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  • Amanda Diehl 3:00 pm on 2017/10/12 Permalink
    Tags: , alice clayton, , beauty like the night, , christina lauren, dating you/hating you, , elyse springer, hate to want you, heels over head, , , kirsten ashley, , nina bocci, roman crazy, , , , the chase, the deep end, the duchess deal, the pages of the mind, , , what's your sign?   

    Romance Recommendations for Your Zodiac Sign 

    Playing matchmaker with readers and romance novels is so much fun! I’m also a huge zodiac junkie. I read my horoscope routinely and go absolutely nuts for compatibility charts. Inspired by traits of the twelve signs, here are some reading recommendations, though don’t take them too seriously. I won’t tell if you want to dip into the recs for other signs!

    Aquarius: Heels Over Head, by Elyse Springer
    First off, Aquarius is a water sign and a romance featuring professional divers and swimmers is pretty on the nose. Brandon Evans is aloof and carefree. He also knows how good of a diver he is. Meanwhile, Jeremy Reeve is struggling with his family’s feelings on his sexuality. He thinks his only hope of being accepted is by winning an Olympic medal. While Brandon and Jeremy seem like opposites on the surface, they’re rather complementary as teammates and it’s beautiful to see the divers find a sense a community within their sport.

    Pisces: The Duchess Deal, by Tessa Dare
    Pisces are known to be compassionate and selfless, but that can often bite them in the butt later on. The Duchess Deal has a battle-scarred hero who has a nightly hobby of fighting London’s riffraff, but what he wants deep down is an heir. Emma Gladstone is the daughter of a vicar and a seamstress, and she sees beneath the Duke of Ashbury’s physical insecurities. She agrees to help him with his heir problem, but she has a few conditions. Ash forbids kissing. Emma wants to share a meal every night. Though they both agree to help one another, they’ll definitely get more than they bargained for with this arrangement.

    Aries: Hate to Want You, by Alisha Rai
    Speaking as an Aries myself, I know we’re a bit turbulent and moody, but we’re also confident and incredibly passionate. Hate to Want You is pretty emotional and is bursting with dramatic family secrets and scandals. In a Romeo and Juliet-esque romance, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler feel as though they can’t be together because of their families and accompanying baggage. But one night a year, they agree to meet in the bedroom. However, their forbidden romance can no longer remain a secret as their arrangement becomes complicated: Livvy doesn’t show for their scheduled yearly meeting and instead returns to their hometown.

    Taurus: The Pages of the Mind, by Jeffe Kennedy
    Tauruses are known to be practical and responsible, but a bit uncompromising, which is why Dafne, the scholarly librarian heroine of The Pages of the Mind, is a great fit. Dedicated to her job, she travels on behalf of her queen to help successfully incorporate the northern kingdoms into her queen’s realm. There, she meets a barbarian king with a significant language barrier between them. Dafne’s resolve never falters even as King Nakoa has her submit to marriage in order to broker a new alliance. Dafne handles things in stride, surprisingly, and the way she adapts to a new kingdom is rather sweet.

    Gemini: The Deep End, by Kristen Ashley
    Gemini are often defined as having two different personalities and the submissive Alpha hero of The Deep End is sure to appeal to both. Outside the bedroom, Olivier is strong, masculine, and all Alpha. Then he joins the Honey Club and meets Amelie, a cold, calculating Domme who likes her men submissive. Having an “Alpha-sub” is an interesting twist in characterization, especially since the heroine is often in a position of power in the bedroom. This romance is also heavy on erotic content, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in a beautiful, developing romance between Olly and Amelie.

    Cancer: Beauty Like the Night, by Joanna Bourne
    While Cancers can be incredibly empathetic, they can also be a bit manipulative. Sorry, Cancers! But a historical romance with espionage and spy shenanigans is a perfect romance read for you. Sèverine de Cabrillac and Raoul Deverney are brought together by a similar goal: justice. When Sèverine seeks out Raoul’s help in rescuing her missing daughter, Raoul knows that this mission could very well lead him to the killer of his estranged wife. Brought together by grief and worry, the pair quickly become a formidable and rather cutthroat team. It’s a romance with some bite!

