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  • Cristina Merrill 8:38 pm on 2018/11/06 Permalink
    Tags: , , , brenda jackson, carly bloom, , , , , , , , , katee robert, , , , , , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Master Vampires, Wyoming and Texas Ranchers, and Naughty Widows 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes a desperate heiress who needs to pay off a blackmailer, a Wyoming rancher and single dad who gets some much-needed help, and a high-society widow who falls for the deliciously wrong kind of man. Plus: lots of vampires.

    Wyoming Legend, by Diana Palmer
    Micah Torrance may be a handsome, rugged man built to run a Wyoming ranch, but underneath that chiseled exterior is a guy who needs a bit of help. He’s got his energetic little daughter, for one, and, well, running a big Wyoming ranch is tougher than it sounds. Fortunately, he gets help from Karina Carter, a champion ice skater who is having a bit of R&R after an accident. She is eager to get back to the ice, but then she gets to know Micah and his kid and realizes that everything she truly, madly, deeply wants is much closer than she thinks. Will Micah find, ahem, enthusiastic ways to express his budding love for Karina? And will Karina realize that Micah is WAY better than any gold medal? This is the eighth book in Palmer’s Wyoming Men series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK.)

    Unhinged, by Helen Hardt
    The love saga between ER nurse Erin Hamilton and vampire Dante Gabriel continues! Long story short: Dante bit Erin and became addicted to her blood and they now have a crazy-hot chemistry that would resuscitate a maiden aunt’s long-lost libido. The thing is, Erin isn’t sure she wants to buy into the whole vampire thing, even if Dante constantly makes her want to ditch her scrubs and bare herself to him body and soul. (Oh, Erin, please don’t fight the feelings that Dante makes you feel!) Still, they can’t stay away from each other, so now they’re going to decipher the Vampyre Texts and dodge a gang of vampire thugs. Dante also needs to deal with some major dark energy. Here’s hoping they manage to defeat all of the negative forces in their lives and just focus on each other! This is the second book in Hardt’s Blood Bond Saga series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    First Snow, by Nora Roberts
    Two stories in one! In “A Will and a Way,” Pandora McVie ends up having to spend Christmas in the Catskills with the very hunky Michael Donahue. He is the co-beneficiary of her late uncle’s will, who clearly wanted to hook these two youngsters up. Pandora is NOT a happy camper. (Um, Pandora, no offense, but Michael is gorgeous and I just did a Google image search of the Catskills and WOW they’re beautiful—so open your eyes!) In “Local Hero,” single mom Hester Wallace is working hard to make ends meet while raising her son in a Manhattan apartment. (Totally feel you, Hester! Keeping oneself alive in a Manhattan apartment is no easy feat.) Her neighbor Mitch Dempsey offers to help her out, which melts our gal’s heart. (Mitch, would you please walk my dog while you’re at it?) Will this be the last holiday season they spend unattached? (Available in paperback.)

    Love in Catalina Cove, by Brenda Jackson
    Vashti Alcindor faced a major teen pregnancy-related crisis when she was younger, so she left her hometown of Catalina Cove determined to never return. Fast forward ten-plus years, and our gal has inherited a bed and breakfast from her aunt. The establishment is in major need of some HGTV-level renovation, and Vashti decides to fix it up and give life in Catalina Cove another whirl. (Vashti, you are our inspiration!) Oh, she also meets and falls for Sawyer Grisham, the new sheriff who recently pulled her over for speeding, proving that romance can flower in the most inconvenient of circumstances. Things are going quite well until some painful secrets start to come out. Vashti, stay strong and don’t let anyone ruin your new life! And Sawyer, make sure to stick by her side throughout all of the drama – and forgive her for speeding! This is the first book in Jackson’s Catalina Cove series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Shades of Wicked, by Jeaniene Frost
    New series alert! Master vampire Ian makes no apologies for his controversial but smoldering, sexy existence. (Yep, we’re all totally fine with this.) And as for our vampire law-abiding gal, Veritas, her job is to make sure that guys like Ian, who live by their own set of rules and don’t really listen to vampire society, doesn’t get TOO out of line. (Oh, but Veritas, Ian can be so good when he’s bad!) Still, both Veritas and Ian have a bone to pick with a demon named Dagon. (We’ll put it this way: Dagon is so bad that even Veritas is willing to get a bit dirty if it means his downfall.) Ian and Veritas will need to join forces if they’re going to defeat Dagon. And if it means that she’ll occasionally get to put her hands all over Ian’s body then, well, good for you, Veritas! This is the first book in Frost’s Night Rebel series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, and NOOK.)

