyone in the household—and that his mother tolerates and even enables her husband’s horrible behavior. All of this results in a painful childhood for both of their children.

    Zane, however, has it much harder than his sister, and Roberts does a fantastic job of establishing Zane’s background in the first part of the book. His day-to-day life, while it doesn’t lack its joys, is still a struggle. His goal is to simply survive living in his house until he can obtain a college baseball scholarship. In the meantime, he does what he can to survive and also gives his sister advice on how to cope until she is old enough to make her own escape.

    Everything changes after a particularly violent episode at home one night, one that results in Zane being sent to a juvenile detention facility. Eventually, Zane and his sister are taken in by their mother’s sister, Emily, who was always suspicious of her sister’s picture-perfect life and proceeds to raise her niece and nephew with the love and support they have lacked.

    Fast forward many years, and Zane is a successful lawyer. He decides to return to his hometown and put down roots, and he does this just as newcomer Darby McCray, a professional landscaper, is getting settled in. She has decided to settle in Zane’s hometown in part due to the business opportunities there, and she starts off doing work for his aunt. Darby’s extraordinary talent quickly escalates the local demand for her services.

    Zane is instantly intrigued by Darby when he first meets her. Like Zane, Darby has also experienced abuse, but unlike Zane, she grew up with a loving mother. She is more open and matter-of-fact about her background, whereas Zane has a history of being more reserved. Considering his past, this is absolutely understandable, but he feels differently around Darby and he is more open with her than he has been with any other woman. Their attraction is a very natural one, and it’s truly fun to see their bond strengthen.

    There are several other plot points in play as Zane and Darby’s relationship progresses. Zane becomes reintegrated into his community and opens up a law practice. The current whereabouts of Zane’s parents are brought up more than once. The town also faces a mysterious string of crimes, including vandalism. Love may be in the air for both Zane and Darby, but their journey to peace and tranquility is far from over.

    The important thing is that they are not alone. They have each other, for one, and the support of a community that cares about them both. It’s clear that one of the main reasons Zane hasn’t morphed into a bitter adult is because of love. He’s always had the love of his aunt, his sister, and the father of a close friend who became a sort of surrogate father to him, to name a few. (Indeed, one would argue that Zane’s Aunt Emily is the real hero in Under Currents. One of the best moments in the story is when she tells off a local police officer, one she’s known since grade school, and threatens to complain about him to his mother.) Those bonds are strengthened when Zane comes home, and his life is highlighted by Darby’s presence and her own love of her new community and her successful integration into it.

    Indeed, this strong sense of community is why Roberts’ romances work so well. Romances and romantic themes will weave in and out throughout the plot of a Roberts book, and the possibility of finding true love will provide plenty of motivation for the author’s heroes and heroines. That being said, these heroes and heroines are also rewarded with a deeper sense of community and family and belonging by the end of the story. This is often a crucial part of their journey and story arc, and it brings them just as much joy as finding a romantic partner. Indeed, the romance flourishes because of it, and this is certainly the case in Under Currents. Zane and Darby’s romance itself is certainly satisfying, but having a strong support network of family and friends to cheer them on is its own reward.

    The post A Picture-Perfect Family Masks a Dark Secret in Nora Roberts’ Gripping <i>Under Currents</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2019/07/09 Permalink
    Tags: devoted to love, her deadly secrets, home at chestnut creek, , laura drake, , , , , sarah archer, , someone to honor, the me i used to be, the plus one   

    Romance Roundup: Robotics Engineers, Private Investigators, and Wedding Romps 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a very independent woman who comes across a hot, shirtless man, a former prisoner who needs to stay strong, and two people whose one-night stand is about to turn into something more. 

    Someone to Honor, by Mary Balogh
    Abigail Westcott’s social standing took a major nosedive when it was discovered that her parents were not, in fact, legally married. (In an age where society judges your every wiggle, this particular piece of news was certainly beyond no bueno.) Fortunately, she’s got plenty of money and depends on no one for her survival, so society can feel free to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. One day, she runs into a very hot man chopping wood while shirtless and berates him for being shirtless within eyesight of some local ladies. (Abigail, we’re all for feminism and fighting double standards, but we doubt the ladies minded.) She learns that said shirtless man is Gilbert Bennington, an officer who is escorting her wounded brother home from the wars. It turns out that Gilbert isn’t exactly a fan of Abigail’s either because he has a thing against rich people. (Oh, Gilbert, please listen to her story!) Can they turn around these negative first impressions? And will they get to see each other totally nekkid outdoors at least twice? This is the sixth book in Balogh’s Westcott series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK on July 2.) 