    Leo: Dating You/Hating You, by Christina Lauren
    Leos are charismatic, funny, and often the life of the party. They’re also stubborn and demand a lot of attention. And trust me, Dating You/Hating You is going to demand nearly all of your free time. It’s also really hilarious. Evelyn Abbey thought she met a really great guy at a friend’s Halloween Party, but when she realizes that same guy, Carter Aaron, is now her competition at work after a company merger, their romance quickly skids to a halt. There’s an office prank war, an oblivious boss who things dog treats are granola bars, and some serious girl power in this battle-of-the-sexes workplace romance.

    Virgo: The Winter King, by C.L. Wilson
    When it comes to Virgos, they’re incredibly detailed, but are also frequently drawn to nature. A fantasy romance seems like a sure bet! Wilson’s fantasy romances have some amazing world-building from the differing kingdoms to how magic operates from person to person. The heroine can also summon storms. How cool is that! Wynter Atrialan hopes to get revenge on the king of Summerlea by taking one of his daughters, Khamsin Coruscate, as his bride. What Wynter doesn’t count on is Khamsin enjoying her newfound sense of freedom. The settings are descriptive and the courtship is lovely in this utterly bewitching fantasy romance.

    Libra: A New Leash on Love, by Debbie Burns
    Gentle and with a love of keeping company, Libras always strike me as being on the sweeter side of the astrological spectrum. A New Leash on Love is an adorable contemporary romance, as if it weren’t obvious by the chocolate lab puppy on the cover. Megan Anderson runs the local no-kill shelter, dedicating her life to helping animals in need. Craig Williams hates that he has to take his daughter’s new dog to the shelter, but since his divorce seems to suffer one misstep after another. When he drops the dog off, he isn’t counting on a tense confrontation with the shelter’s owner. Their first meeting doesn’t go particularly well, to say the least, but things definitely improve on their second meeting. And the third. Pick this one up, if you like romances with plenty of cute, furry secondary characters.

    Scorpio: The Chase, by Vanessa Fewings
    Scorpios are the ones you call when you need some resourceful and courageous. They can meet a challenge head-on, but they’re steadfast in their beliefs and can hold things close to the vest. The Chase is a contemporary romance with elements of suspense as the heroine, Zara Leighton, is enlisted to track down an international art thief. It’s a case she could only dream of. There’s just one problem and that’s her investigation firm’s billionaire client: Tobias Wilder. Enigmatic and mysterious, Tobias seems like the perfect suspect—or Zara’s greatest distraction.

    Sagittarius: Roman Crazy, by Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
    If there’s one weakness to being a Sagittarius, it’s the call of wanderlust and the need for travel! With her divorce nearing finalization, Avery Bardot restarts her life for the summer in beautiful Rome, Italy. She spends her days exploring the city and her nights eating amazing food. It’s in Rome, surprisingly, that she meets the one man she never forgot: Marcello Bianchi, and the feeling seems to be mutual. Though with the summer quickly approaching its end, Avery isn’t sure if she can give up her adventurous life in Italy and return to the States.

    Capricorn: Silver Silence, by Nalini Singh
    Capricorns are masters of self-control, but when it comes to their family, all bets are off. Silver Mercant helps run an international emergency response network. It’s practically her job to remain calm under pressure. Then she meets Valentin Nikolaev, a bear shifter and leader of his powerful clan. There’s something about Silver that sparks an undeniable interested in Val and when an unknown force begins to threaten Silver’s life, Val will protect her at any cost. And we all know what happens when you poke a bear.

    What’s your sign? (And what’s your favorite romance?)