    The Thief, by J.R. Ward
    Sola Morte used to be on the wrong side of the law (think cat burglary and safecracking), but now she’s gone clean and is focused on taking care of her granny. She hasn’t forgotten Assail, though. He’s a vampire, and let’s just say that futures between vampires and human women are NOT looking too bright. She needs to stay away from him. Then Assail ends up in a coma, and his cousins ask Sola to chill by his bedside and give him a reason to keep going. (Oh, that we all had that chance!) Then she finds herself in the middle of a war that involves vampires and vampire enemies and lots and lots of fangs and teeth. Here’s hoping she manages to survive this vampire war—and that she and Assail figure out their future together ASAP! This is the latest book in Ward’s extensive Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (Available in paperback.)

    Archangel’s Prophecy, by Nalini Singh
    Elena Deveraux was a mortal who was turned immortal and became the consort of Archangel Raphael, and because of this she has a pretty sweet pair of wings that, ya know, allow her to live up in the clouds with him. (The ability to fly AND a hunky man to boot? Elena, you are one very lucky lady!) A major problem is brewing, though, which is that Elena is regressing and becoming more human again. She and Raphael need to figure out what the problem is ASAP before their future together becomes truly doomed. Oh, and major catastrophes are taking place around the world, and Elena and Raphael need to deal with them, too. Elena and Raphael, you can do this! We have faith in you! And when the drama is over, you should seriously consider booking a couples’ massage! This is the latest book in Singh’s Guild Hunter series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

    Barbarous, by Minerva Spencer
    Lady Daphne Davenport is a respectable widow, which means she should NOT be falling hard for the steaming hot privateer, Hugh Redvers. She’s a lady and he’s just not the kind of man she should be courting in public. She also needs to keep her distance because she miiiiight have cheated him out of lands and a title and so forth—not that Hugh knows it. (Daphne, you bad girl! We can’t wait to hear all of your juicy secrets!) Still, Daphne wouldn’t mind being pillaged and plundered by Hugh, because he puts all of those high-society dandies to shame. As for Hugh, he can’t resist our tough, beautiful gal. Here’s hoping that Daphne comes clean about everything, and that Hugh isn’t too upset with her. (Just take it inside, you two! And by “inside” we mean “to the bedroom!”) This is the second book in Spencer’s Outcasts series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Too Far Gone, by Allison Brennan
    Special Agent and total badass Lucy Kincaid is eager to enjoy some quality time this summer with her hunky husband, Sean, and her husband’s son, Jesse. Trouble is, a respected scientist whose personal and professional life was in tatters just went haywire, kept a bunch of innocent people hostage, and then died in a shootout with the FBI. Lucy needs to get to the bottom of this, but soon it seems as if someone might be out to get her. She and Jesse get into a major car accident, and other things just start to unravel from there. Will our gal be able to crack this case? Will she and her loved ones make it out safely? And when the drama is over, will she and her husband and stepson finally be able to relax and enjoy their summer? This is the latest book in Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