    The Plus One, by Sarah Archer
    Kelly Suttle is a brilliant and beautiful robotics engineer, but she hasn’t had much luck on the dating scene. This is especially bothersome at the moment, because she will soon be attending her younger sister’s wedding. (Kelly, we’ll all happily analyze our family trees and dig out a nice, single relative for you!) Our gal is not easily dismayed, though, so she does what any resourceful robotics engineer would do: build a date! She creates Ethan, a robot whose main feature is a mechanical heart that beats—er, beeps?—only for her. (Kelly, we’d say we’re a little weirded out, but your abilities are just too fascinating!) Kelly and Ethan attends her sister’s nuptials, and Kelly soon realizes she’s becoming just a little bit too attached to a robot. (Kelly, we will all happily listen to you think out loud while sipping on copious amounts of wine and chowing down on wedding cake!) Here’s hoping that something works out in which Kelly will find the love of her life—and that he is made of flesh and blood! (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 2.) 

    Home at Chestnut Creek, by Laura Drake
    Our gal Nevada Sweet is on the run, and so she doesn’t dare risk her life by falling in love. (Nevada, we understand you’re in danger, but please never forget that you are 100 percent deserving of love!) She settles down for a bit in Unforgiven, New Mexico and gets a job at the local cafe. Also working at the cafe is Joseph “Fishing Eagle” King, a local Navajo man who is very involved in his Navajo community. Joseph and Nevada are certainly intrigued by each other, but they have their respective reasons for keeping their respective distances. (Oh, come ON you two! Get over yourselves and act out your deepest, most delicious fantasies! And use the pastries!) Nevada will need to trust Joseph like she’s never trusted anyone before. As for Joseph, he’ll need to open his heart—and his mind—if he and Nevada are going to have a truly happy ending. This is the second book in Drake’s Chestnut Creek series, and it includes the bonus novel “Wild Cowboy Ways” by Carolyn Brown. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 2.)

    The Me I Used to Be, by Jennifer Ryan
    Evangeline just spent four years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, which is SO not cool, and to make matters worse, she goes back home to an unsupportive family. (Um, yeah, Evangeline? We’re going to check in on you every day and make sure you get all the hugs you need!) The thing is, Evangeline’s family needs her around because she inherited the family ranch when her father died. To make matters even more interesting, Chris Chambers, the cop who helped put Evangeline away, finally believes she is innocent. (Chris, we are all feeling generous, which is why we’re going to give you thirty seconds to explain yourself. That will require using your brain, which is located inside of your head, neither of which you used four years ago, you dodo!) He wants to help Evangeline clear her record, which will require her to help the police. Evangeline will need to be even more courageous, so here’s hoping all of the drama will be over ASAP so she can move on to the beautiful life she deserves! (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 2.)

    Her Deadly Secrets, by Laura Griffin
    Private investigator Kira Vance gets the surprise of her life when a routine report delivery to a client ends up being a rather bloody affair. The police aren’t too helpful, so Kira decides to take matters into her own capable hands in order to find out just what the heck happened. (Kira, we admire your fearlessness and determination!) Turns out, someone is specifically targeting Kira, so she’s given some extra help in the form of a lawyer and his elite security team. Our gal is NOT happy about this—#independent—but she’s willing to do whatever it takes to track down the bad guys. How soon will Kira be able to track down her would-be killer? Will she be able to get a good night’s sleep when that drama is all over? And to which exotic island should she travel in order to get some serious R&R? This is the second book in Griffin’s Wolfe Security series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 2.) 

    Devoted to Love, by Shayla Black
    Maggie West had a BLAST at her sister’s wedding thanks to a fun night with special operative and friend-to-the-groom Josiah Grant. They share a passionate night after the nuptials, the kind of night that would make the bride and groom extremely jealous. (That’s right, Josiah! Give it your all!) Maggie doesn’t need anything beyond that, though, because she doesn’t really think love is in the cards for her. Then some folks in the area end up dead, and it soon becomes clear that someone is specifically targeting Maggie’s family. Josiah refuses to let anything happen to Maggie on his watch, and so he rolls up his literal and proverbial sleeves (thereby revealing a gorgeous amount of bicep) and stays put in order to protect Maggie. (Gotta love a guy who has brains to go with his brawn!) Here’s hoping they identify the bad guys soon, that Maggie realizes she is absolutely deserving of love, and that Josiah proves how much he loves her every day—and at least twice a night—for the rest of their lives together! This is the second book in Black’s Devoted Lovers series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 2.)

    What romance novels are you tossing in your beach bag this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Robotics Engineers, Private Investigators, and Wedding Romps appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Cristina Merrill 3:00 pm on 2019/06/27 Permalink
    Tags: a lady in disguise, , , , once upon a bad boy, paranoid, , , say no to the duke   

    Romance Roundup: Actresses, Adventure-Seeking Ladies, and Single Rancher Dads 

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    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a high society lady who wants one last adventure, a woman who still feels major guilt about an old family tragedy, and an actress who’s about to get a very hot blast from her past!