    The post Romance Recommendations for Your Zodiac Sign appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Amanda Diehl 4:00 pm on 2017/10/05 Permalink
    Tags: alice clayton, , , are you listening hollywood?, buns, elizabeth harmon, highland dragon warrior, , , , pairing off, ,   

    5 Romances Just Begging for a Film Adaptation 

    Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like there’s been a lack of amazing romantic comedies and other romance-centric movies out this last summer, and even this year! Where are the While You Were Sleepings and the She’s All Thats of this decade? Luckily for moviemakers, there’s an entire genre in which romance is the focus. Plus, while my knowledge of the moviemaking industry is limited, it seems easier to adapt an already existing work than to write one from the ground up. For any directors, producers, and the like out there, here are a few great romances that are sure to be a box office success!

    An Extraordinary Union, by Alyssa Cole
    War, spies, and a forbidden romance make An Extraordinary Union perfect for the cinematic treatment. With its blend of action and subterfuge, this romance has some great crossover potential for moviegoers who like a historical, wartime element. Elle Burns is a former slave and now a spy for the Union Army. She also has an impressive eidetic memory. Elle is partnered with Pinkerton’s Secret Service detective Malcolm McCall when they uncover a dangerous plot. Bring this one to the big screen and take my money already!

    Highland Dragon Warrior, by Isabel Cooper
    Given that “dragon” is in the title, any adaption of Highland Dragon Warrior will need a dose of CGI, but trust me, it would be so worth it! The heroine, Sophia, is a Jewish alchemist in need of a dragon scale and the hero, Cathal, is a weary dragon shifter whose best friend is suffering from a mysterious and magical illness. It’s easy to picture the gorgeous cinematography as Sophia conducts her alchemy. And of course, the book is set in a lovely castle in the Scottish highlands. Beautiful landscapes? Check. Magic? Check. A surprisingly sweet romance? Check. It’s a blockbuster in the making.

    Buns, by Alice Clayton
    Some of the best rom-coms have an enemies-to-lovers romance and Buns has that antagonistic relationship between the hero and heroine, but with the added luxury of ooey, gooey, hot cross buns. Who doesn’t love a man with skills in the kitchen? The Bryant Mountain House has been in Archie Bryan’t family for five generations, but even he’d have to admit the business is failing. When rebranding expert Clara Morgan shows up on his doorstep, he isn’t exactly thrilled with the direction she wants to take his family’s legacy. Expect lots of verbal sparring fraught with delicious sexual tension!

    The Magpie Lord, by K.J. Charles
    A gay historical romance with a tattooed earl and an angry magician would be thrilling to see in theaters given that it strays from typical rom-com territory, but still maintains a great love story. There’s a Gothic-esque castle, dry British wit, and a smattering of grit and horror. It’s passionate and just a touch creepy and Guillermo Del Toro, given his work with movies like Crimson Peak and Pan’s Labyrinth, could really capture the dark, mystical drama in The Magpie Lord. Throwing in Tom Hiddleston again wouldn’t hurt either.

    Pairing Off, by Elizabeth Harmon
    The Cutting Edge is a romantic comedy staple. If you haven’t seen it, you’re going to want to indulge in this class differences, ice skating movie. Pairing Off isn’t exactly The Cutting Edge reimagined, but it has the same wonderful tension that comes with the spirit of competition. The hero is described as “Russia’s sexiest male skater” and he happens to be the heroine’s first love. When they two join forces to compete as a pair instead of single skaters, things get a lot more awkward. Besides, nothing makes two people fall in love faster than the forced proximity of grueling skating practices.

    Which romances would you love to see adapted to the big screen?

    The post 5 Romances Just Begging for a Film Adaptation appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Amanda Diehl 6:00 pm on 2017/06/07 Permalink
    Tags: alice clayton, amy e. reichert, cream of the crop, , eat drink and be sexy, , hot in here, intercepting the chef, laura florand, north to you, rachel goodman, , , sherry thomas, sophie renwick, the chocolate touch, the coincidence of coconut cake, tif marcelo   

    Eat Your Heart Out: 8 Romances for Foodies 

    Oysters, chocolate, maybe even a little champagne….Oftentimes, food is part of the courtship process or is used to kickstart a night of fun, given some dishes’ aphrodisiac qualities. There’s also something to be said about watching a man or woman cook, owning a kitchen as they whip up a chocolate mousse or sear a perfect cut of steak. These books embody the chef fantasy, while honing in on the universal experiences of eating—breaking bread with friends, memories tied to well-loved dishes, staring across candlelit tables with a glass of wine. But fair warning, don’t read these romances on an empty stomach!

