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  • Cristina Merrill 4:00 pm on 2017/11/21 Permalink
    Tags: always you, bay of sighs, cajun crazy, denise grover swank, desire in a kiss, , , , , , , , the brightest embers, wake a sleeping tiger   

    Romance Roundup: Soccer Coaches, Food Empire Heirs, and New Orleans Detectives 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a couple doing battle with demon realms, a fabulously wealthy and handsome man who wants to meet a nice, genuine woman, and a children’s soccer coach who is reunited with an old flame.

    Bay of Sighs, by Nora Roberts
    Mermaid lovers will delight in the second book in Roberts’ Guardians trilogy. The series features three women and three men on a quest to find three magic stars before an evil enemy gets to them first. This installment features Annika, a mermaid who needs to help find the water star. Also on her team is Sawyer King, a time and space-traveling hottie. As they work together, and with the others, they start falling for each other. And who can blame them? He’s a good-hearted hunk and she’s a sweet, innocent beauty with a swimmer’s body. This is seriously like all of our “Doctor Who” and “Little Mermaid” fantasies combined! Here’s hoping Annika and Sawyer manage to save the day—and that they have time for at least one romantic, non-work-related swimming session. (Available in paperback on November 28.)

    The Brightest Embers, by Jeaniene Frost
    Ivy and Adrian have gone through a lot together—think missing family members, curses, and keeping human and demon realms separated. They’ve managed to keep that romance alive, though. (Kudos to the two of you for not letting the little things bring you down!) But now things are about to get even harder. Ivy needs to find a relic that will save people who are trapped in demon realms, and this particular relic might also do her more harm than good. Adrian wants to use every tool at his disposal to keep her alive, but it’s not going to be easy on him, either. Here’s hoping these two manage to rescue all of the victims trapped in that pesky demon realm, and that they then take a relaxing vacation together that involves lounging under the sun while a butler brings them piña coladas! This is the third and final book in Frost’s A Broken Destiny series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on November 28.)

    Desire in a Kiss, by Nicki Night
    Christian Chandler is tired of meeting women who are after his money. He’s the heir to a major food empire, and let’s just say the ladies wouldn’t mind making a permanent financial situation with him. (In all fairness, Christian, they might ALSO be after your chiseled derrière, which should have its own holiday greeting card.) He decides to try the online dating thing under a fake name, and soon connects with Serenity Williams. She’s a non-gold-digging woman who recently started her own non-profit organization. (Serenity, where do we sign up for volunteering opportunities?!) She is falling hard for Christian, whom she knows as “Chris,” and our guy is loving every moment with her. Then she finds out that he’s a much bigger deal than he let on. Can Serenity forgive him? (Serenity, he has nothing but the best intentions! We promise!) This is the second book in Night’s Chandler Legacy series. (Available in paperback on November 21.)

    Cajun Crazy, by Sandra Hill
    Simone LeDeux has decided to leave the whole Chicago cop career thing behind her and help her mom recover from surgery. She heads home to New Orleans, and decides to start an agency called Legal Belles, which is devoted to catching lowlife, cheating spouses. (Three cheers for you, Simone!) Oh, and while she’s in town she’s decided to stay away from Cajun men. She’s dated them in the past, and they’ve all hurt her, and yet she’s always been irresistibly drawn to them. So, no. Then another one soon comes into her life. Adam Lanier is going to help her crack a very interesting new case. He has a body worth painting, plus he’s got that whole hot single dad thing going on, so he’s absolutely worthy of a second look. (Get on that ASAP, Simone! He’s totally different from all of the others!) This is the second book in Hill’s Cajun series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on November 28.)