    American Drifter, by Heather Graham and Chad Michael Murray
    Yup, you read those author names correctly! The romance writer and actor have teamed up to create a story about River, a U.S. Army veteran with PTSD. River has some major demons, so he decides to get lost in Brazil and just drift around with no end in sight. (Oh, River, we’d love nothing more than to find you and provide, ahem, comfort!) He meets a very special lady by the name of Natal, and instantly feels attracted to her, but she is the mistress of a gangster, and so he needs to tread carefully. They escape the area together, with the drug lord and his gang in pursuit. Oh, and the Brazilian government might also be involved. River and Natal, you two lovebirds just focus on escaping to a safe place, and then maybe also focus on making sweet, sweet love in a beautiful and remote mountain cabin! (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Beautiful Sinner, by Sophie Jordan
    Cruz Walsh was recently released from prison. He was accused of a crime he didn’t commit, so now he’s quite intent on making sure he only surrounds himself with people he trusts. (Good for you, buddy!) Then he gets stuck in a supply closet with Gabriella, an old high school acquaintance who looks WAY different from the days when people called her “Flabby Gabby.” (Gabriella, as far as we’re concerned, you are—and have always been—Ms. Fabulous McFabulous!) She is trying to land a major scoop that will help her career get wings—and help her get the heck out of her teeny, tiny town. But being stuck in a supply closet can be a surprisingly sexy situation that makes you want to slow things down and reevaluate your life, especially with a guy like Cruz. Here’s hoping they both get the fresh start they’re looking for! This is the fifth book in Jordan’s Devil’s Rock series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    The Runaway Princess, by Christina Dodd
    Miss Evangeline Scoffield is a sophisticated, mysterious woman—or so she would have everyone believe. She is really an orphan who recently inherited some money, so she’s intent on having a fun summer filled with expensive gowns and travel, all while pretending to be a beautiful, mysterious lady. A Very Sexy Man who is also A Crown Prince sees her and immediately realizes that she’s actually the Princess of Serephina. Oh, and she’s also supposed to be his fiancee, which didn’t totally fit in with her plans at first. (Evangeline—or is it Your Highness?—we’re all for you having a bit of fun and freedom, but have you had a chance to see this guy nekkid?) He is eager to win her over, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes. (Yes, yes, and yes!) Will he manage to win her over? And will they be able to rule together in harmony? This is the first book in Dodd’s Princess series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    The Bastard’s Bargain, by Katee Robert
    Keira O’Malley always fantasized about her wedding day, but she never imagined said wedding day would involve marriage to Dmitri Romanov. He’s a major power player in New York City who is known for his ruthless focus when it comes to taking care of business. As for Keira, she agrees to marry him only because her family is in danger. (Keira, call us delusional, but we’re actually feeling optimistic about this situation!) She doesn’t want to make marriage easy for him, but even she can’t deny that she wouldn’t mind licking a happy trail of chocolate off of his body every night. (Totally understandable, Keira. Totally understandable.) They’ll need to work together if they’re going to defeat their enemies. And when it’s over, they just might realize they actually like each other and want to stay married. Let the games begin! This is the sixth book in Robert’s O’Malley’s series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Big Bad Cowboy, by Carly Bloom
    Travis Blake experienced a lot of heartbreak in his hometown of Big Verde, Texas, so he escaped to Austin, intending to never return. Then his nephew calls him, and he’s very much in need of Travis’ help. Travis goes back, and figures he’ll sell the family ranch while he’s at it. But a very special lady by the name of Maggie is in his way. Maggie is so NOT falling for any of Travis’ charms, mainly because he is playing a role in the demise of her business. (Oh, Maggie, let’s be fair and give a shirtless Travis five minutes to explain himself! Actually, make that 10 minutes. Plus 20. A whole half hour of Travis explaining himself shirtless. Yes, that will work!) Then Maggie starts to see that Travis is actually A Good Guy and falls for him. Here’s hoping they work out a beautiful life together! This is the first book in Bloom’s Once Upon a Time in Texas series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    First Earl I See Tonight, by Anna Bennett
    David Gray, Earl of Ravenport was just jilted by his fiancee, so he’s pretty sure he’s over the whole marriage thing. Then he gets a marriage proposal from heiress and artist Miss Fiona Hartley. She wants to get married pronto because she needs her dowry to pay off a blackmailer. That blackmailer wants to destroy her sister’s reputation, and Fiona is a nice sister who does NOT want to see that happen. (Fiona, we admire your bravery and determination to protect your family!) Fiona ends up spending a week at David’s estate, which is in need of some major TLC. David is positive being in a rundown place will drive Fiona away, but she’s no delicate miss. Oh, and they both soon realize that they can’t ignore the hot chemistry between them. David and Fiona, please open your eyes to the possibilities! And get rid of that blackmailer! This is the first book in Bennett’s Debutante series. (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    Wolf Rising, by Paige Tyler
    SWAT officer Jayden Brooks doesn’t believe in soulmates or The One or true love or any of that stuff THAT REALLY DOES EXIST! (Seriously, Jayden, open up that heart that lies beneath your chiseled pecs!) Then he rescues high school teacher Selena Rosa. She was being held hostage, and one whiff of this beautiful, sweet-smelling lady has Jayden rethinking his priorities. (Excuse me, Selena? What perfume were you wearing when you met Jayden? Please let us all know. Thanks!) As for Selena, one look at Jayden reminds her that she may be super duper buttoned up, but she is still a natural woman. They end up making out and Selena bites him, which unleashes her wolf gene. (That’s right, Selena! You unleash your inner wolf!) She starts to transform, and her wilder, more uncontrollable tendencies start coming out. Will the strong, devoted Jayden be able to keep her on track? This is the eighth book in Tyler’s SWAT series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK.)