    North to You, by Tif Marcelo
    Between taking guardianship of her sister and running her very own food truck, Camille Marino has little time for anything else, least of all love. And she certainly isn’t expecting her high school crush Drew Bautista to return home from deployment in order to help out his father’s Filipino restaurant. But whatever attraction he feels for Camille poses quite a problem, given that Camille’s food truck is his father’s number one competition.

    Delicious, by Sherry Thomas
    Verity Durant is well-known throughout Europe. Her cooking is renowned in Paris and her scandalous love life is whispered about in London. Verity’s two worlds are about to collide when she takes on a new client, aspiring politician Stuart Somerset. Stuart has inherited Verity as a chef; she worked for Stuart’s late half-brother. After tasting her food, he knows he can’t just toss her out on her own, but he’s also about to discover that the two aren’t exactly strangers.

    Hot in Here, by Sophie Renwick
    For anyone who has had a crush on bad boy chef Gordon Ramsay, meet Bryce Ryder. A celebrity chef who loves the limelight, Bryce is dealing with a recent bout of bad publicity, and there’s only one person who can fix it: Jenna McCabe. Jenna’s been Bryce’s best friend for years. She also happens to be a public relations whiz. However, she’s never thought about mixing business with pleasure before.

    The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, by Amy E. Reichert
    A You’ve Got Mail scenario with a foodie twist! Elizabeth “Lou” Johnson is desperately trying to get her French restaurant, Luella’s, off the ground. But when a food critic writes a rather scathing review of Luella’s, Lou doesn’t know what to do but grab a stiff drink at the local pub. There, she meets a charming Brit named Al. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know that Al and her food critic nemesis are one and the same.

    Cream of the Crop, by Alice Clayton
    The entire Hudson Valley series is just great and all three books can be read separately, but this one is a standout. The heroine, Natalie, is an advertising executive in Manhattan who never misses her weekend farmer’s market. She loves a good, creamy slice of brie from Oscar Mendoza, dairy farmer and owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery. He’s tall, scruffy, and a man of few words. A perfect opposites attract romance for anyone who believes that milk does a body good.

    The Chocolate Touch, by Laura Florand
    What’s better than chocolate? Dominique Richard is a rags-to-riches success story, earning his places as one of the best chocolatiers in Paris. Chocolate, he understands. Women, not so much. But he’s drawn to the woman who sits in his chocolaterie nearly every day, dining alone and sampling his confections. He can’t help wanting to know more about this cute and enigmatic American woman.

    Intercepting the Chef, by Rachel Goodman
    Gwen Lalonde is blacklisted. After being fired by her restaurateur boss and now ex-boyfriend, she finds in impossible to land another job in San Francisco. Without any prospects, Gwen returns home to Denver and luckily, nabs a position as executive chef at Stonestreet’s. However, her new boss is NFL superstar Logan Stonestreet and he’s definitely interested in taking a more hands-on approach to running his restaurant.

    Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen
    If Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic was written by a foodie, you’d get Garden Spells. The Waverley family has always been seen as odd and a little witchy. Older sister Claire has a talent for making delicious food, often catering local events. She likes things routine and predictable, using her family recipes to imbue her food with emotions. Throw in a nosy, eccentric aunt, a wayward younger sister, and small town gossip ,and Claire’s growing relationship with her new neighbor might burn out before it begins.

    What foodie romances get your tummy rumbling?