    Wake a Sleeping Tiger, by Lora Leigh
    This is the latest book in Leigh’s very creative and extensive Breeds series, which is about women and men with deeply-rooted animal mating instincts who are trying to keep their secrets from us regular, boring humans. (Darn it!) Judd, a Bengal Breed, is living undercover as Cullen Maverick in Window Rock, Arizona. He is the commander of the Covert Law Enforcement Agency. His Bengal traits are recessed, so he gets by okay without drawing too much unwanted attention to himself, other than the fact that he’s super hot. Then he runs into Chelsea Martinez, and all of those supposedly-hidden tiger traits start bubbling up to the surface. Cullen—excuse me, Judd—get down to it and show us what you’re capable of! (Available in paperback on November 28.)

    Always You, by Denise Grover Swank
    Matt Osborn loves coaching his five-year-old nephew’s soccer team, but he didn’t realize just how, ahem, enthusiastic for him the kids’ moms would be. (Really, Matt? With those arms and that smile of yours?) He has zero desire to get serious with anyone. Unlike his male friends, he won’t be giving in to the whole matrimony thing. One of the ladies, though, is single mom Anna. She and Matt go WAY back. In fact, they almost got engaged at one point. Now she’s taking care of her dad, so she’s rather busy. That loving feeling hasn’t gone away, though, and it soon comes back stronger than ever. Come on, you two! The past is the past, let it go, move forward, and all of that jazz! This is the third book in Swank’s Bachelor Brotherhood series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on November 28.)

    What romance novels are you excited for this week?

    The post Romance Roundup: Soccer Coaches, Food Empire Heirs, and New Orleans Detectives appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Corrina Lawson 4:00 pm on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: bay of sighs, , , , , the guardians trilogy,   

    Island of Glass Concludes Nora Roberts’ Epic Guardians Trilogy 

    I picked up Island of Glass, book 3 in the Guardians series, having not read books one and two. I also picked it up not having read any fantasies by Nora Roberts before.

    No matter.

    I was sucked into the story and finished it in one night. Which is not to say I’d recommend reading this volume before reading Stars of Fortune and Bay of Sighs, the first two books.

    I’m that weird person who is happy to read a series out of order but, even so, it takes me time to parse who is who and what is what. That I could do that within ten pages speaks highly of Roberts’ writing skills, especially since the book begins with the arrival of our group via magic portal to a castle perched on an ocean cliff in Ireland. They’re fleeing a confrontation with, well, a mystical goddess.

    More than anything, reading Island of Glass made me want to go back and read the first two books, and then re-read Island of Glass to see what nuances I was missing.

    Essentially, the Guardians Trilogy is about three couples with varied powers and abilities, including a wizard, a seer, and a mermaid. Doyle, the hero of the third book, is an immortal warrior and Riley, an archeologist who is like a female Indiana Jones, is the heroine. But their story has been percolating for the first two books so what was in this final volume was more a culmination of their relationship than a full romantic story. They’ve already met, fought together, made friends together, and faced death together.

    Aside: I’m a total sucker for world-weary repressed immortal warriors, so Doyle caught my attention immediately. Maybe it’s just as well I read this first because if I’d read them in order, I’d want more Doyle in each of the first two books. Yes, I’m that much of a sucker for this trope.

    The couples already together have moments in the third book that are essential to their happily ever afters. In the finale, the party of six are in the last stage of their quest to take possession of the three “fallen” stars and return them to the Island of Glass in the title, attempting to overcome the goddess who has left the fold and only wants to destroy.

    The fantasy is built around Irish mythology. As I noted above, it’s the first fantasy I’ve read from Roberts. I’m generally a fan of her romantic suspense novels and the J.D. Robb series, but apparently, I’ve been missing out because the worldbuilding is as sure here as in any regular fantasy novel. (And would probably serve as a good introduction to Nora Roberts for fantasy fans.) The magic is well-handled with specific rules, including the wizard/mage’s power, the seer who glimpses the future, and the curse placed on the immortal warrior. Also, I loved the mermaid but I may also be a sucker for an “outsider who knows little of human civilization.”

    Each of the six main characters has their own strengths and weaknesses and while they’re paired off, they also have meaningful if platonic relationships with each other as well. So often in ensemble novels, paired-off characters are on their own islands, only interacting with their romantic partners, but this group has bonds that cross every which way.