    The post Romance Roundup: Master Vampires, Wyoming and Texas Ranchers, and Naughty Widows appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Corrina Lawson 5:00 pm on 2018/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: A Bollywood Affair, , , , barbara ferrer, , brenda jackson, , farrah rochon, i'll catch you, , , something like love, Sonali Dev, , tonight and forever   

    The Great RITA Read: The Lost Voices 

    As someone who did not grow up reading romance, I’ve been more than impressed at the quality of the books that have won the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for excellence in Romance fiction. Out of over 65 books, I would say only three were subpar, and those suffered from not aging well.

    I intended to make this next article in my Great RITA Read series about how romance handles trauma, particularly female trauma, but I can’t do that until I talk about the elephant in the room with the RITA Awards: The authors it has failed to honor.

    Since 1982, no black author has won a Golden Medallion/Rita Award. This is particularly frustrating since one of the co-founders of RWA was a black woman, Vivian Stephens, a Dell and Harlequin editor who was committed to excellence in romance and to shepherding the success of romance authors.

    There are things RWA as an organization and RWA members can do to solve this problem, with the first being admitting the scope of the problem and listening to authors of color.

    But what I can do is recommend books by authors of color that you may not have heard about because they have not been marketed widely.

    I’m not recommending these books so readers can educate themselves. I’m recommending them because they’re damn fine books and they contain stories that deserve to be enjoyed by all readers. I believe firmly in the power of story, that stories can change the world, and that racism is causing so many of these brilliant voices to be lost.

    My list is by no means a definitive list of wonderful romances by authors of color; only a place to get started. To find more, I would urge you to look at the “Customers Who Also Bought” section at barnesandnoble.com under each of these books, which will bring you down a delightful rabbit hole to more wonderful stories.

    Pick these up, read them, enjoy them. And let them lead you to other great stories and voices.

    A Princess in Theory, by Alyssa Cole 
    This lovely book is about a former foster child who finds out that she is betrothed to an African prince. He’s determined to find his missing bride, she mistakes him for a pauper, and a terrific romance ensues. I received an advance copy of this book and my eldest daughter (24) grabbed it and promptly disappeared with it for days, to read it several times. I can think of no greater recommendation than that.

    A Bollywood Affair, by Sonali Dev
    I met Sonali Dev at an RWA event for readers and was thoroughly charmed by her, carrying my signed copy of her book home to read on the plane. I almost wished that plane ride had been long enough to finish the book because it was hard to tear myself away when we landed. It’s the story of a young woman from India who comes to the United States for an education, aware that she must be the best person she can be to appease the prospective in-laws who have taken care of her ever since she was proposed to by their son as a child. It’s the story of a young man, a Bollywood star, who wants to break away from family traditions. The book is lush and emotional and intense and real and I loved it.