    The post Eat Your Heart Out: 8 Romances for Foodies appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 7:00 pm on 2014/09/16 Permalink
    Tags: alice clayton, , , , , sara arden, screwdrivered   

    Romance Roundup: In the Battle of Sexy Cowboy vs. Sexy Librarian, Who Will Triumph? 

    ScrewdriveredThis week’s romance roundup features soldiers returning home from battle, a cowboy named Hank, and a vile rogue who convinces an amnesiac member of the aristocracy that she is his housekeeper. Fetch the smelling salts!

    Screwdrivered, by Alice Clayton
    First, Alice Clayton gave us the delightful Wallbanger. Then, lucky for us, she followed it up with the equally tangy Rusty Nailed. And now, the refreshing third installment in her Cocktail series, Screwdrivered, is finally here! In this book we leave behind beloved couple Caroline and Simon and drink deeply of the fascinating double life of one Viv Franklin. A hardbitten software engineer by day, by night Viv is a voracious consumer of romance novels, who dreams of being swept off her feet by a handsome prince or a sexy firefighter (or maybe a prince who moonlights as a firefighter, why not?). When she inherits a house across the country in California, Viv uproots her humdrum life and relocates, in the hope of finally experiencing the kind of romance she’s only read about in books. She thinks her plan is working when she finds herself being wooed by both a dashing cowboy named Hank and a proper librarian named Clark—but how does she decide which fantasy is actually desirable in reality? And if you think this one is a no-brainer, think again…

    Return to Glory, by Sara Arden
    When soldier Jack McConnell finds his way back to Glory, Kansas, five years after he left it, he’s battling so many demons he hardly feels like himself anymore. But beautiful Betsy Lewis still remembers Jack as the hero who once saved her life—and he can no more resist Betsy than the residents of Glory can resist her charming bakery’s sweet pastries. All grown up now, Betsy is more beautiful than Jack could have ever imagined, but he’s convinced that despite their heated chemistry, she doesn’t need trouble like him in her life. And while Betsy wants to save Jack, she’s got her own problems. Arden’s sweet, thoughtful story touches on such difficult but important topics as PTSD and the struggles soldiers have upon returning home from war. Her likable characters will pull you into the world of Glory.

    Once More, My Darling Rogue, by Lorraine Heath
    Although he has an intimate familiarity with the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape the fact that he comes from humble beginnings—as Lady Ophelia Lyttleton is particularly fond of reminding him. That is, until he rescues her from drowning, and in the process, she loses her memory. Ever the opportunist, Drake cunningly convinces Ophelia that she’s his housekeeper, never dreaming that the tension between them will escalate until it’s impossible to deny their attraction. And once Ophelia’s memory returns, Drake can’t imagine being without her—but how can he go on to win her heart after such a devastating betrayal? Sorry, you’re on your own there, Drake.

    The Laird, by Grace Burrowes
    Years ago, Michael Brodie left his bride to go into battle—and now that he has returned to their Highland estate, he finds that the woman he married has changed. She’s now confident, independent, and completely enraged by his long absence. Brenna never forgave Michael for leaving her vulnerable and alone when she needed him, and he’s going to need all the wisdom and patience he learned as a soldier to win back her trust—and to coax her into revealing the dark secrets she’s been carrying. The final book in the Captive Hearts trio is filled with nuanced characters, high drama, and a cleverly plotted story that will keep the pages turning. Although each novel in the series stands alone, it’s worth starting from the beginning, with The Captive.

    What new romances are keeping you toasty this fall?

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 7:00 pm on 2014/06/24 Permalink
    Tags: alice clayton, jay crownover, , , , , rusty nailed, , , the promise, when day breaks   

    Romance Roundup: A Bad Boy, a Muckraker, and a Doctor Who’s Ready to Love Again 

    Rusty Nailed

    This week’s roundup finds a pair of lovebirds playing at playing house, a beautiful model who’s a magnet for danger, and a cooking school under siege.