    In short, the six are a cohesive team, and Island of Glass provides both them and the Guardians Trilogy with a satisfying ending.

    Island of Glass is on B&N bookshelves now!

    The post Island of Glass Concludes Nora Roberts’ Epic Guardians Trilogy appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Tara Sonin 3:00 pm on 2016/06/14 Permalink
    Tags: bay of sighs, guardians trilogy, , , , , the stars align   

    Dive into Romance with Nora Roberts’ Bay of Sighs 

    In Nora Roberts’ Bay of Sighs, mermaids can walk the earth, time and space can be traveled in a single second, and three precious stars must be returned to the sky before a seductive and bloodthirsty goddess plunges the world into darkness.

    We first met Annika, Sawyer, Bran, Sasha, Riley and Doyle in book one of the Guardians trilogy, Stars of FortuneSix people, some human, some not, all born with a special gift or talent needed to help reunite three stars before they are possessed by Nerezza, an evil goddess. Sasha, the seer, and Bran, the warlock, were the love story at the center of their first mission to find the Fire Star on the Greek island of Corfu—and after a terrible battle with Nerezza, they managed to all escape with their lives and kept the star from her reach.

    Their journey takes the six guardians to Capri, a beautiful island in Italy I happened to visit once when I was ten, but it rained the whole time so we barely went outside and I remember none of. Guided by the compass of time-traveler Sawyer (think kind of Dr. Who but without a TARDIS and with a lot more lust), the six know that the next star they need to find is located somewhere on the Island—possibly hidden in one of the banks of beautiful caves lining the sea. As fate would have it, Annika is a mermaid—gifted legs by a sea witch only for the duration of her mission, and cursed to return to the ocean once all three stars have been found.

    While the attraction between Annika and Sawyer began in book one, this novel is one in which their relationship flourishes. Their personality differences are striking: Sawyer is an experienced traveler who has put up emotional walls that prevent him from having steady relationships, and Annika is a sheltered, naïve young girl who sees only the good in people. But her curiosity about the world is enticing to Sawyer, as is her innate ability to find joy in small moments of humanity such as cooking a delicious meal…or exploring the nuances of sex as a human.

    However, their mutual pleasure is short-lived when Nerezza employs a dangerous man to hunt the six and winds up kidnapping Annika and Sawyer. Sawyer knows that his first loyalty is to his mission—protecting the stars—but when Annika is in danger, he comes perilously close to risking it all to save her. And for what? After all, she is cursed to return to the sea when their mission is complete.

    Bay of Sighs is written as beautifully as an Italian summer can be; Roberts’ descriptions of the romantic Capri coastline and beaches made me see what I was missing that rainy trip during which I was unable to truly explore. I am always fascinated by villains, even in the novels where we’re not supposed to root for them—and Nerezza’s corrupted and slightly vampiric relationship with Malmont, her hired assassin, fascinated me, and was a great foil to the pure sensuality Annika experienced with Sawyer. I’m certain that in the third book, Island of Glasswhich focuses on Doyle, the immortal man who is incapable of dying, and Riley, the scientist-turned-werewolf—we will get a Nerezza confrontation that will turn the pages into shooting stars.

    Full of magic, mythology and some steamy ocean scenes, Bay of Sighs is the perfect novel for someone looking for a paranormal read with a hint of romance.

    Bay of Sighs is in stores now.

  • Cristina Merrill 8:00 pm on 2016/06/13 Permalink
    Tags: allegiance of honor, bay of sighs, born of legend, dirftwood point, last kiss, riverbend road, ,   

    Romance Roundup: Mermaids, Mysterious Hunks, and Environmental Activists 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a mermaid on a quest, a woman with a grudge, and a wild girl gone good (but not completely!).