    Something Like Love, by Beverly Jenkins
    I must confess I was unaware of the enormous body of Jenkins’ work until watching Love Between the Covers, a documentary about romance writers and readers. (I also highly recommend it.) That is my loss because the power of Jenkins’ voice comes through in her fiction. Her acceptance speech when receiving the RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 is not to be missed. I picked this book to represent her because it’s one of my favorite romance genres, a Western, and the hero and heroine have a fraught first meeting when he robs her train, a train she’s taking to escape an arranged marriage in Chicago. The hero can’t get the heroine out of his mind, but his lawlessness and the bounty hunters on his trail are a serious impediment to romance, especially as the heroine is the town’s newly elected mayor. Of course, love wins out, beautifully.

    I’ll Catch You, by Farrah Rochon 
    This one is a sports romance, more specifically, a fun NFL romance, in which a pro football player and his agent get closer than Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. ever did in Jerry Maguire. This book is part of Harlequin’s now-canceled Kimani line for black authors. Other fantastic former Kimani authors include Reese Ryan, whose new book, Savannah’s Secrets, is just out from Harlequin Desire, and you can find a long list of Kimani books listed here at Barnes & Noble.

    Tonight and Forever, by Brenda Jackson
    This is the prolific and talented Jackson’s own favorite book and it’s one of those stories that romance does so well: tales of people who are healed by love. The heroines goes home to Texas after a bitter divorce, only to become involved with a doctor who is still mourning his late wife. It’s intense and emotional and sweet and heartbreaking and it will make you want to binge all of Jackson’s books.

    I’ve listed these books to get everyone started but rest assured, there are hundreds of wonderful stories from talented authors who have not nearly gotten enough notice. You can also look for books by Barbara Ferrer (possibly the only Cuban-American author to win a Rita), Alisha Rai, and Jamie Pope/Sugar Jamison.

    Please, make your own recommendations below in the comments!

    The post The Great RITA Read: The Lost Voices appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 4:44 pm on 2017/07/18 Permalink
    Tags: , brenda jackson, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes several ladies in the special forces, a woman and a football player whose one-night stand leads to a baby, and a nurse who wants to protect her childhood home.

    Dark Carousel, by Christine Feehan
    Tariq Asenguard is looking for his mate for life and does a major double take when Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, looking so fine. He wants her, but he doesn’t realize that our girl already knows what he’s about. Charlotte has stuff to do. She is on a mission to figure out who murdered a loved one. She and Tariq are soon drawn to each other, which totally makes sense because she’s awesome and brave and he’s cool and oozing sexiness. They also have a very niche interest in common. He collects old carousel horses and she restores them. See? There’s someone for everyone! This is the 30th—yep, 30th—book in Feehan’s Dark series. (Available in paperback on July 25.)

    Fatal Threat, by Marie Force
    Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland is eager to investigate a body that has just washed up from a river. (It’s all yours, Sam, as far as we’re concerned!) Secret Service agents, however, prevent our gal from getting close to the crime scene. (Nincompoops! All of them!) All she wants to do is investigate this new case and then go home and cuddle up with her yummy husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. There are forces, though, that are preventing her from doing the things she needs and wants to do. Add to that a threat to her family and a shady person from her husband’s past and, well, there’s only so much a gal can handle before the gray hairs start popping up. (Not that you wouldn’t rock them, Sam!) This is the latest book in Force’s Fatal series, which is perfect for romance readers who are craving a story about a sexy, long-term couple. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Locked in Temptation, by Brenda Jackson
    Police detective Joy Ingram has just exposed a major underground surrogate baby making ring. She cannot be distracted by the very sexy force that is security expert Stonewall Courson. (Sorry, Joy, but have you seen his biceps?!) He’s a reformed ex-con, and so he knows a thing or two about shady characters. He’s determined to protect Joy when her latest investigation proves to be more dangerous than one might have thought. (Underground surrogacy is no easily-disguised feat, that’s for sure!) Joy wants to maintain her fierce independence, while Stonewall wants to flex his manly-man muscles and prove to Joy how much he cares. (Let him, Joy, let him!) Here’s hoping they avoid the danger, catch the bad guys, that those babies end up in nice homes, and that Joy and Stonewall get to making some of their own! This is the third book in Jackson’s Protectors series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 25.)