    Rusty Nailed, by Alice Clayton
    Readers who fell in love with Caroline Reynolds and Simon Parker in Clayton’s witty smash hit Wallbanger, rejoice! The two are back in long-awaited sequel Rusty Nailed, the second book in the Cocktail series. Never the conventional couple, Caroline and Simon are wrapped up in their own busy jobs and lives, with time set aside for the occasional scorching hot reunion. But eventually, Simon begins to question his priorities, wondering whether his crazy jet-setting lifestyle is still what he wants. Before too long, he and Caroline are navigating the world of cozy evenings at home…lots of cozy evenings. With her interior design career finally taking off, Caroline finds herself torn between spending time with her sweetheart and throwing herself into her professional passion. Not only that, she worries whether they can keep their crazy spark going when their lives are growing more domestic by the day. Fans of Clayton’s smart, funny writing will love another tall glass of these bubbly, refreshing characters. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 24)

    Better When He’s Bad, by Jay Crownover
    Is there anyone here who doesn’t like the idea of a bad boy with a heart of gold? Just making sure. Shane Baxter is one such delectable baddie: he did five years in prison after getting in over his head and making one too many poor choices, and now that he’s out, he’s decided it’s payback time. Only a good girl, Dovie Pryce, is standing in his way, as good girls are wont to do. Will the two form an uneasy alliance…or a sexy alliance? You know you want to find out—and you also know that Crownover won’t let you down. The first book in her new Welcome to the Point series is about second chances, righting past wrongs, and overcoming troubled histories. And did I mention bad boys? (Available in paperback and NOOK June 17)

    The Promise, by Robyn Carr
    If you’re longing for a sweet, slow-building romance to help you usher in the warm summer months, look no further than the 5th book in Carr’s treasured Thunder Point series. Doctor Scott Grant, though enjoying his busy family practice in the small Oregon community of Thunder Point, realizes he might be ready to venture back into the dating scene, and the place is a bit low on eligible ladies. That is, until one Peyton Lacoumette shows up and agrees to work for him on a trial basis for three months. Both Scott and Peyton are cautious about romantic involvement, having been burned in the past, so they hang back and let a deliciously gradual romance heat up between them. In the end, though, Peyton’s job is only temporary, and Scott doesn’t want her to feel compelled to stay in Thunder Point just for him. (Um, paging Dr. Scott: I’m looking at flights out west right now. Call me.) But if he lets her go, will he lose her forever? (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 24)

    When Day Breaks, by Maya Banks
    The 9th book in Banks’s suspenseful KGI series finally gives us the story of Kelly Group International team member Daryl Swanson (or “Swanny”), who has returned from a mission in Afghanistan very much the worse for wear. Physically scarred and emotionally shattered, Swanny lives a solitary life, afraid to let anyone in. When he and several KGI teammates are hired to protect beautiful model Eden, whose life has been threatened, the two are drawn to each other for reasons neither quite understands—but Swanny most of all, who can’t believe a stunning woman like Eden would be interested in the damaged goods he considers himself to be. Fans eager to learn more about Swanny will not be disappointed, and will relish the undeniable attraction between him and Eden. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 24)

    The Beekeeper’s Ball, by Susan Wiggs
    Who wouldn’t want to visit Bella Vista, California, with its sprawling gardens, apple orchards, and beehives, to attend Isabel Johansen’s cooking school? I know, right? That’s what I thought. And everything is going according to plan for Isabel’s exciting, fulfilling new project—until the unexpected arrival of caustic journalist Cormac O’Neill. Cormac is clearly on a mission to unearth scandal, and his presence puts everything Isabel has worked so hard for at risk. Still, it’s difficult for him to remain hardnosed in such a beautiful setting, particularly with the delightful Beekeeper’s Ball on the horizon. Readers will love returning to sun-drenched paradise in the second novel in Wiggs’s charming Bella Vista Chronicles, which is filled with vibrant, nuanced characters, each hiding their own secrets. (Available in a B&N Exclusive signed hardcover and NOOK on June 24)

    What romances are spiriting you away this week?

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