    Bay of Sighs, by Nora Roberts
    Mermaid lovers will delight in the second book in Roberts’ Guardians trilogy. The series features three women and three men on a quest to find three magic stars before an evil enemy gets to them first. This installment features Annika, a mermaid who needs to help find the water star. Also on her team is Sawyer King, a time and space-traveling hottie. As they work together, and with the others, they start falling for each other. And who can blame them? He’s a good-hearted hunk and she’s a sweet, innocent beauty with a swimmer’s body. This is seriously like all of our “Doctor Who” and “Little Mermaid” fantasies combined! Here’s hoping Annika and Sawyer manage to save the day—and that they have time for at least one romantic, non-work-related swimming session. (Available in paperback, NOOK and audiobook on June 14.)

    Allegiance of Honor, by Nalini Singh
    This is Book 15 in Singh’s Psy-Changeling series, which is about an evil regime that works to repress all sexual desires and must be stopped ASAP. (What the heck is their problem?!) Fortunately, there are plenty of good guys and gals fighting the good fight against them, and this installment features plenty of characters from the series. The Psy-Changeling world has come a long way, and things are looking up since they have recently formed the Trinity Accord, which is meant to unite everyone. But, of course, unity ain’t always so easy. At the center of this installment is a kid who is both Psy and Changeling. Fans of the series will get to see some of their favorite characters in action again, and newbies can take comfort in knowing that there are 14 more of these epic stories to enjoy! (Available in paperback, NOOK and audiobook on June 14.)

    Last Kiss, by Laurelin Paige
    The second book in Paige’s First and Last series continues the story of Emily Wayborn, who had to return to her long-abandoned wild girl ways in order to help a friend. Emily is still entangled with ruthless hotelier Reeve Sallis, who is crazy sexy and crazy secretive. Emily is conflicted in her feelings for him, but she’s not one to back down from a challenge. That’s a good thing, because her bedroom escapades with Reeve are bound to continue being quite intense, to say the least. (Girl, make sure you stay hydrated!) Excited doesn’t begin to describe the emotions around this sequel. Note to self: Read it with a glass (or two!) of wine. (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 14.)

    Born of Legend, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Ushara Altaan is having a tough time. Her species is on the verge of extinction, and her son is being hunted down for his powers. He is then rescued from a jam by none other than Dagger Ixur. Dagger is a dead sexy member of a royal family that has tried to eliminate Ushara’s race. He’s not like them, but our gal is still experiencing a moral dilemma, plus the perfectly natural urge to jump into bed with him. As for Dagger, he’s on the run, but one look at Ushara and he realizes his life just won’t be the same anymore. (Follow your bliss, buddy!) Fingers crossed they find the safety and peace they need. This book is part of Kenyon’s League: Nemesis Rising series, for romance fans who love sinking their teeth into a fantasy world filled with suspense and intrigue. (Available in hardcover, NOOK and audiobook on June 21.)

    Riverbend Road, by RaeAnne Thayne
    Wyn Bailey might be a tough-as-nails police officer, but chief of police Cade Emmett still just sees her as his best friend’s sister. Or does he? (Hint: Nope!) He’s actually quite smitten with her, but he’s had a rough past, and shouting his feelings out to the world just isn’t really his style at the moment. All of that changes when Wyn gets injured on the job, and Cade is forced to confront and express all of the feelings in his tender little heart. (Flowers, Cade. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.) This is the fourth book in Thayne’s Haven Point series, which means there are additional love stories set in this lovely, picturesque town. (Available in paperback, NOOK and audiobook on June 21.)

    Driftwood Point, by Mariah Stewart
    Romance readers who also love the environment will be thrilled by the tenth book in Stewart’s Chesapeake Diaries series. Artist Lisbeth Parker is back home on Cannonball Island. She is determined to prove that she is nothing like her father, who had a very snobby attitude against the locals. She also wants to help preserve Cannonball Island. Her old schoolmate, environmental engineer Alec Jansen, thinks the place could use a small makeover and not have its awesomeness be compromised. Oh, and he still has the hots for her all these years later, even though she refused to be his prom date back in the day. Gotta love a mature man who doesn’t hold a grudge! Here’s hoping they find some middle ground soon. (Available in paperback, NOOK and audiobook on June 21.)

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