    Before the Dawn, by Cynthia Eden
    Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost has some major family baggage: His brother was a serial killer known as “Iceman.” (Suddenly, that crazy aunt of yours doesn’t seem so bad!) Tucker is recruited into a special division of the FBI, one that hires people with personal ties to serial killers. Tucker goes back to Louisiana to investigate some murders, and he runs into his former lover, Dawn Alexander. He saved her from his crazy brother back in the day, but this is the first time in seven years that they’ve seen each other. They are both a little terrified that someone like the Iceman is in action, and their respective instinct is to hold each other close. (Tucker, we’ll certainly give you all of the hugs you need!) Can they keep their heads on and pick up where they left off? This is the second book in Eden’s Killer Instinct series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Until You Loved Me, by Brenda Novak
    Scientist Ellie Fisher just had a rough revelation: Her fiancé cheated on her with another dude. She’s feeling a bit down, to say the least, so she decides to enjoy a one-night stand with the very manly Hudson King. She disappears on him after having quite the blast, and she doesn’t even care that she never learned his full name. (You go, girl!) Then she finds out that she’s pregnant. She tracks him down, only to find out that he’s, like, a professional football player. (Don’t worry, Ellie. I wouldn’t have recognized him, either.) Hudson isn’t too thrilled about the situation, but he grew up a lonely orphan and doesn’t want that for his offspring. And as much as neither of them might want to admit, they actually like each other. Can they skip the whole soul-searching bit and just admit that they have each found The One? This is the third book in Novak’s Silver Springs series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    In the Market for Love, by Joy Avery
    ER nurse Vivian Moore feels some very conflicting emotions when real estate developer Alonso Wright struts into her hospital. (Alonso, feel free to visit our workplaces any day of the work week!) He wants to snatch up some property in her old neighborhood, including her childhood home, which would so NOT be cool with our gal. (On the flip side, Alonso has a body and smile that should come with individual warning labels.) It turns out that Alonso actually has some pretty philanthropic motives. He wants to build a community center in memory of his late grandfather. Vivian refuses to negotiate, though. Then a crooked business person gets involved, and a pesky hurricane hits the area, all of which make Alonso realize that he can get through any problem with the very strong and beautiful Vivian by his side. Alonso, buddy, the way to a woman’s heart is to buy her childhood home for her and let her redo it the way she wants! (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you reading in the heat of summer?

    The post Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 4:44 pm on 2017/07/18 Permalink
    Tags: , brenda jackson, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players 

    This week’s Romance Roundup includes several ladies in the special forces, a woman and a football player whose one-night stand leads to a baby, and a nurse who wants to protect her childhood home.

    Dark Carousel, by Christine Feehan
    Tariq Asenguard is looking for his mate for life and does a major double take when Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, looking so fine. He wants her, but he doesn’t realize that our girl already knows what he’s about. Charlotte has stuff to do. She is on a mission to figure out who murdered a loved one. She and Tariq are soon drawn to each other, which totally makes sense because she’s awesome and brave and he’s cool and oozing sexiness. They also have a very niche interest in common. He collects old carousel horses and she restores them. See? There’s someone for everyone! This is the 30th—yep, 30th—book in Feehan’s Dark series. (Available in paperback on July 25.)