    Say No to the Duke, by Eloisa James
    Lady Betsy Wilde scored a duke’s proposal during her first London Season, so one would think she’s now got it made in the shade. The thing is, she wants to have one last adventure before she ties the knot and becomes the prim and proper woman society expects her to be. She gets a helping hand from the very masculine Lord Jeremy Roden. He bets that if she beats him at a game of billiards, he’ll lend her a pair of breeches and treat her to a dangerous-but-fun night out in London. If HE wins the game, she will have to bow chicka wow wow with him. (Betsy, this is what we would all call A Win-Win Situation!) It doesn’t take long for Jeremy to realize that Betsy is a fun, spirited woman with whom he would never be bored. Can he convince her to turn down her lucrative marriage proposal? Will he, regardless of the billiards game outcome, make sure she has an adventure or two? And will he himself be an adventure for her, one that lasts a lifetime? This is the fourth book in James’ Wildes of Lindow Castle series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

    Paranoid, by Lisa Jackson
    Something truly awful happened when Rachel Gaston was a teenager. She was playing with her peers when she accidentally shot her half-brother. (She thought she was holding a soft pellet air gun, but that was somehow replaced with a real gun.) She received some much-needed counseling over the years, but she still couldn’t shake her guilt. (Rachel, we are sending you ALL of the hugs!) Fast-forward 20 years and Rachel’s marriage has disintegrated and her two teenage sons are causing many a ruckus. If that wasn’t bad enough, her high school reunion is around the corner, and lately it seems as if someone is messing with her head and world. (Think home invasions and her car being followed.) She suspects this may all be connected to her half-brother’s death, and that someone may still have some very bad intentions. Here’s hoping Rachel gets the support she needs, that friends in high places believe her and give her a helping hand, and that when the drama is over, she finds much-needed peace in her mind and heart. (Available in hardcover, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

    Breathless, by Helen Hardt
    Our gal Marjorie Steel is a VERY good friend. She’s putting her culinary school ambitions on pause to help a pal who is going through a difficult pregnancy, among other things. This act of kindness doesn’t come without its perks, though, as it means getting to see more of Bryce Simpson. He’s a rancher who is working on her family’s ridiculously profitable ranch, and they now want him to take an executive position within it. He says yes because he needs the money. (See: single father with a widowed mother.) Bryce has the hots for Marjorie, but he also has a troubled past that involves a father who did some very shady things. (Bryce, not that you did anything wrong, but if you’re going to have any moral dilemmas, please have them while wearing nothing but a fig leaf. Thanks!) Will Bryce stop dwelling on the past and get his woman—and the happy life he deserves? This is the tenth book in Hardt’s Steel Brothers Saga series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

    A Walk to Remember, by Nicholas Sparks
    The tragic love story that launched a hit 2002 movie adaptation—and bajillions of tears—has been reprinted! It’s 1958. Landon Carter is a senior in high school and he is quite the mischief maker. Jamie Sullivan is the daughter of the local Baptist minister—and literally the LAST girl on the planet Landon expects to like. (Landon, buddy, would you PLEASE open your mind and broaden your horizons once in a while?!) These two high schoolers eventually get thrown together and begin quite the friendship before they fall in love. Jamie, it turns out, is capable of expanding Landon’s heart in ways he never thought possible. (Shoutout to all of the young ladies out there who stay true to themselves!) Superfans of this story already know its ending, so whether you’re down for a re-read or new to the party, make sure to grab a comfy blanket—and a box of tissues! (Available in paperback on June 25.)

    Once Upon a Bad Boy, by Melonie Johnson
    Actress Sadie Gold is very, very close to becoming a bonafide movie star. It all hinges on her next role, which will open all kinds of professional doors for her if she does it right and does it well. (Good for you, Sadie, for having goals and working hard towards them! Oh, and we’re all accompanying you to the Oscars. Thanks!) Trouble is, the only way she’s going to nail it is if she’s trained by none other than Bo Ibarra. Bo was Sadie’s first boyfriend, and let’s just say they never really forgot each other. They’re both adults now—and, it must be said, they’ve aged quite gracefully—so the time is ripe to see if they really are Meant To Be. Will Bo be able to help Sadie nail her career-changing role? Can Sadie take direction from her former lover? And is there a secluded spot on set where these two can get friendly at least twice? This is the second book in Johnson’s Sometimes in Love series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 25.)

    A Lady in Disguise, by Lynsay Sands
    This reprint was originally published under the title “The Reluctant Reformer.” Lady Maggie Wentworth is writing under a pseudonym, and she’s intent on exposing the lascivious lifestyles of high society’s lesser men. To that effect, she decides to interview the, ahem, working girls of London. One night during a “Reporting live from a brothel near you!” moment, she sees her own beau enter said brothel, which is so definitely, absolutely NOT what any woman wants to see. She flees the place only to be caught by her late brother’s best friend, the very handsome Lord James. (Oh, Lord James, you can Lord James it over us any day—or night—of the week!) James is unaware of Maggie’s journalistic adventures and thinks she has simply made some Poor Life Choices. He wants to help her get back on the straight and narrow. How long will it take him to realize that she really was just on assignment? And how long will it take until SHE decides to make an honest man out of HIM? (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on June 25.)

    What romance novels are you excited about this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Actresses, Adventure-Seeking Ladies, and Single Rancher Dads appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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