    Fatal Threat, by Marie Force
    Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland is eager to investigate a body that has just washed up from a river. (It’s all yours, Sam, as far as we’re concerned!) Secret Service agents, however, prevent our gal from getting close to the crime scene. (Nincompoops! All of them!) All she wants to do is investigate this new case and then go home and cuddle up with her yummy husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. There are forces, though, that are preventing her from doing the things she needs and wants to do. Add to that a threat to her family and a shady person from her husband’s past and, well, there’s only so much a gal can handle before the gray hairs start popping up. (Not that you wouldn’t rock them, Sam!) This is the latest book in Force’s Fatal series, which is perfect for romance readers who are craving a story about a sexy, long-term couple. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Locked in Temptation, by Brenda Jackson
    Police detective Joy Ingram has just exposed a major underground surrogate baby making ring. She cannot be distracted by the very sexy force that is security expert Stonewall Courson. (Sorry, Joy, but have you seen his biceps?!) He’s a reformed ex-con, and so he knows a thing or two about shady characters. He’s determined to protect Joy when her latest investigation proves to be more dangerous than one might have thought. (Underground surrogacy is no easily-disguised feat, that’s for sure!) Joy wants to maintain her fierce independence, while Stonewall wants to flex his manly-man muscles and prove to Joy how much he cares. (Let him, Joy, let him!) Here’s hoping they avoid the danger, catch the bad guys, that those babies end up in nice homes, and that Joy and Stonewall get to making some of their own! This is the third book in Jackson’s Protectors series. (Available in paperback and NOOK on July 25.)

    Before the Dawn, by Cynthia Eden
    Ex-SEAL Tucker Frost has some major family baggage: His brother was a serial killer known as “Iceman.” (Suddenly, that crazy aunt of yours doesn’t seem so bad!) Tucker is recruited into a special division of the FBI, one that hires people with personal ties to serial killers. Tucker goes back to Louisiana to investigate some murders, and he runs into his former lover, Dawn Alexander. He saved her from his crazy brother back in the day, but this is the first time in seven years that they’ve seen each other. They are both a little terrified that someone like the Iceman is in action, and their respective instinct is to hold each other close. (Tucker, we’ll certainly give you all of the hugs you need!) Can they keep their heads on and pick up where they left off? This is the second book in Eden’s Killer Instinct series. (Available in paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    Until You Loved Me, by Brenda Novak
    Scientist Ellie Fisher just had a rough revelation: Her fiancé cheated on her with another dude. She’s feeling a bit down, to say the least, so she decides to enjoy a one-night stand with the very manly Hudson King. She disappears on him after having quite the blast, and she doesn’t even care that she never learned his full name. (You go, girl!) Then she finds out that she’s pregnant. She tracks him down, only to find out that he’s, like, a professional football player. (Don’t worry, Ellie. I wouldn’t have recognized him, either.) Hudson isn’t too thrilled about the situation, but he grew up a lonely orphan and doesn’t want that for his offspring. And as much as neither of them might want to admit, they actually like each other. Can they skip the whole soul-searching bit and just admit that they have each found The One? This is the third book in Novak’s Silver Springs series. (Available in hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and NOOK on July 25.)

    In the Market for Love, by Joy Avery
    ER nurse Vivian Moore feels some very conflicting emotions when real estate developer Alonso Wright struts into her hospital. (Alonso, feel free to visit our workplaces any day of the work week!) He wants to snatch up some property in her old neighborhood, including her childhood home, which would so NOT be cool with our gal. (On the flip side, Alonso has a body and smile that should come with individual warning labels.) It turns out that Alonso actually has some pretty philanthropic motives. He wants to build a community center in memory of his late grandfather. Vivian refuses to negotiate, though. Then a crooked business person gets involved, and a pesky hurricane hits the area, all of which make Alonso realize that he can get through any problem with the very strong and beautiful Vivian by his side. Alonso, buddy, the way to a woman’s heart is to buy her childhood home for her and let her redo it the way she wants! (Available in paperback and NOOK.)

    What romance novels are you reading in the heat of summer?

    The post Romance Roundup: Special Forces Ladies, ER Nurses, and Football Players appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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